Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Husky

Ford D series trucks

by Peter
Categories: Corgi Juniors, Diecast models, Ford, Husky, Matchbox, Trucks
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The Ford D series pre-dates the Ford Cargo and was as common on the British road as the Bedford TK  in the 1960′s

Matchbox used this Ford truck for some of it’s trucks starting with the King Size range.

First we have one of the oldest, the Ford tractor unit with Dyson low loader complete with it’s Case tractor load, Matchbox number K17.

Released in about 1967 with a red Case tractor, my orange Case tractor is from a later set with Superfast wheels, the later Superfast version had a lime green Dyson trailer and a red Ford tractor unit, this was designated as a D800.

Ford D series 4

Using the same Ford D800 tractor unit, the K20 Tasker transporter with it’s tractor load also was released about the same time as the Dyson low loader, it came with three Matchbox tractors No39, again mine is a made up set and includes three different Ford tractor colour versions.

Ford D series 3

The Ford D series continued into the Superfast era and both the above models were included albeit different colours and renamed Superkings.

In 1978 Matchbox released K19,  a Ford D series as a security truck, these came complete with gold bullion load and cart.

The trucks rear door has a combination lock and these came in various liveries, the two below are ‘Group 4′ and ‘Fort Knox’

Ford D series 1

In 1981, the security truck was released as K88 and had the addition of a slot in the roof of the body and sold as a money box, the versions I’ve seen have a red cab and black glass along with a Matchbox sticker and the wording ‘Save your money with me’.

In 1979 another truck was released, this is K40 and just called ‘Ford D Series’ no doubt many other body options were planned for the chassis, the cab is the same casting as the above security trucks and this would be classed as a curtain side truck with the Pepsi livery and comes with a loaded pallet.

Ford D series 2

On a smaller scale Matchbox also released a few Ford D Series in the 1-75 series, below we have No70, grit spreading truck released in 1966 and No7, Refuse truck released in 1967, both of these  changed to Superfast in 1970 and withdrawn in 1972.

Ford D series 5

Husky also had a few Ford D Series trucks, below is the low loader, No2003 and came with No23  loader shovel, you can find our previous article on this set Here . Husky also made a car transporter with this cab unit, No2002 and a Articulated Removal Van, No 2004

Ford D series 6

Corgi Juniors also released one and called this the Ford  D1000, number 54, although not an accurate depiction of the D series.

Ford D series 7


The real Ford D series trucks


The Ford D-Series was a range of middle weight trucks introduced by Ford of Britain in 1965. It replaced the Thames Trader and appears to have been envisaged as a more modern competitor to the Bedford TK produced by General Motors’ UK truck subsidiary.

In 1965 the range covered rigid trucks with gross weights from 5.2 to 12.75 British tons, and tippers from 10.8 to 12.75 tons. Higher gross weights became available with the subsequent introduction of versions featuring twin rear axles and articulated models were also quickly added to the range.

Text from Wikipedia

For more on the Ford D series Click Here

Skip Trucks

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Corgi Juniors, Diecast models, Ford, Husky, Leyland, Majorette, Matchbox, Scania, Trucks
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Skip lorries, it seems, have been around forever but didn’t really hit the streets in the UK until the 60′s

Diecast makers  have made many trucks over the years a few are below.

Firstly we have the Matchbox Superkings number K28 and released in 1977 and based on a Bedford TM truck chassis

Much later in 1985 this truck evolved into a Leyland truck using the same skip body and the same skip, this is number K123 and has vastly improved wheels with front steering, although the amber roof beacons seem to be lost in the holes provided in the casting

On the smaller scale Matchbox created a Ford Cargo skip truck and made available in different colour versions, numbered MB45 and with later type wheels, released in 1986 and made in Thailand.

An earlier Matchbox skip truck was a rather futuristic design and numbered 37 and released back in 1977, this one is still easy to get in many different colours.

Below an early Husky skip truck based on the Bedford TK and complete with a diecast skip, this was numbered as 27 and Released in 1964 and  withdrawn in 1969, it was briefly part of the Corgi Juniors range too.

Corgi Juniors also made a Ford skip truck but this time based on the Ford D1000 from the 60′s, numbered 54 and listed as a Ford Container Truck.

And lastly one from the French diecast maker Majorette based on a Scania chassis, numbered 222 and listed as Multibenne

Related articles;

Joal Skip truck

Dinky Marrel multi-bucket

Dinky Convoy skip truck


The real trucks

History of the skip

In 1914, Antoine Marrel, a Berthier car dealer at St-Etienne with a passion for mechanics, dedicated his time and skills to developing a lifting/hanging device. It was the beginning of a great story, and in 1919 The Societe Bennes Marrel was created. The company acquired its fame by launching the very first dumpster activated with cables and gallows.
The Marrel Multibenne or multibucket was designed by Antoine Marrel himself.

It was in the 1960s that the skip as we know it came into its own, beginning its 50-year rise as the bulk waste disposal method of choice for both the domestic and the commercial markets.

