DINKY 486 DINKY BEATS MORRIS OXFORD (1965 -1970):
The Dinky Beats model appeared in 1965 as the Beatles were topping the charts. Of course there wasn’t a direct link to the group as that would have incurred a licence fee payment. The three mop haired guitar playing figures driving in a ‘FAB’ labelled car were a tribute to the group and others of a similar ilk, such as the Kinks. Note the labels FAB and Kinky.
The Meccano Magazine (June 1965) explained “It had to happen! With Meccano Limited being based in Liverpool and Liverpool being the centre of the current ‘beat’ music craze, it was only a matter of time before Dinky models became involved with the ‘Mersey sound”
The car is based on the 476 Morris Oxford (Bull Nose) which had also come out in 1965. But why choose a Bull Nose Morris? Well they already had a model that could be adapted, the 476 Morris Oxford Bull Nose, and also the Beatles first manager Allan Williams owned a Morris Oxford Bull Nose which he’d bought in 1959 and had ferried the Beatles around in.
The 486 model was dissimilar enough to prevent any awkward licencing questions.
This was the second, novelty/special model produced by Dinky. The lilac and light green colour scheme were a sign of the times as were the ‘hip’ slogans covering the car.
The figures were not terribly life like and were crudely painted by hand, with the rear figure precariously perched on the soft top roof.
The car was ‘packed with features’ according to the box and included a ‘Beat’ group with instruments, Beat slogans, Opening boot, Brass radiator, Lamps,Windscreen frame and Window and finally Spoked wheels. Not quite a 100 FAB1 but it was a start. In 1970 when production of this car was ended another special was created from the same chassis, the 477 Parsley’s Car.
The Dinky Beats car came in a rarer dark blue chassis version which was similar to the original 485 Morris Oxford.
The model made it into the 1965 and 1966 catalogues.
6 thoughts on “486: Dinky Beats Morris Oxford”
These are a stunning line of Dinky cars – – I happen to have what appears to be a “set” or series of the Dinky Morris Oxford bull-nosed models – – “The Beats”, “Parsley’s Car”, “Santa Claus” , and more. All in mint, never played with condition .
Just out of curiosity, if there were FOUR original Beatles, why did the Dinky/Meccano “The Beats” only incorporate THREE such similar figures? Could this be maybe a copyright issue, that they could not infringe on Beatles copyright protection by using four likenesses of them? Just wondering….I thought for years that mine had a missing figure, until I realized that it was made and released with the three, not four, figures….
Hi Bradley, Thank you for your note. I think it was due to the copyright issue. When the model was released in 1965 the Beatles were already famous and the Dinky Beats car clearly reflected their success and the emergence of the pop group style of that period. Adding another group member to the three, may have tipped the balance from acknowledgement to riding on their coat tails and having to pay a licence fee. As an aside, Corgi produced a prototype Beatles Cadillac, featuring the Beatles logo and the Fab Four and as seen in the Great Book of Corgi but it was never commercially released.
Thank you for your additional insight. I never knew about the Corgi attempt at a Beatles car…after I sent my initial comment, I then realized that the “Santa” specialty car that I have, though also made by Dinky, was actually a Ford Model T, not the Morris Oxford used for the “Beats” car, etc…in fact, in my collection of these, I further discovered that I had a few more of the Model T versions – specifically, the “Gabriel” car (#109) featured in the British TV series, “The Secret Service” and driven by Father Stanley Unwin. It seemed to be an interesting take on “The Man From UNCLE”. So, in total, I have 3 Morris Oxford cars (Beats, Parsley, and a plain non-character (generic driver) yellow/deep blue convertible (top-up). The remaining 3 are made on the Model T platform: Santa Claus, Father Unwin’s Gabriel car, and a medium blue, open-top convertible with a couple riding in it. These are all in mint, never-played with condition with one exception: The Beats car was missing one of the three figures – – so I have purchased a badly used car that did include the missing figure – – so now, my problem has been remedied. As FYI, these were my dad’s cars (he has been gone 20 yrs) and I am now having to decide what I should do with these cars, among many, many other toy cars that he once enjoyed collecting. I have many original Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Dinky, Corgi, Majorette, Barclay, Tootsie Toy, Hubley, Husky, and other makes of cars, trucks, and more. As a kid, I attended many a local car show (late 60’s, early 70’s) with my dad and amassed a respectable collection of my own. I am now having to part out my own collection, as well as the many collectibles that my dad left behind. No easy task – especially when trying to keep all the sentimentality at bay. My son, now college-aged, has been a tremendous help to me in getting these organized and ready for sale (mostly on ebay). I have a whole separate collection of Japanese tin-lithograph cars and related items – – many rare and in mint condition – there seems to be an entirely separate market for these . It can be overwhelming, so I try to pace myself in just how much I am selling at a time. I am now 58 and not in the best of health – – so my goal is to be ready to move out of my current home within the next year – part of that preparation is having to thin-out and streamline what I have, and what my 2 kids may want to keep. Sorry if I digress here but that’s the whole story…!
Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated. Best wishes – – Brad Johnson
Am I the first to point out the Left-handed Bass player?
I’m not sure he’s holding the guitar like Paul did?