Atlas Dinky France – DAF & Opel

By Maz Woolley


Models from the French” Dinky™ Toys de mon enfance, la saga des ouvrants” series continue to be found on eBay from vendors in China and Hong Kong. Two purchased recently are featured in this article.

508 DAF

This model of the DAF 33 comes in a small box little bigger than later Matchbox ones. Opening doors,, a driver figure, jewelled headights, and suspension are all featured. The original Dinky was made between 1966 and 1971 in beige, bronze and red. Atlas has chosen to have it made in red.


The paint is stretched over ridges and there is a paint fault on the roof of my mode suggesting that this was probably a factory reject. That aside this is a nice model full of period charm.

513 Opel Admiral


Dinky France were fond of producing Opel models perhaps because they were very popular in Eastern France. The Admiral A series was introduced in 1964 and was the one of the larger cars in the Opel range along with the Kapitan and the Diplomat. All shared the same body shell with different levels of trim.   Initially only offered with a six cylinder engine the Admiral was later available with the Chevrolet V8  used in the top of the range Diplomat. The Dinky model was issued in 1966 and was withdrawn in 1969 a year after the real car was replaced.


The Dinky model was available in metallic blue and metallic red and Atlas have chosen to have it made in red. Again the paint is a little thin over panel joints but it is a good red metallic finish with well masked chrome grille, bumpers and lights. The bonnet opens to reveal a mask painted engine, and the boot opens to hold the three small plastic cases supplied with the model.


Like the DAF the interior is moulded white plastic but in this case there is no driver. All in all it is  very nice re-creation of a good model for the late 1960s.

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News from the Continent June/July 16 – M4 Modelcars

By Hans-Georg Schmitt


The following releases are all expected in July 2016. All the models listed are diecast to 1:43 scale in Italy unless otherwise stated.


ART Models

18602 ART343 18603 ART343bART343 Ferrari 857 S

Grand Prix of Cuba 1957 – A. De Portago #12 – Chassis No. #0584

18604 ART344 18605 ART344b

ART344 Ferrari 500 Mondial

Palm Springs 1955 – B.Kessier #7 – Chassis No. #0448 (Made from Resin)

BEST Models

18606 BEST9625 18607 BEST9625b

BEST9625 Ferrari 330 GTC

This is based upon a car owned by the Italian film star Marcello Mastroianni

18608 BEST9626 18609 BEST9626b

BEST9626 Jaguar E-Type Coupe

This now appears in light green metallic paint

18610 BEST9627 18611 BEST9627b

BEST9627 Porsche 908/03

Nurburgring Interserie 1972 –R.Jost #41

18612 BEST9010_2 18613 BEST9010_2b

BEST99010/2 Ferrari 250 LM

Le Mans 1965 – Dumay/Gosselin #26

RIO Models

18614 RIO4500 18615 RIO4500b

RIO4500 Fiat 238

Knorr delivery van 1974

18616 RIO4501 18617 RIO4501b

RIO4501 Citroen DS21

Rally Monte Carlo 1970, drivers Salomon and Saintigny #62

18618 RIO4502 18619 RIO4502b

RIO4502 Volkswagen Beetle

German Lufthansa staff car 1957

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News from the Continent – Conrad Summer 2016

By Hans-Georg Schmitt


These are special models announced by Conrad and expected over the summer months. All are diecast to 1:50 scale unless otherwise stated.

18704 Conrad 2946_02_Liebherr_A920_2016-Bieber

2946/02 Liebherr A 920

Hydraulic excavator with bucket and grader blade in the livery of Georg Bieber

18705 Conrad 2107-06 TEREX AC100-4L_MERKEL_web

2107/06 Terex AC100/4L

Telescopic crane in Merkel livery.

18706 Conrad 2941_02_Liebherr_R9100_

2941/02 Liebherr R9100

Tracked excavator with Bucket

18707 Conrad 75156-98004 MAN TGS Abrollcontainer und Tieflader_WÖRMANN_web

75156/0-98004 MAN TGS 3-axle Euro 5

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Atlas Motorcycles Series – Bultaco Sherpa

The Atlas Motorcycles series sold in the UK has plastic and metal models to 1:24 scale made in China by Ixo. It is no co-incidence that many of the models appeared first in the Ixo Museum series. The models are generally to a high standard for part works.

Bultaco was a Spanish manufacturer of two-stroke motorcycles from 1958 to 1983 founded by Francesc “Paco” Bultó who had been a director of the Montesa motorcycle company but left to form Bultaco.  Although they made road and road racing motorcycles, the company’s area of dominance was off-road, in motocross, enduros, and observed trials competition.


Perhaps the most famous Bultaco model is the Sherpa T, a trials bike, which revolutionised the sport in the 1960s. At that time trials was almost exclusively a British sport using big heavy four-stroke machines. Irish trials ace Sammy Miller teamed with Bultó to produce a lightweight two-stroke machine which, overnight, rendered the heavy four-strokes obsolete. Miller won the gruelling Scottish Six Days Trial in 1965, and then repeated the feat with wins in 1967 and 1968. He also claimed the European Trials Championship in 1968 and 1970. This coincided with and, perhaps, stimulated the growth in the popularity of trials in Europe and later the USA, which provided a lucrative market for Bultaco in the years to come. Bultaco dominated the World Trials Championship in the 1970s, winning the title eight times, and winning the Scottish Six Days Trial four times.


The Sherpa T as modelled by Ixo for Atlas replaced the Sherpa N in 1965 it had an enlarged 244cc engine. The model is generally good with lots of details such as the protective cover under the engine. However the Cylinder head has a large gap between it and the Cylinder which is a shame because otherwise this is a very good model though it does suffer from the usual, for this series, headlight pointing upwards at a most unrealistic angle.

