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. Unlike later models, there was no silver trim on the front or the 'hook' of the crane. The wheels were unpainted metal on flat-head & crimped axles unusual on the AEC models.
More multi-coloured versions of the AEC were made, a metallic brown one with red body and yellow crane, and another variation which had a green cab & chassis, again with red body and yellow crane. Both these had silver trim on grille, headlights and 'hook' and metal wheels.
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 metallic green or metallic blue both with silver trim and at first these had the paint applied over previous colours including wheels but this soon changed so that most metallic 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 ones 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 red with full silver trim, all variations having unpainted metal wheels on round-head & crimped axles.
The last five Bedford variations of No.33 Breakdown Lorry all had black plastic wheels on a variety of axles, nail-head or flat-head & crimped, or on the yellow variation push-fit axles. The colours were red, cream, blue, metallic blue, yellow, and a final run of dark-red or crimson, all with silver trim on grille, headlights, bumper and 'hook'.
On the Mighty Midget box for No.33 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, and all the Bedfords are scarce or 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. BROWN cab/chassis RED body YELLOW crane silver trim umw
(3) GREEN 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) RED silver trim umw
(5) RED silver trim bpw
(6) ORANGE-RED silver trim bpw
(7) METALLIC BLUE silver trim bpw
(8) CREAM silver trim bpw
(9) YELLOW silver trim bpw
(10) BLUE silver trim bpw
(11) 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+
photo Robert Newson