Dinky Toys 27f/344; Plymouth Estate Car
When I began to look at Dinkys this car began to nag at my memory, and when I bought one at a toy fair and showed it to my older sister she immediately said 'you used to have one of those'. The more I think about it the more I remember, because it was impossible, back then, to work out what it was. The base plate gives nothing away and even Dinky referred to it just as 'Estate Car'. To my young mind it was very confusing. In the late fifties & early sixties there were a number of half-timbered estate cars around. Not just the ubiquitous Morris 1000 and the Mini Countryman, but loads of estate cars used wood. This looked like nothing I knew.
However we now have the Internet and it was the work of a couple of minutes to discover that this is a Plymouth from probably 1948 and it is historically significant in the history of the motor car as it marked a transition. Before and between the wars it was not unusual to buy a car as chassis only and have a coachbuilder make the body you wanted. That is where the first estate cars, shooting brakes, station wagons etc came from. More seats than the usual two rows or more luggage space was needed so you got Wood & Picket or whoever to build it for you. It was not surprising then that there was a lot of timber around because that is how coachbuilders had been making carriages & coaches for generations.
This car marks the change as Plymouth offered it as a choice in the range, you did not have to have it made specially. I think it was around this time that the 'Town & Country' model name was coined which is still in use today. In the States I understand a Plymouth Town and Country these days is what we in the UK know as a Chrysler Voyager, which is what I drove once upon a time.
Dinky launched 'Estate Car' in 1950, in 1954 it was renumbered to 344. It was always fawn with brown panels, the last releases had spun hubs. There are rumours of it with red panels on fawn or grey with red panels. I think this is just what was printed on the box, I don't think any were actually made in those colours. Its ubiquity and consequent low price makes it a favourite with code 3 modellers, a friend of mine has cut out the panels and replaced then with wood veneer, one also sees them as pickups.
Dinky Toys 344; Plymouth Estate Car; Fawn & Brown, Fawn Hubs
|Dinky Toys 27f; Plymouth Estate Car; Fawn, Brown Panels||Dinky Toys 344; Plymouth Estate Car; Fawn With Brown Panels, Spun Hubs, Black Gloss Base||Dinky Toys Code 3; Plymouth Estate Car; Pickup Conversion; Blue|