Executive Travel from Coventry – Armstrong Siddeley and Humber Super Snipe

By Maz Woolley

 

At the end of the 1950’s the cars from Armstrong Siddeley and Humber illustrated the continued shift away from old traditional firms who had been producing high quality cars for some time to big combines like Rootes with the resources to do more development and advertising.

The age of labour intensive coachbuilt cars was giving way to production lines and mergers.  By 1960 Armstrong Siddeley no longer made cars.

 

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Armstrong Siddeley – Traditional sales presentation

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Humber – Racier more transatlantic presentation

 

This article looks at the Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire as modelled by Brooklin in its Lansdowne range and the Humber Super Snipe from Neo.

Brooklin LDM 119 Armstrong Siddeley Star Sapphire

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The final Star Sapphire was produced in 1960. Fitted with a 3,990cc engine the car could just exceed the 100MPH mark. At over £2,600 UK pounds including taxes in 1958 this was an expensive car, dearer than a Daimler Majestic, and considerably more expensive then the Jaguar MK IX. The Humber Super Snipe of 1958 was £1,000 UK pounds less.

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The Armstrong Siddeley was beautifully made, the paint finish was beautiful and the interior was trimmed to a very high standard indeed. The company probably only regarded Daimler and Rolls Royce as competition but they were catering to a declining market sector and only 902 of the saloons left the factory before car production was brought to a close. In the same year Daimler became part of the Jaguar Group.

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The Lansdowne model captures the car beautifully. The paint finish is to a very high standard indeed. The Sphinx mascot on the bonnet is a fine item and wipers and door handles are fine castings well fitted, as is the lovely boot number plate and light assembly. Other notable features are the small sidelights fitted on the front wings, chrome strips along the base of the car and neat bumpers, grille and lights. The use of fitted “chromed” metal side window frames is very effective. I am not normally a fan of the all metal lights on Brooklin products but they look acceptable on this car at viewing distance.

Inside the car is nicely painted and has a good dash with cast in detail finished in wood colours though the instruments are not printed on.

Sadly the Star Sapphire script on the boot is just a cast in lump where a printed or photo-etched item would have been better.

Neo Humber Super Snipe Sedan 1965

 

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As the small scale luxury car makers ceased production the market for Executive cars began to split between the Jaguar group’s Jaguar and Daimler ranges and the larger cars from the mass makers like the Wolseley 6/110 and Humber Super Snipe. And from 1963 onwards new competition in the form of the 2000 saloons from Rover and Triumph would be added to the marketplace.

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The Super Snipe was a name used by Humber for many years for their top of the range model and by the time of the Neo model it was in its Series III form. It was famous as the first mass-produced UK car to have four headlamps. A 2,965cc straight six engine would propel the car to 100MPH, just. Inside the trim was carefully designed to ape luxury car fittings with a wooden dashboard and door cappings, leather seats and little touches like folding tables in the back of the front seats as well as the obligatory ashtrays front and back and cigar lighter.

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The Super Snipe was very popular as a Mayoral car for small towns and as official cars for transporting other dignitaries. It was also a widely used as a formal hire car as it could be bought with an interior division.

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The Neo model is painted in the popular maroon colour and has a lot of fine photo-etched detail  with the Super Snipe scripts being particularly fine. The snipe symbol on the boot is a lovely little badge. Light cowls, grilles and lights are all impressive and the wheel trims are correct.  Inside the dashboard is very nicely printed and painted and the door cappings are nicely finished in wood effect paint.

In its way the Snipe was the end of an era like the Armstrong Siddeley.  The final Snipes and Imperials were made by the end of the 1960s and the Chrysler group, who had taken over Rootes, never produced a replacement. The segment of the market that the Humber Hawk and Super Snipe had occupied was being taken over by the new lighter,  faster, and more economical Triumph and Rover saloons at one end and the fine handling and luxurious XJ6 2.8 at the other end, as well as by the growing number of foreign cars being imported from Mercedes-Benz and others.


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Atlas Dinky Collection – Panhard

By Maz Woolley

 

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547 Panhard PL17

The latest model in the Atlas Dinky series here in the UK is yet another French Dinky. It is now some months since any Dinky Model made originally at Binns Road has appeared.

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This model has been produced in a lilac as it appeared in 1960. It stayed in the range until 1968 by which time it had been out of production for three years. The casting was also used in the budget junior range with no windows or interior from 1962 for a short period.

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Panhard’s were powered by a two cylinder boxer unit driving the front wheels and although it had quite a small engine at 848cc this was tuned to produce 50HP or more. With a lightweight and streamlined body this allowed the car to reach speeds of around 80 miles per hour. By 1965 the firm had been taken over by Citroen and by the end of the 1960s no more Panhard cars were made.

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The Atlas model is a good reproduction and shows how good a model the French Dinky was for its time. This is helped by the fact French Dinky car models are consistently scaled to 1:43.


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AutoCult News – September

By Maz Woolley

Autocult continue their steady release of 1:43 scale resin models moulded in China for Germany. Again the models released cover a wide range of prototypes. In one case below the model is to 1:18 scale.

09002 Commer Dormobile Coaster 1972

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Campers always make impressive models especially when shown with their roof elevated. Here is a Commer Van converted by Martin Walter the owners of the “Dormoblie” trade mark. Campers based upon the Commer P series forward control were less common than those based on the much cheaper and more economical Bedford CA range.

