Ten Model Car Brands With Unusual Histories

By Ron Ruelle

Ron is Social Media Guy, Catalog Editor, and Collectibles Expert at hobbyDB, a database and marketplace for collectibles, and originally published this article at the lamleygroup blog and then on the hobbyDB blog. Therefore, the titles link to items at hobbyDB.  Click on the photos for larger images.

Anyone who’s collected model cars for any amount of time has become acquainted with the major diecast brands as well as some of the small-market, niche-oriented companies. There are a lot of older brands that have gone by the wayside, or have been bought and sold so many times you aren’t sure who they are anymore. Here are a few diecast oddities to add to your collection.  Some are older, some newer, but they are listed in random order.

Jet Wheels/AMT Pups



Jet Wheels was a company that made realistically proportioned 1:65 scale models with working suspension and opening hoods or other features. The earliest cars from the late 1960s were in fact made by AMT, (they called the series “Pups”) who then sold the business and the molds to Mego. The original range of 8 American street cars was augmented by a series of Formula 1 cars as well as some garage and track accessories. Some of these were later released under the Tuffy and Super Speedy names, but they eventually faded into history…

Kenner’s foray into 1:64 scale diecast only lasted a few years in the late 1970s, but they made some interesting cars. Some of them were souped-up models of production cars, while others were far-out fantasy rides. What tied them all together was the rear bumpers, which stuck out and angled upward so you could read the license plate. Each of these cars represented a different state, so the plates were kind of a big deal. The packaging also had a neat feature, a transferable “title” that was to filled out by the kid who bought it and then filled out again if it was traded or sold. Clean copies without writing on the back are somewhat rare these days.

This range of toys included a variety of construction equipment such as dump trucks, loaders, and tractors, not all of the Mack brand vehicles. This was one of several brands available from Zee Toys in the late 1970s. Detail is surprisingly vague, as they appear to be direct, unauthorized knockoffs of Matchbox cars from a few years earlier. With different wheels and the wording removed from the base, they just seem a bit “cheaper” than the originals.

Here’s another brand from Zee Toys, one that tried a little harder than Mini Macks. Detail is again pretty basic, especially the interiors, but at least they were trying by creating their own original molds. And they even made a model of the George Barris SuperVan, so that has to count for something, right?

This was a brand of inexpensive, crudely detailed cars perfect for letting your kids play with in the sandbox. In a strange twist, instead of these cars being based on another well-known brand, the molds served as the basis for a revival of another popular brand. In the early 1980s, as Dinky was headed for bankruptcy, Kidco rebadged some of these cars under the Dinky name, a sad step down in quality. Despite the crude detail, Tough Wheels managed to score a few licensed properties such as M*A*S*H vehicles.


Then there were the Burnin’ Key Cars, a subset of Tough Wheels. These came with a very cool feature: a spring-wound motor that was activated by a slightly out of scale key. As with the Tough Wheels brand, they managed to finagle licensing deals with some popular TV shows, including Magnum P.I. and Knight Rider. For several years, the Burnin’ Wheels name lived on as a Matchbox brand and then again as part of Maisto. Each change of ownership brought vastly improved designs and packaging.

You may not recognize the name, but if you’re of a certain age, you should know their cars… Doepke started off as a family company in 1946 making mostly construction and fire vehicles. The owner’s mother suggested that they not make military vehicles (it was just after the war) and to make more peaceful toys.  They also created some very large scale kits, about 1:12 scale, of a Jaguar XK120 and an MG TD… [ED: Here is a great website with lots of Doepke info and photos.]

The bodies are made of thick diecast metal, while other parts were white metal, plastic or stamped steel. Both cars featured working steering and suspension. The MG was branded as the “MT” so they may not have had the rights to produce that particular model. While only available for a few years, these kits were huge sellers at the time.

