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Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 22:38
-174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

I start this new topic with an image of a Hudson Hornet that has been a part of our family since December 1960.

Woops – wrong picture!

What actually has been in our household is of course my very own Dinky Toys 174 Hudson Hornet and here it is, not in the same condition as some I have seen from our notable collectors, but with warts and all, plus its original box that has been its home, enduring countless years of being taken out and put back in! However, this is not what the car looked like when I left home in 1964. Most likely at some stage it and most of my other Dinky Toys were allowed to be played with by kids who did not care. I regret I did not lock them all away, except then I never gave it a thought.

But back to my Hudson!

She arrived in my Santa’s stocking that had been left beside our Christmas tree on 25 December 1960 just several days before my 16th birthday. It is in primrose yellow and grey, and like most of my gifted Dinky Toys, I never asked my parents why they selected this colour and not the other as that would have made it appear I would have preferred the other colour scheme! It was for me their selection and I was delighted with this Dinky Toy of the massive Hudson Hornet.  I had been given an earlier 139b Hudson Commodore at least 10 years before in blue and stone so this Hornet joined the Hudson rank!

I digressed, so let us return to the birth of the Dinky Toys 174 Hudson Hornet!

The model made its debut with the announcement on the back cover of the August 1958 “Meccano Magazine”, together with a fellow new arrival, the Dinky Toys 175 Hillman Minx, although the dealers in the United Kingdom were informed of these new releases when their standing order Invoice and initial trade pack of models arrived in July. The Meccano Toys of Quality price list printed in July 1958 also included the Hudson and Hillman. 

The back cover announcement gave readers a taste of what to expect and this was followed up with a very glowing commentary on the model and its origins by Mr Toyman.

In the words of Mr Toyman, every care was taken in planning, casting and finishing this fine American car, the Hudson Hornet although no mention was made that the real car was no longer in production, so allow me to relate the story of the real-life Hudson Hornet.

The Hudson Hornet first-generation models produced by the Hudson Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, from 1951 until 1954 featured a functional "step-down" design with a lower center of gravity than contemporary vehicles that helped the car handle well – a bonus for racing. The Hornet arrived on the scene at the same time the similar Commodore whose design history goes back to 1948 was still in production until 1952 when it was replaced by the Hornet. The Hornet's lower and sleeker look was accentuated by its streamlined styling. The car's unique, low slung appearance and silky handling earned Hudson an image that – for many buyers – eclipsed luxury Marques like Cadillac. The Hudson Hornet was very similar to the Dinky Toys 139b Hudson Commodore modeled by Meccano and released in July 1950 with annual changes when the Hornet arrived that had similar appearances with each other.

From 1951, various design changes of the basic concept were undertaken and the following photographs display those changes that ultimately resulted in the last Hudson Hornet that was modeled by Dinky Toys.

The 1951 Hudson Hornet was very similar superficially to the Hudson Commodore.

The 1952 Hudson Hornet with superficial changes to the original design

The 1953 Hudson Hornet with a redesigned grille the immediate visual change from the year before.

And the last of the original design, the 1954 Hudson Hornet with more visual changes, grille, rear boot and extended side panels plus the usual changes to the chrome work.

In early 1954, discussions took place between Hudson and the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation for the merger of both companies with the new company to be called American Motors Corporation.

1954 was also a year of another merger of two well-known car manufacturers, The Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana and the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, Michigan, but more of this in another Topic, although Studebaker-Packard as it became known became a close ally of AMC with the cross exchange of components such as engines and automatic transmissions, although in the back-rooms of Studebaker-Packard it was not a very co-operative participant.

While the merger was taking place between Hudson and AMC, the Hornet continued in production and marketed under the Hudson brand but by 1955, the original Hornet/Commodore style was beginning to show its age. Although the body and engine had been over-engineered and had been a firm favourite on the race track, dirt or macadam, the executives at AMC considered it was in need of a re-design.

