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Classic red wheels

A few questions about the early small wheels supplementary set 400. Were some early rubber tyres off-white rather than grey? What's the difference between a 400-3 set and a 400-4 set, and are there other variations?


  • SueButcherSueButcher Member Posts: 23
    OK, I've answered the first question, because both white and grey tyres are clearly visible on the cover of the 1966 Catalogue. (The boy in the grey jumper who is building a mobile crane that is about to lose its wheels due to naïve construction.) But over at Bricklink, the designations 400-3 and 400-4 only refer to the box designs, so that doesn't tell you if the box contains grey tyres, air tyres, or solid black etc., which is the important stuff after all.
  • oldtodd33oldtodd33 Member Posts: 2,695
    If I have learned anything from @Istokg it's that Lego is very consistent with the parts on the box compared to the parts in the box.  So what's printed on the box might not be exactly whats in the box. The black tires though I don't think would come in them but you don't know that for sure. 
  • IstokgIstokg Member Posts: 2,363
    Both 403 and 404 are meant for trains.... 404 is also meant for motor using constructions.   For early (blue track) LEGO trains, the 403 is meant for train cars, and do not contain "bevelled  hubs"... but they do contain wheels and early train car hook type connectors.

    The 404 is meant for train locomotives (or other vehicles that use a 4.5V LEGO motor connected within the locomotive) and has bevelled hubs (where the axle goes into the motor housing).

    Here is a close-up (although not a great image) of a UK/Aus 404 box....

    When LEGO wheels and tires were first introduced in April 1962, the first rubber wheels were made of white rubber.  These were replaced by 1963 with gray rubber, which continued production until 1967.  Although the 329 Antique Car Set was introduced in 1967 with gray rubber wheels.... before the year was out they switched to black tires... although the box top of later sets continued to just show gray tires.

    In 1968 black tires were found in all sets... and the new  (1968) 330 Jeep Set shows black tires....

     Now getting back to the 403/404 Train parts packs.  The 403 (as well as regular train sets) didn't always have the same connectors from 1966-68 (new magnetic train car connectors were introduce (160) in 1968).

    There were 3 distinct versions to the earliest train car connectors....

    Images for my online LEGO Collectors Guide  (surprisingly still available, despite working on a more expensive book version).

  • SueButcherSueButcher Member Posts: 23

    Right, so don't go by the picture on the box when buying, ask the seller what's inside.

    (Istokg, since you mentioned Lego box photos not necessarily matching contents, the European box for the 335 Articulated Truck actually shows a prototype, because you can clearly see where they've mocked up the steering base plate by gluing several grey slimbricks together. The cab door also looks constructed rather than moulded.)

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