Ford H Series Truck

 

Ford began development of the H series truck in 1959 getting it to market in 1961. The curious shape of the cab goes back to this development period as they borrowed the cab from the earlier, smaller C series which had the wheels placed behind the cab doors. The H series had the cab hoisted up higher and the front wheels moved forwards, which explains why there is a redundant wheel arch plated over just behind the cab doors. The cab cut outs for the C-series front wheels were turned into under floor toolboxes and luggage space. With the stacked appearance of the H series, it soon earned the nickname "Two Story Falcon". Ford deleted the H series in 1966.

Until I added this truck to the website and did the research I had not fully appreciated the chronology of Corgi Major Toys lorries. The all-new US Ford H series feels like a long way forward from the old 'Big' Bedford S Series tractor units of the Fifties, but Corgi were still releasing new versions of the Big Bedford in 1965, the same year they were releasing fabulously detailed new models like this. The old Bedford has a tin bottom, this has a detailed die cast chassis and details and features by the dozen. However in the world of 1:1 the full size Ford H Series was already old news as it had been around since 1961 and was about to be deleted. It was an odd decision to move from the very recognisable and British Bedford TK as the staple of the Corgi Majors heavy goods vehicle range and replace it with an American model never seen in the UK - and one that was as superannuated as the Bedford. However I'm glad they did it as this lorry is almost a piece of sculpture - a towering ziggurat of a vehicle ascending in rounded steps - and the Wrecker is one of the best, a brilliant piece of model engineering.

As a Corgi the Ford H Series is bang on the money, it has suspension, seats, a tilt cab and detailed engine, a detailed chassis, detailed cast wheels, cab ladder, exhaust stacks, horns on the roof, silvered mirrors that swivel... It has the lot, peak Corgi as they say.

1137 Express Service

This is a very smart and shiny toy. Those big plated doors on the trailer are superb. All in all a fine model. The Ford Articulated Truck was introduced in September 1965, being the first use in the range of this newly modelled Ford tractor unit. It was also used on the Car Transporter and the Holmes Wrecker. This lorry remained in the range until 1971 when the cab unit was changed to a Mack and the trailer carried on behind the Mack for another two years. The only variation is cast or spun hubs.

1138 Carrimore Car Transporter

This is the first serious redesign of the car transporter trailer since 1957 and the exchange of a Bedford tractor unit for an American Ford item. By 1966 I think this Ford was pretty old anyway so an odd choice for Corgi - but a nice model, well detailed and well executed even though those mirrors and horns were so vulnerable. The trailer is a bit more realistic too and the moveable chocks are a nice detail. The Ford Articulated Transporter was introduced in 1966 and remained in the Corgi range to 1969. There are no listed variations.

GS41/GS48 Carrimore Car Transporter & Six Cars

The original Corgi Gift Set, the very first one GS1 from 1957 was a car transporter with a load of 4 cars, here we have it updated yet again to take into account the new transporter with the Ford tractor unit. It is bigger and it now takes 6 cars rather than 4, even if they are small cars, three Minis and an Imp. Still a great toy though. GS41 with six cars and the Ford H Series tractor was introduced in July 1966 as an export only item and deleted in 1968. A complete and boxed example will be worth several hundred pounds, there are not too many around. Later in the year in December it was renumbered GS48 and released in the UK.

1142 Holmes Wrecker

The Holmes Wrecker remained in the range from 1967 to 1974 and I can only find one listed variant which is that some have gold jibs and others have grey jibs, the effect on value is minimal. There are a number of box variations too, but again they don't really affect value. There should be two mechanic figures with it.

 

Order of Release

       
Corgi Toys 1137; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Box Trailer, Express Service Corgi Toys 1137; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Box Trailer, Express Service, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 1138; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Carrimore Car Transporter Corgi Toys GS41; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Carrimore & Six Cars Corgi Toys 1142; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Holmes Wrecker Recovery, Grey Booms
Corgi Toys 1137; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Box Trailer, Express Service, Cast Hubs Corgi Toys 1137; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Box Trailer, Express Service, Spun Hubs Corgi Toys 1138; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Carrimore Car Transporter Corgi Toys GS41/GS48; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Carrimore & Six Cars Corgi Toys 1142; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Holmes Wrecker Recovery, Grey Booms
Corgi Toys 1142; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Holmes Wrecker Recovery        
Corgi Toys 1142; Ford H Series Tilt Cab; Holmes Wrecker Recovery, Gold Booms        

 


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Last Edit: 15/06/2022 Page Added 05/06/2022