of the first series models utilised different
wheels appropriate for the different
transportation types. The wheels ranged from the
large and detailed wheels of the steam road
engines to the small rail wheels of the two
railway locomotives. The use of the pressurised
injection moulding technique, developed by
Lesney, enabled the detailed spoked wheels such
as those on the dainty Y8-1 Morris and the Y10-1
to be produced. However the twenty spoke wheels
of the first series Y5-1 Bentley are only suggested by
The Y6-1 AEC Lorry and the Y7-1 Leyland Lorry were fitted with tyreless metal wheels, typical of the real examples. The approach of the end of the production life of these two models revealed premature wearing of the tools for the wheels. This was also the case for the Y4-1 Sentinel. To extend the life of these models plastic wheels were substituted. These wheels were taken from the then current production of the 1-75 range of miniatures. These examples are quite scarce today and if found the models command a premium price.
The wheels typical of the second series models were actually produced for the first series Y15-1 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost. The early releases showed the detail of the bolt heads on the wheel rim and detailed spokes. Similar detailed wheels can also be found on early Y16-1 Spykers. However, soon after the introduction of these finely detailed castings the bolt head details were removed and strengthening bars placed on the rear face of the wheel. It is these slightly simpler wheels which are typical of those to be produced throughout the 1960's for the second series models.There were two sizes produced and generally fitted to the appropriate model. However it has been known for large and small wheels to be found on the same model type, especially the Y1-2 Model T Ford.
There are, however, some notable exceptions to the use of these 'standard' wheels for the second series models (apart from the Shand Mason fire engine which many people think of as a first series model anyway). These are the wheels used for the Y10-2 Mercedes, the Y5-2 Bentley, the Y6-2 Bugatti, the Y13-2 Daimler, the Y8-2 Sunbeam motorcycle and the Y2-3 Vauxhall.
The Mercedes and Bentley utilised the same basic wheels. These are small but show the incredible detail of the wire spokes.
The Bugatti is fitted with its own unique wheel type and depicts the flat spokes, which were slightly pitched in the real car to force cooling air over the brake drums. These wheels inexplicably found their way onto a handful of non standard coloured Spykers. These Spykers, when seen for sale, command extremely high prices; in excess of £1000!
The Daimler, Sunbeam and Vauxhall shared the same wheel type. These wheels are metal cast, are brilliantly detailed and compliment the models superbly. To my mind these represent the best of the Models of Yesteryear range. They completely outclassed anything on the market at the time in terms of quality and price.
The wheels of the Y11-3 Lagonda, Y15-2 Packard Victoria and the Y16-2 Mercedes Benz SS Coupe of the heavier 'third series' models are similar to, though slightly larger than, the earlier Bentley and Mercedes.
Mark Robbins Copyright © 2001 Back to RobbinsPlace.com