Rastar Models – Budget Models Reviewed

BY JOHN F QUILTER                                          January 2014

As offerings in 1:43 scale seemingly move inexorably higher in price, taxing the budget of even the serious collector, it is nice to see a new brand of diecast 1:43 collectibles emerge with reasonable pricing. Rastar, the brand produced by the Xinghui Auto Model Company, is offering quite an extensive range. I will take a closer look at four of them, a 2011 Toyota Corolla, a 2011 Honda Accord, a 2011 Mercedes GLK350, and a 2011 Jaguar XKR coupe. They are not billed as any particular model year so I’m approximating. The range spans cars of the common person up to highline luxury vehicles from Europe and Japan. They are offered in multiple colours for well under $20.00 when seen on eBay.

Toyota Corolla

Rastar - Toyota Corolla 2011 1:43

The Toyota Corolla is the latest generation of this evergreen saloon sold the world over.  My example is in a realistic white with a black interior. The black interior may be a compromise, as it is a plastic moulding, along with the baseplate. It is left-hand drive and features proper alloy spoked wheels of the correct size. There is a glass sunroof provided and the front and rear lights are clear or red plastic inserts. The plastic chassis shows some pretty accurate details such as suspension, engine and gearbox sumps, and exhaust system. There is a tampo printed Toyota badge on the nose and boot lid. All quite pleasing for a lower-priced model. The only minor omission I noted was that the side view mirrors are painted on the mirror side, but this was easily corrected with some Bare Metal Foil. Unlike many handbuilt and higher-priced items, the mirrors are cast as part of the doors, so they are much less susceptible to damage, or to falling off and going missing.  Another pleasing feature is that unlike many lower-priced models that also pass as toys there are no opening features, which are often difficult to produce in 1:43 scale without unsightly door gaps.

Honda Accord

Rastar - Honda Accord 2012 1:43

The next commonly-seen car is a late-model Honda Accord.  My example is silver, again with a black interior.  This model also has a glass sunroof and the front and rear glazing has the black borders common to most modern cars. The paint quality is smooth and in a realistic silver colour. I did note that the ride height on this car was too high, making it look like a four-wheel drive vehicle. I was easily able to remove the baseplate, however, pry off a wheel on each axle and redrill the axle holes to lower it to the proper level.  Again the mirrors need the foil treatment.   This model sports a chrome grille with the ‘H’ emblem which also appears on the boot lid.  The underside shows similar details to the Toyota.

Mercedes Benz GLK350

               Rastar - Mercedes-Benz GLK 2011 1:43Rastar - Mercedes-Benz GLK 2011 1:43

Now moving to higher-line cars, we take a look at the Mercedes-Benz GLK350 which is in white, although black examples are found as well.  This item has the proper silver alloy wheels, black interior, silver grille and roof-rack side rails. The B and C posts are black painted and the perimeter of the front and rear glazing is black bordered.  Tampo printing on the rear tailgate reads  GLK  4 Matic, along with the three pointed star. Large wraparound tail lamps are in red plastic. Chassis detail is appropriate for this more complex Mercedes car.

Jaguar XKR coupe

Rastar - Jaguar XJR Coupe 2011 1:43

And finally there is the Jaguar XKR coupe which is in black, though silver versions have been seen. Again in left- hand drive, the car replicates features of the R version with its bonnet vents, front valance brake cooling vents and mesh grille. The wheels are correct for the XKR. The glazing for the rear hatch even has the heating grid, which is a nice detail. Chassis detail shows correct suspension features, though the engine area is covered by belly pans. There is a huge transverse rear silencer leading to four short tail pipes. Again the only notable omission is the silver on the door mirrors.


What I find pleasing about all these Rastar items is their fidelity to scale and accuracy of shape and details although Rastar seem to have a propensity to black and white in colours, and interiors seem always to be black, which may not be typical of the 1:1 scale cars.

Other Rastar offerings include the following and there may be others as well:

• Honda Odyssey, silver or black
• Toyota Camry, silver or black
• Volvo  XC60, silver
• Volvo V70, bronze or silver
• Mercedes S63 AMG, white
• Mercedes SLK55 AMG, black or white
• Land Rover Discovery 3 (LR3 in the USA), silver or black
• Range Rover Sport, red or silver
• BMW X6, red or white
• BMW 5 series,  white
• BMW 750, white
• BMW Mini Clubman, red with black roof
• Nissan GT-R, silver
• Audi A1, red
• Nissan Teana, silver
• Nissan GTR,  yellow

 


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1960 Edsel Villager Conversion

by John Quilter                                     March 2014

A while back Brooklin produced a 1:43 scale 1960 Edsel convertible in an attractive dark metallic blue. This was quite similar to the 1960 Ford Sunliner convertible (also made by Brooklin) as by this time in Edsel’s short history Ford had economised by making the two brands share much of the body sheet metal, mechanicals and engineering. Trim, grilles and other visual features were what distinguished the two marques. In my never-ending quest to create something different, but still representative of a real production automotive product, I got to thinking after acquiring an extra IXO  James Bond partwork 1:43 scale 1960 Ford Ranch Wagon (white car below) that I might be able to make an Edsel Villager wagon of the same year.

Ixo James Bond Car Collection Ford Wagon • Donor car for Edsel wagon Conversion by John QuilterEdsel Wagon 1960 • Conversion by John Quilter shown with Ixo JBCC Ford Wagon

A bit of background: 1960 was the third year of Edsel production, and they were becoming more Ford-like every year, to gain economies of scale and to simplify production. Even with these efforts, and an attempt to bring the car somewhat downmarket, to remain more exclusive than a Ford but less exclusive than a Mercury in the FoMoCo pecking order, sales were lagging. The usual Autumn introduction put some cars in dealers’ hands, but they were not selling as well as expected. Then there was a widespread steel production strike in the Autumn of 1959 and all car production stopped for a while. During this time Ford evaluated the Edsel brand and decided not to resume production after the strike was settled. Thus the rarest of all Edsels are the 1960 models, having been made for a greatly shortened model year. There were only 275 1960 Edsel wagons built, but 144,688 1960 Ford four-door wagons and even more two-door wagons were made. The 1960 Edsel convertible is the rarest of all, with only 76 being produced, so in 1:1 scale it is now a highly collectible vehicle.

As I began this project, I was warned by a fellow MAR reader and chopper that it might not work, as a close inspection of the Ranch Wagon would show that from above the body tapers to the front. It did taper, which threw my plan of using a cloned Brooklin Edsel grille (blue convertible below) off. My initial plan was to cast in resin a copy of a Brooklin grille, front and rear bumpers and wheels and transplant these to the Ranch Wagon. But a bit of measuring showed the Brooklin grille would be about an eighth of an inch too wide. After pondering this dilemma I was willing to make an attempt at widening the Ford from the cowl (scuttle) forward. Out came the jeweller’s saw and a pair of carefully cut slits down the hood (bonnet) to fender (wing) joint allowed me to actually bend the usually brittle mazak just a bit to reduce the rear to front taper and permit the Edsel grille to fit the aperture as well as the front bumper.

Edsel Wagon and Convertible 1960 • Wagon Conversion by John Quilter and Convertible from BrooklinIxo JBCC Ford Wagon and Brooklin Convertible 1960 • Used in Edsel Wagon Conversion by John Quilter and Convertible from Brooklin

The rear of the Edsel wagon differs considerably from the Ranch Wagon but Ford Motor Company body engineers cleverly did this on the station wagons with only trim and the four vertical tail lamps, the inner two being reversing lamps. For the model, the tail lamps were made with styrene plastic, framed with small strips of sheet aluminum to replicate the chrome surrounds. The Edsel also had a distinctive sweeping chrome moulding down the flanks, which was created with a half-round styrene strip available at a hobby shop.

Resin casting of minor parts like the bumpers, wheels and grille took some time since I discovered my RTV moulding material had gone stale since its last use. I use a casting kit made by Alumilite which consists of a two-part RTV material, which is a sort of putty the consistency of honey and with a catalyst to mix in, which causes it to harden to a flexible rubber-like material. You have to place the pattern item you want to cast into a suitable small container, then pour this mould material over the pattern, ensuring that there are no air gaps and that the pattern stays stationary during the curing time of about 24 hours. Then, you cut a slit in the mould material and out pops the undamaged pattern. Then the two-part resin material for the final cloned part is mixed in a one-to-one ratio thoroughly, and poured into the cavity left by the popped out pattern. This is a time-critical process, as the resin needs to be fully mixed in short order, then poured all within a 60 second period, as it soon begins to harden. If your mould is well made you will get an amazing replica of the pattern you started with. Then, if it is a bumper or grille it will need to be Bare Metal Foiled before installation on the car.

Edsel Wagon 1960 • Conversion by John Quilter • Rubber moulds and parts

By using a website of American car sales brochures (http://www.lov2xlr8.no/broch1.html) I was able to see some factory colour choices for the exterior and the upholstery colours and design (note: for some reason Edsel brochures are hidden under the category Ford). This site is a fabulous reference site for old American car information, photos, and specifications.

The resin wheels were Bare Metal Foiled and fitted with some whitewall tyres made by Durham Classics, which are often available on eBay.

Edsel Wagon 1960 • Conversion by John Quilter • Bumpers grille and wheel

As a side note, the 1960 Ford station wagon is now available from Premium-X as a very attractive Country Squire in black with faux wood trim, or the entry level Ranch Wagon in red with a white top, both with whitewall tyres. Unfortunately, Premium X did not see fit to upgrade the small hub caps on the Country Squire to the full wheel covers that would have been fitted to virtually all of the top of the line Country Squire editions.

 


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Oxford Diecast XK150 – A Review and a Reminiscence

By John F Quilter                                               13 Nov 2013

Oxford Diecast continue to expand their range of 1:43 scale offerings and their Jaguar XK150 in roadster and fixed head versions are welcome additions and great companions to their existing big saloons, the Mark VII, VIII and IX from the same era. Jaguar really got its postwar sports carts off to a big start with the 1948 launch of the highly acclaimed XK120, which was quickly put together as the company was recovering from the Second World War.  Its fully in-house styled body and its very advanced dual overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine were exceptionally advanced for the time. The engine was so well conceived that it lasted for the next 40 years in a wide range of the company products from sports cars to limousines to armoured fighting vehicles. The XK120 set the stage for Jaguar’s sports cars for the next 12 years, and put Jaguar on the map as a serious British car maker and exporter.  The 120 range was ultimately expanded to three models, the original roadster, a fixed head coupe and a drophead coupe. All subsequent updates for the XK series continued with these three versions. The XK120 was supplanted in late 1954 by the XK140, with a more powerful version of the 3.4 litre XK engine, rack and pinion steering, and larger bumpers to meet the needs of the growing US market. Ultimately, in early 1958 the final iteration of the XK was launched as the XK150, again in three versions. Production lasted until 1960. Now all versions had wind-up windows, a wrap-around single-piece windscreen and a taller wing line at mid-body. The last years of the XK150 included the enlarged 3.8 litre engine, some with triple SU carburettor engines, foreshadowing that which would be standard in the upcoming E-Type.