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Auto Review News

By Rod Ward

The latest two Auto Review titles, now available, are 123 Tiny Wheels and 124 Volvo Album. You can read more about these new publications below.

You can order any Auto Review book direct from us by email, telephone or snail mail (payments by Paypal to – add £1.00 p&p per title UK, £2.00 EU, £3.00 elsewhere. Send mail orders to R & V Ward, 81 Main Street, Monk Fryston, Leeds LS25 5DU (for payments by cheque or via Paypal)
or if you wish to pay by credit card you can order online via Oxford Diecast online at our new link:

Auto Review 123 Tiny Wheels
by Rod Ward

#123 Tiny Wheels

What ‘microcars’ did we include in this publication?

We could argue for hours about this, and many folk have done. Some people define a microcar by size, perhaps three metres (ten feet) in length. But that would include hundreds of ‘proper’ small cars, such as the original Mini and the Fiat 500. Others say the definition should be by engine size, perhaps setting the limit at 500cc. Again this would include the Fiat 500, as well as cars such as the original 325cc Citroën 2CV, not a ‘tiny’ car by any measure. Also not included, though regarded as microcars by some enthusiasts, are most of the early cyclecars, which were light in weight, with small engines, but did not necessarily have a small footprint. In those days it was not a priority to save space on the road, as there were fewer vehicles around. Many of the smallest cars and cyclecars produced by major manufacturers are described in other Auto Review publications, so we decided not to take up too much of our restricted space in these pages with them.

So, what ‘microcars’ are included?

For a car to be included here, we have mostly accepted the designer’s intention; to make a tiny car which is still practical in normal use, ie the designer could have made a larger vehicle, but instead set himself the goal of making a tiny car. Sometimes such small cars were developed to cope with a straitened economy, such as in France under wartime German occupation. Also, after the Second World War in most countries (and much longer in Spain under the Franco regime) buyers could only afford very small, very cheap cars. Sometimes external economic constraints forced buyers to consider tiny cars, such as the various oil crises, which spawned the bubble cars and many other microcars.

Other tiny cars were produced to comply with government regulation, such as the Kei-cars in Japan, and other quadricycles in countries where very small engines required no driving licence.
In more recent years, congestion in cities has led to development of city cars with a small footprint.

Smallness is relative, however, Some compact American cars sold poorly, because they were perceived by buyers as being far too small. Certain of those US cars are described in this publication, though they would not be regarded as ‘microcars’ anywhere else in the world.

Thanks to all who offered text and illustrations for this publication. We must thank our international network of contributors for their valuable input. Special thanks to Fabrizio Panico, Harvey Goranson, Bruno Boracco, Dave Turner, Maz Woolley, Hans-Georg Schmitt, and John Hanson & Peter Seaword of the H-S Transport Collection. Vehicles were photographed at many museums and collections, including the Louwmann Museum, the Lane Museum, the Weiner Microcar Museum (Harv got there on its very last day before the collection was sold), and at the Retromobile and Techno Classica shows from various years.

ISBN 978-1-85482-122-8 £5.95

Auto Review 122 Volvo Album
by Rod Ward

#124 Volvo

Volvo was founded in 1927 in Gothenburg by the Swedish ball bearing manufacturer SKF.

Volvo Cars was owned by AB Volvo until 1999, when it was sold to the Ford Motor Co, who only retained the brand for a decade before selling it to Geely of China in 2010. AB Volvo continued to make its world-renowned trucks, buses and construction equipment, taking over other companies, including White, Mack, UD, Euclid and many more. By the 21st century Volvo was the largest bus manufacturer in the world, with assembly plants in a number of countries.
In this publication we tell the story of the original company, the separation of the car division, and the parallel development of the car and commercial vehicle firms in subsequent decades.

It is a long and complex tale, in which not every individual model can be described in detail here.

The Volvo brand and logo continued to be used under a 50-50 ownership agreement between the Chinese-owned firm which made the cars, and AB Volvo, which made everything else.
The two firms also co-operated in running the Volvo Museum in Arendal, Sweden.

On a personal note, I have only owned a couple of Volvos, both 200-series estate cars, chosen as being suitable for our business in the 1980s. The 245 was robust and reliable, but short on power when heavily loaded and towing a caravan to outdoor shows, so we were persuaded to replace it with a 265. It was more luxurious and powerful, but it was also very unreliable. We had so much trouble persuading the PRV V6 engine to start every morning that we traded in the Volvo 265 for a Range Rover. Sorry, Volvo fans!

ISBN 978-1-85482-123-5 £5.95

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Opel Designer Collection by Eaglemoss

By Hans-Georg Schmitt


This post covers the final four new items made in the Opel Designer Series made to a scale of 1:43. These are diecast by IXO in China. Accompanying each model is a booklet with the story of the designer and the production of the original car with a lot of interesting background information about car making.

The long running Opel Collection finally comes to an end with issue 140.

Opel Admiral B Hans KillmerNr. 137 Herbert Killmer and Opel Admiral B

In bright Spring weather in February 1969 Opel presented their new KAD-Range in Nizza on the Cote Azur in France. The big three; Captain, Admiral and Diplomat; were styled with a more reserved European elegance, but were all on an American scale.

The leader of the “Großwagen-Studio”, Herbert Killmer, and his team produced popular cars with this generation of large Opels. After this success Killmer supervised the Omega A and B before he had to retire due to a serious illness.

The Admiral B appears in a special box with pictures of the desgner. It hasa n authentic shape and has many small parts. As usual for this series it is in metallic silver.  Radiator grille, bumpers and wheel rims are chrome plated.

