Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The Wilford Collection Pt 5: The Daimler that was not 'Available Later'


The 1966 and 1967 Corgi catalogues included illustrations of 9022, a 1910 Daimler 38 with a hood, marked as AVAILABLE LATER. To all intents and purposes this looked like 9021, a red Daimler 38 with folded back hood and driver plus a full load of passengers, but painted blue with a red-brown closed hood.

Corgi were good at making one casting do several things. This one, however, never got into production. What I have here is a sample, looking almost complete but lacking a dashboard and steering wheel.


A full selection of images of this unique item can be seen here.

It is in excellent condition with no chips or scratches, the screen has survived and so too has the vulnerable radiator emblem.

I also have the 9021 Daimler which may also have been a sample but it appears indistinguishable from examples of issued models that I have. I would, nevertheless, prefer to see these kept together in case, at some point, someone does spot some differences.

What is quite different, however, is the 1927 Bentley 3 Litre in the collection. This clearly was intended to be an example of a model with the hood down by the look of the windscreen(s) which would not have supported the full length hood. The horn on the side is painted bright silver, as opposed to the black on issued models, and there is a very detailed dashboard with a tremendously realistic-looking steering wheel. This needs a rear folded hood, in my view, but they are simple enough to obtain and I may well supply one with this when sold.



Based on what appears to be a standard 9001 model, I imagine this may have been either a sample of what might have become a 9003 model, a Bentley for Steed in The Avengers Gift Set or even an early idea for the Jeeves & Wooster edition.

As we know, Steed did get a choice of green or red Bentley in the Gift Set but the green one was pretty much a standard 9001 with a folded hood replacing the full affair. Bertie Wooster's Bentley differed from a 9001 only in having a reddish interior and dark grey rails and chassis. 

This Bentley looks very much like a one-off piece of model making by the older Mr Wilford and his team and is likely to be unique and a fascinating addition to the story of the original 1960s Classics.




From The Great Book of Corgi. "Some very near Misses".


From the 1966 Catalogue

Still shown in the 1967 Catalogue

I do believe that the 9022 Daimler is unique in being the only proposed model that remained AVAILABLE LATER across two catalogue printings.

These items are available to purchase. Contact me if you would like more information.


Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Wilford Collection Pt 4: Minis

As I have spent most of the last two weeks studying Minis and creating ever-lengthening lists of what collectors may wish to search for, it seems appropriate to take a break from the gold and probably very expensive items and look at some of the more 'normal' models that I have available from the office drawers of the two Mr Wilfords.

Included in this post are five Rally Mini Coopers from the 1964-66 period and a reproduction of the Wilford family Mini from 1972.

The Mini Coopers all have a little extra detailing in silver and all but the Sun Rally 333 models have what seem to be unique Monte Carlo decals, being noticeably smaller than those on the issued models. Apart from the extra detailing, the Sun Rally models do look like those that were issued.











It is a little sad, perhaps that a Whizzwheels edition of the Morris Mini Minor was used! The old shaped wheels were a far better likeness to the real thing. Below is a 1966 advert for the Morris. The model is otherwise really very good!




This is a charming little item, with all the little details presumably added by Mr Wilford who then mounted the car using a simple bolt through a varnished wood base. 


The unique Rally Minis should fetch a good premium over and above the price one would expect to pay for the normal models and the company connection should add some value to the two 333s too which are themselves identifiable with the extra detailing.

The Wilford family Mini is just a delightful item to have and if you must have a Whizzwheels Corgi Mini then I guess this will be as good as any! So Mini collectors, get in touch and reserve any that you might like. These are being made available only here and on my main site at the moment to give our regular visitors and colleagues the first chances of acquiring them.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Corgi Toys @ 60: Bedford Carrimore Car Transporter



October saw the first of several car transporters, the first of the Corgi 'Majors', and this also was the debut of the Bedford 'S' Type tractor unit. That unit would appear on a wide range of models for many more years.

The twin deck car transporter was a great model for children but expensive at 18/6d. Unless you had a birthday beforehand, this was more likely to be a Christmas present, if anything. The rear ramp would fold down and the precisely engineered 'hydraulic' supports would allow the top deck to be lowered slowly so that cars could be driven on in a very realistic manner.

