1940 Wells-Brimtoy, Camouflaged Army Lorry in Original Box

1940 Wells-Brimtoy, Camouflaged Army Lorry in Original Box

*By 1940, 99% of Wells-Brimtoy's production was for the Ministry of Aircraft production. After the London factories and sales offices were damaged during the blitz very few toys were being made. Between 1939 and 1944 only seven vehicles were produced. This No. 137 (Large) Camouflaged Army Lorry with searchlight was one of those seven. It sold for 34 shillings. 

I purchased this beautiful example from a UK collector. It's all heavy gauge tin litho with wind-up clockwork motor and its rare original box. Both the clockwork motor and the searchlight work. It grades a strong excellent+. The box is a solid VG+. 

The toy features multicolored camouflaged lithography made up of dark chocolate brown, deep evergreen, beige sand color, and pale yellow. It has its original right side driver plus both rear seated soldiers. Every viewable surface, including the tin wheels, were similarly colored. The underside chassis has a brass finish, and a black lithoed battery holder. The "V" shaped front grille was lithoed "MADE IN ENGLAND" in large capitalized letters. The front axle can be manually turned right or left. 

The searchlight uses its original bulb and glass lens. All cloth covered wiring and the on/off switch (located underneath the left running board) are original. The bulb was tested and it does work, however the pack type, pre-war European battery hasn't been produced for years. The searchlight tilts up and down and swivels 360ยบ. The triple gear clockwork motor works great using its original attached key. 

The box was manufactured with "inexpensive" light brown pressed cardboard. One endflap is stamped "Searchlight Lorry, Made In England". It features a panel wide applied, illustrated print showing both the searchlight and anti-aircraft gun Army Lorry's. The drawings are accurate renditions of the actual toys. Wells O London trademark is on the left edge of this panel. The other panels are blank except for some carry-over of the print onto the left end flap. 

*Information researched from Marguerite Fawdry's book on British Tin Toys, New Cavendish Books, 1990. 

Size: 9".

Sold: Apr. 2009

Price Sold: $ 251


 

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