The second-generation 1955 Hudson Hornets was a conservatively restyled American Motors Nash that was “badge engineered” as a Hudson to be built in sedan and hardtop body styles, with the coupe and convertible no longer being available. One departure from the traditional Hudson design but utilising a Nash feature was the incorporation of a covered spare wheel at the rear which also added to the car’s overall length.  (Badge engineering is the application of a different badge or logo to an existing product such as an automobile and subsequently marketed as a different product. With the high cost of designing and engineering a new model or establishing a brand (which may take many years to gain acceptance), it was cheaper to re-badge a product, add or remove features to create different models. Of a similar nature these days, in the UK a Vauxhall Astra and in Australia the Holden Astra are both in fact an Opel Astra the original designer. As for the method being referred to as “engineering” the only engineering was often limited to sticking a different badge on the same model!)

Along with Nash, the new Hudsons had the widest front seats in the industry and also had a very distinctive grille often referred to it as an egg crate. The heating and ventilation system with an optional air-conditioning system were highly rated in terms of efficiency. The integrated placement of the major air conditioning systems within the engine compartment and at a price of only $395 (about half the cost as on other cars) was a decided selling factor. A noted automotive journalist Floyd Clymer rated the Hudson Hornet as the safest car built in the United States because of its single unit welded body, efficient and high quality braking system with added mechanical backup system, its roadability, general handling, and maneuverability, as well as its excellent acceleration and power in emergency situations from its 5 litre straight six engine. Production for the 1955 model year totaled 10,010 four-door sedans and 3,324 Hollywood two-door hardtops for a total production of 13,334 Hornets.

1955 Hudson Hornet

I could not move onto 1956 without adding the following link of how Walt Disney helped sell Hudson Hornets!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB_M9B17q8Y

or this one!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBcXUeBC8nI

For model year 1956, although the sales for all the Hudsons produced during 1955 was more than satisfactory, the Hornet was completely redesigned departing from the Nash features with the new design bringing with it more character such as its three paint combination and the use of the traditional Hudson tri-angle “V’ form in the interior and exterior starting with the unique grille, thus making the Hudson very distinctive. Despite the new design whether its shape or some other reason, the new style failed to attract the buyers as hoped, and sales decreased to only 8,152 models sold.

1956 Hudson Hornet

We now come to 1957, the model year Meccano selected for its Hudson Hornet.

In 1957, the Hudson name came only in a Hornet version in "Super" and "Custom" series, and available as a four-door sedan or a two-door "Hollywood" hardtop. For the second year the V-Line styling featured an enormous egg-crate grille, creases and chrome strips on the sides, and five tri-tone schemes for the Custom models. There was more ornamentation to the cars, including fender "finettes" atop the rounded rear quarter panels (small “fins”), as well as very unusual twin-fin trim on top of both front mudguards.

The price was reduced and the power was increased with a new 327 cu in (5.4 L) V8 that was rated at 255 hp (190 kW) with a four-barrel carburetor and dual exhausts. Despite all the carrots that were dangled, consumers appeared not to be very impressed as the model in both guises sold only a total of 4,108 units almost half the sales achieved in 1956 and yet the car was one of the safest and comfortable automobiles available. The writing was on the wall.

A recent consumer’s report unflatteringly referred to the 1955 to 1957 range of Hudson Hornets as “the "Hash," a derogatory and predictable result of the American Motors merger of Nash and Hudson. During those years many considered the Hornet as simply a re-skinned Nash, with these cars having been produced on the Kenosha, Wisconsin assembly lines instead of in Hudson's old Detroit factory.

Although the styling of the 1955-1957 Hudson Hornet was individual, in most eyes became progressively worse. The 1955 Hornet was the cleanest model of this trio, with a broad egg crate grille and distinctive two-toning. For 1956 there was "V-Line Styling" that attempted to put Hudson's traditional triangle logo shape in every nook and cranny. It was blindingly accented by tacky anodized aluminum embellishments. The last Hudsons appeared in 1957 were even more gaudy than before.”

