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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56
-263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Browsing through my image files I came across some older photos of the no. 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance, an over 50 years old Sint Nicolaas present. From a former colleague I got his ambulance some years ago, which was so well played-with, that it was virtually only suitable for satisfying my curiosity to the inside construction of this Dinky Toy.

Although this model is beyond my present collecting time slot, the Superior Criterion has always remained one of my firm favourites, with all the (incidentally very successful) features, the realistic recessed contours for the doors, the sheer impressive uncommon design etc. I remember vividly when having completed my home work I tended to make a little bicycle tour along some toy shop windows in Haarlem (NL), one of them having it newly on display. Altogether I must have been staring there for a very long time. I got it as a present at last, in December. Although we played with it often and intensively, the condition of both the model and its box is very reasonable still.

Added finally a nice Hausemann & Hötte flyer in Dutch, advertising the ambulance in a spectacular way. Just a little type-set error below left: Alleervertegenwoodiger (exclusive agent) should read: Alleenvertegenwoordiger.  Kind regards, Jan 


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dinkyfan
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Jan----Since this is also well beyond my Dinky collecting time frame, I have never seen one in person, but it certainly displays very well & must have been quite impressive when introduced. It also serves as a graphic reminder just how much Dinky Toys had evolved and changed in a few short years.
Best regards, Terry


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Greetings Jan and Terry,

I too did not collect this model - until one day in 2004, I saw that an auction company in the UK was auctioning a 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance with a yellow interior but no box. I checked Ramsay's and it only mentioned a pale blue interior, so, throwing caution to the wind. I faxed my bid and ended up being the highest bidder. It joined my collection on 7 April 2004.

Several months later I managed to procure a box through eBay and it arrived on 29 June 2004.

This then whetted my appetite for the 263 and I went in search of the usual interior colour, a sort of duck-egg blue, and this one turned up at my home address several months later on 23 September 2004.

As this one also needed a box, so dependable eBay came back on the scene, and a box was duly procured:

My appetite was well and truly whetted with the 263, when a little over twelve months later in 2006, what did I find, but a dark turquoise interior 263, so this one joined the other two on 14 September 2006.  Now this was starting to become very serious!

I now had three 263 Superior Criterion Ambulances, with only one appearing in the then current Ramsay's catalogue.  Where was this taking me?

 I had genuinely thought I had reached the sum total, after all, this model was not really my "cup of tea" as it was well outside my "zone of interest". But then another model this time with a red interior turned up, and I just had to have it! So, lodged my bid, and it arrived in my post office box on 3 May 2007.

This then brought the total to four 263 Superior Criterion Ambulances, all with different coloured interiors

surely that would be the sum total, but no, one more was found and it joined my collection on 30 May 2007, a very uncommon version with white interior.

Not only was it an uncommon interior colour, but the factory missed out applying the red side flash on both sides. Several months later I wrote to John Ramsay advising of these multitude of interior colours, and these appeared in the 12th edition of his catalogue bearing his name.

Well, there we have it in a nutshell, or rather "dinkyshell", the humble 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance with its FIVE interior colours.  I have not bothered seeking out if there are any others, as I felt I had reached my limit and I would leave the chase or hunt, to others!

There they all are - a classic collection of one Dinky Toys model!

Now to end this, I humbly submit an English version of the leaflet submitted by Jan. I will include a nother copy of this image uploaded in the usual manner to allow the image to be enlarged.

When I started buying this model, I had no idea where it was going to take me. I must confess I miss the excitement of the chase, and often wonder if there are in fact other coloured interiors out there just waiting to be discovered!

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

10161910/1020/2315


janwerner's picture
janwerner
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Joined: Tue, 07/15/2014 - 00:56

Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Bruce, knowing about your special interest in this wonderful model I knew we would not have to wait in vain for your contribution! Before you showed your interior variants for the first time I did not realize that they existed at all. Now you added your personal story behind it, those unique facts and events on the background that make a collection more than just an addition sum of separate items. Thank you and kind regards, Jan 


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dinkyfan
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 23:27

Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Bruce---Another wonderful collecting story, and like so many, it started off so innocently.....with one early example. The plethora of interior colors opens up a whole new world of collector opportunities, and now we need to know if there were others! Very nicely done and thanks for sharing your thrill of the "chase".
Best regards, Terry


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Dinkinius
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Thanks Jan and Terry for your kind words. 

