Wednesday 30 December 2015

Mini Cooper to Åkersberga in Sweden

Some of the places where I send Corgi Toys look very attractive. This house in a place called Åkersberga in Sweden is quite delightful and I am more than happy to see the (Austin) Mini Cooper there. It is the second model to go to Sweden this week.

This particular Mini is the 339 model that was around from 1967 through to 1971 and then went on to appear in yellow with Whizzwheels and, strangely, the same decals!! That roof affair is very unattractive. This example had the normal wheels but later ones will be found with cast, spoke effect, wheels and, I think, a slightly darker shade of paint.

These are costly little cars, despite their quite long run in production, decent ones like this selling for around £80 and if you have a box too then you can look forward to being able to retire happily and in some luxury. 

Bond visits Stewartby in the Mach 1 Mustang

Now this doesn't look right at all! James Bond's Ford Mustang Mach 1 parked outside its new home  in Stewartby, Bedfordshire. This was not one of Corgi's best models and I found it way too big as well. in fact there were several that I am sure were really nothing like 1:43. I must do an article about these one day.

Anyway, getting back to the Whizzwheels model, this Mustang also appeared in a more pleasant metallic green colour. The red was extremely vulnerable to chipping off and appearances really weren't helped at all by the annoying bright white undercoat! The interior was well done, however, with a decent amount of detail and someone made an effort with the wheels, as by then the ghastly ubiquitous ones were being replaced across the new issues.

To be honest, I am not terribly sad to see this one leave.

Commer Military Ambulance in Gosport

My #354 Commer Military Ambulance was in very nice condition. The only flaw was the rear section was slightly loose which struck me as a bit odd as it wasn't the 'take-off' variety like the Construction Set (and some other) Commer vehicles.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Boxes, a roof rack and other things...

Same car, new box

I missed the latest edition of the James Bond Aston Martin in the article I posted earlier this month. Not that anyone would really notice much difference, to be honest. In fact, this looks like Hornby really wringing the dosh out of all their Corgi customers.

The cars are, unless I have missed something, exactly the same as the two issued as 04203 (and again as 04204) over the last year or so. All that has changed is the box, now in blue and grey and with a '50th Anniversary' sticker commemorating Thunderball. Does that mean that this car is going to be reissued every time a Bond film anniversary comes along? Good grief, that will cost collectors who like to be really 'complete' a fortune.

Prices are all over the place at the moment. The crazy thing is that you can still buy the silver one at Corgi for £19.99 (or even less if you are a club member). The gold ones have sold out - it was a limited edition of 5000 - but they were only £19.99 as well. I have a feeling they will soon be appearing on the market for rather less than some of the silly prices we're seeing now. Heavens, it really is only a box that has changed.

Hopefully, the New Year will bring us something different to James Bond cars being recycled.

Roof rack blues

Other things to end the year with would include the story of my Austin Mini Countryman. I bought one without a roof rack that was otherwise in jolly decent condition. My idea was to get a new rack and sell it as the first one I had went very quickly indeed. Surfboards are easy to obtain and reproduction ones look fine. I really wouldn't get the strange-looking guy, though, unless I had the box to hide him in.

Anyway, getting back to the car, I have had excellent bits and pieces from a lady who makes parts out of metal rather than plastic and she had advertised the Countryman roof rack for a modest £3.75. It arrived and I thought it would be a simple case of plugging it in the four holes and maybe adding a little adhesive and away it would go. No luck. The posts on the casting were quite a lot out of line with the holes in the roof. I dropped the lady a line about this and she replied first to say the rack didn't need to fit into any holes but later realised that it did and suggested I filed the posts down! That wasn't quite what I was expecting but I had a go.

Eventually I managed to get the posts filed in such a way that they sort of fitted but by then the soft metal had got a bit bent in places. It does bend so easily. I was a bit worried about straightening bits too in case metal fatigue would lead to an arm just flying off. So I wrote again and basically said I'd had to give up. The lady, let's call her Cynthia, was very obliging and said she'd have a look at her casting design and also organise a full refund. I felt a bit of a nuisance over such a small thing but I am pretty sure this roof rack was actually designed for the Mini Cooper. The Countryman should have two gaps at the rear to take the surf board fins whereas this one is fully enclosed. The boards might slide through but I am not sure how far they would go.

