Mike Neale takes a look at some more shelf-size Ford D-Series models that were available when the real truck was still in production.
Tekno was founded in September 1928, in Denmark, first making toys and then toy vehicles from 1935. These included commercial and public service vehicles as well as cars. Production ended when WW2 began, and was re-started after the war, in 1946, at which point the company adopted 1/43 as its standard scale.
However, financial problems meant that Danish production ended in 1972, although this wasn’t quite the end of the story. English businessman Leslie Hurle Bath, who lived in the Netherlands, bought some of the dies and continued producing Tekno trucks for a few years.
Tekno’s diecast Ford D800 was released before the Dinky Toy version, but both were similar and made to the same 1/43 scale. The doors opened, as on the earlier Dinkys but, while the Dinky doors had the quarter-lights cast in, the Tekno ones didn’t, though they did have glazing half-open (an easy way to tell them apart at a glance). Grey plastic wheels were fitted, different at the front to the back, which were quite realistic. So, Dinky wins on door details, but Tekno on wheels.
Like Dinky, Tekno’s first Ford D-Series release in 1968 was a short-wheelbase tipper truck, No. 914. Colours included a red cab and chassis with a grey tipper body; a white cab with a blue chassis and grey tipper; a dark blue cab, black chassis and grey tipper; a red cab and green tipper; or a green cab, black chassis and grey tipper.
Also launched in 1968 was No. 915, a long-wheelbase dropside truck. This had a red cab, green or yellow body with yellow siderails; or a red cab and grey body and grey, red or blue siderails. Other versions, like mine, came as a flatbed truck with a red cab and grey flatbed body.
No. 916 was a Ford D800 covered truck, long wheelbase again, with a red cab, pale grey body and a green tilt. No. 917 was a lumber truck, which came with a wood load, having a red cab and chassis, or a white cab and yellow chassis.
If reading all these colour variations is making you want a drink, then 918 is for you – it’s a Tuborg beer truck, in white with a red chassis and grille, a white and red canopy over the cab, carrying a full load of green plastic crates for beer bottles. A few of the crates are missing on my example – if anyone has any going spare…
No. 919 Ford covered truck, again with the long wheelbase, had roll-up canvas sides. Liveries included that of Danish coffee company Irma Kaffe, in mid-blue and white, and Danish brewery Faxe Fad, in white and dark blue.
I think my favourite Tekno Ford D-Series is, however, No. 920; the Falck Zonen recovery truck in red, with a winch on the back and pull-out ramps at the rear. Mine is shown carrying an old Tekno Mercedes Ponton. Falck was founded in Denmark in 1906, providing emergency services. In the early 1960s it acquired Zonen, the Danish roadside assistance firm, to become Falck Zonen.
Finally, Tekno produced No. 922; an articulated box van, which had a D-Series tractor unit with an orange cab and a white box-body in Frisko Is livery (a Danish ice cream manufacturer).
In 2021, specialist model van and truck producer Promod introduced a 1/50 scale Ford D-Series in white metal for the collector’s market. The grille panel is a separate casting, allowing both the early and later face-lifted grille type with square headlights to be produced. Separate door mirrors are supplied for the purchaser to fit.
Model No. PRO382 is a Post Office Telephones box van in yellow with the early grille, in a limited edition run of 100 models. PRO383 is the same vehicle as a red Royal Mail box van, again limited to 100 models.
PRO388 is a Ford D-Series 4×2 tractor cab unit in red, with the later grille. Corgi trailers can be attached to the back if desired, or Promod’s own trailer kits.
PRO390 is a pale blue milk tanker. Other variations may be produced in due course. Unpainted white metal kits are also available in different versions, with the option of the early or later grille, including short and long wheelbase box vans, a curtainside lorry, 4- and 6-wheel flatbed lorries and a dropside truck, in addition to the models described above. See www.promod-diecast.com for details.
Other D-Series toys and models
Hong Kong-made plastic Ford D-Series were issued by Telsalda and Lucky Toys, in various different forms including a covered dropside truck which originally came with a matching trailer. Others were produced by a firm called Hoover (presumably unrelated to the vacuum cleaner manufacturer). I have a rather battered example of its fire truck that’s missing a few parts. The company also made an Esso tanker and a crane truck. The cab has no opening doors and dark blue plastic glazing is fitted. The scale is approx. 1/43, but the cab shape isn’t terribly accurate.
French model firm Jade Miniatures produced a nice 1/43 resin kit of a Team Surtees Ford D800 Racing Transporter with a very boxy body, almost like a long removals van. A Smith Automodels (now ASAM Models) produced a white metal 1/43-scale skip lorry and a recovery truck with twin rear wheels, both using the Dinky cab.
Other smaller-scale Ford D-Series were made by Husky Models, later under the Corgi Super Juniors brand, at approx. 1/58 scale.
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