Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Corgi Toys @ 60: Vanwall Racing Car

July 1957 saw just one new issue on the toy shop shelves: the Vanwall Formula 1 racing car, #150. This would be the first of a series of racing cars no doubt influenced by the many British successes on the track.

The Vanwall is a really simple model - very basic lumps of metal riveted together. It had a very shallow screen which often got damaged, a seat in either beige or silver and a steering wheel but no driver. Drivers only came with the second versions with suspension.

I think the very first 1957 issue was only available in green. There is a red version which I think will have been issued when the second racing car, a BRM, was issued later and that was also in green and, on first glance, may have looked very similar. So a colour change would help distinguish the two.

I have seen Racing Numbers 1, 3 and 7. Reproduction transfers, however, are very good and may give rise to several others! The wheels on #150 will always be the smooth fixed type. The only variation I have seen so far is in the display of text on the base. Some have the writing in line with the body, going back to front. Others have it across the base, side to side. I don't know which came first.

The rear tyres were slightly bigger than the front, although many examples now have the same 'normal' tyres all round which is probably the result of old ones being replaced. 

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