102: Joe’s Car

DINKY 102 JOE’S CAR (1969-1976):

Dinky Toys 102 Joe’s Car was produced between 1969 and 1976 and was based on the vehicle used in Gerry Anderson’s Joe 90 TV series. Dinky 108 Sam’s Car from the same TV series was also released.


Joe’s Car featured opening wings, extending tails fins, a red flashing exhaust light, powered by a 1.5v battery, and jewelled headlights.

First version
102 Side.JPG
102 front and back2.png
102 top.jpg
102 bottom2.jpg

The key feature of this model was the flashing turbine driven rocket exhaust. This was powered by an AA 1.5 volt battery which activated a flashing bulb which utilised a bi-metal strip to create the effect. Many modern bulb replacements do not have this strip and the light therefore does not flash.

bulb and cover3.png
Bi-metallic strip incorporated into the bulb enables it to flash


Joe’s car is really a misnomer as it was designed and mostly driven by Mac his adoptive father. Professor Ian McClaine’s (‘Mac’) Jet Air Car was a car built by himself to his own specifications. Its lack of ascetic design and unusual appearance is explained by the fact that, as a typical ‘Professor’, Mac concentrated on performance rather than looks.

joe 90.jpg

With its turbo driven aero engines it could fly at 300mph, sail as a hovercraft at 70 knots or drive on land at 200mph. The car had retractable wings and fins as well as wheels.


The vehicle used a special high octane essence for fuel and was powered by two jet engines.


actual and prop.png

The Dinky model is a good replica of the TV series prop as designed by Century 21’s Derek Meddings. Towards the end of the video below there is a section on the actual model used in the TV series.

From Pathe News featuring http://www.mastermodels.co.uk/our-work/


The first version had chrome engines, white markings on the top and bottom of the rear fins, the connecting rod for the rear fins had a pipe cover on the front portion covering the bare metal rod and finally it had the licensing text on the bottom.

Later variants of this version could omit the white paint on the top or bottom of the rear fin or from both sides and remove the front covering of the metal rod. The licensing text also disappeared on these later variants.

Rear fin cover COMP3png.png
The pipe cover over the metal rod was short lived

There was one additional version.  The later and possibly last version, discarded the chrome finish on the engines leaving translucent red engines.  The red engine version probably always had no white detailing on the rear fins.

The chrome engine version (L) has white detailing on the rear fin but the red engine version (R) does not

During the production run there were additional changes to the licensing text, battery switch info and model number text.

Licensing text: Whilst the TV programmes were being made under the auspices of ATV (Associated Television, Lew Grade’s company) the licensing text was visible. This drops off for later models, and for all other Gerry Anderson Dinky models at around the same time.

The licensing text changes slightly, when the word ‘from’ was replaced by ‘for’. The meaning therefore changes but it’s unclear why.

The last production runs removed the licensing text and this was replaced/covered by a blanking plate and at the same time the ‘102’ number also disappeared

On/Off text: A stranger variation was the lack of on/off labelling on the light switch at the base of the 102. This has been seen on the early/first version with the pipe cover with the licensing text and on the version that has no ‘pipe cover’ on the metal rod operating the tail wings. Logic would suggest that this would have been on the first batch of the first version and then updated but apparently not, so it might be an error?

Base text variations COMP.png

The all-red engine, the last version:

Red engine COMP.png
The last version of the 102 Joe’s Car

A version has turned up with no chrome finish to the wheel legs or the connecting rods to the tail planes.


There is a 102 Joe’s car with a gunmetal base. The model featured is one of three bought by Chris Turner in 1980 from a shop in Rimini, Italy.  This is a very rare variant, possibly an export only version.

Images: Chris Turner

The licensing text is present so it is an early model and came in the original all cardboard box.


The earliest version had an all cardboard box with an inner tray.

box comp.pngWith the model was polystyrene base that helped support the plinth bottom, a foam insert and instructions.

102 Packing pieces COMP.png

The last models were released with a bubble and tray box.

box and car2.jpg
bubble 2.png


Joe’s Car made the front page of the 1969 catalogue, the year of its release.

Dinky 69 UK 2.png
Dinky 1969 UK consumer catalogue front page 
Dinky 72 UK.png
Dinky 1972 UK consumer catalogue
Dinky 73 UK.png
Dinky 1974 UK consumer catalogue

The 1975 catalogue showed the last version of the model which had red engines.

