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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

-514 Guy Van 'Lyons' (1951-52)

Browsing in some older Model Collector volumes, I found the picture below in the February 1994 issue (page 50). I may have seen this particular example in some earlier volume already (preceding an auction?), but I’m not certain about that. The b/w picture is obviously from the old days, when the use of colour was an exception rather than customary in Model Collector and many other magazines.

The picture, as shown above, was used as an illustration accompanying a rather all-day question about this no. 514 Guy Lyons Swiss Rolls model, but nothing is mentioned about the utmost remarkable characteristic, the hubs, which are grooved instead of the regular early ridged Dinky Toys hubs, see picture below.

In the mean time we know that the same early Slumberland van is found with grooved hubs very incidentally, but this Lyons one was thought to be available only with the early hubs, and this late version isn’t recorded anywhere else. It would mean that this van was available for a longer period than presumed before. Or: is it just a replica, finished with the wrong hubs?

Can anyone shed a light on this?

Kind regards, Jan Werner

sjmcm1982
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If you compare & contrast the decals / silver trim the one below looks totally different to the one above. I would be inclined to say that the one in the Model Collector is a restored model rather than the real thing.

Kind regards, Stfan

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

Stfan--Here is a good, recent closeup taken of my original Lyons, so you can clearly see the colors of the transfers and lettering. One of my favorite Guy vans..........

Terry

sjmcm1982
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Hello Terry

That is a very nice original example, thanks for sharing.

After a bit more careful research I am quite certain that the decals shown on the black & white toy are the reproductions that were available in the UK via Steve Flowers in the 80s & 90s. If you look carefully you can clearly see that they have subtle differences which identify them as being a copy, for example look at the size of the door logo & the size of the full stops in 'CADBY HALL . LONDON. W.14.'. Not mentioning the variations in font sizes which do not correlate with any original one I have seen photographed.

Also (as mentioned in my previous post) the silver trim on the front headlights passes outside the central lens, I have never seen any original Guy like that.

Kind regards, Stfan

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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I am also of the opinion it is a repaint.

I have just gone through the previous auctions at Vectis and since 1999 they have sold 90 of the 514 Guy Lyons vans and every single one has had blue ridged wheel hubs.

Dave

sjmcm1982
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Hello Dave,

I am new to this forum so don’t wish to sound confrontational. I see that you are in agreement that it's a repainted toy.

But I must respectfully disagree with the fact that Vectis not having one as being an ‘acid test’ for this type of variation, how many times has an undiscovered variation appeared for sale that hasn’t appeared at Vectis or any reference book list.

Not such an extreme example would be the 282 Duple Roadmaster in export green / cream with green hubs & packaged in a non standard green spotted bright yellow box. I found one in the mid 00’s in the USA & till this day I have not seen another (See DTCA 2008 Vol 6 Ed 3 PG2).

I think that the important observation here would be the inconsistency in the decals + trim comparing to known authentic examples. This to me is waving the red flag.

Kind regards, Stfan

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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I understand totally what you are saying Stfan. I was adding some weight to the argument and over the years most things Dinky have at some time passed through Vectis.

The major exception must be the Austin Omnisport van and another one of those has recently surfaced and was auctioned today (6th Nov 2013) I will try to get the result of that as soon as possible.

Vectis is a useful yardstick of availability.

Keep the arguments coming Stfan that's what makes forums healthy

Dave

sjmcm1982
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Hello Dave, thanks for taking my post in the spirit that it was written, I am not one of those that blindly points out “fake or real” without at least some supporting well thought out response backed up by facts.

I am also rather curious to know what the Omnisport van went for, I never understood what the fuss was about regarding these.

Stfan

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Thanks for uncovering the fake, Stfan! I hadn't noticed, although I should have, of course. I really could not explain these grooved hubs, but now this mystery is solved. Apparently it took almost 4 years for someone to answer my question. So many questions I put on this forum in all these years keep pending ...
Best regards, Jan

starni999
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DTCA MemberUK

Bit of a result really, another Dinky off my wants list without a penny spent. :laugh:
Chris Warr.

