104: Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle


Dinky 104 is the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle (SPV) was produced from 1968 to 1976 and was one of three 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).

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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.

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Captain Blue driving the Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle in the TV Series

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.

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The back tracks dropped down as well as the twin aerials.

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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.

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Images: Mark Rogers

Century 21 Tech Talk: Spectrum Patrol Vehicle:


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The 104 SPV was a excellent replica of the prop with great play value.


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.

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Although most the majority of 104’s had red seats, one of the last versions had a rare brown seat variant.

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104 Black bumper seat.jpg


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Key variations to model over its production run

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

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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 353 SHADO Mobile. The later versions dropped the C21 licence text and the number and these could be on blue or black bases.

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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

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Spare rear tracks came in pack 030

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The 104 SV came in two boxes, an all cardboard version with an inner stand and later a tray with a bubble lid.

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The model was packed with a cardboard protective ring, tissue paper, a foam insert and instructions.

Here with the instructions packed away in the box and with a blue packing piece for the roof plunger. Also note the unusual blue tipped rocket.These were also occasionally seen on the 353 Shado 2 Mobile

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The second box had a cardboard base, either white or blue with a clear blister/bubble top. The font sizes also changed.

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Bubble top had blue and white bases
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A wooden prototype (below) was rescued from the Binns Road factory by Mike Richardson.

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This variant has a slightly darker blue paint, silver highlighting on the front air intakes and top circular recesses and no red painted headlights. It does not appear to be a code three according to the collector who provided the photos.

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Image: Matthew Trbuhovic
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The SPV had the rare honour of making it into all the catalogues, whilst it remained  in production between 1968 and 1976.

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Dinky 1968 Catalogue also appearing on the front cover
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1969 UK consumer catalogue
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1970 UK consumer catalogue (front cover)
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1970 UK consumer catalogue
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Dinky 1971 UK consumer catalogue
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1972 UK consumer catalogue
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1973 and 1974 UK consumer catalogue
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1975 UK consumer catalogue
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1976 UK consumer catalogue
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1969,70 and 71 French consumer catalogues. 


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1968 leaflet
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1968 TV21 magazine advert
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May 1968 Meccano Magazine front cover
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1969 Advert
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March 1970 TV 21 magazine advert


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.

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12 thoughts on “104: Spectrum Pursuit Vehicle

  1. Hello, I have seen some differences in the interiour of the SPV. The interiour leaf spring from the drop down seat is mounted vertical or horizontal. Which one is the original?


  2. How many different variations of aerial were there for the SPV? I have three and they are all different! One set is long, thin and have a slight upward curve, the next are of intermediate length, chunkier and look like the ones in many of the pictures above, and the third are stumpy with small ‘blobs’ on the end!


    1. Hi Andy, I’ve personally not seen different aerial styles, my collection of 104s have all got the same ones. Would it be possible to have photos of these variants? And if any other collectors reading this can shed further light on this, that would be very helpful. Cheers Kevin


  3. an excellent web-site, I didn’t know there was so much information available on the SPV and other dinky toys – amazing


      1. Hello, I recently purchased a black bumper, lugged wheeled, blue bottom, no Century 21 licensing text SPV. Based on the wear pattern of the paint, wear on the slide out seat, dirt behind the bumper, and rust on the spring steel I think it is an all original late version of the toy rather than a code 30 made of parts. Has any one else seen this version of the toy.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello,
    I posses a early Pursuit one with a black dot on the roof. I fact, it is the head of a small nail (about 1 cm long) passing through the roof that guide the lowered seat system out of the vehicle, so that the system stays ferm when exiting. I believe you can see the dot (nail head) on the picture in the 73 and 74 catalogue. It is on the right side of the roof.


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