Saturday 26 April 2014

Minis come and minis go.

In 1961 the Austin Seven appeared as #225 but no-one called it that. It was a mini.This lasted unchanged until 1965 and you will probably have only ever seen red ones with yellow seats. (There is a primrose Austin Seven but I haven't found one yet.) In 1963 Corgi brought in the Morris Mini Minor and that was pale blue. This model lasted much longer - until 1968 when a new casting came along for a new model entirely. Late in its life, though, a new colour was introduced - this gorgeous deep red-purple - and I have managed to get one in superb condition and with an original box too.

This has cast wheels with the fluted design used on many of the late era models. 

I have red #225s with fixed wheels and pale blue #226s with free spinning wheels, the more common variants in each case. So I am now looking for Austins with free spinning wheels and a pale blue Morris with fixed ones to complete the picture. There shouldn't be any red-purple ones with fixed wheels.

And, there's the primrose Austin to track down somewhere too. I just mentioned that in case you have what I need tucked away somewhere.

Not that sort of mini, Ed.

Friday 25 April 2014

Oldsmobile Toronado shades and towbars

Just in today is an Oldsmobile Toronado, unusual in two respects. First it has a tow bar. The normal #264 did not have a tow bar and so this must have been from a very early Gift Set with a speedboat. All the sets I have encountered had #276 in red with Golden Jacks so this is quite rare. Secondly, this model has a very distinct shade of paintwork. It isn't as clear in the photos as it is in certain natural light but this model is much greener, a paler shade of turquoise. I have included photos of it next to a traditional shade model.

I am also very lucky to find this in such unmarked condition so I am afraid that it won't be a cheap buy.

Dad's car

Here is a nice example of #216 Austin A40, with a clean and complete original box too. I remember going on holidays in one of these, a red 'Countryman' version on which the whole of the rear opened. There is a red Corgi model with a black roof that was often the 'M' model with the mechanical addition inside. I have still to find one of those.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Marcos 1800GT

The Marcos 1800GT is #324 and the box adds 'With Volvo Engine' in case we weren't sure whether to buy the Marcos or not. My version is the most common of the three variants: you'll find one with blue stripes (probably from a Canadian source) and there is a blue one with white stripes that has a cream interior.

One of the later models, produced from 1966 to 1969 it looks quite smart but the door mechanism leaves them quite wobbly. They fit better than Mustang doors but don't have any glazing which looks odd.

This comes with a very good original box and is available for £100 - with Volvo engine!

Wednesday 16 April 2014

If you were stopped by one of these it must have been for driving too slowly

Another new model in stock - #506 Police 'Panda' Imp. Now imagine one of these appearing in your rear view mirror... no, only if you were driving through Dunstable on a weekday morning would that have been a likely event. This is another late era model from Corgi who must have had a load of these left over from the Monte Carlo Rally version they'd issued earlier but would have become out of date.

Unlike the Minis, I don't think another Imp won again in major style so what do they do with all those casts with an extended baseplate and that strange shape attachment on the front? Ah, make it a Police car. Of course.

It's a cute little model with an opening rear window which was fine on the normal version but not much good for storing bollards and offering a quick escape route to anyone being taken in. I believe this has luminous paint on the sides - can't wait to see if it still works!

Psychedelic stickers on a Ford Mustang

BBC Radio 2Mail is celebrating the wonderful Ford Mustang this week. I also got another one in stock. This is the last of the era, #348 and clearly someone at Corgi must have been suffering the effects of too much Summer of Love but managed to persuade colleagues to paint it pale blue (not exactly lovely against the pale turquoise interior) and then add psychedelic stickers in bright red, orange and yellow on any vaguely flat panel!

The same chap was probably also responsible for the similarly decorated Mini which is now the most sought after model and selling for silly figures whenever one surfaces.

This one is in very good condition indeed and most of the stickers are still intact and clean. The tyres are massively wide and look original. There are not many of these around in good condition.

The other Ford Mustangs I have for sale are #320 (the first release) in silver, purple, dark blue and pea green and the Competition model #325 in white with red stripes.

Friday 11 April 2014

Measure the real thing and divide by 43.

The number plates I had produced for the alternative Avengers Gift Sets seemed a little small. So I went out and measured the plates on my own real car and divided the dimensions by 43. Then printed some new plates with slightly bigger characters which can now be read from whatever the minimum distance is for the test.

This is the third time I have photographed these now! Four for the blue one. First was for the box illustrations, second was for the web site but then I noticed a big gap between the bumper and the undercarriage. Third was with the first set of plates and, finally I hope, these will survive for a while!

