Friday 25 January 2019

Odd wheels and a chassis

January is not the most exciting month of the year but it has brought on to my desk some interesting items. I'll start with this lovely chassis, which is part of the export edition of the 464 Commer Police Van. Now, where will I ever find a Type II rear section in this colour? (It's the one with POLICE in the casting).

Next is this metallic turquoise-green Land Rover. This is the issue which, in this colour, already comes in all sorts of flavours, including shaped wheels, the normal type of cast spoke-effect wheels and Whizzwheels, hooks in tin and plastic, the plastic ones being grey or black and, if that's not enough variations for you, there are two types of interior as well! Now add this shiny, quite different design of cast wheel to the catalogue!

Below is the type of cast wheel that can be difficult to clean when it goes grey and is the type found across the range on many models.

I have seen the shinier, fatter rim type on the later blue and white horseboxes too, and may well have posted something about them a while ago.

Lastly, this 400 VW 1300 Driving School car has come in and has silver wheels. I am pretty sure that all the others I've seen have had distinctly gold wheels so this is a little unusual too.

This one is missing its stickers, which come in three flavours: British, French and German. They all have an L plate, though, so no translation issues there! I may have to acquire some stickers for the doors and it would be quite nice to have something different. I may even make some myself, now I think about it. There is no obvious steering wheel inside on these models so it is, I suppose, suitable for LHD or RHD.

One other odd thing about this one is that the tyres, now hard and seemingly original, are too big for the wheels, with quite a bit of play in the same plane as the wheel's diameter. I am wondering whether these silver wheels are smaller than the gold ones. Unfortunately I have sold the previous model I had so will have to get another to compare. One cannot tell from the photos, but here is the last one I had.

Friday 18 January 2019

Black and grey bases

An interesting item came in yesterday, this Jaguar 2.4 with a friction motor. It has plenty of signs of wear but the windows are clear and the motor, whilst weak, does work. What immediately caught my eye was that it has a grey base. Every other one that I've encountered, and all those shown on several other sites like QDT have black bases. 

The text seems to be identical. I am aware of only one other model that can be found with either a black or grey base and that's the Standard Vanguard as an RAF Staff Car.

The 208M model first appeared in 1957 and production will have ceased in 1959, none of the M models being that popular. The last three M models were the 211M Studebaker Golden Hawk, 214M Ford Thunderbird and 216M Austin A40 and these were issued in late 1958 or 1959. All of these that I have seen have had grey bases and all the M models prior to the 208M Jaguar seem to have had only black. From this I am inclined to conclude that the change from black to grey bases would have been made sometime in late 1958 and, therefore, few Jaguars will have this.

The 352 RAF Staff Car was not issued until 1958 so I thought that a black base on this model could be quite scarce too. However, a quick look through Ebay and QDT pages shows that all but one for sale at the moment do have the black base. So that idea doesn't seem right! Maybe the 207 model didn't sell well and there were lots left from earlier years' production which Corgi painted RAF blue and turned into 352 models.

There are at least two variations of the bases for all the early models. That includes the tin base models as well as the solid base versions, whether M models or not, and the early racing cars and Bedford CA vans. The typeface for 'Corgi Toys' and the text itself and the layout you will find are clearly different and I shall have to make a study of these sometime.

For now, though, I would be interested to learn of any other models with both grey and black bases like these. There could clearly be an implication for values.

The 1959 Plymouth Suburban Estate car can be found with either a cream or grey base and the 210 Citroen comes either with or without a rear axle 'bulge' so it seems that the years around 1958-9 were a time of some change at the factory in this particular respect.

Friday 11 January 2019

Corgi Toys @ 60: Karrier Airfield Radar Van and a Fire Chief's Car

January 1959 sees an interesting addition to the military items. A Karrier cab is put into use with various contraptions on the back to make an Airfield Radar Scanner Van. I suspect this might not have been a common sight on our roads then but it would have made a nice display item on some green baize or just plonked in a corner of the carpet.

The rear aerial is a plastic affair which can be re-positioned but the main attraction would be the scanner unit - a quite heavy chunk of mazak which can be turned pretty rapidly using a wheel on the side which connects to some gears to speed up the action.

Illustrated here is a 4-stripe version. It is also found with 5 orange bands. I don't know which are less common. Lasting until 1961, this can be found with both smooth and shaped fixed wheels.

The other release at the start of 1959 was the Jaguar 2.4, now painted red and bearing the roof silverware previously seen on the Riley Pathfinder Police Car. Instead of 'POLICE' the sticker now reads 'FIRE' as this is a 'Fire Chief's' Car. This is another vehicle that I have to say I am not familiar with in that I did not spot any on the Hertfordshire streets where I grew up.

It seems to have existed, however, as this example of an item sold at an auction shows. It seems terribly American to me and I don't even recognise the logo on the door but I really have little clue about what the Fire Service was like in those days.

Both the Radar Van and the Jaguar have fairly short lives, disappearing in 1961. The Radar Van would never be seen again but the Jaguar gets suspension and an interior and lasts a little longer.

I believe all the 213 models will have smooth fixed wheels although the timing may well mean that some late editions got shaped wheels. They will be much scarcer, though.