Hard to say if these models were meant as a sincere tribute or something of an ironic joke. This division of Motor Max made models of Pintos, Gremlins, LeBaron wagons and such… not exactly the keys to real-life excitement. On the other hand, it’s been hard to find models of these cars if you did want them, and Fresh Cherries cars were nicely detailed with delicate luggage racks and other bits. They came in several scales including 1:24, 1:64 and 1:87, all in high quality packaging. They even did 1:16 radio controlled versions of some of these cars, and you have to admit that’s beyond awesome.

It’s understandable if you don’t recognize this brand… This Eastern European company made mostly promotional models of Trabants and Wartburgs and Moskviches that were given away not in cereal boxes, but in cases of beer! In fact, only a few of their models represented common Western European marques like Volkswagen or Jaguar. Some of their packaging evokes a strong Cold War era image, something you don’t see every day at any scale.

Wait, Hallmark? Like the card company? Yep! In the early 1970s, Hallmark introduced a series of overtly cartoony cars called Road Rovers, which looked almost like balloon creations. They were roughly the size of 1:64 scale cars, but because they are so oddly proportioned, scale is irrelevant here. The early cars were all metal and represented familiar vehicle types such as fire trucks or Volkswagen Beetles. After a decade hiatus, the brand was revived in the mid 1980s with plastic bases. The new line included reinterpretations of several of the originals plus designs that transformed objects such as vacuum cleaners or piggy banks into cars.

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Parker Models VE69 Wolseley Series II

By Maz Woolley



Here we have Parker models VE69 which is a Wolseley Series II as made between 1935 and 1937. This is sold as a white metal kit which consists of a body shell, chassis, steering wheel, four wheels and a Vacform.  These models are primarily aimed at the model railway market but now that Oxford Diecast has popularised 1:76 as a collectors scale  I hope that they will be of more general interest.

The Wolseley was basically an upmarket Morris using many Morris components. 15,000 were said to have been made before the Series III was introduced. Unlike the Morris equivalent at the time, the Wolseley featured an overhead valve engine and four-speed gearbox, along with ‘Easiclean’ steel-pressed wheels.

The Series II is often used in TV detective series set in the pre-war years as Wolseleys were widely used by the police and other authorities.


As usual the casting was clean and the kit assembled very easily. Unfortunately the vacform got lost and the model as shown has windows made using Krystal Klear.


This model fills another gap and would display well alongside Oxford Diecast’s model of the larger Wolseley 18/85.

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Atlas Dinky 531 FIAT Grande Vue

By Maz Woolley



The latest model from the Atlas Dinky Collection has shipped quickly after the last. It is a replica of the French Dinky FIAT 1200 Granluce which was top of the range variant of the popular FIAT 1100 range with a more powerful engine and better finish and fittings.


The model has been produced in ivory with a pearly blue roof which was one of the two options available the other being bronze with a cream roof  as illustrated on the box. Personally I would have preferred the model in bronze but the colours used are realistic.


This model started as 24N and was then renumbered 531. 531 was in production from 1959 to 1962.  Atlas claims that this model was sold in the UK and Spain as well as in France but my reference books do not list this as a model officially sold in the UK by Dinky.


The Dinky is quite a good replica of the original as shown on some brochures but many cars actually had extra painted and chromed areas on the side of the car rather than the single chrome strip modelled. The painted roof ought to have extended down as show in the brochure picture below.


FIAT Granluce 1200

This FIAT car design was destined to have a long life being made in India for many years in Mumbai and being a common taxi cab. Like the Hindustan it was made in India for years after the original vehicle had vanished from the roads of its native country.

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Corgi 2017 – Police Mini Cooper

By Maz Woolley



VA02540 Austin Mini Cooper S, Durham Constabulary

Corgi have announced another “new model” for May 2017 to follow the ‘recycled’ Sunbeam Alpine. Yet again it is a re-used casting, this time of the Mini Cooper S .