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05013 Denzil WD 1300 Super 1954

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The Denzil WD 1300 Super was made in Austria and was based on Volkswagen Beetle components. The engines were totally rebuilt with high quality components allowing the engines to be tuned to produce much, much more power than the standard Volkswagen unit.

A total of around 65 cars were produced in this series with a variety of specifications and states of tune. Production ended in around 1959.

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1102 Mercedes Benz L312 Buhne Melisana

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This was a custom built truck for Klosterfrau. It was designed to show off their goods and initially toured Germany selling their Melisenngeist products.  It was then repainted in the livery shown   for a tour of Spain where the product was sold as Melisana. No trace of the vehicle can be found after the tour of Spain.

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12003 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ56F Fire Appliance 1976

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Produced between 1975 and 1980 these vehicles with their open sides and canvas roof were designed to allow quick entry and exit with scant regard for the comfort of the crew. They were powered by a 4.2 Litre six cylinder engine. The prefecture of Fukai was one that operated trucks like this.

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03006 Maico 400/4 1955

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This another in Autocult’s microcar series. This German built car used the Heinkel 396cc engine with 15BHP. The /4 referred to the fact that this was a four seater. Demand was weak because it was wider known that a 500/4 based on the uprated 18BHP Heinkel engine would be released in the near future.  Only 21 of the 400/4 were sold.


80003 Brandpowder 911DS

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This 1:18 scale model is of a curiosity from the USA in 2013. In fact it is an advertising stunt that never existed in reality. A Porsche 911  front end has been combined with the Citroed DS rear end to make and attractive combination of the two cars.

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My Life with Fords

By Mick Haven

 

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‘I never wanted to work in Fords’.

I grew up in 1950s and ‘60s Dagenham, a stone’s throw from the giant sprawl that was the Ford Motor Company’s main car manufacturing plant in Britain. In those early days of my Ford history, they were still separate entities, the P.T.A. paint trim and assembly, where I eventually worked many years later, was Ford, the bodies were made at Briggs,the wheels and tyres at Kelsey-Hayes. By 1960, they were all under the one banner, Ford. Consequently, many of the cars produced there, over a period of more than thirty years, have a memory for me of one kind or another. When the prospect of going out to work loomed, the last place I wanted to work at was Ford. Stories of regimentation, asking to go to the toilet, unions, strikes, shift work and other unpleasantries were enough to deter any thoughts of applying for a job. Even a higher rate of pay than almost anywhere else, certainly locally, wasn’t enough.

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Landsdowne Ford Prefect 100E


The first cars I remember when delving deep into the memory bank, are the early post war models, the Y Series, then came the Anglias and Prefects, the E494A, the E493A and E103 Popular. As a kid I paid them scant attention. Weren’t they all black? Probably not but they seemed like they were. Then along came the 100Es and the Mk I Consul, the Mk I Zephyr and Zephyr Zodiac, in the days before those two names took on their own identity. These were effectively larger versions of the 100Es, being a ‘three box section’ design, finally doing away with the bulbous wings of previous models. Another one was the formidable, it was then, V8 Pilot, a huge car alongside the afore mentioned models. It was said at the time that the car would do,“ a hundred miles an hour straight off the line”. I found out many years later from an owner, that this was a myth, a marketing ploy, as somewhere in the eighties would be nearer the mark. However, such a phrase sounded good back then, at a time when most family cars were out of breath at sixty miles an hour. That extra grunt did find favour with UK police forces who found it the ideal tool for catching criminals in their Jags. In much later years, the E494A would adopt the title, ‘sit up and beg’, and would find much favour with hot rodders , not just here but even in the United States.

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Corgi Ford Popular “Sit up and beg”


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Dinky Ford Pilot


My neighbour was a manager in Ford’s and as such was entitled to a company car. There was no telling from one day to the next what would current model would be parked outside the house. The Pilot was one of them. I do recall that in comparison to the kind of American V8 rumble that I would grow to love in later years, the car was remarkably quiet. By nineteen fifty five, the Mk1 Consul, Zephyr and Zephyr Zodiac had gone, to be replaced by the Mk 2, an altogether different shape from its predecessor. Their introduction saw the Zodiac come into its own as a name. I couldn’t have envisaged then that one day I would own one. The sit up and beg Anglia E494A and its bigger counterpart, the Prefect, had been replaced around this time by the 100Es. Also introduced around that time were the 300Es, van versions of the 100Es, known as Thames . Converted to carry rear seat passengers, the Anglia version became an Escort, the Prefect becoming the Squire, complete with its ‘wooden’ panels down the sides, a feature which would find its way onto the Mk I Cortina estate a few years later.

