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. Both these variations were issued with either small unpainted metal wheels or the larger wheels which Benbros started using for many of their models.
New colours of pale green and mid-blue (shades varied) were also introduced using the larger wheels 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 (type 2) with strengthening infill on the bumpers.
The mid-blue and metallic-blue Hudsons had both types of unpainted base fitted 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 last colours used for the Hudson model were blue and orange and these were fitted with black plastic wheels or the rare (for Benbros) silver plastic wheels on the orange version.
All three types of wheels in different sizes and colours were used on the Hudson Tourer. Early models were fitted with small metal wheels on nail-head and crimped axles. These were initially painted white but later left unpainted. They were replaced by larger unpainted metal wheels, mostly 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 chrome-plated cars and were painted the same colour as the base. For the final models, black plastic wheels or a short run of silver plastic wheels were fitted.
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 variations 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 1 : pink with silver trim, white base and pmw
Variation 2: turquoise, white pmw
Variation 3 : yellow, white pmw
Variation 4 : red, white base & small pmw
Variation 5 : metallic blue, pmw
Var. 6: metallic blue, small umw
Variation 7 : red, small umw
Variation 8 : red, large umw
Variation 10 : mid-blue, 1st base
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) RED, silver trim, small umw, unpainted 1st base, MM box
(8) RED, silver trim, large umw, unpainted 1st base, MM box
(9) METALLIC BLUE, silver trim, large umw, unpainted 1st base MM box
(10) MID-BLUE, silver trim, large umw, unpainted 1st base, MM box
(11) PALE GREEN, silver trim, large umw, unpainted 1st base, MM box
(12) MID-BLUE, silver trim, large umw, unpainted 2nd base, MM box
(13) METALLIC BLUE, silver trim, large umw, unpainted 2nd base, MM box
(14) BEIGE, RED trim, large umw, unpainted 2nd base, MM box
(15) CHROME, RED roof & trim, BLUE pmw, BLUE 2nd base, MM box
(16) CHROME, BLUE roof, RED pmw, RED 2nd base, MM box
(17) MID-BLUE, silver trim, bpw, unpainted 2nd base, MM box
(18) ORANGE, silver trim (grille only), bpw, unpainted 2nd base, MM box
(19) ORANGE, silver trim (grille only), silver plastic wheels, unpainted 2nd base, MM box
Variation 11: pale green, 1st base
Variation 12: mid-blue, 2nd base
Variation 13: met.blue, 2nd base
Variation 15: red roof, blue pmw & base
Variation 16: blue roof, red pmw
Variation 17: mid-blue, bpw
Variation 18: orange, bpw
Variation 19: orange, spw
Some base and wheel variations
type 1 base (l-r) small pmw, large umw
type 2 base (l-r) blue pmw, spw, bpw