1) Oxford Diecast • 1958 Jaguar XK150 Fixed Head Coupe

This review relates to two Oxford Diecast XK150s, the fixed head coupe and the roadster. Both are exceptionally well made, with photo-etched wire wheels, a finely barred chrome grille, and outstanding paint quality. There is a British Racing Green roadster with a tan interior and a signal red fixed head coupe with a red interior, both with chrome wheels. As a stickler for scale, I note that these models measure 4.12 inches long. The real cars were 177 inches long, thus accurate they are 1:43 scale. Exterior chrome trim includes boot moulding, handle and licence plate plinth incorporating the reverse lamp, with the later larger tail lamps. Under the double-contour bumper are two chrome tail pipes, by then a common Jaguar feature. Moving to the front of the car we find the Lucas 576 fog lamps just above the bumper and the beautifully replicated grille with central badge, leading to the very thin central bonnet moulding stretching back to the windscreen and its two wiper arms. The interior, best viewed on the roadster, shows a fascia-mounted interior rear view mirror, and a decal for the two large main instruments (rev counter and speedometer) and the auxiliary smaller gauges. Both of these replicas are right hand drive with the steering wheel in flat brown on the roadster, black on the coupe. Factory four-spoke steering wheels were black, but perhaps the roadster used for prototyping this model had an aftermarket accessory wooden wheel, popular in the day. There are chrome handbrake and gear lever with black grips and knob. I particularly like the way Oxford replicated the flat dull sheen on the interior leather upholstery, door linings and carpet. Taking a look at the baseplate detail we note a chassis with outriggers for the body mounting, a pair of A-arms for the front suspension, and leaf springs for the rear. A long engine sump, gearbox and twin exhausts with long silencers are included as well.

2) Oxford Diecast • 1958 Jaguar XK150 Roadster - Side View

Oxford phase in other colour combinations on its offerings. Currently on offer as well as the two models described here are a white roadster with black painted wheels and a black coupe with a red interior and chrome wire wheels. My preference is for the chrome wheels, as they are so well done and add greatly to the overall appearance of the replica. No review would be complete without a few criticisms. Here they are hard to find, but I note that the very short spear extending back from the headlamp rim has been omitted. Other than that, these two jewel-like replicas are hard to fault, and are great value for money. They easily achieve the overall quality, accurate scale, paint perfection, and adherence to detail of limited production handbuilt models from only a few years ago. One particular XK150 FHC has special memories for me, see the story below.

5) Oxford Diecast • 1958 Jaguar XK150 Roadster - Packaging


The story of a real Jaguar XK150

Back when I was a college student, a high school friend decided he needed to upgrade from a series of Morris Minors to something more sporty and flamboyant to suit his lifestyle on the San Francisco peninsula, a mecca of imported cars. As a budding motorhead he managed to locate a XK150 fixed head coupe in a local wrecking yard. The subject car was fully intact with a quite satisfactory white exterior and black interior, but after ten years of use it had a very sick engine and back in those days that could amazingly condemn a car to being dumped in a scrapyard.  My friend bought the car for $500 and managed to gently drive it home, with a very serious engine knock and low oil pressure. His plan was to deliver it to a local British car workshop and give them carte blanche to go through it. The engine was pulled and disassembled, only to find the crankshaft came out in two pieces, hence the source of the low oil pressure and knock. A replacement crank, complete engine rebuild, overhaul of the brakes, a set of shiny scrapyard sourced E-Type chrome wire wheels, new tyres, and various other tasks at undisclosed expense resulted in a very satisfactory ten-year-old Jaguar indeed. He then decided that this car needed a nice road trip. So the two of us planned to drive it from the San Francisco Bay area to Victoria, British Columbia as a late summer excursion, a some two thousand mile round trip. Somewhere in this car’s history the twin exhaust system was modified to produce a bit more sporting note, which was controllable if one used the throttle gently. To get to Victoria on Vancouver Island it is necessary to cross on a car ferry which landed in the centre of quaint Victoria, near the very posh Empress Hotel. Upon disembarking from the ferry my friend, who had his sometimes wilder side, decided that Government Street in downtown Victoria was the place to announce the arrival in Canada of his newly refurbished Jaguar. A raucous blast from the exhaust of the shiny white Jaguar up the sedate street resulted in us being promptly stopped by one of Victoria’s finest. When my friend was admonished for the noise transgression, his polite response was that he had just bought the car from a scrapyard and, yes, the exhaust was a bit noisy. The incredulous police officer, noting the California license plates and shiny white Jaguar, made a comment I’ll always remember, ‘Well, you Americans really do throw away nice stuff. Please keep it down for the rest of your visit’. So I have a soft spot for the XK150, real or small scale.

 


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Ford in Miniature – 1935 Truck

‘Americas Great Truck Value Line’

By Dave Turner

1935 was a great year for Ford in many respects, they sold more cars and more trucks than any other US maker, the years of depression were receding, and Ford had new models in all sectors.

Ford’s 1935 truck line appeared more modern, the old Model A/B styling gave way to smoother outlines with no windscreen visor, and a grille that resembled that of the new 1935 cars whilst echoing the 1933 to 1934 cars pattern. A 221 cubic inches V8 motor was standard across the board. The ½ ton pick up came on a 112” wheelbase while a step up came with the 131½” chassis with a 7½” optional extension. For the larger trucks a 157” chassis was produced while an optional 11” extension for that was available for use in buses and other specialised vehicles.

A reasonable number of miniature 1935 trucks have been recorded but many are likely to take some finding and the identity and details of some are confused eighty or so years later. For example, the popularity of rubber toys in the 1930s and 1940s resulted in several makers in the US joining in. Two of these, the Auburn Rubber Co. and the Barr Rubber company, are both recorded as having produced 1935 trucks although most illustrations seem to be captioned as Barr products. The latter are also known to have produced some 1935 panel vans.

Some very attractive vehicular themed liquor decanters have been produced by the Jim BeamCompany and they include both pickups and tow trucks based on the 1935 Ford. Access to the liquid contents is gained by removing the top of the cab which allows the stopper located in the passenger seat to be removed. Another unlikely entry in the 1935 truck list is a child’s pedal car based on a 1935 pick up in a range called Beginnerkar.

For a quality diecast we have to go to Danbury Mint who produced some pick ups in a variety of liveries from 1995 while the DeHames Model Company, having begun in the 1970s and still operating, produced some models for the Ford Milestone Collection. One of these was based on some promotional ’35 Ford 131 ½” tractor units, coupled to Wood tanker bodied trailers and liveried “Ford Benzol” for delivering in the Detroit area.

Another 1930s US toymaker was Erie and they are recorded as having produced diecast pickups, ice trucks and tow trucks based on the ’35 Ford while another contemporaryTootsietoy produced a tow truck but it was simply a hook cast onto the modified rear section of their 1935 Coupe. More recent offerings came from Racing Champions with a 1:56 scale diecast pickup together with a tow truck. The latter was the pickup, minus the opening tailgate and the addition of a combined lifting boom and light bar. The detachable hood was made in one piece with a flat head V8 located beneath it.

Spec Cast distributed Liberty Classics diecast promotion models, or premiums, one of which was a bank/money box in the shape of a 1:25 scale 1935 pickup. Six barrels of fuel sit in the load box, the tops of which slide to the side to reveal the coin slot, while a lockable, hinged trap door in the base allows the retrieval of funds. A smaller inexpensive diecast pickup came from Road Champs around 1999 and this featured a drop down tailgate and opening cab doors, although only the lower section of the latter open. Road Champs was one of the many sub-series produced in China by Yatming.

‘Americas Great Truck Value Line’ 1935 Ford Truck
BY DAVE TURNER

 

1935 was a great year for Ford in many respects, they sold more cars and more trucks than any other US maker, the years of depression were receding, and Ford had new models in all sectors.

Ford’s 1935 truck line appeared more modern, the old Model A/B styling gave way to smoother outlines with no windscreen visor, and a grille that resembled that of the new 1935 cars whilst echoing the 1933 to 1934 cars pattern. A 221 cubic inches V8 motor was standard across the board. The ½ ton pick up came on a 112” wheelbase while a step up came with the 131½” chassis with a 7½” optional extension. For the larger trucks a 157” chassis was produced while an optional 11” extension for that was available for use in buses and other specialised vehicles.

A reasonable number of miniature 1935 trucks have been recorded but many are likely to take some finding and the identity and details of some are confused eighty or so years later. For example, the popularity of rubber toys in the 1930s and 1940s resulted in several makers in the US joining in. Two of these, the Auburn Rubber Co. and the Barr Rubber company, are both recorded as having produced 1935 trucks although most illustrations seem to be captioned as Barr products. The latter are also known to have produced some 1935 panel vans.

Some very attractive vehicular themed liquor decanters have been produced by the Jim BeamCompany and they include both pickups and tow trucks based on the 1935 Ford. Access to the liquid contents is gained by removing the top of the cab which allows the stopper located in the passenger seat to be removed. Another unlikely entry in the 1935 truck list is a child’s pedal car based on a 1935 pick up in a range called Beginnerkar.

For a quality diecast we have to go to Danbury Mint who produced some pick ups in a variety of liveries from 1995 while the DeHames Model Company, having begun in the 1970s and still operating, produced some models for the Ford Milestone Collection. One of these was based on some promotional ’35 Ford 131 ½” tractor units, coupled to Wood tanker bodied trailers and liveried “Ford Benzol” for delivering in the Detroit area.

Another 1930s US toymaker was Erie and they are recorded as having produced diecast pickups, ice trucks and tow trucks based on the ’35 Ford while another contemporaryTootsietoy produced a tow truck but it was simply a hook cast onto the modified rear section of their 1935 Coupe. More recent offerings came from Racing Champions with a 1:56 scale diecast pickup together with a tow truck. The latter was the pickup, minus the opening tailgate and the addition of a combined lifting boom and light bar. The detachable hood was made in one piece with a flat head V8 located beneath it.

Spec Cast distributed Liberty Classics diecast promotion models, or premiums, one of which was a bank/money box in the shape of a 1:25 scale 1935 pickup. Six barrels of fuel sit in the load box, the tops of which slide to the side to reveal the coin slot, while a lockable, hinged trap door in the base allows the retrieval of funds. A smaller inexpensive diecast pickup came from Road Champs around 1999 and this featured a drop down tailgate and opening cab doors, although only the lower section of the latter open. Road Champs was one of the many sub-series produced in China by Yatming.

Illustrations: 1935 Ford Trucks

1,2 &3. Road Champs 1:43 diecast from China: 48247 Pick up ‘Lionel Trains’

1_1935_Ford_Truck_Road_Champs.jpg

2_1935_Ford_Truck_Road_Champs_.jpg

3_1935_Ford_Truck_Road_Champs.jpg

4 & 5 Racing Champions 1:56 diecast from China: Pick up, rather untidy lift off hood.

4_1935_Ford_Truck_Racing_Champions.jpg

5_1935_Ford_Truck_Racing_Champions.jpg

6 & 7 Racing Champions 1:56 diecast from China: Tow truck variation on the pick up.

