These two models are from the 1954 number 4 manual although both models could not be made from the parts in the outfit at the same time. They make a nice pair of models although the caravan is somewhat out of scale to the car. The car, I think is particularly attractive, considering the limited range of parts in set 4 at that time. When I constructed the model I used a few additional parts not included in the set to make a few small improvements to its appearance. The model does involve bending several parts quite severally, two 25 hole perforated strips for the chassis and 11 hole strips for the mudguards. I have fitted a No.1 clockwork motor although in a different way to that shown in the instructions. Fitting the motor is not very well explained this needs to be at an angle for the drive belt to clear the motor case. When wound up the car rolls along at a sedate speed as befits the design.
The car design is quite clearly a pre second world war design although not based on any particular model its similar in outline to the Jaguar Sports Saloon and the Sports saloon shown below. A pre-war and post-war Dinky Toy Rolls Royce is also a very similar shape, shown on the right . What is interesting is that Meccano would have introduced a car of this style in 1954 when cars were much more curved in shape. I suppose it shows the limitations of Meccano parts at that time, making it difficult to replicate contemporary cars in a relatively small model. However in 1954 cars of similar design were a very common sight on the roads of the U.K. The car and caravan in the 1954 No. 9 manual are much more of a contemporary design the caravan is of similar out line to No. 4 model. I recently came across what looks like an earlier version of the 1954 model in the April 1948 Meccano Magazine. This was a non set model see picture at bottom of page.
The caravan is a typical 1950s Design. I made several attempts to make it just as the instructions but it seemed impossible to make the parts line up as per the illustration . It ended up with the roof dipping slightly toward the front. I thought the problem was my use of non slotted flexible plates but as I had substituted two of these for the halves of a hinged plate it would have made little difference.
The original 1954 manual page for the car is shown below. The picture at the bottom of the page is probably the first appearance of this model in the April 1948 Meccano magazine. Looking at the contrast between the strips and plates it was in all probability made from gold and blue parts blue parts.
February 27 2007 Revised May 28 2015