Morestone 'Esso' Petrol Pump Series
No.3 AA Road Service Land Rover
No.3 in the Esso Series was another AA (Automobile Association) vehicle which Morris & Stone called a 'Jeep' but which was in fact a Land Rover.
Designed as a conventional 'body & base' model, the AA Land Rover was a more straightforward casting than the AA/RAC motorcycles requiring just two main sections. The four wheels were metal and on early versions there was a spare wheel on the bonnet.
The body had quite good detail on the front and 'AA Road Service' on each side but at the rear there was no attempt to include windows or tailgate unlike the similar Benbros version (Mighty Midget No.34).
The base slotted into the body at the front below the bumper and was rivetted at the rear. It included a driver and four axle holders for the wheels, and had 'Made in England' cast in the centre.
No.3 AA Land Rover was painted yellow both inside and out including the base. The black glossy roof and the trim on the side castings were overpainted. There was usually no silver trim on the front but some models seem to have had this added.
The large metal wheels including the spare when included were painted black. The axles were flat-head & crimped.
Apart from the silver trim and the spare wheel, there were no changes to No.3 AA Land Rover. It did not have a long run and rather surprisingly did not form part of the Budgie Miniatures range.
The AA Land Rover appeared in two variations of Esso Petrol Pump boxes, both showing a picture on the side of a model with a spare wheel on the bonnet. The first box had the Garage Offer on the base and the second had it overstamped with the offer-end date and a large number added to the picture side. Both boxes would have contained a Garage Coupon inside.
Although a neat model better made than the Benbros version, No.3 AA Land Rover is not easy to find in mint condition. The variation with a spare wheel on the bonnet is rare.
No.3 AA Land Rover : variation 2 without spare wheel or front trim
No.3 AA Land Rover - Summary
Issued in Esso Series : 1956-58
Length : 54mm
Value (MINT model in MINT box) : c.£40-60
Esso (small font & number) Garage Offer on base flap, Garage Coupon
Esso (small font, large number) Offer overstamped, Garage Coupon
(1) YELLOW, BLACK spare wheel on bonnet, BLACK PMW
(2) YELLOW, NO spare wheel, BLACK PMW
Variation 1 showing bonnet casting for (missing) spare wheel
photo Alan Watson