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Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 04:38
--27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

I sort of still like my Estate Car with spun hubs, even though it has long since left my care although others prefer the painted ridged hubs!

Seeing the version in a slightly different colour with red panels was a surprise as this version has eluded me thus far.


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

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Everyone his own preferences: I always like the basic issues of a model best, so, of this couple the 27f with its beige hubs and smooth tyres is the favourite, although it is a newcomer compared with the cream hubs with treaded tyres 344, an addition of 37 years ago. Kind regards, Jan  


Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 04:38

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Greetings all

The following is a copy of my Post in the Boxes - Lidded and end-flap. Excellent to Mint Condition After Many Decades topic and I thought it would be appropriate to include it in the 27 f- 344 Estate Car (1950-1961) Topic.

Here are the models and the boxes in which they can be found:

Box Type 1: Dual numbered yellow picture box.

Box Type 2: Yellow picture box.


 

Box Type 3: Yellow picture box showing red panels not brown.

The interesting item with this box is the existence of a colour spot that represents the basic colour of the model - the same colour that was applicable for every model produced. It was only the side and rear panels that were subject to any change, dark brown to red then back to dark brown.

Box type 4: Red & yellow panel non picture box.

We then find Estate Cars obviously in an incorrect box, and these from a very reputable auction house in the far north of England:

The above model and box sold for £120 - far in excess of its true value to an unsuspecting collector, with this the description, 

Dinky No.344 Estate Car - light brown with dark brown panels, spun hubs, ridged black tyres and later baseplate with No.344 inscribed - Near Mint in Fair dual numbered picture box. Scarce.

There is no mention of the fact that the box is incorrect for the model. The word "scarce" was the clincher.

As for the deletion year, the 344 Estate Car was included in the December 1960 Agents Order Form, but not in the February 1961 Agents Order Form. I do not have a copy of the January 1961 Order Form to confirm this, but it would appear that the model was deleted during that month. It was however included in the January 1961 Price List for Australia but that may have been due to the length of shipping time from the UK to Australia. To set the cat amongst the pigeons, the 344 Estate Car was NOT included in the August 1960 Price List for Australia! Finally, the model was not included in the February 1961 "Meccano Toys of Quality" price leaflet.

A lovely little model and one of my favourite to arrive in our household in 1951.

Finally, this is a fairly new acquisition that is in virtually mint condition. The only real blemish are two small indentation on the bonnet/hood in front of the left windscreen/windshield that obviously occurred in the factory.

The interesting item with the last picture is the box, and the statement "The model in this box may be finished in colours that differ from the illustrations". Was this in reference to the brief experiment with red panels and ridged hubs?

Lastly, the price written on the box, 3/4, is a price that is rather strange. The original price written on the box was 3/- which was current from July 1956 to May 1959. Then at some stage, the price was changed to 3/4 - a price the Estate Car never sold for unless in June 1959 there was a brief price increase as by July 1959, the price actually dropped to 2/11. One of the major end flaps has one of those strange quality inspection stamps on three lines, the last line which is difficult to read appears to be 160. Throughout 1960 the UK price was always 2/11.

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20161105/1032/2036


Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 04:38

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Hello Jan

Thank you for your interesting Post in the Re : Boxes - Lidded and end-flap. Excellent to Mint Condition After Many Decades Topic, of which I am reproducing  in part: below:

Thank you, Jan and Bruce, for this reminder of the 'box story' of the Estate Car. Checking my documentation I realized that Nigel Mynheer made some notes on the Estate Car and its boxes in Model Collector of October 2001. As you may remember this was a series of articles devoted to the Remy-Meeùs collection, then auctioned at Christie's South Kensington. 

I have been scanning all my old copies of MODEL COLLECTOR and DIECAST COLLECTOR, but I think I have broken my scanner!  Thanks Jan for bringing this excellent article to the fore.

Recently my brother returned more of my Dinky Toys, one of which was a 27f Estate Car, but on examining it, this one looks very much like the model he once owned. Never mind - it is mine now!

One thing I have noticed, my latest acquisition from brother Ken was one of the earliest castings, as it has the original base plate without 27f, and the interior does not contain the corner strengtheners. 

The above is the model itself, with all its warts and all, showing a great degree of play wear.  This is the Estate Car my brother once owned and it is the first type which confirms its arrival in our household for Christmas 1949.

The image below is a difficult photograph of the interior that shows it to be plain in the area of the window frames:

with a further view through the front windscreen.

Then we have the next generation of Estate Car with the addition of the sales number 27f to the base plate.

The Type 2 above two images with the following images showing the strengtheners on each window frame.

and finally the Type 3 with the considerable change to its base plate.

The only model missing from this line-up is its final development with spun aluminum hubs and a shiny base plate.

What still remains a mystery in checking Nigel Mynheer's excellent article in "Model Collector", that there is no mention of the date when the base plate had 27f added, which was prior to the first amendment dated 8 November 1954. It would be interesting to learn with Job 13221 what the amendment was dated 24 October 1949. Was this when the strengtheners were added to the window posts and windscreen centre post?

