These accurate models of the Austin Devon, made by coalminers retrained by Austin, came with handbrakes, removable spark plugs, pneumatic tyres and working lights.
The example at British Toy Auctions (18% buyer’s premium) in Runcorn on October 12 was dated 1949, making it one of the first of the 1500 made at the state-supported factory in Bargoed, south Wales. In 1955 production switched to Austin’s Longbridge plant until closure in 1971.
The toy retailed at Selfridges in 1949 at £20 (about £700 today) and was too expensive ever to be a commercial success. But most have more than kept their value since.
This one, with one careful family owner since new, sold to a private buyer for £1250.