Land Rover Series 2 109"
Corgi changed the 109" truck cab Land Rover from the Series 1 to the Series 2 in 1962, the casting hung around for decades to come turning up as a Corgi Classics, a Vanguards and more. The tell-tale is the blank where the hole was drilled behind the cab for the winch on the tow truck, you can still see this blank on Vanguards models. The die wore out and got replaced a number of times, but this blank is always there. In the Corgi Years there were a lot of specialist applications for the Landy as well as dozens of colours and finishes (seemingly) in the civilian version. It has spun hubs, cast hubs and Whizzwheels, tin tilts, plastic tilts, no tilt, spare on the bonnet, no spare, beacons, antennae and even a tiger on the bonnet. Click to see more elsewhere in the Little Wheels Museum: Corgi Classics and Vanguards
I appear to have had rather a lot of them... It just goes to show what mileage Corgi could get out of a popular model. However if you take time to look at them in detail you can see a number of the transitions Corgi went through during the life of this model which saw them through their peak and into the decline of the 70's. The dark green 438 is an excellent example of how this model looked on its release in 1962. It is well cast and smart, has nice turned wheels and a grey plastic tilt. The tow hook is metal. The wheels went from turned to cast and then to Whizzwheels, the tilt eventually disappeared and the tow hook changed to plastic. Look closely at the bright blue ones and the bright metallic green one. They are late examples and show a definite decline in production standards, they are less carefully cast and not so well finished. This pickup also starred in gift sets. Chipperfields, Daktari, Tipsy Nipper - and many more.
What else can we say about this model? The cab is wrong, 1962 marked the change from the Series 1 to the Series 2 Corgi Land Rover, but Corgi kept the cab from the Series 1. Look at any Land Rover pickup made from 1958 onwards and the back of the cab has rounded quarter windows - Dinky got that right on their Series 2a. but of course the squared off cab, while being wrong in detail worked for the loadbed detail that Corgi wanted to use.
The list below and the photo grid are in chronological order of release.
GS 19 Chipperfield's land Rover & Elephant Cage
GS19 Was first released in 1962, it always had the second release Land-Rover (438), but early versions of the set have a tin tilt which is normally found on the old Series 1 Land-Rover without seats or suspension. The tin tilt was soon replaced by the usual plastic tilt. The early sets with the tin tilt are harder to find and worth more if you do find one. The set was deleted in 1968. They sold in large quantities but it is a popular model and values are good.
416s Radio Rescue
This is an upgrade from a tin-bottom solid axle RAC Land-Rover to the suspension & seats version, that's what the s means on the model number. It was only around for a year or so and they are very rare. This one is not brilliant, but these are really hard to find and you have to get the best one you can. I've replaced the tilt and the door decals with new ones and that has sharpened it up significantly. The second release RAC Land-Rover, 416s, was released in 1962 and remained in production to 1964. It is always blue with a blue tilt and RAC transfers on the doors and bonnet. There is also a Belgian export version in yellow with TS decals on the doors. These are very rare indeed and very expensive as a result.
417s Breakdown Truck
Of the many versions of the 109" Land Rover this is my favourite, not only is it a pleasing model to look at it has stacks of potential with that working jib - endless games of 'Italian Job'. There is a slight non-sequitur in the Corgimodel numbering though. This is more than an 'S' version of the old No.417, it is a completely new casting of a different model Land Rover, the old one was a Series 1, this is a Series 2. The model was renumbered a few years later when it got cast hubs and a new plastic tilt.
The Land-Rover Breakdown truck was upgraded to the new Series 2 casting with added seats and suspension in 1962 remaining in the range until it was upgraded and renumbered again in 1966, this later version having cast hubs and a plastic tilt.
I don't think this one was ever withdrawn, it just kept on being updated, it came in every colour you can think of, starting off with spun hubs, migrating to cast hubs and then to Whizzwheels, a lot of the variations were specific to gift sets but I've tried to highlight those.
GS2s Pony Trailer Set, Updated
Here we have a true staple of the Corgi range. They sold 10 million Land Rovers in the end, I think I've had a significant percentage of them through my business, and I guess this was the best selling gift set at 800,000 pieces in its different incarnations. This is the second version, updating the original 1957 release. In it you have the 1962 re-release of the Land Rover, now moved forward into Series 2 form with spring suspension, a vacuum formed interior and a plastic tilt. The horse box is still the same old Rice's item as before in a smart new paint job with the wire form tow bar replaced with cast alloy.The set continued in this version to 1968 when the colours were changed again and the trailer updated to the new Beaufort double horse box.
472 Vote For Corgi
After reading his diaries I cannot look at this without seeing the late Alan Clarke MP. He did his election campaigning from the back of a Land Rover. Its interesting to note that Corgi tune into politics and bring out this model in 1964, The 1964 general election was a big deal, probably the first modern media-driven election, and according to Harold Wilson (the winning Labour Prime Minister) ending "13 years of Tory misrule". It actually began 15 years of flip-flopping between governments and mess. Alan's crew got back in in the end. This is quite a nice example of a not very common variant of the 109" Landy. No.472 was in the Corgi range from September 1964 to 1966, it is always green with a yellow back and 'Vote Corgi' decals. There are no listed variations.
357 Army Weapons Carrier
Is this the 1965 Weapons Carrier or the ultra rare No.500 US Army Land Rover? Who can tell them apart? I'm told that the US version has no aerial in which case this is the Weapons Carrier as there is a hole where the aerial should go... It is yet another variant on the Land-Rover Series 2 109" Truck Cab that Corgi loved so much. The back of the cab is wrong, but otherwise this is a very well modelled and accurate version of the vehicle - so well modelled in fact (cab apart) that a Land Rover anorak like like me can tie it down to the early Series 2 of 1958-60. In 1960 the Series 2a was released which lasted until 1973. These were short lived in the Corgi range and are consequently hard to find and expensive. It should have a drab green tilt.
