BY HENRY I. KURTZ
ALTHOUGH Britains, Ltd. is primarily known for its extensive and highly popular range of traditional lead soldiers, issued from 1893 to 1966, it also produced a nice group of civilian vehicles.
In the aftermath of the First World War, and the revulsion to the mass bloodletting, many toy soldier manufacturers increased their output of nonmilitary playthings. In the case of Britains, Ltd., most of the company’s catalogues in the 1920s and 1930s were devoted to extensive “Farm Series” and “Zoo Series” figures, and later to a highly popular “Motor and Road Series.”
Of particular interest to toy car collectors was a group of vehicles that came out in the mid 1930s.
First among these was a Sports Model Open Tourer (Set #1398) which could be had in a variety of colors, including blue, cream, green, white or yellow. The car featured white rubber tires, a metal frame windshield, a radiator grill, and an instrument panel dashboard with steering wheel – which were detachable and therefore frequently lost.