6_1935_Ford_Truck_Racing_Champions.jpg

7_1935_Ford_Truck_Racing_Champions.jpg

8 & 9 DeHanes 1:52 resin from USA: ‘Ford Milestone Collection’ 131 ½” tractor unit with Wood tanker trailer, ‘Ford Benzol’

8_1935_Ford_Truck_De_Hanes.jpg

9_1935_Ford_Truck_De_Hanes.jpg

10 & 11 Liberty Classics 1:25 diecast from China: Pick up ‘American Airlines’.

10_1935_Ford_Truck_Liberty_Classics.jpg

11_1935_Ford_Truck_Liberty_Classics.jpg

12. Barr Rubber Co. rubber from the USA: open truck and panel van

12_Ford_1935_1935_Ford_Army_truck_Barr_Rubber.jpg

13 Jim Beam decanter from USA: Pick up

13_Ford_1935_Jim_Beam_Decanter_Truck_Ford_Pickup_Box.jpg

14 Jim Beam decanter from USA: Tow truck

14_Ford_1935_Police_Tow_Truck_Jim_Bean_Decanter_.jpg

15 Danbury Mint 1:24 diecast from China: 505 Pick up

15_Ford_1935_Danbury_Mint_1935_Ford_Pickup_Truck_Diecast.jpg

1935 Truck Listing

Auburn USA 1930s Open Truck 4.75″ Rubber
Barr USA 1930s Open Truck 4.75″ Rubber
Barr USA 1930s Panel Van 4.25″ Rubber
Jim Beam USA 1980s Pickup Glass
Jim Beam USA 1980s Tow Truck Glass
Beginnerkar USA Pickup Pedal Car
Danbury Mint China 505 1995 Pickup 1:24 Diecast
DeHanes USA 131.5″ Tractor and Tanker 168mm 1:52 Resin
Erie USA 1930s Pickup 5″ Diecast

 


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Ford in Miniature – 1969 Mustang

By Dave Turner

1969. A year when men landed on the moon and Henry Ford II made GM‘s Semon E. Knudson President of his company. Various GM personnel followed but he was dismissed as President by the end of the year.

However, the GM influence did bring change at Ford. As far as the Mustang was concerned it was bigger, with a longer front end, and wider and lower overall resulting in a sleeker but more massive appearance. Choice of bodies continued to be Hardtop, Convertible and Fastback, the latter now called ‘SportsRoof’ by Ford. More changes included quad headlights, two of which were in the grille, the deletion of vent windows in the doors, a higher bulge over the rear wheels and a new dashboard.

The range of specific models continued to be extensive. A new version of the Hardtop called Grande featured lavish fittings and a vinyl covered roof. The Mustang ‘E’ was a SportsRoof with an in-line 6. The GT featured scoops and stripes, and the Mach 1 had scoops on the hood and rear quarters plus a rear spoiler. When fitted with the Ram Air 428 the Mach 1 had a Shaker that protruded through the hood and shook when running!

Engines were the in-line six at 200 or 250 cubic inches, and V8’s of 302, 351, 390, 428 and 429 cubic inches. The Boss 302 was made to allow homologation for the Sports Car Club of America races (SCCA). 1,000 were required but 1,934 were made complete with chin spoilers and rear window slats whilst the Boss 429 was made to qualify the semi-hemi 429 V8 for NASCAR and 852 of these were produced. In addition the Shelby GT350 and GT500 continued to be made.

Models of 1969 Mustangs have been numerous, though the vast majority are of the more exotic versions. AMT produced some now very rare 1:25 plastic promos in 1969, finished in Cherry Red they depicted the Mach 1, and have been followed by numerous issues of the same mouldings in kit form, some under Matchbox or MPC labels. Slightly different was a metal-bodied kit of a Boss 302 whilst plastic kits of a 2 plus 2 fastback were made in 1:43. These have been used as the basis for some re-creations both in metal and resin. For example,Performance Detail Products in Illinois made some 1969 Boss Mustangs most likely of racing subjects while Richard Carlson Productions of Arizona produced some resin bodied versions of this AMT and got a mention in MAR 52. Another obscure range called mDa from Belgium included a 1969 SportsRoof. Even the old diecast Nacoral 2 + 2 from Spain looks to have more than a little in common when all the details are studied against an original AMT.

Danbury Mint produced some superb 1:24 models of both the Boss 429 and Boss 302 featuring everything opening and masses of accurate detail inside, outside and underneath. Just to illustrate that occasionally perfection means very little, Dinkum Classics made some rather basic handbuilt 1:43 Boss 302s in the early 1980s and these can currently be found on the internet and being sold for more than the Danbury cost new! They were featured in MAR 11.

Ertl had a passionate affair with these Mustangs, the mid 1990s saw various issues of the distinctively styled ’69 Shelby in Convertible form while a whole myriad of Mach1’s were produced in around 2000. These came in a variety of colours, and were all in 1:18 scale. An additional issue came in the form of a pre-painted kit, under the Racing Champions label. Meanwhile a few 1:64 scale versions of the Mach 1 were offered under the Racing Champions Ertl label, the level of detail being quite remarkable in this scale with opening hood and trunk. A few of these Ertl issues featured one of each of the two size models in one package. Another range recorded was Fairfield Mint and as these are all 1:18 it is likely that they featured existing models but in their own packaging.

The other familiar Mint, Franklin, is included with their issues of the ‘69 Boss 302. It is interesting to note that no two details on either these or the Danbury are the same. It might be suspected that some of the same tooling was shared, none of it is in fact. Greenlight have become familiar in the last ten years or so and include some 1969 Boss Mustangs in their 1:64 scale range of diecasts, being listed in MAR 200, while Highway 61 have produced at least four colour variations of their 1:18 Boss 302 in addition to a 1:43 version.

Johnny Lightning has offered a small selection of 1969 cars in their 1:64 scale series: Mach 1s and Shelbys, the latter both convertible and SportsRoof but most of them spoiled by the untidy opening hood. Most surprising however is a superb 1:24 scale Mach 1 from JL. Not quite in the same league as the Mints but most acceptable. Back to the small stuff and a superb little Boss 302 from Kyosho, absence of any opening parts makes for a much neater appearance with plenty of fine detail. Hot Wheels of course included a couple of 1969s in their toy series, their convertible Shelby GT 500 being more realistic than most from that range. A 2 plus 2 saw various issues, some being too far removed from the real thing to be relevant here.

Even smaller were the limited run of Nu-Rora 1:87 scale slot racers. As the name hints they were based on old Aurora bodies and chassis but having plastic bodies painted and finished to look quite realistic. In the same scale, Monogram who are usually associated with 1:24 scale plastic kits, launched its Mini-Exacts series of small vehicles in the late 1980s. This featured a perfectly shaped plastic body on a cast metal base. The range was subsequently sold to Herpa, the quality of the models saw them survive for many years and for they were also sold in the US under the Con-Cor label. Monogram did offer a 1:25 kit for the Shelby GT 500 and this re-appeared on the Revell label. Revell also offered kits of a 1969 Hardtop/Convertible and a Mach 1 2 plus 2. A smaller 1:32 plastic kit for a 1969 Convertible was offered many years ago by Palmer, whilst at the other end of the scale, a 1:12 plastic kit for a 2 plus 2 came fromKogure.

Among the very few alternatives to models depicting the SportsRoof fastback shape, Playartdid some cheap toys of the Hardtop, but featured the ‘Cobra Jet’ shaker projection in the hood. Up a scale and the Road Champs 1:43 2 plus 2 depicts a Boss 302 although MAR 142 featured a picture of a bread and butter red example. More disparate examples of small 1969s include a Schuco Mach 1, some biscuits in the shape of Mustangs from Summerfield, a big tin 1:18 scale Mach 1 from Taiyo, more diecasts from Tin Toys with their Boss 429 in 1:32 and a 1:18 scale Boss 302 from Welly. At the far end of the alphabet comes Zaugg and they produced some very expensive 1:43 Boss 429s many years ago, the resin body looking far too flat in the roof area.

Illustrations 1969 Ford Mustang.

1) Ertl 1:18 diecast from USA: 7350 Shelby GT 500 Convertible complete down to the Cobra Jet 428 decals on front fenders.

1_1969_Mustang_illustration_1_Ertl.jpg

2) Road Champs 1:43 diecast from China: 20103 Boss 302 with reasonably neat opening hood and doors.

2_Road_Champs_Mustang_1969.jpg
3) Johnny Lightning 1:63 diecast from China: 842B Shelby GT 350 Convertible, spoiled by the opening hood.

3_Johnny_Lightning_Mustang_1969.jpg

4) Johnny Lightning 1:63 diecast from China: 724 Mach 1 suffering from oversize rear tyres.

4_Johnny_Lightning_724_Mustang_1969.jpg

5) Johnny Lightning 1:63 diecast from China: 842A Shelby GT 500.

5_Johnny_Lightning_84A_Mustang_1969.jpg

6) Playart 1:65 diecast from Hong Kong: Hardtop with Cobra Jet ‘Shaker’ hood and painted base.

6_Playart_Mustang_1969.jpg

7) Rear view of Playart Hardtop with painted base.

7_Playart_Mustang_1969.jpg

8) Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: T9691 Shelby GT 500 Convertible, ‘Cobra Jet 428’ decals are on the front fenders but too small to read.

8_Hot_Wheels_Mustang_1969.jpg
9) Johnny Lightning 1:64 diecast from China: 842B Shelby GT 500 Convertible rear view.

9_Johnny_Lightning_Mustang_1969.jpg
10) Herpa/Con Cor 1:87 plastic from China: 21586 Boss 302 rear view showing more painted detail and better wheels.

10_Herpa_Mustang_1969.jpg

11) Monogram Mini Exact 1:87 plastic from USA: 2019 Boss 302.

Not pictured
12) Kyosho 1:64 diecast from China: 490, Boss 302.

12_Kyosho_Mustang_1969.jpg
13) Racing Champions Ertl 1:64 diecast from USA: 32330 Mach 1.

13_Racing_Champions_Ertl_32330.jpg
14) Racing Champions Ertl 1:64 diecast from USA: 32329 Mach 1.

14_Racing_Champions_Ertl_32329_Mustang_1969.jpg

15) Johnny Lightning 1:67 diecast from China: 112 SportsRoof.

15_Johnny_Lightning_112_Mustang_1969.jpg

16) Revell 1:25 plastic kit from USA: 7161 Shelby GT 500, the ex Monogram kit.

16_Revell_Mustang_Selby_GT-500_1969.jpg
17) MPC 1:25 plastic kit from USA: 6319 Mach 1, the ex AMT kit.

17_MPC_Mustang_Mach_1_1969.jpg

18) AMT 1:43 plastic kit from USA: T107 SportsRoof.

18_AMT_Mustang_1969.jpg
19) Nacoral 1:43 diecast from Spain: 102 SportsRoof the similarities to the AMT are noticeable.

19_Nacoral_Mustang_1969.jpg

20) mDa 1:43 plastic from Belgium: SportsRoof supplied as a built kit.

20_mDa_Mustang_1969.jpg
21) Zaugg 1:45 resin from Germany: 18 Boss 429 with a rather flat SportsRoof.

21_Zaugg_Mustang_1969.jpg

22) Danbury Mint 1:25 diecast from China: 1322 Boss 429.

