The 1940 Ford Van has a long history as the base for many promotionals beginning with the release of the Marque Products van in 1979 and was likely intended that way. The very first models were made in Canada but the main production was made in England. Two castings were used, one with ridged side panels and the other one with smooth side panels, which is the most used. The first limited production of 20 pieces took place in Canada as a no livery version (no decals) in black.

In 1980 a standard version was produced as a Ford dealer van. It is finished in black with tan interior and whitewall tyres on black wheels. On the doors a blue decal reads “O’Neill’s Ltd. Ford Sales Parts, Service” (Pat O’Neill worked for John Hall in Canada) and the Ford logo is present on the side panels. It was made with ridged side panels and with smooth side panels.

    Smooth Panel

Smooth Panel 

Ridged Panel

Ridged Panel

More than 50 specials with several variations of colors and decals were made from this model, some are quite rare, like the following ones.


In strong competition with the Mobiloil and Minibolide Ford Vans for "the rarest Brooklin to find" is the B.F. Goodrich model, finished in dark blue with grey interior and gold lettering on the side panel saying “BF Goodrich Tires Batteries Accessories”. A multi-colored logo is found on the doors and whitewall tyres on blue wheels are utilized. License plate is yellow. Only 50 models were produced, but 28 of these were drilled and mounted onto trophies for sales staff. That would leave only 22 available for the general collectors market. A few are known without decals.


One of the rarest Brooklin specials was produced for a model car shop in Colmar, France, called Minibolide. It is the Ford Van, yellow in color with red decals. The name, address, and telephone number of the shop appear on the panels and the company logo is found on the doors. They are hand numbered on the base and on the box. Total quantity produced is reported as only 25.


This Ford Van was commissioned to D.M.P. Studios by George Maxwell, Mini Grid, in 1985 and used Eligor decals. Finished in white, with multi-colored decals of the Mobiloil gargoyle on the side panels and the red Mobilgas Flying Horse shield on the doors, this is a beautiful model and with only 26 pieces produced it is one of the rarest models. Two color shades, cream and off-white, are known to exist.

Author: Gianluigi Cappi
You can find many other Brooklin stories on the fourth edition of the Brooklin Models Collectors Guide. Click here