Hi, my name's Marlin. Rambler Marlin.

A couple of slightly unusual additions today: a Lotus Elan in white with an 'I've Got A Tiger In My Tank' sticker on the boot and the wonderfully named Rambler Marlin . I sometimes imagine the conversation in 1965: 'Hello that's a nice car. What's it called?' 'Rambler Marlin  Fastback' 'Oh.' 'What do you drive?' 'Er, a Morris Minor'. 

Now, Morris Minors are great cars but Americans did beat us on the names.

263 Rambler Marlin Fastback 2+2

318 in white with driver

The Lotus is an original #318 but I got a reproduction driver and sticker for what would have been an Emma Peel car. Remember that one of these went for £800 or more at an auction recently, £100 for a close copy of an otherwise collectable car anyway seems reasonable.

Wednesday 9 April 2014

There's still an old Buick on the Home page!

I finally managed to re-write the web site so that, apart from one or two main pages, all the image galleries come from Picasa web albums. There is a slight delay in their loading but the whole thing's a lot simpler to manage now. It was taking hours just to make a small amendment as the software insisted on loading everything when I opened the site locally and an autosave process kicked in almost every minute and lasted 55 seconds!

Anyway, all's well that ends well and here are some of the new pages. Every model I have in stock is illustrated and with an on-line purchase option and there is information and current auction data for every item from the 1956-70 era. 

The home page has to keep that Buick photo!
(even though it is the worst of the three I have in stock!)

The 'All Models' section tries to show every one from 1956 to c 1970
 - and the Rolls is for sale too.

One of my Ghias for the Stock page.

Getting in touch is simple. And, yes, that is a very rare #500 with a box too.

Stock is divided into various categories - like Farm stuff

There is a photo gallery for every model I have for sale.
They're not all that expensive though!

Lotus Elan Coupe for sale #319 with an excellent original box

I was looking for a pretty much wrecked #319 Lotus Elan so that I could replace the bonnet on a red one that I took apart when I was considerably younger and came upon this fine blue and white example. Little needs doing before it will be appearing in my Stock List. You'll find it under Saloon and Sports Cars in a day or two's time.

I think I shall now offer the blue one with the lovely original box - £140 if anyone is interested. Now, back to looking for that red bonnet!

Some additions to the Black List

This was a very worn and grotty-looking brown Land Rover, now in an interesting black with a canopy I borrowed one of the other (fifteen at the last count) Land Rovers I have lying around.

Some parts finally arrived to enable me to complete this Ford Thunderbird Open Top too.

Both are on my Black List although I may hang on to the Land Rover for a while so it'll be a bit more expensive at £49. The Thunderbird is just £29, as will be the Ford Zephyr Estate Police car below. That needs some transfers but, of course, the ones I ordered for the original white car don;'t quite work on black!

The Thunderbird and Zephyr are very early models with fixed wheels and no suspension.

Friday 4 April 2014

"Mrs Peel, You're Needed."

I have made my first decent quality alternative Gift Set 40. The box wasn't as difficult as I had thought. Taking a poor reproduction one apart, I discovered that there were four sections - two made the base that the cars sit on and two make the box itself and flaps. Each shape fits onto an A4 sheet so it was something I can create without having to use a specialist printer.

After lots of measurements and drawing I had the various elements drawn and added images and text. Finally I printed the four sheets on photograph paper, which seemed about the right weight and looks good quality too, scored some edges, folded and glued them together.

I think it has worked pretty well. I shall use these for a Corgi Bentley and either a Vitesse Lotus or a repainted Corgi #338. That way I can sell the sets for much less than the expensive originals ad people can choose the combination they prefer. I shall make the correct plates for the Lotuses but I don't think there is anywhere easy to place them on the Bentley. Steed also had quite a few different plates too!

I haven't decided whether to include Steed, Mrs peel or the umbrellas every time. Again, I may make it optional for people to tell me whether Mrs Peel (and the others) are needed. Reproduction items are fairly easy to find but the current supplier does seem to take a long time. I wonder whether he is painting them himself and collecting them in person from South Korea.

Where did all the pictures go?

I had to revise totally the Corgi Toy web site and at the weekend deleted all the image files (which the software insisted on checking and doing things with on almost every occasion), replacing them with links to Picasa albums. What I had forgotten, though, was that almost all the images here were inserted as links to the web site pictures! So they all disappeared. Sorry.

I have now restored them.

And here is a nice new one to add to the collection - a pretty pale primrose Morris Mini Cooper.