It became obvious to the management of AMC that the Hudson Hornet was a product of buyer rejection despite the many features offered at a price less than other competitors. The decision was then made to terminate the model so production of the Hornet ended on June 25, 1957 barely seven months since it went on sale, at which time the Hudson marque was dropped and all of AMC's products took the Rambler name.

So in effect, and unfortunately for Meccano, by the time their 174 Hudson Hornet Sedan was released in August 1958, the names Hudson and Hornet had been consigned to the pages of history.

So when exactly did Meccano approach AMC with a view to using the Hornet for a new toy car and why did Meccano pursue with its production once it heard the Hornet was to be, or had been scrapped, especially considering the close ties that were formed with the Dinky 173 Nash Rambler?

Judging on the evidence available, such as the Drawing Office plans, it appears that Meccano was involved in preliminary discussions with Hudson towards the end of 1956 that resulted in plans being prepared by February 1957. With the decision to terminate production in June 1957, Meccano had obviously invested a lot of money into its design and the numerous drawings that were prepared or very much in progress, the manufacture of its mould, the preparation of the advertising material and so forth. It was also during this time frame when Meccano was creating a fleet of American cars with the AMC Rambler, whose design and production was well underway the first off the blocks with an anticipated release month of May 1958 and the Hornet in August 1958 (no doubt it and the Hudson from the same stable were linked), the Packard Clipper that was to be released the month after the Hudson, September 1958 with the Studebaker President (essentially a “Badge engineered” Packard Clipper!!) following in October, then November the Studebaker Golden Hawk, December the De Soto Fireflite, January Plymouth Plaza and finally the Dodge Royal in March 1959. So the schedule for the Hornet was pretty well locked in and there must have been a lot of teeth gnashing going on behind the scene at Binns Road. Besides, as no doubt management must have considered, for the average little boy and his Dad, most would never have seen a real Hudson Hornet and would never have known that the name and model was extinct by the time the Dinky Toy was released. Of course, little boys and their Dads in the United States and possibly Canada were probably well aware, but these two countries although very important as an export destination, did not represent Meccano’s main markets.

Growing up in Australia we did have the Hudson Commodore but I never saw a 1950s Hudson Hornet until many years later, so when I received mine for Christmas 1960 I was still none the wiser about the real car. I just loved that huge, grinning grille! So in fact, I personally am glad that Meccano stayed the course and in essence, continued the legacy of the Hudson Hornet; otherwise little boys from 1958, me in 1960 and until the model sold out would never have had the pleasure of owning a Dinky Hudson Hornet!

Here are some pictures of the real car that show a striking similarity of the colours selected by Meccano, although with both cars, the usual three colours were used whereas Meccano was limited to just two as the three masking process and painting processes would have involved more costs in addition to providing a nightmare for the ladies performing the masking/painting process. The interesting thing is some colour combinations had different styles, such as the photograph immediately below, with the more traditional arrangement with the car whose photograph follows.

THE MODELS AND BOXES

As mentioned in the Meccano Magazine, the 174 Hudson Hornet was released in two colour schemes, primrose yellow with grey roof and side flashes and ridged hubs in a lighter shade of grey, and its companion in “brilliant” red, with cream roof and side flashes and ridged hubs in stone. With both models, the grille and bumper bars are finished in aluminium and the tail lights highlighted in red for the primrose yellow and orange for the brilliant red.

During its production period of five years, the Hudson Hornets were packaged in three styles of boxes.  The first boxes were the usual yellow with DINKY TOYS in italic; a pictorial representation of both models on two of the minor large panels in the two colour schemes and on each major end flap for the boxes had the usual circle with both colours denoting the colours of the contents.

