I just received a very nice Berliet Tank Transporter in the mail, and after cleaning it up a bit, I looked it over carefully. It was then that I noticed on the front of the tractor or cab, a very small decal with a number on it, mounted on the front bumper, centered on the grill above. I thought that was rather odd, then further inspecting turned up the same number decal on both the rear of the tractor unit and also on the rear of the detachable trailer. This number is "146 217". I then looked at the limited reference material for this model, and saw no mention of this or any photos either. I also do not remember seeing it in any other recent photos of this model, such as those Jan posted recently. I have taken several closeup photos, below, of each of these, and they clearly show a film around them that matches exactly that of the tri color insignia on the front bumper. What is also interesting is that all three of these decals are different: the one is front has no tricolor in it, while the one on the rear of the tractor has the tricolor on top, and the one on the trailer has the tricolor on the left side.
To me, these appear to have been installed by the factory....not someone else at a later date. This model does have the ridged wheels, so it is an earlier issue. Have any of you seen this before? Comments please!! Could these be a reference to a squadron or unit??
I did not realise there was that much of a differentiaion between Bobigny and Calais, did the management change?
Terry - yet another beautiful model! Remind me to visit you one day, but please check my pockets on leaving!!
My model has no registration "plates" on the prime mover or trailer.
I notice a slight difference with the box for your 890 and mine which has a "Meccano" sticker applied. I can only assume that some previous owner added this for some unknown reason.
But why did Meccano France provide such small wheels for the trailer? Only one spare for the trailer but two for the prime mover!
Thanks! Regarding those smaller tires and wheels on the trailer.....I think it was common to use more, but smaller tires on those types of trailers. I remember seeing some photos posted of the real prototypes, and they had 2 sizes, but also a small hoist to help lift them off their storage area. But I think Dinky could have used the next size larger, and been more accurate.
I just wish they had used dual tires and wheels on more of the tractors/cabs, such as with the Berliet Container truck and also the Dump truck.....they look so much more realistic!
I can not remember seen a real Coder trailer but I am not sure if they have a spare wheel. There are enough wheels to go home with a flat tyre. Any way, I can not imagine changing one on the midle wheels on the road side or even worse on softer ground.
The actual Berliet did not have twin wheels at the back but beleive me these tyres are huge and three or four strong guys are necessary to change a wheel.
Indeed the time lag between this very example, made in 1960, and the others referred to does not make it very plausible that they were factory applied in 1960. However, despite of being rather a purist myself, I would not remove the transfers for some reasons:
- One never can tell what happened exactly, but they tell something about this example's history.
- The authentic model is still present underneath these transfers.
- I do not know if a sponge will suffice, but possibly a nasty discoloration or other slight 'removal damage' will mark their contours afterwards (the traces of which in their turn will add to the confusion of this example's history and authenticity in the future).
- The transfers themselves are authentic French factory made after all, much more acceptable than those 'custom made' registration plates that can be met on otherwise authentic Dinky Toys.
By the way, not being very expert in the field of French Dinky Toys, I discovered only a few days later that the spare wheels were wanting on my example. Fortunately I had some original Dinky hubs, I mixed some paint to the French army green, added some spare tyres and this restored the original looks of the model. Of course not fully original, but as acceptable as can be. (I also have boxes with original Dinky tyres, but they are too hard to risk them to desintegrate at the moment of applying them, and the boxes' contents should remain to be complete and original).
Best regards, Jan
Thanks for your kind comments....with all respect to Jacques, I do intend to leave those tiny decals for the very reasons you mentioned, even though I am now sure they were not original, and also are not technically correct. As you mentioned, they are Dinky produced and were applied carefully, and seem to fit well, and do not detract from the model in my opinion. And I am not too likely to have this on public display somewhere where it might be scrutinized by local Dinky experts!
By the way, I did notice your missing spare tires and wheels when you posted your earlier pictures, and thought about commenting on it, but then thought that they might have been left off when you did your initial cleanup. Those you provided look just right, so a good solution!
Here is my Tank regiment :
But, one of the trailers has a particularity :
On the following photo, the little front wheels are replaced by two kind of nails painted in military green, on the trailer on the right.
It is the trailer's prototype.
Oui mon commandant ! mais j'ai une excuse : j'
Very nice set Richard. How did the trailer prototype get into your collection, if I may ask? Possibly through your father's employment with Meccano?