22_Danbury_Mint_Mustang_1969.jpg
23) Franklin Mint 1:25 diecast from China: AS341 Boss 302 limited run of 2500.

23_Franklin_MInt_Mustang_1969.jpg
24) Johnny Lightning 1:24 diecast from China: 5110SB Mach 1

24_Johnny_Lightning_Mustang_1969.jpg

25) Arko 1:32 diecast from China: Boss 302

25_Arko_Mustang_1969.jpg

1969 Mustang Models in detail

 

AMT Promo USA 1969 Y905 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA T397 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic Kit
 AMT USA 1996 8233 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic kit
AMT USA 1999 30009 Boss 302 1:25 Plastic Kit
 AMT USA T241 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic Kit
 AMT USA 1969 M780 SportsRoof 1:43 Plastic Kit
 AMT USA 1974 T107 SportsRoof 109mm 1:43 Plastic Kit
 AMT USA 1981 2103 SportsRoof 1:43 Plastic Kit
 AMT USA 1989 6902 SportsRoof 1:43 Plastic Kit
Richard Carlson transkit USA 1990 SportsRoof  1:43  Resin
mDa  Belgium Sportsroof 104mm 1:45 Plastic
Performance Detail Products  USA 2002 Boss 1:43 Transkit
Arko China 2010 Boss 302 149mm 1:32 Diecast
Danbury Mint China 2003 1322 Boss 429 Black 194mm 1:25 Diecast
Danbury Mint China 2005 1429 Boss 429 DM Society special 1:25 Diecast
Danbury Mint China 2009 1595 Boss 302 only 500 made 1:25 Diecast
Danbury Mint China 2010 1635 Boss 429 White 1:25 Diecast
Dinkum Classics Australia 1982 4 Boss 302 1:43 Metal
Ertl USA 1995 7350 Shelby GT 500 convertible 262mm 1:18 Diecast
Ertl USA 1995 7351 Shelby GT 500 convertible 262mm  1:18 Diecast
Ertl USA 1997 7778 Shelby GT 500 convertible 262mm 1:18 Diecast
Ertl USA 32996 Shelby GT 500 convertible top-up 1:18 Diecast
Ertl USA 2000 32073 Shelby GT 350 convertible 1:18 Diecast
Ertl USA 2000 32262-69 Mach 1 428 CJ many colours  1:18 Diecast
Ertl USA 1998 8233 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic Kit
Fairfield Mint L3J Boss 302 1:18 Diecast
Franklin Mint China  1996 WHO7 Boss 302 195mm 1:25 Diecast
Franklin Mint China 2001 ZU14 Boss 302 Dragon Graphics 195mm 1:25 Diecast
Franklin Mint China 2002 AS31 Boss 302 Limited to 2,500 195mm 1:25 Diecast
Franklin Mint China 2006 E225 Boss 302 195mm Walmart only 1:25 Diecast
Greenlight China 2006 Boss 302 1:64 Diecast
Greenlight China 2006 Boss 429 1:64 Diecast
Highway 61 China 55495 Boss 302 1:43 Diecast
Highway 61 China 6150727-30 Boss 302 various colours 1:18 Diecast
Johnny Lightning China 112 SportsRoof 70mm 1:67 Diecast
Johnny Lighning China 724 Mach 1 77mm 1:62 Diecast
Johnny Lightning China 842A Shelby GT 500 75mm 1:63 Diecast
Johnny Lightning China 842B Shelby GT350 Convertible 74mm 1:64 Diecast
Johnny Lightning China 842B Shelby GT500 Convertible 75mm 1:63 Diecast
Johnny Lightning  China 2005 5110SB Mach 1 197mm 1:24 Diecast
Kyosho China 490 Boss 302 74mm 1:64 Diecast
Kogure Japan 1:12 Plastic Kit
MPC USA 1986 731 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic Kit
MPC USA 6319 Mach 1 (AMT) 1:25 Plastic Kit
Mattel Malaysia 2010 T9691 Shelby GT 500 Convertible 76mm 1:64 Diecast
Mattel China 2771 Mach 1 Diecast
Monogram USA 1989 2019 Boss 302 Mini Exacts 55mm 1:87 Plastic
Monogram USA 1989 2027 Boss 302 Mini Exacts 55mm 1:87 Plastic
Monogram USA 2545 Shelby GT 500 1:25 Plastic Kit
Herpa Germany 21586 Boss 302 ex-Mini Exacts 55mm 1:87 Plastic
Nu-Rora USA 2002 Mach 1 ex-Aurora 1:87 Slot racer
Palmer USA  634/692  Convertible 1:32 Plastic Kit
Revell USA 1969 H1261 Hardtop 1:25 Plastic Kit
Revell USA 1988 7161 Shelby GT 500 ex-Monogram 1:25 Plastic Kit
Revell USA 1989 7121 Mach 1 1:25 Plastic Kit
Nacoral Spain 102 SportsRoof 109mm 1:43 Diecast
Playart Hong Kong Hardtop 73mm 1:65 Diecast
Racing Champions Ertl USA 2001 32330 Mach 1 74mm 1:64 Diecast
Racing Champions Ertl USA 2001 32329 Mach 1 73mm 1:65 Diecast
Road Champs China 1998 20103 Boss 302 111mm 1:43 Diecast
Road Champs China 2000 69000 SportsRoof 111mm 1:43 Diecast
Schuco  5831 Mach 1
Summerfield USA Cookie
Taiyo Japan C11 Mach 1  1:18 Tin
Tins Toys China 165 Boss 429 1:38 Diecast
Welly China 2516 Boss 302 1:18 Diecast
Zaugg Germany 18 Boss 429 106mm 1:45 Resin/metal

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Ford in Miniature – The Taurus

By Dave Turner

By the late 1970s it was becoming obvious that Ford had to re-appraise their situation if they were to survive the prevailing financial trouble that the entire US motor industry found themselves in. It was decided that a mid-priced medium family size vehicle with definite European characteristics was the solution and a team consisting substantially of Ford people, some with only European experience, was put together. The result was a whole series of cars with softer and more aerodynamic shapes that began with the 1983 Thunderbird and followed by the next generation Mercury Cougar, the Tempo/Topaz range, the Lincoln Mark V11 and culminated with the Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable that made their debut in December 1985.

Costing $3 billion to develop the new Ford and Mercury sedans and wagons put the emphasis on a smooth outline with flush fitted lights, bumpers and glass, together with transverse engine and front wheel drive. The new Ford and Mercury twins set a new standard for US car design and styling. Replacing the Ford LTD and Mercury Marquis these new cars had no external brightwork, no duo-tone paint, and even lost the traditional grille so long established in US car production. While the Ford was conceived with new technology to the fore, it was still intended to appeal to the traditional family buyer and fleet operator and had a conservative flavour. The Mercury on the other hand combined the same engineering but offered a more futuristic style, with its full-width laser light bar in place of the traditional grille, wraparound rear window, and invisible window pillars.

Engines were 3.0 litre V6 with 4 speed overdrive automatic transmission or a 2.5 litre four cylinder with five speed manual or three speed automatic. The four cylinder cas was aimed mainly at fleet use. It was offered in three trim levels, L, GL and LX. There was also MT5 (manual transmission five speed) which combined the four cylinder engine with the slightly better trim of the GL, front bucket seats and the instrument cluster from the Mercury Sable. The L appeared in the 1986 sales brochure with a slatted grille in black plastic. Despite being Motor Trends “Car of The Year” for 1986, Taurus sales were initially rather slow to take off but by 1987 they had become the best selling passenger car in the US.

For 1988 the 3.8 litre Thunderbird V6 engine became optional but for the following year the MT5 that pretended to be ‘sporty’ was replaced by the SHO “Super High Output” model and that could certainly claim that description. Employing a Yamaha tuned version of the 3.0 V6 coupled to a Mazda built manual five-speed transaxle it was claimed to be capable of 140mph and an eight seconds 0-60 figure. Apart from an appropriate badge the shallow air intake slot above the centre of the front bumper and subtle aerodynamic touches around the lower edges were the only external evidence of the higher performance.

1992 brought about the most significant changes since the first 1986 examples. New sheet metal provided modified front and rear styling treatment and added over three inches in length. Front light assemblies were both shallower and longer while a flat central licence plate location was provided in the front bumper. The sedans rear light clusters were now higher than before, the licence plate lower while the trunk lid had a pronounced lip. The SHO got a unique front end featuring even shallower light units with square corners. At the other end of the Taurus spectrum both the four cylinder engine and L Series were dropped this year.

A complete facelift took place for 1996 with ovoid shapes being the main theme resulting in the ‘jelly-bean’ tag whilst a new 24 valve dohc Duratec 3.0 litre engine replaced the 3.8 litre. Overall length went up again by five and a half inches while a new entry level was created called the G series. A 3.4 litre V8 was employed in the peppy SHO for 1997 and at the same time the ovoid look was made less extreme by opening the front air intake a tad and inserting a horizontal bar carrying a Ford oval badge, the twin oval below-bumper openings giving way to a single larger opening, again with a horizontal bar across.

1998 saw a re-aligning of trim levels, entry was the LX, while SE Sport and SE Comfort mixed and matched mid-range choices and the V8 SHO provided the sporty angle. Gone for 2000 was the ovoid look, from the side view, the cars look unchanged but both front and rear now looked quite bland, a larger oval grille with heavy chrome bar at the front and quite plain but quite attractive rear end. Line up was now LX, SE, SES and SEL. In 2004 the oval grille became slightly more angular but a couple of years later things were slowing down for Taurus, the range now being limited to only SE and SEL models from 2005.

In that year Ford had launched their next contender in the flagship big sedan arena, the Five Hundred. This had a higher stance and was aimed at some sort of cross-over market – featuring a 3.0 V6 in three levels – SE, SEL and Limited with optional all-wheel-drive and at three inches longer than the Taurus was no doubt intended as its replacement. By 2007 the range was down to just SEL and Limited and guess what? In 2008 the same car with a new grille was launched as the all-new 2008 Taurus in the same SEL and Limited choices. The SE version was back for 2009 but a wagon arrived called the Taurus X, a distinctly different vehicle and certainly not an adapted Taurus sedan. The SHO came back for 2010, with a 365bhp EcoBoost 3.5 twin turbo V6 and the Taurus itself was once again claimed to be all-new.

By this time Fords unwillingness to provide sales brochures makes detail study of their range almost impossible and no doubt has the same effect on ultimate sales, a strange policy very hard to understand. It would appear however that new front and rear treatment changed the character of the Taurus in 2010 while a further restyle took place for 2013.

Considering the Taurus was for many seasons the best selling car in the US, very few models seem to have been produced. It was also inevitable that as Taurus was used as a police vehicle, toys of them would come in that guise.

Motomax cashed-in with Robocops by producing a Taurus sedan decked out in matt black as in the film together with the necessary lights and push-bars. In MAR 243, John Quilter took a leaf out of this collectors book by converting examples not only to a civilian sedan but also into a Taurus Wagon.