For the second box style at some unknown time, a slight change with the yellow pictorial end-flap box occurred, the background yellow being a lighter colour, and the main outer end flaps had “Hudson Hornet” surrounded by a red rectangle as shown with the following image. One can also see the white “halo” over the roof of the car to separate that colour from the colour of the box. This is absent in the first box style. This box type must have only been used for a relatively short period as I have seen very few of them in on-line auctions over the years. Just exactly when this style was used is in doubt, as of the four that have sold through Vectis, two had spun hubs and two ridged hubs, so it is possible the box was used just before the plain yellow and red boxes became the predominant style. Unfortunately, Vectis always photographed the model whether the red or yellow version with the box only showing the drawing of the red model. Consequently, I have no idea if the wording Hudson Hornet on the English only end flap was also encased with a rectangle.

From approximately mid-1960 to early 1961 ( a little later than other small models in the Dinky car range) the 174 Hudson Hornet found itself packaged in a red and yellow sided plain box, initially with the models shod with ridged hubs but later on, these were replaced with spun aluminium hubs.

The outer end-flap for this box style had a small circular sticker with a colour representation of the major colour scheme of the model, Primrose Yellow or Brilliant Red, as shown with the above image for the Primrose Yellow, however many boxes seemed to have missed out on receiving sticker.  The majority of models seen in this box style have spun aluminium hubs.

Here are two other 174 Hudson Hornets that have entered our house and become a part of my “family of Dinky Toys” each of which still had the application forms for the Meccano Dinky Toys Club folded inside.

The above arrived from an auction conducted by Greenslade Taylor Hunt in Taunton, Somerset, with the next one purchased from Vectis, primarily to bring back memories of what mine once looked like!  Interestingly, I have seen another 172 Hudson Hornet with the Dinky Toys Club application form tucked inside, so one wonders why other models have not been treated the same, or have I missed something? Incidentally with my Hudson, there was no application form included as far as I recall so Meccano were not interested in foreigners becoming members!

PAINT VARIATIONS

The only known variation with this model is a short production run in cerise and cream roof and side flash, the wheels having been changed to the spun aluminium type with the exception of one.  Over the last 10 years, seven boxed models in Cerise have gone through Vectis, of which three have been packaged in the traditional yellow pictorial end-flap box with the other four in a red and yellow sided plain box. 

It is possible this colour scheme had its origins during the dividing time of both box styles. The model below is one of the seven coming from Vectis in Cerise with stone hubs packaged in the traditional yellow pictorial box. It is possible the colour may have been a red that has faded to a resemble Cerise. The following image is that example so I will let the reader decide:

Included in the small number of models in Cerise, one is listed to be a darker Cerise than usual with this model being sold through Vectis in 2014 for an unbelievable ₤400.00! 

CASTING VARIATIONS

After carefully examining a number of 174 Hudson Hornet Sedans, the only casting changes occurred during 1960. My model that contains a quality inspection stamp of “350” which translates to the 3rd week of May 1960 contains evidence of a problem having developed with the front part of the near-side front fender just forward of the side flash. It shows with the other example I have with the problem just commencing. Apart from this, I have not found any purpose variations.

A model quality inspected in July 1958 – no sign of any defect to the left of the side flash

A model quality inspected in September 1958 sees the start of the problem

By May 1960 the extent of the problem is readily visible as shown with my own example with a similar problem. Also visible is the change in the sharpness of the chromed area below the fault.

PRICES IN UK AND AUSTRALIA

The UK retail price when the Hudson was released in August 1958 was 3/6 which decreased to 3/5 between July 1959 and December 1960. In January 1961 it reverted to 3/6 for the remainder of its existence. In Australia on the other hand, the Hudson sold initially for 6/- but was increased to 6/3 in January 1961, then increased again to 6/6 in January 1962. (My Hudson has 6/- written on the end flap.)

FACTORY DRAWINGS

It is of interest that three factory drawings have survived over the years.  As of this time, I have no idea where they are, but it would be great if the owner reads this Topic and shares with us the details contained in the drawings which may show any changes that took place before the model went into production and the dates these changes occurred.  These are the three surviving drawings.

