DINKY TOYS

The very first model Rolls-Royce from Dinky came out during 1934. It was made right up to the outbreak of the 
Second World War, when precious metals were needed for the War depart-
ment and production was suspended until after the War. 

Also during 1934, they made an ambulance which morphed into a Bentley in 1937 as model number 30f.

In 1935, they made a Bentley 2 door coupe.

These were re-introduced after the War, but was not made for very long, the style of the models now looked a little out of date.

Several years passed before another Rolls-Royce was added to the range, but when it arrived, it was a stunner.

In 1959, the new Dinky Rolls-Royce was unveiled onto the U.K. market.
It was based on a Park Ward design and came with 'chromed' bumpers and grille, glazing and spring suspension.

This was a very succesful model and many examples are still to be found in good condition.

In 1961, Dinky made their first modern Bentley, in the form a Bentley 'S' series 2 door DHC.

In 1962, a 1959 Phantom V Park Ward Limousine was added to the range and this had all four side windows designed so you can open them!

In 1964, the first model to be made by Dinky since the purchase of 'SPOT-ON' was launched, but models will now appear in the new scale of 1/43 (not the 1/42 used for the Spot-on models, a collector has measured an example),
and based on a Silver Cloud III 2 door saloon, nicknamed as the 'Chinese eye' car.

1965 and another Phantom V is launch-
ed, but this one is also in the new 1/43rd scale and becomes one of the biggest Dinky toy cars so far!

As one of over two hundred companies to receive a licence to make the TV series 'Thunderbirds'  toys, Dinky released their fabulous "FAB I" model in late 1966.

In 1967, Dinky released their version of the Silver Shadow 4 door saloon and as expected by now, it was full of play value features like all four doors opening, boot and bonnet opening, steering and an opening glove compartment in the dashpanel!

Dinky toys introduced kit versions of several of their models in 1970 and the first one in the range was a kit version of the big Phantom V.

In 1977, this same big Phantom V model was re-tooled into a much more basic version. The two rear doors no longer opened, the bonnet no longer opened and the bright jewelled headlamps were removed and filled in with cast metal to make them look like smooth blobs!

The very last Rolls-Royce made at Binns Road in Liverpool during 1979, the Phantom V casting in gloss White.

MODEL No. 30b
                      A STORE DISPLAY SHOWING A FEW PRE-WAR DINKY TOY CARS
The Dinky toys Rolls-Royce in a store display, shows us the 'pre-war' White tyres. These first models had smooth wheel hubs with these tyres but 'post-war' they were changed for ridged hubs and Black tyres.

Overall, the baseplate was changed four times, a production improvement decision more than anything else, but the design became more simple in its look. 
                           A TYPICAL 'PRE-WAR' EXAMPLE OF THE ROLLS-ROYCE.
The Rolls-Royce was one of four model cars introduced by Dinky at this time, 1935. They were part of the '30 series', the Rolls-Royce being number 30b.

Rolls-Royce collectors like to know what particular car their models are based on, but the Dinky has been quite hard to identify.

The general consensus is that is is based on a mid-30's Rolls-Royce 20-25 HP car and the actual chassis number of a particular car we think is the Dinky, is CH No.GRF 18, a Gurney Nutting 2 door, 4 light saloon.
The range of colours on the 'pre-war' examples were brighter than 'post-war' examples and gift set examples have been found in some really striking colour combinations.

The Rolls-Royce can be found in many colours and a listing of these is not practicle to do, we just don't know all of the colours used, we can only record what colours have been seen in collections etc, so there will be a guide, only for those wanting to at least compare colours with their own findings. 


The Bentley follows the same principal as the Rolls-Royce, they were made pretty close together, the Rolls-Royce in 1934 and the Bentley in 1935, so the same production process applies to both models, a single large casting for the main body and another single casting for the wings and baseplate. The axles actually keeping the two together, so no complicated riveting taking place, allowed large numbers of these models to be made and this is confirmed by the vast number of examples turning up at Auction houses and on internet Auction sites.


The very first versions of the Bentley had a tinplate driver and passenger fitted into slots on the floor and this is rather nice, but odd that no Rolls-Royce seemed to have been fitted with them, unless you know better, but I have never seen an example so far.

                                           MODEL No. 36B, The Bentley 2 door Coupe.

Additional to these two models was an Ambulance, but at first it was not what we class as 'Prototypical' meaning it was not based on an actual car brand, however, through several modifications during production, it became a Bentley Ambulance and an example in Grey, the first colour, is shown below.

                            MODEL No. 30F, The Bentley 'Ambulance', Rare Grey Version.

The listing below highlights the main variations of the Ambulance as it morphs into the Bentley version with the model shown in picture number 3.

The above Rolls-Royce models were not manufactured after 1950, the Bentley models went into 1951, but there was a long gap until another model was introduced, a Rolls-Royce in 1959.



1959, The start of something special.

In February 1959, Dinky Toys in Liverpool, introduced a very special new Rolls-Royce model car. It was special in many ways, it was their first 'Prototypical' Rolls-Royce model, based on an actual car and given a correct name...Silver Wraith.


Issued as catalogue number 150, it had chrome plated grille and bumpers, spring suspension, two-tone paintwork, full window glazing and a 'Silver Lady' mascot.

                            MODEL No. 150, Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith and it's First Box.

This was a revelation in toy car design, closely pushing the status from 'Toy Car' into 'Model Car'. It was still in the 1/48th scale in use by Dinky at that time, but because the real car was large, the model (with a few exceptions), was larger against the other cars in the range.


Dinky worked quite close with Rolls-Royce and Park Ward on this model to ensure it was right and it seems pretty much void of any 'Artisitic Licence' and only the boot-lid shut line can be questionable and if you have an example of this model in mint to new condition, you'll agree on how good it is.

                     FEBRUARY 1959 ADVERT ON THE REAR OF 'MECCANO MAGAZINE'

The model was made at Binns Road in Liverpool but received some casting changes during it's first year of production, this consisted of detail changes to the rear lamps, rear window, boot shut-line profile and the little panel between the rear bumper to where it meets the extreme rear of the body, just below the boot shut-line.


This modified version stayed in production until 1961, when castings were sent over to the French factory and the model was assembled there, it was given a different catalogue number of 551 and it was shown as such on the stamped steel baseplate along with 'Assembled in France' in French.


The French version's specification changed during 1962 when the brake drums became smaller and the rivets were of the 'Open' type.


These changes also appeared on the British model, so the modifications seem to have taken place more or less on both versions at the same time and it has created a further version of the British model and in this new form, it stayed in production until 1964.


The chosen colour scheme for the Silver Wraith of two-tone Grey, could have been extended to other two-tone combinations, but sadly they never appeared and despite having a six year production period, the colours hardly ever showed any real shade differences, only between the British and French examples can you find shade differences. 


The quality control in France was not quite up to the same standards as those in England and if you put a British and French pair of models together but without showing the baseplates, you can usually tell which model is which!