Opel Vectra A Wayne CherryNr. 138 Wayne Cherry and Opel Vectra A

In 1988 the Vectra was introduced to the Press on the Spanish Jerez de la Frontera, and later in the year to the public at Paris Automobile Salon. The shape of the new mid-market car was created in the OPel Advanced Design Studio, which was lead by Erhard Schnell.

Technical development, relied not only on the experience and creativity of the engineers but also to the Super-Cray, at that time the fastest computer in the world. This lead to a shorter than usual development cycle.

The model is of a facelift version of the Vectra Hatchback. The box shows Chuck Jordan in the background. The model is painted metallic silver metallic and fitted with black interior. A number of small parts are used to make this a well detailed model.

Opel Kadett D Hans SeerNr. 139 Hans Seer and Opel Cadet D

The energy crisis in the years 1972/73 caused a radical shift in thinking within the automobile industry. Customers requested more economical vehicles. Front wheel drive hatchbacks became fashionable. Opel reacted quickly with the Kadett D which was the first Opel car with front wheel drive.

Hans Seer was the first Design Director at Opel who did not come from America. Under his guidance the more European direction for Opel products began.

The model is a five-door hatchback and is an authentic replica. Painted in the series silver paint with an interior moulded in black it is fitted with small parts to add realism and accuracy. The radiator grille, bumpers,and body side mouldings are painted in black. Wheel rims are chrome-plated.

Opel Ascona B 400 Chuck JordanNr. 140 Chuck Jordan and Opel Ascona B 400

This success had many fathers. Charles M. Jordan came to Rüsselsheim in 1967 as successor to design director Clare M. MacKichan. Together with Bob Lutz, he developed new standards for design and organisation. Under his supervision, the successor of the Opel Kadett B was created, but he was ordered back to Detroit before it launched. His successor, David R. Holls, designer of the Cadillac with the highest tail fins ever, followed him. In 1974, Henry Haga became new design director, when Erhard Schnell and his team developed the Ascona B, which itself was developed to a successful rally car. The rally legends Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer became Rally World Champions 1982 in the Ascona.

The Ascona B 400 appears in the box with a photo of Chuck Jordan. The body is painted in silver metallic and fitted with a well detailed black interior. Small parts and printing are used to make this a nicely detailed model.

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Atlas Vehicles of the Volksarmee

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

This subscription series is sold by Atlas in Germany. It covers vehicles used by, and in the livery of, the Nationale Volksarmee (NVA) which was founded in 1956 and disbanded in 1990 after the re-unification of Germany.

18711-7-2016GAZ 69M Soviet Field Car 7 550 109

Looking for suitable field cars for the Peoples Army the GDR authorities not only developed the Horch P2M and P3 but also bought Soviet field cars. The GAZ 69 was introduced  into the National Peoples Army in 1957. From 1967 to 1972, the upgraded version 69M, the prototype for this model, was supplied by the Soviets. The car was fitted with a four cylinder-four stroke engine of 2430cc. It was rated at 65hp and drove all four wheels.

The authentic body is painted in the same matt olive green as all NVA vehicles and equipment. From the camouflage-lights above the headlights to the spare wheel at the left side, all features are true to the original. A number of small parts have been modelled and added. National emblems are to be seen on the doors.

Also accurately for an NVA-vehicle there is a registration plate only at the rear side. Spartan interior with steering wheel and gear lever is well detailed, as is the the base plate.

18712-7-2016SPW 60PB Armoured Personnel Carrier 7 550 113

This four axle armoured personnel carrier was the most used armoured vehicle in the former National Peoples Army. It was supplied by the Soviets, manufactured at Gorkowski Awtomobilny Zawod (GAZ) and introduced in 1967. It was fitted with two six-cylinder engines, each of 3,480 cc, supplying 90 hp. Drive was to all eight wheels. It had a top speed of 80 kph. It used around 76 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres. The miniature is detailed with many small added parts. Weaponry and armour are well detailed but the baseplate shows no details.  The printed registration number at sides and on the turret and the National Emblems of the GDR are all present and nicely done.

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The Ford Car in Miniature – 1935 Cars

By Dave Turner

“Greater Beauty, Greater Comfort, Greater Safety”

Illustrations of the model and a table listing models follows at the end of the article.

For the first time since 1930 Ford took top slot in the sales race in 1935, a total of 819,835 Ford cars were sold, in no small way due to the attractive all new Model 48 that was launched in December 1934 and styled by Paul Wright at Briggs Body. He also did the famous 1933 Pierce Silver Arrow.

The new body was larger and wider having deeper fenders, a more steeply raked windscreen deeper headlamp shells that for the first time incorporated the parking lamps and fatter tyres on smaller 16 inch wheels in place of the 1934s seventeens. 1935 was the last year for wire wheels as standard.

By locating the front spring in front of the axle, the engine could be moved 8½” forward so creating more internal space, while the rear seat was now located in front of rather than above the rear axle. Ford called this “Centre Poise Ride” while comfort was further enhanced by the softer springs. Improvements to the steering gear and brakes contributed to the “Greater Safety” part of the 1935 advertising copy. All Fords for this year featured the 221ci side valve V8 that was now in its fourth year, in fact the millionth Ford to feature the V8 came in June 1935 as a De Luxe Fordor Sedan.

There were fourteen different models in the 1935 Ford range, three came as standard models, a Five Window Coupe, Tudor and Fordor Sedans. These could also be had in De Luxe form along with similarly equipped Roadster, three and five window Coupes, a Cabriolet, Touring Sedans (projecting trunk apposed to regular flat slantback), Convertible Sedan and station Wagon. The actual spec of the De Luxe finish that cost around $65 extra included two rather than a single external horn (’35 was the last year horns were an external fitting) plated windscreen surround and grille and twin rather than single tail lights.

