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Benbros Qualitoys

225 Sunderland Dropside Wagon

Benbros made several models based on the ex-Timpo AEC cab & chassis and called this version 225 Sunderland Wagon, but a better description would have been AEC Dropside Lorry.


The 'Sunderland' name was not an AEC one but derived from the Timpo model which promoted the Vaux Brewery based in the town of Sunderland. Benbros left the name on the sides of the cab but added 'Benbros', 'Qualitoy', and 'Made in England' underneath the chassis when they removed the Timpo name.


The 'Sunderland' models had the cab and chassis as one casting with a small unmarked base rivetted under the cab to help provide strength and to hold the front axle. Benbros did not use the original Timpo body casting but created a new multi-model flat-bed for the AEC range. For the dropside model, two long side sections and an opening tailgate were added.


The body fitted into the back of the cab with a bullet-shaped tab and was rivetted onto the chassis at the rear of the model. At the rear the opening tailgate hinged with a clip-fit system at the bottom corners with two little tabs on each of the top corners which fitted into slots on the side sections. To open the tailgate, it could be lifted and swung down, and closed by reversing the process but oddly, when shut, there remained a little gap between the tailgate and the flat-bed floor.

Benbros issued most of the Sunderland models with a red cab & chassis (usually with siver trim on grille, lights and number-plate) but varied the colour of the dropside body. The first variation had a pale-green body which was a colour continued through the life of the model. It was fitted at first with black, all-metal hollow-cast wheels with an 8-bolt outer design, and later with red 6-bolt metal or 6-bolt plastic hubs with black tyres. 


The other main colour for the dropside body was blue. The shades of blue varied from pale-blue to a much darker colour on some models. Three types of wheels were used on these, red or blue 6-bolt painted metal, unpainted plain metal with large hub-covers similar to the Zebra Toys wheels, or 6-bolt red plastic, all with lightly treaded tyres.


Finally, one more variation was issued in an all-over metallic green with silver trim and olive-green painted metal wheels and black tyres.


The Sunderland Wagon shared two types of generic boxes with other ex-Timpo models. The first was an illustrated end-flap one with pictures of five models, though not including the Dropside Wagon. Model names were added to the pictures but no numbers.

The second box was a bright yellow one with eight models pictured on four sides with each model given a name and number, and on this box the Sunderland Wagon was included. The Benbros Qualitoy logo was printed on both end-flaps with one having a blank panel for the name of the model to be stamped.

Although the two types of boxes were probably issued at different times, it does seem that Benbros used them together and in a fairly random way so that models can be found in either type of box.


The Sunderland Dropside Wagon is quite a scarce model and boxed mint examples are rare.

Benbros Qualitoys Sunderland Wagon

Variation 1: Red & Pale-Green, black all-metal 8-bolt wheels 

Variation 2: Red cab/chassis, mid-blue body, red 6-bolt pmw

Benbros Qualitoys 225 Sunderland Wagon



All models were issued in multi-model boxes

1)  RED cab/chassis,  PALE-GREEN body,  BLACK 8-bolt all-metal wheels


2)  RED cab/chassis,  MID-BLUE body,  RED 6-bolt pmw/black tyres

3)  RED cab/chassis,  MID-BLUE body,  UNPAINTED metal wheels/black tyres

4)  RED cab/chassis,  PALE-GREEN body,  RED 6-bolt pmw/black tyres


5)  RED cab/chassis,  PALE-GREEN body,  RED 6-bolt plastic wheels/black tyres 


6)  RED cab/chassis,  MID-BLUE body,  RED 6-bolt plastic wheels/black tyres

7)  METALLIC-GREEN cab/chassis & body,  OLIVE-GREEN pmw/black tyres

photo Vectis Auctions

Variation 3: Red & blue, unpainted metal wheels, yellow multi-model box

Benbros Qualitoys Sunderland Wagon
Benbros Qualitoys Sunderland Wagon

Variation 4: Red cab/chassis, pale-green body, red pmw

Benbros Qualitoys Sunderland Wagon
Benbros Qualitoys Sunderland Wagon

Variation 7: Metallic green, olive-green pmw, multi-model box with id.

Tailgate closed & open

Yellow multi-model box illustration

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