Benbros Qualitoys

226 Petrol Tanker

Using another of the Timpo designed toys, Benbros added this Petrol Tanker to the range to make a robust model with good play value.  It was probably not based on any actual vehicle but as it dated from 1949 it was most likely fashioned on war-time petrol lorries.


The hollow-cast cab and chassis were one unit onto which the tank, which was cast in two halves, was riveted. There was no base and the axles fitted dirctly onto the casting. The first issue had simple painted metal wheels but these were soon replaced by metal hubs with black treaded tyres. Because this had been a Timpo Toy, Benbros blanked out the id. but kept 'Made in England' under the chassis. 


The first issue of the Petrol Tanker was painted red with a yellow tank and a single transparent 'Esso' decal on one side. There was no silver trim on this variation and no black added to the tank lids. The wheels were black painted metal with a treaded tyre pattern.


Red was the colour of real 'Esso' tankers at this time and before long the model was painted all-red including the new 6-bolt metal wheel hubs. Silver trim was added to the front grille, headlights and bumper. On the tank a long 'Motor Oil Esso Petrol' decal was added to the left side and the three lids were picked out with black glossy trim.


Later Benbros added a variation promoting 'Fina' petrol but otherwise the model remained red with silver trim and black tank lids, and there was no change to the casting.


The first box used for the Petrol Tanker was shared with other ex-Timpo models and was illustrated with detailed scenes. The version shown of the Petrol Tanker was the first issue with a yellow tank and large 'Esso' decals including one on the rear which seems not to have been added to the actual model.


On the yellow (second type) multi-model box, the Petrol Tanker is depicted in red with the long 'Esso' decal and the model number 226. There was no number on the model nor on the first issue picture box. On both box types, a blank panel was left on one end-flap for the model details to be added and this was usually a stamp saying 'Esso Petrol Lorry'. 


No.226 Petrol Tanker is quite scarce and mint models are rare. The variation with the yellow tank is very rare.

Benbros Qualitoys Petrol Tanker

Variation 1: Red cab/chassis, no trim, yellow tank, 'Esso' decal, black pmw, type 1 box

Benbros Qualitoys 226 Petrol Tanker




1)  RED cab & chassis   YELLOW tank   BLACK pmw   'ESSO' decals          Type 1 multi-model box


2)  RED cab & chassis   RED tank           RED pmw       long  'ESSO' decal   Types 1 or 2 multi-model box


3)  RED cab & chassis   RED tank           RED pmw       long  'FINA' decal     Type 2 multi-model box

Benbros Qualitoys 226 Petrol Tanker
Benbros Qualitoy 226 Petrol Tanker

Variation 3: Red, 'Fina' side decal, 6-bolt pmw

Benbros Qualitoys 226 Petrol Tanker - underside & box id.

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Abbreviations used on Nicholas Martin Diecast


  • umw - unpainted metal wheels

  • pmw - painted metal wheels

  • pw    - plastic wheels

  • gpw  - grey plastic wheels

  • spw  - silver plastic wheels

  • bpw  - black plastic wheels

  • um    - unpainted metal

  • id.     - maker's identification


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