The first model in the Benbros TV Series was a Horse-drawn Hay Cart with two raves and a Farmer figure. It was issued in 1954 and measured about 70mm in length when the raves were fitted. It was coloured pale green with red raves and wheels, glossy brown horse and brown Farmer with face trim.
The Cart was a single casting with slots at front and rear for the separate raves and it had large painted metal wheels on distinctive Benbros nail-head and crimped axles. The axle itself was clamped to the underside of the cart by two extrusions pinched together. The little horse was held in place by lugs on the inside of the shafts. The Farmer figure, unique to the Hay Cart, appeared to be rather idley standing by with his hands in his pockets! On the back of the figure was a prominent casting ring.
One of the features of Benbros miniatures was that every model carried the 'Benbros' name underneath, all that is except for the first castings of the first six models issued in 1954. The Hay Cart thus had no identification to start with but this was corrected with the second issue which carried 'Benbros' and 'Made in England' under the shafts.
The colours of the Hay Cart did not change much in the early years and there was no change to the casting apart from adding id. on the shafts. Trim detail on the Farmer was dropped occaisionally, probably in error, and sometimes he was just left white.
There was a brief issue of the Cart in dark green with metallic brown horse before the whole model was re-issued in metallic green with red raves and wheels, a metallic brown horse and pale or metallic blue Farmer.
The Hay Cart was issued in all four Benbros boxes, first in a TV box without number (TV1), then with a very small number added to the bottom right corner of the picture (TV2), and thirdly in a large number box (TV3). Finally, when re-coloured to metallic green, the Hay Cart was issued in a Mighty Midget box.
The Hay Cart is a common model and not hard to find in good condition though the man is often missing and the dark green version is rare.
Benbros No.1 Hay Cart
(1) PALE GREEN Cart RED raves/wheels BROWN horse BROWN Farmer (trim) NO id. TV1 box
(2) PALE GREEN Cart RED raves/wheels BROWN horse BROWN or WHITE Farmer shafts id. TV2/TV3 box
(3) DARK GREEN Cart RED raves/wheels MET. BROWN horse BLUE Farmer shafts id. TV3/MM box
(4) MET. GREEN Cart RED raves/wheels MET. BROWN horse PALE or MET. BLUE Farmer shafts id. MM box
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
(1) (2) £15-25
(3) (4) £30-40