Rick Wilson, editor of Diecast Collector, delves into his vast collection of models.
Easily one of my favourite Corgi Majors from my early years was the No 1146 Scammell Handyman MkIII Tractor Unit with Carrimore Tri-Deck MkV Transporter. Taking over from the ageing Carrimore MkIV, this new release was literally on another level, as the whole casting was completely reworked and a third tier was added.
Released in October 1970, this was the only new Major release that year, but it certainly stood out. The tractor unit chosen for the new incarnation was the popular Scammell Handyman, painted in a vibrant orange and white to tie in with the orange, white and blue transporter unit.
Capacity was increased over the previous version, although a little space was lost on the lower deck to the front to keep it low. Both upper decks hinge down to give access and a rear ramp is carried at the rear to ease loading and unloading on all three decks, although this has to be unrealistically handled into place – but I didn’t care about the loss of realism here as it afforded literally hours and hours of fun (and still does!).
No 1146 stayed in the range until 1973, and over 200,000 were sold. As well as being sold as a standalone release, the unit also appeared over the same time period in Gift Set 20, accompanied by an assortment of six Corgi then current cars, which could vary according the range availability at the time. I wasn’t lucky enough to receive a gift set, but I certainly remember getting No 1146 for Christmas in 1970. I was just six and unwrapping the present is an image that is firmly stuck in my memory – and I simply made up my own gift set from my collection at the time. As you can see, I’ve done exactly the same here too and this sits prominently displayed for me to enjoy on a daily basis.