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-944 Shell-BP Fuel Tanker (1963-69) (cont...)

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Taken from the July-August-September 1963 Meccano Trade Bulletin that was sent out to all Meccano dealers in June, is the first advertisement for the 944 Shell BP Fuel Tanker. A sample of this model, together with Order Forms also accompanied the Bulletin.

It is to be noted the wording in the description:

"Well proportioned and finely detailed, it is immaculate in the new B.P. yellow, white and grey livery"

but what of the Shell brand? Here in Australia, Shell and BP were two separate companies, with BP (British Petroleum) being originally called "C.O.R." or Commonwealth Oil Refineries". The trade colours for BP was green and white with Shell in red and yellow.

Anyway, the advertisement again reinforces the fact that the 944 was always referred to as Shell BP Fuel Tanker with the words "Leyland Octopus" never being included unlike the 943 that was always referred to as Leyland Octopus Tanker "Esso". I have asked this question before, and there have been several answers, but why was the 944 treated differently? There must be a plausible explanation.

It is amazing how the correct title of the 944 Shell BP Fuel Tanker can be changed in recent years.

Bruce (150)

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Hello Bruce,

My experience in several design offices is that there is no logic in naming a new object, new type or new model.

This is often done during a meeting while the new item is discussed. The first guy who talks about it wil use a name which will be repeated and may be become distorted and or shortened during the meeting. This is the name that will be used later in any document, memo etc... about this item. No formal discussion has taken place about this name and no logic has applied except that it is the most simple way to name the item.

Of course the boss may impose his own name just to show that he is the boss.

Shell-Mex and BP Ltd was a British joint marketing venture between petroleum companies Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) and British Petroleum (BP). It was formed in 1932 when both companies decided to merge their United Kingdom marketing operations,(1) partly in response to the difficult economic conditions of the times.

The parent organisations de-merged their United Kingdom marketing operations in 1976.

Does this answers your questions ?

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Jacques

In reply to your answers, yes/no and yes.

Yes/no for your first answer. I was not querying WHY Meccano called the 944 Shell-BP Fuel Tanker, although I am wondering why Leyland Octopus was not included as it was for the 943 and I feel it goes far deeper than what you have stated, and may extend to the design of the tank itself, as I indicated in one of my previous posts.

My question extends to what 944 is referred to in this day and age when we seem to include two words that are not included on the box, catalogues, price lists, Meccano Magazine, Order Forms, Dealer Bulletins and anything else that came out of the Meccano factory. Everyone who publishes anything should take a leaf out of Cecil Gibson's pioneering monumental work that lead the charge when he referred to the model as 944 "Shell BP" 4000 gallon tanker, although even he added a couple of words that Meccano never used when describing this product, "4000 gallon". Note: Cecil did not use the words "Leyland Octopus".

So, I can only hope that this model will always be referred to as the 944 SHELL BP FUEL TANKER. (Tell this to your favourite auction houses!!)

Finally, thank you for the explanations concerning Shell and BP. As far as I am aware in Australia these two companies were kept separate. During the 1930s, Australia had a multitude of petrol companies, including Plume, Vacuum, COR, Standard, and a whole host whose names I have forgotten. Somewhere in this house is a photograph my father took of the group of bowsers (petrol pumps for those who do not know!) in front of the garage where he worked. The garage was the agent for Dodge Brothers and other brands. The amusing thing is all these individual bowsers got their petrol from one tank. One week one company would fill it, the next another company and so on. At least it kept customers happy who favoured one brand over another!

Bruce (150)
#502

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

That's a cracker about the bowsers and the tank.

The number of independants in the UK has sadly diminished over the last few years as the big companies squeeze them out. However at one time a huge number of "Independant" companies could be seen with fully laden tankers coming out of the Shell/BP refineries in the UK!!!!!!!!

Dave

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Dave

Glad you liked the "bowsers and tank". Here is a picture of the garage with the multitude of pumps! Six single and one double.

And here is what the garage looked like - a solid brick building, or at least this is applicable to the building's facade, proudly promoting the products of Dodge Brothers!

As for the multitude of petrol retailers, the same thing has happened here - many Independent service stations and at one time, many players in the refining and sales of petrol and their related products have slowly decreased over the years. In Australia, we had Mobilgas (Mobil), Esso (once called Atlantic), Caltex (Texaco elsewhere), BP, Ampol, Amoco, Neptune, Matilda and Golden Fleece. Now there is just four major players in Queensland and one minor, BP, Matilda, Mobil (operating under the retail arm of 7-Eleven), Caltex (most service stations are owned or leased by Woolworths Supermarkets and Shell also leased by Coles Supermarkets.

Bruce (150)
#511

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

Jacques

Referring back to my previous messages I have recently sent you some more photos which you specifically requested and a further e-mail to ask if you had received them.

