Benbros Mighty Midgets
The Benbros Mighty Midget No.38 Ambulance was issued in 1957 and based on a large Daimler vehicle which was fairly common in Britain at the time.
The model was not unlike the second Lesney version (14b which came out in 1958) in having a single body casting and a riveted base plate although on the Benbros Ambulance the rivet is in the centre. The Matchbox model also had 'Ambulance' cast on the sides which were plain on the Benbros one. It measured 58mm in length.
The first issue was painted cream or off-white all over including the metal wheels. For some reason Benbros fitted quite small wheels to this model which seemed out of scale but when one considers the size of the real Daimler vehicle perhaps they were correct after all. The axles were nail-head & crimped.
On the base 'Benbros Qualitoy Made in England' was cast laterally just below the side doors with a separate letter 'A' in the centre near the rivet.
Like all the variations of No.38 Ambulance, the cream model had a red cross decal on the roof but none on the rear doors. Unusually, it had no silver trim on the front.
The remaining versions of No.38 Ambulance were painted in military colours with the first two being matt army-green. They were very similar models, both with silver trim on grille, bumper and headlights and both having a red cross on the rear doors as well as one on the roof. The difference was the larger-size metal wheels (on flat- or round-head & crimped axles) which on the earlier army-green version were painted with the model and on the second one fitted unpainted.
The last colour variations were painted bright green in line with other military models in the Mighty Midget range. There were two versions of this. The first had large metal wheels and these were painted bright green with the model. Silver trim was added to the grille, bumper and headlights, and two red cross decals were applied, one on the roof and the other at the rear. This variation is rare so probably had only a short run.
The final Ambulance was also painted bright green but fitted with black plastic wheels on flat-head & crimped axles. On the front there was silver trim and on the roof the usual red cross decal but none on the rear doors.
The variety in No.38 Ambulance makes it interesting to collectors but for some reason it does not carry a high value except for the bright green version with painted metal wheels which is rare.
Variation 1 : cream, no silver trim, roof decal, pmw
Benbros No.38 Ambulance
All models had Mighty Midget boxes
(1) WHITE or CREAM, NO trim, ROOF decal, small pmw
(2) MATT ARMY-GREEN, silver trim, ROOF & REAR decals, PAINTED mw
(3) MATT ARMY-GREEN, silver trim, ROOF & REAR decals, UNPAINTED mw
(4) BRIGHT GREEN, silver trim, ROOF & REAR decals, PAINTED mw
(5) BRIGHT GREEN, silver trim, ROOF decal, BLACK PLASTIC wheels
Variation 2 : matt army-green, silver trim, two decals, pmw
Variation 3 : matt army-green, silver trim, two decals, umw
Variation 4 : bright green, silver trim, two decals, pmw
Variation 5 : bright green, silver trim, one decal, bpw
No.38 Ambulance : wheels and decals
Benbros Mighty Midget No.38 Ambulance : colours and trim
Benbros No.38 Ambulance base