First released in a trade box of six models in 1951, this model, together with seven others, became affectionally known as one of the ’40 Series’ by Dinky enthusiasts. I believe it was the sixth release following the initial Riley 40a. For some reason the renumbering, which took place in 1953-54, did not follow the same order; for example the Riley became ‘158’ and the Standard ‘153’.
The model itself changed very little over its manufacture, which ended in 1960. The following observations identify changes that I have recognised.
Casting & Baseplate
There were three changes to the casting and base plate during the models release and these were similar to the Austin Devon.
The early models had small writing on the base plate and no printing on the underside of the roof.
The boot casting did not show a raised line just below the boot grab handle.
The rear axle was held by a centre clamp on the base plate.
The base plate was changed to large writing and retained no printing under the roof.
The rear boot now introduced a raised additional horizontal line just below the grab handle.
The rear axle was now held by an amended casting to the base plate to the sides.
The final phase retained the large writing base but had ‘Vanguard’ cast on the underside of the roof.
This is helpful for the enthusiast, as you are able to date the models more accurately and those which are likely to have had a dual number box.
The casting did change very slightly. The rear grab handle was slightly enlarged and the last models received tail lights and the new black grip ‘M’ tyres.
The tyres were the smooth black type through most of the model life but final models were updated with the ‘M’ tyres.
The packing of these models were provided in trade boxes of six to the shop keeper and these came in several designs.
A Type 2 trade box was the first release post war and this was a brown box with yellow label to the end with model description marked ‘40E’.
A Type 3 box was then used, this was an all yellow or all cream box with model description as Type 2 directly printed, there was no label.
This was followed by a Type 4 box, similar to a Type 3 but with a 5 digit reference code. The final box was a Type 5 which was all over yellow as before dropping the code number, but now offering the dual numbering and for the first time identifying ‘153’, its eventual final coding.
This box is not often seen.
There were just two designs used. They were similar in being the yellow box with red ‘Dinky Toys’ on the ends and sides.
Type 1 was a dual numbered box with black end ovals and white numbering ‘153’, with red early numbers ‘40E’ to each side of the oval. There was no numbering on the picture sides. Colour stickers were often applied to denote the colour within. The models printed either side were blue or Beige. This is a far less common box to Type 2.
Type 2. This type now dropped the dual numbering but included a printed colour spot at each end, to identify the model within and had large red ovals with white writing on the model picture sides. The models on each side were all over tan and blue with tan wheels, though the printing shade of the tan wheels can vary enormously.
Type 1 models seen are with small writing base plates, early rear boot casting, open rear wheel spats and smooth roof undersides. These models are likely to have originated from a trade box though it is possible any could have been sold through the early dual number box, but unlikely. The following models date from 1948-49
- Beige body and wheels
- Beige body and red wheels
- Maroon body and wheels
Type 2 models seen with large writing base plate, additional casting line on boot and smooth roof underside were issued between 1949-54 approximately.
These would have been sold through a trade box and also individual dual and new numbering boxes.
- Maroon body and wheels
- Maroon body and beige wheels
- Dark Blue body and beige wheels
- Beige body and wheels
Type 3 models with large writing base, additional boot casting line ‘Vanguard’ cast on the underside of the roof, issued between 1955-60. Supplied only through the later type box.
- Beige body and beige wheels
- Blue body and blue wheels
- Blue body and beige wheels
- Blue body and cream wheels
- Cream body and cream wheels
The final two listings may be found with later tail lights and ‘M’ tyres.
Sales & Evaluation
Regarding this model and evaluating sales it is a somewhat easier model to identify, particularly regarding models with the open spat rear wheel. However identifying the boot ridge is not so easy, so I have responded to this by way of my own models. I have tried to provide a guide only and a fair reflection of sales and how easy each model is to obtain.
The sales totals reflect the total sales of each colour not whether they were sold un-boxed as a ‘40E’, or boxed item as a ‘153’ and in a wide range of condition from mint to play worn.
I have utilised two additional main stream sales businesses as well as my own Diecast Gems sales and stocks to reflect the units sold. These sales are archives of the last 15-20 years.
For the collector this model has some very hard variations to find. Should the model be maroon or dark blue then you have a scarce model indeed. These will always demand a high premium.
Sales to July 2017
The total sales recorded for this survey since August 2000 are 277 models. The distribution is as follow:
- 61 Beige body and wheels open rear spats
- 9 Beige body and red wheels open rear spats
- 1 Maroon body and wheels open rear spats
- 7 Maroon body and wheels closed spats
- 1 Maroon body and beige wheels closed spats
- 4 Dark Blue body and beige wheels closed spats
- 20 Beige body and wheels closed spats (Includes Type 3)
- 0 Beige body and beige wheels (Sales included in above)
- 2 Blue body and blue wheels
- 33 Blue body and beige wheels
- 25 Blue body and cream wheels
- 40 Cream body and cream wheels
- Look out for late examples with tail lights and ‘M’ tyres
- A good dual number box is not easy to find
- All Beige issues with matching wheels and closed spats have been included in one total sales, re-model value below.
If you are aware of any genuine variations not listed above, please feel free to email me with details and pictures and I will always consider adding to the above article or follow with a blog.
Model Value Guide
Below is a guide to value in my own opinion:
- Beige body and wheels open rear spats. £80-£150
- Beige body and red wheels open rear spats. Rare. £500-£600
- Maroon body and wheels open rear spats. VV Rare. £1500-£2000+
- Trade Box of 6. Open or closed rear spats. £600-£800
- Maroon body and wheels closed spats. V Rare. £1500-£2000
- Maroon body and beige wheels closed spats. VV Rare. £1500-£2000
- Dark Blue body and beige wheels closed spats. Rare. £600-£900
- Beige body and wheels closed spats (Includes Type 3). £175-£250
- Beige body and beige wheels. £175-£200
- Blue body and blue wheels. V Scarce. £350-£475
- Blue body and beige wheels. £175-£250
- Blue body and cream wheels. £200-£275
- Cream body and cream wheels. £200-£275
Price guide is for mint models and boxes only.
Of the rare models there were very few examples, mint or near mint, and most sold were play worn to some degree.
The rare items may fetch even higher prices than those indicated and examples are recorded considerably higher when you take an auctioneers commission into account.
The majority of sales fall far below the values provided when condition is only average.
I hope you enjoy this article and any comments you may have will be gratefully received.