The Luxury Coach was initially released in 1951 under the coding of ‘29g’.
These were sold in trade boxes that held 6 models.
As with many models, re-numbering took place in 1954 and ‘29g’ became ‘281’.
These were supplied in individual boxes and these early transitional boxes can be found with dual numbering. By 1955 ‘281’ had become the established coding until production ended in 1959.
This is an exciting model for colour variations and there are some rare variants for the collector to seek out.
All models that I have observed have had the standard un-numbered tin base plate with small writing and smooth tyres with ridged wheels. The only exception to this are late models with ‘M’ Tyres.
Listed below are the likely colour releases in the various stages of production along with my opinion of current values of the different coloured models in mint condition. The first group, being from trade boxes, are priced unboxed whereas the post 1954 colours have been priced as boxed models.
However, it is my opinion that both the Brown and Cream models released with green wheels were after the trade box period.
I believe the Cream model with matching wheels and orange flashes had the longest production run.
Likely early release colours in trade boxes.
- Burgundy with matching wheels and silver flashes —————– £300-£500
- Burgundy with matching wheels and cream side flashes ———– £80-£120
- Cream with matching wheels and orange side flashes ————– £80-£120
The following colours may be found either in trade boxes, the dual-numbering phase of individual boxes or, finally, the ‘281’ box with identifying colour spot.
- Cream with matching wheels and orange side flashes ————– £160-£220
- Brown with cream wheels and orange side flashes —————– £140-£200
- Brown with green wheels and orange side flashes ——————- £160-£220
- Cream with green wheels and orange side flashes ——————- £200-£280
- Burgundy with red wheels and cream side flashes ——————- £120-£170
A picture box change showing two late models issued. Later models had ‘M’ tyres.
- Cream with red wheels and red side flashes ——————————- £280-£380
- Bright blue with primrose yellow wheels and cream side flashes —- £280-£380
- Bright blue with red wheels and cream side flashes. Guide only —— £600-£800
- 1951-53 Trade Box
- 1954 Dual number box ‘281’/’29g’ shows burgundy model with peach side flashes and burgundy and brown model with orange side flashes and cream wheels. Red ovals and white numbers on picture sides. No colour spot on ends.
- 1955-56 Shows ‘281’ box with burgundy model with peach side flashes and burgundy wheels and brown model with orange side flashes and cream wheels. Red ovals and white numbers on picture sides. Colour spot on ends.
- 1956-57 Shows ‘281’ box with burgundy model with peach side flashes and burgundy wheels and brown model with oranges side flashes and green wheels. Red ovals and white numbers on picture sides. Colour spot on ends.
- 1958-59 Final ‘281’ box showing cream model with red side flash and red wheels and the blue model with cream side flash and primrose wheels. Red ovals with white writing on picture sides. Colour spot on ends.
Please note the dates I have used for box release is approximate only and is my opinion.
If anyone reading this article can throw more light on release dates and other colour variations please email me with your findings.
- Flash colours can vary from Peach to Cream on some models.