Jan - it was interesting to say the least that you were expecting me to Post something on the Superior Criterion Ambulance! It seems I did not disappoint you!!wink

Terry - Yes it started purely by accident and sort of got out of control!  But I am glad I did as the chase has broadened the subject of Dinky Toys a wee bit.

I have realised that I should have posted an image of the version with the red interior taken of the other end flap, as it shows the price of 7/11 which was the price for the 263 between January 1964 until at least August 1965 and possibly as late as July 1966. Prior to January 1964 the price was 8/6 starting from the month the model was released in September 1962.

I think this model would probably take the record for the number of different coloured interiors used during its life-span of six years, almost one colour per year!

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

2016212110/1021/0118


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Dinkinius glad to see you have only found the same 5 interior colours as I posted on the Forum a while back, and now in The Journal Oct 16. Are there more I wonder??  


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Dinkinius
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Greetings Townie54.  Haven't heard from you for over a year since we discussed the Museum in the old Texas Book Depository in Dallas. On reading your Post above I went scurrying around and found our discussion on the 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance, and in particular my Post dated 20 June 2015 when I first posted the photograph of my five 263 Superior Criterion Ambulances with their five different interiors. This was in the "Happy Collecting Milestones" topic. (When I posted the photo of my five 263 models recently I had a feeling that I had posted the photograph previously, but could not remember where!)

But I have yet to find your Post when you included a photograph of your five 263 Superior Criterion Ambulances with their different interiors.  I have not as yet received my copy of the October 2016 issue of The Journal. I look forward to seeing the photograph of your five interiors. I too have wondered if there are further different coloured interiors for the 263 just waiting to be discovered!

At the time, we also discussed the four 449 Chevrolet El Camino Pick-up trucks with their different interiors, images of these in my collection I posted in the same Topic as above.

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20161109/1037/2024


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hi Bruce,
I've only two interiors on the El Camino, so glad to see if you repost your four! Got a couple of interiors on the Fairlane police and the Cadillac 62 but guess there could be more?


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hi Bruce and all,

I have just received a Dinky 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance with box.  It is pretty standard with pale blue interior, except it has standard sized spun hubs instead of the smaller ones.   I have a red interior one already but someone has evacuated all the personel - no driver, assistant or patient!   Also a 'standard' one with pale blue interior and small hubs and am on the trail of a yellow interior job.

Ron F


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hi Ron, congratulations with this nice new addition, one of my post-1959 favourites. Remarkable indeed, those 'regular' hubs and tyres on your model. They make the difference for me because I have always appreciated those new, correct, finely treaded tyres so much, being much more realistic (and to scale) than those earlier regular 'heavy duty' treaded tyres, especially when applied to 1/48 scale cars like the Americans of the later 1950s. The Jaguar Mark X is such a nice exception too, with the well-chosen, correct 1/48 finely treaded tyres. However, a remarkable find for you to see the unusual wheels and tyres!

When I got the Superior Criterion Ambulance, in 1962, I accepted the model as received. It was much later, comparing mine with other examples, that I noticed the very faint colour strip. Yours - and virtually all other examples - show the firmly red applied strip. My red strip has not suffered from wear or rubbing, it is as it was in 1962. So it is factory made. I am still surprised with the wonderful condition of model and box, because we played a lot with it. Still, a collision on the carpet must have caused a firm dent in the front bumper, on the left corner. Kind regards, Jan 


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hello Ron,

An other previously unlisted variation. Great find.

Congratulations.

Jacques.


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Dinkinius
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Good morning Jan,

When the 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance was released in September 1962, the artwork featured a thin twin red stripe along each side. 

