Triang (NZ) Ford Zephyr MK 1

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This model is the Triang (NZ) Ford Zephyr Mk I in light blue. It is a repaint.

Lines Bros. Ltd., at its peak in the 1940s, was claimed to be the largest toy maker in the world and the product range included: dolls houses, Pedigree Prams and dolls, Sindy, rocking horses, pedal cars, ships, science and educational toys, Arrow jigsaw puzzles, Pennybrix, Minimodels, Miniville, Model-Land, Minic vehicles, Minix cars, Scalextric, Minic Motorways, Spot On, Minic waterline ships, Arkitex construction kits (in two scales), FROG construction kits, Big Big train, Wrenn Railways, Jump Jocky, Tri-ang Minic Narrow Gauge (garden) railways in 10¼ inch (26cm) gauge and two complete railway systems in '00' (1:76) and table top 'TT' (1:120) gauges. They also produced pressed steel, tinplate, die cast, and plastic road vehicles, and clockwork, battery powered, and electric mechanisms.

Tri-ang had subsidiary companies with ten factories in Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Were if not for high tariffs, manipulated exchange rates, restrictions on imports of goods into many countries, and ever increasing freight costs, the export, from the U.K., of completely manufactured products would be far greater than it was. To overcome this problem it became necessary to manufacture inside the countries that had imposed various barriers. This was not only to increase British trade but to protect Tri-ang's designs, patents, and trade marks.

The first overseas venture was in New Zealand in 1946. At that time, and for quite some time after, New Zealand had an almost complete embargo on the importation of toys and prams. To facilitate the venture, Lines Bros. bought a company called Joy Toys, which had a small factory at Whangerei, 239 miles north of Auckland, in the North Island. These premises were far too small and Lines Bros. were lucky enough to find, quite quickly, a building at Tamaki, a suburb of South Auckland, near Panmure. This factory eventually exceeded 100,000 square feet of manufacturing space.

Early on in the New Zealand venture, Lines Bros. Managing director (Mr. S.J. Paul) was asked by the local authorities to help build urgently needed wooden, residential houses. This meant large quantities of timber were needed, so Lines Bros. bought a mill in the bush, 200 miles north of Auckland, with extensive timber reserves and built up-to-date drying kilns at the Tamaki factory. Lines Bros exhausted their initial timber supplies after some years and so erected a new mill at Ohura, 173 miles south of Auckland. This timber was used at the Tamaki factory to build toys, such as prams, as well as for the production of housing materials.

In 1950, Triang became the new brand name used by the company, and a study of the different logos and name signs is interesting, as there was quite an overlapping of brand name use for a period. Many different toys were sold under the two brands (Lines Bros, and Tri-ang), and a large range of nursery furniture, dolls, and doll's furniture came from the Pedigree section of the factory.

During 1971, TUBE INVESTMENTS LTD of UK , having taken over many of the toy company's brands: Lines Bros UK, Lines Bros Montreal, Meccano, Hornby, Raleigh Cycles, Sturmey Archer, Pedigree Dolls, Cyclops Australia, Tri-ang Pedigree, as well as many others, cast an approving eye over their NZ cousins, and took them over with a purpose to 'wind them down', so they could 'wind them up' — which they did. No one in NZ was big enough to take Tri-ang Pedigree NZ over.

In 1979, UNDERWOOD ENG.CO.LTD (of Fun Ho! fame) purchased the Tri-ang and Pedigree brand names and all of the factory equipment in the Auckland factory, with a concession to use Cyclops Australia plastic dies, but this last arrangement didn't work out too well and after a few months, Underwood made new tools for their own use.


The model features no opening parts, all features are cast into the body casting. There is no interior or glazing on this model. The front and rear bumpers, radiator grille, and headlights are all picked out in silver.

All wheels are of a smooth cast metal type - solid one piece cast metal hubs, unpainted, with a separate black "rubber" tyre.

The base plate is black sheet metal and is stamped Triang Toys at the centre top, "Made in New Zealand" in smaller letters on the second line, "BY" on the third row, and "Lines Bros (NZ) Ltd" at the bottom. It is held in place by three machined rivets.

This model was issued in the 1950s.

Item: 4529