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Frank Hornby established Meccano Ltd. in 1908 to make metal construction sets and model railroads. In the early 1930s, Meccano made many types of tin plate and other metal cars and in 1934 the name "Meccano Dinky Toys" was used for the first time. The name Meccano was dropped and the brand became DINKY TOYS until 1971. DINKY TOYS was the brand name for die-cast zinc alloy miniature vehicles. They were made in England from 1934 to 1979, at a factory in Binns Road in Liverpool. They had production lines in several countries over the globe, with some country specific models.

Due to heavy competition of the toy manufacturing business, especially in the cheap labor countries, the factory closed its doors in November 1979. The DINKY trade-name changed hands many times before ending up as part of Matchbox International in the late 1980s. Later it became part of the US toy giant Mattel.

In 2008 French publishers, Atlas Editions, began to reissue models previously available as DINKY TOYS under license from Mattel.

The DINKY TOYS Lowlight Karmann Ghia VW is a metal diecast construction with cut out windows. There are accurate seam lines for the doors, front hood and rear hood. Silver paint is used to highlight the headlights, front turn signals, door handles, rear license plate light and the pair of trim lines on the sides along the door bottom. A dab of red paint finishes off the taillights. The casting accurately accents the front two louvered air grilles with a dab of silver paint as well. The is a clear plastic window insert and the Karmann Ghia was 96mm long or about 1/43 scale.

The DINKY TOYS Ghia that was produced in England from 1959-64 had a 187 inventory number. They were painted green and ivory and red and black. The chassis was made of stamped tin plate, painted black and raised lettering of VOLKSWAGEN KARMANN GHIA, DINKY TOYS, MADE IN ENGLAND, MECCANO LTD.

The DINKY TOYS Ghia that was produced in France from 1959-64 had a 24M inventory number. They were painted red and black. The chassis was made of stamped tin plate, painted black and raised lettering of MADE IN FRANCE, COUPE VOLKSWAGEN, DINKY TOYS, KARMANN GHIA, MECCANO.

The tin plate chassis had either white or black tires, metal axles, shiny rims and the chassis were attached to the body with two metal rivets.

Additional Info

  • Manufacturer: DINKY TOYS
  • Scale: 1/43
  • Length: 96mm
  • Production Era: 1959-1964
  • Country: England and France
  • Materials: Diecast Metal
  • Color: Green/Ivory, Red/Black
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