Budgie Toys No.246
Police Patrol Car
Issued 1960-63 Length 113mm
The first version of the Morestone Police Patrol Car was released in 1955 and made by the diecast firm of Modern Products Ltd. It was this model, based on the real Wolseley 6/80 car, which Budgie used with a few adaptations when it was re-issued under the Budgie name as No.246.
In fact the first models of the Budgie Police Car appeared identical to the Morestone ones with the plain front grille and no rear 'Police' plate. The only change was a new base with 'Police Patrol Car' and 'Budgie Toys' on raised panels and 'Made in England' now at the front. Silver trim was added to the rear bumper.
Budgie then improved the model by changing the radiator grille (which was a separate casting) to include a blue 'Police' decal on a flat panel. This version appeared without the rear 'Police' plate.
The third and final change was to the body with the addition of a rear plate in the centre of the boot (trunk) carrying a blue 'Police' decal similar to that on the front grille.
Whichever version it was, all the Police Patrol Cars had large metal loudspeakers on the roof and a bell on the front bumper. The bell and grille were two individual castings separate from the base. All these additions and the base were painted a metallic silver colour. On the roof was a little circular nozzle onto which the wire aerial fitted.
Being an old design, the Police Patrol Car had no axles, the silver-painted metal wheels being individually clip-fitted onto the base.
The No.246 Police Patrol Car first appeared in Morris & Stone boxes (A3) and then in the standard Guiterman Group boxes (A8). The first 'transitional' model (without upgraded grille or rear plate but with Budgie base) only appeared in A3 boxes, but other versions seem to have been issued in either box.
The Police Patrol Car is not particularly common and finding mint versions can be difficult, but they do not seem to command a premium price.
Despite being a 28-year old model, in 1983 Modern Products revived the Police Patrol Car using the old dies which they still owned and created an updated version for H Seener Ltd. Details and the history of this Series 2 model can be found at Budgie 246-2 Police Patrol Car.
Budgie No.246 Police Patrol Car
All models had a silver bell & loudspeakers, roof aerial, silver wheels and black tyres
1) BLACK NO 'Police' on front grille NO rear sign 'Budgie' base A3 box
2) BLACK 'Police' on front grille NO rear sign 'Budgie' base A3 or A8 box
3) BLACK 'Police' on front grille 'Police' sign at rear 'Budgie' base A3 or A8 box