Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Pale blue Bedfords

I often wonder what the idea of the friction motor was. I guess it was intended to add some realism with the creation of some noise, vibration and, on a level surface, a model could be seen to move momentarily on its own without a giant hand descending from above being required to direct its progress.

It would only last a second or two, though, and then grind to a halt, rather the reverse of what cars and vans tended to do in real life when given a good shove for a bump start, for instance!

My colleague, Herr Richter from Eilum in Germany, sends me this story of two Bedfords.

He found two pale blue Bedford Dormobiles parked nearby. At first glance they looked pretty much the same. 

Looking at the front, however, there were clearly different radiator grills. One was distinctly rounder along the top edge than the other.

At the back, too, more differences, with one having two extra bits - either the rubber protectors that some had fitted, perhaps, or two extra lights of some sort.

Had he been able to lift them up and turn them over he would have discovered two things: that one was much, much heavier than the other and that one had a totally different base.

Herr Richter appears to have found quite a rarity - a pale blue 404 Bedford that is not a 404M! We have seen the metallic cerise and cream 404s but I was not aware of a pale blue variation.

Incidentally, there are also two versions of the pale blue 404M - the front axle can be open or closed, the former missing the lowest suspension section that covers the axle in the latter.

This story also gives me another idea for the friction motor's use. Place these two on a matt to take some photos and you have to be very careful not to find one of them heading off on its own down the merest of slopes. The good old 404M just sits there, obediently going nowhere!

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