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Corgi Ford Anglia 1200


By the end of the fifties, there was a radically new shape in town. Opposite my house were some ‘prefabs’, those hastily built single storey homes for people bombed out of London in World War Two. A family there had a relative whose job was to collect new Fords from the factory and take them to the Royal London docks to be shipped around the world. Many were covered in ‘waxoil’, an anti-corrosion coating for cars which would spend the voyage on deck. I would frequently see a new Ford parked outside the neighbour’s house when the relative stopped by for a cup of tea. One day in particular lives with me to this day. It was 1959, and I took the short walk home from school. In the distance, I could see a strange looking car parked on the pavement outside the prefabs. The nearer I got, I still couldn’t identify it, in fact I’d never seen one like it before. A close inspection was called for. It had protruding headlamps and a sloping bonnet, leading down to a wide chrome grille. Like many others, it was coated in that horrible wax, and all badges were taped over, so there was nothing to say it was a Ford, or anything else. By the time I got alongside it, it was patently obvious this was a strange yet fascinating little car, that is until I noticed the rear three quarter section. “What on earth is this hideous thing”, I recall saying to myself. At the back, it had fins, and two large round tail lamps, topped off with rocket shaped indicator lenses pointing skywards. Even worse, the rear window sloped inwards. Of course, it was eventually revealed as the new 105E Anglia. Peering inside, I saw a shorter gearstick, and a totally revised dashboard from that of the familiar 100Es. I hated it. “ It must be a Ford, but what have they done here?”. I hated it. That hatred wouldn’t last long. When it came to driving test time in 1965, I had lessons in one, I passed my test in one, and declared that anybody who couldn’t pass their test in a 105E shouldn’t be driving. It’s new engine and gearbox were a delight too, gone was the sluggish old side valve motor and three speed shift of its predecessors, replaced by an overhead valve engine and a four speed ‘box. This combination would come from the 107E, the last of the Prefects, as was the use of ‘Macpherson strut’ front suspension, carried over from the 100E. Although I passed my test in a 105E, my first car was an E494A van, converted by the previous owner to feature sliding side windows, and a bench seat in the back. It had the familiar two feet long gearstick that worked like stirring a bowl of custard, and the irritating vacuum wipers, very scary when overtaking in the rain, not that I overtook much in it. It was black of course.

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Auto-Art Lotus Cortina


Many things have been written about the 105E, but for me just one stands out. This is a memory from a long time ago, so I hope my facts are right, I read the following account in a paperback, ‘The Story of Lotus’. It was the early 1960s, and Ford had approached Colin Chapman at Lotus, to develop a performance engine for motorsport. He installed the new ‘twin cam’ engine in a 105E and gave the key to of all people, Jim Clark, arguably the greatest racing driver in the world, if not since, he almost certainly was then. Clark just happened to be going home from Goodwood to Scotland. The great man was amazed at the performance of the little car, evidently blasting past a briskly driven Jaguar en route. ‘The rest’, as they say.

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Corgi Vanguards Ford Consul Classic


Were now into the 1960s, and within the first two years or so, the company began churning out a succession of new models. In 1962 came the first of the famous Cortinas, initially known as the Consul Cortina. In 1963,the Consul name also found its way onto the new Classic, a family sized four door saloon, with four headlamps and a 105E style rear window. It never really caught on. From that came a pretty two door coupe version, which was the first to wear the name, Capri, and yet another new design, the Consul Corsair. Why don’t Ford recognise that Capri as the first one? Eventually,they would all lose the Consul name. Then came the replacements for the Mk 2 Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac. The Mk 3 was yet another new design, bigger all round with a four speed gearbox, still mounted on the steering column, replacing the three speed as had been used on the Mk IIs, while retaining the engines from the MK IIs. The four cylinder Consul was dropped, to be replaced by another Zephyr model, the Zephyr 4. The Mk II Zephyr was now known as the Zephyr 6, alongside the superb top of the range Zodiac. It was one of these which was the first car I ever rode in at 100 m.p.h., at least it was according to the speedo. I wasn’t driving it I hasn’t to add. All of them would be a familiar sight on local roads, and a trip to the local dealership to drool often ensued. In 1967,105E production ceased, to be replaced by the first of the new Escort family, the name resurrected from the 300E. All of the above could be seen all day, every day.

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My first 100MPH ride


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For me, one of the most stunning models to come from Dagenham, and one which still stands out, came in 1968, and was a derivitive of the Mk 2 Cortina, which itself had been released a year earlier. Reading a national newspaper, there was a feature about a new Cortina, the 1600E. To my astonishment, it had ‘American wheels’. They weren’t of course. They were the famous ‘Rostyles’, made in the Midlands by the Rubery Owen company. I rushed along to the local dealership and there it was, in its aubergine, or ‘plum’ colour scheme. To me this has always been the colour for a 1600E. It had luxury seats, ‘walnut’ door cappings and dashboard, and instrument clusters from the Cortina GT. I was smitten.

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Corgi Vanguards Ford Zodiac Mark II


In 1971, I got my hands on a Mk 2 Zodiac. It was, and still is an all time favourite. It is almost certainly the most comfortable car I’ve ever owned or driven in over fifty years of driving, and one of the easiest to drive. With its front bench seat, three speed column shift and lazy six cylinder engine, it was a delight, despite those scary, vacuum powered wipers, carried over from the E494s and 100Es, which just like those, would slow down under acceleration, making overtaking in the rain, a very precarious affair, but at least with the Zodiac, overtaking was possible.

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Corgi Vanguards Escort Mexico


I never wanted to work at Ford’s. However, things would change in a most unexpected and uncoventional way. Not for me the usual route of writing in and asking if there were any vacancies. In October 1974 I believe it was, while making deliveries to A.V.O., Advanced Vehicle Operations in South Ockendon, Essex, I happened to ask the storeman what it was like working there. “ Yeah, it’s good, do you want a job, they’re looking for a few people”. He got me a form, and in two weeks, I was in there, not only working for Ford, but making Mk I Escort Mexicos, RS 2000s and the raucous BDA engined RS1600. Best of all, it was better pay than I was currently earning, with no shift work, as at other Ford plants. We made just fifteen cars a day! The body of the car came from Halewood on Merseyside, already fitted with all things compatible with basic Escorts, e.g all glass, rear seat and back axle and not much else. A.V.O. turned them into the RS range. If you had to make cars, it was a great place to work. Towards the end of ’74, we were told the plant would close in early ’75, as the new Mk II RSs would be made in mainstream with the other Escorts at Halewood. The union managed to get the line slowed, so as to drag out the work for as long as possible. We were now making ten cars a day.

