- Realistic collectible model
- Diecast & plastic parts
- Highly detailed.
- Acrylic case with display stand included.
- Measures 3.7” L x 1.6” W x 1.7” H
- Display model, recommended for hobbyists and collectors 14 years and above.
The Ford Thames 400E is a commercial vehicle that was made by Ford UK and introduced in 1957. Production of the range continued until September 1965, by which time a total of 187,000 had been built.
What the market required in the 1950’s was a van of 10/15/20 cwt (centrum weight, 100lbs) capacity, but built within a confined space, with the larger 'portion of the bodywork given over to the carrying area. This precluded the bonnetted layout unless it was of minimal protrusion. Ford's answer to the problem came in 1957, when the 400E 10/12 and 15 cwt models were announced. In one stroke Ford had produced a van which was good looking, capacious, convenient and particularly nippy. By utilizing the engine of the best selling Consul the van was assured of a lively performance, and by mounting the unit low down in the frame between the front wheels, it was possible for the driver to slide over the engine cover if nearside exit was demanded.
Some users criticised the use of hinged doors, feeling that sliding doors would be of more use for quick exits or in confined places, but others were quick to point out the drawbacks of this type of door. With a plain panel sided van sliding doors are OK, but the 400E was designed to have access to the body via a side door in addition to the double rear doors. It was also produced as a chassis/cab for pickup or other style of special bodywork, so precluding the use of sliding doors, and anyone who has had experience of them knows they are a mixed blessing when one comes to repair them.
The model was available as in integral all steel panel van with hinged doors to the cab and a pair of hinged doors at the rear; an additional hinged door on the nearside was an optional extra. It was available in two payload ratings 10/12 cwt and 15 cwt. The second standard body was the 8/10seat estate car, which had three windows to each side to the rear of the cab section, one of these being in the standard nearside door with automatic folding step for easy entry. For the mounting of special bodies the 400E was available in chassis only, chassis/scuttle, and chassis/cab form.
Within a short while a 12-seater variation of the estate car appeared, this time with longitudinal seats and a fixed step to the rear. In contemporary literature this model was called a '12 seater bus', and the previous transverse seat model was not shown, although it was still listed in the price schedule.
Looking back on the 400E series today it can be seen as an important link in the chain of Ford van models that have appeared over the years. Compared with the old E83W it represented a massive step forward, notably in its engine, body, gear change, suspension and capacity. It was also an important go between, for it must have provided its designers with a new concept upon which to improve, and improve they did as we shall see when looking at its successor. Unlike the smaller vans, the 400E series changed very little in its lifetime, which was understandable as there was no direct association with a passenger car variant which required constant facelifting to satisfy the car buying public. The range started and finished much the same, although as it went on it gathered more body styles, even the early 8 seater estate car returning in the last few years of its existence. For deliveries it was most useful, especially with the nearside door to get at the load; also, it was so easy to slip over the offside wheelarch down to the ground in one step when making your exit from the cab.
This Oxford Diecast model is representative of a 1957 Thames 400E used by Lotus Racing Service.
Great care should be taken when handling this model. This is a great addition to your diorama or model car collection.