As far as models and toys are concerned, it is noticeable just how many were contemporary with the real car, or pre WW2 while relatively few have been produced latterly for what is now regarded as the collectors market.

Kicking off with the cast iron Arcade Fordor Sedan, the Novelty Iron Works goes back to 1868 and had become Arcade by the 1880s, producing wheeled cast iron toys from around 1917. Their ‘35 Sedan boasted a nickelled grille/headlamp/bumper casting and any that have survived command well into three figures today. Not quite as expensive are surviving toys from the Auburn Rubber Company, later Arcor. They did both a Tudor Sedan and a Three Window Coupe during their toy making period from 1935 to 1955. Another US based rubber toy range was by the Barr Rubber Co and they also produced both a 1935 Tudor Sedan and a Coupe.

Ford themselves sold souvenirs at the 1935 California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego in the form of rubber toy 1935 Tudor Touring Sedans manufactured by Firestone, for 25 cents – to be found on ebay today for $200! Yet another rubber toy 1935 Ford came from Seiberling Latex Products, in two sizes no less in the range of toys they produced between 1935-9. Finally while on the subject of rubber, another Tudor Sedan that carries simply “0717 Toys” on its underside has surfaced. This features a projecting trunk but in a much smaller and cruder style than the Touring Sedan should exhibit and is also missing the spare wheel. This is possibly the product of a UK company called Lilo (0717 upside down)

Another medium in which vehicles featured was that of coin banks (money box) and probably the most productive being Banthrico, the name derived from Banker’s Thrift Corporation that dates back to 1914. They produced all manner of banks but vehicular subjects arrived with their purchase of National Products in 1940 – they had already produced quite a large range of such things. In 1985 Banthrico was sold to Toystalgia and that subsequently became Valley Casting in 1995. Their 1935 Sedan depicts a Fordor slantback with a Taxi sign over the windscreen although the over large generic wheels give the model a rather foreshortened appearance. Another 1935 Fordor taxi came as a 1:25 scale resin kit from the Guy Cantwells US based range of models and while on the resin theme, much smaller is the 1:87 Fordor Touring Sedan kit from the French Top range, albeit depicting a Matford that for the purposes of a small model there is no, or very little difference. This is extremely delicate, the slender bumpers are extensions of the base, and break off very easily.

On close scrutiny that Matford kit was obviously derived from a plastic kit by Mountain States in the US many years earlier. It would appear that this was the only kit produced in this scale by this range and it depicted the regular slantback Fordor Sedan. Another plastic kit based on the same tooling came more recently from Williams Bros. but this is of clear plastic so masking the windows or painting around them requires some skill.

Back with the old toys and a Danish range called Micro included a slush cast 1935 Taxi, meanwhile in the US, Thomas produced some cast iron 1935 Fords and these are crude and chunky in the extreme but in an appealing way. The company started in 1944 and produced these hefty toys until around 1960 when Banner Plastics took over. No doubt the most familiar 1930s toy 1935s are those diecasts from Tootsietoy. They contrived to get numerous toys from just three castings proving that this policy is as old as the industry. From their three window coupe they also produced a convertible coupe by painting the roof a tan colour to depict the top and the same method was employed to create a convertible sedan from their Fordor. Meanwhile their open Roadster also came with a fireman at the steering wheel as a fire dept. issue. During the early 1980s a range called Precision Accucast (PAC) produced metal replicas of these Tootsietoys and are probably harder to find now than the originals.

The relatively short lived Rextoys (1982-2001) were founded by Count Coluzzi who was an Italian living in Switzerland and possibly better known for his Fulgurex high quality model trains. Their selection of 1935 Fords amounted to just four – Fordor Touring Sedan, Five Window Coupe, Station Wagon and Sedan Delivery. A fifth and sixth were shown in brochures as a open Roadster and a Three Window Coupe but examples have so far proved elusive. Numerous issues of these four models came with a variety of liveries over several years and are still readily available.

Although these commentaries don’t usually include models depicting a vehicle in competition, a range of historic NASCAR subjects around 2002 under the title Team Caliber did include an excellent 1935 Three Window Coupe. The fact that it carried competition numbers and some Gulf decals were overlooked due to the fact that apart from the lack of headlights and bumpers it was completely stock and that it was such a good scale model, the only one of a Three window Coupe in fact. All parts open- doors, hood sides and rumble, even the wheels are ‘wires’ and the front wheels ‘steer’. Its only shortcoming is the fact that small fittings like the door handles tend to fall off and get lost.

One of the final models in Richard Briggs original MiniMarque 43 range was that of the 1935 Convertible Sedan, initially as the Indy 500 Pace Car for 1935 but thankfully followed by a stock version. Fine detail included superb wire wheels and a complete interior that featured a full complement of separated plated door and window handles. An accompanying Sedan Delivery was listed in MM43s flyers but is another possibly mythical model that never materialised. Another Sedan Delivery that has appeared, in abundance, is the slightly larger model from Tins Toys. A myriad of names have been displayed on its side panels but the obvious one to look for is the Ford Parts Delivery issue. The model features a single external horn and single tail light, as would many real examples. Unfortunately, as in all other respects this is a fine replica, it is reduced to toy status by having quite unpleasant wheels, driven by a pull-back mechanism working on the back axle. It is marked “Tins Toys” after all!