Kind regards, Jan
Yes, Jan probably. I did not bought these Berliet. They were in my toys box, in my parents home.
As some of my items which are paint trys. My brother and I, played with and none are really in a perfect condition.
Hi, I just noticed that - although the Rochet Schneider T 6 vehicle was only used as a one-time prototype for the Camion militaire Berliet (Dinky France 80d), so not the correct example for modelling the Dinky, which should be a Berliet T 6 TBU - the Rochet Schneider with its round front wheel covers (or is it just a similar shape) was correct for the French tank transporter (Dinky France 890). The photo of the tank transporter I found included below. Please note that the semi-trailer seems to be shorter than the one modelled by Dinky France. Kind regards, Jan
Notice how the trailer wheels on the real vehicle differ to those on the Dinky model? For some unknown reason, Meccano placed the trailer wheels inside the trailer framework. Also the tyres are of a different size too. Of course the trailer in the black and white photograph may not be of the same type as on the Dinky model.
Still it is a pity Meccano did not use this trailer as its reference material, as the trailer wheels look completely out of proportion for the load they are expected to carry.
Bruce----I think that for some reason, Meccano modelled this tank transporter on either a prototype or just plain invented most of it, based some on what was being used at the time. The Dinky trailer seems to me to be a "low-loader" type, intentionally made with smaller diameter tire and wheels, so as to keep the rear of the trailer closer to the ground. To help make up for smaller tires, however, it does have more tires and wheels underneath the rear of the trailer, so I would imagine that it was capable of carrying the heavy load of the tank. As to Jan's older post, mentioning that the transporter in his photo seemed to show a shorter trailer than the Dinky one, I have often wondered if the AMX Tank by Dinky is to the same scale as the Transporter. To my eyes, at least, the AMX Tank does not seem that large, especially when compared to the Centurion Tank. I too have thought that the trailer seems quite a bit too large for it....maybe the tank is too small? Maybe others can comment on that!
Best regards, Terry
The registration number 146 217 applied to Terry's tank transporter is for a saloon type car registered before 1960.
At the same date, the Berliet prime mover would have been registered 611 xxx to 616 xxx and the semi-trailer 10x xxx.
After 1960, the Army registration system changed and was made of seven digits.
The Dinky tank transporter had no registration, only a tricolour on the front bumper and on the left hand side loading ramp.
The transfers 146 217 were wrongly used on the ref. 810 Dodge command car and ref. 801 A.M.X 13. The correct registration for the command car was 066 165 and for the A.M.X 13 : 842 735.
The codes and explanations for the army, fire brigade and Paris buses registrations are included in the Dinky Toys Encyclopædia under "Registrations".
Terry, in the mean time I found full original French hubs + tyres, replacing the intermediate replicas, so at present my tank transporter is as authentic as feasible after all!
Bruce, I agree about the odd tiny wheels on the trailer. That's why I did not like it, neither this one nor the civilian version, as a youngster. Nowadays it has some clumsy 'period charm', so typical for Meccano/Dinky. But one may have to keep in mind that the transporter possibly was not used for real heavy tanks, other than the AMX. Kind regards, Jan
I have managed to find what I believe are the 3 different versions of this model. The castings were identical except for the wheels and this is where the difference lies. The first version has convex or ridged wheels on both the prime-mover and the trailer, the 2nd version has concave wheels on the prime-mover but convex or ridged wheels on the trailer, while the 3rd version has concave wheels on both the prime-mover and the trailer.
I have also included a photo of the French Berliet together with the English Mighty Antar to compare, and to show that the later verson of the Antar had a trailer which could be separated from the prime-mover , the same as the Berliet.
Hi all, I wonder what these braces on the sides of the trailer are meant for. Could they serve as a means for flexibly extending or shrinking the length of the loading platform? Kind regards, Jan
This is an interesting question which will probably never be answeared. Remember that this Dinky Toys prime mover and trailer are both based on prototypes which have not been ordered by the army. No photo of the trailer has been found yet. There is a photo of the Schneider tractor but the tank transporter trailer is very different from the Dinky Toys one. See your post # 13 above.
It is not possible to obtain a picture from the manufacturer because the company closed down in 1974.
I have searched the WWW several times but I could not find a picture of the prototype trailer. After all, the Dinky Toys may be a Bobigny design never build at the 1/1 scale.