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Vanguards Ford Granada Ghia


Unlike other plants where the cars were on a moving and virtually non-stop line, save for shift changeovers, at A.V.O. the cars were on an overhead track and would stop for the operator to do a set number of jobs. I actually enjoyed working at A.V.O. Sure enough, the plant closed its doors at the end of March 1975. Consequently, whenever I see a Mk I RS model at a motoring event, with an ‘N’ registration, I let the owner know, “it’s one of mine, I helped build it”. It goes down well. I had options. They were to leave, go to Basildon tractor plant, or transfer to Dagenham, where I still lived just a fifteen minute walk from the plant. Production at the time centred around the Mk III Cortina and the Mk I Granada and its sister car, yet another, and the last one, to wear the Consul name, which in ‘GT’ guise, would find fame in ‘The Sweeney’ tv series. I was put on the Granada final line, where the cars were finished off and driven for the first time. I didn’t enjoy that at all. It was shift work, and with it due the jobs I carried out, came back ache, legs ache and aches in ‘other places’. I left after a couple of months. I went back in 1976, ironically to exactly the same line as before, by now making the very first Fiesta. Also in production was the MK IV Cortina. I stayed around eighteen months. A nine weeks ‘all out’ strike in 1978 helped put an end to that. I never went back.

Despite some of the unpleasantries of working for Ford, the company remains a huge part of my life, especially considering that until that day I just happened to deliver to A.V.O, I had no intention whatever of working for them, despite the fact that they were the best payers by far for miles around. In the ‘60s, there were far more interesting shapes for a young man to gawp at than Ford cars, or any other cars for that matter.

Despite my initial reticence at going to work there, and those first couple months in the P.T.A., I am Ford through and through. I currently run a 2 litre diesel Mondeo, with almost 150,000 miles on the clock, which returns nearly 60 mpg, and has done even more than that. Back then such a thing would have been unheard of and unthinkable, even 35 mpg would have been both exceptional and acceptable, and that was in a 105E. One of those, or anything else of the time, would ever achieve the kind of inter galactic mileages of their modern counterparts.

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Some of the Falcons.


At the time of writing I have around three hundred Ford models in the three most popular scales, made up of ‘British’ and European Fords, American Fords and their derivatives, Lincolns, Mercurys etc, and around one hundred and twenty Australian Fords, all made up of family cars, performance cars, sports and GT cars and racing cars. In total, Australian Fords models just have the edge on British and European types. There are some others, The original Batmobile and F.1 cars for instance, which are powered by a Ford albeit Cosworth engine. They are far away the biggest single make in my collection. Nothing else comes close.

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Greenlight Ford Escort RS Mark I


So that’s my personal reflection of life and times working for and living with one of the world’s iconic motor companies. It’s nearly forty years since I walked out of the plant for the last time, yet I still have some vivid memories and a number of highlights. To this day, few engine sounds come as close as hearing a Ford/Lotus twin cam on full chat. RS 1600s at A.V.O. were few and far between in comparison to Mexicos and RS 2000s, yet whenever one came off the line, we would listen intently for the foreman to fire it up prior to driving it outside to the storage compound. I vividly remember finishing a night shift in August 1976, walking outside to the newspaper stand and seeing on the front of the Daily Mirror in huge letters, ELVIS IS DEAD. I went back inside and held up the paper for workmates to see. I can still see their astonished reaction. As a brand, Ford has taken much stick over the years, some of it justified, much of it not so. To me they’re no worse than many other, ‘quality brands’. I never think twice about buying one.

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1963 Bathurst Winning Cortina by Apex


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1964 Bathurst Winning Cortina


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1965 Bathurst Winning Cortina


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Bathurst Winners together


Model wise, what are my favourite Fords?  Mk I RS Escorts, obviously. Australian models are high on the list if for no other reason, they probably got me started collecting seriously and led to joining South Hants Model Auto Club. Models of Fords raced by the late great Australian Frank Gardner have  a special place because I saw him race them back in the late sixties and early seventies. After many years of waiting and hoping, I finally got the example of his 1969 Boss Mustang by Armco Models 56, who also produce some other excellent Mustangs from the 1960s Australian Touring Car Championship. Trofeu’s  Alan Mann Escort TC XOO 349F, which I have dubbed, ‘probably the most famous Escort in the world’, is Frank’s British Saloon Car Championship winning car. I saw him race the Mustang and the Escort many times and I was at Brands Hatch to see him win the title in 1968. The Australian collection as you might expect, is predominantly Falcons with some Cortina and Sierra race cars as well. The Falcon XC Cobra by Biante is a favourite, as it was almost certainly one of the very first Aussie Fords in my collection. I’ve got this in 64th, 43rd and 1/18th scales. One more Aussie, for no other reason than its paint scheme, is Craig Lowndes 2001 Bathurst Falcon, ‘The Green Eyed Monster’, so called because of the green headlamp covers. This one I also have in 1/18th. So far, there’s no 64th scale version of it. One other model worth a mention, is the Apex Replicas 1963 Cortina GT, which won the first ever Bathurst, only a 500 miler then. Most unique of all, it’s a four door. The model is a stunner. Does any other manufacturer do a four door Mk I Cortina?