Remco Toys are usually associated with toddler age toys, and despite a take over by AHI in 1971 after going bankrupt and a subsequent take over by Jakks Pacific in 1991 the name Remco continues in use. A reasonable plastic toy of the early Taurus Sedan was produced in the early 1990s, with the inevitable Police and Fire Department stickers together with various associated sirens and flashing lights. To create a stock version stickers can be peeled off but the additional lights etc leave holes that have to be filled but worse, a pair of those police push-bars were included in the plastic moulding and have to be ground away. At least the wheels faithfully depict the standard wheel cover while the interior accommodates the batteries that power the various lights.

A similar, but diecast, toy came with a stick-on label under the base declaring it was fromToysmith of Auburn Washington although the black plastic base features a ‘Double T’ motif that could suggest a Tins Toys origin. A strong pull-back motor was featured, the resulting collision with furniture or other household object triggers a button set into the front bumper and that flings open both front doors. Once again stickers can be peeled off and holes filled although the wheels on these toys are of a generic pattern albeit of appropriate size with rubber tyres.

Processed Plastic Co of Montgomery Illinois was among the few toy manufacturers still operating in the US when they produced a big plastic Taurus Wagon for sale through WalMart but have since closed down in 2005. Again this was a police toy but was otherwise quite an acceptable miniature Wagon and its simple construction captured the shape of the real thing quite well. A roof rack and lift-up tailgate are featured but some holes in the roof require filling while wheels don’t resemble anything in the Taurus catalogue!

A kit for a Taurus Sedan was produced for model railroads by Williams Bros of San Marcos California. In 1:87 it was made in clear plastic so the builder had a choice of trying to mask off the window areas prior to spraying, or alternatively brush paint by hand, neither being a particularly successful operation.

The interest of the folk at AMT and MPC were eventually prodded into Taurus consciousness with the arrival of the high performance SHO and both promos and kits of it were duly offered for 1989 and the following two seasons. The rear licence plate on the promos identify the year, although when Ford gave the SHO a central wheel cover with the appropriate initials for 1990, AMT made the correct mod to theirs. Despite this, their 1990 catalogue was not updated.

Moving on to 1996 and the ovoid Taurus, the only miniature so far confirmed is another model railroad accessory. This time from Atlas with an excellent stab at the distinctively styled car and finished in authentic colours, the example to hand being in Rose Mint Clearcoat Metallic and depicting the optional five-spoke aluminium wheels. The German VF (Volker Feldkamp) range was recorded as having listed a couple of ’96 Taurus, a sedan and a wagon but their actual production has yet to be confirmed.

Tins Toys have recently produced a few relatively modern Fords as inexpensive 1:35 scale diecast toys. Mondeo, Puma, Crown Victoria and a 2004 Taurus Wagon are among these and the Taurus features opening front doors and lift-up tailgate in typical toy-like manner. Illustrations may be misleading but all their Fords appear to be a tad ill-proportioned in that they may be a bit on the short side.

The Greenlight brand puts out a few models of more recent Fords, and include a 1:24 2010 Taurus SHO complete with opening front doors, trunk and hood, detailed beneath the latter is the 3.5 litre twin turbo boost V6. From the same stable but in 1:64 is an all black 2012 SHO from another film – this time “Men in black”

Description of Illustrations.

1) AMT 1:25 plastic kit from USA: 6265 1989 SHO, the only year id. being on the outer wrapper.

1_AMT_Ford_Taurus_SHO_1989.jpg

2) AMT 1:25 plastic kit from USA: 6065 1990 SHO.

2_AMT_Ford_Taurus_SHO_1990.jpg

3) Processed Plastic 1:14 plastic from USA: 9130 1986 wagon returned to acceptable civilian guise from a police vehicle.

3_Processed_Plastic_Ford_Taurus_Wagon.jpg

3b_Processed_Plastic_Ford_Taurus_Wagon_rear_view.jpg

4) Greenlight 1:24 diecast from China: 50222, 2010 SHO.

4_Greenlight_Ford_Taurus.jpg

5) Greenlight 1:24 diecast from China: rear view of 2010 SHO.

5_Greenlight_Ford_Taurus.jpg

6) AMT 1:25 plastic promo from USA: 6066 1989 SHO.

6_AMT_Ford_Taurus.jpg

 

7) AMT 1:25 plastic promo from USA: rear view of 6066 showing the year id on licence plate.

7_AMT_1_25_plastic_promo_from_USA_rear_view_of_6066_showing_the_year_id_on_licence_plate.jpg

8) AMT 1:25 plastic promo from USA: 6048 1990 SHO, same as the 1989 model apart from the year on the rear licence plate and the SHO on the wheel covers.

8_AMT_1_25_plastic_promo_from_USA_6048_1990_SHO_same_as_the_1989_model_apart_from_the_year_on_the_rear_licence_plate_and_the_SHO_on_the_wheel_covers_b.jpg

9) Tins Toys(?) 1:37 diecast from China: 2532, 1986 sedan, label stuck to underside reads “Toysmith Auburn WA. pull-back police car. “ the plastic base is embossed with double ’T’ Section in front bumper triggers the front doors to fly open on impact. Otherwise it is returned to civilian guise.

9_Tin_Toys_probably_1_37_converted_from_Police_Car_to_stock_sedan.jpg

10) Greenlight 1:64 diecast from China: 44640, 2012 SHO, underside marked “Men in Black” but other than black finish appears stock.

10_Greenlight_1_64_diecast_from_China__44640_2012_SHO_underside_marked_Men_in_Black_but_other_than_black_finish_appears_stock.jpg

11) Williams Bros. 1:87 plastic kit from USA: 1996 Taurus 4Door, clear plastic body requiring painting.

11_____Williams_Bros._1_87_plastic_kit_from_USA_1996_Taurus_4_Door_clear_plastic_body_requiring_painting.jpg

12) Atlas 1:87 plastic from USA: 1274, 1996 Sedan

12_Atlas_1_87_plastic_from_USA__1274_1996_Sedan.jpg

13) Atlas 1:87 plastic from USA: rear view of 127

13_Atlas_1_87_plastic_from_USA__rear_view_of_1274.jpg

14) Remco 1:38 plastic from China: 1986 Sedan, the front end having been returned to something approaching the stock shape.

14_Remco_1_38_plastic_from_China_1986_Sedan_the_front_end_having_been_returned_to_something_approaching_the_stock_shape.jpg

15 and 15 a-d) Tins Toys 1:35 diecast from China: 4617, 2004 Wagon.

15a_Tin_Toys_Ford_Taurus_Station_Wagon_2032.jpg

15b_Tin_Toys_Ford_Taurus_Station_Wagon_2032.jpg

15c_Tin_Toys_Ford_Taurus_Station_Wagon_2032.jpg

15d_Tin_Toys_Ford_Taurus_Station_Wagon_2032.jpg

Maker Origin Date Reference Number Model Size Scale Material
Motormax China 1986 Sedan Robocop 1:43 Diecast
Remco China 1991 1986 Sedan Police/Fire 125mm 1:38 Plastic
Toysmith China 2002 2532 1986 Sedan Police 129mm 1:37 Diecast
Processed Plastic USA 9130 1986 Sedan Police 305mm 1:14 Plastic
AMT USA 1989 6066 1989 SHO promo 189mm 1:25 Plastic
AMT USA 1989 6265 1989 SHO 189mm 1:25 Plastic
AMT USA 1990 6048 1990 SHO promo 189mm 1:25 Plastic
AMT USA 1990 6075 1990 SHO 189mm 1:25 Plastic
AMT USA 1991 6145 1991 SHO 189mm 1:25 Plastic
Williams Bros USA 1996 538 1988 Sedan 55mm 1:87 Plasitc Kit
Atlas USA 1274 1996 Sedan 57mm 1:87 Plastic Kit
VF Germany LLC05 1996 Sedan 1:43 Resin
VF Germany LLC06 1996 Wagon 1:43 Resin
Tin Toys China 4617 2004 Wagon 140mm 1:35 Diecast
Greenlight China 50222 2010 SHO 216mm 1:24 Diecast
Greenlight Chine 44640 2012 SHO 80mm 1:64 Diecast

 

Ford in Miniature – The Lincoln Zephyr

The First Genuinely Successful Car of The Modern Age.

By Dave Turner

Previously exclusively producers of very high priced top-end motors, Lincoln realised in the early 1930s that the economic situation would make things almost impossible for them and other manufacturers in the same high-end sector. A mid-range offering was essential if Lincoln was to survive.

As a first step, the Sterkenberg is often quoted and this was a styling/design exercise dreamed up by John Tjaarda based on aero industry construction techniques. Briggs, Lincoln’s main body supplier managed to interest Edsel Ford in the whole concept, no doubt as a means of stemming the decline in demand that was already being experienced. Several more prototypes followed, some front and some rear engined, but traditionalist Henry Ford made sure that the engine was going to be at the front as well as insisting on transverse springs and mechanical brakes.

A relatively short front end dictated the use of a correspondingly short engine, and so a new V12 of 267 cubic inches capacity was featured when the new ‘streamlined’ Zephyr appeared in November 1934 for the 1935 season. Compared to contemporary styling the new Lincoln must have looked as if it came from outer space, with its ‘V’ shaped front end and faired-in headlights and not a sharp edge in sight. Initially just two and four door Sedans were available and rather strangely the trunk accommodated only the spare wheel, luggage being stowed behind the folding rear seat.

A three passenger coupe and a town limousine were added to the range for 1937, and a more practical trunk and spare wheel arrangement was adopted. 1937 Zephyrs can be identified by the four sets of twin plated bars on the grille. For 1938 convertible sedans and coupes were added, at the same time an additional three inches was added which took the wheelbase to 125” while a split grille of fine horizontal bars made identifying the 1938 model easy. Hydraulic brakes arrived in 1939 whilst the fine bars in the two-part grille were now vertical, the central section of the front bumper was now open and the body sides curved out to hide the running boards. The latter disappeared altogether for 1940 when the headlights became sealed beam and thus vertical rather than sloped, the windows and trunk were also enlarged, as was the engine, to 292 cubic inches. The convertible sedan was dropped but a new five seat club coupe was added to the range.

A fine plated border to the two-part grille appeared for 1941 together with small combined parking and direction lamps which were now mounted on top of the front fenders. The 1942 season was cut short in February by world events but styling of that years Zephyr was considerably changed by squaring up the fenders, fitting a heavier grille and enlarging the engine, yet again to 305 cubic inches. When production resumed for 1946, the engine reverted to 292 cubic inches in size while the appearance was changed by the adoption of a rather Cadillac-esque grille. The Zephyr name was dropped, the range being simply Lincoln. Identifying 1947 and 1948 cars is simple since they had Lincoln script on the side of the hood in place of the previous plated strip and the return to pull-out type exterior door handles. Production of the erstwhile Zephyr terminated in January 1948 in anticipation of the significantly different 1949 cars.

As the first Lincoln Zephyr was such an eye-catching design, contemporary toy makers inevitably featured them in their product line. A few toys were even based on the prototype Doodlebug and in some cases were subsequently turned into actual early Zephyrs, the diecast Tootsietoy for example. Their actual Zephyr initially came as a four door sedan or as a wrecker with a crude crane mounted at the rear. Hubley produced cast iron Doodlebugs and Zephyrs during the later 1930s while another US name from the past, Erie offered two sizes of toy four door Zephyrs.   in New Zealand began their range of sandcast aluminium toys with a four door Zephyr in 1944, although it was the shortest lived of their range lasting just one year.

