Saturday 16 September 2023

Meet the 406 Land Rover


This delightful late model 406 Land Rover arrived here in the village today. It has barely a mark on it and was simply irresistible when I spotted it at a very modest price last week.

This joins the ranks of another dozen 406 models currently available, or 13 if you include the 406S! The first one shown below is also quite unusual being fitted with smooth wheels but having the later type of body without 'handles' at the rear.

Generally there are just two types for each of the three colours: smooth wheels with 'handles' and shaped wheels without 'handles' - until, of course, someone comes up with a fourth variation! The only models issued in boxes were the yellow/black and blue/cream ones and they did not have canopies. The green models were issued with a 102 Pony Trailer in Gift Set 2 and these did have a tan tin canopy.







I am trying to reduce my dependence upon Ebay in promoting my Corgi activities and stock for sale and I am, therefore, slowly changing my listings to just one for each main model, with the variations, related models and special editions available from my own store where I don't have to pay so much in fees. Similarly, customers will not have to pay as much either as I am reducing my own store prices to ensure they're more competitive.

Thursday 14 September 2023

Mechanical model colours update


I have recently updated the table of colours which I have found on early Corgi issues.

The orange Austin Cambridge, red Riley Pathfinder and turquoise Hillman Imp are particularly rare as Mechanical issues. All the non-mechanical issues in 'M' colours are rare as these were only produced when the last of the already-painted bodies for an intended Mechanical model were paired with a normal issue base when the friction motor bases were discontinued.

If you have any other variations, do let me know. I have just added the blue 200 Ford Consul.

Another unusual Studebaker Golden Hawk


This picture was all I had to go on but the price for the four models was very low, with little apparent interest from anyone on Ebay a few days ago. Looking at the Studebaker, Chevrolet and Jaguar, I suspected some repainting. Quite good repainting, maybe, but still that I would perhaps only find the Ford to be original. I might well have moved on and left them to the restorer community but I was also intrigued by the Studebaker which might have been a nice example of the 211M edition so set a fairly high bid limit as that one would worth it alone.

I won the auction for a very modest £38 including postage and wondered what would arrive in the post.

The Studebaker was in superb condition but it's not the 211M! Something much more special!

The base is the 211S base which might seem very dodgy but I knew about a small number of models that had been made. They were a batch of 211 bodies that were painted in the 211M colour scheme but for which the M base and friction motors were no long available, production having being discontinued. The 211S was the first 'S' model by some considerable time and there would have been the new bases in early 1960 so the odd compilation is understandable, although one might have expected an interior and suspension to be provided too. I haven't take one of these apart but it must be the case that there is a different method for retaining the axle than applies in the usual 211S base. Peering through the window I can see the support pillars for an interior and twin prongs for suspension wires are present and I think a small addition has been made to limit the movement of the axles.

There really are not many of these around. It is entirely original and a genuine rarity. 

As if that wasn't enough of a delight, the Jaguar was not a repaint but a scarce dull, deeper red variation of the 213S model which is already scarce with smooth wheels, the vast majority having shaped wheels. The 213S was released in March 1961 and shaped wheels were fitted to new issues from July 1961 so these smooth wheels will have only been fitted during the first few months of production, probably just the first batch issued.

The duller red shade I had not encountered before but it is quite distinctly different. This particular model needs a bell for the roof architecture but it is otherwise excellent, with an original aerial and door transfers intact.

The Chevrolet Impala is not some child's attempt at a two-tone version but what I guess is the result of the model being left in bright sunshine for a long time. It has some casting flaws but is otherwise as near-pristine as the other models in this collection of models which clearly were not much played with, if at all. There's not much I can do about the paintwork, unfortunately, but maybe someone would like a pink and salmon version!

Finally there is the early edition of the Ford Zephyr Estate. This has lovely paintwork but the windows have suffered - not from the usual exterior marks and scratches models often pick up but these marks are inside! There is a piece of white plastic about the size of the rear seat base which is free to rattle about and generally cause trouble. I've no idea how that got in there, with no route through to the inside from the base or wheel arches for something of those dimensions. So I have to assume that this made its way inside during production.

So, an odd collection indeed, but every one is interesting in its own way, as so often is the case with Corgis. They are all available to buy, although prices for the Studebaker and Jaguar will be high as they form part of my own collection now and you'll need to pay what I would have to pay for another!

Saturday 9 September 2023

Corgi Model Club: an unusual Studebaker Golden Hawk


Here is the latest addition to what is now a substantial range of Corgi models from the Corgi Model Club, the 211S Studebaker Golden Hawk.

