Dinky Toys : Number 198, their first Rolls-Royce Phantom V.
Though they really are Dinky-Toys some models aren’t sought after, even if they are not ugly.
Nevertheless they can be very interesting for non Dinky collectors. Such a vehicle as the Rolls-Royce Phantom V Dinky-Toys numbered 198 is one of these.
Two colour combinations, two upholsteries for one. Is that all ? No not at all. If we examine carefully this car and its history into the Dinky-Toys range.
Launched in February 1962, it brings no less than two “first”. The famous Dinky-Toys “first” It was the first to have a metallic coat (half coat in fact). And especially what is a small revolution: o-p-e-n-i-n-g windows! A real exploit on a toy a little less than 4 inches long.
As almost every touring car from Dinky-Toys it is featured with fingertip steering. This system is not always a great success depending on the car it fits (gigantic turning circle, very firm touch, return sometimes difficult to the straight line). Especially compared to the excellent (but very rare) Corgi system. It is however perfectly designed for a low cost mass production. Because it wasn’t mounted on every model, plated parts such as bumpers, grille, and headlights must be mentioned. Then adding realism, in my opinion, there’s a chauffeur. I moreover find a pity there are rarely drivers or passengers to give more life to our favourite models. Drained from their living beings, model cars are to be simply lifeless and inert. Did you remark that there’s often somebody inside a riding car?
Although mass produced, this Rolls-Royce wasn’t a great interest for collectors looking for many variations. She only had two distinct coats. That’s what I believed for a long time, perhaps as you did. Her first livery was metallic green over ivory and was fitted with a red or rather scarce blue upholstery. Then the two tone grey copies having the following characteristic: the front isn’t riveted any more, but the base still has the hole it had before. If you are considering buying one and see that hole, it is not a refurbished copy. Look at the front plate which is different from the first series, it maintains the base to the body.
Another thing that must be pointed out is that these later copies have thinner bodies as one can see from a worm’s eye view
One day I bought from a Canadian seller a grey over grey copy. The greys they are about were neatly different from the ones I had seen before. The light degrees were so neat that just a picture taken in my kitchen with my compact camera, in daylight condition shows it clearly. This original untouched copy was yet a nice surprise, because it was a bargain that I wanted to use for spares. The first thing I saw was that it was near mint as the seller have listed it as good condition and the pictures were bad. After having shown it to a Dinky expert, I was able to confirm there is really two variations of the two tone grey, my last fast being an authentic untouched Dinky-Toys.
It’s not the end of the quest. First you can look for the display box and its export variation for late models sent to North America. Then if your banker is a friend of yours, you can seek after one or the whole seven known South African variations. These models considered “very rare” by the most famous auctioneers are very hard to find and just seeing them is for sure a collector’s delight.
All parts are strictly identical to Great Britain models because Dinky-Toys sent all parts to be painted and assembled in South-Africa. Only rivets are different and are sufficient to designate a model as a S-A one (one of the color scheme is exactly the same as the first GB release was). Find the matching box will be even harder to find.
Maybe I speak of this model with passion, as a Rolls-Royce collector first, and as an early 60’s GB Dinky-Toys enthusiast, I look at this model with shinning eyes, whatever its condition or rarity. It’s just a marvellous toy that tells of childhood joys, talks about smiles and laughs.
Some years later Dinky-Toys will launch another Rolls-Royce Phantom V. A biger one. Yes, biger because it will be at 1/42 scale and no more at 1/48.
Thanks again to George who corrects my english. Soon an article about his model cars, written by himself ? I hope.