This would be made available in Corgi's first Gift Set in December with four cars aboard. You'll have to wait until then to discover which were the first cars.

The cab was either red, pulling a blue and grey deck or blue with an all yellow deck. The former is by far the more commonly found now. The 'Majors' were produced in a much more appropriate scale - similar to that used for cars, although the comparatively small commercial lorries would also still continue for some time yet. They would look quite odd parked next to the Transporter.

The cab would be changed in 1962 but the deck section would remain largely unchanged through to 1966, getting suspension and a different base but, I think, the same ramp and transport sections.


Saturday, 30 September 2017

282 and 308 BMC Mini Cooper S Whizzwheels

As there are just a few of each of these I have listed them both in this post.

There are just two 282 editions:


The body style is very similar to type 2 but does not have the wheel arch extensions of 2a, and has the separate radiator and chrome decoration as for the 334 Mini Manifique.



Four 308 editions:


For the red interior editions you need to look out for different base colours. For the blue interiors it is the wheel style that differs.



For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

249 Morris Mini Cooper 'Wickerwork'

Just three of these to find. During the production run cast wheels were introduced and then shortly afterwards, a change of casting was made.





I have read of editions being issued with no red roof but, at this stage, I am not sure that these may not just be mistakes or samples so do not list them.

For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

227 Morris Mini Cooper

I have recently written about these so I shall not repeat what I said there. Here is the latest list of editions.


There do seem to be quite distinct shades of primrose, the lighter of which some call pale lime green. Like the 226 shades of pale blue, however, I am not sure whether there are two colours or a range running from one to the other extreme. As adding another colour would mean an extra four rows I have decided, for the time being at least, to list just 'primrose'.

I had previously listed the free-spinning wheel editions as having a type 2 base but I believe that nearly all would have a type 1b base. I have seen this example of a type 2 base, however, but it has only been the one and I am by no means certain that it will have occurred more than very rarely across the range and so, at this stage, I have omitted it.

227 with type 2 base (but no post)


You will find racing number decals of 1, 3 and 7 on all colour combinations and the digits have two clear types - a thick style and a noticeably thinner style.







For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

226 Morris Mini Minor

This is the most difficult Mini to list. There are so many possible variations to look for!



There is a wide range of shades between the pale blue and lilac blue that I have listed. It seems that the early models were mostly shades of pale blue, including a quite bright baby blue and sky blue, whereas later editions were predominantly lilac blue or similar.

Free spinning wheels would have been introduced on this model by 1962, possibly earlier and may be found with base type 1b, although I have seen any yet. In 1966 the cast, spoke effect type will have been fitted and shortly afterwards a switch to the type 2 body casting would have been made. This will have resulted in very short production periods for some editions.









For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

225 Austin Seven

The second Mini issued, a year after the Morris Mini Minor, was the Austin Seven in January 1961. It can be found in many shades of red as well as primrose.







For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

317, 321, 333 and 339 Rally Mini Coopers

'Monte Carlo' Mini Coopers were issued in 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967, as well as a Sun International Rally edition in 1967.

The first three seem to be pretty straightforward, with just one version of each!

The 1964 issue was 317, with Morris Mini Cooper on an early base. That base was also associated with fixed shaped wheels but I think all the 317s would have free spinning wheels.




Some make a distinction of a pinkish roof as opposed to white. 

The 1965 and 1966 issues were both, confusingly, numbered 321. Fortunately they are easy to tell apart with different racing number transfers and different sets of jewelled fog lamps too. The 1965 edition had quite a different front end, with two fog lamps included above the grille in the casting.




1967 saw two Rally Minis. In February the 333 Sun Rally edition and the Monte Carlo 339 followed a month later. The 333 started as an Austin-badged type 1 casting and shaped wheels, surprising as cast wheels were generally available at that time. When the second cast type was used for this model it gets the Morris badge. There may be Austin-badged cars with cast wheels but I have not yet found any.







In a similar manner to the 333 model, the 339 Monte Carlo edition spanned the period when cast wheels became the norm and the change of casting to type 2. In addition, paper labels were used for the racing numbers on the doors, making it important to examine these models carefully! I am not sure whether Austins did appear with the paper variety as these had a comparatively short production life but good quality reproductions are available that tend to confuse matters!

For an explanation of the different types, please see my article titled Minis - the different types in September 2017.