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Armco Models Frank Gardner Mustang


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Biante Falcon Cobra XC


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Craig Lowndes Green Eyed Monster


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Frank Gardners Escort and Mustang


 

When the fateful day comes I decide to give it all up, parting with my Fords will be the hardest of all.


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Alfettas from 1950 to 1972 to 2016

by Karl Schnelle

This year has been  full of coincidences. I found two 1/43 Alfettas that I heard about years ago but never did buy.  They are not too rare but not easily had for a good price in the US.   Both are  part of different partworks from Europe.

It all started with Brian Owen’s article on  post-WWII pre-F1 race cars, in the July 2016 issue of Model Collector.  He mentioned that only Brumm and Altaya, a Spanish partworks company, made the 158, the famous #2 ‘Alfetta’ in which Farina won the British Grand Prix in 1950.   Of course, the Alfettas won every race they entered in 1950 with their drivers, Farina and Fangio, winning 11 races!

I had a few BRUMMs so I went searching for the Altaya and found the #4 car of Englishman Reg Parnell.

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Only at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix did Alfa run the four Alfettas with race number 1-4.  So this had to be the car.  Maybe Altaya made the other two as well.  An easy change to make!

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Check out Fangio driving the Alfetta at Monza in 1970!    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0Uj-GuFQF0

Then, the same seller had another Alfetta for sale in 1:43, albeit slightly more modern and pedestrian.  Alfa cashed in on the fame of the Alfetta and named their 4-door car after it, sold from 1972 to 87 (from 75-79 in the US).  I drove the 1976 US-spec version, so I had to get this one as well.  Also, the cow-catcher in the front and roof rack attracted my attention! Unlike the original Alfetta, I had no idea what this contraption represented. Google rescued me because the base it was mounted on had a lot of info.

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This partwork was released by Fabbri and made by Metro for the Alfa Romeo Sport Collection. This 72 Alfetta participated in the 1973 Raid Capo Nord – Capo Sud according to the base.  Of course you could easily read this on the side of the model as well. This car ran 26,000 km from North (Norway) to South (Cape of Good Hope).

Some photos of the real Alfetta Raid: http://www.mondoalfetta.it/alfetta-gt-26-v8/  http://www.theitalianjob.gr/blog/?p=3153  http://www.vintagegarage.ru/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=290 https://alfetta116.wordpress.com/2012/01/22/alfa-romeo-alfetta-capo-nord-capo-sud-raid/

More Alfetta Coincidences – Both these partworks had rusty screws attaching them to their black plastic bases.  No amount of WD-40 and wrenching would release them.  Do I need to drill them out? Your ideas are welcome.

Also, I attended the US National Alfa Romeo Convention this year, bringing the Alfetta connection up to the present time.   I saw a blue Alfetta there just like the one I had – mine was a 76 and the one below is a 77…  Close enough.  In 22 years, the 1950 Grand Prix Alfetta was transformed into a 4-door sport sedan in 1972.   And now it is 44 years later, and I run into a blue Alfetta again!  Amazing coincidence!

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Atlas Jaguar Collection – Jaguar Mark I

By Maz Woolley

 

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The latest model in the Atlas Jaguar Collection is a Jaguar Mark I, though of course it wasn’t called that until the Mark II was launched. The model is to 1:43 scale and is believed to be diecast by Ixo in China for Atlas. The Mark I can be identified by having full wheel covers over the rear wheels not the cutaway items on the Mark II. The Mark I was introduced in 1956 and was produced until the Mark II replaced it in 1959. Initially only available with a 2.4 Litre engine a 3.4 Litre option was added in 1957.

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The Mark I has been modelled by Neo in resin, and of course it was one of the first Corgi Toys made too. But the Mark II is much more widely modelled and has already been seen in the Atlas Jaguar Collection.  I would have liked to see the Mark I modelled as an early car with the different radiator shell but the car is modelled as 1958 car which had the revised shell which was carried forward to the Mark II.

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Overall this is a good budget model with lots of separate parts for lights, grille, and leaper as well as boot handle. The inset windows have frames which appear to be a little too thick but they are flush fitting. The interior has a neatly printed dashboard and wood effect trim.

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Find them on

Oxford Diecast – James Young Rolls-Royce Phantom V

By Maz Woolley

 

EBY148B

The second Oxford Diecast Rolls-Royce made to 1:43 scale is now on sale. The model is diecast in Oxford’s own Chinese Factory.

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The Phantom V was a very expensive and exclusive four door saloon made by Rolls-Royce from 1959 to 1968. Just 516 were made in all before production ended. It was based on the Silver Cloud II, and shared its 6,230cc V8 engine and General Motors Hydramatic automatic gearbox. with its smaller sibling. It was the last generation of Roll-Royces using a separate chassis which allowed it to be fitted with bodies made by coachbuilders like H. J. Mulliner, Park Ward, and James Young.

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The model is based upon a James Young bodied car as shown at the head of this article and is a 1964 car having the quad headlights introduced in 1963. It has been restored to a high standard and has navy blue over silver paint,  blue leather seats and blue carpet all of which can be seen on the Oxford model.  is based on a real car as shown at the head of the article and available to hire from Ultimate Classic Car Hire of London.

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Comparing the Oxford model to photographs of the real car shows that Oxford has captured it very well right down to the GB plate and elaborate boot handle at the rear. The model is excellent overall with a nice radiator and spirit of ecstacy mascot, good lights front and rear, the massive bumpers well modelled, and tiny RR symbols printed where needed. The wheels and tyres are suitably large and heavy like those on the original car.  Inside the leather seats are well modelled and the door cards are in matching blue finish with the wood trim and dashboard neatly represented. The windows are flush fit items with chrome surrounds printed in a realistic manner.

