Budgie Toys No.278
RAC Radio Rescue Land Rover
Issued 1963-64 Length 97mm
Second of the two Budgie Land Rovers was the RAC (Royal Automobile Club) Radio Rescue version. This was promoted as being in regular radio contact and so included an aerial which fitted into a hole on the nearside wing. Later models were issued without the aerial.
The casting and construction of the RAC Land Rover was identical to the AA model (No.268) including windows when fitted but it was painted in the blue RAC livery in use at the time. Inside a bench seat was included and at the rear there were opening doors comprising a lowering tailgate and a lifting upper door. On the sides large decals were attached with 'Radio RAC Rescue' in white on a green background. White RAC decals were also applied to both front wings and both rear upper corners. The roof - a separate casting - had a sign board at the front on which was a decal reading 'Radio RAC Rescue'.
The RAC Land Rover had front and rear numberplates, the front one also including the grille. There were two possible numbers, 'WLM 899' or 'YYU 384' which were the same as the AA Land Rover but seem to have been issued in reverse order on the RAC models with 'WLM' on early issues and 'YYU' on later ones although this was not always consistant.
The first issue of the RAC Land Rover had silver trim added on the headlights, a 'WLM 899' number-plate, a metal aerial and was fitted with clear windows. The wheels were black painted metal with knobbly tyres. On the base the number '278' was cast on a defined panel but otherwise it was identical to the AA version (No.268) with 'A Budgie Toy' and 'Land Rover' included in the lettering.
The main change to the RAC Land Rover was the fitting of silver plastic wheels and the omission of the metal aerial. This variation had no silver trim added and sometimes did not have windows either. The number-plate was usually 'YYU 384' but models with spw the 'WLM' decal are known. Also, because the base was shared with the AA Land Rover, some RAC versions were fitted with AA bases carrying the number '268'.
The box in which the RAC Land Rover was issued is interesting because it was the first to have a panel on the reverse side describing the real vehicle on which the model was based (B2). It was the only type of box which the RAC Land Rover had and it is a hard one to find.
The RAC Radio Rescue Land Rover had a short run and is a scarce model. Mint boxed examples are rare.
Budgie No.278 RAC Radio Rescue Land Rover
1) BLUE body BLACK pmw SILVER trim Aerial CLEAR windows 'WLM 899' B2 box
2) BLUE body SILVER pw No trim No aerial w/wo windows 'YYU 384' B2 box