Monday 9 March 2015

Morris Blue and Austin Yellow

204 Morris Mini Minor in blue with tinted windows

In discussion with another collector last week there was mention of the blue Whizzwheels Mini with a black roof. I've never seen one and he hadn't either and we were wondering whether this really has ever existed. It did make me take another look at one or two items, though, and I found an orange #204 with a black roof on Quality Diecast's site. It had a silly price tag so it must be pretty scarce. They didn't have a blue one, however, so that is still a bit of a mystery.

What they did display, however, was another orange #204, with no black roof but it did have a greenish tint on the windows. Now, some while ago I acquired a #204 in blue and wondered what the coloured windows were all about, putting it down to some enthusiastic use of a felt tip by some child. Now I see that it is a genuine variation (and I've adjusted the price accordingly!) That was close, someone could have snapped up a real bargain before.

To my knowledge this trick of replacing the windows with a tinted style has not occurred on any other model. Was there a box of the perspex moulds along the production line and workers just added them at random or did they switch from clear to tinted at a particular point in time? And this black roof business would have required a separate process along the way at a time when they were pretty much cutting costs wherever possible. Odd. If you see a blue one with a black roof do let me know.

Whilst on the subject of minis, this lovely pale yellow Austin Seven #225 arrived this week. It looks great with the flat wheels and red seats and is really quite unusual. Despite a few small chips, it looks very good - the photograph seems to magnify its faults rather unfairly. This may be destined to be one of my Not Selling This In A Hurry models that I get attached to!

225 Austin Seven in pale yellow

204 Morris Mini Minor in orange with tinted windows

204 Morris Mini Minor in orange and black
It really does seem quite strange to be discovering all these little differences so many years later. As it may turn out that I might have to rely on my Corgi Toys to keep me afloat over the next year or two it is just as well that this is a job that I can honestly say I really do enjoy.

With acknowledgements to QDT for the orange mini photographs.