Tantalising tinplate trio

05 July 2021
Wallis and Wallis certainly dished up some delights at its recent auction.

A rare mid 1950s Bandai/Cragstan friction-powered Ford Suburban Fleet was a star lot. This seldom seen set was produced for the North American market and comprised three Ford Fairlanes (a Station Wagon in two tone green, a Pick-Up in red with a dark blue cab and a Delivery Van in turquoise), the last two carrying a 'Ford Lasts Longer' elephant within an oval impressed into the side doors.  All three featured litho detailed interiors, window glazing and plated brightwork. Bidding was intense, the lot ending on £1,150.

Equally rare was the late 1950s Japanese Yonezawa Tinplate Atom Jet Racer. A streamlined science-fiction style space ship/jet-powered vehicle, it was very much from the Jetsons cartoon period. Fitted with a friction motor (still in working order), the main body in a light green with a varnished style look, it featured bold detail with 'Atom jet' and 'A-58 v', with various other litho detailing like rivets, grab handles and red lining. The enclosed cockpit contained the pilot and this soared off to make an impressive £2,600.

Another scarce item was the Japanese tinplate GEM Super Racer. A friction-powered single seat racing car, it was finished in white with red flame effect detailing, and boasted racing number 42 with lithographed sponsors: BP, SHELL, Kleber, SOLEX were all present. Set off by a cast-in driver, this made £650.

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Aircraft were the other big hitters. A rare, mint French Dinky Toys Aeroplane Gift Set, 'Avions' (set No.61), comprising a Dewoitine D-338 in green and silver, a Hanriot Type H-180 M in silver, a Potez Type 58 in silver, a Farman Type F 360 in silver and yellow and a Dewoitine  Type 500in silver; there was also a Potez Type 56 in red and silver included. A final bid of £1,000 secured the set.

The other interesting aviation lot was the Dinky Toys RAF Aeroplane Set No.61. Comprising five aircraft (a Singapore Flying Boat, two Fairey Battle Bombers and two Gloster Gladiator bi-planes), all in silver RAF livery. Some age wear to the box was noted, and the lid was dated 1/39, making it a pre-war set? £500 was the winning bid.