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British Toy Companies : Kemlow Toys

October 26th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Kemlow Diecasting Products


A relatively small die-casting company formed in 1946 by Charles Kempster and William Lowe – a combination of part of each surname producing the ‘KEMLOW’ name – with the intention of producing die-cast miniature toys. Kemlow worked out of premises in Westbury Avenue, Wood Green, London producing a relatively small range of models, both civilian and military, and were also involved in producing and distributing die-cast models under the ‘Master-Models’ and Wardie Products’ labels.

some examples of Kemlow vehicles :  



Kemlow produced both a stand alone model of an armoured car as well as a combination of armoured car with field gun. Both items came in either unpainted bare metal finish or light green and black camouflage finish. The bare metal model was fitted with smooth brass hubs, whilst the camouflaged model had similar painted hubs.



Kemlow Guy delivery van in ‘Pickfords’ livery. Model in dark blue colourway finish with white roof. ‘Pickfords’ transfer decals to both sides, cab-over front panel and rear doors. Vehicle fitted with smooth brass hubs with black tyres.



The streamlined saloon car and caravan came as either seperate models in their own right or as part of the ‘Fleetmaster Saloon Car Set’.

The saloon car was loosely based on the American Chevrolet saloon and came in either all blue or all green colourway finish, the metal wheels finished in the same colour as the bodywork.

The streamlined caravan came in cream finish, shaped window to both sides and rear, windows cut out to represent tied-back curtained windows. Bare metal wheels are covered by caravan sides.


The road roller came in either predominantly red or green bodywork finish with a gold engine cover. All bare metal front roller, the rear roller sides usually painted in pale blue. A rather crude figure of a driver cast-in.


Kemlow also went on to  produce a boxed ‘Dinky Toys’ size range of diecast vehicles under their own Kemlow name or alternatively marketed under the ‘Automec’ brand name. These vehicles were better detailed than previous and were fitted with rubber tyres.

Interestingly some of the Automec vehicles were also produced in kit form for the purchaser to build it themselves.

< Automec Bedford Truck – Road Gritter







                           Automec Bedford Truck – Lime Spreader >


Initially plain card boxes were used with the model type printed to end flap. The Automec name printed to box sides with ‘Highway Models’ underneath.

The lorries, whether civilian or military, were based on the good old Bedford truck and were for the most part the same vehicle but with different colourways and given different functions ! Alternatively the same cab/chassis arrangement was used but with a different back. (as below)




< Automec Bedford Truck – Flat Back




Later card boxes were coloured and carried basic coloured lorry drawings to the sides with the generic model type it housed being printed in large letters to the box sides. Again this was a case of one box suits all, the actual model enclosed within the box being identified on the box end flaps.                                                                                                

< Automec 3-Ton Open Wagon                                                                                                                             


Kemlow – Sentry Box Series. >

A small scale range of military vehicles were produced by Kemlow to compete with the ‘Matchbox’ range, these were marketed under the brand name ‘Sentry Box Series’ although neither the box nor the model actually carried the Kemlow name.

Each model came housed in a card box in the form of a sentry box complete with a picture of guardsman to its side and like the early ‘matchbox’ models the Sentry Box Series models all came with grey metal wheels.

Kemlow as a diecasting company is still trading today but no longer involved in the toy business.

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