Far from being a new model the Durham Mini Cooper was made by Corgi Classics some time ago in a box set with the Jaguar Mark II used by Durham’s Motorway Patrol. However, the sample picture of this new issue does seem to have more realistic speaker and bell fitments rather than the rally style spotlights of the original and it has ordinary wheels rather than alloys too. Looking at the sample there are few other updates to bring the model up to date. The interior has no door cards just a painted metal shell and the front indicator and rear lights are just painted on.  In fact this model is no better than the average part work issue, and poorer than many. All of which might not matter if the Corgi pre-order price was not so high, it will cost substantially more than a more detailed Oxford Diecast Rolls Royce Model for example.

Whilst we wish Corgi well at MAROnline but we don’t think that the way to succeed is to re-use old castings that are already long in the tooth and then claim that they are “new”. If these are being trailed as their exciting releases for 2017 then in our view Corgi will fall even further behind the competition.

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By John Quilter

Please note all photographs of the real cars are from ChinaAutoWeb.com. The Author has sought permission to use the pictures but has had no reply as yet. The photographs of the models are by the Author.



Some may not realize that the MG brand and logo are now in the hands of a Chinese firm, SAIC Motor Corporation Limited, a state owned firm based in Shanghai. They are the largest Chinese automaker by sales with over 5 million units sold in 2014. Brand names that are exclusive to SAIC are Maxus, MG and Roewe, but they have joint production with such brands as Baojun, Buick, Chevrolet, Iveco, Skoda, VW, and Wuling. The MG that is the subject of this article is known as the MG GT a medium sized four door fast back sedan which was launched in 2014 and produced in China. SAIC maintains a UK facility that does engineering work for its MG branded products and until recently did some low volume assembly of MGs there for the UK market.

2015-mg-gt-white 2015-mg-gt-red

The subject of this article, MG GT It is powered by either of two engines, both petrol, inline four cylinder of 1.4 or 1.5 litre. The smaller one being a direct injection unit producing 110KW at 5600 RPM and the larger one 95KW at 5500 RPM. Gearboxes are manual six speeds, automatic six speeds or a seven speed dual clutch unit. Zero to 100 KMH (62 MPH) ranges from 9.5 to 9.8 seconds depending on the engine and gearbox. Trim levels include names such as Fashion, Elite, Luxury, and Flagship. Equipment puts these modern cars a long, long way from our “classic” MGs with such things as a start stop system, smart charging regenerative braking, cruise control, power windows, door locks, something called, InkaNet 4.0 Telematics , GPS, Voice Control, Mirrorlink connection and Blue tooth connectivity. A dual zone auto air conditioner or in lesser versions, a manual air conditioner with a pollen filter. For safety there are dual front air bags, dual side air bags, side curtain, ABS rear camera and other features. However SAIC specifies some of these features only on the top of the line version. Classic MG folks will relate to the leather seats or leather/cloths seats and the “Sports Instrument Panel” So these cars at least in the non-base line version are right up there with current automotive technology and features.


The models of this MG GT come in a pair mounted on a fancy decorative raised plinth with a clear cover. Unlike most models in 1:43 scale there is no indication what model company produce this pair except for the chassis of the cars that states “SAIC Motor” in English and some Chinese characters which are presumably a translation.


The cars and the box they come in, unlike most all models, have absolutely no indication of the maker of the actual model. The MG logo is prominent on the outer box and the mounting plinth so presumably the car maker SAIC have “licensed” this model product but normal licensing rules and regulations in China may be much different than in the rest of the world as the Chinese are well known for unapproved knockoffs and clones. Of the two cars the red one is quite stock and the white one is a sort of rallye or race version, having an internal roll cage, only the driver’s seat which is a sort of Recaro style bucket seat with a four point seat belt evident.


Both are left hand drive as suitable for China where most of the real car are sold. The red car has a sunroof in a dark tinted glass, an all-black interior and chrome allow style wheels. There is even a tiny grid replicating a heated the rear window. MG octagon logos are prominently displayed on the front edge of the bonnet and hatchback. In the modern style there is minimal chrome trim, most being black. Interestingly the front and rear license plates state “Morris Garages” so somebody has done their MG history homework.


