By: Glenn Morson
The National Motor Museum Mint has released its first continuity set of Fire Apparatus by joining up with Corgi Classics (U.S.A.) to bring a unique set of 12 classis fire pumpers that covers vintage engines produced from the 1930ís through to 1970. This series represents a period of fire history and nostalgia to the collectors never offered before in die-cast metal. The set issued on subscription basis of one model per month is well on its way with the first model of a 1950ís Ahrens-Fox HT Piston Pumper from Hope Hose Company No.1 of Tarrytown, NY already in collectorís hands. This is a new tooling for Corgi and is one of a number that was commissioned by the National Motor Museum Mint to premier in the set. Other new tooling that is rumored on the ATEV bulleting boards are a 1956 Maxim and a 1936 REO Speedwagon also rumored is a 1930 Seagrave Sweetheart Grille. As I said this is just a rumor at this time and will be interesting to see what transpires from this. There will also be a 1960ís Mack C this will also be new tooling for Corgi, I asked NMM if this cast was going to be the same as the Signature Modelsí Mack C that they produced early this year? I was told that the casting on the Corgi model would be of a higher guage metal giving the model more heft and feel, and greater detail.
As mentioned above the first model in the series is the 1952 Ahrens-Fox HT Piston Pumper from Hope Hose Company No.1 Tarrytown, NY. When I received the sample model I was blown away by the quality! Yes, it is new tooling for Corgi and it looks like they are finally getting it right. For a long time Corgi Classics U.S.A. (I felt) was letting the U.S. model collectors down with their fire vehicle range. The accuracy and quality had been somewhat lacking compared to Corgi Classics (U.K.); look at the Dennis F15/12ís as an example, a fine model that has been around now for more than three years. The National Motor Museum Mint has given Corgi Classics (U.S.A.) expert guidance in the fire area. The joint venture has raised the bar for Corgi and we are now (at least with this set) going to see what can really be accomplished when Corgi is pushed in the right direction.
The model comes in an attractive box with a Styrofoam insert. Also included in the packaging is a collectorís card giving the history of the real pumper for the model you have received. Lifting out the model from the packaging it is clear this fire collectible is nothing like Corgi has produced before. Detailing is finer than on previous models. The casting is sharp and clear, when you lift the model it has a nice weight that contributes to the overall quality of this model. The pad printing is crisp and vibrant; the paint is a rich red that on my model was flawless. I do wish that they had painted the wheel but they do not look that bad in the red plastic. Every thing looks in scale and the pump at the front of the model is highly detailed as is the deck gun. To me, this has to be one of the best fire models from Corgi in a long time and this was made possible with the involvement of the National Motor Museum Mint by brining in a member of their team who has real life fire service experience to help Corgi with all aspects of producing a historically accurate set.
Many hours went into researching and producing this set and Iím sure all you that haves subscribed would agree with me that this is going to be a highly sought after collectable when the last of the 12 hits our door steps. In a addition to the 12 piece set from Corgi; when you subscribe you will receive a gift of a model of a 1886 Silsby Steamer this is not a Corgi model but is a nice addition to the set that will be shipped out with the Ahrens-Fox brining the set up to 13 models.
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