Catalogue 1975.png
Dinky 1975 UK consumer catalogue


French Advert

french advert.jpg

13 thoughts on “102: Joe’s Car

  1. Just found this site and its fascinating, I have in my collection a 102 Joe’s car with a gunmetal base which I bought in Rimini Italy in 1978, it came in a card box. Will sort it out this weekend.
    The wooden prototype of the Dinky 104 SPV was once owned by myself as I bought it from Mike Richardson at Sandown!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comment about the site and I hope it is useful to you. I would really like to put up a picture or two of your 102 Joe’s Car and its history on the site. It sounds like a very rare version – possibly for export only? And how lucky to have owned the prototype SPV a very rare model indeed. Do you have any more information on this? Cheers Kevin
      dcmtvspace (at) virginmedia.com


  2. Maybe you could comment on any other remakes. I just discovered a 1994 version on ebay. I’ll guess it is smaller. It’s selling for a lot less. And are there other remakes. I came here to check because you have the most extensive and quality info. Thanks for the this excellent archive.


  3. Hi Dave, Thank you for your kind remarks. There were other diecast versions of the iconic Gerry Anderson models made after Dinky closed and also more recently. Corgi Toys are still producing them whilst Vivid Imaginations made toys in the 90s, including the Joe 90 car that you refer to. Most are very good quality and accurate reproductions so nice to collect. As many were bought originally by collectors to keep rather than by children to play with, there are a lot of mint versions available on the market, which tends to keep prices lower. This of course is a good thing if your are a buyer! Cheers Kevin


  4. Hi Greta site. I have a Dinky 102 with red engines on on the base it shows the on off text for battery switch but then made under license for not from. This is appears another version when compared to your 3 bases you have shown for variations. Thought you would like to know.


    1. Hi Ian, Thank you for this info and noted. I suspect there may be other combinations of the base text but we can mark yours down as seen! Kind regards Kevin


  5. Found out recently, where Derek Meddings, got his design cues for the Flying Car.
    It’s from the Rover P6BS / P9. If it ever gone into production, it would have been known as an Alvis.

    Unfortunately, what would been Britain’s first production Mid Engined Sports Car, was killed of by British Leyland internal Politics. Sir William Lyons of Jaguar , was worried about it affecting sales of the E-Type.

    So he got together with Lord Stokes of Triumph to kill it. It also resulted in the end of the end of Alvis as a road car manufacturer.

    Stokes, was paid back when he had the Rover P6 Zagato Coupe killed off.
    It was to be launched as a Riley, and was in the running along with Triumph Stag to replace , the Austin-Healey 3000.


  6. Hi. Just my observations on the chronology of these models.
    The first (with pipe covers) had no “On / 0ff ” by the battery arrow and “For” in the licensing text.
    The Second (with pipe covers) did have “On / Off ” by the battery arrow and “For” in the licensing text.
    The third (mainly no pipe covers – but some early ones with!) ” On / Off by the battery arrow and “From” in the licensing text.
    The Fourth (no pipe covers) ” On / Off” by the battery arrow and blanked out licensing text.
    I think the second version was particularly short lived. The third version of the base initially had some of the pipe cover top halfs but soon changed to no pipe cover halfs.
    To complicate matters, restorers may take a top half from an early run and match with a later run hence some anomalies!!
    Hope this all makes sense!!


    1. Hi Patrick, This is very helpful. On my to-do list is to try and create timelines for all the models featured but without verifiable supporting evidence this is bound to generate debate and of course, as you say, as most models can be taken apart and the sections moved around, this adds complexity. But someone has to start the process off and put a stick in the sand and this is a great start, thank you. Cheers Kevin


  7. Hi,
    I’ve still got the model I bought new in Italy in 1980. It has the last version base, no white paint on the fins, chrome legs, chrome engines and came in the bubble type box which has a 1971 date on it with some changes in the text.
    Hope this helps

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Stefano, Italy does appear to have received its fair share of originals! The Parodi family were the exclusive importers of Dinky Toys and were also keen collectors of the brand. It looks like someone raided their warehouse and put together models and boxes as supplies dried up after Binns Road closed. Would love to see a picture of the model and box base? If that’s possible you can send this to dcmtvspace@virginmedia.com. Cheers Kevin


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.