Morestone 'Esso' Petrol Pump Series
No. 17 Ford Thames 5 cwt Van
No.17 in the Esso Petrol Pump Series was a Ford Thames 5cwt Van ('cwt' stands for hundredweight, one hundredweight being about 51 kgs). It was not a successful model and stayed in the range for barely a year.
One reason for the short life of No.17 was the poor quality both in design and finish of the model. Cast in the simple body & base method, the detail on the body was roughly done, the base was flimsy and the wheels too small. Base and body were secured by two rivets, one at the front and one at the rear.
The body was coloured blue with silver trim on the grille and headlights but very often the blue paint application was thin and it had a semi-gloss finish. The base was painted gloss black and included the front bumper and a small tab at the rear representing a number-plate. 'No.17' and 'Ford Thames 5cwt Van' were cast underneath with the usual 'Made in England'.
Small unpainted metal wheels on flat-head & crimped axles were fitted of a rather chubby design not used on other Morestone models.
No.17 Ford Thames Van was issued after the Garage Offer closed so it appeared in Esso boxes with the number '17' in a circle on the base flap. Inside was a Tanker Coupon. It was not added to the Budgie Miniatures range.
Because of the poor paint finish and the frequent damage from box-rub, mint examples of No.17 are very rare. Add to this the short life of the model with a risk of fatigue and the result is that the Ford Thames Van has a high value despite being the least successful in the Esso Series.
No.17 Ford Thames 5 cwt Van - Summary
Issued in Esso Series : 1957-58
Length : 60mm
Value (MINT model in MINT box) : c.£70-80+
Esso (large font), Number in circle on base flap, Tanker Coupon
BLUE body silver trim gloss BLACK base UMW