Land Rover Series 1
My business, Little Wheels, grew out of my Corgi collection. My Corgi collection grew out of my interest in Land Rovers. I've a lot to thank the Corgi Land Rovers for.
My wife would never let me have more than one full size Land Rover at a time so I started to buy models. I've owned a number of real Land Rovers the last one was a 1964 Series 2a 88" Station Wagon. I've owned Corgi Toy 109" pick-ups as long as I can remember and still have a broken-backed green one from my childhood. It was once trodden upon and it does a very life like impression of a real one with a rotted out chassis - both Corgi and 1:1 Land Rovers break just behind the cab. My absolute favourite toy though as a child was a Corgi Series 2 Land Rover 109" Breakdown Truck.
The Corgi Land Rover is very good indeed and bears very close and careful inspection. I have stripped and rebuilt a few Land Rovers and maintained all the ones I owned myself. I know how they are made and what they look like. This is an excellent representation in significant detail of the 109" Series 1 pick-up or 'truck cab' - it is an almost flawless model and one of the high points of the Corgi brand's history. It is telling that one of the Land Rovers below has a collection number of 47, at the time of writing I am well north of 200,000. I started with these.
406 Civilian Pickup
The core model was either blue with a white roof or yellow with a black roof, neither had a rear tilt (load bed cover) and both can be found with small or large tyres and with either early turned hubs or later spun hubs. Yellow trucks are generally worth about double the blue ones, hubs don't really have a big effect on value. The green ones are from a gift set with a horse box and should have a tan coloured rear tilt made from pressed tin.
A simple variant on the basic Land Rover with the addition of a decal, a tin tilt and an RAF blue paint job, it provides a towing vehicle for all those missiles Corgi were producing at this time. The RAF Land-Rover was first released in May 1958 as a single item, it was also available in July of that year as part of a set (GS3) towing a Bloodhound Missile on a trolley. It was re-issued a number of times in military gift sets after this.
You will find this in the early blue boxes generally with turned hubs and the later blue and yellow boxes with spun hubs, but this does not seem to affect value. It remained in the range until 1962 when the Corgi Land-Rover casting was changed to the Series 2 Land-Rover and given suspension and seats. At this time it was renumbered 351s and those are as scarce as hens teeth.
GS3; RAF Land Rover and Bloodhound Missile Set
This is the first of a continuing thread of military models in the Corgi Range. The missile & trailer unit and the RAF Land Rover could be bought separately too. The set remained in the range until 1963
416 RAC Radio Rescue
Another outing for the excellent 109" Series 1 Land Rover Truck-cab. Good thinking from the Corgi range planners to add play value here, your broken-down cars could be rescued by a radio-equipped Land Rover from the RAC - how brilliant. I wonder why it was a Land Rover from the RAC but a Bedford from the AA?
The Series 1 Land-Rover, RAC Rescue was made from 1959 to 1962 when it was replaced by a Series 2 Land-Rover with seats and suspension (416s). The original 416 has neither seats nor suspension. You will see it with or without the roofboard and if you are very lucky in yellow as a Belgian export in the livery of Touring Secours (TS). This latter version is very rare and worth serious money. Of the blue ones, which are still pricey items in their own right, look for the one without the roofboard.
417 Breakdown Truck
The Corgi Land Rovers are all very good. The Series 1 Truck Cab is outstanding, it is excellent and this I think is the best variant on it - accurate modelling combined with first rate play value. A winner, a classic. Curious though that Corgi release a new model in 1960 based on the Series 1 Land Rover which was superseded by the Series 2 in 1958 - although the Series 1 continued in production at Solihull for a number of years after the Series 2 came out, especially the longer wheelbase version. The 417 Land-Rover Breakdown Service was produced from 1960 to 1963 when the 417s replaced it, there are no listed variations other than turned or spun hubs. This version of the Land-Rover Wrecker has a tin tilt, no suspension or seats and the jib is cast with a space between a pair of uprights.
Were Land Rovers with rear jibs a common sight in the early sixties? Our school bus used to pass a garage in Torver, near Coniston that had one. It was pale blue and had New Zealand registration plates, both of these facts should be clues to Corgi collectors and sixties petrol heads in general. This Land Rover had been property of one Donald Campbell. It was used to pull the trailer carrying 'Bluebird' his world speed record boat which he crashed, fatally on the nearby lake. Afterwards I guess the crew and his wife sold off what they could locally. Maybe I should paint one of these pale blue and use a set of decals meant for the Corgi Bluebird car in memory of it. As I remember Hadwins, the garage, now a Land Rover dealer called Lakeland Land Rover, used the blue 109" truck cab as their recovery vehicle right into the seventies. The last time I remember seeing a long wheelbase series Landy with a jib on the back was in 2006 in Paris of all places.
|Corgi Toys 406; Land Rover Series 1 109in Truck Cab; Blue Metallic, White Roof, Larger Tyres||
Corgi Toys 406; Land Rover Series 1 109in Truck Cab; Blue Metallic, White Roof, Small Tyres
|Corgi Toys 406; Land Rover Series 1 109in Truck Cab; Yellow, Black Roof||Corgi Toys GS2; Land Rover Series 1 109in Truck Cab; Green, Turned Hubs From GS2||Corgi Toys 351; Land Rover Series 1 109in RAF; RAF Blue, Turned Hubs|
|Corgi Toys GS3; RAF Land Rover and Thunderbird Missile Set||Corgi Toys 416; Land Rover Series 1 109" RAC Radio Rescue; Blue With Roofboard, Spun Hubs||Corgi Toys 416; Land Rover Series 1 109" RAC Radio Rescue; Blue No Roofboard||Corgi Toys 417; Land Rover Series 1 109 Breakdown Truck; Turned Hubs|