A plastic Berliet Stradair Tri Benne, reference number 569. No, this plastic vehicle was not produced by Dinky Toys in competition with Norev! In the mid-60’s, Dinky Toys no longer tested its molds by injecting them with zinc alloy but instead with plastic. This technique had the double advantage of allowing easier repairs of potential defects as well as not damaging the mold in cases of design problems.
Obviously, the injection
pressure for zinc alloy was much greater, while plastic is more fluid, fills the mold well and requires less pressure. This Stradair is one of the first injection p
rojects. We also know of other plastic injection-test models: a Saviem steel carrier and a Berliet autobus. It can certainly be assumed that many other similar pieces were produced as well. Following the same economic logic, however, most of these early tests were recycled for coloring trials, making them very rare now.
This Stradair is moulded in a white color, then painted in two tones of green. The seats are painted a bordeaux wine color. One interesting detail: the Berliet logo on the front hood is a tampograph, not etched as in the final version. In a similar way, the chassis includes numerous modifications: the suspension springs for the front axle are not as detailed as in the final version and are missing from the rear axle, plus the fuel tanks are different. The Dinky Toys engraving is also missing. This is an interesting model, a link in the chain that comes before production. Interestingly, Dinky Toys ended up keeping this color scheme for the production run.
Isabelle and Vincent Espinasse. Autojaune.fr