Corgi’s Lazy Bones Customised Chevrolet Corvette Stingray #337
Inspired by a few well-known British and American television episodes, welcome to yet another new feature to HoFTalk; Collectors Corner. Since the days when drag racing first burst on to the British scene in the early sixties there had been a lot of very collectible items produced with some landmark items featuring BDRHoF members with those wild looking machines they used to race.
Corgi, Dinky, Matchbox; back in the day these were considered to be the leading British owned diecast model and toy companies producing scaled down replicas of contemporary cars, trucks, racing cars, TV legends and planes. But first we’re going to take a look at Corgi’s ‘Lazy Bones’ Customised Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (#330). Although when released this model was first marketed as a stock car! But if truth be known this would have been Corgi’s first drag car! Well in my mind anyway.
Based on Corgi’s original 1/46th scale stock bodied Corvette Stingray released in August 1963 (#310) in three versions (metallic pink, silver and bronze) together with its unique focal selling point of jewelled revolving flip-up head lights, lasted for 5 years until its withdrawal in 1968.
However, the tooling and plastic mouldings for the Stingray were in 1976 treated to a full racing makeover featuring vibrant bright yellow paint, a chunky 4 branch exhaust system either side, air ‘trumpet’ intakes through the hood both dripping in chrome, red interior, spring suspension and customised spoked racing wheels and tyres. Adding extra glitz Corgi also added flashy graphics over the front wheel arches, Go-Go-Go decals over the rear arches and racing number (13) roundels on the doors. Girlie bright eyes over the front headlight apertures also featured while the Lazy Bones name in white over black across the black panel stood out against the cars split window.
In a review for Drag Racing & Hot Rod magazine Mike Collins wrote: ‘No drag car would be complete without Mooneyes, or similar lights, so Corgi have designed their own, this time with eyelashes’.
My collection features the original metallic pink version but as you can see back then in my childhood ways I added a few racing decals from other plastic model kits. In today’s collectible market both the metallic pink and silver versions (#376) are selling at auction between £30 and £40. But it’s the lesser seen and rare bronze version that’s fetching the big money valued at between £80 and £120 mint!
The yellow version in its first year sold 1.2 million units and was priced at 6s 3d. Today a mint version with the original box is fetching between £40 and £50. In 1971 a silver version with a matt black racing bonnet was issued to, I guess, complement its WhizzWheels range of dragsters that were due to be launched, but it’s not known how many units this version sold. Love it or loathe it, by the end of the decade other Corgi models would follow #337’s less-than-subtle change towards the 1970s and the eventual ‘Whizzwheels’ era. It was withdrawn in 1972 with a total sale of 543,000 units. I just wished that I had kept my version in better condition, and with the box! You can buy reproduction boxes from various sellers on e-bay from anything between £6 and £10 each. That’s how I got my version which now adds a bit more originality to the display!
In March the Corgi Model Club, a separate division to Corgi UK, re-released the Lazy Bones Stingray as a true reproduction model. Diecast Collector magazine wrote, “Brash and unashamedly American, this in-your-face Corgi was the complete antithesis of typical British family cars of the time. What 1960s kid didn’t want to race this one across the living room carpet, burning rubber as it went?”
Next time we’ll take a look at Corgi’s first attempt at recreating the first of its dragster series. Well, in fact two dragsters; ‘Commuter’ and the ‘Ouartermaster’ slingshot rails and driven, respectively, by BDRHoF members Tony Densham and Dennis Priddle.