Lincoln Industries (NZ) 2379 Magic Car

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This model is the Lincoln Industries (NZ) 2379 Magic Car in red. At 132mm long by 62mm wide and 40mm high, this tinplate, clockwork, lithographic printed vehicle featured a mechanism that prevented the vehicle from driving off the edge of a table ot tray.

The body is red tinplate and all features are either molded or litho-printed on to this body. At the front it has litho-printed bumper, lights, and red on black background number plate [HK-4005] (probably indicating the original tooling, etc., was obtained from Hong Kong). It has a fixed bonnet lithographed with white and grey trim and bonnet handle. The front windscreen is beautifully lithographed and features a male driver (to the left of the vehicle) and female passenger. This lithographic treatment is carried on to the side windows showing female on the driver's side and a young boy on the passenger side - the rear window has been treated with the same pseudo glass printing. White side trim features on both sides and the single front doors are outlined in black with white handles. The rear "boot" lid features air vents suggesting the vehicle is rear engined. It carries the legend "Applied for U.S.A. pat." followed by "D.P.a." below it, just above the vents. The rear also features printed red and white rear lights and rear bumper, with red on black background number plate [HK-4005].

There is no interior or glazing, this being printed on the outside. There is a clockwork mechanism housed inside the body, operated by a folded tin key that enters via circular hole in the left side of the body. It still operates perfectly.

All wheels are of a one piece, black plastic, tyre molding except for the "driving" wheel which is black, treaded rubber. The front wheels are quite smooth and have no real detail. They are mounted on a steel domed and crimped axle that passes through the base. In the centre of the base is the fifth "Magic" wheel that prevents the toy from falling off the edge of the table. It is a metal wheel with a black, hard rubber fixing, is on a steel axle, and is positioned at a 45 degree angle to the front of the toy. The rear wheels are treaded and more detailed than those on the front. They are fixed to a steel axle that passes through the clockwork mechanism, but only the left hand side rubber wheel is actually driven by the mechanism, the right hand plastic wheel being free moving on the axle.

The base plate is a single, black tinplate unit and is not marked with country of origin or manufacturer's details. The pressed tin shape helps make the toy rigid and strong. At the rear the clockwork mechanism's toothed gear protrudes through the base. It is held in place with four large folded tabs that are part of the upper body pressing. Two smaller tin folded tabs hold the friction drive motor in place at the rear of the vehicle.

The packaging of the model is typical of the era - a card box on which is printed, mainly in blues and red, a depiction of the toy with a mountain scene in the background on the main faces, a depiction of the non-toppling feature on the secondary sides, and a red panel on each outer end flap on which appears "CAT. No. 2379, MAGIC, CAR, Lincoln Industries, Ltd., Auckland N.Z." on 6 lines.

I do not know exactly when this model was issued but it is thought to have been in the 1950s or 1960s as Lincoln Industries moved manufacturing from Auckland to Hong Kong in the mid 1960s and rebranded itself as Lincoln International around this time also.

Item: 3354