Possibly one of the most innovative models produced by Dinky was the Bedford Pallet Jekta Van, based as can be seen from the picture above on it’s own company trucks. These lorry’s had a moving floor within to enable the easy loading and unloading of container pallets, and in an unusual move Dinky added the same feature to it’s models.
Models with container backs are generally more sought after and hence more expensive to collectors these days, and therefor can be worth restoring just as much as Code 3’ing. In the picture above the first truck is a repair, the Jekta cab in this case having been replaced with that of a Leyland Comet. The second in line is a restored Jekta, and the third in line a Code 3 Jekta bearing the livery of Spratt’s Dog Biscuits, normally seen on the Guy container-back lorry.
The main reason I would normally Code 3 a Jekta van is if I cannot reasonably restore it. This normally happens as a result of missing parts of the internal moving floor, they being some of the few bits not replaceable by modern reproduction replica’s. In the picture above are four Jekta’s awaiting reassembly. The two in the foreground are being restored, whereas the other two are being repainted in to Code 3 Spratts versions. This is evident from the colour, but can also be seen from the fact that only the two ‘Dinky’ Jekta’s have had their floor winder’s and posts still in situ. The Spratt’s versions will have a new solid floor added instead.
It might be easier to show the parts and construction of the moving floor and all it’s components to illustrate what I am talking about, and if anyone is thinking of restoring one themselves, it’s handy to know what you are dealing with before pulling one apart. The pictures below show the hidden complexity of the Dinky Pallet Jekta.
This is the floor fully stripped away with just the winding handle and sliding ratchet left in place. The winding handle is held in place, and as the rest of this lower floor is fully hidden upon reassembly, it is easier to leave this assembly in place and work around it if you can.
The main floor now in place. This is the floor that doesn’t move and is held by rivets once assembly is complete.
The moving floor in place and as you can see it folds from three to one sections, so that pallets inside the van will slide towards the rear as the handle is turned.
The completed restored assembly, now just awaiting decals.
I like the Jekta model a lot. It has a nicely detailed cab and a large box section which is ideal for Code 3 alterations, and the moving floor is a fine challenge for a restorer. They are an expensive model to obtain so I don’t generally do to many, below are the only two Code 3 versions I have done to date.
The afor mentioned Spratt’s version. As you can see it looks pretty good in this colour scheme, ever without it’s winding handle.
Finally a one off I did, after receiving a really badly damaged version. Even with the back end completly trashed the Jekta cab and chassis can still be useful. In this case it has been paired with a Comet cement back and livery. That’s the best thing about Code 3, there’s always possibilities.