Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets
No.23 Delivery Van
With the successful Foden models in the TV Series & Mighty Midgets (No.20 Flat Truck & No.21 Diesel Wagon), Benbros expanded the idea by creating more cab/chassis castings to which different bodies could be added to enlarge the range. Two were designed and these were based on the AEC Monarch vehicle and the versatile Bedford 'S-type' lorry.
On No.23 the van body used was interchangeable between both AEC and Bedford cab/chassis versions and was a simple hollow box without a floor or rear doors. On the AEC it sat flush with the rear of the cab but on the Bedford there was a small gap.
The AEC was the first to appear and had the honour to be the last model in the TV Series before the range was switched to Mighty Midget boxes. The initial variations had an orange cab & chassis (without silver trim) and, for the first issue, a pale-green body, and for the second, a dark-green body. The wheels were unpainted metal on nailhead & crimped axles, and 'Benbros Made in England' was cast under the chassis.
The TV3 box reveals that perhaps Benbros had initially planned a Foden for this model. The picture shows the eight-wheeled vehicle as used for Nos.20 & 21 with a box-van body, opening rear doors and 'Benbros' signs on the sides. What Benbros actually produced was a four wheeled model without rear doors and no decals on the AEC version.
When Benbros introduced the Mighty Midget box for the Delivery Van they put a more accurate picture of an AEC lorry on the front but showing opening rear doors which were probably never intended for this model.
After the first two-tone models, Benbros switched to single colours starting with an all-over orange-red variation (shades varied) with unpainted metal wheels. Then, when Benbros was introducing metallic colours for many models, the Delivery Van appeared in both metallic blue and metallic green, and these were complete re-paints of red models, including wheels and axles, with the old red colour usually visible inside. Later, metallic blue models which were not re-paints were fitted with unpainted wheels.
When the Bedford versions were introduced they were painted plain red (in various shades of an orange-red colour) and were fitted with unpainted metal wheels and carried no decals. Under the chassis they had cast 'Benbros Qualitoy Made in England'.
Before long, however, 'Dunlop' decals were added to the Bedfords using the early type transfers without a logo. Also, the red colour of the models was darker but the wheels continued to be unpainted metal.
The final variation of the Bedford Delivery Van was a dark-red model with black plastic wheels and 'Dunlop' decals without logo.
The AEC Delivery Van in red can be found at auction fairly often but the other models are scarce and the early orange & green models in TV3 boxes are very rare. The Bedfords are easier to find but the red one with unpainted wheels and a decal (variation 2) is rare.
AEC variation 1: orange cab/chassis, pale-green body, umw, TV3 box
AEC Variation 2: orange cab/chassis, dark-green body, umw, TV3 box
AEC Variation 3 : orange-red, umw
AEC Variation 4 : metallic green including pmw
AEC Variation 5 : metallic blue including pmw
AEC Variation 6: metallic blue, umw
Benbros No.23 Delivery Van
(1) ORANGE cab/chassis, PALE-GREEN body, NO silver trim, umw, TV3 box
(2) ORANGE cab/chassis, DARK-GREEN body, NO silver trim, umw, TV3 or MM box
(3) ORANGE-RED (shades varied), silver trim, umw, MM box
(4) METALLIC GREEN including PAINTED metal wheels, silver trim, MM box
(5) METALLIC BLUE including PAINTED metal wheels, silver trim, MM box
(6) METALLIC BLUE, silver trim, UNPAINTED mw, MM box
(1) ORANGE-RED, silver trim, NO decals, umw, MM box
(2) RED, silver trim, 'Dunlop' decals, umw, MM box
(3) DARK-RED, silver trim, 'Dunlop' decals, bpw, MM box
Bedford variation 1 : orange-red, no decals, umw
Bedford Variation 2 : red, 'Dunlop' decals, umw
Bedford Variation 3 : dark-red, 'Dunlop' decals, bpw
AEC base, umw (front); Bedford base, bpw (rear)