Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Yellow, Astons and two very different Fords


When the Land Rover was updated in 1962 it was issued as 406S and came in this very bright yellow finish. For reasons I have not being able to establish it didn't last for more than a few months before being replaced by a deep green version with the 438 model number. Maybe it was because this was a completely new model as a Series II Land Rover whereas the S suffix tended to indicate merely the addition of suspension and an interior to an existing model.

Whatever the case, these are rare and almost all that I find have a lot of chips, broken windows or missing middle strut on the window. Seldom is the hook still there or the front bumper even approximately straight. So when this arrived I was delighted. Yes, there are some chips and they do show up in this colour, but it remains the best I've had so far.

Also in yellow, but no such a dramatic shade, is another rare item which you might not expect to be rare. The 218 Aston Martin with fixed shaped wheels was only produced for a very short time, most fixed wheel editions having either the original smooth wheels or the cast type with a sort of criss-cross design that was supposed to indicate wire wheels but never worked in my view.

Now I have both red and yellow editions but, like the Land Rover, I still need to find something in more reasonable condition. This one may appear quite decent but the roof is badly scraped.

Another fairly scarce model is this Aston Martin James Bond model. The 270 in silver was issued in 1968 and started with silver grille and bumpers. For some reason these were very quickly replaced by gold fittings. Later changes when Whizzwheels were introduced have resulted in a couple of the very last editions also being quite rear with different base features and you can read about these in my Catalogue. This first edition, though, is the one that is most sought after. Despite there being a large quantity being produced these are still hard to find in original condition and with everything still functioning (and you'll need to consult your bank manager if you want an original bubble-style box and all the contents!).

This one is pretty good with an almost flat roof when at rest but, like many I have seen, it came without a front bumper. As the only bits that appear missing are the left and right sections and there is a large open gap between the body and base where they could be slotted in, I had a go at repairing it. It seems to have worked pretty well. OK, so it's not now entirely original but clean examples of these still make over £100 even in modestly good condition.

I tend to give most Whizzwheels models quite a wide berth but by 1973 someone had done something about the terrible plastic wheels and models were sporting some quite attractive wheels and looking smart again. One fine example is the Ford Mustang Mach 1, usually seen in red as a James Bond edition. That was 391 and available for a short period in 1972. Clearly, there must have been a lot of models still to come to market and someone decided to paint them a pleasant shade of metallic green and call them a Rally Edition.

All would have been well but probably the same person decided to add some paper stickers not just to the doors but to the bonnet, roof and, for good measure, why not the upper rear wings too! I can only guess that they must have been a nightmare to attach as I have only ever seen two with them looking reasonably straight. Fortunately, a few models escaped without the stickers and they look so much better.

If you're thinking that it's just a model with the stickers removed then, having tried that in the past and failed miserably, I'd say that was less likely than it being issued this way. Exposed to the air the adhesive used seems to turn to some sort of rock-hard super glue compound. Try peeling a sticker off and the paper tears leaving the annoying substance affixed to the paint. Most attempts to remove that will remove a layer of paint finish too which rather defeats the whole purpose!

Lastly for this post, I have a spare Chrome edition of the 2006 50th Anniversary edition of the Ford Consul. With made in China on the base it is not something I would normally want to promote but I do like the few 50th Anniversary models and have quite a lot of respect for the production quality of this model (and the four other variations).

With a limited edition of just 650 they are quite scarce although they do regularly appear for sale. Unlike something like the AVRO BODE edition of the Bedford CA 421 van in 1961 which had a similar production quantity, most of the Ford Consuls have been kept safely on shelves in collectors' homes! As with mine, they'll also have their original boxes, packing and leaflets. That packing isn't, though, something to get excited about. This model was placed unceremoniously in a ghastly bit of thin phlegm-coloured plastic shaped for the car that early Vanguards model collectors will be familiar with. Horrible but at least the outer box was half-decent.

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