Friday, 26 May 2017

Plymouth Sports Suburban Mystery

Here's another interesting item. The Plymouth Sports Suburban is a splendid model and at first glance you'd think the three above were all 219s, the first type from July 1959.

Take a look from the side, though and there you'll see that it has free-spinning wheels and, although not something you'll be able to tell from the picture, it also has suspension.

I was immediately intrigued and I am trying to decide whether this is, indeed a scarce cream and brown 445 that was introduced in 1963 using the same body or something someone has created. You may have already spotted that there is some very fine detailing on the rear lights and that's where my suspicions were first aroused, especially, with the highlighting of the inner lights which Corgi simply didn't bother with at all. But then I looked at the silver work and that is so very much like the original.

The shade had me wondering too. It is different to the two 'cream' 219 models that I have although I have to say that the roof colour is almost exactly the same and that doesn't look the sort of colour that would be readily available or easy to copy.

Of course, we all look underneath for clues and, more often than not, that will be the end of the matter. In this case, though, I am still not sure. The whole car is very clean and fresh-looking so a clean base and slightly cleaner rivets are not to be unexpected. The paint on the inside of the body is the same as on the outside so it is definitely not a simple matter of someone carefully over-painting a blue and red 445.

I cannot decide about the rivets. It is, I suppose, possible that someone has removed the base and rebuilt the car. They would have needed a blue and red original 445, presumably, and the red interior of an old 219, then removed all the paint from the 445 and started afresh with the new colours. That's one option but the refitting of the rivets has been done extremely well if that was the case.

The base colours are quite different but then I have two quite distinct original 219s - one has a grey base and the other a pale cream base. So to have a grey base and pale blue for the different 445s isn't as crazy as it might have sounded at first.

The only other sign of someone making this is some flaws in the finish on the rear panel. Having said that, original Corgis often have flaws and casting bits that disturb the surface too. So even that isn't going to convince me in one direction or the other.

Perhaps the one thing that heads me in the direction of something that has been made is the silver paint work on the bumpers being underneath as well. On the other models I have seen the underside of the bumpers is still in the body colour.

I had wondered whether someone might have taken a 219 body and applied it to a 445 base. That is possible too, although the shade of the cream is different to the two I have. They're not exactly the same, though, so, again, I am not sure! That would explain the excellent finish and matching roof colour.

It is, indeed, quite a difficult one to decide. If the rivets prove to be genuine originals and the base has not been removed then this is a scarce variation of the 445. I can well imagine these existing as there may have been cream and brown bodies lying around when the change from 219 to 445 bases was made. I am pretty sure that we'll find that the bases are easily interchangeable.

If it has been 'created' then someone has done an excellent job, although, as talented as their detailing work may be, I wish they hadn't bothered. If those lights hadn't been added on the back I may never have had given this a second thought and simply celebrated getting another rare model. As a consequence, I shall probably never be able to sell this as I neither can guarantee that it is original nor do I wish to risk selling it cheaply as a rebuild either! However, I am always happy to have the Plymouth around so all's well with the world if not my brain.

No comments:

Post a Comment