Benbros Qualitoys

AA Motorcycle Patrol

Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle

Variation 2: steering forks, pin-type sidecar linkage

press to zoom
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle

Variation 2: steering forks, 'glazed' screen

press to zoom
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle

Variation 2 (missing 'glazing')

press to zoom
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle
Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle

Variation 2: steering forks, pin-type sidecar linkage

press to zoom
1/3

Like many toy makers in the 1950's, Benbros made a version of the AA (Automobile Association) Motorcycle Patrol complete with sidecar, front screen and a separate patrolman. In some ways it was like similar models from other makers but two features distinguish it. First, it had 'TTC 147' on both front and rear number-plates, and second, Benbros on early versions used a unique link system to fix the sidecar to the front axle of the motorcycle.

 

Benbros produced several combinations over the life of the AA Motorcycle Patrol, two different motorcycles, two sidecars, two types of  screen, and a metal and a plastic rider.

 

The first version of the motorcycle was the same casting as the early solo bikes and had fixed forks, number-plate lettering and 'Made in England' cast underneath. Painted black, a lot of silver trim was added to the handle-bars, headlight, fuel tank, engine parts and exhaust, number-plates and sometimes underneath to highlight 'Made in England'. The spoked wheels were unpainted with black tyres. 

 

Above the forks there was a separate yellow metal screen with the 'AA' logo in the centre. Clear plastic 'glazing was attached to the screen and the whole unit fitted over the headlight between a couple of little nodules on each side to hold it in place.

 

With its opening lid, separate black bars and 'AA' logo on the front, the Type 1 sidecar copied other makers but the method of fixing it to the motorcycle using both front and rear axles was unique to Benbros. Painted in the 'AA' colour of bright yellow including the interior and the lid (but not the rail-bars which were black), the sidecar did not have any Benbros identification. On the lid there was a socket for the spring-type metal aerial.

 

For the patrolman rider Benbros created a new casting which was later used on other motorcycle models. For the 'AA' version, he was painted brown with black boots and gauntlets, and a dab of yellow on top of the cap. There was also pink face trim and sometimes even a touch of red for the mouth. 

 

The second casting of the AA Mototcycle Patrol gave the bike steering forks and a front hole for the revised sidecar linkage. It continued to be black with silver trim and 'Made in England' cast underneath, although models without trim are known.

 

On the variation 2 sidecar the forward linkage arm was abandoned in favour of a more conventional pin connecting the sidecar to the front of the motorcycle engine. In other ways the model remained the same with black bars on the sidecar lid, a 'glazed' screen on the motorcycle, and a metal rider.

 

The final variation of the AA Motorcycle had several changes but continued with the same casting of both motorcycle and sidecar. The bike was glossy black without any silver trim and it was fitted with an arched screen without glazing. On the sidecar, which was a darker yellow, the rail-bars were painted with the lid and at the front the 'AA' logo was left unpainted. Also on this variation the interior of the sidecar was left unpainted. Lastly, the metal rider was replaced by a dark olive-green plastic figure with pink face trim and black goggles.

 

A special box was used for the AA Motorcycle Patrol throughout its life featuring the 'AA' logo on both faces and on each side alongside coloured illustrations. The end-flaps just had 'Qualitoy Benbros'.

 

Finding examples of the AA Motorcycle Patrol is not too hard but mint models in boxes are rare and accessories are often missing, particularly the 'glazing' on the first type screen. The final variation with plastic rider is also very scarce.

Benbros Qualitoys AA Motorcycle Patrol - first version

Variation 1: fixed forks, type 1 sidecar (linkage arm)

Benbros Qualitoys AA Motorcycle Patrol

Variations

 

 

1)  BLACK m'cycle/FIXED forks          YELLOW 'glazed' screen   YELLOW sidecar/lid, BLACK bars     type 1 linkage   aerial   METAL rider 

 

2)  BLACK m'cycle/STEERING forks   YELLOW 'glazed' screen   YELLOW sidecar/lid, BLACK bars     type 2 linkage   aerial  METAL rider

 

3)  BLACK m'cycle/STEERING forks   YELLOW arched screen    YELLOW sidecar/lid, YELLOW bars   type 2 linkage   aerial  PLASTIC rider

Benbros Qualitoy AA Motorcycle Patrol
Benbros Qualitoys AA Motorcycle Patrol

Variation 2: steering forks, type 2 sidecar (linkage pin)

Benbros Qualitoys AA Motorcycle Patrol
Benbros Qualitoys AA Motorcycle Patrol

Variation 3: dark-yellow sidecar incl.rails, arched screen, plastic rider

Nicholas Martin Diecast
Benbros, Morestone & Budgie Vintage Toys
Britains Lilliput Vehicles     Kemlows Sentry Box