Morestone 'Esso' Petrol Pump Series
No.11 Royal Mail Van
When Morris & Stone (Morestone) launched the Esso Petrol Pump Series in September 1956, No.11 was planned to be a Connaught Racing Car and No.12 a GPO Mail Van. As it turned out, the Racing Car was never made and the van became No.11 Royal Mail Van.
It was a successful model in the Esso Petrol Pump Series and was later re-issued by Budgie in blister packs and 'Mobile' and 'Modern' boxes. It was based on a Morris Commercial vehicle commonly in use during the 1950's.
Although made in the conventional body & base construction, the Royal Mail Van was unusual in having mudguards as part of the base which meant that it was set quite high inside the body and held in place by tabs which slotted into holes in both side doors. 'Royal Mail', 'Made in England' and 'No.11' were cast on the base.
Later re-issues had additional strengthening added to the rear mudguards but this occurred after the Esso Series was discontinued. Details on the Budgie Miniatures No.11 Royal Mail Van page.
The Royal Mail Van had two types of body. The first was a casting which included rear windows and a central hole beneath them. What the hole was for is unknown but was possibly for an early type base which in the end was never used. On the sides 'Royal Mail', a crown, and 'E11R' were cast.
The second body had the rear windows and hole closed in. This probably made casting easier and it was used for all later models.
The colour of real Morris Royal Mail vans was traditionally red but during the post-war years and up to the mid-1950's they had black bonnets and black front mudguards (see picture on Budgie Miniatures Royal Mail Van page). The first Morestone models therefore followed this design but when the real vans discontinued it, Morestone did the same.
Apart from red paint, the Mail vans had silver trim on the grille, front bumper and headlights, sometimes also on the sides of the engine, and gold (on early models) or silver trim on the Royal Mail logos on the van sides. The base was gloss-black at first on the rear-window versions, but later could be either shiny or semi-matt black.
Unpainted metal wheels of a knobbly design were used on the Mail Van with flat-head & crimped axles. Later models had black plastic wheels but these were not part of the original Esso Petrol Pump Series.
A popular model, No.11 Royal Mail Van appeared in three types of Esso boxes.
Variation 1 ; Red type 1 body with black bonnet & mudguards, and rear windows
Variation 2 : all-red type 1 body with rear windows & central hole
No.11 Royal Mail Van - Summary
Issued in Esso Series : 1957-59
Re-issued by Budgie : 1959-65
Length : 58mm
Esso (large font & number) Garage Offer on base flap, Garage Coupon
Esso (large font & number) Offer overstamped, Garage (later Tanker) Coupon
Esso (large font & number) Number on base flap, Tanker Coupon
Esso Model Variations
1) RED & BLACK body, silver trim, rear windows, BLACK base, umw
2) RED body, silver trim, rear windows, BLACK base, umw
3) RED body, silver trim, NO rear windows, BLACK base, umw
Details of later versions, boxes and packs on Budgie Miniatures pages
Variation 3 : Red type 2 body with cast-in rear windows & hole
Type 1 & Type 2 body castings (with and without rear windows and hole)