Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: 4x4 vehicles

Land Rover, Carmichael

Carmichael are vehicle manufacturers in their own right but have used Land Rovers as a base for their fire service vehicles.

Matchbox created a version of one of them.


This was Matchbox number 57 and listed as Land Rover Fire truck.

Released in 1966 with the standard black wheels although later versions did have Superfast wheels until production on this model ceased in 1970.


Oxford Diecast have also released the Land Rover Carmichael.


This one is a scale model is 1:76 scale, and numbered, 76LRC001

Related articles;

Range Rover, Carmichael

The real vehicles

Land Rover Carrmichael

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Carmichael are vehicle manufacturers in their own right therefore I have added them to the makers list under catergories.

They are still making vehicle today, for more on Carmichael vehicles Click Here








Solido, Simca Unic S.U.M.B 4×4

by Peter
Categories: 4x4 vehicles, Diecast models, Simca, Solido, Trucks
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This unusual find over Christmas is by French diecast maker Solido, and was once a popular 4×4 truck used by the French army, fire services and forestry service along with others.

This solido version had two numbers, one on the casting, 235 and this seems to be for the main truck and 359 on the snow plough retainer and is more likely this models number.

Simca Unic 1

Solido made many versions of this truck including fire service vehicles and army trucks, one even has snow chains on the tyres.

This model may or may not of come with a rear cover, but I have seen army trucks and others with a tarpaulin rear cover.

Simca Unic 2

For Solido history Click Here

The real truck

The Simca Unic Marmon Bocquet (SUMB) is a small  tacticial truck produced by Unic from October 1964 to 1973 . Powered by Simca and designed by Bocquet, it has a four-wheel drive Marmon-Herrington and semi-forward cabin.

The Simca Marmon (or MH 600 BS) is equipped with a V8 petrol engine.

6 976 units were ordered by the French army until 1969, the vehicle can carry 12 personnel plus the driver or 1500 kg of material.

Simca Unic 3

In 1971-72 a special series of less than 200 units was produced with a Poclain excavator for  engineering use.

Real truck text and picture from Wikipedia

Matchbox & Corgi, Mercedes, Unimog trucks

by Peter
Categories: 4x4 vehicles, Corgi, Diecast models, Matchbox, Mattel, Mercedes
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The Matchbox Unimog number 49, is another classic and was issued in early 1967.

The first issues were tan coloured with a turquoise baseplate and later changed to blue with a red baseplate.


In 1970 the Unimog was re-issued with Superfast wheels in the blue metallic and red as below, a military coloured version has also been issued with Superfast wheels, the wheels were all black as many of the military Matchbox models did with Superfast wheels, the military version had a different casting for the baseplate and done away with the spare wheel.


Below another military version, the green is different and the decal is of a white star on the bonnet.

Matchbox Unimog 7

It was removed from the range in 1973.

Corgi also did a version of this model, seen below with the Matchbox Superfast version as a size comparison.


Corgi numbered this 406 and produced in 1976 until 1977, this is actually a re-released Corgi model of an earlier produced Unimog from 1971

Another Corgi issue is this dumper. Number 1145 and produced from 1969 until 1976, some later issues have blue chassis rather tha the red seen below.


The later offering of the Matchbox Unimog was made in 1983 and in Thailand


A similar model was made in the Superkings range, K30 but this was issued back in 1978 so predates the Thailand MB  issue.


This did come with the K32 Farm trailer, also issued around 1978, with various additional items such as animals.


Another version of K30.

Matchbox Unimog 8

Another later version of this model is number K137 and made in China in 1982, note the different wheels and addition of wing mirrors, this is actually meant to be a crop sprayer but missing the arms, this one is actually hard to find in any condition so to get one almost complete and with good paint is a bonus.


This did come in other colours and sets.

A much later model is the Unimog U300, produced for the Matchbox range in 2006 and ran until 2009, although strictly speaking this is a Mattel diecast rather than a Matchbox but still sold under the Mattel owned Matchbox name.

These are made in Thailand and all slightly different issues (see below).


The number for this casting is MB728 and made it’s debut in the MBX Metal series, both the silver one above and the orange one are from the MBX Metal series, the blue one is from the Construction series and has much less tampo detail than the other two it also has black wheel centres rather than the chrome.

The real trucks.



Used by some European countries by the military services, tree surgeons and below the Essex fire services animal rescue unit.


Unimog is a range of multi-purpose auto four-wheel drive medium trucks produced by Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG. The name Unimog is pronounced [ˈuːnɪmɔk] in German and is an acronym for the German UNIversal-MOtor-Gerät”, Gerät being the German word for machine or device. Daimler Benz took over manufacture of the Unimog in 1951 and they are currently built in the Mercedes truck plant in Wörth am Rhein in Germany. Another Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş. plant assembles Unimogs in Aksaray, Turkey. Unimogs were also built in Argentina until the first years of the 1980s, in the González Catán factory.


Real truck text from Wikipedia

For more on the Unimog Click Here

Tonka Toys

When you mention the words Tonka Toys to almost anyone, the image of big yellow metal trucks falling from cliffs and quietly rusting away in the back yard comes to just about all of us, but there was far more to Tonka toys over the years but still to this day the big yellow truck is synonymous to Tonka.

As yet I don’t have many and what I do have is a small random collection of Tonka made steel toys and as always as I acquire more this article will be updated.

My first offering is a classic Tonka loader from the late 1950′s, early sixties, this is an earlier version because of the metal wheel type, these early one’s were never yellow and were  plated pressed steel, they quickly rusted with living outside.

Later they were changed to plastic wheels and a later version had a cab added.


This was numbered 1087 by Tonka and an interesting fact is the steering wheel was rubber which is no doubt why it has lasted so long, at just under 10 inches long this is classed as a big loader, all of the earlier Tonka toys was made in the USA.

Another common Tonka vehicle is the tractor and trailer, seen also with various colour schemes including John Deere green and yellow.


The next one is as common as the loader and also from the 1960′s and this is the Tonka Dune Buggy.


Much smaller than the normal Tonka trucks and again as the loader is fitted with a rubber steering wheel, later versions had a plastic canopy fitted, the only number I can find associated with this toy is 55340, so may well be the Tonka number.

The next one was made by the Tonka Corparation, Mexico and came in more colour variations than you can shake a stick at, although mainly a plastic body the cab is pressed steel.


Dated around 1978 and called Pick-up truck, I have not yet found the Tonka number.

My last entry today is from Tonka in Japan and again issued in the seventies, this is one of the futuristic set of vehicles made for Tonka.


This is one of three from a series called the Scorchers and I must admit I love it, but then I like all futuristic models, this one was called the Rover truck and numbered WTO-760 and sits at  six and a half inches long.

For more on these toys and others see the website link below, this shows the others in this series.

Tonka Turbine power

Related articles; Tonka Pepsi bottle truck