Friday 3 November 2023

Corgi Toys @ 60: US Army Land Rover, Bedford and Euclid upgrades


Still in November 1963, and the new issues continue! Now we have two upgrades -the Bedford Machinery Carrier #1131 and the Low Loader #1132, now with the later type of cab. The one above is my own model, one that my dad will have bought for me, and it is a little unusual in having a paler blue cab and a yellow rear axle. (The Castrol transfer is my own addition!)

Most models had a brighter, darker blue cab and a black rear axle. I am not aware of any colour variations for the Low Loader, not a model I have ever had, strangely. 

Another 'upgrade' issue was the phenomenally heavy Euclid Tractor with blade. Now it gets a driver who also looks suspiciously like the Mercedes driver and Roger Moore as well as a lever to operate the blade. My version was in a fetching lime green but it was also issued in a very bright yellow.

Last of the individual models issued in November 1963 is the very scarce US Army Land Rover, catalogued as #500 and available only as an exported model to the States at the time. Well, maybe a few found their way to dealers but that was not the intention.

As far as I can tell there were no illustrated boxes produced, just the standard box with the number and model name stamped on the end flaps.

I have written a lot before about this model and how it can very easily be confused with #357 the Land Rover Weapons Carrier issued in 1965. Both may look the same at first glance but you can distinguish the #500 by the rear cab window, which should have a sort of 'frame' showing and which fits to provide a flush finish to the rear of the cab. Later window units are simpler and do not fit into the rear space at all. The other thing to check is the colour of the star transfers. Even well-preserved originals are slightly or very cream in colour whereas #357 models are invariably white.

Now, of course, with the availability of many transfers which can be added this is not as definitive a guide as one might like as someone could change the transfers. But the window should seal it one way or the other.

There are both red and lemon seat versions of the #500 but the lemon seems, from my experience to date, to be the more common of the two. Neither, however, are easy to find here in the UK. All my examples have come from the States.

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