Many, many years ago I had a Matchbox Police car. One day, crossing the road, I dropped it – and it was promptly flattened by a real car. Disconsolate, I was cheered up by being taken to a toyshop to choose another vehicle. To this day I don’t know why, but I chose a grey Refuse Truck. Dull, dull, dull… but the Dinky No.252 Bedford Refuse Wagon in the Vectis August Specialist sale was anything but. With its orange cab and chassis, grey back with mid-green metal slides, it ran on green ridged hubs with black treaded tyres. This one was fitted with windows and was billed as excellent. Estimated at £70-80, it reached an amazing £456.
The Dinky No.289 London Transport Routemaster Bus with "Dinky Toys" logo was painted red and fitted with a dark blue lower interior and a light blue upper. Described as generally near mint in an excellent window box, it finished on £504, ten times its estimate.
Another Dinky to hit a high note was the No.22s Military Open Back Truck with Searchlight. Army green (what else?), it featured ridged hubs with black tyres. Bidding pushed this example, which was good plus to excellent, up to £744 – again, about ten times the guideline. Is Dinky going through a renaissance?
It wasn’t just vehicles, either. A lovely Dinky No.60 Aeroplanes Gift Set included the Autogiro, a Percival Gull and others. Conditions were noted as only generally fair to good plus whilst the box itself was fair to good. However, this is a scarce set in any condition and someone was happy to secure it at a little over £600, once more way over estimate.
Still in the air, the No.992 Avro Vulcan Delta Wing Bomber in silver with RAF roundels does turn up now and again at auction. That said, it’s quite sought after. The Vectis example was good to good plus but was a bright example.Estimated at £500-700, it realised a creditable £1,320.
Aside from models there was air for sale: a Dinky No.38c Lagonda Sports Coupe empty trade box was billed as good (although it did have splits to the sides). Bidding was furious, pushing it all the way to £180.
As for the Dinky No.405 Universal Jeep in orange body with red plastic hubs and black metal windscreen, this is a hard to find to issue. It presented well and came with a good plus yellow and red carded picture box, with the correct colour spot. Estimated at £180-220, it doubled the money, the hammer falling on £576.
Back to the road haulage sector – where there’s plenty of money, it seems. The No.901 Foden (second type) diesel 8-wheel wagon came in a fetching two-tone green with dark green cab and chassis, mid-green back and Supertoy hubs. Overall condition was put as excellent plus (a couple of very small marks on the sides were noted), and it was complete with a "Tested By" label in a generally good plus to excellent box. Estimated at £460-520, its colour scheme might have been the spur, for it made £816.