Illustrations, The Ford Car in Miniature Dave Turner 1935

1935 illustration 1 Top ModelsTop Models: 1:90 resin kit from France Matford Fordor Touring Sedan

1935 illustration 2, TootsietoyTootsietoy: 1:61 diecast from USA, 111 Fordor Touring Sedan. Delicate front bumper broken.

1935 illustration 3 Lilo (0717)Lilo:1:36 rubber from UK Tudor Touring Sedan.

1935 illustration 4, Tootsietoy Three WindowTootsietoy: 1:61 diecast from USA. 112 Three Window Coupe, replacement tyres fitted. Front bumper broken.

1935 illustration 5, PACPAC: 1:61 diecast from USA Roadster, copy of Tootsietoy.

1935 illustration 6, Rextoys Five WindowRextoys: 1:43 diecast from France, 53, Five Window Coupe.

1935 illustration 7, Rextoys FordorRextoys: 1:43 diecast from France, 42, Fordor Touring Sedan.

1935 illustration 8 Rextoys Station wagonRextoys: 1:43 diecast from France, 47, Station Wagon

1935 illustration 9 Team CaliberTeam Caliber: diecast from China Three Window Coupe, “Bill France 5th in 1st Daytona 250 Miler”

1935 illustration 10 Tins ToysTins Toys: 1:37 diecast from China, T693, Sedan Delivery “Ford Parts Delivery”

1935 illustration 11 Rextoys Sedan deliveryRextoys: 1:43 diecast from France,45 Sedan Delivery “Ford Spare Parts Delivery”.

1935 illustration 12 BanthricoBanthrico: 1:30 metal bank from USA, Fordor Sedan Taxi.

1935 illustration 13 ThomasThomas Toy: 1:42 metal from USA, Three Window Coupe,

1935 illustration 14 MM43MiniMarque 43: 1:43 metal from UK, 45b Convertible Sedan

1935 illustration 15 Mountain StatesMountain States: 1:85 plastic kit from USA 520 Fordor Sedan,

1935 illustration 19 Firestone rubber from USA Tudor Touring SedanFirestone rubber from USA Tudor Touring Sedan

1935 illustration 20 Seiberling 1 37 rubber from USA Tudor SedanSeiberling 1:37 rubber from USA Tudor Sedan

1935 illustration 21 Rextoys from France 42 Cabriolet and 45 Three Window Coupe, from catalogueRextoys from France 42 Cabriolet and 45 Three Window Coupe, from catalogue

Models in detail

Arcade USA 1930s Fordor Sedan 120mm 1:39 Cast iron
Arcade USA 1930s Tudor Sedan 100mm 1:46 Cast iron
Arcade USA 1930s Three Window Coupe 100mm 1:46 Cast iron
Banthrico USA Fordor Sedan Taxi 155mm 1:30 Metal bank
Barr USA 1930s Tudor Sedan 100mm 1:46 Rubber
Barr USA 1930s Three Window Coupe 100mm 1:46 Rubber
Firestone USA 1935 Tudor Touring Sedan 123mm 1:38 Rubber
Lilo (0717) UK 1950s Tudor Touring Sedan 130mm 1:36 Rubber
Seiberling USA 1930s Tudor Sedan 127mm 1:37 Rubber
Seiberling USA 1930s Tudor Sedan 100mm 1:46 Rubber
Cantwell USA 1996 Fordor Sedan Taxi 1:25 Resin kit
Top France Fordor Touring Sedan 52mm 1:90 Resin kit
Mountain USA 520 Fordor Sedan 55mm 1:85 Plastic kit
Williams Bros USA 536 Fordor Sedan 1:85 Plastic kit
Micro Denmark 1930s Taxi Slush cast
A C Williams USA Cast iron
Tootsietoy USA 1930s 112 Three Window Coupe/Convertible 76mm 1:61 Diecast
Tootsietoy USA 1930s 111 Fordor Sedan/Convertible Sedan 76mm 1:61 Diecast
Tootsietoy USA 1930s 116 Roadster 76mm 1:61 Diecast
PAC USA Early 1980s Repros of above Tootsietoys 76mm 1:61 Diecast
Thomas USA 1940/50s Fordor Sedan Metal
Thomas USA 1940/50s Three Window Coupe 110mm 1:42 Metal
Tins Toys China 2000 T693 Sedan Delivery 127mm 1:37 Diecast
Team Caliber China 2002 Three Window Coupe 104mm 1:43 Diecast
Rextoys France 1990 42 Fordor Touring Sedan 107mm 1:43 Diecast
Rextoys France 43 Open Roadster(not made?)
Rextoys France 1991 45 Sedan Delivery 107mm 1:43 Diecast
Rextoys France 46 Three window Coupe(not made?)
Rextoys France 1994 47 Station Wagon 108mm 1:43 Diecast
Rextoys France 1995 53 Five Window Coupe 107mm 1:43 Diecast
MiniMarque 43 UK 2000 45a Convertible Sedan Indy Pace Car 111mm 1:42 Metal
MiniMarque 43 UK 2000 45b Convertible Sedan 111mm 1:42 Metal
MiniMarque 43 UK 45c Sedan Delivery(not made?)

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New 1:8 Scale “build it yourself” Volkswagen Golf GTI

By Bruno Boracco

Hachette Volkswagen Golf GTI to 1 8 scale a

On July 23, the publishing house Hachette launched its new “costruisci the Golf” (build the Golf) collection that will over 100 issues provide all the parts to assemble a faithful reproduction to  1: 8 scale of the second series Golf GTI. The model is diecast with additional parts in ABS. The doors, the bonnet and the hatchback all open. At this scale the fine details of interior trim, the opening fuel filler, and detailed engine and mechanical parts are all included. Inside there is an accurately reproduced dashboard with an opening glove box.