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There are one or two niggles with the model. One rear wheel hub is not chromed right up to the rim, the C pillars have a faint mould line showing, and the silver paint is a little thick making the panel lines a little “blurred”.

Despite the few negative comments this really is an excellent model from Oxford especially when you consider the price point that it is sold at.


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The Ford Car in Miniature – CL9000/CLT9000 Trucks

By Dave Turner

Photographs of the models and a table summarising their details can be found at the base of the article.  

For 1978 Ford replaced the W Series of top end trucks that had run from mid 1966 with the all-new CL9000/CLT9000. These tractor units were built to the highest quality to compete with the best that Freightliner and Kenworth had on offer.

The CLT9000 was equipped with a Reyco tandem axle while Cummins KT or KTA engines were employed. No less than five lengths of cab ranging from non-sleepers to narrow and double sleepers while among the dress-up packages came the choice of stacked dual headlights. A lightweight package had the truck built with much aluminium while from the early 1980s, the range was extended to include rigid trucks as well as tractor units.

By the end of 1991, Ford found that they required more production space, and left the high end of the truck market by discontinuing the last of the large tilt-cab Fords.

As far as models go, there is a rather disparate selection of small CLT9000s from tiny die cast toys and plastic kits to quite impressively large steel toys.

AMT plastic kits have appeared under several shared names, their 1:32 CLT9000 tractor unit came under both Matchbox and Ertl banners. These were Snap kits requiring no adhesive, and came in coloured plastic that need not be painted together with many plated parts. The 1982 AMT/Matchbox catalogue included a couple of semi-trailer box vans in kit form that were suitable to accompany these. A larger plastic kit for the same vehicle came from the Japanese Imai range, their 1:28 scale CLT9000 appears on ebay from time to time, if unbuilt for three figure sums.

Ertls 1:64 diecast miniature CLT9000 came with three different trailers, a box van, a flatbed carrying a large ‘I’ beam and a grain carrier. The cab that appears to be the largest 110” BBC (bumper to back of cab) tilts to reveal a simple plated plastic ‘engine’. The body of both the grain trailer and box van are plastic on a diecast base while the rear doors on both open.

Majorette offered some 1:87 diecast CLT9000 units with a variety of trailers, and despite their small scale featured some reasonably nice wheels, rather than toy whizz-wheel type. Remaining in this scale some plastic kits came from the German arm of Revell featuring CLT 9000 tractor units in two cab sizes and car carrier and flatbed trailers. Shortly after, similar kits utilising the same tooling were sold in the US under the Lindberg banner. These kits while being quite inexpensive feature some well produced plated parts.
Even smaller are the Hot Wheels CLTs from Mattel, first appearing in 1982 with the then familiar Hot Wheels plated base/bumper component, they had a second lease of life around 2002, with simplified body castings and plated plastic base/bumper. The dump truck was also passed off as a stake truck but unlike most other Hot Wheels creations these little trucks are quite acceptable models of their chosen subject.

At the other end of the scale Nylint produced some 1:25 steel toy CLT9000s in both semi trailer and rigid form and with two sizes of cab. The all shared the same three axle chassis, have simple plastic cab interiors and feature stick-on decals for their sign writing.

Ford CL9000/CLT9000

AMT USA 1982-88 6786 CLT 9000 Tractor unit 1:32 Plastic kit
Matchbox 6805 Same kit
Ertl Hong Kong 1980 1453 CLT9000 110” cab Box trailer 255mm 1:64 Diecast/plastic
Ertl Hong Kong 1980 1454 CLT9000 110” cab Grain Trailer 255mm 1:64 Diecast/Plastic
Ertl Hong Kong 1980 1459 CLT9000 100” cab Flatbed 255mm 1:64 Diecast/Plastic
Imai Japan 1980 964 CLT9000 Tractor unit 1:28 Plastic kit
Majorette France 1986-94 601 CLT9000 Low loader w helicopter 205mm 1:87 Diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 602 CLT9000 Low loader w Front loader 205mm 1:87 diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 604 CLT9000 Box van trailer 1:87 Diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 605 CLT9000 Tanker trailer 1:87 Diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 607 CLT9000 Container trailer 1:87 Diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 615 CLT9000 Low loader w stock car 1:87 Diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 616 CLT9000 Low loader w bulldozer 1:87 Diecast
Majorette France 1988-94 618 CLT9000 Low loader w Seaplane 1:87 Diecast
Revell Germany 1984 2102 CLT9000 110” cab w flatbed trailer 1:87 Plastic kit
Revell Germany 1984 2104 CLT9000 64” cab w Car Carrier trailer 177mm 1:87 Plastic kit
Lindberg USA 1986 1047 CLT9000 110” cab box van trailer 1:87 Plastic kit
Lindberg USA 1986 1056 CLT9000 110” cab w flat bed trailer 1:87 Plastic kit
Mattel Malaysia 1982/02 3253 CLT9000 64” cab Dump truck 68mm 1:95 Diecast/plastic
Mattel Malaysia 1982/02 4018 CLT9000 64” cab Stake bed truck 68mm 1:95 Diecast/plastic
Mattel Malaysia 1983/02 3916 CLT9000 64” cab wrecker 73mm 1:95 Diecast/plastic
Nylint USA 1988 9116 CLT9000 110” cab box trailer 525mm 1:25 Steel
Nylint USA 1988 9150 CLT9000 64” cab refuse truck 323mm 1:25 Steel
Nylint USA 1988 CLT9000 64” cab box van 262mm 1:25 Steel
Nylint USA 1988 CLT9000 110” cab log trailer 1:25 Steel

 

Models pictured – Ford CL9000/CLT9000

Illustration 1 Ertl CLT9000Ertl 1:64 diecast/plastic from Hong Kong: 1453 Semi box van trailer “Ford Tractors Equipment”


Illustration 2 Ertl grain trailerErtl 1:64 diecast/plastic from Hong Kong: 1454 Semi grain trailer.