Looking closer at the rallye version which is in white with a non-sunroof flat black roof with a very large MG logo picked out in gloss black. There is black and red decorative striping on the flanks, a black wing on the rear somewhat like what might be found on some Subaru WRX cars. The rear tail pipes are different than the red street car in that they are well separated instead of being side by side but in both cases they are chrome plated. The chassis shows a fair amount of detail such as the full exhaust system, front and rear suspensions, transverse engine sump, end on gearbox and some floor sheet metal detail.

2015-mg-gt-rallye-2 2015-mg-gt-rallye-1

Judging by weight all indications are that both of these replicas are diecast, not the now more common resin material used in Asian made 43rd scale miniatures. The metal diecast medium is an indication that these models will be made in relatively high production numbers compared to the resin issues. The model maker has taken the trouble to create two wheel styles, the street car with silver alloys and the rallye car with large diameter black alloys. Both being the open spoke type so a brake discs of two different diameters are show behind the wheels. Nice attention to detail here.

2015-mg-gt-stock-2 2015-mg-gt-stock-1

Editor: These cars seem to be known in the UK as the MG5 which appeared on Top Gear and in publicity but do not seem to have been sold here though the credit for the design seems to go to Tony Williams-Kenny who presumably worked at the design centre that SAIC maintain in the UK. The MG6 which was similar but with larger engines was sold in the UK mid-2016 when SAIC decided to stop development of its diesel engine to meet the latest Euro standards, a decision that lead to the MG6 being withdrawn from the UK market and effectively mean that SAIC cannot compete in the mid-sized car market in Europe unless they “buy in” modern diesels from another manufacturer. 

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Atlas Dinky Toys 564 Miroitier Estafette Renault

By Maz Woolley


I now have the latest model shipped by Atlas in the Atlas Dinky collection in the UK. Again it is a French Dinky model and one already seen in the Continental series.  This model first appeared in 1963 re-using some of the components of 563 Estafette pickup to create a Glaziers vehicle and was deleted in 1965.


The original model is usually missing the spare wheel and glazing panes that are easily lost but these are all included in this replica. The spare wheels being held in the plastic tray the vehicle rests on ready to be placed in the pick up bed.


This model was never made available by UK Dinky so is rare here. It only ever came in one colour as shown with matching wheel hubs and black tyres.


The replica comes with two sheets of ‘glass’, one clear and the other mirrored and the Saint Gobain brand is carried on the frame to hold the glass.



This is another nice replica but a long way away from the spirit of the original adverts which focused heavily on UK Dinky toys which seem no longer to be being replicated for the series. One wonders if the number of collectors has fallen below the level where it is worthwhile to get new moulds made but is still high enough to make it worth getting more models from the continental Dinky Toys collection made and used to keep the collection going.

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Parker Models – Ford CX

By Maz Woolley



Rod Parker produces white metal kits to 1:76 and 1:144 scale here in the UK.  These are predominantly aimed at railway modellers but also offer interesting models for 1:76 scale collectors which may never appear ‘ready made’. The model photographed for this article is VE67 which is a 1935-37 Ford Model CX.

The Ford model C/CX was a 10HP model which sold in smaller numbers than the 8HP model Y. Around 33,000 were made at Dagenham, some as kits for export.  The C was introduced in 1934 and after some small modifications it became a CX with the horizontal bars on the grille in 1935. Production ended in 1937 when it was replaced by the 7W which was the first of the “sit up and beg” style cars which lasted until the end of the 1950s. The C/CX used the 1172cc Ford Sidevalve engine which Ford only dropped at the beginning of the 1960s.


