I am trying to restore a 563 Blaw Knox Heavy Tractor in Blue. I have fitted new tracks, but could not find any of the exhausts for sale by the model collectors,I also have a replacement driver as this one has lost his head.
So I have bought a donor 561 Bulldozer in red.
However, I found as some of our members have reported on the TMT Site that the early blue tractor has its levers formed from a sheet of metal under the feet of the driver, and the later red bulldozer has the levers coming through the floor.
This prompted me to check my other examples.
I have a very early 561 in a natural cardboard box, includes packing piece.
I suspect this is a very early example.
My other yellow one was given to me as a child and I guess it dates from 1958 or 1959.
Here is a picture of the levers on the two:
There is a spigot on the left foot of the driver, I think in the early models the lever assembly is connected to the foot. I say so because the headless driver is loose on the blue tractor and when he moves the levers moves too. I will know more when I disassemble these for restoration.
here is a picture of the seat assembly:
The final interesting point on this is that the rubber tracks on my red bulldozer are still perfect, very thin rubber and they haven't been replaced as is the case with my later yellow example. These tracks are notorious for hardening and falling apart. Dinky must have moved to a cheaper compound soon after this model was launched.
My Red one is like yours and the tracks are original and in perfect working order. I agree I think they must have cheapened the tracks.
Meccano were of course notorioue for this, I have just received a 666 Corporal missile launcher and it has the metal gears, my other version is the later one with the plastic ones which strip as soon as you look at them - I will do a separate post on this soon.
For those interested in replacing Bulldozer's tracks, I explain quite an easy way to do it on the 885 thread "French Commercial Vehicles". When purchasing new tracks, however, make sure they have the guiding rib on the underside. So far, I did not find any with this rib...