Illustration 3 Ertl flat bed trailerErtl 1:64 diecast from Hong Kong: 1459 Flatbed trailer with girder load.


Illustration 4 MajoretteMajorette 1:87 diecast from France: 602 low-loader trailer with front loader digger.


Illustration 5 Revell car carrierRevell 1:87 plastic kit from Germany: 2104 Short cab with Car Carrier Trailer.


Illustration 6 Revell flatbed trailerRevell 1:87 plastic kit from Germany: 2102 Double sleeper cab with flat bed trailer.


Illustration 7 Lindberg 1047Lindberg 1:87 plastic kit from USA: 1047 with box van trailer.


Illustration 8 Lindberg 1056Lindberg 1:87 plastic kit from USA: 1056 with flat bed trailer.


Illustration 9 Hot Wheels 3253Hot Wheels 1:95 diecast/plastic from Malaysia: 3253 dump truck “Sunset Trucking” 1982 issue


Illustration 10 Hot wheels 3916Hot Wheels 1:95 diecast/plastic from Malaysia: 3916 Wrecker “Autocity Tow” 2002 issue.


Illustration 11 Nylint 9116Nylint 1:25 steel from USA: 9116 Double sleeper cab with box van trailer “Motorcraft Parts”


Illustration 12 Nylint 9150Nylint 1:25 steel from USA: 9150 “Trash Masher”refuse truck – lever on the side operates “masher”


Illustration 13 Nylint box vanNylint 1:25 steel from USA : Box van “Motorcraft Batteries”

 


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Editorial September 2016

The gremlins got into our web host’s database systems recently, so that we were unable to post new articles for several days. Our apologies if you tried to browse the site and found that it was unusably slow. On the bright side, they now seem to have sorted things out, and the web site seems to be more responsive now. Hopefully this was a one-off issue.

We are now in the last quarter of 2016, and models announced earlier this year are now steadily shipping. One example is the latest 1:43 scale Rolls-Royce Phantom V from Oxford Diecast which was well worth waiting for, and which will feature in a posting on this site shortly. Corgi’s best sellers seem to be the re-released Thunderbird models. The 60th anniversary cars being sold at a lower price seem to be selling well now too. 1:24 scale has always had a following in the USA, but quite a few models in this scale seem to be making their way onto the market in the UK and Europe at the moment. The models are of cars already available in many scales like the ubiquitous VW Beetle, and most are finished with limited detailing, and feature opening parts. Perhaps their size gives them a greater appeal to the general market? I doubt that many collectors will start collecting in this scale, except for people who collect specific themes. Perhaps this scale will take the place of those “cheap” 1:18 scale models which seem to be less in evidence recently. 1:18 scale seems to be alive and well, but firms such as Minichamps, GT Spirit, OTTO, Paragon and others are making high-standard models which are being offered at premium prices. The small 1:43 resin and white metal specialists continue to produce many new models each month but in small runs, and with few opportunities to re-use masters for re-colours in many cases, so a lot of development work has to be spread over few models, hence the steadily rising prices.

I have speculated in the past about whether the sales of partworks and subscription series would decrease as all the obvious topics have been covered. But right now, as one collection closes another vehicle related collection seems to start. There are indications, however, that the UK Atlas Dinky series may not have sufficient subscribers remaining to fund the production of replicas of UK-produced Dinky toys. The latest models released have all been from Dinky France and based on castings already seen in the Continental Dinky Series, so one wonders whether we will see any more “Binns Road” castings. Over on the continent Atlas have launched a Mercedes-Benz series similar to the Jaguar series released in the UK, and they continue with their series of replicas of later Dinky Toys with opening features. The run up to Christmas is traditionally the time that collections aimed at the general public are launched, so we look forward to seeing what is launched this year.

I would like to thank our contributors for their articles and encourage you all to contribute to MAROnline and share your collecting interests with all our readers. Do not worry if you cannot produce a fully finished article, or if you find writing in English difficult; we will always edit your article before posting it. We would be particularly interested in hearing from those of you who collect models in one of the areas we do not regularly cover, such as agricultural equipment, fire appliances, construction equipment, or buses and coaches .


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When a Jaguar can carry more than two to five passengers.

By John Quilter

The editors would like to thank John for sharing this article which was originally written for the national Jaguar Club magazine in North America, the Jaguar Journal.

