What is it?

It’s one of the last gasps made by the Dinky factory in the Parisian suburb of Bobigny and it’s certainly one of the shortest lived commercials, running for a short time from 1970 to 1971. The cab and chassis is derived from No.888 Berliet Saharien pipe laying truck of 1960-66. 

What do I get?

Listings differ when it comes to scale, from 1:43 to 1:50. Perhaps 1:48 is the safest bet. The cab and chassis is beefy, beautifully detailed (just look at the leaf springs), purposeful and undeniably handsome. Not only that, but the whole ensemble looks fantastic in its red and yellow livery.

However, some may decry the fact that the tipping body is plastic and somehow, seems under scale to the main body. Note also, that despite the increase in plastic content, the baseplate beneath the cab is pressed steel-a real throwback to the 40s.
Nevertheless, the designers incorporated a discreet lever and bar to operate a jointed arm that raises and locks the tipper in a most effective way. No need for imitation hydraulics here! In keeping with other releases from the late 60s, this model comes complete with a plastic road sign on a die cast base.      

Any variations?

There are no known variations.

How was it packaged?

The model was always presented on a plinth within an illustrated card box. The artwork reverses the colours overall and shows a cab and bonnet in opposing schemes.

Why should I get one? 

This model is bound to appeal not only to Francophiles, but to anyone who loves trucks, classic plant and remembers playing mud pies in the garden. Unfortunately, for most of us with limited funds, the short market life has made the model scarce and highly desirable. At one major auction house, only seven examples have come up for sale in the last twelve years. The upshot of all this is that IF you find one for sale and IF you have the funds, this model makes a very tempting candidate as an investment piece.

Watch out

Red paint is subject to fading if left in sunlight and the plastic components are capable of discolouring. The box is the weakest part and easily damaged. Many examples have now lost their leaflet and free road sign.

How much?

The Model Collector Price Guide quotes £250-350 and this is borne out by prices achieved at auction. The model’s value has been rock solid for the last decade.