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Gibbs Metal Miniatures / Mercury USA 1960 Autocar AP40 Dump Truck

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  • Gibbs Metal Miniatures / Mercury USA 1960 Autocar AP40 Dump Truck

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    Autocar isn't a name you hear much anymore, but they were among the earliest heavy truck builders and Autocar Trucks could be found for many decades in some of the hardest working areas.

    As I recall, this piece was a gift all the way from Finland from Random, and it is appreciated...it fills a spot that was missing as I tried to flesh out the evolution of this series of castings. And I have Jim Reid to thank for bringing the line to my attention. It all started with a broken road grader found on a flea market table.

    The condensed version of the story is that this model and others began life in Italy, some of which made their way across the pond to be made and released as Gibbs Metal Miniatures and Lit'l Toy, before the line being whittled down still more and ending up in Hong Kong where they were then made for the Mini Dinky line, ending up almost 25 years after the initial Italian release being sold under Universal and Kidco before finally fading into the diecast twilight.

    The Autocar Dump Truck never made it as far as Mini Dinky, subsequently it is a bit more scarce on the ground than some of its stablemates. Which may explain why I haven't acquired another just yet.
    The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • #2
    The orange Autocar Dump Truck was one of the first pieces I had from this unique series of models. It came from the base exchange at one of the USAF base's my dad was stationed at in the early '60's before he retired. Mine had different wheels - were open. I believe Jim Reid has the one I had - as well as five or six other pieces I had - removed from my collection in one of the early times of downsizing and perhaps might have even been the days when the money from sold models was sent to our son to help with college expenses.

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    • #3
      Looks awesome! I have the Kidco version of the Michigan scraper, and that's about all I've got in terms of the history of these castings.


      I see a lot of heavy equipment lapel pins and tie tacks from a "Mercury Industries"--is this the same company?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by cody6268 View Post
        I see a lot of heavy equipment lapel pins and tie tacks from a "Mercury Industries"--is this the same company?
        Good question!

        I know enough to get myself into trouble, so don't quote me as Gospel.

        Mercury of Italy is/was the parent company. I don't know if Mercury of USA was a subsidiary or a separate company, but significant details like the logo were the same on company literature (model lists and such) leading me to think there was some direct association. To complicate matters, there was also Mercury of Canada. Mercury of Canada didn't make any toys that I am aware of, however they did make various promo items, and could possibly be the source of the pins and tie tacks you mention.

        The Gibbs / Lit'l Toy history is complicated by a fire. I never got the story straight in my mind, so I don't recall which came first, I think it was Gibbs, and I want to say their factory was in PA. After the fire, what could be salvaged in terms of tools was loaded up and moved to another site, I want to say in Ohio, and when production restarted it was sold under the other name, which if I have the story correct would be Lit'l Toy.


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        This should help demonstrate the progression over time


        The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

        Thank you for your understanding.

        Comment

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