The third Lesney toy to be introduced was the 3a cement mixer which joined the range in 1953, Like the 1a road roller it was a much smaller version of an earlier large scale model.
The very first issue was painted green with orange metal wheels mounted on flat head axles with crimped ends, This version is extremely rare and is almost certainly a pre production issue.
The next issue was recoloured to sky blue with orange metal wheels on flat head axles which were soon changed to dome head axles with crimped ends.
The early issues had wheels with a 4mm central hub but these were soon changed to wheels with a 3mm hub.
The body was soon altered when the handle was removed from the engine cover, Several other minor alterations were done at the same time, The A frame that runs up from the wheels to the end of the mixer arm originally had a 4mm gap at the top, This was reduced to 3mm. Also the front mixer arm post which had a rounded top was altered to a squared off top. There are several other minor alterations and it is possible that the second body type was actually a completely new casting.
The barrel arm was next for alteration where the mixer wheel was cast as part of the arm rather than being riveted on. The ends of the mixer arms were rounded off where on the early issues they were square. Also the words "Lesney" and "England" were now on the opposite side of the mixer arm when compared to the early issues.
The mixer barrel was also modified where the inside of the barrel originally had four ribs it was altered to give it a smooth inside.
The body was altered again when four studs were cast into the inside of the engine cover and a final modification to the mixer arm was to the blind hole where the swivel pin located into was opened out to form a hole all the way through the mixer arm.
The last two issues were fitted with 15.5 x 30 grey plastic wheels, one was on dome head axles with crimped ends and the final issue had rounded ends to the axle
Surprisingly the mixer was in production for eight years which is quite a long time for any 1-75 model and considering the mixer was the only toy that could not be "driven" I can only wonder why it lasted for such a long time, It is not one of the most common models and the grey plastic wheeled version is fairly hard to find but its not exactly a rare piece.
The mixer was packaged in 'A' and 'B' type boxes, It was replaced by the 3b Bedford tipper truck in 1961.