DINKY 104 SPECTRUM PURSUIT VEHICLE (1968-1976):
Dinky 104 is the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle (SPV) was produced from 1968 to 1976 and was one of thee vehicles licensed from Gerry Anderson’s Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons TV series. The other vehicles Dinky produced were the 103 Spectrum Patrol Car (SPC) and the 105 Maximum Security Vehicle (MSV).
DINKY 104 SPECTRUM PATROL VEHICLE:
One of Dinky’s most popular TV series models, rivalling that of Thunderbird 2 and Lady Penelope’s Fab 1. The SPV was packed with features, including a firing rocket, a door that opened revealing Captain Scarlet and rear tracks that could be lowered.
The key features of the Dinky 104 SPV were a rocket that fired from a bonnet hatch activated by pressing down on the front wheels of the vehicle, an opening side door activated by pressing the top fin which then revealed a backwards sitting Captain Scarlet. In the earliest versions the seat could be lowered to the floor. And finally tracked wheels that could be deployed at the rear.
The rocket wasn’t strictly accurate, as the real vehicle had a machine gun in the nose, but it had great play value. The rocket had a similar mechanism and missile as 100 FAB1.
The back tracks dropped down as well as the twin aerials.
IN THE TV SERIES:
The metallic-blue, tank-like SPV served as Spectrum’s primary armoured interceptor ground vehicle. It was 25 feet (7.6 m) long, weighed 8 long tons (8.1 tonnes), and had a maximum speed of 200 mph (320 km/h). The SPV was fitted with five pairs of wheels with additional traction for mountainous environments provided by rear-mounted, hydraulically-lowered caterpillar tracks.
Within the hermetically-sealed control compartment, the driver, co-driver and a passenger were seated backwards, facing the rear, to reduce the possibility of injury in the event of a crash; the driver was aided by a video monitor displaying forward and rear views. It was armed with a front-mounted cannon, housed underneath a fold-away panel at the front of the vehicle.
PROP v ACTUAL:
There were a few minor variations to the model, the most obvious being the black bumper and stickers replacing the decals in the last versions produced. Captain Scarlet also lost his drop down seat.
First and last versions of the 104 SPV
The last version of the SPV, probably produced in the final year of its production in 1976, had a black bumper – a departure from the white one which was more faithful to the prop. The wheels which had started as ‘all spun’ versions were now the ‘visible bolts’ variety. The drop down seat had long gone and of course the aerial plunger at the top was capped and had been for all versions except the very first. The ‘Century 21’ licensing text had now disappeared from the gloss black base and stickers were used instead of decals for the roundels.
Although most the majority of 104’s had red seats, the final version had a rare brown seat variant.
The first versions of the roof plunger, without the white aerial cover, had a visible hole, later this was filled with a small lug to prevent it being pushed into the roof. After this a leaf spring modification prevented the plunger from descending too far. The external rivet was removed and the white plastic cover was introduced. Various sized and coloured cardboard packing pieces protected the button from being damaged or ‘fired’ during transit
The drop down seat, which often got caught in the door mechanism was replaced with a fixed seat in 1973.
The base of the SPV was initially blue but later versions had either matt or gloss black bases. A rarer colour was light green. This was similar in colour the the 353 SHADO Mobile. The later versions dropped the C21 licence text and the number and these could be on blue or black bases.
Spare rockets were available in pack 755, which could also be used for 100 Lady Penelope’s FAB1 and also for the 353 SHADO 2
Spare rear tracks came in pack 030
The 104 SV came in two boxes, an all cardboard version with an inner stand and later a tray with a bubble lid.
The second box had a cardboard base, either white or blue with a clear blister/bubble top. The font sizes also changed.
A wooden prototype (below) was rescued from the Binns Road factory by Mike Richardson.
The SPV had the rare honour of making it into all the catalogues, whilst it remained in production between 1968 and 1976.
A rare display stand for the 104 sold by QDT, utilising the artwork used by, among others, Meccano Magazine but with the Maximum Security Vehicle (in white, 105) added.