The lady's other castings have been fine and I will use her again but now need to source a more accurately produced rack. I expect it'll have to be Mr Flowers but, with his high postage charge, I'll need to wait until I can build up a decent order to make that worthwhile.

The other problem with the metal casting was that it comes in a watery grey colour. If you scrub the metal with a rough brush it does get nice and shiny but I am not sure it looks right.

So the Countryman stays rackless for a while longer. I actually quite like it that way!

Same car, different box 2

A nice chap in Holland has been in touch with a query about a box he has for The Saint's Volvo P1800. Here it is:

He has spotted some green marks, mostly around the side of the Volvo but also near the bonnet and boot. At first I thought they were just smears that someone carelessly added later in the box's life but the chap insists that under magnification and very close inspection the green colour seems to have been printed at the same time as the rest. It also appears in the same places on the other side which rather throws my 'smear' idea into the dustbin.

I have enlarged the image using a good viewer but cannot really determine how 'original' it is but the assertion that it is the same on both sides does make me believe that it must have happened during the production of the box. I suggested a smear on the master for that image or similar accidental addition was more likely than this being some rare version of the box itself. My colleague is of the opinion that it could be a deliberate attempt at something like stripes to indicate speed that were later dropped. All copies of a #258 box I have seen - and #228 boxes too - have a clear yellow background around the car with no green marks to be seen.

So, over to anyone out there who might be able to suggest any better possible answer! If this image is not large enough then I can send you the original.

Where do all the models go?

A recent customer had an interesting address in Italy. I thought I would see where he lived and Google Maps do a marvellous job in this respect. It was nice to see where (in that instance, a good #300 Austin Healey) was going to. Since then I have been creating images of my cars parked outside the addresses they're being sent to and now have half a dozen which I shared on Facebook. People seem to really rather like them so I shall end 2015 by adding them as separate posts to this blog and I'll continue to add them as and when items get sold. Now, I know that not every one will be going to an attractive location but it will be a nice record and, hopefully, an interesting set of pictures will develop which will also see featured many models that might otherwise never have made these columns!

Here's a preview of a #204 Mini in Shropshire, England:

Saturday 19 December 2015

End of the Bedford CA chapter as a Type II 412 comes along at last.

Another very hard to find model has finally been acquired! It is hard to believe that such an ordinary looking old Bedford CA van should have taken nigh on two years to find. And I mean find in any condition as I was determined to buy whatever came along just to fill the gap. Well, I may have baulked at the QDT model in a box at £285 which I've just seen on their site. That was actually sold anyway and the only other one I had spotted was in some huge collection and partially obscured under a pile of other models in a box. It was an auction lot abroad and, having been caught out heavily on fees, postage costs and taxes in the past when buying things from overseas, I was not very keen on taking the risk as the rest of the contents were really not terribly interesting either and I really couldn't be sure it even had windows that were intact or tyres. And you try replacing tyres on the rear wheels!

As reported earlier, I finished up getting a restored model in the meantime!

This is in excellent condition with just three or four small marks on the roof but the windows are nice and clear, the wheel shiny and tyres good and the base isn't rusty. It has definitely been well looked after. I am now looking for a box because boxes did not change and all show the Type 1 model but the value seems to go through the roof with one.

That really does mean now that there are just the 'PopArt' Mini and yellow Fiat Ghia Jolly left now. Interestingly, they seem considerably more common but just as considerably more expensive which kinda defies logic but there you go. I really will not pay much for either so imagine that there will be blank spaces for each for some time yet.

It is more enjoyable to seek out now the different colours for exteriors and interiors and wheel variations of other models. Often they are not recognised as scarce by sellers and I can get quite a few of them fairly cheaply as and when I have some surplus funds. So I reckon that next year will see plenty of further additions to this story which has plenty of time still to run.

The Bedford CA chapter, though, is closed now.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Which James Bond Aston Martin will you get for Christmas?

It's nearly Christmas and fifty years ago my dad had put a James Bond Aston Martin in my pillow case. That was 1965 and I still have it, and the box.

Three years later there was a change of colour and slight adjustments to make it look a little more like a DB5. This was #270 and was silver. The first ones had gold bumpers but most you'll see had silver ones. These had red tyre slashers added to the features at the start but in 1970 the advent of Whizzwheels brought a change. These wheels were also too wide for the body as it was so that had to be adjusted with the extended wheel arches.

Sometime later this model was reissued from China as 96655. It seems identical in all respects except for the red tyre slashers returning and it arrives with little screws holding it to the inner tray.

