Never lost for things to talk about, Rick Wilson delves into his model stash to share his favourites.
I was just seven years old when the first two Corgi Mack R trucks appeared in the shops – I just had to have them, but I have to say that I was more drawn to the trailered version for some reason. So much so that the cab from the tanker quickly found its way onto the front of the trailer from an earlier Corgi. As with all my diecast, they eventually found their way to the local hospital as a donation to the children’s ward. So when I began collecting again it was inevitable that these would reappear.
Corgi announced its new Mack R in 1971 against the backdrop of extremely difficult trading conditions. The Mettoy Group was suffering at the hands of both Mattel and other cheap diecast manufacturers, mainly from the Far East. Nevertheless new product development continued and the first two variants of the Mack arrived as part of the Corgi Majors range in October and November 1971.
First up was No 1152 Mack Truck with Gloster Saro Articulated Petrol Tanker. This was new tooling in all aspects – both tractor and trailer. The Mack tractor unit was produced in 1/48 scale, featuring a diecast body and chassis with metal cast wheels, red plastic interior, silver steering wheel and black plastic air filter and exhaust stack. A small red plastic button between the cab and chassis operated the bonnet release to reveal a quite nicely detailed engine in black. The front grille and headlight surrounds were in black whilst the front bumper was finished in silver paint. The articulated petrol tanker trailer was based on a design produced by Gloster Saro, a company formed by the amalgamation of the Gloster Aircraft Company and Saunders Roe.
The following month No 1100 Mack Truck with Trans Continental Trailer was released, this time finished all over in orange. The detachable trailer was a large box van with full side sliding doors. The doors were adorned with the words “Trans-Continental” and a world map logo, both in gold. The trailer was actually first used in 1965 as part of No 1137, hauled by a Ford Tilt Cab H Series. In its new guise it featured an orange chassis to match the cab, silvery blue box trailer and black sliding doors.
Of course when I reacquired these in 2015, I had to recreate the Nos 1152 and 1137 cab swap to produce the fabulous display pair that you see here.