20-2-57             Hudson Hornet                                    14856               assembly

12-2-57             Body Hudson Hornet                           14857

12-2-57             Base for Hudson Hornet                      14858

One can see from the above dates that work was well underway with the Hudson Hornet four months before production of the real car ended.

The Hudson Hornet was deleted from the Meccano inventory some time during the latter half of 1963. The Meccano Toys of Quality price list dated May 1963 includes the 174 Hudson Hornet. So too the UK 1963 Dinky Toys catalogue that was printed in July 1963 lists the Hornet as still being available. The catalogue issued specifically for the United States market, printed in May 1963, does not contain the 174 Hudson Hornet, as does a similar catalogue for the Canadian market printed much later in October 1963.

I conclude this exposé of the Dinky Toys 174 Hudson Hornet with a number of factory photographs of the real car that left a lasting impression on the faithful enthusiasts which continues to this day considering the number of preserved examples still existing in the United States. 

The rear “winglets” are noticeable in this view which Dinky copied exactly, so too the twin-fin trim on top of both front mudguards which readily identified the Hudson Hornet in the final year of its existence.

I leave the floor open to all who can add, correct or whatever to this Post!!

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20172405/1105/0045


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

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Bruce---Amother superb, well written and researched article, and I love the many photographs of the real car. A very interesting write up, and I have often wondered about Meccano's fascination with cars of the "independent" manufacturers: Nash, Hudson, Studebaker, and Packard. Particularly, during that 1957-1958 time frame when Meccano brought out versions of all of them, while they all were in their respective death throes. But I was always a fan of them, as well as the earlier Kaiser and Fraser cars; they were always just interesting to me! But for Meccano to ignore the very handsome and successful 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air and focus on these is puzzling. But no matter, this was a nicely done model, and you presented it very well!
Best regards, Terry


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Dinkinius
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 22:38

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Hello Terry!  Many thanks for your kind words.  I thoroughly enjoyed researching the Hudson story as I came to learn a lot of fascinating stuff.  I had always been intrigued with the Hudson Hornet, and when I became aware of the date when the last model rolled off the assembly line in Kenosha, Wisconsin and that Meccano's representation became available over a year later when the Hornet had been dead and buried I wanted to find out why Meccano continued with the model.  I still do not really know and can only presume it had something to do with the money the company had already spent on the project, and the timeline for all these new American sedans to be available on a monthly basis. There may have also been some limited financial support from AMC in the hope that the model would have improved sales of the real cars, with AMC not realising how long it takes for a toy to be produced. Unfortunately the real car died before the Dinky Toys model could provide any perceived assistance!

I too have always wondered why Meccano never selected the Chevrolet Bel-Air although Meccano did select other General Motors products, for some reason Chevrolet appears to have been off-limits both pre-war as well as post-war! But having the Commodore and Hornet beside each other graphically shows the advancement in automotive design a decade brings. One final thing, I really liked the 1947-48 Hudson Commodore - as there were a few of these going around in Armidale where I lived even though the design was dated and only lasted two years. 

Many thanks again for your kind and appreciated words though.

Kind regards

Bruce H   (150)

20172405/1106/1445

 


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Joined: Wed, 08/05/2015 - 03:07

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Hello Bruce,

Thank you very much for your excellent article on the Hudson Hornet. It was a real pleasure to read it and see all the photo's. It places the model right into the time era it was produced. Wonderful!

Kind regards,

Rob 

PS I included a photo of a cerise and two red Hudsons.  

 


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Dinkinius
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Joined: Mon, 07/06/2015 - 22:38

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Rob - In a word, WOW!  You have one of those little rare beasties, the 174 Hudson Hornet in Cerise!!! Congratulations! At least if another one comes up at Vectis I can be assured I will not have to worry about you being a competitor!! Just all those other collectors out there!

I do have one question though, the red Hornet on the left appears to be a lighter colour than the one on the far right.  Is this correct, or just a question of the light?