It was a while before another 1:43 edition came along. Many really quite cheaply made 1:36 versions appeared but eventually, in 1995, we get the 30th Anniversary edition in nice shiny gold. This was 96656, coming in a perspecx box and screwed to the stand. Not a toy to whizz around the carpet now.

Five years later, the 35th Anniversary saw this effectively re-issued with black tyre slashers, 4204. Again, it had a perspex box and is screwed to a stand.

Between the two 4201 comes along with Blofield in the pack with this syrupy gold version.

You'll recognise that. It is virtually identical to the latest 50th Anniversary editions! They also have the 4204 numbers, suffixed with G or S and come in smart sliding packs and the models can be taken out without a screwdriver.

You may need to look carefully at whichever one you get given this year! Values vary rather a lot!

Bermuda Taxi

The 'Bermuda Taxi' had been on my wanted list for a long time. They are common enough; I just hadn't really wanted to spend money getting one. I think it was the silly roof that put me off. Interestingly, I have similar lack of interest in the Fiat Ghia Jolly cars too which have the same plastic affair dangling on top.

As it happens, this one didn't have its roof so I'll need to get one sometime but i shall not be rushing. There are several original colours by the sems of it too - yellow, red, green and blue at least. This one is also missing a sticker on the trunk but replacements are good and easy to apply, being only glossy paper.

This does have its driver, though, who often gets lost after 40 off years rolling around in the bottom of a toy box, when many examples will get damaged screens too. This one is excellent and that's important as they are not simple replacements but require the car being taken apart and that would be another one less original.

Based, of course, on the great Ford Thunderbird, nothing has changed at all other than a hole in the back. It is the suspension version which usually looks a bit odd and sits too high but this one actually looks fine to me. It could be the colour - white does look a lot better than red and the driver in the red 215S just looks too tall whereas this fellow seems more comfortable.

Now that I have got this I am beginning to quite like it after all. That's maybe just as well as it probably won't get sold in a hurry!

Saturday 12 December 2015

Happy Christmas!

Best wishes to all my readers, customers and passers-by.

This Austin Healey just seemed to have the right colour for my postman on a Christmas mission.

Wanted: Two Years Later

It was fascinating to look back to my post last year in which I listed the items I still needed to track down. Now there remain just three:

349 Morris Mini Minor 'Pop Art'
412 Bedford Utilecon Ambulance Type II
242 Ghia Fiat 600 Jolly

I ought to add a fourth:

319 Lotus Elan Hard Top in green / yellow

as that is quite different to the cast wheel versions.

The 'pop Art' Mini I am not too concerned about as they are all way too expensive and the Fiat Jolly does not appeal to me very much so would only be here for as long as it took to photograph! I do have a restored Bedford C 412 with the single screen but I can't count that. If I had been asked which I thought would be in the last few I would never have predicted that one! There was one in a big job lot I saw being auctioned but the auction premium on what would have been a big bid for everything plus what is always very expensive postage when auction houses are involved really put me off. I also couldn't really see how good its condition was so decided not to take the chance. Since then, though, I have not seen one anywhere. Although I now appreciate that it is a scarce item, I am hoping whoever has one will just think it is any old Bedford van and not expect much!

There are, of course, and probably ever will be a number of colour variations and, whilst I think I have those more or less under control now (a soon to be definitive list should appear below - now revised as an incorrect list was showing before!) I am conscious that there are some other variations still appearing, like different bases for minis, the jewelled Hillman Imps, fixed, free, cast or spoked wheels and different colour interiors to keep me occupied for a while yet.

This continues to be an enthralling project and I seem to have maintained a steady flow of sales throughout the year to which has helped me acquire some missing items, better copies of some that were not so good and a few more variations.

I can see this lasting considerably longer yet and so there should be plenty more to share with my readers in future weeks.

Monday 19 October 2015

Lotus Elan S2

Not all Lotus Elans are the same. The model number may be 318 for all of the open top versions but you'll see that this green one with a yellow stripe has the detachable chassis that you may have been more familiar finding on 319, the hard top Coupé.

Although some may have found their way into individual model boxes, this was really intended to be issued only as part of Gift Set 37, the Lotus Racing set. The set included the open and hard top cars with interchangeable chasses and a white VW Rescue Truck with a red trailer and a third chassis, as well as the Lotus Climax racing car and some bollards.

