Atlas Dinky Collection – 24 L Peugeot 402 “Taxi”

By Maz Woolley

The latest model to arrive from Atlas in the original UK Dinky Toys collection is yet another French Dinky. According to Atlas Customer Service the next model wil be the final one I will receive in the UK collection.

The model has again already appeared in the collection sold by Atlas on the Continent and is issued again essentially unaltered.  It is 24 L Peugeot 402 “Taxi” introduced in 1939, withdrawn in 1940 and then sold for two years following the Second World War. The box shown above has pictures of the model in two colours; Atlas has decided to reproduce it in the blue and yellow colour scheme which is the same as a taxi which appeared in the Marilyn Monroe film ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes‘. Pictures of this can be seen on the Internet Movie Car Database at http://imcdb.org/vehicle_115916-Peugeot-402-L-Taxi-1936.html

This Dinky toy has been replicated before in white metal and the SLMC model introduced some years ago is still available in that form.

The Peugeot 402 was  produced from 1935 to 1942 and was a very smooth shape with an aerodynamic look similar to the Chrysler Airflow in some respects. It had the typical Peugeot feature of headlights sited behind the front grille. Underneath the modern looks the Peugeot was a very conventional car based on a chassis which made it easier to offer the vehicle in three lengths and with a variety of body styles.  Peugeot offered a special taxi version of the long wheel base car. Many of these went into service in Paris and other parts of France running till long after the Second World War in some cases.

The Dinky taxi model followed the saloon, which was numbered 24 K, into the range. It has the external taxi meter fitted as an separate part rather than cast in. Some earlier models were made without a tin baseplate, but the Atlas has one. The wheels are grey coloured solid metal as were the originals.

There has been some discussion about Atlas Dinky models and their impact on prices of the original models on the Planet Diecast Forum recently and the general opinion seems to be that any fall in the values of original Dinky models is more likely to be caused by the fact the collector base is ageing with many collections now coming up for sale as collectors cease collecting or pass on. Some also attribute it to previous unsustainable increases in prices. People seem to accept Atlas models for what they are – replicas clearly marked as such by Atlas and easily distinguishable due to their much better paint finishes, tampo printing and clearly marked bases.

I will be interested to see what model Atlas send as the final replica in the collection. I think few would bet against it being another French Dinky model!


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