It shows that shared models across European subsidiaries were not new when the Transit was launched in 1965 as the C and Y models were made in Germany as the Eifel and Köln, though with slightly re-styled grilles, and assembled in Spain too. Kits were also sent in knocked down form to Australia for local assembly.


As ever the casting was very clean and little preparation was needed before painting, though care needs to be taken that if you are adding the lights after painting the model then make sure they will comfortably fit in the holes provided for them before spraying the shell.  The model is fairly simple to put together consisting of the body shell, chassis unit incorporating seats and dash, steering wheel, wheels, separate headlights, as well as a vacform. The wire wheels are quite sturdy but offer some challenges to paint and finish well as is evident from my photographs. Pictures show that the car seems to have been supplied as standard with wire wheels in the UK so they add authenticity even if they are fiddly to finish.

Even with my average modelling skills the model makes up well and it provides an example of yet another vehicle not yet made in this scale. Even in 1:43 the only previous model seems to be an obsolete Milestone Miniatures model.

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DeAgostini Mercedes-Benz Part Work for UK

By Maz Woolley



Collectors who have previously purchased models from DeAgostini here in the UK are being sent fliers for a Mercedes-Benz collection being launched by DeAgostini UK. This appears to be very similar to the series sold on a monthly basis in Germany. The UK DeAgostini website only shows pictures of the 300SL, 190SL and the 230SL. All the models shown appear to be derived from castings already made available in other part work series and budget ranges.

The German DeAgostini website shows the following as part of the German series but they do not show the 190SL promised as the second in the UK range.  Of course there is no guarantee that all the items sold in the German series will appear in the one for the UK.

  • G300 1993
  • 260D 1936
  • 600 Pullman 1963
  • 300SEL 6.3 1968
  • 150 Roadster 1935
  • SLR McLaren 2004
  • 200D 1976
  • Typ G4 1938
  • 300SLR 1955
  • 220SE Convertible 1958
  • Mercedes-Simplex 40PS 1902
  • 350SL 1971
  • SSK 1928
  • SLS AMG 2009
  • 500K Autobahnkurier 1934
  • C111 /11 1970
  • 500SEC 1980

If any reader is collecting the German series or the UK one we would be very interested to receive pictures and information about this part work.

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Tekno Wossat

By Robin Godwin


Looking back through old print copies of MAR, I came across North American Editor Karl Schnelle’s article on Tekno models in MAR #205 (Where Did All The Tekno Go?). It was an excellent summary of a great marque, and even included Tekno derivatives, such as Joal in Spain (and later of Macau, when Joal moved manufacture to Asia). In a post-script, MAR Editor Rod Ward mentioned that there had been earlier discussion as to whether the Joals were cast from the original Tekno moulds, or were copies, but it was never fully confirmed or denied.

I hauled out my (Macau made, but no different than the Spanish made except for “Made in Macau” on the base) Joal E-Type and compared it to my Tekno original. Without using a micrometer, I found 23 casting differences, all fairly obvious. The biggest appears to be the steering, which was retained, but changed enough that it became almost useless. The Tekno MacPherson strut type assembly (actually wrongly modelled, as E-Type suspension featured upper and lower “A-arms”) tilts back about 20 degrees, so that the top of the strut is “behind” the bottom. This allows a rotation of the king pin around that canted axis when pressure is applied, allowing the steering function, giving that quirky Tekno “left pressure for right steering”. Joal made the struts vertical, so pressure on one side or the other does not provide the rotation essential for the king pin. You can make the steering work by physically turning the wheels with your hand, but not by manoeuvring the car while rolling it on the floor, so play value is much reduced. I won’t bore readers with a list of all 23 differences on the E-Type (unless Karl wants to see them), but this fact puts me in the “copy camp” instead of the original mould camp. I don’t know for sure, but perhaps the Tekno steering carried a patent, necessitating a change big enough to avoid infringement (assuming a copy). I don’t have sufficient other Tekno/Joal models to compare.