Finally, thank you for your kind words about my story on the Hornet. I have been working on it on and off for some time, but I am sure there are details that others can add to it in time.  I really liked the American series Meccano issued in 1958 to 1959, although as Terry has said, I do not really understand why Meccano selected smaller or less- known manufacturers while ignoring the Big Three, although as collectors, I like these obscure models, the Hudsons, Studebakers and Packards.

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20172505/1110/2143


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Joined: Wed, 08/05/2015 - 03:07

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Hi Bruce,

The two red Hornets are the same colour.Just the light in the photo makes them look different. I found the cerise Hornet at Sandown Park Toy Fair a couple of years ago. Actually there were two cerise Hornets for sale that day. One had an asking price of  GBP 450 and the other one I could buy for GBP 120,-. The latter was sold by a collector who was selling his collection. A lot was sold before I came at his stall, but I found the cerise Hornet in the back of one of the boxes he used as display.It was clearly overlooked by the traders and collectors who bought before I came. The model and box are very nice so I was lucky (and happy!!)

Kind regards,

Rob.  


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Bruce-Here is a picture of my 174 Hudson Hornet with left side to front fender. I don't see any imperfection. I think my Hornet is one of the first issues and has also the first type box. Mine has a so called mottled base. Do all your examples also have a mottled  base or are there differences? I have only one example.

Kind regards,

29-5-2017 Jan Oldenhuis


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Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

 

Hello Jan O,

Here are pictures of all the base plates for the three Hudson Hornets at my address, with my model coming up last. 

All appear to have the same type of mottled base plate. I was surprised to see that mine, a late issue just before the onset of spun hubs, still had the same type of base plate as one issued two years earlier. Perhaps Meccano utilised a pre-oreder system when a model is slotted for manufacture, an estimate of initial numbers to be made is prepared, and the total estimate for those items not subject to die-casting such as plastic components – seats, window glazing, steering wheels – and base plates are then manufactured either from within the company such as the base plates, or external suppliers for the plastic components and these are stored until required.

This last base plate is of a Hudson Hornet with spun hubs, currently on eBay. I cannot quite tell if it also has a mottled base plate, but I think it is a glossy black without the mottled effect.

The following spun hub version definitely has a glossy black base plate which confirms that this style of base plate had its origins with the models issued with spun aluminium hubs.

Turning our attention to that area of the front near-side mudguard, and it seems as if later issues, those with spun hubs, do not suffer from the excessive metal spill as was the case with my earlier with grey ridged hubs, and the other similar yellow model.  Please excuse the quality of the models in one case and image in both instances.

I cannot see my example having been issued any later than the quality inspection stamp, 350, 3rd week, 5th month, 1960, unless I am reading it incorrectly which is possible although one end flap has the Australian price of 6/- written on it. This price was applicable from the date it became available in Australia in August 1958 through to December 1960. The Hornet’s price increased to 6/3 in January 1961 which increased progressively from that date on, and as I received the model for Christmas 1960 the date it was inspected should be correct.

So, what of the possible problem as displayed with my Hornet? It is more than likely that whatever caused this glitch to arise was excellently repaired at the time the spun hubs came into existence; for now at least, until a spun hub example can be found bearing identical metal runs on the front near-side mudguard!

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20170106/1115/0157

Larger images of some of the above pictures: my Hornet late grey ridged hub version with mottled base plate, glossy black base plate of the late issue with spun hubs, and the two images of spun hub examples with no metal run forward of the grey side-stripe.


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Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 16:47

Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Hi Bruce-I was totally not aware from the control stamp on the inside of the end flap of this box. I never took full attention on the inside of the end flap of the boxes. I'll take a closer look now.

Was this the habit with the British boxes? My 173 Nash Rambler for example with price 3/6 with pencil on the outside of the end flap has no control stamp on the inside of the end flaps of this box.

I add a photo of the control stamp on my 174 box. Maybe you can explain this stamp?