 

2016 Jaguar limo

In the United Kingdom Jaguar is a provider of limousines via a separate company that does the conversion to stretched six door cars which accommodate up to eight passengers including the driver. This speciality business is now outsourced after the end of production of the long running Daimler DS420 limousines. Unlike American stretch limos these cars are conveniently fitted with six doors for easy and graceful entry and egress. The company that produced these conversions, Wilcox Limousines, has been in business since 1948. They take a brand new Jaguar XJ, place it on an armature and literally saw it apart after removal of all the interior trim and other components. Then they add an additional door to fit between the front and rear doors. Of course this work entails a longer roof, cutting and splicing the complex wiring harness and a myriad of other changes to make it all work. The current product is based on the X351 Jaguar XJ although previous products have been made on the circa 2009 Daimler Super Eight known internally by Jaguar as the X358 which was the first of the aluminum bodied cars. Still earlier, they did a six door conversion of the circa 1997-2003 XJ sedan known internally as the X308 bodied cars made from 1994 to 2003 which were the last of the steel bodied cars. For those interested in seeing a short video on the construction of these special Jaguars see the following YouTube clips. On the current limo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWQXzTRsPMs and on the hearse conversion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBnCaGHOx68 And full details of the Wilcox operation can be seen on their website at: http://limousines.co.uk/

2016 Jaguar hearseIn the You Tube videos it is quite amazing to see them literally take a Sawzall to a brand new $80,000 car all accompanied by nice classical music such as Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. As part of the conversion on the air suspended X358, the first of Jaguar’s air suspension cars, the suspension system has been recalibrated to increase the ride height slightly. On the X351 the front springs are uprated and the rear is air suspended and modified to activate at start up and to raise the car on startup not at 20 MPH as standard. Cars begin as short wheel base versions but long wheel base doors are used in the construction process and the displaced short wheel base rear door are modified to be center doors. Of course all these panels are aluminum. The hearse’s expansive roof section and the very large rear quarter panels are fabricated of GRP, glass reinforced plastic, or in US speak, fiberglass. Since all these cars are rear wheel drive this necessitates extending the propshafts by 1.2 meters. Additional wiring is purchased from Jaguar so the wiring looms can be extended and knowing the complexity of Jaguar wiring that must be a considerable amount of splicing. Both the current limo and hearse are powered by either the 3.0 liter gasoline V6 or the diesel 3.0 liter V6 with 340 or 275 horsepower respectively.

2016 Jaguar limo interior

In addition to the subject Jaguars, Wilcox also produce vehicles based on Volvos and Vauxhalls if a customer wants a somewhat less prestigious name plate. William and May Wilcox began after his war service by landing the contract to supply cars and drivers to a UK movie studio. They later progressed from renting the these vehicles to owning them himself and he found that his customers were also looking for hearses. This led by 1948 of him having hearse bodies build on the largest of the Austin cars, the Austin Princess. By 1968 with the launch of the Daimler DS420 limousines from Jaguar he obtained the franchise for these vehicles. In 1970 the business moved to large showrooms in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire. Bill retired in 1974 due for health reasons but his two sons, Peter and Paul begin to run the business. By 1992 Jaguar had given them an exclusive contract to build their limousines and hearses as by this time the in-house Daimler DS420 limousine had ceased production. With the launch of the aluminum bodied cars Wilcox built a new modern factory facility to convert these cars which was located in Northampton.

A gallery of John’s photographs follows below. Click on the gallery and then you may page through the photographs shown.

Now in the prolific world of 43rd scale models, a Chinese based company Great Lighting Models (GLM) have produced four resin replicas of previous and current Wilcox products. The earliest being based on the X308 sedan, progressing to the next generation car, the first of the aluminum cars, the X358 and finally the current XJ in two versions, the six door limo and the hearse with its exaggeratedly raised roof. All these models come in clear plastic display boxes mounted on a black plinth with a small plaque showing which number the item is in the limited production of 299 items. To enable the proliferation of varieties of models these days, most of the Chinese makers have moved to casting these in resin as it does not entail very costly tooling as would be necessary for more traditional pot metal diecast modeling. The down side of the resin modeling process is the mold has a limited life and so the models made from it are limited in number, thus from the maker’s viewpoint making them more desirable to collectors and much more exclusive. Short of the heft of the model, there is really nothing to choose between a resin replica, a diecast, or traditional white metal model. The accuracy and detail can still be exquisite as it is with these GLM miniatures.

Taking a close look at the 2016 XJ limousine we find it is a left hand drive version, in a medium metallic grey but which Jaguar calls Ultimate Black and the interior Ivory as shown in their brochure. The wheels are the 20 inch Kasuga high gloss silver. There is a photoetched leaper on the boot lid and black photo etched wipers just below the windscreen. Chassis detail is minimal with only a twin exhaust system shown.

Moving to the hearse version of this car we find an amazingly raised roof line and a massive rear side window showing the burled wood platform for a coffin. This car is right hand drive using the same wheels and extended wheelbase. There is very fine pinstripe from the front wing to the rear quarter panel. Instead of the six side doors of the limo this one has two large side doors at the forward end of the rear compartment. For some reason the car is equipped with a chrome roof rack on top of what appears to be a vinyl roof covering. I’m sure Wilcox would produce any of these elongated cars in any color you would like but this hearse is in the traditional nonmetallic black.

The earliest limousine model is based on the X308 the body produced from 1997 to 2003. A common complaint with this body shell was there was limited headroom so Wilcox has subtly raised the roof ever so slightly and squared off the rear back light area to make interior accommodation better. Jaguar realized this shortcoming and addressed it in the next generation of vehicle, the first all-aluminum car, the X358 but then some said that car was too bulky (dare I say Ford Crown Victoria like) so it goes to show you cannot please all the people all the time!

So with these unusual versions of Jaguars you have a window into a Jaguar product not likely to be seen in North America where Jaguars are often only two or four passenger motor cars. And for one’s last ride the hearse is top drawer.


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