Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Austin

Matchbox/Dinky, 1952 Austin A40

by Peter
Categories: Austin, Cars, Diecast models, Dinky, Matchbox, Vans
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The Brooke Bond tea van first made an appearance as a Trojan van by Dinky as well as in the Matchbox 1-76 range.

This is a fantastic example of the Brooke Bond tea van made by Matchbox International in 1990 under the Dinky brand name .


Based on the Austin A40 10cwt van and numbered DY15


This was made in China but very nicely made.


The real van

Austin A40 van

A number of different cars were marketed under the Austin A40 name by the Austin Motor Company between 1947 and 1967.

Austin’s naming scheme at that time derived from the approximate engine output, in horsepower.

Therefore, the models were also given names, originally based on counties of England.

Ertl Austin taxi

by Peter
Categories: Austin, Diecast models, Ertl, Lledo, Taxi
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Ertl are probably best known for their diecast farm machinery and large diecast cars but in the 1980′s they produced what was to become a very large range of diecast trains related to the ‘Thomas the tank engine’ series of books and the later TV series.

Although not on my list of things I collect, recently I bought a massive job lot of Ertl Thomas the tank engine locomotives, coaches, wagons and vehicles and searching through them I came across this little Austin taxi produced in 2001.

Most of the Ertl ‘Thomas’ range have faces on the front either moulded plastic or earlier one’s had stickers, this taxi, listed as ‘The Sodor Taxi’ has neither and is actually a nice little model with plenty of detail.

Related posts; Dyson Lowloader

A similar model was made by Lledo, albeit a larger scale and marked as a 1933 Austin taxi.


The real taxi

The Ertl taxi is based on a 1936 Austin.

In 1936 Austin made a number of High Lot taxis, which were found to be a little unstable, because of their height. So 6 inches was lopped of the height and so produced the low loader.

The taxi cab was  designed by William Overton of Mann & Overton Limited in collaboration with Austin. Austin had redesigned the back axle relocating the propeller shaft and together with height saved by the new dropped cross-braced frame something like 6 inches was able to be removed from the car’s overall height.

Again the standard body was made by Strachan of Acton. For the same price Mann & Overton would supply another by Vincent’s of Reading (famous for building the royal horse boxes) or for £5 more a better finished body by Jones Bros of Bayswater. Other suppliers included Goodland Cooper and Elkington of Chiswick.

Mann & Overton’s Austins dominated the market between 1930 and 1938 selling 5,850 cabs representing 75% of the market.

Corgi, London 2012 issues

by Peter
Categories: AEC, Aircraft, Buses & Coaches, Corgi, Diecast models, Locomotives, Taxi
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I’m not a great one for buying the newer diecast models and many have been around a few years and just re-released in different paint and decal schemes.

But a few weeks ago I bought the Corgi, London 2012 bus from a local fuel station, just because it was a Routemaster bus and don’t have any in my collection.

And yes it is still in its box, Corgi No TY82319, this bus casting goes back a way with Corgi and have since aquired the Silver Jubilee version from 1977 and numbered 471, its the same casting but has the whizzwheels of the time, it may differ slightly but until I have liberated them from their boxes I won’t know for sure, a later article will be done for this bus.

The thing that intruged me was the backing card of the box on the London 2012 bus showing not only the London taxi and the Mini, that I knew was available in the service station, but also a Concorde and a London underground train.

I have now tracked these down.

Firstly the Concorde, Corgi No TY84005.

Secondly, the Underground train, Corgi No TY88901, all are from the ‘Great British Classics’ range and re-branded to suit.

Now we have the London Taxi, bigger than I thought it would be and based on the modern TX1 built in 1997, Corgi No TY85907, about 1:32 scale.

I will be keeping my eye out now for the  Mini to complete the set, but the service stations have stopped selling them, so guess the supply is nearing the end.

Updated June 30th 2013

Finally, almost a year after collecting most of this set, the Mini came my way, here it is below.

Classix, Austin Dorset A40

by Peter
Categories: Austin, Classix, Diecast models
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Today another 1:76 Classix diecast has entered my collection, the Austin A40 Dorset.

This is No EM6806, in  ‘Tweed Grey’

Fantastic detail as are the others I have.

These are top rated models and really do rival Oxford Diecast for detail and quality

To see the other Classix diecast in my collection and more about the brand  Click Here

The real Austin Devon.

The Austin Devon is the four door, the Dorset the two door

The A40 Devon (and similar 2-door A40 Dorset) were automobiles marketed by the Austin Motor Company from 1947 to 1952 – the first post-war saloons to be produced by Austin – featuring a mix of old and new technologies. Austin manufactured more than 450,000 examples before replacement in 1952 by the Austin A40 Somerset.

For more on the A40 Dorset, and Devon Click Here