31-5-2017 Kind regards,

Jan Oldenhuis


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Dinkinius
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Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Greetings from Oz, Jan

At one stage, Meccano changed the methodology of the quality inspection stamp from alpha-numeral to all numeral on three lines while continuing the earlier method at the same time. With the stamp on the inner flap of your 174 Hudson, it is the bottom row of numbers that denote the time frame but unfortunately, I am unable to decipher it. If you are able to play around with the colour tone, or perhaps take a photo under ultra-violet light, the numerals may become clearer. I have absolutely no idea what the other numbers indicate, unless one of the rows is the last three digits of the employee's employment number. I have only deciphered the bottom row by checking the price against prices written on the box and what the box contained. In 90% of these, the "conclusion" matches a time frame.

In the case of my Hudson, I have spelt out my conclusion in my previous Post, as that matches its price of six shillings in Australia. On bringing out my model and checking the stamp, it could not have been March 1950 (350), so, knowing when I received the model, Christmas 1960, I came to the conclusion that the model had to have been made within a reasonable time frame of Christmas 1960, so the 5 must denote May, as shipping to Australia averaged in those days 3 months. (I know my Eagle comics were always at least three months behind when my father brought home the "latest" copy!) So, May, plus say a month sitting in the Meccano warehouse, then three months shipping to Australia = September, despatch from the distribution company in Sydney E G Page may have taken a month, so that is October or even November, giving it plenty of time for my father to have seen it on display in the main retail shop in Armidale, FJ Pigeon and Son, a newsagent, bought it, and then hidden it in time for Christmas! At least my conclusion for those numbers is logical for my Hudson Hornet!

The zero would be the last number for the year,

As for the first number "3", I have not seen any first numerals above "4", so it could not have been the day of the month, otherwise there would have to be four numerals. As I have only seen, 1, 2, 3, and occasionally 4, this number may be considered the week of the next number which is the month number. It starts getting confusing with those months with two digits though! It is a terrible shame that the importance of these stamps was not recognised by earlier collectors who could interview those who worked in the factory. I did receive information from a lady years ago through a collector whom I have lost contact, but she was a little vague but knew of the letters and numbers as she referred to them and at the time I did not recognise the importance of the stamps either for that matter!

Incidentally, I created a new Topic on 5 June 2015, Boxes and Quality Inspection Stamps in the Technical forum section, and hopefully you will be able to add more information to that topic.  I have been gathering inspection stamp details for over a decade now, in the hope of determining exactly the time frames when each Dinky Supertoys has been on the assembly line, as well as the smaller Dinky Toys. In that time, I have barely scratched the surface as I am in need of more and more stamp details!!

Incidentally, an alpha-numeral stamp was used in the Hornby Dublo section of the factory, so it is fascinating comparing the both, thus giving one an idea of the production output from Binns Road at any given time! Especially the period from about 1948 to 1963.

Kind regards

Bruce H.   (150)

20170601/1116/1207


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Re : -174 Hudson Hornet Sedan (1958-63)

Bruce--  Sorry this is such a late addition to your very nice post on the Hudson Hornet, but I finally had a chance to examine closely my sole example, and then take a few photos.  First of all, I bought this new, in early 1960, from H. Hudson Dobson, and still have the invoice from them, so I am 100% sure of its provanence.  But I can only imagine that a purchase date from HHD does not equate very well to when it was actually produced.....it could easily be at least several months or a year from production to sale.

   So this one is a little different:  it has ridged wheels, not spun, has no casting flaw at the left front fender, but also has a smooth, black baseplate....not mottled.  So when was it made, and how does it fit into your timeline?  It has the cast, ridged wheels, not spun, but a smooth black baseplate...not mottled.  And no casting flaw.......it had to be made no later than late 1959, to allow for shipping, stocking, etc. for an early 1960 sale.................but that is right in the period of the casting flaw, of which there is not a hint...........interesting!!!

               Best regards,  Terry