Solido 3304 Willys Jeep and Pump - Pompier - County Fire & Rescue Service (Fr)

Click on any photo to see a larger version

This model is the Solido 3304 Willys Jeep and Pump Trailer in red in the livery of Service Departmental D'Incendie et de secours (SDIS). In France, the county fire and rescue service (or SDIS) is the public department that manages firefighters and firefighting services. Each SDIS is identified by a number rather than its region, e.g SDIS-17 identifies the County Fire and Rescue Service of Charente-Maritime, a region on the south-west coast of France.

This model represents an SDIS version of the Willys Jeep in red and as such is adorned with Service Departmental D'Incendie logo in white on the bonnet only. It is towing a Guinard Moto Pump Trailer, a common combination of the time.

The model has no opening parts, but when inspected closely the Jeep reveals a working drop-down front windscreen and a separate cast piece has been used for the bonnet. At the front is a grey plastic bumper (part of the plastic chassis and undercarriage casting) with two holes into which can be inserted the whip aerials that are included on a separate sprue. All body features are cast into the body casting, including the grille, headlights, side lights, bonnet catches, rear side lights, tail lights, rear petrol can and driver's side Shovel and axe. The roof is a separate grey plastic casting and includes the fold up arms that hold the real canvas roof in place. The rear half bumpers and tow hook are also part of the chassis casting.

The interior is also cast as part of the body casting and includes dashboard details such as switches and dial, two bucket style front seats and the standard rear bench seats common in the Jeep. A left hand drive grey plastic steering wheel and column is fitted into the floor and dashboard. The glazing is clear.

The trailer is a simple two piece casting, with little detail other than two cast tail lights and a cast tow hook.

All wheels have simulated plain hubs - solid, one piece red plastic with separate black rubber tyres.

The base plate on the Jeep is really the underside of the body casting and is marked with "Jeep Willys" on two lines below the driver's foot well. The separate chassis casting in grey plastic is marked "SOLIDO Made in France" on three lines immediately below the driver's seat position. Over the front axle is cast "06  79" and over the rear axle it reads "1/43     No.256". The base plate casting also has details of the engine sump, gearbox, drive shaft and both differentials, together with the exhaust system and some limited leaf spring suspension. It is held in place with a two machined rivets.

The trailer baseplate is red metal and is marked "360" just behind the tow hook, "Moto Pompe Guinard" on two lines just forward of the axle, and Solido Made in France on two lines just behind the axle. It is held in place by a single front machined rivet and a rear body lug.

I do not know when this model was issued. I've always assumed Solido's practice of having numbers on the baseplate related to the month and year the model was either released or designed. I have recently learned that the practice of placing the month and year on the castings began in September 1962 (the first casting to be so marked was the Abarth 1000, catalogue No. 124), and that this represents the month and the year of the beginning of production of that model. That decision is now of great importance to collectors as Solido has re-released several models and it is through this practice that the collector can determine which casting has been used to produce the model, the 200 series castings being preferred, by some, to those of the 3xxx series..

Item: 1944

Real Jeeps and pumps used in France.