354: The Pink Panther’s Car

DINKY 354: PINK PANTHER’S CAR (1972-1980):

This model was released in two separate versions,  the Dinky 354 Pink Panther Car (1972 -1977) and then re-released as the Pink Panther’s Jet Car (1977-1980).

354 Both cars and boxes.JPG

DINKY 354 – 1st VERSION PINK PANTHER CAR:

The first Pink Panther car, dinky model # 354, had a large black central wheel in the middle of the car. This was the flywheel that generates its ‘dynamic power’ activated by a rip cord with a serrated edge.

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354 PP side.jpg
354 PP front back.png
354 PP top.jpg
354 PP bottom.jpg

The model came with a pull cord to power up the flywheel or as described in the catalogue; “a central gyroscopic road wheel with pull-through rack rod” and an instruction sheet.

PP5.jpg

VARIATIONS:

The pink base colour shades could vary from a light to a darker pink which could also result in a mix and match of the nose colour. There is a less common version which had a black nose and this has been seen without a black painted side stripe.

variations nose and side2.png

There was also a pink base variation with a pink seat which also appears to be rare.

PINK Base COMP.png
Images: John Harrison

The wheels were sometimes left unpainted.

wheels comp.png

DINKY 354 –  2nd VERSION PINK PANTHER CAR:

In 1977 Dinky released a simpler version which underwent many changes. With no large central flywheel, the ‘dynamic power’ went and the labelling now said ‘Jet Car’ There was a large sticker of the Pink Panther on the top of the body. The lines of the doors on the sides were missing and replaced with decals.

pp31-cast-wheels

Car comp.png

The Jet Car wheels were either cast or speed wheels like the original 354 version and again could be solver painted or left black.

wheels Jet Car COMP.png

The base plate of the 2nd version omitted ‘Dinky Toys’ and replaced this with ‘Meccano’ the parent company.

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TV SERIES: THE PANTHERMOBILE:

The Panthermobile was based on a real, fully functional car which was used in the opening credits to The Pink Panther TV show (1969-1976).

Pink-Pather-Car 2.jpg

Pink-Pather-Car 5.jpg

Pink-Pather-Car 6.jpg

PROP V ACTUAL:

The Dinky model lines are spoiled by the flywheel protruding out of the top, but this would have added to the play value. The second version was more accurate physically apart from the decals which were inaccurate visually.

Actual and models x 2.png

(Top) 1st version (Middle) Panthermobile (Bottom) 2nd version.

(Bottom) There were two versions of the Pink Panther himself, the 1st version car had a simpler two colour figure and the 2nd version a more detailed one.

Pink panther x 3.png

PROTOTYPE/COLOUR TRIAL:

prototype PP.jpg
Colour trial sold by Vectis Auctions

ODDITIES AND RARITIES:

Original artwork for the all cardboard box

Artwork 1.jpg

BOXES:

The original box had an image of the actual car used in the TV series plus instructions in a variety of foreign languages.

Box comp.png

PPP with box 2.jpg

The original photo used for the first box.

Prop1.png

The second box version was a bubble pack, omitting Dinky Toys in favour of Meccano branding. On the back was a picture for colouring in.

Box comp2.png

The bubble packs were sold in trade boxes of 6.

box of 6 cars.jpg

CATALOGUES:

The 354 Panthermobile first appeared in the Dinky 1972 catalogue.

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Dinky 1972 UK consumer catalogue
Catalogue UK 73 C.png
Dinky 1973 and 1974 consumer catalogue
Dinky 1975 UK Catalogue.png
Dinky 1975 UK consumer catalogue
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Dinky 1979 UK consumer catalogue
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Dinky 1979 UK consumer catalogue

And the model made its final appearance in the 1980 catalogue which was never published. The image below is from a transparency.

Catalogue UK C 80.png
Image from the unpublished Dinky 1980 UK catalogue.

ADVERTS:

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2 thoughts on “354: The Pink Panther’s Car

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