Corgi Toys 1956-73
Mettoy Miniature Numbers 502 Standard Vanguard brass cast

Mettoy Miniature Numbers 502 Standard Vanguard brass cast

6500 GBP
A fascinating and unique item of Mettoy history from the Wilford Collection.

This is a master model, in what I think is brass, of one of the forerunners of Corgis. A range of New Miniature Numbers was introduced by The Mettoy Company in 1950 with a Standard Vanguard and Rolls Royce, each in two sizes. This appears to be the model for 502, the smaller Standard Vanguard.

It is 70mm long, heavy and attached to the simply varnished wood block by a bolt.

The New Miniature Numbers disappeared from the Mettoy Catalogue in 1954. This must be a unique and quite special item in Mettoy / Corgi history.

Although this chunk of metal has polished to a lovely bright silver (with a golden radiator grill) and is not as golden brown as those shown in this illustration from The Great Book of Corgi, the style is very similar - see how the wheel areas are represented.

I have also acquired and will include in the sale an example of the model that would have been produced in the early 1950s.

Although not obvious from this photo, or even at first glance on the desk, the inside of the car is chock full of mechanisms.  I haven't got an original key but the clockwork motor can be wound up and off the model goes. At the front, the 'fog light' can be moved towards the left or right which, in turn, changes the angles of the wheels. This is remarkably accurate - not the axle rotating about a central point like Dinky did for years and which never looked right, but a form of parallel steering which worked wonderfully well and looked right too. Amazing.

At the back is a lever which can stop the motor operation. Again, a very precise bit of engineering indeed, controlling a simple ratchet device. 
There is no brand or text of any description on the base so this may well be something that we could easily have missed when rummaging through boxes of other people's toys.