What is it?
Corgi was probably the most prolific producer of Mini models in the 60s and 70s. No. 448 represents just one of many small vans used by dog handling units of police forces up and down the country. It was launched in October 1964 (two months before the civilian 450 Austin Mini Van) and deleted in 1969, after a production figure of 908,000.
What do I get?
Corgi had a knack in the 60s of adding a little extra play value to even the smallest of its toys. Not content with a plastic aerial, jewelled headlights and twin opening rear doors, Corgi also gave junior a police officer and Alsatian dog, complete with a leash.
There are no known changes to the casting. However, some models were issued with cast wheels (see photograph), some with spun wheels. Cast wheel versions are slightly harder to find. There is also a packaging variation-see below.
How was it packaged?
The model was always set on a plinth and packed within a nicely illustrated card box. It seems that early versions have an attractive upstand, or backing card to the plinth, which shows a rather posh Police station. Later, this card was omitted.
Why should I get one?
It’s obviously going to be an item on the ‘wants’ list of any serious collector of police models. Even to someone with a broad taste in models, it has a strong appeal. The slightly rabid looking dog is a hoot! But being serious, it’s the wire mesh incorporated into the back of the glazing; it’s the attention to the door hinges and the bars across the windows at the back; it’s the delicacy of the casting and quite possibly, the sense that even by today’s standards, this is one of the most accurate and best made Mini models ever.
Most often, the leash goes missing and sometimes the dog goes ‘walkies’. Continued opening and closing of the van doors will guarantee chipping.
Although cast wheeled versions are slightly harder to find, overall completeness and condition is paramount. However, those with cast wheels and/or backing card can command £125-175, whilst those without either go for a more affordable £110-160.