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dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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-129 MG Midget US Issue (1954)

I was surprised to see that there were no listings on this Dinky Toys model yet, and having recently acquired one, decided it deserved a post.  First of all, the pdf subject title is a bit confusing, as it gives a date of 1954, but it is not in the US catalog until 1955, and the GBofDT by Richardson's gives its dates as 1955-1956.

   There is scarce information about this model, as the 108 MG Midget Sports Car, in competition trim, was introduced in 1955, along with others of that series.  The competition models were made in two colors, and included a race driver and numerals:  white, with maroon seats and wheels, and red, with tan seats and red wheels.  But the 108 Competition model was never shown in the US catalogs, and instead, this 129 variant was listed.....the same exact model, including the 108 baseplate,  but sans its racing numerals and the driver.  This was then shown in both the 1955 and 1956 US catalogs only, and was also only issued as an export item to the US.  Then, in 1957, Meccano did issue a 102 MG Midget Touring model, now available in two colors:  a yellow type of color with red seats and wheels, and a green version, with tan seats and wheels.  These were made until 1960 when they were discontinued.

   What is a mystery in all of this is why did Meccano feel it necessary to make the 129 version for the US only, and not just offer and sell the 108 competition model?  Was this possibly influenced by their very prominent US distributor, Henry Hudson Dobson?  Since is was intended solely for the US market, their was no announcement or other information listed in the Meccano Magazine. It is a mystery that we will likely never be able to solve! 

   Besides photos of my new 129 MG Sports Car, I am attaching a couple of images from the 1955 US catalog......the cover image shows the new MG in white, while the other shows the page where it is listed.

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Thank you for this post, Terry. As you say, the situation regarding this MG is a little mysterious.

Here is a 129 (presumed) that I have, a little grubby (though nicer than the photos make it look) and with a repaired windscreen. The painting of the headlamps seems a little odd but is consistent with other samples sold over the years by QDT. Again, "108" appears on the baseplate.

What I cannot explain is the driver. Was he glued in (I cannot budge him) by a previous owner, or was this an addition on later samples by Binns Road?

 

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dinkyfan
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Jon—A nice example, as that white chips very easily. I had the white as a youngster in 1956, but it chipped so badly I re-painted it dark blue a few years later. I’ve since had it restored to the yellow 102 touring color.
Your driver is interesting, and I would assume over the years that more than a few were added. In your case, I have to be very doubtful it was installed in the factory. Of course anything is theoretically possible. But there is no mention, or other purported photos that any of us have seen. My guess is it’s glued with epoxy to the seat. Since I’ve never taken one apart, I don’t know how the factory secured it. Maybe the post extending into that hole was somehow peened over?
Terry

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johnnyangel
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Terry et al -- see the thread on the 108 MG Midget started by Jan Werner in 2017. In that thread he shows a factory drawing indicating that the 129 version, though not yet mentioned by number, was already planned on the original MG Midget drawing, as job number 7682.

As Jan wrote, "Why this deviating version was decided to be produced for the U.S. market (added as late as one year after the assembly design was completed, 22 March 1955) is not known to me. The U.S.A. catalogue of 1955 shows this model in the unique companionship with the previous generation, the pre- and early post-war 38 series cars, now renumbered in the lower 100 numbers, preceding the 106 etc. new sports cars range. Was the introduction of the exceptional driver-less and racenumber-less 129 done in order to match the former, still available 38 series sports cars in general appearance?"