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janwerner's picture
janwerner
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No, on the contrary, Terry, the dark green variant belongs to an early batch. You will never find it in an individual box: sold from trade boxes only.

The Bedford truck-trailer connecting part now:

Regards, Jan

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buzzer999
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Last year I finally tracked down an Opperman Motocart at a traction engine rally not far from where I live.

It was painted in a dark green colour and the owner assured me that the colour was absolutely as per the original. I wonder if Dinky changed it to a brighter colour to increase the sales the Motocart.

Dave

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Dave--
I would guess that you may be right on why Dinky changed to the lighter color....likely they thought it would attract more attention and sales. But I sure like that dark green version...looks great, and thanks Jan for pointing out that was an early version.

Terry

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Yes, generally speaking the 1940s and early 1950s colours are darker and 'duller', more satin than glossy finished, but at the same time much more realistic than the later 1950s 'gayer' colours. Wheels in a standard black or in matching - not contrasting - colours.
Understandably Meccano chose for the brighter, contrasting and glossy colours lateron, because in those days the toy market for these models had priority and was considerably bigger and more profitable than the collectors market.
Kind regards, Jan

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janwerner
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Hudson Commodore Sedan Down Under

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janwerner
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And this list of 15 November 1951 (detail) explains the difference:

Fred7A
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That list is very interesting. I wonder why they felt the need to change the lettering on so many base plates? I can see it makes them easier to read at a glance, but it's not as though the early ones are illegible, and I would have thought Meccano could have found something more useful to spend their time and money on.

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janwerner
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Hi Fred, this list happens to be mine but it is also shown in The GBofDT, on page 218. There is no further additional documentation so the reason remains obscure. 1951 was a very dull year for Meccano because of restrictions caused by the Korean War. Perhaps the designers had more time now to do a job like this. Besides that, in everyday practice we see designs being changed and we keep wondering why. It may have a marketing reason, to be up-to-date in style, not just for practical reasons but in order to keep up with style developments, appeal and promotion.

Another nice couple photography special:

Kind regards, Jan

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Jan--
Nice photo of the Estate wagon....that was always one of my favorites when I was a kid. Are there any color variations that you know of?

Terry

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Hi Terry, no, there are no major colour variations for the Estate Car. Just the cream hubs are more tan/beige on the majority of the earlier production models (and very late models have unpainted shiny metal hubs). The very first box shows the model with red panels (and the name 'Plymouth') but this was never done.
Kind regards, Jan

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Jan--
I searched and was able to find some images for the Estate Car, which in America is simply called a "station wagon". Since this was introduced in 1951, I thought it might be a 1950 model, but upon looking closely, it is apparent that it is based on the 1947-1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe. Many of the articles I found on the car said not too many were made, and these were amongst the last of the real wood bodied cars for Plymouth. I have included a couple of pictures below, and it appears that Dinky did quite a good job in modelling it...the front end is particularly accurate. The only area that is somewhat different is the rear side windows. Dinky shows them as very squared off and rectangular, while the real car had a gentle slope to the rear, making that rear side window slightly curved at the top rear. But all in all another very nice 1950's classic Dinky!

Terry

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janwerner
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Dear Jerry, you're right about the square, straight shape of the back of the Estate Car, which is not conform reality. In my opinion this has to do with the chosen diecasting technique. Apparently Meccano preferred to use two halve sides for the mould - with a seam in the middle top of the casting - for the more van-like models (with a box-like rear) and a more dome-like mould for the more bulbous models.
For such a way of casting apparently the back has to be rather square and straight, which demands the concession for the Estate Car to lack a nice rounded rear section.
I tried to photograph the two 'classes' of castings, but I hope the result is clear enough to explain:

Regards, Jan

Fred7A
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The Dinky Toys & Modelled Miniatures book mentions a second colour scheme on the Estate Car of grey and red, and this is repeated in the Great Book of Dinky (which also adds fawn and red!). The grey and red was also mentioned in an early Model Collector article as a rare recolour just before the end of production (if I remember correctly). I've never seen even a picture of either of these colour schemes, and looking at the comments here it would seem they don't actually exist?

Interesting to see the photos of the real car for comparison.

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janwerner
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Looking in my own catalogue and reviewing the article by Nigel Mynheer in Model Collector 156 of October 2001 there remains some confusion about the colour history of this model. In fact Nigel Mynheer, in his article 'Dinky's American dream', discusses the models in the Jean-Vital Remy-Meeus collection, also the Estate Car, and there is no other variant in his collection offered for auction than the ones I mentioned. Besides, Nigel Mynheer, who is very expert, states that he has never seen one with red panels. On the other hand I have a note in my own Dinky catalogue that a long-time collector friend of mine once owned no less than 12 Estate Cars with variations in wheels, base plates, shades of tan and even a cream one with red panels which (mind you:) he sold to Jean-Vital for 1000 guilders, a huge amount some 20 years ago. But apparently this model was not present in the Remi auction in September 2001. My friend is very precise in the authenticity of Dinky models, and so is his memory. This is all I can add at this moment, but some pictures:

On the top of this box: "The model in this box may be finished in colours that differ from the illustrations".

The early box with red panels an the name: (Plymouth).

The early box reviewed: only one side with red panels, the other brown, and a brown colour dot.

I hope others can comment, correct or share their views and experiences!