Kingsbury made pressed steel toys and included a two door Zephyr that came with a caravan although the distinctive fenders on the real car were simplified beyond recognition. The only modern day 1936 miniature Zephyr so far recorded came from the National Motor Museum Mint Range, and was a 1:32 four door sedan with opening hood and front doors that reveal some basic plastic interior and engine detail. The model sits rather low on a chassis that features extremely low profile white wall tyres and incorrect longitudinal springs rather than transverse.

Moving to 1937, just two examples have been recorded to date, a toy clockwork plastic bodied four door sedan was offered by Wells Brimtoy, steered by a lever below the grille. Unfortunately the tinplate base doesn’t shrink with age to keep pace with the body, the latter having lost over 8mm on the example to hand. At the other end of the extreme, a superb 1:18 model of the new for 1937 Zephyr Coupe from Ertl Precision 100 made its appearance in 2002 and despite the passing of nearly 12 years, its quality and accuracy has still been equalled by very few models. In fact the days when the Chinese made models to this quality and detail, at a price one could afford have gone and will probably not return. Everything opens that should, even the vent in front of the windscreen. The spare wheel tilts in the trunk behind which is a tool roll full of tools and there is even a key in the ignition! Contemporary model reviewers were ecstatic but forecast even then that such quality could not be continued.

The Arcade cast iron 1938 Zephyr four door sedan must be among their final toys as production ceased with World War Two and it’s price today reflects this. The next miniature 1938 Zephyr didn’t arrive until 1989 when Durham Classics created just 200 handbuilt models of the three passenger coupe for the Toronto Toy Show. This subsequently became a regular model and was eventually reworked to produce models of the convertible coupe. Detail on these is rather limited, even inside the re-worked convertible. Next along came Matchbox with another convertible coupe in the Great Marques sub-series of their Models of Yesteryear range. Unlike the Durham these are diecast, the plastic interior offering more detail that featured variations in the painted detail applied in subsequent issues. The most pleasing model 1938 came from Brooklin in 2004, their cannon smoke metallic painted four door sedan comes up to their well-established standard of accuracy and finish, and of course being a sedan made a welcome change from all the recent more ‘exotic’ convertibles that latter day model makers seem to prefer. Not only has there been a kiddies pedal car by Steelcraft based on a 1938 Zephyr, but Hallmark produced some die cast miniatures of it.

Models of cars from the Tin Tin stories have offered some interesting subjects, another 1938 Zephyr convertible coupe was featured in the Seven Crystal Balls story as the car of Captain Haddock, and while not pretending to be a scale model the Atlas Editions miniature has much appeal. Moving on to 1939 and we have to thank the Yatming range from China for a pair of very nice convertible coupes. To stand alongside the superb Precision 100 1937 there is the Road Signature 1:18 scale model, obviously less expensive than the Ertl and with less fine detail but very nice nonetheless. It came with a choice of top up, or a cover for the top when down, whilst a range called Fairfield Mint had them produced in a different colour and re-packaged. Obviously employing the same background work, this big model has a little brother in the shape of a 1:32 scale version of the same subject, available with the top up or with the top down. Commendably this boasts all opening parts and steerable front wheels.

Another 1939 Zephyr model has been recorded under the Marty Martino label but the author has never seen one. These are said to be highly detailed aluminium 1:6 scale models, and sound intriguing. 1940 Zephyrs received a plated surround to the twin grilles, and as such theDinky example falls into this category. This was probably the first toy car I received back in the 1940s, a claim that will be familiar with many other current and long since abandoned “collectors”. This depicted the rakish three passenger coupe and must have inspired many young enthusiasts to become life-long admirers of cars in general, and the more stylish in particular. Many years ago the opportunity was taken to acquire what was advertised as the prototype of the Buccaneer model Zephyr and this turned out to be the Dinky body together with a base plate built up in brass inscribed simply “Buccaneer 1937 Lincoln Zephyr”. If the body was intended to be substantially modified at the front to create a ’37 was not known, but illustrations of an actual Buccaneer model show the Dinky 1940 details plain and simple.

A range that enjoys the title Essence of the Car depicts well known motoring subjects as a simple but recognisable solid shape, one of these represents a Zephyr, the exact identity of which is probably not intended but appears closer to a 1941 three passenger coupe than any other. New for 1940 were the sealed beam headlights which were still enclosed behind the teardrop shaped rims but for 1941 the headlight outline was now circular and vertical rather than smoothed into the curve of the front fender. Styling got a significant change for the short lived 1942 season with the rather heavy looking full width sub-grille surmounted by a shallow vertical section. A 1:25 scale resin kit for a two door coupe version was produced in the US byGuy Cantwell in the 1980s while just twenty examples of a slush cast miniature of the same subject were made by Steve Lovan of St. Louis. The latter were illustrated in MAR 76.

A contemporary toy of the 1946 Lincoln came from the Auburn Rubber company in the US, depicting the convertible coupe in open form. Of chunky and robust build they were claimed to be soft and non-damaging to furniture etc., however with age they will now be quite hard. Some examples featured round headlights while for some reason others had rectangular shaped lights. Another very early toy 1946 Convertible Coupe came from Mercury in Italy, and while the Auburn’s rubber content hardens with age, the Mercury diecast material simply disintegrates and the delicate windscreen and side window frames will be lucky to have survived. Much later, and hopefully more resistant to time, are the trio of handbuilt 1948s from now defunct and much missed Western Models in the UK who offered four door sedan, club coupe and convertible versions. Despite the technology of their white metal model cars going back to the days of chunky plated parts and bright strips being created by simply scraping the paint away, they do have undeniable appeal. It appears that they have re-located to Israel and now concentrate on aircraft models.

Photographs below include:

1. Matchbox 1:43 diecast from UK: YY64, 1938 Convertible

1_Matchbox_YY64_1938_Convertible.jpg

2. Tootsie diecast from USA: 6015, 1936 Four Door Sedan.

2_Tootsie_Toy_Lincoln_1936_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

3. Unknown tinplate from USA: Prototype.

3_Lincoln_Zephyr_prototype.jpg

4. Erie 1:37 diecast from USA: 1936 Four Door Sedan.

4_Erie_1937_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

5. Wells Brimtoy 1:34 plastic/tin from UK: 9/43, 1937 Four Door Sedan with clockwork motor and shrunken plastic body.

5_Wells_Brimtoy_37_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

6. Erie 1:58 diecast from USA: 1936 Four Door Sedan.

6__Erie_1936_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

7. Signature 1:19 diecast from China: 102, 1939 Convertible shown with top fitted.

7_Signature_102_1939_Convertible.jpg

8. Dinky 1:50 diecast from UK: 39c, 1940 Coupe.

8_Dinky_39c_1940_Coupe.jpg

9. Matchbox 1:43 diecast from UK: YY64 1938 Convertible rear.

9__Matchbox_YY64_1938_Convertible_rear..jpg

10. Brooklin 1:42 handbuilt from UK: 106, 1938 Four Door Sedan.

10_Brooklin_106_1938_Four_Door_Sedan..jpg

11. Steelcraft 1:5 pedal car from USA: 1938 Convertible in front of a real ’37.

11_Steelcast_Licoln_Zephyr_Pedal_Car.jpg

12. Western 1:43 handbuilt from UK : 83, 1948 Four Door Sedan.

12_Western_Lincoln_1948_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

13. Auburn 1:46 rubber from USA: A17, 1946 Convertible.

13_Auburn_rubber_from_USA_A17_1946_Convertible..jpg

14. Mercury 1:43 diecast from Italy: 5, 1946 Convertible, showing part of the windscreen frame missing.

14_Mercury_1946_Convertible.jpg

15. Ertl/Precision 100 1:17 diecast from China: 32890 1937 Coupe

15_Ertl_Precision_100_1937_Coupe.jpg

16. Nation Motor Museum Mint 1:31 diecast from China: 23600 1936 Four Door Sedan

16_NMMM_1936_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

17. Signature 1:34 diecast from China: 32333 1939 Convertible

17_Signature_32333_1939_Convertible.jpg

18. Western 1:42 handbuilt from UK: 105 1948 Club Coupe

18_Western_105_1948_Club_Coupe.jpg

19. Western 1:42 handbuilt from UK: 83 1948 Four Door Sedan

19_Western_83_1948_Four_Door_Sedan.jpg

20. Western 1:42 handbuilt from UK: 109 1948 Convertible

20_Western_109_1948_Convertible.jpg

21. Durham Classics 1:44 handbuilt from Canada: 4, 1938 Coupe, CTCA first issue.

21_Durham_Classics_1938_Coupe_CTCA_first_issue..jpg

22. Auburn 1:46 rubber from USA: A17 1946 Convertible

22_Auburn_rubber_A17_1946_Convertible.jpg

23. Atlas Editions 1:48 diecast from China: 12, 1938 Convertible from the Tin Tin Collection.

23_Atlas_Editions_12_1938_Convertible.jpg

24. Buccaneer 1:50 kit prototype from UK: 1940 Coupe, Dinky Toy body fitted with brass base for the kit

24_Buccaneer_prototype_base_in_Dinky_Toy_body.jpg

 


Lincoln Zephyr

Fun Ho NZ 1944-45 108 Four Door Sedan 180mm 1:29 Sandcast Aluminium
NMMM China 2006 23600 Four Door Sedan 165mm 1:31 Diecast/Plastic
Erie USA 1930s Four Door Sedan 140mm 1:37 Diecast
Erie USA 1930s Four Door Sedan 88mm 1:58 Diecast
Tootsie USA 1937-8 6016 Four Door Sedan Tow Truck Diecast
Tootsie USA 1937-9 6015 Four Door Sedan Diecast
Hubley USA 1937 Two Door Sedan 150mm 1:34 Diecast
Kingsbury USA 1939 Two Door Sedan Steel

1937 Models

Brimtoy UK 1949 9/43 Four Door Sedan clockwork 152mm 1:34 Plastic and tin
Ertl/Precision 100 China 2002 32890 Coupe 295mm 1:17 Diecast/Plastic
Autoworld China 205 Cuoupe – Pepsi Cola livery 295mm 1:17 Diecast/Plastic

1938 Models

Arcade USA 1930s /40s Four Door Sedan 216mm 1:24 Cast Iron
Arcade USA 1930s/40s 1590 Four Door Sedan Yellow Cab 216mm 1:24 Cast Iron
Matchbox UK 1992-6 YY64 Convertible 123mm 1:43 Diecast/Plastic
Durham Classics Canada 1989 4 Coupe 120mm 1:44 Metal
Durham Classics Canada 1991 8 Convertible Closed 120mm 1:44 Metal
Durham Classics Canada 1991 9 Convertible Open 120mm 1:44 Metal
Atlas Editions France 2002 12 Convertible “Tin Tin” 110mm 1:48 Diecast
Brooklin UK 2004 106 Four Doord Sedan 127mm 1:42 metal
Steelcraft USA Pedal Car 40 inches 1:5 Steel
Hallmark China Pedal Car 102mm 1:9 Diecast

1939 Models

Marty Martino USA Coupe 1:6 Aluminium
Yatming China 2004 102 Convertible Signature 282mm 1:19 Diecast/Plastic
Fairfield China Convertible as above repacked 282mm 1:19 Diecast/Plastic
Yatming China 2008 32333 Convertible Signature 156mm 1:34 Diecast/Plastic

1940 Models

Hubley USA 2237 Cast Iron
Dinky UK 1939-50 9c Coupe 106mm 1:50 Diecast
Buccanner UK Coupe Repro of Dinky 106mm 1:50 Diecast

1942 Models

Cantwell USA 1980s Coupe 1:25 Resin Kit
St Louis USA 1992 Coupe 1:43 Slushcast

1946 Models

Mercury Italy 1950 5 Convertible 126mm 1:43 Diecast
Auburn USA 1950s A17 Convertible 119mm 1:46 Rubber

1948 Models

Western UK 1990s 83 Four Door Sedan 131mm 1:42 Metal
Western UK 2000 105 Club Coupe 131mm 1:42 Metal
Western UK 2000 109 Convertible 131mm 1:42 Metal

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Ford in Miniature – The last years of the Model T

1926 to 1927

By Dave Turner

Despite the inevitability that its time was running out, for 1926 Ford did a significant update of their venerable T. Overall, the many changes resulted in an increase in the car’s weight, necessitating bigger brakes, but using the same old engine had a negative effect on the cars performance.

