Benbros Mighty Midgets
No.37 Police Car
Issued in 1957, Mighty Midget No.37 Police Car was based on the work-horse vehicle of the British Police, the Wolseley Six-Eighty. The model was a conventional one with a one-piece body casting and a clip-fit unpainted base holding the wheels. It measured 58mm.
In the 1950's, all Police Cars were painted black so the first Benbros version was gloss black with silver trim on the grille, headlights and rear bumper. On the roof a seperately cast loud-speaker was attached painted black with silver trim on the front face. This was quite a large addition and from the rear of the model it looked a bit like the ears of Mickey Mouse!
This first variation could be easily confused with the similar Morestone No.5 Mobile Police Car in the 'Esso' Petrol Pump Series but the loud-speakers on the Morestone model were smaller and always unpainted and the Benbros model included 'Benbros Qualitoy' on the base.
The base of No.37 Police Car extended at the front below the grille to include a bell and the front bumper. 'Benbros Qualitoy' was cast in the centre of the base and 'Made in England' at the front. The small unpainted metal wheels were nearly smooth having only a slight indication of treads. The axles were the nail-head & crimped type.
Benbros may have experienced assembly problems with the loud-speakers of No.37 Police Car, and they were also vulnerable to breakage, so it was not long before a new version appeared with cast-in speakers as part of the roof. These had various applications of silver trim, sometimes on the front, the top or the rear, and even all over.
Improvements were also made to the metal wheels with the use of a larger treaded type. Later large black plastic wheels on round-head & crimped axles replaced the metal ones.
The final appearance of the Police Car was very different with a shiny chrome-plated body, a red roof, red trim on the headlights, and metal or black plastic wheels on round-head and crimped axles.
No.37 Police Car is a scarce model and much harder to find than the much more popular Morestone (Morris & Stone) 'Esso' version. Mint examples of the Benbros model are rare, especially the first and last issues, and as a result values are comparatively high.
Variation 1 : black body, type 1 speakers, small umw
Benbros No.37 Police Car
All models had Mighty Midget boxes
(1) BLACK body silver trim type 1 speakers small umw
(2) BLACK body silver trim type 2 speakers large umw
(3) BLACK body silver trim type 2 speakers bpw
(4) CHROME-PLATED RED roof/trim type 2 speakers large umw
(5) CHROME-PLATED RED roof/trim type 2 speakers bpw
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
(1) (3) : £40-50
(2) : £50-60
(4) (5) : £80-90
Variation 2: black, type 2 speakers (cast-in), large umw
Variation 3 : black body, type 2 speakers, bpw
Variation 4 : chrome-plated body, red roof & trim, type 2 speakers, umw
Type 1 speakers (front), Type 2 speakers (rear)
Base detail and wheel variations