Hachette Volkswagen Golf GTI to 1 8 scale b

A remote control that allows you to operate low and high beam headlights, direction indicators and the brake lights; When using the remote control you can listen to the playback of the sound of the horn and engine during starting and acceleration.

Hachette Volkswagen Golf GTI to 1 8 scale c

The master for this model was produced by Leoni SPA de Sorbara based near Modena in Italy.


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Who’s Who in 1:64 Scale Volkswagen Beetles

By Robin Godwin

For pictures of these models please see the captioned photographs after the text.

I can understand the frustration of collectors when they see another new issue of a VW Beetle. Personally, I get very tired of seeing every possible iteration of Ferrari or racing Porsche, since I generally don’t collect those models. The Beetle has to rank up there in popularity with manufacturers and collectors alike. They will always sell. There has been lots of activity recently in the 1:64 scale world for VWs here in North America, but recently a couple of European manufacturers have jumped into the fray, and Kyosho of Japan adds a few new issues now and then. Perhaps the biggest difference between the US companies (M2, Greenlight, the reborn Johnny Lightning, and Hot Wheels) and those based in Europe and Japan is that the American companies are given to producing what editor Maz refers to as “artificial rarities” – deliberate, low-volume, special issues with some sort of difference(s) from the basic issue, not just a standard recolour. That is true, and some are low volume specials, but others are “event” specials like the auto show SEMA (Special Equipment Market Association ) or international market versions. The net effect is the same – hard to find and usually more expensive to purchase. I’ll touch on this phenomenon a bit, but leave the details for another article.

That said, Kyosho, Minialuxe (OK, so that one is 1:66), Schuco, M2, Greenlight, the “new” Johnny Lightning (OK, so these ones are slightly bigger than 1:64), and Hot Wheels (scale not usually a concern with the basic line, but around 1:64) are the current players that I’ll discuss. I have just discovered that the “new” Solido company, launched under the Otto umbrella will issue a 1:64 scale series which includes a Beetle 1303 sedan. Unfortunately, it is the Kyosho Beetle. I don’t know the business arrangement that has brought this to pass – whether the models are purchased directly from Kyosho or from the Chinese manufacturers, but it may be a slightly less expensive method of acquiring the Kyosho Beetle, which are generally only available from Asian dealers online. I’m reasonably confident that the base will read Solido rather than Kyosho, as Solido has done on other contracted models. I’ll update readers once I have one.

Other manufacturers are doing VWs as well. Norev is doing a “3 inch” model, usually described as 1:55ish, Maisto still does oval window Beetles, both for themselves and others (I’ve seen Burago VWs by Maisto) but these are a bit cartoonish “chopped” versions and also around 1:55 scale, maybe even a tad bigger, and there are others doing 1:72nd and 1:76th Beetles, but I’ll leave all those for another day.

Let’s start with the most prolific producers, Greenlight and M2. These two seem to be going head-to-head in the VW world. Greenlight (GL) started in 2010 with a VW30 Prototype and followed in 2011 with the “Classic VW” issue (big window), both of which were originally sourced from Chinese manufacturer High Speed. The VW30 has been phased out, but the Classic soldiers on. I’m not sure if these are still cast by High Speed, or if Greenlight now owns the mould, but this particular model has been issued by several other companies, including High Speed itself. Early issues had both Greenlight and High Speed cast into the plastic base, but more recent issues have just Greenlight. In 2015, GL issued a split window VW which they are selling as anything from a 1938 VW (they weren’t called Volkswagens back then, but were known as KdF) all the way up to a 1953 Beetle (later in 1953 the rear window was changed to oval). At this scale, minor detail differences, inaccuracies, or omissions are not such a big deal. There is lots of tampo printing for trim detail, but GL makes no effort to show the quarter light/vent window on either model. The GL split window has an opening bonnet and boot, with basic engine detail. Panel fit is actually pretty good, but one wonders if GL is only doing this because M2 Auto-thentics did opening panels first. GL special issues are called “Green Machines” (GM) and can feature a metallic green body colour or even a raw body casting (unpainted), or green wheels or even green tires or combinations thereof. GMs are usually 2% of regular production, and occasionally have low double digit production runs, so can be exceedingly rare. GL has also done VWs for California Toys of Brazil, to date only the big window “Classic”. Seven issues currently exist, four of which are police issues. Three of these have police roof lights, a first for GL. These issues are very difficult to find outside of Brazil. The Classic features painted headlights and taillights, with a plastic “riveted” base. The split window has clear plastic headlights, painted taillights and a metal base fixed by a single phillips screw (so I would never buy a “unique interior colour” online). The regular issues are sold on blister cards, but many of the variations of both Greenlight VWs are only sold in themed sets of up to five vehicles of which up to three could be Beetles. Some online dealers will split the sets and sell models as loose singles, but sometimes the models offered as singles appear to be quality control rejects. Look carefully at the photos before you buy. All you need to know about GL beetles (or any 1:64 GL casting) can be found at about the best online collector resource I have seen.

