Essex Models and Miniatures archive
Category: Vanguards

Vanguards, Mk1 Ford Transit

by Peter
Categories: Corgi, Diecast models, Ford, Vanguards, Vans
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Vanguards, now owned by Corgi, have always had the eye for details, with a vast range and liveries are collected by many diecast lovers, these are mainly 1:43 scale for the cars and vans, others I know of, the lorries, scale at 1:64.

This is the Vanguards Mk1 Ford Transit in British Rail livery and numbered VA06612.

This particular one was won by one of our competition entries earlier this year.

The real Mk1 Ford Transit

The first Ford Transit proper was introduced in October 1965, and has been in continuous production in three basic generations to the present day. The van was produced initially at Ford’s Langley facility in Berkshire, England (a former Second World War aircraft factory which had produced Hawker Hurricane fighters), but demand outstripped the capability of the plant, and production was moved to Southampton, where it has remained until 25 October 2012.

The Transit was introduced to replace the Ford Thames 400E, a small mid-engined forward control van noted for its narrow track which was in competition with similar-looking but larger vehicles from the BMC J4 and J2 vans.

The engines used in the UK were the Essex V4 for the petrol-engined version in 1.7 L and 2.0 L capacities. By using relatively short V-4 engines Ford were able to minimize the additional length necessitated to place the engine ahead of the driver. Another popular development under the bonnet was the equipping of the van with an alternator at time when the UK market competitors expected buyers to be content with a dynamo. A  diesel engine sourced from Perkins was also offered. As this engine was too long to fit under the Transit’s stubby nose, the diesel version featured a longer bonnet. The underpowered Perkins proved unpopular, and was replaced by Ford’s own “York” unit in 1974, these were noticed by the square type grill.

Many years ago I converted one of the long wheelbase Mk1′s with and Ford V6 engine and used the diesel front end.

Vanguards, Bedford & Commer trucks

by Peter
Categories: Bedford, Commer, Diecast models, Trucks, Vanguards
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This article is the first milestone on this website and is my 100th article posted.

This set I bought just after moving to Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, the ‘Ken Thomas’ transport yard on the livery was just down the road.

Vanguards was one of the Lledo brand names, now owned by Corgi Classics.

In 2002, Corgi Classic Limited bought the rights to the Lledo name (and many of the moulds), taking over the popular Days Gone series. The Lledo Vanguards series was also acquired in the deal. Days Gone and Vanguards models were sold by Corgi under the Lledo name until 2004, after which the Lledo name was dropped and the models officially became part of the Corgi Classics line.

History details from,

Today first truck is the Bedford S type and the forerunner to the Bedford TK.

The S type has seen service in every way from military service trucks to tankers, car transporters and specialist conversions, the one below has the box body and seen in many liveries and colours, scaled at 1:64.

The second truck is a classic Commer, and similar to the Corgi commer I posted a few days ago, this one, again part of the ‘Ken Thomas’ set has the dropside body with covered load, again 1:64 scale.

For more on the Commer truck see previous article on Corgi Commer truck or Matchbox Commer Karrier

The real Bedford S Type

The 1950s also saw the launch of the popular S type trucks, the so-called Big Bedfords, which brought Bedford into the 7 ton range. The S series was immortalised in RL form – a four-wheel drive, high ground clearance version, as the “Green Goddess” emergency fire tender, managed by the British Army, and until recently, still used in the event of fire-service industrial action or serious emergencies as of the 21st century.

The real ‘Ken Thomas’ Bedford S Type.

These vehicles were available in rigid and tractor units, with either petrol or diesel engines. The UK military were a huge customer for Bedford RLs using a 4.9 litre straight six petrol engine. Many RLs found their way into the armed forces of Commonwealth countries and later into civilian use.

The picture above is one of many military vehicles pictures I have taken, to see more of the real vehicles gallery Click Here

For more on the Bedfords Click Here

Rover P6 3500 V8

by Peter
Categories: Cars, Corgi, Rover, Vanguards
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This is the second ‘Vanguards’ Corgi models I have in my ‘Cars I have owned’ collection, the first was the Austin Princess, the classic Rover P6, my second car was a P6 Rover although my real car was a 2000TC in battleship grey and with red leather seats and later I had the V8 P6 in Rover blue, the difference in the two cars really was the grill and the bonnet, this model has the later ‘brick’ grill as it was known and my ealier 2000TC has an alloy slatted one. the bonnet on the V8 has the two raised panels seen below on the model whereas the 2000 cc models didn’t.


This Vanguards model is Numbered VA06515 and is one of a limited edition of 2460, this being number 1398, the engine was a classic in itself and the 3500cc V8 found it’s way into many customs in later years.

The colour was an actual colour of Rovers and BMC cars, I had a later SD1 in this colour and remember a friend having an Austin Allegro this colour too, it was called avocado green.


This model is based on a real P6 and according to Vanguard was the last Rover P6 to be made and came of the lines on March 19th 1977.


The real car was launched in 1971, the 150bhp 3500S was the manual high performance version of the V8 engined P6, which initially only been available with automatic transmisson (my V8 was had the auto box) since it’s launch in 1968.

When new this would of cost you £1988.00 and for that you got a car capable of 122 mph.

The picture below is of the actual car Vanguards modelled this vehicle on, the 3500S V8, even the number plate is the same.

The picture below is of the earlier 2000TC one similar to what I once had, notice the earlier grill type and lack of bonnet bulges.

Austin Princess

by Peter
Categories: Austin, BMC, Cars, Corgi, Diecast models, Vanguards
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The Austin Princess has been dubbed the forgotten car and even in it’s day had many critics, more commonly known as the ‘wedge’, this Corgi Vanguards version has fantasic detail right down to the windscreen wipers and wing mirrors.

This is from the 1:43 scale ‘classics’ selection although now not on the Corgi website, I did have the fortune of finding one of these to start my ‘ The cars I owned’ collection, this is the first car to add to this range.

This was a limited addition of only 5010, never really sure why they are odd numbers, and this one is number 391 of 5010.


The model has the Vanguards number, VA10200 in brooklands green.



It is a different model to the one I had but the one that came up , mine (picturedbelow) had the square headlights rather than the round one’s in the model which is an 1800L and of course the colour is different, I have now been told there is a Vanguards 2200HL version which has the same headlights as mine so will be looking out for it, mine was also badged with the Leyland emblem.

The picture was taken in the late 80′s when I was the proud owner of this car and enjoyed every minute of owning it.

For more on the real car Click Here