I am certain there is still much to learn about one of Meccano's most recognizable models, such as I wonder why the rear bumpers were never painted in silver.

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20161108/1036/1732


Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 04:38

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

In my last Post in this Topic, I wrote that my brother returned more of my Dinky Toys, one of which was a 27f Estate Car,. Close  examination shows that this model was one of the earliest castings, as it has the original base plate without 27f, and the interior does not contain the side frame strengtheners. 

I mentioned that my brother received his 27F for Christmas 1949, but based on the  February 1950 issue of the Meccano Magazine this should have been Christmas 1950. However, the date is in fact correct, so how can this be so? With us living in Australia, was a shipment sent to this country ahead of the release date in the United Kingdom? I am somewhat surprised that nobody made a comment on what could have possibly been an error, so one wonders how many folk actually read these Posts!wink

Continuing with this story the next generation of Estate Car has the addition of the sales number 27f to the base plate. At about the same time, strengtheners were added to the interior as I have previously written so the following are slightly better images showing the 1st casting that shows the flat areas in the area of the window frames.

The above clearly shows the absence of any strengtheners in the area of the side windows.

The above image shows the added strengtheners having been added after the sales number 27f has been incorporated in the base plate.

The above shows the smooth surface of the 1st casting without any added metal.

 Compare the 1st casting with the 2nd casting above, with the added strengthener added to the centre of the back windows.

The image above shows the Type 2 Estate Car with the strengtheners that have been added to the two window frames on either side as well as to the back windows with an increase in the size of the strengthener for the centre post of the windscreen.

Apart from the above structural change to the basic casting, there have been, over the years, numerous problems with the actual casting, and these have not always been due to longevity.  Take for instance the following in the area above the back windows with the first image being that of a 27f and the second image also of a 27f which also shows a problem on either side of the bumper over-riders:

 

And then several years later when the model became 344, everything with the rear seemed to have sorted itself out!

With its final issue with spun hubs, the rear is almost identical to that of the first issue – new mould when it became a 344?

Then there have been the changes to the front end due to wear and tear as shown below:

This is the first casting without the 27f on the base plate.

After the addition of 27F to the base plate, wear is starting tp show.

By the time of renumbering to 344, the area above the grille shows signs of the die being repaired and the damage is not as noticeable.

When the 344 scored spun hubs, the heavy use of a file can be clearly seen as shown above as well as further wewar can be seen below the headlights.

But the biggest problem that confronted those making the Estate Car was its actual painting, or at least the mask spraying of the brown panels. Right from the very start, the ladies in the spray paint line must have been confronted with problems such as accurately matching the model with the mask.  Here are some of the results for Estate Cars over a period of time from its earliest days when the base plate contained no sales number through to the 344.

Here we see inside the factory with one of the lady spray painters applying the side cheat lines on a 29e Single Deck Bus. Behind on another conveyor are a collection of 29f Estate Cars that have had their brown panels applied by another painter.

One can see how incredibly difficult it must have been to accurately mask and spray paint the Estate Car with its numerous sections while holding the gun as well as the model behind the masking process. 

What still remains a mystery in checking Nigel Mynheer's excellent article in "Model Collector", that there is no mention of the date when the base plate had 27f added, which was prior to the first amendment dated 8 November 1954. It would be interesting to learn with Job 13221 what the amendment was applicable to dated 24 October 1949. Was this when the strengtheners were added to the window posts and windscreen centre post?

I have written this previously, but I wonder why the rear bumpers were never painted in silver.

I conclude this treatise with images of my latest acquisition. Well, by latest I mean its arrival was actually on 22 March 2017. The model was acquired from Vectis, but unfortunately on opening the parcel, I found all the end flaps on one end of the box to have been detached. This was quite a disappointment especially with the model itself being in near mint condition, although slightly less than the description. This will be the subject of a Post in another topic.

Finally, I prepared this Post on 11 August 2016, almost two years ago.  What have I been doing??

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20180808/1621/1192


Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:47

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Bruce. A very nice overview of the casting and painting variations of this model over the years. Due to the aging or wear and tear of the molds several models look ugly in some places, especially at the front. Also the mask spraying of the door panels succeeded not always well. It is difficult to find a model without these imperfections, which are sometimes mutilations. By your last post about the absence of the reinforcement of the inside of the roof of the 1st model without sales number I started looking for such a model  and I found one in mint condition without box. With this I have now 4 main different models:

1. black mottled baseplate without sales number with fawn ridged hubs and smooth black tires, without reinforcement inside roof

2. black mottled baseplate with number 27f with fawn ridged hubs and smooth black tires with reinforcement inside roof

3. black mottled baseplate with number 344, creme ridged hubs and black treaded tires with reinforcement inside roof

4. black smooth shiny baseplate with number 344, spun hubs with black treaded tires with reinforcement inside roof.

To say something about your remark: "so one wonders how many folk actually read these Posts!".

1) This is a very interesting subject with much aspects to which many members already have contributed with all kinds of very interesting details. So you can say that these contributions are read, but sometimes there is unfortunately no response while you expect it. It is only a pity that all contributions of this topic are divided into three subjects, which does not benefit the readability.

