I recently acquired several prototypes from the sad year of 1979, when Binns Road was trying to wring some profit from existing tooling in ways that were not particularly tasteful.
The production version of the Customised Chevrolet Corvette lost its opening bonnet and pop-up headlights. The prototype still has those original features, but its finish is rather drab. Although I did not even notice at first, it also has exaggerated fender flares to match its larger wheels.
The red version in the pictures is the version that was ultimately marketed.
Sad times indeed, the third-generation Corvette was not convincingly modelled , even in standard form by Dinky - Corgi did a far better job with theirs.
Early senility strikes, as I did not even remember that I had already started this thread -- and now it is a year already!
Perhaps, if I reactivate it, one of the experts on production (Vic, or Jacques) can comment on how the fenders had been enlarged for the prototype I own. The fender flares seem quite solid as though they are molded in rather than being added on with putty or some other material, but obviously this feature was not carried over for the issued model.
Speaking of which, I recently acquired another sample of the model, with box, from a UK seller, in blue metal-flake paint. Since the baseplate for the Corvette is screwed, it would not havve been hard for someone to strip the model, remove the stickers, and respray it. However, the paint seems quite professionally done, and since this is a low-value model, I question why anyone would have bothered.
Therefore I am choosing to believe this is a factory variant from these last desperate days of Binns Road. Of course that cannot be proven until and unless any other samples turn up. Until then, I certainly think it is more attractive than the standard one.
Thanks for showing us all your rare models.
About the Vette with enlarged fenders, I have no idea on how it was made. Perhaps the mould had been modifiedand what you have may be a pre-production model rather than a mock-up but what puzzles me are the opening headlights which should not be and the wheels which I have not seen on any other Dinky Toys model.
I hope that Vic will be able to answer your question and to solve this mystery.
The blue model is more like a colour sample but there is no way to know if it is a code 1 or 3.
Again Vic may be able to help.
The Corvette wheels are indeed a puzzle. I agree that they did not feature on any other Dinky, and I'm not familiar enough with Meccano to know if they come from one of the later sets.
Regarding the opening headlights and the opening bonnet, these features are of course inherited from the second version of the 221, which also donated its baseplate. You'll note that there is white paint inside the engine compartment, which sugests to me that a 221 was simply taken from the production line, had its wheels and fenders changed, and was then overpainted. But if that's the case, I remain puzzled regarding what material was used to build up the fenders. It was certainly done with great artistry.
As you say, Vic may know.
Are those Corvette wheels the same as those fitted to the Big Cat Jaguar?
A good catch! I am not free at the moment to check my models to compare the wheels for size, but I would not be at all surprised if you're right.
You are right, these wheels must be from Lintoy, they are fitted on Steed's and the Big Cat Jaguar. This type of wheel is not yet in the Encyclopaedia, When you have some free time, could you please make a large straight photo of the wheel alone and let us know the outside diameter of the tires ?
Yes, these are the same wheels as on the Lintoy models. I do not possess either a pair of calipers or a very good eye, but I'd say these wheels/tires have a diameter of about 19.5mm.
Meanwhile, I am now wondering if those fender flares were simply and skilfully added to a standard Corvette casting using auto body filler (known as Bondo in the U.S.)?