I could never quite figure out what the attraction of the removable chassis was as they were identical so changing them over seemed a bit pointless!

In white, the Lotus lost its driver and sticker on the boot to become Emma Peel's car from the first TV series of The Avengers.

Occasionally you might find white ones with the I've Got A Tiger In My Tank sticker and a driver but most would be a silver-blue colour.

Racing Number decals were supplied - usually 2, 3 5 or 6 in white on black circles. I always thought the car looked so much better without them but they're only paper so can be easily removed or reapplied as you please.

For my alternative sets for The Avengers, I created a slightly darker shade of silver-blue to match better the car that Mrs Peel used in the colour TV series - the second series on.

A colour trial of a pea green version was produced but you'll not see this for sale anywhere!

Most 319s that came in boxes had larger, cast wheels and never really sat as they should, appearing too high off the ground. The Racing Set version, however, always in yellow with a green stripe had the smaller wheels and looked much better.

Remarkably, the interiors are the same across the range. So you have folding seats in the hard top even though you can barely get at them! There are three colours - cream for all the 319s, red for the Racing Set 318 and black for the white and silver-blue cars.

There is just one other variation I have encountered - small cast wheels on a white 318 that I think came from a late Avengers set. I have not seen either red or blue 319s with normal wheels. I suppose someone could switch the chassis over but I don't think they were sold in that format. I must try one day, just to see what the alternative versions look like.

Saturday 10 October 2015

The Classics

Often overlooked in listings of Corgi Toys from the era before things went wrong are the Classics that they produced from around 1964. These were beautifully detailed models of jalopies from yesteryear and that, of course, may have been one of the terms they had in mind at the time as Matchbox had established a good name in this field already with their 'Yesteryear' brand.

These were not models that kids would zoom around the floor, though, and were, perhaps, the first that may really have been aimed at older collectors, not just because they were a bit staid in comparison to Oldsmobile Toronados or Buick Rivieras but they had bits that might break off more easily. I remember that I had no interest in them at all and only had the Steed Bentley because I had been a huge fan of The Avengers and my parents bought me the Gift Set. The Lotus was well played with but the Bentley, to this day, stayed virtually unmarked.

That set, however, was not where things started and may even have only come about as a result of sales of the Bentleys not being exactly massive. It all started with a green 'racing' edition which came with a hood and a driver clad in what looked like a pile of bandages. I didn't put the driver in the photos. 

The wheels of 9001 were always steel and it can be identified from similar models by having white Racing Number 3 on the rear and radiator grill. There is also a Union Jack on the passenger door panel.

In the first launch also was 9002, a red Bentley, just the same as 9001 but this had red wheels and no Racing Numbers. It had the same full hood. I think it also had a driver who still seemed to be wearing bandages but not as white.

The same Bentley appeared later in Gift Set 40, as Steed's vehicle from The Avengers TV series. Most were red with steel wheels but there were also green Bentleys (which would have been a more appropriate colour as Steed never actually had a red one!) which were like 9001 but with no Racing Numbers or Union Jack. In either case the full hood was replaced by a folded variety. The green Bentley would have red or steel wheels. A figure of John Steed, dressed in a grey-brown suit and tie would be at the wheel.

Much later than all the others, the same Bentley re-appeared as 9004 in green again but this time with grey-black rails and a much brighter red-brown interior. Jeeves would be at the wheel with his master, Bertie Wooster, leaning against the car in quite a remarkable tweed suit and nice reproduction of his monocle.
This would have steel wheels and, again, no Racing Numbers or flag.

After the Bentleys came the Ford Model T cars. Again, wonderfully well-made but quite vulnerable to damage. the screens on these are often broken. First was 9011 in black with a couple of figures.

9012 was the same Model T but in yellow and with the same two figures in the box. Both 9011 and 9012 were open with folded holds at the rear.

9013 was the Model T in blue and came with a fixed full hood. It also had a chap leaning down at the front, grabbing the starter handle. I have him but he isn't in the photo.

The catalogues illustrate 9014, a Lyons Tea Model T commercial vehicle but that never made it into production.

9021 is a very impressive and bright Daimler. This is packed with characters and is also a very heavy model compared to the others. The bright red paint and yellow wheels really look quite extraordinary. I totally missed this car at the time and it was only a few months ago that I became acquainted with it. There's no way I would have bought one then. Now, you'll see in the catalogues another Daimler described as 9022 with a hood, I think it is in dark blue. This never made it into production although I have seen a pre-production example from the factory and maybe some are circulating.

