Eight wheeler header

Foden 3/4 front Foden underside

Original truck Model 8.19  Eight-wheeler lorry from the 1954 set 7 and 8  instruction manual. The model is a fairly good representation of the Foden S18 Flat bed Lorry of 1950. Eight wheel rigid trucks were the most common type of large haulage vehicle on British Roads in the 1950s often pulling a draw bar trailer. The Foden was one of the best with its powerful Gardner diesel engine.

The Foden Eight-Wheeler was also the prototype of a popular series of Dinky Supertoys the model shown below was introduced in 1952. The prototype Foden S18 shown on the right was a common sight for me in Gravesend Kent when I was a child, they were used by Bowaters Paper mills a large manufacturer of newsprint at nearby Northfleet. The red liveried flat bed eight wheelers carried about seven of the huge rolls of newsprint to Fleet Street in London every evening. Vehicles with chains on the loading platform were often used to carry barrels I don't know whether there was ever a Foden prototype with chains.

meccano mag ad. The Binns Road model department of Meccano Ltd. must have decided to turn their attention to the Dinky products of their company for ideas around this time. The Foden is not the only model in the 1954 series of manuals to be based on Dinky Toy road vehicles others that have more than a passing resemblance include: Mobile Crane 7.7 (Coles mobile crane); Taxi 7.11 (Austin Taxi); Army Wagon 7.13 (Bedford 3 ton army wagon); Coupe 7.18 ( Triumph Mayflower Salon); Breakdown Lorry 8.6 (Commer Breakdown lorry); Military Tank 8.8 (Centurion Tank); Bulldozer 8.20 (Baw Knox bulldozer) Others include Armoured car 6.7, Leyland Lorry 6.8, Electric articulated lorry 6.12 Rear Dumping truck 6.21 and Horse box 6.26. All the Dinky toy prototypes were introduced prior to the publication of the manuals.


In the construction of my own model using 1960s yellow and silver parts I have followed the manual for the most part, one of the original illustrations is shown above but I made few minor changes . In my model the first set of rear wheels are driven by a Bull 6 volt geared motor driving directly to a difFoden outside above ferential (designed by Roger Hill of the Transvaal Meccano Guild) via a prop shaft using two of Jack Parsisson’s  solid brass universal couplings. This drive gives the model a nice scale speed . I have used zinc narrow strips for the radiator grill. These parts were not available when the manual was published and give an improved look to the model. I filled the space above the cab with a 3" curved strip p/n 89a this was not a part included in the 1955 No.8 set.

I have also built this model in 1950s red and green parts .

September 24 2008 Revised May 15 2015

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