All but the Fordor got a longer hood, but all shared a multi-louvred pattern on the hood sides – one of the certain ways of identifying 1926-27 Model Ts. Closed cars got plated radiators whilst open cars got a driver’s door. Wire wheels first became optional, and then standard, whilst fenders got wider and the chassis was lowered by 1.5 inches. The fuel tank was re-located under the cowl, although the Fordor retained it under the seat. The Coupe and Tudor got a one-piece windscreen while the deck of the Coupe was now integral with the body. Another notable visual feature was the almost flat hood/cowl line on open cars, although the closed bodies continued with a curved up cowl.

The popularity of the Model T continued and 1.5 million were made during 1926 and cars made in the following year continued with very little change. In order to re-equip plants for the forthcoming new Model A, production of the Model T was finished on May 26th 1927. At this time Ford had no less than 60 US plants and a further 28 overseas. Model T type engines continued to be produced until 1941.

Sometimes regarded as the most attractive of all the Model Ts, there have been very few miniatures of these latter day examples.

Banthrico are well-known for producing a huge variety of metal ‘banks’ some of which depict vehicles, and Model T Fordor Sedans in particular. Over many years they made several variations on this theme, the earlier versions having the distinctive hood side pattern of pre-1926 Ts whilst at least one not only had the multi louvre hood side but also the entire vehicle was made (incorrectly) squatter, having ‘1926’ cast into the rear licence plate.

AMT offered numerous issues of the 1927 T in their plastic 1:25 kit range, some of which produced Custom/Hot Rod creations. Early kits came as Roadsters but later issues came as Touring, subsequently re-titled Phaeton. Each were simple to make and can result in attractive models of the stock Model T while the provision of plenty of engine detail can be revealed by lifting off the detachable hood. Custom types as usual are left to those who understand such things to describe elsewhere.

National Motor Museum Mint have produced many Model Ts. On some models they have mixed up the dating features, at least one of their Fordors is listed as a 1926 but depicts the pre-1926 hood sides. However, a 1:32 Touring is correct for the 1927 in its licence plates and despite the rather overscale MotorMeter on the hood these are quite attractive and feature four opening doors, and correctly hinged hood, beneath which is a reasonably well-detailed engine.


Ford Model T 1926-27

Maker Origin Date Model # Variant Length Scale Material
Banthrico USA 1970s 438 1926 Fordor Sedan 140mm 1:24 Metal Bank
AMT USA 1960 127 1927 Roadster 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA T426 1927 Touring 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 2522 1927 Touring 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1967 2527 1927 Touring 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1985 6582 1927 Phaeton 148mm 1:25 Plastic Kit
National Model Museum Mint China 2005 5520 1927 Touring 115mm 1:33 Diecast/Plastic

Photographs – 1926-27 Ford Model T

These models can be seen below.

1) AMT 1:25 plastic kit from USA: 6582 1927 Phaeton showing multi-louvred hood side, driver’s door, wire wheels – all 1926/7 Model T features.
2) AMT, ¾ front view.
3) AMT, showing the almost flat hood/cowl – a feature for open Ts 1926/7.
4) NMMM 1:33 diecast/plastic from China: 5520 1927 Touring, the running board plates were a contemporary option more associated with more exotic vehicles than humble Model Ts.
5) NMMM rear ¾ view.
6) Banthrico 1:24 metal bank from USA: 438, 1926 Fordor sedan

 

1) AMT Ford Model T 1926-27

2) AMT Ford Model T 1926-27

3) AMT Ford Model T 1926-27

4) NMMM Ford Model T 1927

5) NMMM Ford Model T 1927

6) Banthrico Ford Model T 1926


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Ford in Miniature – The Courier

‘A Perfect Combination of Distinction and Utility’

By Dave Turner

The Courier badge first came into the Ford lexicon when it was applied to the sedan delivery version of the base level two door Ranch Wagon for 1952. Although it had last appeared in 1947, Ford had featured the sedan delivery in their range of light commercials since 1932. A sedan delivery basically consisted of the passenger car front end, with the rear section adapted to carry goods. This was a development of what Ford called the Town Delivery and the concept goes right back to light commercial variants of the Model T.

As before, the sedan delivery, now called the Courier, followed the styling of the contemporary passenger cars from 1952 until 1960, then after a nine year gap the name was applied to a slightly Americanised version of the popular Mazda B pickup and this continued until 1982, when Ford replaced it with the Ranger for 1983. Seven years later the name re-appeared, this time in Europe applied to a high-cube and long wheelbase version of the little Fiesta van until 2002, when it was replaced by the Transit Connect.

In the meantime Ford in Brazil used the Courier name on what at first appears to be a much more altered Fiesta variant. Based on the local Ford Ikon, it was a pickup, which ceased production in 2013. At the same time Ford announced a new Transit Courier for 2013 so the story continues. I hope more models of this new version of the Transit will appear than there have been of the Connect; hardly any have appeared. Arguably Ford’s old strapline could be justified for their Courier in all its various forms. Having said that, models of Couriers are few and far between, and even then some of them are relatively obscure in their origin.

The new for 1952 Fords had a 115 inch wheelbase, an inch longer than the 1949-51 series, for which there was no sedan delivery variant. The new Courier mirrored the two-door Ranch Wagon in most respects; no passenger seats, blank side panels and a side-opening rear door were the main differences. Engines were the ohv inline 215 cubic inch six or sv 239 cubic inch V8. These continued with the 1953 version, along with all the same trim changes that the passenger cars received. Again for 1954 the same changes were made all across the Ford line, including the new ohv 239 cubic inch V8 while the six was slightly enlarged to 223 cubic inch.

Durham Classics produced white metal models of both the 1954 Ranch Wagon and the Courier, the latter in numerous liveries. Closer to 1:42 scale, with wheels that are a few inches over scale, these handbuilts were of typical early 1990s technology, nicely finished but with modest detail.

1955 Fords were re-styled to look longer, lower and wider, featuring those extreme wraparound windscreens, while the engines were the old six or a V8 now enlarged to 272 cubic inch. The Courier was based on the cheapest Ranch Wagon, but again it had a side-opening rear door, rather than the split type on wagons. Even so when Bandai produced their big tin 1955 Courier they utilised the lift up and drop down split tailgate that they employed on their Ranch Wagon version. These tin toys are now regarded as among the rarest of their ilk. The two that are most often seen feature designs for flowers and coffee on their side panels. The following year’s Courier adopted the same trim changes as the car line, but for 1957 a completely new car featured another inch longer wheelbase, generally wider and at the same time lower. Now the rear door became a one-piece lift-up tailgate, while optional side windows meant that 1957 Couriers fitted with them were almost a two-door Ranch Wagon without the passenger seats.

The Japanese Collectoy range of diecasts was imported into the USA by Marx and given the name LineMar. A 1:57 scale 1957 Courier was included in this range, with flywheel drive and solid side panels. Somewhat larger is a 1:28 diecast from China sold in the USA under the Spec-Cast and Liberty names. It is a bank with coin slot in the back window and trapdoor under the rear. Even bigger is the 1:18 scale 1957 from Yatming under the Road Legends banner, complete with opening hood and doors, ribbed rear floor, and full length side flash, plus dual colours from the high level 1957 cars. From All American Models in the mid 1990s came a 1:25 resin transkit to be used in conjunction with a contemporary plastic kit to produce a 1957 Courier.

Engine choices remained the same for 1958 with the addition of the option of a 352 cubic inch V8, the Courier being restyled along with the passenger car range. For 1959 the Courier, again styled alongside the passenger range, adopted the same two-piece tailgate as the wagon. The last year for the Ranch Wagon based Courier was 1960, when it grew yet again with a 119 inch wheelbase and an overall length only a couple of inches short of 18 feet. Despite the Courier now being made exclusively with side windows, the two models I have seen so far both have blank solid sides. The smaller of these came from Hubley in their Real Toys diecast range, the base of which is inscribed Country Squire Sedan. By contrast, the big tin toy from Asahi is even harder to find than the Bandai 1955 Courier. An example of the Asahi is known to feature the same Coffee signage as the Bandai 1955.

By the early 1970s, Ford were aware that a demand existed in the US for a slightly lighter and less rugged pickup than the traditional hefty workhorse produced by the US motor industry. This was becoming obvious due to the increasing numbers of Japanese-sourced small pickups on the US roads. To adapt a well-used phrase, Ford joined rather than beat them, adopting the small Mazda pickup into their range. Mazda’s B1500 pickup goes back to 1961, with a second-generation version arriving in 1965. For this version Ford created a grille that resembled that of their beefy F Series, with single instead of quad headlights, and they had their own mini-pickup, reviving the Courier name in the process. These vehicles proved extremely successful; their popularity assisting Mazda in no small way to survive a very delicate financial period that they were experiencing at the time.

The first series of Mazda-based Couriers employed a 1800cc four-cylinder engine. They came into the USA as chassis-cabs to avoid what had been dubbed the chicken tax. The pickup box was added in the USA. Rolling chassis-cabs could be fitted with a variety of aftermarket bodies. So far no model of the initial Courier has surfaced, althoughCorgi offered a 1:38 scale diecast model of the second-generation Mazda B1600, which was subsequently copied by Playart.

A third generation of Mazda B-Series pickups was produced between 1977 and 1985, which became the second generation Ford Courier, available in a choice of two wheelbases and with a 2.3 litre engine option. In 1980 Matchbox offered the 1977 version (1978 onwards had parking lights in the grille) complete with a plastic ‘piggy-back’ camper body, in reality this was a feature more usually seen on the bigger F Series pickups than on the little Courier. A miniscule FORD badge can just be made out on the grille, and the licence plates read COU 113 a hint that this represents the longer Courier with a 113 inch wheelbase. We can’t leave AMT out; they offered several plastic kit variations of much-modified 1978 Couriers in the late 1970s with a mid 1990s re-issue. Revell also produced a plastic kit of the 1978 model, and like most of the AMTs it depicted a severely modified vehicle.