This leads me to fairly recent eBay purchase, which is a completely unmarked diecast copy of the Tekno E-Type that I had never seen before. Examine the pictures (shown below with commentary) closely and it is obviously copied from the Tekno, and the big differences are very evident – no opening features or steering, and the base is cut from tinplate, without markings. It would appear to be an industrial product – the casting is good, but not Tekno good, and the tinplate base is obviously die cut – nothing hand build about this model.

There are two threaded screw holes inboard of the two base rivets, so the model likely came on a plinth of sorts. A third, larger hole seems to serve no purpose, unless there was originally some intent to mechanise the model with a wind up motor and this would be the keyhole. I don’t really think this this would have been possible in the small vertical cavity offered by the body casting. Again, I think this is a copy and not from an original Tekno mould (even allowing for closing of all the opening features on the Tekno). A couple of obvious differences include fewer bonnet vents (13 vs 14 on the Tekno), and a larger Jaguar font cast into the boot. Perhaps this last point is a partial clue to when this model was made, since it at least includes the Jaguar logo, whereas the Joal does not. Karl mentioned that he had heard rumours that someone in Eastern Europe had bought the old moulds and were going to reissue Teknos – could this be one of those?


Joal Macau left, and Tekno original right. Note “mirror imaging” of base cast details


Joal detail


Tekno steering mechanism. Note backwards of the strut – this enables the steering function

The mystery model – Tekno copy



Overhead view with Tekno on top and copy on bottom. Differences noted in text are clearly visible

Joal base, top. Tekno copy bottom. The copy base is clearly die cut


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Dugu 1/43 Models: Part IV

By Karl Schnelle and Chris Sweetman

This article is the final part of the Dugu story, as far as we know.  The end of the company is a bit murky, but this final chapter has been pieced together from reference books, catalogs, and websites.

Parts I – III are based on the original article, which appeared online in 2015 by Alberto Spano in Italian.  The author kindly gave his permission for the English translations.  Part I covered background and history, Part  II covered the MiniautoToys Series. and Part III the Museo Series.  Finally, this Part covers SISPLA, catalogs, and other topics.


Around 1973, Dugu moved from Varallo Sesia to Quarona Sesia and soon after closed down.  SISPLA took over around 1974 (or Dugu was just renamed then).  They issued one catalog (seen online) identical to the last Dugu one, except the name SISPLA was on the cover.  Then, SISPLA only lasted until 1975 or so, when Old Cars took over some (all?) of their equipment and business.

The price list shown below has 1973 hand-written on it and no other date. Notice the company name and address at the top!


Tractors and Trucks

If we back up to the circa 1969 Dugu catalog (see below), we see one tractor pictured: the Same Centuaro from 1966. Dugu listed it as 1/15 scale. Force (1992) lists another tractor:  the Fiat 550 plus four trucks  in 1/43 scale.  He lists them all under the name SISPLA. However, Rampini (1992) shows them as four Dugu tractors:  the Fiat 550 plus a Fiat 600, Fiat 640, and a Someca 640.   So perhaps there were five tractors in total? They all look to be the same orange tractor with different decals.

Both Force and Rampini show the 4 trucks (sold as Sispla or Dugu or both?):  Fiat 697N 6-wheel dump truck, Fiat 90NC open truck, OM N100 with the same open truck bed, and a Fiat 90NC oil tanker “Olio Fiat”.

Notification of the first Dugu truck model also appeared in the British Scale Models magazine, July 1974. Reg Miles provides confirmation that this was released under the Dugu brand. An illustration is also included of a Fiat 90 NC tipping truck. In the Scale Models’July 1976 issue, there is an advert from Auto Replicas which states that they are sole distributors of the Dugu range of trucks. Furthermore, the August 1976 issue of Scale Models features illustrations of the four types of trucks available including the 697 tipper, and Reg Miles still refers to these models as being from Dugu. He also notes that the firm recently went out of business.

