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-942 Foden 14 ton Tanker 'Regent' (1955-57)

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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 06:56
Planned Models that were never issued

For a long time many hard to identify Dinky Toys have been thought to be fantasies of Meccano's Dinky Toys designers. Today we know better: by the research of many Dinky enthusiasts a lot of real-world vehicles have been unveiled as prototypes for Dinky models in the past decades. One of my favourites, the never issued Bedford Articulated Streamlined Petrol Tanker is still a mystery to me. I have never seen a matching real-world prototype. The other day, however, I came across a picture of a six-wheel Foden tanker, showing a rear part of the tanker body that is very similar to the Bedford Articulated Tanker. Perhaps it will be possible to find the track to the tanker semi-trailer prototype by identifying the designer of the tanker body of the Foden shown here. Is anybody familiar with that? Kind regards, Jan   

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 07:44

Jan, I believe the tank was built by Butterfields of Shipley, near Bradford, Yorkshire. This was the same company which built the prototype of the Dinky 25-series tanker. In later years and after several takeovers and mergers, Butterfields became part of the Thompsons of Bilton (Staffordshire) group. Thompsons built the real-life Dinky 60Y refueller and 991 Shell Chemicals tankers. Nowadays, Thompsons are a part of the American Heil Trailer company, and the name has disappeared from our roads.

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janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 06:56

Thank you, Kevin, for leading me in the right direction! I now found confirmation indeed that this Foden tanker is definitely a Butterfield design too. They must have been almost monopolists in this field, looking at the many, various tanker products they supplied. But among the ones I found ... no tanker trailer like this one yet. We'll keep on searching in this direction. Any other suggestions most welcome! Kind regards, Jan 

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fodenway
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Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 07:44

Jan, Whilst Butterfields were indeed a large and prolific tanker builder, they were by no means alone, even in their small hometown of Shipley.  Very close by was the Yorkshire Electric Welding Company (Yewco), another famous builder. Barely twenty miles away near Wakefield, Charles Roberts had a huge factory producing railway wagons and coaches, bus and tram bodies, and thousands of road tanker bodies. They took over Butterfields in 1973 before the company was split up, the railway business going first to Procor, and eventually to Bombardier of Canada, and eventual closure. The road tanker business went to Heil but moved to the old Thompson works at Bilston. Dyson of Liverpool , Steel Barrel of Uxbridge, Middlesex, Gloster-Saro and Darham Industries also built large numbers of tankers. Gloster-Saro was a joint venture between Gloster Aviation and Saunders-Roe, both aeroplane manufacturers who had diversified into road vehicle bodybuilding. Interestingly, Saunders-Roe had built the first Hovercraft, SRN-1, as modelled by Corgi Toys.

Kevin.

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Townie54
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 08:52

I thought the 30 series Studebaker tanker had a Heil streamlined body, so Dinky designers could well have been familiar with US designs as I’m sure British manufacturers were and copied?

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK
Joined: Sat, 07/11/2015 - 07:44

Meccano certainly had an interest in the potentially huge American market, and were clever enough to introduce realistic models of American vehicles which would have been familiar to buyers over there, and attractively "exotic" to children in countries where  real American motors were not often seen.