Something Sharp

I am walking through the kitchen and IT happens.  I misstep as something sharp lodges in my instep.  Without the benefit or the first cup of coffee or my reading glasses, I reach down and scrutinize the offending inch long piece.  Before marrying a model car collector I would have skipped this step and thrown it in the nearest trash can – assuming one of my JRT (Jack Russell Terriers) had sabotaged my path with a recently demolished stick.   Now I have been trained to find aforementioned glasses and confirm it is not a valuable fragment such as the front bumper of a Dugu Duesenberg Scoperta.

Other valuable marital life training includes not assuming a Kleenex is conveniently placed on the entry table for my personal use (more likely it is holding a broken side mirror or gearshift waiting to be reattached).   As models come and go, miniature automobile repair requires the best lighting and a large horizontal surface (thus our dining room table).  I have accepted that short of a dinner party nothing can be relocated until all is reaffixed.   If only my real rear bumper was as easy to repair after being rear ended last week by a Tesla!

(CCW) Car Collector Widow


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Readers Letter – Wanting Big BMC Saloons

From: Mel Orange by Email

Mel says: I am a collector of 1/43rd scale police die-casts. I am impressed with the price and quality of the deAgostini models.
I have many models from sources like Vanguards yet no one seems to produce a police model in the Wolseley 6/90, 6/99, 6/110 series which were very popular police cars.

Any chance that deAgostini might look at producing them ?

Editor:  Those big BMC cars were a feature of many British films of the 1960’s with sequences shot showing them chasing villains and going round corners at speed leaning at alarming angles.  They would certainly seem to be prime candidates for production as the the two tone standard cars were very attractive too. It seems odd that they have never been made in any modern classics diecast ranges.

For those who really want a model Brooklin made the Lansdowne Models LDM. 6b 1961 Wolseley 6/110 Police Car and the Lansdowne 1954 Wolseley 6/90 both of which are keenly sought as they have been deleted from their range. They also produced an Austin A99 Police Car whose chassis and much of the body work was shared with the Wolseley but that is discontinued too.

Easier to get hold of are the current K&R white metal kits of the Austin A110 and the Wolseley 6/110 which are available from their eBay store and which could be finished as Police Cars.

I think that it is possible that at some time in the future Oxford Diecast might consider making both Wolseley 6/100 and Austin A110 and if they did they would certainly make police versions. But that is pure conjecture and it may never happen.

But Mel’s question is will DeAgostini sell a large Wolseley Police Car? I think that this is unlikely, though not impossible. DeAgostini and its associate companies like Atlas have had various police car series and a Wolseley never appeared.  It appeared as a background car in the James Bond film “Thunderball” but it wasn’t chosen to be made in the James Bond Model Collection either. But what DeAgostini and its associated companies will produce is a closely guarded secret . if they do sell big Wolseley Police cars it will be because PCT Industries (IXO’s parent) think that they can sell it in many versions and decide to take the risk of making the mould.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – Jaguar XFR

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest model  in the Atlas Jaguar collection has been released. These models are diecast to 1:43 scale in China for Atlas. It is thought that this series is cast for Atlas by PCT industries who already distribute similar mouldings in their Ixo and Premium X ranges.

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The model represents an XFR which was launched in 2009 at the Detroit Motor Show. The model as shown is believed to be a 2012 model.

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The XFR was fitted with a 5 Litre 500 BHP supercharged V8 and was fitted with special ‘Nevis’ alloy wheels as well as new bumper section and additional air intakes.  Inside the seats had R logos and instruments with red dials.

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The model is excellent with nice fine plastic wipers, all the added “body kit”,  as well as the R logo on the grille. There are excellent wheels and the brake disks and calipers are nicely modelled too. Even the wing mirrors are realistically moulded with the indicator section clearly modelled and mirror glass replicated. The interior is nicely moulded and the instruments are printed but no attempt has been made to show the dark oak veneer inside and the instruments are printed in silver with no sign of the red of the real car. Finally the R logos are not moulded into the seat backs. Inside apart this is an impressive model.


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Find them on

Atlas Trucks Series – Berliet Fire Appliance

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest model that I have received in the Atlas Dinky Trucks subscription series is a re-creation of a French Dinky toy Fire appliance. Some collectors are reported to have received a Guy Otter flatbed which can be seen on eBay so Atlas’ erratic model dispatches now seem to be affecting this series as well.

Atlas Dinky Berliet Fire

The original French Dinky model was issued in 1957 and numbered 32 E as reproduced on the Atlas reproduction box shown above. The model was later re-numbered 583. This model is based upon the Berliet GLA which had a 2.5 Litre engine.

Atlas Dinky Berliet Fire

The Atlas replica is very nicely painted and finished with white tyres and red hubs as used on the original model when it was launched. The small hose reels to the rear are on detachable trolleys and I imagine that quite a few of these models will be bought to donate these parts to original models which are missing them.