Next in the catalogue come two 1910 Renaults. 9031 is a sort of mauve colour and 9032 is primrose.

In other respects these are identical and had no characters with them, a cheaper option all round.

The series ends quite soon after it began with this extremely old-fashioned and rather unappealing to the young Rolls Royce Silver Cloud which is more like a bus than a car. It is, again, beautifully made, with remarkable detail, jewelled headlamps on this one and the flying lady on the radiator. I have two varieties: one with gold wheels and a grey exhaust, another with steel colour wheels and  a black exhaust. 

These are all models for older folk to display. Indeed, most came with picture boxes and some had stands included or a sort of street scene illustration inside the box. Not the Rolls, though, which came in a ubiquitous bubble pack - quite inappropriate for that class of vehicle! Cost were being cut, though, and these didn't sell well. Many were made, though, and as a consequence you can but these for really low prices, even with their boxes.

If you just want to buy the cars themselves then you'll find Rolls Royces going for £10-£20 and the Renaults and Fords seldom cost more than £30. The Bentleys can be a bit more expensive, often because people confuse them with Steed's from the Gift Set. A 9001 would be £30-£40, a 9002 £40 -£50 and the most expensive is the comparatively scarce 9004 with Jeeves and Wooster at around £60.

An original Steed's Bentley in good condition may also cost you around £60. Most green ones I encounter are adaptations of one of the others and original green Steed's Bentleys are likely to be a bit more.

If you ignore the Bentleys, though, you'll realise that you can have a complete set of the Classics, all easily found in A/A+ condition, on display for less than £100.

Wednesday 7 October 2015

And another jewelled bronze Hillman Imp

Having never seen the bronze Hillman Imp with jewels before, I now find myself with two of them in a matter of weeks!

This one is rather better paint-wise and the screens are all intact apart from a small scratch on the windscreen. Its suspension, however, is as flat as a pancake, non-existent. Such a shame and I can't see a way to repair it without taking the car apart which I don't want to do. The base on the other one is quite loose, though, and I can't see anyone wanting it with no front suspension, broken windows and no opening rear window so that one I may decide to work on. If I can find some suitable bronze paint, and a tailgate that is. My only concern is that it could just as easily be regarded then as a more common #328 that someone has resprayed. Now, I do have a set of #328 Monte Carlo transfers. Hmm. Watch this space.

I hope the suspension is reasonable easy to fix. I've never looked inside one before but guess some plastic is broken.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Cars with boxes and cars with cases

The bronze Hillman Imp finally arrived this morning and I shall be selling it with the nice box that came with a blue one. The maths is simply so clear - a blue one with a box goes for about £100 and a bronze one £200 or more. But without a box a blue one is just £40 and a bronze one maybe £80. So I lose £60 but gain £120 by swapping them round. These aren't the figures actually involved as the bronze one will be a bit cheaper and the blue one a little more by virtue of their condition but you'll get the idea.

Strangely, another bronze Imp with jewels has appeared too. It also seems to be a bit of a wreck but that does make me believe that this was a real release after all. The paintwork is a shinier bronze than the one illustrated above and the 'Sunbeam' front screen is apparent on the second one too.

With the Hillman Imp came a massive suitcase! It opened too which was fun. It just looks a bit crazy as it would fill up the rear shelf completely! It is, of course, the same case as was supplied with a number of other models, notably the Jaguar Mk X which also had a small case. I am trying to remember which other models had cases. The MGB had a black one in the same style and, I think, the MGC too. The VW Karmann Ghia had two small cases. The Later Mercedes-Benz 220, model #253 had the large and small cases and the Chrysler Imperial in Bermuda taxi guise was supposed to have had a big one and a small one but I suspect the few blue ones that did appear late in the day were in #246 boxes and had golf clubs if anything, like the common red ones. Possibly the two large occupants too.. I think that's it - a lot fewer than I had thought.

Going back to the jewelled bronze Imp I am wondering whether this was a specially adapted model to go in a Transporter set? The set shows a bronze Hillman Imp on the Transporter in the 1967-8 catalogue which changes to a Sunbeam #340 Rally version in the 1969 catalogue. My guess is that they ran out of #340s and decided that the simple Hillman was not good enough value as a substitute so adjusted some, made them shiney gold and added some jewels for a while. That would sort of explain the Sunbeam-style screens as they would have stopped making the normal Hillman by then and only would have the Sunbeam screens for the Rally car and the Police car. 