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

   It appears that in spite of the above conversation, no one has posted extensively about the Guy Lyons Van, which is a pity, as I think it is somewhat "lost" between the original and striking "Slumberland" van and the later and famously expensive "Weetabix" van.  The dates it was made seem to differ a bit depending on what you read or believe, but for myself, I am saying introduced in 1951 and made only through sometime in 1952.  All versions I have seen have the original ridged style wheels and also the straight, not formed, rear handles.  Please correct me on this if anyone knows otherwise.  Due to its limited production life, these are now very difficult to find in any condition, and many are quite battle scarred and in only fair to poor shape.

    To me, that is a shame, as I think it is one of the most attractive commercial vans that Dinky ever made; it is painted a lustrous shade of dark blue, with decals that rival the "Slumberland" van for their intricate design and amazingly
well done execution.  The overall effect is a very handsome model that I really enjoy having.  I bought mine many years ago, after deciding that my collection was sadly lacking in many areas, so I made an effort to acquire all of the Guy Vans.  Mine is certainly not mint, but I would have to say it is still "excellent", with a few small scratches here and there, and fortunately, it also came with an excellent box, worth a considerable sum on its own.

      Best regards,  Terry

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Terry

Now the above is what I call an excellent model and box! Top marks, and the slight blemishes are insignificant. I have always liked the Lyons Van and I think it has been very much under-rated in recent years.

I notice though the model did not make an appearance in those excellent images you sent of model and quality inspection stamp. Is this correct? Hopefully you missed seeing the stamp as it will in all probability be on the blue exterior of the lower half of the box.  I hope it is still visible!

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20160413/888/1244

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

Bruce----Thanks......I did not list it on the info I sent you on stamps because I did not see one. There is a price marked in pencil on one end of the box, and it is 6/10......does that help? I re-looked at the box, and can very faintly see what might be remains of a stamp. This is on side of the box top, about half way down. I have found taking a closeup photo, with good light, and then running it through Photoshop with autocorrection can sometimes enhance the printing.....I will try that tomorrow.
Best regards, Terry

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Hello Terry

That is a surprising location to find the stamp.  Are you sure there is nothing on the base?  But as you said, Photoshop can often bring up the poorest of images. My own software can enhance stamp details, although it does tend to make the photo look very strange!

I already saw the price of 6/10 on the image above, and if you can come up with an inspection stamp it may very well change the course of history! Or actually the introduction date for the Lyons Van.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20160413/891/1528

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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DTCA MemberUSA

Bruce----I got up early this morning and took photos of all sides of the Lyons box, both the top and lower boxes. After enhancing I can say that I do not see any form of a date or other stamp....nothing. Attached is a photo again of the end, showing the pricing, which I assume was done when the model was first offered for sale. I am anxious to hear what that price level means as to a date; am assuming it might be earlier than we thought?
Best regards, Terry

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Hello Terry

Yes, I saw you up and onto dtcawebsite.com at 6.00am! Afraid the 6/10 is what I already knew, so it is a pity that no other markings can be detected.

However, Meccano was quite sneaky in that all the price lists for 1951 and 1952 refer to the  514 simply as "Guy Van". With that the price of 6/10 was only current between June 1951 and December 1951.  June 1951 as per a price list with the print reference of 16/651/75 and the price was increased to 7/9 as per Meccano World Famous Toys catalogue with a print reference of 16/152/50.

With this, it can be stated that the Lyons Van was available in 1951, perhaps in time for Christmas. This then confirms what the Richardsons had stated, 1951 - 1952 and Cecil Gibson in his HISTORY OF BRITISH DINKY TOYS stating the Lyons Van was introduced in November 1951. So the title of this topic will have to be corrected!

Attached is the first advertisement for the new Lyons Van that appeared in the November 1951 issue of Meccano Magazine.

