No contribution here yet, discussing the 25b Covered Wagon or Covered Van. This wagon belongs, together with its early 25 brothers, to the earliest Dinky Toys, introduced as it was in 1934. It is just a basic 25a Wagon, provided with a tinplate tilt, for which a separate undated design drawing exists. Despite this addition the retail price for both models 25a and 25b was the same. Some of the early 25 models (and 25t) survived well after 1950 on export markets. This one ended in 1950 already. Fourth type examples, especially the ones for export, with their coloured hubs, are the scarcer of the plain models.
Scarce anyway are the ones with advertising (if in good condition): Covered Wagon ‘Meccano Engineering for Boys’ (cream tilt), Covered Wagon ‘Hornby Trains’ (cream tilt), Covered Wagon ‘Carter Paterson Express Carriers London’ (green tilt) and Covered Wagon ‘Carter Paterson Special Service to the Seaside’ (cream tilt).
In 1950 this model was succeeded by a modern version, the no. 30s/413 Austin Covered Wagon, which used exactly the same tilt. This means that the tilt covered a time span of thirty years, 1934-1964.
During its life the Covered Wagon passed all stages type 1 – type 4. Illustrations below:
1. Initial appearance in the October 1934 Meccano catalogue.
2. Final (?) appearance in the 1947/48 USA Dinky Toys catalogue.
3. Tilt design, factory drawing job no. 6678.
4. Chassis + grille characteristics types 1-4 according to Cecil Gibson.
5. Prewar first type Covered Wagon, with the tinplate grille (Vectis).
6. Prewar Covered Wagons with advertising, type 2 (source unknown).
7. Postwar regular plain Covered Wagon, type 2.
8. Chassis first + second type, grille second type only.
9. Couple of postwar second type Covered Wagons. Both smooth (early) and ridged hubs.
10. Third type Covered Wagon.
11. Third type chassis.
12. Fourth type Covered Wagon, red instead of the previous black hubs.
13. Fourth type chassis.
14. Fourth type chassis, design.
15. ‘30’ roundels at the rear, right.
16. Covered Wagons, old and new generations.