Budgie Toys No.228
Issued 1959-64 Length 134mm
The Coca-Cola Van with Removable Crates was based on the Commer Karrier lorry which was a common sight on the roads of Britain in the 1950's & '60's working as anything from a Refuse truck to light Coal lorries. Budgie modelled the Coca-Cola Van using quite a large scale so it is a big toy in the range. It was modelled in an interesting way without a covering base but instead had a linking central section through which the body and chassis were rivetted before being painted.
Coloured in bright orange-yellow or plain orange, the Coca-Cola Van had matching painted metal wheels to start with and silver trim on the front bumper and headlights. The cab doors carried 'Drink Coca-Cola' decals and the central board above the load areas had red decals with white writing on each side. Most striking of the decoration however was the rear decal which covered the entire back of the lorry. This was probably hard to apply and is often found with ragged edges.
A big attraction of this model was that it came with twelve dark-brown plastic crates although the load area could hold many more than a dozen of them.
The early painted metal wheels eventually gave way to silver plastic ones but both types of wheels always had knobbly tyres.
The Coca-Cola Van may have been a planned new model for a time before it was issued because it first appeared in a box without a number (A1) unlike its two predecessors. This was later upgraded with small numbers on each picture face (A2). In 1961 an unusual box was introduced which retained the old Morris & Stone wording of 'Budgie Toys' on the end-flaps and picture faces but carried the words 'Made in England by Budgie Models' below the illustrations, the name preferred by Budgie's new owners Guiterman & Co. (A5).
The Coca-Cola Van is reasonably easy to find but mint models are harder to come by and the original plastic crates, if not lost, are often aged and fragile.
Budgie No.228 Coca-Cola Van
1) ORANGE-YELLOW painted metal wheels 12 dark-brown plastic crates A1 box
2) ORANGE painted metal wheels 12 dark-brown plastic crates A1 or A2 box
3) ORANGE silver plastic wheels 12 dark-brown plastic crates A5 box