Saturday, 9 September 2017

The Mettoy Company's New Miniature Numbers

Following my figuring out what the model cast, featured in my first Wilford Collection post, was for I found what looked like a dilapidated example of the 502 Standard Vanguard model itself.

Now, this is about 66 or 67 years old so I was prepared for a bit of a wreck but, apart from losing virtually all its paint, this is still working very well indeed. I had been intrigued by the catalogue listing that said it had steering and a brake. That's more than you'd get, even from a Mechanical model from Corgi, for many more years.

Although not obvious from this photo, or even at first glance on the desk, the inside of the car is chock full of mechanisms. 

I haven't got an original key but the clockwork motor can be wound up and off the model goes. At the front, the 'fog light' can be moved towards the left or right which, in turn, changes the angles of the wheels. This is remarkably accurate - not the axle rotating about a central point like Dinky did for years and which never looked right, but a form of parallel steering which worked wonderfully well and looked right too. Amazing.

At the back is a lever which can stop the motor operation. Again, a very precise bit of engineering indeed, controlling a simple ratchet device.

There is no brand or text of any description on the base so this may well be something that we could easily have missed when rummaging through boxes of other people's toys.

The dark grey colour is actually quite suitable for this early 1950s model but the remaining bits of beige paint spoil its appearance a bit. I may give it a coat of something close to its original colour, if I can find out what that was, that is. I am guessing a sort of sandy beige colour like the small bits remaining but I'll have to find some more and see whether there were other colours. Here is one that I found while drafting this so light grey is one option.

There is also a Rolls Royce currently for sale in a similar colour.

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