2) That your brother in Australia with Christmas 1949 model 27f received before the introduction of this model in MM UK February 1950 was not exceptional, which I explain below.

It is well known that after WWII the export for Meccano Liverpool had more priority than its own home market. I have also described a similar example of this in DTCA forum of the 943 Leyland Octopus Tanker Esso with the link http://www.dtcawebsite.com/?q=forum-topic/943-leyland-octopus-tanker-esso-1958-64

Model 943 was introduced in Meccano Magazine of March 1958 as "ready during March", but was already exported to USA and the Netherlands in September 1957. Even Richard in France showed a model 943 with a QCS from July 1957! The quality control stamps in the boxes are proof of this. This must also have been the case with model 27f of your brother at Christmas 1949.

Kind regards, Jan Oldenhuis, 13 August 2018.


dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 05:27

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Bruce—-Another superb, very well written article on a very popular Dinky model. When I was a young boy, I was immediately attracted to it, as it was a unique look....no other Dinky had that “woodie” look to it. Alas, I only have one example, and that is one I got probably over 60 years ago. It is a 344 numbered version, with cream wheels, and smooth black tires, and still in very good condition. I had never bothered to closely look at that interior roof area, to see all of those structural supports that were added. I now wonder If they did that much with other models?
In regards to the mask spraying.....I have always been in awe on just how well that was usually done, with some areas unbelievably small and delicate. I would liked to have seen the masks in person, and how they were used. Once in awhile, you see an area that was not done quite right, but most of the time they are right on. It would be interesting for someone knowledgeable to write an article on the subject.
Thanks again.....all your photos always show your area of discussion so well!
Best regards, Terry


binnsboy650
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Joined: Sun, 10/02/2016 - 13:35

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Bruce, all I can say is well done - again! I very much enjoy posts like yours because they revive interest in models that I may have rather taken for granted.

Whilst I like the Estate Car for several reasons it always seemed commonplace but your post shows that it has more to it than meets the eye. 

Long may you and other notable members continue with your comprehensive and revealing coverage of these toys.

All the best.

John


Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands
Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:47

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Recently I received this box that is hard to find. I found it on Ebay with a mint 344 model I already had, but the price was reasonable and another offer with this box was almost 3 times as expensive.  The box is very special because it is the only box with the mention of the Plymouth brand name on it and an image on one side of the box with an Estate Car with red panels and red hubs, with which the model was never issued. The box also has a brown colour spot that is superfluous, because the model was always issued in a tan colour with brown panels. I have never seen another colour.

The model 344 that came with the box is also special, because it has an extremely beautiful and accurate silver detailing that was professional applied by the previous owner, but is of course not factory original. It is well known that Meccano Liverpool never painted the rear bumper, moldings, badges and door handles of this model with silver during the entire production period of 1950-1961. As far as I know this model is also the only model whose rear bumper was never painted with silver.

I also found pictures of a transition trade box 344 27f that I have not yet seen in any contribution.

I show the pictures of these Ebay advertisements which are much better than pictures of my GSM camera.

Jan Oldenhuis 16 April 2019


dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 05:27

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Jan—I just checked my sole example, and it also has this same style box....with the Plymouth wording, and the red panels on one side. My model is also numbered 344 on the base, and has smooth black tires, and cream wheels. I got this new, around 1956-1957, and has been in my possession ever since.
This certainly is a very nice model, and very popular over the years, but, like many models that Meccano made, it did stray some from the real car. In looking at real images of a 1948 Plymouth Station Wagon, it is clear that the whole roof area is somewhat more squared off on the Dinky model. The rear of the roof is actually curved down somewhat, and the sides also are slightly curved down. The roof area was also not steel, but appears to be some type of Naugahyde or other material, giving a more “flat” look, and definitely not glossy paint. Another collector I know has taken a badly scratched model and restored it, while also “super detailing” all the silver or chrome trim, plus he made the roof look like that synthetic material. The end result was quite attractive. I would never advocate adding detail painting on a nice Dinky, but on obvious reprints, it can look very nice if carefully done.
Best regards, Terry


Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Joined: Tue, 07/07/2015 - 04:38

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Jan

A beautiful acquisition - and I am delighted that you have acquired this very rare box issue!  It is a pity the owner has used his skills that has both made the model beautiful but also not accurate or original. 

I actually had a similar box with model that I owned years and years ago, long before the advent of the DTCA but I have no idea what became of it. 

Thank you for adding the pictures of your latest acquisition of the Estate Car to this Topic with its unique box.  We can only speculate as to the reason Meccano had such an inaccurate box printed in the first place.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20191704/1122/1204


janwerner's picture
janwerner
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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 06:56

Re : --27f and 344 Estate Car (1950- 61)

Hello Jan, a nice acquisition, that early boxed model. I remember I had to borrow that early 'Plymouth' box from a collector friend for a contribution to TMT - a long time ago. That brown colour dot is remarkable too. Even looking at later boxes it seems that Meccano has been struggling a long time considering wether they would introduce a different colour for the Estate Car or not. Kind regards, Jan W