Time for another Mini CC! Today’s featured model is a blast from the past, the Monkeemobile, as issued in 1/64th scale by Husky back in the ’60s. Husky was Corgi’s response to the burgeoning 1/64 scale toy car market. They weren’t about to let Lesney, and later on, Hot Wheels, have the whole market to themselves. This particular version has been owned by my dad since it was new.
Husky Toys was the name used by Corgi Toys for its 1/64 scale line of vehicles. As you have likely guessed, this is a custom car. The full-size version was designed and built by Dean Jeffries.
It apparently was based on a 1966-67 A-body Pontiac GTO, although very little of the original car remains, other than the chassis, Coke bottle fenderline and trademark split grille. The custom grille on the full-size version had GTO script. It would be interesting to find out if it was actually based on a GTO, or perhaps a cheaper Tempest or LeMans. Fodder for a future Curbside Custom post, perhaps.
The roof looks like something off of a 1920s or 1930s phaeton. The wind wings fastened to the A-pillars add to the vintage vibe, but it’s at odds with the smooth, futuristic sheetmetal below it. Pretty bizarre, but it makes for a rather neat toy. A larger scale Corgi Monkeemobile was issued at the same time, with scale versions of the band members inside.
Apparently even this smaller version came with miniature Monkees riding in it, but they’re gone from Dad’s version. He doesn’t remember that his ever had figures inside, so maybe there was a passenger-free version.
This particular toy escaped a mini me, literally. Dad had several surviving Matchbox cars from his childhood when I came along, but the ones I managed to find got banged up in short order. Apparently three-year-old me REALLY wanted that Monkeemobile (I called it the “unkeemobile”), but Dad rescued it from my chubby little fingers before anything terrible happened to it, thankfully. An early ’60s Lesney Mercedes 220SE did not fare as well, though years later it was sanded down, repainted maroon and is now in my collection.
When I was in my parents’ driveway taking the pictures for the Mini CC with the Corgi Mercedes 240D, Dad noticed the photo session and said I should do a post on the Monkeemobile – he still had it in the drop-front desk.
As a result, it saw the light of day for the first time in many years when I took the photos you see here. It’s still in really nice shape, with its original decals, tires and white paint on the roof. Still a one owner, after all these years.
As for Husky, Corgi must have realized that they would be better off using the Corgi name for their smaller models, so the Husky name was retired after only a few years and the 1/64 line was renamed Corgi Juniors. The Monkeemobile continued as a Corgi Junior (losing the neat tires seen on Dad’s early example in the early ’70s, to be replaced with low-friction “Whizzwheels”) and remained in the lineup long after the Monkees themselves faded into the sunset.