Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets
No.18 Hudson Tourer
No.18 Hudson Tourer was the second American model in the TV Series & Mighty Midgets. As Benbros started to expand their sales to the United States, Australia and other overseas markets, there was an increasing need to include models for the new buyers. It was also evident that, unlike Matchbox and the Morestone 'Esso' series, Benbros did not yet have a saloon car in the TV Series.
The Hudson Tourer (based on the hard-top version of the Hudson Hornet 'Hollywood') was created to fill the gap and although it was given the number 18, it was issued before No.16b Chevrolet Nomad Station Wagon. People have remarked that the Hudson was not the best model Benbros designed, nor was it an easy vehicle to model with its unusual wide screen and low-slung style, but to make up for it, Benbros painted the Hudson in a wide range of colours.
The first colours chosen reflected the fashion in America during the 1950's for bright pastel-shaded cars with white-wall tyres, and so pink, yellow and turquoise with white painted metal wheels were used by Benbros for the early models. Silver trim was added to the front grille, headlights, and rear fins. The base was painted white and carried the first appearance of 'Qualitoy', the Benbros logo used for both miniature and large scale diecast models. The usual 'Benbros' name and 'Made in England' were also included. Length of the Hudson was 61mm.
Later metallic blue and red colours were added, initially with white bases and wheels but at about this time the painted wheels and bases were dropped in favour of unpainted ones. The metallic blue variation (shades varied) had small unpainted metal wheels at first but soon all models were fitted with larger wheels.
New colours of pale green and mid-blue (shades varied) were also introduced before the next change to the Hudson. The early models had a clip-fit base which was easily identified by the lack of reinforcement to the outer ends of the front and rear bumpers. This was now replaced by a rivetted base with strengthening infill on the bumpers.
The mid-blue Hudson had both types of base fitted during its life but Benbros continued to introduce more colours including a beige version with red trim, and two chrome-plated ones with either a red roof and blue base and matching painted wheels or a blue roof and red base/wheels. The final colour was an orange model which was fitted with black plastic wheels or the rare (for Benbros) silver plastic wheels. On this model silver trim was only applied to the grille.
All three types of wheels in different sizes and colours were used on the Hudson Tourer. Early models were fitted with small metal wheels painted white on nail-head and crimped axles. These were replaced by larger unpainted metal wheels on flat-head and crimped axles which were fitted to both the first and second type bases. The large metal wheels were also used for the painted wheels of the chrome-plated cars. Finally, black plastic wheels were used on the mid-blue and orange models, with a short run of silver plastic wheels on the last orange issue.
The Hudson appeared initially in a TV box with large number (TV3) but it is very rare, perhaps one of the rarest TV boxes, as Mighty Midget boxes were being brought in at the time.
No.18 Hudson Tourer has plenty of collecting interest due to the large number of variations. It was a popular model and so some versions are fairly easy to find especially the orange one with bpw. However, the early colours and the last model with silver plastic wheels are scarce or rare.
Variation 3 : yellow, white pmw
Variation 4 : red, white base & small pmw
Var. 6: metallic blue, small umw
Benbros No.18 Hudson Tourer
(1) PINK silver trim small WHITE pmw WHITE 1st base TV3 or MM box
(2) TURQUOISE silver trim small WHITE pmw WHITE 1st base TV3 or MM box
(3) YELLOW silver trim small WHITE pmw WHITE 1st base TV3 or MM box
(4) RED silver trim small WHITE pmw WHITE 1st base MM box
(5) METALLIC BLUE silver trim small WHITE pmw WHITE 1st base MM box
(6) METALLIC BLUE silver trim small umw unpainted 1st base MM box
(7) METALLIC BLUE silver trim large umw unpainted 1st base MM box
(8) RED silver trim large umw unpainted 1st base MM box
(9) MID-BLUE silver trim large umw unpainted 1st base MM box
(10) PALE GREEN silver trim large umw unpainted 1st base MM box
(11) MID-BLUE silver trim large umw unpainted 2nd base MM bo
(12) BEIGE RED trim large umw unpainted 2nd base MM box
(13) MID-BLUE silver trim bpw unpainted 2nd base MM box
(14) CHROME RED roof & trim BLUE pmw BLUE 2nd base MM box
(15) CHROME BLUE roof RED pmw RED 2nd base MM box
(16) ORANGE silver trim (grille) bpw unpainted 2nd base MM box
(17) ORANGE silver trim (grille) silver plastic wheels unpainted 2nd base MM box
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
(1 - 3) in TV boxes £80+
(1 -15) & (17) in MM boxes £30-60+
Variation 11: mid-blue, 2nd base