487 Chipperfields Circus Parade
It's the same basic model as last year's election special which had a politician figure on the microphone and a researcher helping out by distributing leaflets. This year instead of a politician we get a clown and instead of a researcher we get a monkey. Irony was alive and well and living in Northampton in 1965. Of course this is another outing for the excellent 109" Series 2 (not 2a) Land-Rover pickup or truck-cab as we Land Rover anoraks call it. The public address body works well in the casting used for the wrecker. The tailgate is missing and the hole which on the tow truck locates the winch on this one takes the rivet for the back body. It was in the catalogue from 1965 to 1969 and is always scarce, sought after and priced to match.
477 Breakdown Truck, Update
The third version of the Corgi Land Rover Wrecker is not that much of a leap. The casting is the same as the previous version being a model of the 1960 ish Series 2 Land Rover - (as opposed to the series 2a Land Rover which came out in 1962 and was was the model which took the real Land Rover right through the Sixties). The main change is the replacement of the tin tilt with a plastic one. Also on this version of the truck you will see either spun hubs or cast spoked hubs. The spare wheel on the side which is used to wind the winch was replaced part way through the run with a cast silver knob, similar to the one used on late release Priestman Shovels. You will also see it with Whizzwheels. Values are similar for most versions, there being a slight premium for the one with the spare wheel, rather than the knob.
GS7 Daktari Set
The Land Rover was the key part of the Daktari set released in November 1967. It came with a figure of the shows main protagonist, Dr Tracy, his daughter Paula and her pet lion and chimp, Clarence & Judy, and for some reason a tiger lying across the bonnet. This set first appeared with spun hubs on the Land Rover, then cast and finally Whizzwheels. It remained in the range, following updates, until 1976.
GS8 Lions of Longleat Set
This set consisted of a modified 438 Land-Rover 109" Pickup with a hatch in the roof for a hunter/keeper figure to stand up in, painted in black & white zebra stripes with a Lions of Longleat sticker on the bonnet. Also in the set were a lions den with three lions each of which had its own lump of meat. For those readers outside the UK who may not know what 'Lions of Longleat' means it refers to a safari park in the grounds of an English stately home. It was the very first of its kind when it was opened in 1966. The grounds of Longleat House were filled with exotic animals from Africa; lions, zebra, giraffes etc, and the public could pay to drive their cars through with the animals wandering around loose around them and have the pleasure of watching monkeys rip the wipers off their cars. This set was in the Corgi catalogue from 1968 to 1974 with the Land-Rover being converted to Whizzwheels during the run. Cast wheels sets get better prices than Whizzwheels sets.
GS15 Land Rover & Horsebox Set
One of the very first Corgi Gift Sets in 1958 was the Land-Rover and Horse Box. It was originally the green Series One with the red Rice Pony Pony Trailer, then they changed to the Series 2 Land-Rover and the colour changed to cream and tan. Now we have a new Horse Box and a change to blue and white. This Horse Box though does not become available as a single item until the following year. There is a mare and foal to go in the Horse Box. However the Horse Box is a bit more interesting than the previous version in that it has a front exit for the horses and a swivel on the central partition to let them both come out the same side. This revision of the Land-Rover and Horse Box set was released in 1968 it is always blue and white however you will find it with spun hubs, cast hubs or with Whizzwheels, or with a mixture. I don't think the trailer ever got spun hubs but the Land-Rover certainly did. Whizzwheels versions are worth significantly less. I have also seen it with the Pony Club stickers on the Land-Rover doors
Order of Release:
|Corgi Toys GS19; Circus Land Rover and Elephant Trailer; Plastic Tilt On The Land Rover||Corgi Toys 416s; Land Rover Series 2 109" RAC Radio Rescue; Blue, Spun Hubs, Suspension, Blue Plastic Tilt||Corgi Toys 417s; Land Rover Series 2 109' Breakdown Truck; Suspension, Tin Tilt||Corgi Toys 438; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Beige; Spun Hubs; Plastic Tilt||Corgi Toys 438; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Green Metallic With Spun Hubs, Plastic Tow Hitch|
|Corgi Toys 438; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Green, Spun Hubs, Plastic Tilt||Corgi Toys 438; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Red With Plastic Tilt, Spun Hubs, Tin Hitch||Corgi Toys GS2s; Land Rover & Rice's Pony Trailer Set (2nd Vers); Beige/Cream||Corgi Toys 438; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Red, Cast Hubs, Plastic Tow Hitch, Plastic Tilt||Corgi Toys 438; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Green Metallic; Cast Hubs|
|Corgi Toys 472; Land Rover Series 2 109in Truck Cab; Public Address Vehicle; 'vote Corgi'||Corgi Toys 357; Land Rover Series 2 109' Weapons Carrier; Yellow Interior||Corgi Toys 357; Land Rover Series 2 109' Weapons Carrier; Red Interior||Corgi Toys 487; Land Rover Series 2 109in; Chipperfield's Circus Parade||Corgi Toys 477; Land Rover Series 2 109 Breakdown Truck; Red, Yellow Plastic Tilt, Spun Hubs, Spare Wheel Winch Winder|
|Corgi Toys 477; Land Rover Series 2 109 Breakdown Truck; Red, Yellow Plastic Tilt, Cast Hubs, Spare Wheel Winch Winder||Corgi Toys GS7a; Daktari Set; Land Rover Spun Hubs, Plastic Figures||Corgi Toys GS8; Lions of Longleat Set; Spun Hubs||Corgi Toys GS8; Lions of Longleat Set; Cast Hubs||Corgi Toys GS15; Land Rover and Horsebox|