Benbros Mighty Midgets
No.33 Breakdown Lorry
The last of the AEC/Bedford models in the Benbros Mighty Midgets was No.33 Breakdown Lorry. This was a more complicated item involving two separate castings for the body and the crane as well as a third for the cab/chassis section. The crane was a nicely detailed molding but instead of a hook it had a ball.
As previously, the AEC version appeared first and Benbros gave it a multi-coloured look with an orange cab & chassis, bright green body and a yellow crane. There was no silver trim on the front or the 'hook' of the crane and the wheels were unpainted metal on flat-head & crimped axles.
Two more multi-coloured variations of the AEC followed, both with metallic paint on the cabs and chassis. One was green with a red body and yellow crane without silver trim, and the second was metallic brown with a similar red body and yellow crane, and this variation probably had silver trim on grille, headlights and crane 'hook'.
Assembling multi-coloured models must have been difficult with each casting having to be seperately painted before assembly so eventually this was abandoned in favour of single colour models.
The last AEC variations were painted metallic green or metallic blue, both with silver trim. At first it seems that these had the paint applied over previous colours and the metal wheels but this soon changed so that most metallic AEC models were issued with unpainted metal wheels.
When the Bedford version of No.33 Breakdown Lorry appeared they too were single colour models but Benbros added several extra colours making at least eight variations. The first were green with silver trim (on the cab only), beige with red trim including 'hook', orange-red with full silver trim, and bright red with full silver trim, all variations having unpainted metal wheels on round-head & crimped axles.
Another Bedford variation which has recently been discovered (listed as a new variation 5) was a bright yellow model with silver trim and grey plastic wheels. Benbros used gpw on only a few models and they are rare.
The last seven Bedford variations of No.33 Breakdown Lorry had black plastic wheels using a variety of axles, nail-head, flat-head & crimped, or on a beige-yellow variation push-fit axles. The colours were red, orange, cream, blue, metallic blue, beige-yellow, and dark-red, all with silver trim on grille, headlights, bumper and 'hook'.
On the Mighty Midget box for the Breakdown Lorry, the illustration appears to show a Foden cab similar to No.23 Delivery Van but it seems unlikely that a Foden model was intended.
Although models of No.33 turn up at auction from time to time, it is usually the metallic painted AEC versions with unpainted metal wheels which are most common. The metallic ones with painted wheels are rare. Other AEC variations, especially the multi-coloured ones, are scarce. All the Bedfords are scarce, and the yellow and beige-yellow models are rare.
Benbros No.33 Breakdown Lorry
All models had Mighty Midget boxes
(1) ORANGE cab/chassis GREEN body YELLOW crane NO trim umw
(2) MET. GREEN cab/chassis RED body YELLOW crane NO trim umw
(3) MET. BROWN cab/chassis RED body YELLOW crane silver trim umw
(4) MET. GREEN cab/chassis/body/crane silver trim pmw
(5) MET. GREEN cab/chassis/body/crane silver trim umw
(6) MET. BLUE cab/chassis/body/crane silver trim pmw
(7) MET. BLUE cab/chassis/body/crane silver trim umw
(1) GREEN silver trim umw
(2) BEIGE RED trim umw
(3) ORANGE-RED silver trim umw
(4) BRIGHT RED silver trim umw
(5) BRIGHT YELLOW silver trim gpw
(6) RED silver trim bpw
(7) ORANGE silver trim bpw
(8) METALLIC BLUE silver trim bpw
(9) CREAM silver trim bpw
(10) BEIGE-YELLOW silver trim bpw (push-fit axles)
(11) BLUE silver trim bpw
(12) DARK-RED silver trim bpw
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
AEC (1) (2) (3) (4) (6) : £60-100+
AEC (5) (7) : £35-45
BEDFORD (all variations) : £55-90+