This is an enlargement of the advertisement on the back cover of the Meccano Magazine announcing its arrival:

The same twin red stripe continued with a leaflet issued on 8 December 1962 as shown below:

The 1963 Dinky Toys catalogue printed in January 1963 also included a pictorial representation of the 263 still with its twin red side stripe:

However, by January 1964 when that year's first catalogue was published, the twin red side stripes had become a solid red.

With the twenty 263 Superior Criterion Ambulance with twin red side stripes that Vectis has auctioned over the past 15 years or so all have a duck-egg or pale blue interior. This seems to indicate that models with a different coloured interior can be dated from possibly post January 1963 to definitely January 1964 onwards when the side stripe became solid, no doubt due to the difficulty assocated with its application. Is it possible those models without any side-stripe could be an early issue due to that difficulty and the workers giving up on a number of models due to the frustration in applying such a small red line by hand.

As for Ron's larger spun hubs and tyres, I too am in agreement that they look far better than the normal small hubs and tyres. The smaller hubs are certainly out of scale with the body of the model. This is also very noticeable with the 196 Holden Special Sedan, the 142 Jaguar Mark X above and many others.

Goodness only knows what Meccano was thinking (cost over-ruling logic) when they changed the size of the hub for larger cars such as the 148 Ford Fairlane and others. Obviously it came about following too many trips across the road to the famous watering hole, The Railway Hotel!

Finally, here is a photograph of an actual 1961 Pontiac Superior Criterion Ambulance,, on which the Dinky model was based with chrome side strip - looking far better with its large chrome wheels with whitewall tyres!cool

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20170408/1153/1507


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janwerner
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Thanks for the comment. Bruce. Perhaps I did not express myself clear enough. I am in favour of the smaller wheels + fine tread tyres. With only the regular sized hubs/tyres previously available, there was always a 'scale dilemma': they mostly fit the 1/43 and 1/45 models best and causing increasing problems when trying to fit them on some 1/48 cars in my opinion. I think the wonderful photo of the real one supports my idea that the 'regular' ones, present on Ron's variant, seem slightly too big (the white wall tyres on the real one cause an optical illusion that the hubs are even bigger). On the other hand I must also agree that the smaller wheels on the Superior Criterion seem slightly too small, but less obvious, and match slightly better, and so do the fine tread tyres.

As the stripes is concerned, yes, the double stripes became one, not only in painting, but also the casting was changed accordingly. I believe that both painting and casting problems must have led to that decision. My own observation was about the difference in coverage of the paint.

I have added another photo of the real one, rather horrible in quality, but perhaps matching the real one even better. It has a Dutch registration plate, and the houses and the pavement look Dutch, but I have never seen one in NL in reality. Thanks and kind regards, Jan  


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Dinkinius
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Morning Jan

Nice gathering of fellow enthusiasts in your home recently, as per your Post in "New Arrivals". (I have known Jose for many years but have not had the pleasure of meeting he and his wife in person.)  As for that marvelous gathering, how different this gathering was compared with my non-existent gathering in 2015 when I visited England to attend the many functions associated with the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. My "invitational" topic received no comments so I guess nobody in the Association lived in the southeastern part of England and up towards the north in Cambridgeshire and further up in Lincolnshire and Woodhall Spa!

Back to the Superior Criterion Ambulance, and I have noted your "rather horrible in quality, but perhaps matching the real one even better" photograph, so thought I would go two better with the following images which I overlooked back on the 4th! Interesting that both belong to a fire department, one in Maryland and the other New Jersey.

Oh by the way, I answered your query in the 34a Topic about stamps!  (Nothing like mentioning many topics in the one Post!)

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20170608/1155/2342


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janwerner
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Those are really nice photos, Bruce! They show the correct roof design now. If they might be available on a higher resolution you would do me a big favour by sending them to me privately! Kind regards, Jan 

P.S.: and thanks for all 34a information!


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Coming or going?

What is the correct way around for the roof mounted siren?  It seems to be mounted either way.  I would suggest that the 'pointy bit' should face the rear?   It is easy to turn around.

