Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version)
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TOPIC: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version)

Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #1

Platinum Boarder
I've been looking closely at my less than pristine selection of Dinky Minis and was surprised to see the amount of variations between these models.  As I don't have any examples of the last Speedwheels versions I wondered whether the changes below are an exhaustive list or whether there are any others?


They are arranged oldest to newest below:





The oldest one has a "D" registration (1966) which makes it was one of the first produced.  This model seems to have a Morris badge on the bonnet (circle with 2 wings either side):





It is also the only one that has the model number and description Mini Minor on the base:





The next 2 were made 1967 (or possibly later) and 1968/69. These do not have a bonnet badge at all:





The final 2 date from 1970 and 1972, the Morris bonnet badge appears to have been replaced by a square Austin (or British Leyland) badge:





 





On the rear there is a noticeable difference in treatment between the standard and Police versions on the early models:






The later cars all seem to share the same body shell (the blue one has a replacement rear number plate and should be "G" reg:





Apart from the very first version all the others appear to share the same base with model number and Mini Minor blanked out:





 





I would be interested to see any pictures of other differences known.

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #2

Moderator
The first release was the Morris Mini-Minor Automatic in 1967, with 183 cast in base. The following year, the Police version was added, but this was intended to be an Austin Cooper, so used a different 'cloned' bodyshell with no rear raised details but instead, a decal was used to represent the bootlid, license plate and badge. The bonnet casting for this version was modified to remove the Morris logo, and the base number was removed for both versions.

However, from this point on the factory found it very hard to keep the right castings for the right model, so Morris Mini-Minors would get fitted with bonnets without the badge logo (as per your blue one).

The castings began to show signs of wear so your later minis with the supposed 'Leyland' badge are the Morris bonnet without the wings either side.

It got even more complicated from 1970 when the Austin Cooper casting was modified to replace the bootlid decals with cast detail - from this point on, both the 183 Morris Mini-Minor Automatic and the 250 Austin Cooper S Police car got made with either mould, i.e. both models exist in approximately equal numbers in both the correct and incorrect versions, with the bonnets also being intermixed. Your later Police version has been made using the incorrect Morris casting, it should be the Austin version.

Towards the end, the moulds were very worn and the doors are a pretty appalling fit on the later models too.
Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by andyman7.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Nobleco

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #3

Platinum Boarder
Andyman, thanks for your very comprehensive reply.  From your answer do I understand that there is another later Police body casting that I do not have; badge moulded "Austin Cooper" rather than "Automatic" "MINI MINOR" ? If so I will need to add this one to my wish list!


Also what version is the radiator grille? From my memory of the actual car the Austin version had wavy horizontal bars with vertical bars whereas I think the Morris only had straight horizontal bars.  Did Dinky go for a mixture of both versions?


John
Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by distant subscriber.

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #4

Platinum Boarder
Just had a look on line and found these two pictures:








Looks like the Austin casting was modified to show the newer larger rear lights, however as late as 1974 the Morris casting was still the original one?

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #5

Platinum Boarder
I will have a look when i get home.
I think they are covered

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #6

Moderator
Yes, as you can see from the photo it does exist with cast 'Austin Cooper' - note that the bootlid is a raised line on this but recessed on the Morris. There are four wheel variations. The main ones are - original tyres on spun wheels with protruding axle ends; later cast wheels with recessed boltholes; plastic Speedwheels,

The fourth (very rare) variation is the turned wheel and tyre(without protruding axle) used on a few models around 1968 - I've seen the metallic blue mini and the Police version with this wheel style but it is very unusual, perhaps three or four examples out of dozens over the years.

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #7

Moderator
The Morris casting was never changed. Only the Austin one was modified so right up until final production in 1974 both versions were being issued on both the 183 and 250!

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #8

Platinum Boarder
Ok here we go.






















































Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #9

Platinum Boarder
Thanks for the additional information and pictures I wonder if any non Police Austin Cooper S saloons were every made,  given the factory mix ups with this model?

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #10

Moderator
Yes, as I said above once the bootlid detail was cast into the Austin moulding they were both mixed up and I have the 183 Mini as an Austin in both metallic red and plain red - I have only ever seen Austin versions with Speedwheels versions though.

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #11

Platinum Boarder
And then there are the minivans

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #12

Platinum Boarder
RVREVO wrote:
And then there are the minivans...

LOL.

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #13

Platinum Boarder
I found a picture of another variation earlier which is below.  I have only ever seen the transfer back version with an "E" registration however this one has the later "J" reg.


It is interesting because there is also a picture above showing a cast back "J" registration example:


Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #14

Moderator
Yes, that's an extremely rare variation. The number plate labels were normally updated with each batch (because in the UK system the last letter denoted the year of registration) but the bootlid decal meant that this was difficult on the 250 Mini. In some cases where a different front sticker was used there was a companion sticker put over the bootlid registration plate, but it seems that the bootlid transfer was finally updated only for the casting to then almost immediately be modified so as not to require it, meaning that only a few were made like this.

Re: Dinky Mini 183 and 250 (Police version) 4 years, 3 months ago #15

Platinum Boarder
Thanks Andyman, you just helped me make the decision to buy this one  


Condition is not brilliant, but it does have the front number plate as well.  I will post some more pictures when it arrives.


Related to this I also have another 250 Police version (not pictured above) which has the MTB 21E transfer back, with a matching front plate. The front number plate is however paper rather than silver backed.  I wondered whether this was produced after the time Dinky had otherwise moved over to the white and yellow plates, but still needed to produce a black and white plate to match the back transfer (before the "J" reg transfer was introduced)?


John
Last Edit: 4 years, 3 months ago by distant subscriber.
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