Kind regards

Bruce   (150)

20160414/893/0308

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Bruce-----Most interesting about those dates, particularly after I had checked the relevant Dinky Toys catalogs. All the 1951 catalogs show the Guy Slumberland Van, and then the May 1952 British catalog does as well. By the October 1952 catalog, they are then showing the Weetabix version, as are some of the other 1952 catalogs. Nowhere did a see an actual catalog image or listing for the Guy Lyons Van.....apparently, it only appeared in the Meccano Magazine. Which begs the question, why was it not promoted more, and why was it made only a very short time? Was there a falling out between Meccano and Lyons? According to all this, it was actually in production for barely a year, although I am sure there was likely some overlap with the later Weetabix, which also was not made for very long. Does anyone else know more history about this?
Best regards, Terry

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Terry, I have never found any archival references to contacts/contracts of Meccano with sponsors of the advertising on Dinky Toys. May be others can tell more about that. The only indirect reference that comes up with me is to be found in The Binns Road Gazette 1/3 of May 1999. There, Keith Harvie discusses the relation between Meccano and the McLean Trucking Company and some correspondence about it continuing the subsidy in 1964 and 1965. Kind regards, Jan   

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Jan---Thanks for commenting. Don't you also find it a bit strange to bring out a new model, never put it in the proper catalog, then make it for only a little over a year. Since mine dates to later 1951, you would assume it would be in the May 1952 catalog.....but no, the Slumberland is there, then by October it is the Weetabix. Makes me wonder if somehow late in 1951 or early 1952, something happened whereby Meccano already knew it was going to be a short release, so they with held it, then replaced it with the Weetabix later in 1952. By now, I am sure it will remain another Meccano/Dinky mystery with no real answer.....but always fun to speculate! I thought maybe Jacque might comment, but have not seen him here lately.
Best regards, Terry

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Perhaps a part of the explanation is to be found in the fact that the first quartet of Guy vans share the same 514 reference number, which might cover many more advertising variations ... until Meccano thought it would be wise to consider them as individual items and not variations of one item. The first one, 'Slumberland' is not advertised as such but as 'Guy Van'. If such a short-lived variation as the 'Lyons' had the bad luck to be 'overruled' in the catalogues by a newer variation it was never published in the catalogue at all, whereas the 'general van' was always correctly advertised. In the same way always only one van was advertised in the catalogue at the same time, without mentioning that mostly two more were available in this early period, which is evidenced by two different hub designs on both the 'Slumberland' and the 'Weetabix'. So: pure bad luck for the 'Lyons', even though many consider that one as the most attractive of all. Kind regards, Jan   

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dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Jan

The most interesting document about the sponsors can be found on TMT @

http://www.talkmodeltoys.com/discus/messages/27668/2435.html?1096106657

The 115 UB taxi was certainly made on order from United Biscuits.

Although it was illustrated in the Dinky catalog n° 14 of 1978, this model was not distributed by Meccano. It could be obtained from United Biscuits ex Crawfords against four token wrappers from their new "Taxi" biscuits and a small amount of money. It was provided in a plain white box. Note the wheels fitted the wrong way around.

The reason for this model may be that the United Biscuits factory (ex. Crawford's) was just down Binns Road and the person who at this time was the marketing manager at Meccano Ltd. had been hired from United Biscuits.

There is other evidence, the OXO van was deleted when Brook Bond bought OXO. This was probably at the request of the new owner.

The advertisers may have paid Meccano for a limited quantity of models to be made with their name on. This could explain the short life span of some of the Guy vans.

The French Dinky Mercedes 230 SL ref. 516 was issued with the marking Mercedes 230SL on the base plate. Mercedes ordered Meccano to change this marking to MERCEDES-BENZ 230 SL

Was the export issue of the Kodak Panhard articulated lorry made at the request of Eastman Kodak or by Henry Hudson Dobson ?

There are certainly other examples but no evidence. I think that in the early times of Hornby trains and Dinky Toys, companies paid Meccano to have their names on the Hornby trucks and Dinky Toys vans.

This is out of subject but can be worse a special thread.