Forward Control Delivery Van
One of the models which Benbros took over from Timpo Toys was the Forward Control Delivery Van. The simplicity of the design and the basic casting probably limited the play value of the model, and it is now a rare item.
It was based on a pre-war Tilling Stevens vehicle and I am most grateful to John Sharp who has provided the photo below of some of the Chivers fleet of Tilling Stevens delivery lorries dating from the late 1920's. None of these original vehicles are thought to have survived so it is intriguing to see the size that they were.
The cab and chassis part of the Delivery Van model was made with a single casting. The cab was hollow without a base but the chassis was floored which made it quite a solid toy. Underneath a flat panel was added to eliminate the Timpo name. Both axles fitted directly onto the casting and the wheels on the early variations were thin black painted metal without detail other than a treaded rim.
The body of the Van was an unexciting box-shaped casting without doors which was riveted onto the chassis at the front and rear. Because the chassis had a floor, the model would have gained play value if rear access to the body had been included and interestingly the illustration on the box showed open rear doors.
To brighten the model, Benbros issued the Delivery Van in various colours and a few different side decals. Because of the rarity of the Delivery Van, details of these are uncertain but it is likely that Benbros bought the remaining stock of decals from Timpo when the dies were acquired. These included 'Meltonian Shoe Cream', 'Chivers Jellies' and possibly 'Golden Shred'. Benbros added 'Pickford's Removals'.
Benbros chose green or red cabs for their Delivery Vans with yellow, red or pale-green bodies. There was no silver trim added. The wheels were initially thin, black all-metal, which were a little flimsy, but these were replaced later by the more authentic 6-bolt metal wheels with tyres.
The Delivery Van was issued in a multi-model box with detailed pictures of several ex-Timpo items which Benbros re-issued. It was quite a large box for the model but the illustrations included the Delivery Van showing a 'Golden Shred' marmalade decal on the side. One of the end-flaps of the box included a blank panel on which the model name was stamped.
It is fair to suggest that the Delivery Van was not a popular toy as very few examples now exist making it one of the rarest Qualitoy models.
Variation 1: Green cab, yellow body, 'Meltonian Shoe Cream', black plain pmw
Benbros Qualitoys Delivery Van
All variations had a multi-model illustrated box
1) GREEN cab/chassis YELLOW body 'Meltonian' black plain pmw
2) GREEN cab/chassis RED body 'Chivers Jellies' black plain pmw
3) GREEN cab/chassis RED body 'Pickfords' coloured pmw
4) GREEN cab/chassis PALE GREEN body 'Pickfords' coloured pmw
5) GREEN cab/chassis RED body 'Golden Shred' coloured pmw
6) GREEN cab/chassis RED body 'Chivers Jellies' coloured pmw
7) RED cab/chassis RED body 'Chivers Jellies' coloured pmw
photo David Elliott
Variation 4: Green & pale-green, 'Pickfords', green 6-bolt pmw
photo John Sharp