Ron

 


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Ron,

Yours is an interesting question I never thought about. On my three samples of this Dinky Toy, two of them purchased new back in the day, all of the sirens are positioned with the bullet-shaped "pointy bit" at the front. Perhaps the ladies assembling the model thought this was more aerodynamic, but it is wrong!

The sound of these electro-mechanical sirens comes from the flat-shaped front, and I have never seen one mounted backwards. That would only be appropriate if the ambulance driver intended to respond to all calls in reverse gear!

Similar sirens are still produced by the Federal Signal Corporation for traditionalist fire departments, or perhaps for restoration purposes. More details can be found here:

https://www.fedsig.com/product/q-siren


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

I was given quite some play-worn Dinky Toys by a former colleague of mine several years ago already, a pitiful Superior Criterion Ambulance included. Some months ago I had the idea of having it restored and giving it a grey finish, similar to the finish of the post-war examples of the 30f Ambulance, and as an experimental addition to the existing colour schemes of the Ambulances of the 1940s-1960s. The other day I received it and here is the result. Perhaps the red strip is not as straight as I would have meant it to be, but nevertheless the overall result is striking in my opinion.  Some photos below:

 


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Jan—That turned out quite nice and it does fit in well with your others. I also have a few restored Dinky’s, and properly done, they can make nice additions to our collections. Well done!
Best regards, Terry


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

On display at last, the Superior Criterion Ambulances trio exhibited in my cabinet the way I had in mind for a long time already!

Just a grey colour sticker on the replica box wanting.wink


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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Nice display Jan ! 

I did not know that a superior criterion exist in grey !

We can see that you use chocks under the trailer but not under the ambulances.

Do you think that the boxes are enough supple to protect the tyres against deformation ?

Kind regards

Richard


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janwerner
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hello Richard, I hope I have stressed sufficiently that the grey one is a deliberate repaint, not based on any specific authentic finish, but inspired by the cream and grey 'twins' of the immediate post-war years.

I appreciate your question on the protection of the tyres. My solution for the ambulances illustrates that I am only human and not as consequent in my actions as I pretend to be.wink

For some models that I like to have on display on top of their boxes I make exceptions every now and then and under certain conditions:

Firstly I have the impression that natural card board and paper material in general are more friendly and softer for a model to rest on than on straight and harsh materials like glass etc. Besides, every model on the red velvet on the bottom of my cabinets can remain without supports, because that material is very gentle and soft (unless a model and its tyres is really problematic).

Secondly, when I make exceptions like this I judge the condition of a model and its tyres, if it really appears to be suitable to stand on its own tyres for some longer time.

Thirdly, I have the impression that some kinds of tyres are more sensitive for flattening than others. I believe the grey round treaded tyres are notorious in this respect, whereas later treaded rubber tyres in general seem to be more 'flattening resistant'.

So these reasons gave me confidence to have the ambulance trio stand on their 'bare feet', as an exception. Still, this may be for a limited time only, not 'forever'.

All other models on glass shelves are placed on supports, irrespective of their condition, if only it were for a balanced looks of the items on display.

Kind regards, Jan 


binnsboy650
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hello Jan. I second Richard's appreciation of the display. The vehicles and their surroundings, lighting, etc., are of museum quality - especially the descriptive labelling.

Something about what you were saying regarding tyres struck a chord with me. I have the feeling that some new replacement tyres may be made of vinyl rather than rubber. What do you think?

Regards

John


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janwerner
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Re : -263 Superior Criterion Ambulance (1962-68)

Hello John, I believe these vinyl tyres serve as replacements for the same original vinyl tyres, which appeared on Dinky Toys at the end of the 1960s. I am rather ignorant of that period, but it seems that they cause their own incidental troubles by a chemical reaction with the plastic hubs in use in that period. But, as I say, I am far from expert on this.

By the way, the production of the individual supports, the thorough cataloguing, description and photographing of each new addition, and the production of these labels and their contents take a lot of time, which prevents me from buying more Dinky Toys than my home environment would accept. wink

Kind regards, Jan