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Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

-258 De Soto Fireflite USA Police Car (1960-61)

Browsing the internet for this model I noticed a difference in the baseplates of the 258 U.S.A. Police Cars.

There are 4 different 258 USA police cars:

1a*) De Soto Fireflite with 258 box (1960-61) - casting as 192

1b*) 258 De Soto Fireflite baseplate without sales number – with engraved patent numbers (1960-61) - casting as 192

2a*) Dodge Royal Sedan with 258 box (1961-62) - casting as 191

2b*) 258 Dodge Royal Sedan baseplate without sales number number – without engraved patent numbers (1961-62) - casting as 191. See note at the end.

3a*) Ford Fairlane with box 258 (1962-66) - casting as 149.

3b*) 258 Ford Fairlane baseplate without sales number – with engraved patent numbers (1962-66) - casting as 149.

4a*) Cadillac 62 with box 258 (1966-68) - casting as 147

4b*) 258 Cadillac 62 baseplate without sales number – with engraved patent numbers (1966-68) - casting as 147

5a*) Box 258 U.S.A. Police Car with De Soto Fireflite pictured on both sides of the box

5b*) One universal yellow 258 picture box for all 4 USA police cars with De Soto Fireflite pictured on both sides of the box.

6a*) 258 yellow USA export see through box with Ford Fairlane

6b*) 258 yellow USA export see through box.

Note: All 4 police cars has 4-wheel suspension and on 3 of it are the patent numbers engraved in the baseplate, but not on the baseplate of the Dodge Royal Sedan. In my research of many 258 Dodge RoyaI Sedan U.S.A. Police Cars I only found Dodge Royal Sedans with 4-wheel suspension, with no sales number and with no patent numbers engraved in the baseplate. I don't think there are any 258 Dodge Royal Sedans with patent numbers in the baseplate. 

I myself recently bought a 191 Dodge Royal Sedan in the color cream with light blue flash about which I will contribute later on. This model with this color is the last edition and was only issued for a short time. This edition is very scarce and is the only 191 to have a base plate without sales number and with 4-wheel suspension, but just like the 258 also without patent numbers in the base plate. Proof that no patent numbers were ever engraved by Meccano Liverpool in the 258 Dodge Royal Sedan and 191's with 4-wheel suspension base plate and that's very strange, because all my other DT cars with 4-wheel suspension have the patent numbers engraved in the baseplate.

At photo 3b and 4b the patent numbers are engraved on the side of the baseplate and at photo 1b on the back of the baseplate. 2b has no patent numbers engraved on the back of the baseplate, while the baseplate is almost identical in shape to 1b.

So why no patent numbers engraved on the Dodge Royal Sedan base plate with 4-wheel suspension and on all the other ones with 4-wheel suspension yes? Is it because there maybe not enough room for it or an other reason? I think we will never know.

I found only one universal 258 yellow end flap picture box for all 4 USA police cars with a picture of the De Soto Fireflite on both sides of the box and one yellow 258 USA export see through box.

Jan Oldenhuis 22 January 2022

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

Thanks for all this, Jan.

The Ford Fairane police car was also packed in the short-lived first type export box, gold in color. Hard to find now, but a picture can be seen in the Lines Brothers advertising touting their display-dispenser. Also, I remember giving one to a friend for his birthday, circa 1964, that was packed thusly.

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK

Apart from retaining the same box art for four different vehicles, I found it rather odd that stickers were never applied to these boxes to identify which car was actually inside - I remember annoying a shop assistant by asking her to open the boxes to find a Dodge. After opening about six boxes she did find the one I wanted, the rest were Desoto and Ford - the Cadillac hadn't yet been released at that time. Strange also that fingertip steering wasn't noted along with the other features on the Ford and Cadillac boxes, the longest-lasting pair.

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johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

Agreed about these oddities -- also I find it strange that the De Soto and Dodge were both pretty short-lived. The Fairlane was then inappropriate given that only a tiny minority of U.S. departments used two-door cars. And the Cadillac hardtop is utterly ridiculous.

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK

....so ridiculous that both were also released as RCMP versions.

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I know of a DInky collector in Canada who is a retired RCMP patrolman -- and naturally, loves those models. He has pointed out another oddity, which is that at the time the Dinky Toys came out, the RCMP cars were actually painted black and white, not blue and white. They changed to blue and white later, so Meccano Ltd. obviously had a crystal ball in this case!

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Ford Fordor RCMP car in black and white (with center window style in front window), but not performed by Meccano Liverpool in Dinky Toys 139a.

RCMP with 1949 Ford Fordor (with center window style in front window) in black and white

My 1949 Dinky Toys 139a Ford Fordor Sedan without center window style in front window.

A look at the history of RCMP vehicles is to be find in the following link: https://www.sasktoday.ca/north/local-news/a-look-at-the-history-of-rcmp-...

Jan Oldenhuis