And yes, I have just looked and there is a big hole in the top of the screen unit where a Police beacon would have gone. Perhaps that is a mystery almost solved! All by myself.

Unless, of course, you know different...

Chevrolet Impala

A collector in The Netherlands just asked me some questions about Impalas so I thought I may as well share my answers generally here.

He was concerned about there being an all blue 248 (as mentioned in The Great Book of Corgi) and not sure what variations might be out there for the Impalas.

Although that book is a great resource for us collectors, the authors and photographers were a bit too close to the production lines and maybe not so much aware of what really made it to the shops. So there are entries which may have existed in the factory and even a few may have escaped into the wild but really there is little hope of you and I actually finding one.
Or being able to afford it even if we did! 
So I tend to ignore some 'versions' and not worry about trying to find them. 
That is a general comment - now to answer your Impala queries.  
220 comes in pale blue and that interesting and very 1960s pink colour. The only variation is the blue one can have yellow or red interiors. Anything else is what I call an 'oddity'! 
To the best of my knowledge, there is only the one 248 that was available to buy. That is the one with two shades of brown-yellow. I have never seen a variation of this but I can understand that, at the time of the change, there will have been examples made using the old colours. 
248 is an example of the second type of Impala that was produced in 1965 in an attempt to extend the life of the old casting. They cleverly split the old one in two and inserted a piece of chrome all the way along, providing chrome grill and front end, stripes along the side and shiny rear lights and bumper!  
This worked very well and they applied it to all the Impalas - the taxi, Fire Chief's car, Police car getting extended life with Type II models. There may, therefore, be examples of different tops and bottoms that factory workers may have decided to mess about with on a Friday afternoon when the boss wasn't looking! I haven't seen any, though, so I doubt if many actually made it to the shops. Some good restorers can also 'create' variants quite simply as all the parts match. 
All Impalas have good suspension and interiors. The 220 types will have fixed wheels (fitted either way round) and there may be some with free spinning wheels (but I haven't seen any). All the 248 types have free spinning wheels which had become the norm by the time they appeared. 
The thin roof supports can be easily bent and the screen unit extends a lot at the front which makes it vulnerable to damage. If the unit becomes a little loose it can hang down as there isn't much to support it. 
My list of 'all models' may be worth referring to as I have compiled this over time with advice from many sources and been able to detect some of the innocent mistakes I find - even in respectable and well-informed sites. It is also constantly updated - for instance your question reminded me that I hadn't included the different interior colours so I have today updated that.

Saturday 26 September 2015

The curious case of the Land Rover Breakdown truck jib

Just as I thought I was beginning to understand the progress from one variant to another for the Land Rover Breakdown Trucks, this one comes along!

With its suspension and interior it is clearly a 417S but on the back is a Type 1 jib. I had mistakenly thought that the jib had been replaced by the more solid affair on the 417 models so, when suspension came along, it would have been just the Type 2 jibs on the 417S models. 

So my earlier article needs some amendment, I'm afraid. I suppose it is feasible now to find a 417 with a Type 2 jib. I find that hard to believe but it did actually seem to me the more likely, as I had thought that the Type 2 jib came in before the 417S update. This model would imply that the 417S update came before the change to Type 2 jibs.

It's all very confusing, especially as all the 417S examples I have encountered so far have had the Type 2 jib! As many examples are from very reliable sources like QDT and come from recognised experts' collections too, you just have to believe that they are, indeed, 417S and not 477 with a tin roof. In fact, I sem to recall that all the illustrations of 417S on QDT's site had closed jibs. 

So the only conclusion I can come to is that 417S models exist with both types of jib and I guess that was because the dates of both changes must have been quite close.

So there would have been a pile of red models and a box of assorted jibs for a while and there still remained a sort of random selection when the production process brought in suspension and seats. By my reckoning, there really won't have been very many of either the 417 with the closed type 2 jib or the 417S with the open type 1 jib and I shall now set about trying to find some good examples of each.

Of course, someone out there may know different.

Just to make you smile, or grimace, here is what you get for 417S from a Vectis archive! A plastic canopy? As I have said before, we all make mistakes. 

Or there is yet another variation of the 417S which would then make late versions totally indistinguishable from a 477?