One of my earliest toy related memories is purchasing this Lesney model from our local toyshop in 1960 or 1961 when I was about 4 years old, The shop had a Matchbox 1-75 display and after carefully studying the models on offer I decided that not only was this one larger than most of the other models it had more wheels and pretty decals too so it must be good value for money. Also I loved big lorrys too. It is still one of my favorites today.
The Tate & Lyle tanker joined the range towards the end of 1960, It was always painted dark blue and was adorned with decals for the Tate & Lyle sugar company and it had silver trim to the grille, headlights and front bumper.
The first issues had a crown at the top of the rear decal which was removed for the later issues.
The wheels were grey to begin with but the model also went through silver and black plastic wheels in a variety of sizes which were always on dome head axles with rounded ends, It is not unusual to find the wheels on the front axle being different to the others simply because the front axle was mounted to the baseplate while the other axles were attached to the body. As the parts could be assembled at different times so the components did not always match up hence the sometimes mismatched wheels on the front axle.
There are a multitude of casting variations to the Foden, The left side door can have a 4mm or a 4.5mm high window and the ejector ring on the fuel tank can be small or large.
The chassis can be 1mm thick or 1.5 mm thick apart from a small section which was still 1mm thick or it can be all 1.5 mm thick and the last two versions also had a hole in the base and the large central crossmember which was 3mm wide of the first version was enlarged to 4mm wide for the last two chassis types. The side of the chassis can have a body line on the early issues which was removed later on. The baseplate can have a short clip with ridges to the rear, later the ridges were removed and later still the clip was enlarged.
Finally the rear hatch can be found in three versions, The first was 4.5mm wide with flush hinges, The second version was the same width but the hinges protruded from the body and the last version had a 5mm wide hatch with protruding hinges.
There is a little known promotional issue for the British sugar corporation, I have added it to the variation table but I need more info on this model.
The Foden was packaged in 'B', 'C' and 'D' type boxes, It was replaced by the 10d Pipe truck in 1966.