At a recent Collectoys auction in France, I was successful with a number of lots, one of which contained two models,
Description: 676 DINKY TOYS (FRANCE) DAIMLER Engin blindé kaki un petit décalque d'origine ajouté sur le côté gauche de la caisse (un autre incomplet) - présence d'un ruban adhésif sur la boîte (un rabat incomplet) - A.c - 810 DINKY TOYS (FRANCE) DODGE COMMAND CAR kaki avec un conducteur supplémentaire - 5 décalques d'origine apposées sur la carrosserie - un éclat important sur l'aile avant gauche - entourage de pare-brise déformé & repeint - B.c
Or with a literal translation:
Description: 676 DINKY TOYS (FRANCE) DAIMLER armored Engin khaki small original decal added on the left side of the box (another incomplete) - presence of a tape on the box (an incomplete flap) - Ac - 810 DINKY TOYS (FRANCE) DODGE COMMAND CAR khaki with an additional driver - 5 original decals affixed to the body - a major chip on the left front fender - windshield entourage deformed & repainted - Bc
My interest centred on the 810 Dodge Command Car, even though it did not contain the small piece of camouflage netting which reflected the level of my bidding. I was not worried, nor did I really look at its companion model, and it was only when I received my winnings did I sit up and take notice. I know absolutely nothing about late issue French Dinky, and on removing it from its box, my immediate impression was its similarity with the English 670 Armoured Car.
Then I started conducting a little research on this model, and it did not take long for me to realise what the word “little” meant with the 676! For one thing, the model is a real puzzle and carries the hallmarks of the manufacture in two countries. The first thing observed were the words Fabriqué en France (Made in France) on one of the box’s main panels. Then on an inner flap are the words “Imprime en France” (Printed in France). But the base plate is the most interesting. It consists of “Dinky TOYS DAIMLER ARMOURED CAR, and at the other end of the base plate “Made in England”. The 676 was undoubtedly made or at least assembled in France – its wheels are the same as used on other French military Dinky Toys, the Tricolour transfer front and rear, and the type of military green paint as used with other French military Dinky Toys.
The following is from Jean-Michel Roulet’s “HISTOIRE DES DINKY TOYS FRANÇAIS” (HISTORY OF FRENCH DINKY TOYS) which was written in both French and English:
p210: “Finally, before finishing this section of French military models, mention must be made of the 676 Armoured Vehicle engraved “Made in England” which was sold in France in a little yellow box with camouflage on one major panel and outer end flap, printed “Made in France”. But was this a French model? The answer would be yes if the colour and the decoration, typically French, are taken into account, as were the aerial and the camouflage net. But it would be no, if the wheels and the English base were to be taken as criteria. At all events, it should be known that this model did exist.” (I am surprised that Mr Roulet did not mention that the hubs were typically French!)
On page 256, Mr Roulet mentions that the model was on sale in France as from 1972 which I presume is based on the 1972 French Dinky Toys catalogue. Ramsay’s British Diecast Model Toys Catalogue, 15th Edition confirms that the model was only available during 1972.
Turning to the Liverpool model, Ramsay’s British Diecast Model Toys Catalogue, 15th Edition shows it to be available between 1973 and 1976, although I am not sure why the catalogue has an entry “Speedwheels (a new version of 670) was available from 1973 to 1974. The next line contains the wording French made version: With camouflage net “Made in England” on base with the estimated value being 50% less than their entry for the same model in the French Dinky Toys section! Obviously confusion, created in 1972 continues to this very day!
The Liverpool version was announced in the July 1973 issue of Meccano Magazine. The announcement was shared with five other models all of which had been released to the buying public since the last issue of the magazine in April. The model was described as being “an improved version of the famous Armoured Car produced by Dinky from 1954 to 1970.” As for it being an “improved version”, there is simply no comparison. For one thing, the new feature that denigrates the model are its plastic “Speedhwheels” as well as the excessive thickness of the paint used including the shade of military green used. It is therefore very surprising, and perhaps unique that this model, obviously from the Liverpool factory was issued in France a year before it was issued in the United Kingdom.
The French 676 Daimler Armoured Car
and the original British 670 Armoured Car
Both models side by side, French (left) and British (right)
This is what the young fellows in the United Kingdom got for their money for the same model. I know which one I would have preferred - had I known at the time!
The model remained in the Dinky Toys inventory at least until February 1975 when it made its last appearance in an Order Form. The 676 Daimler Armoured Car was included in the 1975 Dinky Toys catalogue which appears to have been printed after October of that year, as it included models that were released in October. This may not have been the final appearance, although it is not included in the September 1976, May 1977 and April 1978 Order Forms, or the June 1978 Trade Price List.
Considering the evidence available to me, the 676 Daimler Armoured Car was withdrawn at the end of December 1975 to make way for the 667 Armoured Patrol Car that was of a larger 1:48 scale and was loosely modelled on the Mk II version of the Daimler Armoured Car.
Bruce H. (150)