Catalogue 25 showed C333 and C334 as new releases for 1984, but these two cars in blue and yellow liveries were never released. The 2-door Sierra had the early separating pillar on the rear side-windows of the full-size car but, in the real world, the all-conquering Ford XR4i used in Touring car races around the world had the later full length rear side wondow. Perhaps this is the reason Ford didn’t give permission for this model to be launched in favour of the alternative SCALEXTRIC Ford Sierra we are now familiar with.
Below: A factory hand-made early Ford Sierra XR4i with the extra side-window pillar.
Sometimes a tampo operation is missed out simply because the ink ran out during the tampo print production run. Several dozen may have passed through the run before, if at all, it was noticed that the ink plate well was dry. Even if noticed the production official may have turned a blind eye rather than re-run dozens or hundreds through the tampo print machine again.
However, many productions runs of cars for Sets did have reduced printing operations on them to reduce cost. Given that Paul Atkin’s and Adrian Leggett‘s cars have both been identified, I think we’ll classify this as a variant. So, in any event it is a factory variation, with the Castrol logo missing from the front edge of the side pods. C2161W Type 3 is now recorded.