Just as what happened recently I have received no response whatsoever.

I do not like using this medium but your e-mail system IS JUST NOT WORKING or are you ignoring my messages????

WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOUR SYSTEM????? Everyone else replies when I send them messages.

I am sorry but I cannot continue to use this forum to try to get you to respond to messages.

I am utterly fed up of totally wasting my time an effort.

David

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Coming back from two days away in Paris, I am very sorry to find a very rude post from an equaly unpolite person who praises courtesy but does not have any.

If he had, he would have asked me if I had received his pictures by private email and not deliberately on a public forum. He would also have thought that I may have not looked at the internet for a while.

This post and his recent hypocritical behaviour towards me is unbearable, I ask the author to delete his post and as he wrote this on a public forum, I ask for his public apologies.

About the Chinese Dinky, I only describe the models as I would do it for an original Dinky Toys, all the evidence exist for my descriptions which can not be considered libelous.

Mattel can only be concerned by the fact that NOREV produces a high percentage of rubbish for Atlas, Atlas does not complain and accepts more poor models. Mattel could complain and witdraw it's licence to Atlas for ruining the name DINKY TOYS but their part of the profit is probably such that they do not care.

I have just received this email from a good DTCA member friend, please give him the answer.

I am sorry to see such a shit-storm against you on the DTCA forum regarding the Atlas issue. Why are they so angry ?

Conclusion

Yes David I have received your pictures, thank you for them but bl...y h..l be polite and think a bit.

Jacques.

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

As I said in my earlier message it has nothing to do with putting the Atlas items on the site but the comments that go with them are not good.

Unfortunately the only way I could get a message to you was via this site as five e-mails went unanswered, none of them bounced back so they were delivered.

Dave

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Bruce,

There may be an other way to read your second post on page one of this thread :

Enter Meccano, and it is possible that the company was given the plans of the tank in view of the time frame between the unveiling of the experimental tank and the launch of the 944 in June 1963.

In fact Alfred Miles Ltd or was it Shell / BP who probably asked Meccano to make the model to promote their new tank at the time of issue. The original blue prints would have been provided to Meccano with the order as soon as the design of the tank had been completed. There is evidence that in several cases, the manufacturers asked Meccano to model their vehicle and even paid for the tooling. This was the case for the Michigan tractor dozer, Triumph and Renault cars, the Trojan Brooke Bond tea van, the liner France and certainly many others.

The first run probably delivered in March or April 1963 would be paid by Miles or Shell to be used as promotionnal models given to potential buyers of fuel tankers. Were these the rare models with black or red hubs ?

Meccano had already made two Miles fire engines : the ref. 259 and 276 in 1961 and 1962 so Miles and Meccano knew each other.

Jacques.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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Jacques

As I wrote many posts ago, Meccano gave the tank its prominence no doubt due to the assistance given to them by Alfred Miles and/or Shell-BP, more likely the former as the publicity received through the Dinky model could extend to orders from other fuel companies. It is for that reason the model was never referred to as a Leyland Octopus as emphasis was on the tank as shown with the side panel details on the box that also does not mention Leyland Octopus. I have mentioned this previously.

In regard to your theory that the red and black hub version could have been given out as promotional, if this was the case, then one would see a constant box style, with the lidded type being predominant. However on checking through Vectis sales, more black hub versions were packaged in an end-flap box than were in a yellow pictorial lidded box. It was also interesting to find a red hub version in a pictorial end-flap box as well as a gold window export box, the images below being courtesy of Vectis:

The above model with black hubs has the usual grey chassis. This box type (providing it has not been exchanged and is in fact the original) does provide a time frame when these hubs became available which in all probability was at the same time as the grey plastic hubs were being used. This then could indicate an early, or trial issue produced exclusively for either Alfred Miles or Shell-BP.

Then along came the red hub version, in its pictorial end-flap box together with a gold US Export window box. I doubt if this version with red hubs was produced for either Alfred Miles or Shell-BP, although in the Meccano world, and as the saying goes, "anything is possible".

Kind regards

Bruce (150)
#650
17 June 2015

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Again, on all photographs above I see the 'Shell-BP' stickers positioned exactly with their lower line above the yellow tank section, on the split line of both sections. Mine has them positioned lower - in my view correctly - using the top of the tiny yellow area (reflecting a part of the yellow colour of the lower section) in between the two crests as a mark to position it exactly there.

I can imagine that it was rather difficult and unpractical to stick them exactly there in the production process. Using the divide between the two sections is much easier as a mark and it avoids the split between the sections damaging of even almost breaking the stickers there.
Could this mean that those models with the lower and correctly positioned stickers are the older ones, before positioning instructions were adjusted?
I have no box with mine. Accompanying boxes and stamps may deny or confirm my 'theory' .
Kind regards, Jan

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Jan,

The drawing on the two boxes are different.

