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 versions 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 variation was a dark gloss green and there were two versions of this. To start with it was fitted with the larger metal wheels which were painted with the model, and the model was finished with silver trim and two red cross decals. This version is rare so probably had only a short run.
The final dark-green variation was 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 dark-green version with painted metal wheels.
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 pmw
(3) MATT ARMY-GREEN silver trim roof & rear decals umw
(4) DARK GREEN silver trim roof & rear decals pmw
(5) DARK GREEN silver trim roof decal bpw
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
(1) (2) (3) (5) : £25-35
(4) : £50-60