Atlas Dinky Berliet Fire

This is a rather nice model and like all this series it is made in China by Norev for Atlas.


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Ford Zodiac Rally Car Conversion

By Chris Derbyshire

 

Chris has kindly allowed MAR Onine to share an article originally published in the South Hants Model Auto Club (SHMAC) newsletter “Wheel Nuts”. For more details about the club visit our collectors club page.

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The Mark 1 Escort had been released in 1968 and was proving to be a great success so what were Ford doing entering the 1969 3 Cities Rally in Austria, in a Ford Zodiac? Navigator of that car Jim Porter explains..

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Big Fords were not selling too well and some genius in Ford’s Sales department thought that if the Escort could win rallies then maybe the Zephyr/Zodiac could too. So Stuart Turner was asked to “Do Something”. He got British Vita Racing in Rochdale to prepare a car & entered the 3 Cities Rally. This was a European Championship Rally but so obscure that no-one would notice if it was a total disaster. The rally route started in Munich and was fairly easy to the Austrian border, but then got more difficult through Austria and into Hungry and really tough in the last 100 miles, possibly as tough as anything they had come across before. As Jim reported in period ‘I think we shook the opposition in cars with more power and weighing less than the Zodiac. But we sat there surrounded by silence and cocooned in comfort!!’ Surprisingly they won the class but this was down to Roger not the car. He had to work hard to beat a BMW 2500 and the BMW 2002s (in a different class) which were much quicker. The Zodiac was 14th overall which gives a better idea of its capabilities than the class win! Anyway the class win was used in Ford’s advertising for a while but there would be no more Zodiac entries!

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So when Jim Porter asked if we could do a model I was a bit stuck. There was the dreadful old Dinky, but on the horizon Lansdowne were about to release the very car we needed.

Ford Zodiac (1)

The model was fairly easy to strip as all Lansdowne’s are glued together with PVA glue, so drop in warm water and all the bits come off easily!! Fortunately, Jim has loads of old photos which were of great help when it came to making the decals, whilst the Minilites wheels came from BTS Mouldings, in Hastings.

Ford Zodiac (2)

Ford Zodiac (3)

Ford Zodiac (4)

Only six of these Zodiacs have been made of this unique rally car and all were pre-sold.

 Chris would like to thank Jim for the history and the photographs which  allowed him to make this model.


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Editorial August 2016

By Maz Woolley

The impact of “Brexit” upon model collectors here in the UK is starting to be felt. UK wholesalers who pay for their stock in US Dollars or Euros are finding that the fall in the value of Sterling means that they are having to introduce significant price rises which will in turn grow larger when passed on to buyers after a trade mark up has been applied. Even UK-based firms like Corgi and Oxford Diecast will have to pass on increased costs in the UK as their products are made overseas. Brooklin and other UK producers will be affected by rising raw material costs. I wonder what impact price rises, which early indications show may be around 10% on imported lines, will have on sales of models here in the UK? We have been told in the past that raw material costs represent only between 5% and 10% of retail prices, so even if the fall in the value of the pound increased raw material costs by 20%, that would only mean an increase in retail prices by 1% or 2%, which could surely be absorbed?

Some model distributors and wholesalers have already announced across the board increases in the trade price of models priced in Euros (ie mostly those in German, French or Italian ranges, even if they are made in China). That means that even those models already on the shelf and paid for at previous exchange rates will increase in price. I wonder if they will make an across the board reduction if the Pound reverts to its previous value against international currencies? Much has been made of the effects of a drop in the value of the Pound in the press recently (dearer imports, cheaper exports) as if this is something new. The 1970s to 1990s period saw frequent and wide fluctuations in currency values, so that UK trade and business became used to ironing out most of the fluctuations; absorbing losses, and clawing them back later.

After the flurry of releases of duplicate models from resin car makers the output seems to have settled down. One trend is for producing models of specific vehicles down to the registration number and quoting chassis numbers. One wonders if this is part of the way that they hope to sidestep the licensing departments of the car makers? The argument being they are producing a model of a specific vehicle and not a general Rolls-Royce model for example. The result is a series of very detailed models of interesting coachbuilt cars and a significant growth in the number of interesting cars from the 1930’s onwards being modelled.

It has to be said, however, that Rolls-Royce, for example, don’t licence a specific car shape, only the registered copyright aspects – the Greek Temple grille shape, Spirit of Ecstasy mascot and the Rolls-Royce name, for example. Of late, however, some small-production model ranges seem to have been evading the need to licence their products, but from past experience, licensing companies have a habit of letting things run, then coming in with a demand for retrospective payments for past production.

Here in the UK there are signs that the small artisan firms making 1:76 scale white metal models are being encouraged by the changing focus of the Oxford Diecast 1:76 range to start working on new moulds in that scale and some interesting models are in the pipeline. I hope to show some new Rod Parker models as soon as I have finished making them up!

I would like to thank our contributors for their input and remind you all that we welcome contributions and information from all our readers.


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