M2 issued it’s first VWs in an Autothentics VW sub series in 2013, which included an oval window (so, good for 1953 to 1957 issues) and a big window version, good up until about 1967, after which the headlight housings became noticeably more vertical. Both castings feature opening bonnets and boots with engine detail. The oval uses a paint strip on the side windows to represent the quarter window, and it is badly placed, making the window too big. The big window model has cast quarter windows, a much better effort. I previously reviewed the first issues in a MAR online article, so won’t repeat the details or criticisms but, as forecast in the original article, M2 has played with the dies a bit so now we have sunroof (open and closed with canvas roof ripples cast in) versions, along with bumper variations to reflect different national vehicle standards. M2 also does special issues and “chase” issues (usually just gold wheels and gold tampo trim) and usually indicates the production numbers. Some of the special issues also have chase vehicles, for instance, the SEMA special for 2014 featured 492 regular issues, but there were another 108 chase issues as well, done in a different body colour. Wal Mart seems to be a driving factor, since they have had several Wal Mart exclusives, with accompanying chase vehicles (up to 1600 chase vehicles issued). There is a Wal Mart Mexico series as well, covering more than just VWs. These are unique colours, with Spanish packaging, and “MEX 01” (or whatever issue number it is) printed on the plastic plinth. Be careful if buying online, since many of the regular US issues/colours are also available in Mexico, with Spanish packaging, but without “MEX xx”. Except for the language, those ones are the same as you can find anywhere in the US. M2 also did a few VWs for a Puerto Rican toy store with 492 regulars and 108 chase Beetles. These are hard to find. Similarly, they did a special for a Canadian toy store with 492 regular issues, 108 chase models and 24 “Super Chase” models (and we’re talking really silly eBay prices for this one).

A couple of points to note if one is planning on buying any GL or M2 online. Both feature rubber tires on plastic rims. The regular issues are, of course, toys, generally sold for less than $6 US, so perhaps some quality control issues can be excused. Any GL or M2 that features white wall tires should be examined very closely in the photos. In both cases, the white is printed on the rubber tires. M2 tends to have less than perfect white coverage and also frequent off centre printing of the VW logo on the wheels. GL tends to have the whole white wall slightly off centre or oval in shape, but wheel logos are cast in. Both manufacturers frequently fail to get the tire properly seated on the plastic rim before putting the vehicles in the sealed blister packs (or boxes). Lots of folks like to keep their blister packs as originally issued (unopened), so an improperly fitted tire can be exasperating.

Johnny Lightning (JL) was reborn late last year and one of their first reissues was the 1975 Super Beetle Convertible. All of the original Playing Mantis issues but one had the top down, but the reissue is top up. This is clearly a toy, slightly bigger than 1:64, and appears to be unchanged from the original. It features slightly-too-wide rubber tires (mostly a good thing, as JL has done lots of plastic tires in the past) on incorrect generic wheels, or we could be nice and call them custom toy wheels. The first issue comes with an “A” series in red, and a “B” series in yellow, along with a White Lightning (WL) version. WLs represent 1 to 5% of regular production, but I have never seen a reference to real production volumes, so cannot even estimate the number of WLs. With painted headlights and taillights, there is nothing really special about the details, but the tampo highlights are well done. The base is cast in metal and riveted in place. These are respectable toys and retail for less than $6 in the US, but online sellers seem to want to try to get more than that. In its previous incarnation, JL also produced a 1964 – 1966 Beetle, and a 1951 split window Beetle but there is no indication yet if these dies will be resurrected. An outstanding JL reference website is Wyatt’s

As we all know, Hot Wheels (HW) is all over the die cast map these days, still going strong with the regular HW basic line that set the die cast toy world on its head in the late 60s. There have been multiple VW Beetle castings, mostly customs of some sort. The current 1:64ish Beetle is an oval window with fairly accurate body casting save for the excessively big real wheel arches, which enable the fitment of Hot Wheels usually huge wheels. Occasionally, HW will issue a model with “Real Riders” (RR) which translates into rubber tires. The photo shows a recent “Herbie” release with RRs that are too wide but otherwise realistically sized (which really highlights the oversize rear wheel arches). The Herbie markings are quite accurate, but of course the Love Bug was a square window VW and not an oval, so zero points for accuracy here. Basic HWs are still sold for $1.00, except when it is a special or a RR like the Love Bug, shown, then it is three or four times the price. It’s a bit of a shame that Hot Wheels does not revive their Chinese made 100% Hot Wheels Beetle casting from 2001, a square window model with excellent lines and an opening boot with a chrome engine. The wheels were always rubber, and accurately sized, at least in diameter, as were the rear wheel arches. It was always a custom of some sort, with a single exhaust (a separate plastic engine/exhaust piece on the base) and minus both bumpers. Adding bumpers and stock exhaust would have produced the most accurate Hot Wheels small scale Beetle, but unfortunately it appears this casting has been retired. They are worth tracking down on eBay.

The Minialuxe brand (France) was revived recently with lots of 1:43 vehicles, all in metal, and to a level of finish consistent with ’60s diecasts or the current Atlas Dinky Toys reissues. This is kind of a nostalgic range even though the original Minialuxe products were 1:43 plastic. Just within the past year, Minialuxe released a “Miniabox” line of 1:66 vehicles, again all metal, and included a square window Beetle. This is a very nice simple casting (except for the missing quarter light window) with windows and a well done interior (LHD). The headlights are Swarovski crystals. Wheels are spun aluminum and tires are very accurate thin 60s style. These come in four different colours, with unique “colour-matched” boxes. I would love to have all four versions, but they cost 20 Euros each, plus shipping from Minialuxe, who still seem to prefer direct marketing, although they do sell direct at some large French toy shows. Minialuxe have issued a couple of Beetles with roof lights in their 1:43 series (Polizei and Swiss PTT), so I would anticipate similar issues in the smaller range sometime in the future. The question remains – why 1:66?