This is very close to a copy of the late edition which was painted in metallic gold, a slightly less common edition than the very shiny gold or silver-plated models that had been fitted with an interior and suspension. I say very close because this is a marvellous copy, with nothing that I can see to distinguish it from an original in the casting or as I look at it here. There is, though, one difference: you will not find an original with free-spinning wheels.

As it happens I have been searching for one of these with smooth fixed wheels for many years. All I have found so far is a repainted one which has appeared twice; once with QDT and again on Ebay. It's been done well but has the usual 'additional elements' that restorers find so hard to resist when they have that paintbrush in their hand.

This re-issue is otherwise very faithful indeed with no silver on the rear panel nor red on the lights. Perhaps the silver on the bumpers fore and aft is a little 'heavy'-looking but that is really extremely minor and probably no different to another issued model than the only one I've got at the moment to compare it with.

In the box you get the now familiar thin plastic sheet wrapped around the car and the usual certificate.

Try as hard as I might, I cannot see anything other than the wheels to distinguish this on display.

Are those side lights just a tiny bit fatter?

Could that rear badge be a little too low?

It all looks very good to me. I was looking for an original in better condition than mine (as well as the possibly non-existent smooth wheel variant) but this will do fine in the meantime!

Another super bit of work from the designers at the Club and their distant manufacturers.

Friday 8 September 2023

New items in stock for September.

There were no new issues in September 1963 so my next Corgi Toys @ 60 post will be in a few weeks time. So I thought I would share some recent arrivals here in the village and tell you about some changes to my sales outlets.

A delightful model from the initial launch range, the Ford Consul in mushroom.

Waiting for a suitable trailer is this fawn Land Rover from Gift Set 2. I want to pair this with a similar coloured Pony Trailer, one with fixed shaped wheels, the scarcer edition as most appear to have free spinning wheels.

From a late Gift Set 4 in 1972 comes the last 1:43 scale tractor from Corgi pulling a trailer with a pile of hay and two very funny looking characters on top. There should be some fences, sheep and a dog too which I need to find to complete this. This is the last time Farmer George will be seen too. This set didn't last long and the kids were dropped too in the 1973 Gift Set 5.

The Renault 16 has one of the shortest production periods of all Corgis, issued first as a saloon in February 1969 only to be replaced by the blue Whizzwheels edition in May 1970. It looks lovely if you can find one with good paintwork, which is very susceptible to chips. Remarkably, within that short period there are two different base types This one has RENAULT 16. The one below has RENAULT 16TS. The blue one has RENAULT 16 "TS".

The colour of the ring holding the rear hook in place also changes from red to grey.

Here's the blue one with 'pepperpot' Whizzwheels. You may be lucky and find a few with the later '4 crown' style but this didn't last much longer than the purple one, being deleted itself in 1973. I always have to smile when opening the bonnet and finding the original cast wheel spare!

The old Plymouth was the first model to get an interior (excluding open top models) and this too had two types of base - one has grey and this one has cream.

You need to look underneath this Ford Consul to see that it is a 200 and not a 200M! I like these examples where there will have been a few painted castings lying around when the friction motor type was discontinued and so they had a tin base fitted and put in a 200 box and sent to the dealers for some lucky kid to find.

The first model with suspension was this Renault Floride. This is a later edition with shaped wheels and not easy to find now. (I had hoped it would turn out to be one with free-spinning wheels which is much less common, but I shall have to keep looking for that one!)

Both the Chevrolet Impalas above are the less common editions with shaped wheels rather than cast wheels. Because these two were around in the catalogues for many years, cast wheels became dominant, in marked contrast to another of my favourites, the Taxi edition and saloon which were extremely short-lived and for which cast wheels are scarce to see.

You can find these on my web site and in my own online store. Some may be on Ebay but I am finding Ebay a bit expensive now, having rather more items listed than I am entitled to have without charges. Accordingly I am cutting back what is listed there substantially, with the aim of just one item to represent an issue with a request that people visit my online store for similar models to that shown. Now that they permit 24 photos per item, I can also add some photos of other models. Ebay's fees on sale are also quite substantial and, whilst it is by far the most popular place for collectors to seek models, I am hoping that I can encourage more and more to come to my place where I'll offer lower prices and get to keep the payments made by people.

This does mean I shall be publishing a few more posts to promote my items but I will try to make sure they're still entertaining and interesting too!