Shioji and CokeA new offering came available on eBay recently. It was yet another variation of the Shioji friction toy truck.
This one was a Coca-Cola delivery truck. And as often happens with items that appeal to more than one collecting interest, the bidding soon sailed past my maximum offer. Those Coke collectors can be ruthless!
Sometimes photos are enoughStill, the photos provided were detailed enough for me to place this vehicle in the evolution of Shioji's line. (See Part 28 for more details).
|I own five of the known variations. Here they're arranged in chronological order.|
- First generation: Rivet head hubcaps, flat chassis bottom, six securing tabs.
- Second generation: Solid hubcaps (cheaper to make and install), rounded chassis bottom
- Third generation: Four securing tabs instead of six
Dialing in the date
The Coke truck has solid hubcaps and a rounded chassis. That makes it either second or third generation.
|The solid hubcaps help date the vehicle.|
|The use of just four tabs to secure the truck bed mark this a third generation vehicle.|
It also has four tabs securing the truck body to the frame. And that makes it third generation. So I'm guessing this vehicle was probably made around 1961-63.
An unusual work-around
I also found the overall construction interesting. Coke trucks have payloads that sit low over the wheels. Rather than create a new chassis for their version, Shioji simply worked with what they had.
The tabs in the middle of the chassis secure a flat bracket. The ones in the back hold an extension. It's those pieces that the truck body is secured to.
|All of the previous examples of this Shioji truck I've found have|
the truck bed resting on top of the chassis.
Otherwise, the truck bed would sit too high, as it does on Shioji's express van and cattle truck (above).
Are there more variations out there? Perhaps. I'll only know if they come onto the market.