Benbros Mighty Midgets
No.43 Articulated Box Van
At the end of the Mighty Midget series, Benbros produced a range of Bedford articulated models starting with No.43 Articulated Box Van. This must have been a popular toy as there were at least nine variations made.
Using the Bedford Cab as the tractor unit, Benbros designed a simple box van trailer cast in one piece without rear doors. On the sides were simulated 'up-and-over' sliding doors and on most models 'Dunlop' decals were added. Unusually, Benbros did not put any identification under the trailer.
The wheels, on a single axle, were attached directly to the trailer. The cab-trailer coupling was a simple peg with fore & aft lugs which slotted laterally into a hole on the Bedford Cab. Overall when connected the model measured 62mm in length.
No.43 Box Van was not a particularly exciting model so Benbros enhanced it by painting it in a variety of colours. Usually these were different from the cab but the first issues had matching cab and trailer, either all yellow, or red, or pale blue. These had unpainted metal wheels but no decals.
Within a short time, Benbros brightened No.43 Box Van models with contrasting colours for cab and trailer and with 'Dunlop' decals on each side. Trailer colours were beige or pale-blue (some with dark-blue undersides), both usually with red cab, or a red trailer and yellow cab with red trim, all with metal wheels.
Next, Benbros switched to black plastic wheels which were fitted to yellow, green, pale-blue or dark-blue trailers. These seem to have been paired with blue, beige, or red cabs. In all models, the wheels on the cab and trailer were matching, all metal or all plastic.
Benbros used two different 'Dunlop' decals for the Articulated Box Van. These always had a 'leaning' shape which on early ones could be leaning 'left' or 'right'. On the first type 'Dunlop' was printed in black on a yellow or orange-yellow backgound using an upright font without a logo added. Both 'left' & 'right' decals seem to have been used together so that some models had just one type on both sides whilst others had both, one on each side.
The second type of decal had the font in italics on a yellow background and included the Dunlop logo at the left end. These were always leaning to the right and were the same on both sides of the model.
The last version of No.43 Box Van was painted mid-blue and carried the second type 'Dunlop' decals with logo. These models had black plastic wheels and were issued with beige or red Bedford cabs.
Several versions of No.43 Articulated Box Van are scarce and mint boxed models rare. The last blue issue with 'Dunlop' logo decals is the most common.
Variation 1 : yellow trailer & cab, no decals, umw
Benbros No.43 Articulated Box Van
Trailer variations (with usual cab colour)
All models had Mighty Midget boxes
(1) YELLOW No decals UMW matching YELLOW cab
(2) RED No decals UMW matching RED cab
(3) PALE-BLUE No decals UMW matching BLUE cab
(4) RED Dunlop decals w/o logo UMW YELLOW cab (red trim)
(5) BEIGE Dunlop decals w/o logo UMW RED cab
(6) PALE-BLUE Dunlop decals w/o logo UMW RED cab
(7) YELLOW Dunlop decals w/o logo BPW BLUE cab
(8) GREEN Dunlop decals w/o logo BPW BEIGE or RED cab
(9) PALE-BLUE Dunlop decals w/o logo BPW BEIGE cab
(10) MID-BLUE Dunlop decals with logo BPW BEIGE or RED cab
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
(1) to (9) : £80-120+
(10) : £40-50
Variation 2 : red trailer & cab, no decals, umw
Variation 5 : beige trailer with both 'left' and 'right' decals without logo, umw, red cab
Variation 6 : pale-blue trailer with both 'left' & 'right' decals without logo, umw, red cab
Variation 7 : Yellow trailer with 'left' decals without logo, bpw, blue cab
Variation 8 : green trailer with 'right' decals without logo, bpw, beige cab
Variation 10 : mid-blue, decals with logo, bpw, beige cab
No decals and 'Dunlop' decals with/without logo
Left & right leaning decals and font variations
Variation 6 : Trailers with pale-blue and dark-blue undersides
Trailer underside & coupling detail