The range of Tri-ang large scale pressed steel Thames Traders  were produced from around 1958/59 through to around 1966. In 1957 the real life Thames Traders were introduced by Ford.

In 1958/59 the Tri-ang Thames Traders appeared and there  was a range of 15 different vehicles.

The Tri-ang range of Thames Traders emulated their real life counterparts so that when the real Thames Trader was  face lifted in 1961 with a revised grille arrangement,so too was the Tri-ang version which received its facelift the year after in 1962.  So let's have a look at all these great Thames Trader's.

Thames Trader Tip Lorry

The Thames Trader has two different grills. On the left photo the range Thames with a simple grill. The right picture: a later grill with headlights, who could be switched on at the side.

The later, revised version became plastic windows.

Thames Trader Milk Truck

This truck was supplied with 6 "ugly" plastic milk churns.

The first series bottles the text "Tri-ang Dairies ""  was  printed in red, the later series the text was stamped into the plastic.

Thames Trader Farm Truck

Thist truck is similar to the above Milk truck,


I'm not 100% sure, but I think that "roof" on the lorry on the pictures right,is not original, but home made.

Thames Trader Express Delivery Van

Thames Trader Fire Engine

According to the catalogue  a Fireman comes with this Fire engine.

On the underside was a bell mounted, pulling the truck along this bell rings through a simple mechanism. ( Photo's from David Allan, Thank's David!)

Thames Trader Crash Truck

The Thames Trader Breakdown service has a toolbox on board. This box contains several tools like a hammer and a screwdriver.

The same and more tools Tri-ang provided with the Convertable of the Ranger serie and the Fix it -truck. These tools are often missing and very hard to find.


Thames Trader Mech. Horse & Open Truck

As with any other tipper or open truck this one could be supplied with wooden blocks.

Thames Trader Mech. Horse rocket Transporter

This Rocker Transporter is far out the most exiting one!

Thames Trader Mech. Horse & Car Transporter

Again very poor and "ugly" accessories with this transporter

Thames Trader Non. Mech. Horse & Low Loader with High Lift Loader

Thames Trader Mech. Horse & Flat Truck with boat

Thames Trader Mech. Horse & Pantechnicon with furniture

Yes, this model had "real" furniture on board.

Thames Trader Mech. Horse & Petrol Tanker


The front can be detached from the rear by a spring type mechanism. Often the wheels of this mechanisme are missing.

There are mechanisme with a single centre wheel and one with two wheels.  If you miss these , the wheels from a Landrover in the  HI Way series are nearly the same.




Electric Light version

There was also for a short time in the range an Electric Light version which was battery operated and used  small torch bulbs located with in the grille housing but I believe this only lasted for a couple of years midway through the range.

As in real life there are far less Mark Two Thames Traders about, both real and Tri-ang Toys than there are Mark One  Traders.

The left photo shows a Thames Trader without battery compartment, the right is with it.


How to fit the Electric Lights

Most of the Thames Trader trucks with electric lights, those lights doesn't work anymore. It is not so difficult to restore the light section.

This is the way you can do it:

For the wiring two wires comes from the Switch (A) . One wire goes to the little bar on the battery compartment and the other one to the left light fitting(B).

From this fitting another wire goes to the right light fitting(C)

                                                                                                                                  A                                                    B                                                    C


The light bulb is 2,5 volt.

Both bulbs are set in a series.

To save the battery it is possible to fit 1,5 volt bulbs.

These bulbs are still for sale. ( at least in the Netherlands)



The batteries are size "D" ( x 2)

At one end of the battery compartment you'find a small bar.

 A wire coming from the swith is fitted on this little bar.

As isolation Tri-ang used bakelite rings (A)

Most of the time these rings are perished, the reason why most lighs doesn't work.

As replacement for the bakelite, use two small pieces of rubber and insulating tape.

Drill a hole of 3 mm through the rubber and put the rubber at the end, were the compartment is wired.

( see picture above B)

Now isolate the complete bar with the insulating tape, exept the place were the battery makes contact.


Be sure the the bar nowhere makes contact with the battery compartment!!

To secure the little bar put the second rubber piece over the bar end.


Be sure that the battery compartment makes a clear earthed contact with the lorry.


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