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