Kind regards, Jan

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Jan--
A belated thanks for posting that great overhead photo showing the 2 types of casting techniques that Meccano apparently used...that is very easy to see from that vantage point.

Terry

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Jan--
Great followup on the Estate Car. I also have that early box, with the red panels shown on one side.....a very interesting model in how they handled the coloring of it. Do many or any other boxes have that legend on them stating the actual color may vary, or was that unique to this model? My boxes are all put away,, or I would look through them............
Would be great to see a photo of the cream one with red panels, if it ever surfaces that is!

Terry

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Hi Terry

I have a number of boxes (up in the loft) which contain that statement.

I guess it is a kind of get out clause.

Dave

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With regards to the Estate Car Ramseys state a version in grey and a version with red panels, I have never seen any like this.

There are cream and plated hubs versions and I thought that was about it.

Here is a nice little trio of Dinky Jaguars.

Dave

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Dave--
Nice trio of Jags for sure. When I was growing up, my dad bought a brand new 2.4 litre Jaguar sedan in 1956. It was powder blue with dark blue leather interior, and of course, lots of wood trim inside. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for Jaguars ever since then, and Dinky made some nice models over the years. I am still somewhat surprised they did not produce a C-Type...it won at Le Mans in 1951 and 1953 and you would have thought that would have been automatic. I was and still am very disappointed with their D-Type effort. To me, it was a clumsy model and not very well done for such a famous British racing car. And then they chose to make it in a color that I have never seen in a D-Type before...how pretty it would have been in BRG!
Thanks again for posting!

Terry

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Richard
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Terry.
I agree with you ! I don't know where Meccano found that colour !
Jaguar is my favorite car ! I have myself an S Type.
On the photo here under, the dark green Jaguar is a Crescent Toy.
Since this photo, a blue plastic hubs Jaguar D type with yellow driver increased my collection.
Richard

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Richard
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dinkyfan
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Richard-
Many years ago, I also had one of the Crescent D-Types, and I always thought it was a very nice one...and the right color too!
Here are a couple of photos of larger scale Jaguars that I have, in this case AutoArt....hope I don't get in trouble for posting something other than Dinky, but just for you........
Terry

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In my opinion Meccano was always necessarily a bit ambivalent in their attitude towards the real world and the toy world, a difficult choice indeed.
Have a look at those painstakingly made mock-ups and design drawings on accurate scales, made by professional designers, drawers and engineers on the one hand, and the proudness of their 'gay colour schemes' for the toys on the other hand.
As models of the real world cars most of them were reflected very accurately - that is, if that was economically feasible. As toys, however, Meccano could not afford to have six red racers - so stopped at the number of two - or more than three models in British racing green. The Connaught and Jaguar got other shades of green because of that. Unrealistic, but nice as toys. The green Cooper-Bristol even got red wheels lateron in order to have a less 'dull' appearance. The green itself was also made a little brighter.

Kind regards, Jan

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I agree totally Jan. Apart from the vehicles with advertising such as the Heinz, Slumberland, OXO etc etc., the colour schemes were totally a commercial decision.

You would never see colours like this on trucks in the roads of Britain when I was growing up in the 1950s, but boy did they look absolutely fabulous in the toy shop window.

The colours were a magnet to small boys and kept the till ringing and it wasn't just Dinky but Corgi, Crescent, Matchbox and the other manufacturers were doing exactly the same thing.

Dave

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Jan and Dave--
Of course you are both correct, and the rest of us should stop carping about incorrect colors on Dinky's. Meccano usually showed pretty good judgement on selecting the colors they did and you are right, those were commercial decisions, based on window appeal. The other blatant example of that was the streamlined Mercedes racing car made in white....those cars were always silver, but with the plethora of post war silver racing cars, Meccano likely wanted something new and different, and not silver.
My only point with the D-Type particularly, was it was without question the most famous racing car that England produced in the 1950's and it absolutely dominated Le Mans for several years. I also still think that Mecanno did a relatively poor job with the casting; to me it is an awkward looking car and shows little of the real beauty of the prototype....especially the front fenders and the sides of the model. But the D-Type has complicated curves and lines and would not be easy to do.
But none of this really matters...I am sure that the D-Type was a resounding sales success for Mecanno!!

Terry

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In fact Dinky Toys were that influential and iconic for many, that - at least for me that counts - without ever seen the prototype, one sometimes had the idea that the Dinky was right and the possibly deviating real world prototype was wrong, at the moment is was uncovered at last!
Regards, Jan

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buzzer999
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Something amazing has happened!!!!! I put my grey 40j Somerset on a course of steroids and look what happened:

Imagine how big my Tank Transporter will be if do the same to him.

Dave

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janwerner
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I think you should try this photographic experiment with your Austin Champ, Dave. It's just another logical step!
Regards, Jan

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The real thing at the Rutland Railway Museum near to where I live and the superb Dinky Supertoys 965 Euclid Dump Truck.

As can clearly be seen the Dinky Toy is very faithful to the real thing as regards the tipping mechanism!!

You should see the muscles on the guys that operate the tipping mechanism on the big truck!!

Dave

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dinkyfan
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Dave--
Just amazing...even though the real one has some "slight" wear going on with it, the tipping handle almost looks new, and just like the Dinky one!! Wonder of wonders, and I can imagine it taking several stout men to turn it.............these are great and so creative....keep them coming!!

Terry

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