By Harvey Goranson
Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Click on them to enlarge.
Every once in a while I stumble across an old diecast or two that I missed out on back in the days before anyone conceived of 1:43 white metal and resin. For some time now I have wanted earlier versions of my Corgi Toys 150S Vanwall and 152S BRM Formula 1 racers (the ‘S’ denoting suspension), since the red and turquoise colors are basically horrid.
Recently I spotted more proper early green versions at a UK auction site and won them. I also tried for an early Lotus 11 in silver but missed out on the hat trick. These original castings have no suspension, nor are driver figures supplied. Boxes were stained, worn, and marked on, but complete. My new acquisitions are pictured below on the right.
Corgi 150 represents the Type VW 5 from 1957. Some were even made as Sir Stirling Moss’s winning car from the European GP at Aintree that year, with white No. 20 on nose and sides.
Per Marcel Van Cleemput’s tome, The Great Book of Corgi, No. 150 was introduced in July 1957; 317,000 were made before withdrawal in 1961.
Corgi 152 is the BRM P25, 195,000 of which were made from 1958 to 1961.
The BRM’s Green may be more of a “David Piper” green than BRG, but still better than the later 152S.
Moss almost won the F1 drivers’ championship in 1958, but Vanwall grabbed the constructors’ championship. This might explain why more Corgi 150s were sold compared to 152. And why Dinky, Solido, and even Crescent wanted one for their ranges.
In September of 1961 the garish suspended versions appeared, with Corgi attempting to get more life out of the castings before kids caught on to the fact that front-engined F1 cars were becoming as extinct as dinosaurs. Corgi’s designers were probably already then working on No. 154, the rear-engine Ferrari 156.
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