An odd turn of events in light of the above, is Schuco issuing a line of vehicles called Edition 1:64, when they used to have an excellent 1:66 scale range many years ago (60s and 70s). I thought initially the Beetle 1500, issued in 2014, might be sourced from High Speed (Schuco did issue some High Speed 1:64 in their earlier Junior range, I have the E-Type Jag from 2005) similar to early Greenlight models, but they are unique castings that include the quarter lights. Base is metal with cast in bumpers and is fastened to the body with two small phillips screws. Headlights are clear plastic with tampo silver rims, and the taillights are separate red plastic bits – nice detail in this scale. No body panels open. The wheels are done the same as M2 and some Greenlight models. The rim is chromed then the outer portion of it is sprayed body colour to give the effect of a chrome hubcap on a body-coloured wheel. It is not always successful, with some off-centre painting and poor colour matching. To date, there have been five versions, including a “Herbie”, a Polizei with roof light and a Nurnberg 2016 Toy Fair model in red with white show graphics. The addition of the Polizei roof light is the only casting change to date. These are all regular edition models, except for the show special, and I have no idea how many of these were made. It appears that Schuco does not engage in “artificial rarities” as discussed above, nor are they issuing sets of models in unique colours (yet). These are priced at about Euro 11 in Germany, so a bit more expensive than M2 or Greenlight models, but perhaps Schuco does not have a Wal Mart or equivalent pressing for a lower price point.

Finally, Kyosho of Japan markets a huge range of 1:64 vehicles which seem to be only reliably available in Asia. The first VWs appeared in 2008 in a Minicar Collection Gashapon series (Gashapon = generic box, so that you don’t know which model you are getting until you open the box). There were two models, a 1303 Super Beetle sedan and the other a Super Beetle cabrio. It should be noted that the second issue of VW Minicar Collection (issued in 2015 and still current), has deleted the cabrio, and the Solido lineup as mentioned above does not feature the cabrio either. My earlier comments about inaccuracies/omissions in this scale can be cast aside here. These are exceptional little models immediately noticeable in the wheel detail and the flush glazing with fine tampo window trim. Headlights are separate clear lenses inset into chrome trim bezels. Taillights are separate solid red plastic pieces. Unfortunately, there is no top orange (turn indicators) or bottom clear (backup lights) incorporated, but it is 1:64 scale after all. Tampo printing of rear engine vents is superb. The riveted base is plastic. There is one criticism, but it is only that the yellow paint has a hard time covering some of the cast ridges – other darker coloured versions do not have this problem. Although now obsolete, the cabrio is worth searching out on eBay, but also comes with a criticism. The windshield/frame is a separate mask-painted plastic piece, with a slight shade difference to the body paint. Still, these 1:64 models could embarrass some 1:43 scale manufacturers. Hopefully the Solido issue of these models will feature some new colours over time, but the first issue illustrated in their 2016 catalogue is the same colour as the recent Kyosho issue – how disappointing.

#1#1 An early “Classic Beetle” (large window) on bottom, with both High Speed and Greenlight cast logos. Top is a later version missing High Speed logo. It is from a GL Hollywood Film Reels set from the movie “Bullitt”, hence the Warner Bros. tampo

#2 The Bullitt VW alongside a Greenlight split window from their “Pennzoil” five-car set. The split window was bought as a singleton from an online dealer, but it looks more like a quality control reject – bad wheel paint

#3 14 diorama sets (bottom right is a “Camping” diorama with one VW Beetle), 68 vehicles, of which only 29 are Beetles

#4 A typical Greenlight diorama set (Malibu Surf Shop). None of these models are sold as singletons

#5#5 A Greenlight “Green Machine” (from “North Shore Surf Shack” diorama – only 28 of these GMs made!!) flanked by oval window (left) and large window (right) M2 castings

#6#6 A Mexico only issue. Note MEX 03 issue number. This means colour is unique to Mexican market. Others may be sold in Mexico, with Spanish language packaging, but without a Mexico issue number – these are the same as available in the US (from internet)

#7#7 Rear view of same cars

#8#8 A Wal Mart special issue. This is a “Chase” version with gold rims and trim. 1600 issue size is a lot for a chase model, but there are over 4000 Wal Mart stores in the US alone

#9#9 The relaunched Johnny Lightning Super Beetle Convertible with collector card, also available in yellow with white convertible top (up, as well) and a White Lightning version. The WL version is based on the red car, since it has a black top and interior, and pearl silvery/white body and white tires

#10#10 Essentially the same came vehicle – Kyosho foreground is very accurate but you can see the colour difference between plastic and metal painted parts. The Kyosho highlights the toylike quality of the JL. Kyosho convertible is no longer available, but can be found on eBay

#11#11 A very recent Hot Wheels oval window issue with “Real Riders”. Rubber tires are nice, but highlight the enormous wheel arches. Very much a toy, but still a decent VW model

#12#12 A 100% Hot Wheels custom VW from an earlier era (right), and now obsolete, but it’s much more accurate casting than the current stuff. Left is the Kyosho, the current gold standard for 1:64 Beetles, although not everybody likes the “Super Beetle” with it’s curved windscreen

#13#13 Miniabox by Minialuxe. Note black box illustration for black model.

#14#14 Left to right: M2, Schuco, Kyosho, Miniabox. 1:66 size of Miniabox may not be evident with perhaps a bit of lens distortion near the edges. Kyosho puts other in the shade

#15#15 Rear view, same order

#16#16 An original 1:66 Schuco model from another era sitting on the 1:64 Toy Fair issue. The new Schuco is quite a nice casting. The old one was also nice but spoiled by opening “half” doors

#17#17 The early Kyosho issue came in three colours, the others being red and cream. beautiful details and execution, but paint a bit thin on edges

#18#18 The recent full VW release from Kyosho and still current. The blue Beetle version will also appear as a Solido model, as will most of this VW issue

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