A van version of Ford’s little Fiesta had been in production for many years by 1991, but by extending the wheelbase by ten inches to 106 inches and adapting the front end onto a high-cube box-shaped van, the next Courier was created. Putting windows in the sides and a row of seats behind the driver created the Courier Kombi. Using a 1.3 petrol or 1.8 diesel engine it got the same updates as the corresponding Fiesta; the oval grille for 1996 and the next new-look front end three years later. It was replaced by the new Transit Connect in 2002, and that eventually morphed into the next Courier 11 years later.

Matchbox issued 1:57 scale diecast models of both the Courier van and Courier Kombi in 1992.

Maker Origin Released Model Code Year of Prototype Style and Size Scale Material
Durham Classics Canada 1991 7 1954 Various Liveries 119mm 1:42 Metal
Bandai Japan 343 1955 12″ 1:16 Tin
Line Mar Japan 1957 91mm 1:57 Diecast

Flywheel

Liberty/SpecCast China 1995 58002 1957 185mm 1:28 Diecast

Bank

Yatming China 92209 1957 Road Legends

285mm

1:18 Diecast
All American Models USA 1996 1957 1:25 Resin

Transkit

Asahi Japan 1960 12″ 1:18 Tin
Hubley USA 551 1960 No Side Windows 90mm 1:60 Diecast
Matchbox UK 1980 38 1977 LWB Camper

74mm

1:67 Diecast

/Plastic

AMT USA 1995 6690 1978 Stepside Pick Up 1:25 Plastic Kit
Matchbox China 1992 198 1991 High-Cube Van

75mm

1:54 Diecast
Matchbox China 1992 199 1991 Courier Kombi 1:54 Diecast

 

2) LineMar Ford Courier 1957
3) Liberty Bank Ford Courier
4) Road Legends Ford Courier 1957
5) Hubley Ford Courier
6) Matchbox Ford Courier Kombi
7) AMT Ford Courier Kit
8) Matchbox Ford Courier
9) Matchbox Camper on Ford Courier
10) Mazda Courier B100
Classic Metal Works Ford Courier 1953
Classic Metal Works Ford Courier 1953

 


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Ford in Miniature 1933-34 Trucks

1933-34 Ford Trucks

by Dave Turner

Dave Turner continues his exploration of Ford Vehicles in Miniature with details of the range of models available of 1933-34 Ford Trucks in a variety of scales and materials. This feature continues after the gallery.

The fabled side-valve V8 engine entered Ford history in 1932 and became extremely popular for use in both cars and commercial vehicles. Up to that time Ford styling for both cars and trucks had followed the same lines but when the new for 1933 Ford cars got a new modern rakish theme, the truck line continued the 1932 style, albeit with some subtle changes. Most noticeable was the gently raked-back grille that on its own gave the trucks a more modern appearance than the previous bolt-upright stance of 1932 models.

The smaller of the two ranges of Ford trucks for 1933 was perhaps confusingly called the ½ Ton Commercial Car, its wheelbase extended six inches to 112 inches from the previous year, which placed the rear axle significantly further back beneath the body. Alternatively the 1½ Ton BB range was adapted for everything else. It came on two additional chassis length of 131½ inches or 157 inches, while many applications such as buses had further chassis extensions.

Still in use were the 200 cubic inch four-cylinder and 221 cubic inch V8 engines, although the four was phased out for trucks during 1934. Examples of 1934 trucks can be easily identified by the Ford oval on the hood sides, the fine bright surround in the grille and the additional strengthening pressing on the rear of the cab just below the back window.

An interesting variety of models has been found, and as is often the case, AMT starts off the summary, their 1:25 plastic kits of 1934 pickups go back to 1962 continuing through numerous re-issues into the late ‘70s and then being re-issued twenty years later by Lindberg. Inevitably they were popular as a basis on which to construct the various resin transkits that US modellers favoured for many years, such as the half-ton panel van from All American Modelsin 1994.

Going back to the 1930s, the huge range of Arcade cast iron toys is said to include at least two 1934 Ford trucks, a pickup and a car carrier, but the very nature of many of these toys makes exact identification a matter of guesswork until an example is seen in the flesh. The US 0-gauge model railroad scene sometimes offers up some interesting vehicles, and among its specialist suppliers, Berkshire Valley included some metal and resin kits of 1934 pickups and stake-bed trucks in their range. These are 1:48 scale, and have been available for around 20 years and continue to be advertised on the internet.

While the majority of the more recent models of 1933-34 Ford trucks have come from the Tins Toys 1:43 and 1:24 range. Other names applied to them tend to add confusion as far as accurate recording is concerned. For example the 1:43 157 inch trucks can come with theUnique Replicas logo under the left-side cab step, or adapted with a pull-back motor on the rear axle, on the casing of which is the ‘Tins Toys’ logo, and featuring slightly less detail in their finish. They usually, but not always, lack exterior mirrors. In all cases seen so far the cab doors and the hood sides open, the latter revealing a reasonable likeness of the flat-head V8. While they are only claimed to be inexpensive toys they are excellent models with quite a decent amount of detail. They have a diecast cab with the various bodies in plastic, often with interesting loads although the tanker, dairy truck and tow truck feature more metal than the others. Inevitably the grille surround is un-prototypically plated in most cases reflecting their toy intentions.

The larger 1:24 versions sometimes feature Crown Premiums cast under the cab step while others have the SpecCast logo stamp. Too good to be toys, they are scaled up from the 1:43 versions and are in fact banks with a hidden coin slot and a release lever hidden within the spare wheel. The tow truck decals are identical on both sizes of model, down to the drivers name ‘Bob’ on the doors. The larger versions do have some extra detail but again the grille surrounds are plated, and the opening doors are still rather untidy.

During the 1990s Hobbycar of Lausanne Switzerland issued a whole diecast fleet of early 1930s Ford cars and small commercials in 1:43 under the Eligor banner. While the cars were all 1932, the trucks also came as 1932 as well as 1933-34 vehicles despite the base of all those seen being marked 1932. Many leaflets were issued of the models, some exclusively Ford, and these listed the 1932 trucks correctly, but the rest seemed to be given 1933 or 1934 dates at random. In fact none were 1934 vehicles, as they omitted the hood-side emblem as well as the cab rear feature. The number of liveries employed on all of these is both endless and unknown, but there are a few in the appropriate Ford uniform.

Jordan’s Highway Miniatures range of intricate 1:87 plastic kits includes a 1934 21-seater bus that takes a degree in watchmaking to assemble satisfactorily, but it makes for an unusual entry to the subject. Yatming produce various scales of model vehicles which come under various names, for example a nice 1934 Pickup in 1:43 scale is marked Road Signature and apart from some rather silly custom wheels and modern tail-indicator lights it represents a stock pickup. It lacks any Ford or V8 badges, but features the 1934 cab back panel. It was also sold in the USA as part of the K-Line model railroad range. The same thing in 1:18 scale is marked Road Legends and this features the same rear lights but more realistic wire wheels, albeit two inches too small, plus the correct for 1934 Ford V8 badges on the hood sides, and a towing frame mounted in the pickup box.

The National Motor Museum Mint issued many models from many makers. Three of the Tins Toys 1:43 1934 Fords, tow truck, tanker and stakeside, have been sold under the NMMM banner as well as the 1:43 Yatming pickup. A couple of additional 1934 trucks in 1:32 scale from NMMM have only their own name under the base. What they called a ‘Fence Truck’ was meant as a stakeside but looked more like a flatbed with a fence around it. The other was a flatbed with some loose chains. Both came on the same cab-chassis casting, the wheelbase of which was, unfortunately six inches too short, the 1932 pattern in fact, resulting in rather strange overall proportions.

US H0-gauge railroad accessories again and Wheel Works offer a huge range of Ford miniatures in white metal kit form. The parent company is called Micro Engineering, and that is what is required here. Low melt solder is by far the neatest method of construction but a moment’s lack of concentration can easily render the whole thing defunct; the steering and suspension are all in separate castings!

At the other end of the extreme, the ‘Let’s Get Small’ range of 1:8 scale resin kits by the late George Zurowsky included a 1934 Ford pickup, but whether it was ever made is uncertain.

1933

Eligor France 1990’s 1059 Pick Up “wood” box 105mm 1:43 Diecast
Eligor France 1990’s 1069 Pick Up “wood” box covered 109mm 1:43 Diecast
Eligor France 1990’s 1070 Panel Van 108mm 1:43 Diecast
Eligor France 1990’s 1080 Pick Up step side 1:43 Diecast
Eligor France 1990’s 1087 Tow Truck 1:43 Diecast
Eligor France 1990’s 1089 Tanker 1:43 Diecast

1934

AMT USA 1962 T143 Pick Up/Tow Truck 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1962 T134 Pick Up 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1962 2134 Pick Up 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1966 2334 Pick Up/Tow Truck 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1968 T233 Pick Up “Hillbilly Hauler” 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1969 T314 Pick Up/Stake Bed 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1967 3204 Pick Up 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1974 T145 Pick Up 1:25 Plastic Kit
AMT USA 1977 T234 Pick Up/Stake Bed 1:25 Plastic Kit
All American Models USA 1994 Half Ton Panel Van 1:25 Resin Transkit
Lindberg USA 1992 72155 Pick Up (AMT) 1:25 Plastic Kit
Lindberg USA 1993 72157 Pick Up/Tow Truck/Stakeside 1:25 Plastic Kit
Arcade USA 1930s Pick Up Cast Iron
Arcade USA 1930s Car Carrier Cast Iron
Berkshire Valley USA 1990s 200 Pick Up 1:48 Metal/Resin Kit
Berkshire Valley USA 1990s 201 Stake Bed 1:48 Metal/Resin Kit
Berkshire Valley USA 1990s 202 Stake Bed Long 1:48 Metal/Resin Kit
Tins Toys China 2004 157″ Tipper 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 T4 157″ Box Van 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 T7 157″ Flatbed 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 T8 157″ Refrigerator Van 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 18356 157″ Dairy Truck 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 18903 157″ Stakeside 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 18902 157″ Towtruck 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 157″ Tanker 1:43 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 157″ Stakeside 1:24 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 157″ Towtruck 1:24 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 157″ Tanker 1:24 Diecast
Tins Toys China 2004 157″ Flatbed 1:24 Diecast
Jordan USA 229 Bus 1:87 Plastic Kit
NMMM China 2000 F34FTR “Fence” Truck  145mm 1:32 Diecast
NMMM China Flatbed  160mm 1:32 Diecast
Yatming China 2000 94232 Pick Up “Road Signature”  104mm 1:43 Diecast
Yatming China 2000 92257 Pick Up “Road Legend”  250mm 1:18 Diecast
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 101 Pick Up 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 102 Panel Truck 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 103 Stake Truck 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 108 Chassis Cab 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 109 Stake Truck Short 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 112 Tandem Log Truck 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 113 Rail Wheel Truck 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 114 Express Truck 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 117 Service Truck 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 127 Flatbed 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 128 Flatbed with Trailer 1:87 Metal Kit
Wheelworks USA 1980’s 129 Dump Truck 1:87 Metal Kit