FIAT 697N LOW SIDED TIPPER LORRY (photos by Chris Sweetman)

The 6-wheel dump truck or tipper lorry is marked ‘SISPLA’ on the cab base. However, Dugu’s owl symbol is cast in the base of the engine block as is ‘Made in Italy’. After Sispla collapsed, this truck became part of the fledgling Old Cars range.


This model seems to be designed from the outset as a promotional model to be used by Fiat. Hence this model features detailing not found on contemporary toy trucks. Most notable are the wheel hubs. These are exactly the same as used on the full scale Fiat. Also the tyres are prototypical with Pirelli neatly featuring on the side walls.


The cab is die-cast zinc alloy with interior detailing featuring seats and steering wheel in the RHD position. Separate plated plastic door handles are inset into the doors and a similar method is used for the grill. A Fiat badge is also a separate item applied just above the grill area. Surprisingly the chassis is made from plastic and this component includes the front bumper area. On the bumper are the headlights which are another separate item represented in clear plastic. The fuel tank has a plated plastic cap. For the low sided tipper body and for the hinged tail board zinc-alloy is the material selected. Underside details have not been neglected either with neat representations of the suspension system, axles and prop shafts.


The tipping action comprises of a plastic component with one end featuring a hook shape and the other an extended arm pivots on a metal bar in a central location on the chassis. One end of this bar is shaped as a handle. Operating this handle releases the hook and the arm raises the tipper body. The action is not as smooth as the ‘hydraulic’ styles found on contemporary toy tippers but is still effective.


The model was issued in an all card Fiat promotional box. There are no references on the box to Sispla or Dugu as being the model manufacturer.

Connection to Old Cars

The 4-5 tractors and 4 trucks are rare and infrequently appear on ebay.  Rampini says Old Cars started in 1975 in Quarona Sesia, which is a big coincidence.  He pictures the Fiat 697 and 90NC trucks, as well as two orange tractors (Fiat and Someco) as Old Cars!

Interestingly, Old Cars also produced 4 different vintage cars around 1976: 1931 Bugatti, 1907 Ford Model T, 1909 Opel, and 1905 Fiat 24 HP (open and closed versions).  Both Rampini and Force show these with very cheap silver plated, spoked wheels; not up to Dugu’s level of detail or finesse. So we assume that Old Cars did not continue any of the Dugu vintage cars, but they tried to reduce costs and introduce an even cheaper range.

So it seems Old Cars continued the tractors and trucks as they increased their range of Italian vans, buses  large trucks, etc.  When Rampini published his book in 1992, he lists them as still releasing many new products! And to this day, they still do: see www.oldcars.it.

The Catalogs

The following catalog dates are estimated based on release dates of the models contained in each one.   Year of release is taken from Alberto Spano’s original Italian article.


Front and back are shown.  This is a three-color, two-fold catalog.




1966 is lightly larger than the previous year and is a three-fold catalog.  Similar photos are shown of both series.




The catalogs now fold along the long side and are in color.  Front and back are shown below.  This and the rest of the catalogs now show each model with a photo backdrop.


New for 1968

A 2-page catalog (front and back) with new items only is shown below.



The same style catalog was produced for ~1969 with the full ranges shown. Front and back are shown, then the middle page.




Finally, the last one we have is a 1-page insert (front and back shown) from circa 1972 that was placed in the 1969 catalog.  Three new models were shown.


With two of the catalogs, these small inserts were included.  Perhaps they were originally inserted in the box with the specific model?

1908 Brixia-Züst


1912 Itala


That brings us to the end of our four part series on Dugu.   If you have any additional information, please contact the Editors at the locations noted below.

Check out hobbyDB to see if any other catalogs have been found.


Force, Edward, Classic Miniature Vehicles: Made in Italy, Schiffer, 1992.

Rampini, Paulo, Automodelli 1/43 Made in Italy, 1900-1991, Edizioni Paolo Rampini, 1992.

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