Back in the early 1920s the shipping industry in Southport began to use a type of container that loosely resembled a skip and which was removed by a petrol-engine lorry as opposed to the horse-drawn refuse carts that were commonly used throughout the town. For most commercial waste disposal, however, tipper wagons remained the most common option. These were delivered to site by a team, which waited while it was hand or machine loaded before removing it again. The result, however, was the effective double handling of rubbish and the wasting of the delivery team’s time while the wagon was loaded.

By the time the 1960s arrived, the boom in real estate development coupled with an expanding industrial sector meant that volumes increased and time became precious, leading to the development of the modern day skip. These were originally developed in Germany and were adopted by a London company called George Cross & Co., which quickly set about introducing the concept to a ready and willing UK market.

The original skips came in a “one-size-fits-all” format of around six cubic yards and remained that way for many years until skip hire companies embraced the changing needs of the market and developed a range of sizes shapes to suit different uses and waste volumes.

Husky/Corgi Martin Walter Ford Transit camper

by Peter
Categories: Campers, Corgi, Diecast models, Ford, Husky, Vans
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Although a later Husky casting , this Martin Walter camper conversion of the Mk1 Ford Transit was continued into the Corgi Whizzwheels range, it’s original Husky number was 40 and fitted with the later metal wheels and tyres .

My one is a later Corgi Whizzwheels version and has the Whizzwheels fitted, the Husky version came in the blue above and also in yellow, pale green and red, and a light metallic blue has also been issued, the casting was produced around 1968.

The rear opening door was always a bare metal and usually missing on many models so harder to find one complete.

The real Camper

A Dormobile is a camper van modification by Martin Walter Ltd. Popular in the 1950s and 60s they are essentially a conversation of a car or van into a camper.

These modifications usually consist of a fiberglass roof which provides extra sleeping space and they often also have windows in them to let in light. Often the roof would be hinged at the side and a folded tent of fabric would expand into the space. As models got more sophisticated they were fitted with more separate sleeping compartments. Most vehicles also have a caravan style interior with seats fitted and cooking appliances.

The first Dormobiles were made from Bedford CA vans but they became so popular that they were applied to other makes and models of car and vans.

Although, the conversion was originally carried out by Martin Walter Ltd the word Dormobile has become a generic name for this type of conversion.

Some Dormobile experts claim that only a camper conversion carried out by Martin Walter Ltd can be classed as a true Dormobile and are easily spotted by the riveted metal ID plate fitted to the car. However, for others the name has become synonymous with camper conversions, much like hoover is now a generic term for vacuum cleaners, and to them the term can be applied to any vehicle which has been converted using parts from the Martin Walter Ltd factory. This was sometimes done with conversion kits from the firm which were exported to be fitted by other companies – these were especially popular in the USA.

Information source

Commer Walk-thru vans

by Peter
Categories: Commer, Diecast models, Efsi, Husky, Vans
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The Commer Walk-thru vans was once a common sight in the UK used from everything to service vans to parcel delivery, nowadays one will rarely be spotted on the roads at all.

Still a popular design in the US and used by companies like UPS they thrive and multiply.

Husky made a version of the Commer walk-thru and although this one was a recent addition to my collection (by recent I mean in the last year) this is the last upgrade as this one is in great condition.

It has red plastic sliding doors both sides and a glass roof panel, the driver has the only seat in the cab, quite usual for this vans.

Husky gave this the number 17 and released in 1965 withdrawn in 1969.

I often wondered why it had red doors and after some research found the answer, the original casting was painted red with a diecast base and driver, the more common yellow one has a grey plastic base and driver, I have never seen a red version although there is reference to it on various model sites, so no doubt the red plastic doors remained red during the life of this model.

Another one I have is an EFSI model this is No302 with a slightly different grill, this one shows opening doors on the back rather than the roller shutter on the Husky version.

This particular one has the bumpers missing although this is how I remember a lot of the real one’s in their later years, as camper vans etc, the second picture down shows how little metal was holding the bumpers on, making them vulnerable to breakage.

Efsi was a Dutch company making diecast cars and trucks starting in 1959 as Bestbox. The company was based in Heerlen, the Netherlands, which is located in southern Limburg province.

The Bestbox name was discontinued in 1971, perhaps because of the similarity to the name (and competition) of Matchbox toys. At this time, the name was changed to Efsi which a few sources say was apparently an acronym for European Federation for Social Integration. Though similar to Matchbox, and popular locally, Efsi toys do not seem to have been too well known outside the Netherlands, I have seen one of the Commer vans listed as a Lion Cars model also from the Netherlands but not aware of any connection with Efsi

The Efsi model is about 1:64 scale and shown with the Husky van below, the Husky would work at about 1:76.

Another Efsi Commer, also numbered 302 in Fire livery complete with fitted ladder and complete with it’s bumpers.

The real vans

The only thing I know about the real vans is they were produced somewhere between 1960 and 1970 by the Rootes Group, research shows it was brought out after looking at similar type vans in the US, why it didn’t last here I don’t know, the later one’s were branded as Dodge on the bonnet.

This picture shows the Commer van type that the Husky model is based on, with the extended bonnet and grill.

And this Commer what Efsi may of used, with the flatter front end.

An original advert for the Commer walk-thru