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

janwerner wrote:
"Again, on all photographs above I see the 'Shell-BP' stickers positioned exactly with their lower line above the yellow tank section, on the split line of both sections. Mine has them positioned lower - in my view correctly - using the top of the tiny yellow area (reflecting a part of the yellow colour of the lower section) in between the two crests as a mark to position it exactly there.

I can imagine that it was rather difficult and unpractical to stick them exactly there in the production process. Using the divide between the two sections is much easier as a mark and it avoids the split between the sections damaging of even almost breaking the stickers there.
Could this mean that those models with the lower and correctly positioned stickers are the older ones, before positioning instructions were adjusted?
I have no box with mine. Accompanying boxes and stamps may deny or confirm my 'theory' .
Kind regards, Jan"

Hello Jan

Amazing - I was only looking at the hubs - not the transfers and you are absolutely correct. Perhaps with later production runs, care with the actual positioning of the Shell-BP transfer was dispensed with for the sake of haste.

Here are some close-ups of my 944 Shell-BP Fuel Tanker and its box:

It is interesting seeing the drawing of the tank and how the Shell-BP advertising is positioned - no gap between the Shell and BP logos. The later pictorial end-flap box appears to correct this with a gap between both logos.

With the image below of my model, one can see the care taken to ensure the yellow portion of the transfer is in line with the yellow lower plastic half of the tank. More care - less haste = early production with the lidded box confirming this. It would be nice to learn if most lidded boxes also had similar care. (With the exception of the model in the lidded box in my earlier post with black hubs!)

Kind regards

Bruce (150)
#657
17 June 2015

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Mr Moderator

Please change the title for this Thread to:

944 SHELL-BP TANKER 1963-1969

I have given my reason for this correction in my first Post.  Previously this model has been referred to as 944 Leyland Octopus Tanker "Shell-BP" a title that Meccano never used.

The date should be changed to 1963-1969, with the model not being included in the June to December 1968 Agent Order Forms sufficient stock was no doubt held by dealers for it to be included in the 1969 catalogue. Whether its deletion date should be 1968 is therefore debatable.

Kind regards and Merry Christmas to you and all who read this Post on this day!

Bruce  (150)

25 December 2015

#727

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Dear Bruce,

 

Is'nt the title               "Shell-B.P." fuel tanker               or                 4,000 gallon "Shell-B.P." fuel tanker ?

Dinkinius's picture
Dinkinius
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AustraliaDTCA Member

Dear Jacques

It was only referred to as "4,000 GALLON SHELL-BP FUEL TANKER" in the advertisement on the back page of the July 1963 Meccano Magazine. Inside, Mr Toyman referred to it as "Shell-BP Tanker" and "Shell-BP Fuel Tanker", but in all subsequent price lists, leaflets, catalogues etc, the model is SHELL-BP FUEL TANKER, not forgetting what is written on the boxes.

So, its correct title is SHELL-BP FUEL TANKER.

Please note, the image after the picture of the box is not clear. Click on it to bring up the copy from the June 1968 Order Form as one example of Meccano's written reference to this model.

Kind regards and Merry Christmas (which it is still in Europe and North and South America and all points in-between.)

Bruce  (150)

#728

26 December 2015

 

 

buzzer999's picture
buzzer999
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DTCA MemberUK

I am sorry guys but the description which says it is a Leyland Octopus is correct because it is a Leyland Octopus.

Does it matter that Meccano called it a "4,000 GALLON SHELL-BP FUEL TANKER", we are talking about TOYS here, what is the fuss all about??????????

Or are we all totally pedantic??????

If so this forum is not fun anymore.

Comments please

Dave

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

The real-world 1950s predecessor. A challenge for code 3 builders? Kind regards, Jan 

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK

What a lively debate about 944 !

Perhaps, Jan, I should point out that the older-style tanker in your last photograph, identifiable by its distinctive hubs, is in fact an Albion Caledonian, one of several operated by Shell-BP and sharing the Leyland "mouth organ" -style cab ! .

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

You have unmasked my ignorance in this field, Kevin! Thanks for your correction. Still, a stunning photo, isn't it? Kind regards, Jan 

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK

It certainly is, and will be the subject of a repaint of an Atlas Esso tanker at some stage.

Kevin.

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Re Bruce's post # 15,the reason why Milton cast this chassis in two parts is certainly because their casting machines did not have the capacity for such a large model.

This may also be the reason why Meccano sub-contracted the casting of the Pullmore trailer whyc at the time was a much larger casting than any other Dinky Toys.

All the hubs are probably the same but many are fitted back to front. The girls on the line did not care and the management did not give them the proper instruction and what about the quality control ?

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

on the post #5 of 2014 nobody noticed that the picture from the Meccano Magazine shows the mock-up and not the actual Supertoys tanker.

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