Corgi 2017 First News

By Maz Woolley


Corgi  has announced a 2017 release at the 2016 Classic Motor Show at the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre. It is scheduled to be released in March 2017 so the picture shown is of a pre-production sample.


This model is based upon the Sunbeam Alpine pre-production prototype XRW 302. This is painted in seacrest green and bears the registration numbers on the real car as shown at the Classic Car Show.

The “series” Sunbeam Alpine was a two-seater sports drophead coupé. It was built by the Rootes Group from 1959 to 1968 and early cars were assembled at Armstrong Siddeley factory as Rootes had no room in their own factories.   The name Alpine was used following the earlier Sunbeam-Talbot’s success in the Alpine Rally during the early 1950s.

The car modelled  by Corgi is the third and only surviving prototype, making it the oldest Alpine in existence. It survived because, rather than being thrashed to breaking point in testing, it was allocated to the company’s design department to be used in the development of new styles and trim.

The car was sold in 1961 to Rootes’ development engineer Bernard Unett, who’d worked on the Alpine programme and wanted to go racing. He debuted the car at Silverstone in September 1961.  After its racing career the car passed through several owners before finally being acquired by its current owner, John Willshire, who has shown the car at events such as the Silverstone Classic meeting, the Goodwood Revival and the Classic Motor Show where the car was awarded runner-up in ‘Classic Car of the Year’.

Looking at the photograph of the pre-production sample of this car Corgi has not taken steps to uprate this now long in the tooth casting yet. I do hope that before they launch the production model next March they invest some time  to make sure that it has the correct colour interior trim, correct colour tonneau cover and better wire wheels.

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News from the Continent – Minichamps and Tecnomodel

By Hans-Georg Schmitt and Maz Woolley



All photographs used have been provided by Minichamps and are of pre-release samples.

Minichamps continue to release models of recent Formula One cars. For keen collectors of F1 cars Minichamps are the main source of models at the moment.



Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W06 Hybrid

This set is made to 1:18 scale in China for Germany. It represents a 2015 car and includes a figurine of Lewis Hamilton in a celebratory pose.


HAAS F1 Team Ferrari VF-16

This 1:43 scale model is cast in resin in China for Germany. It is a highly detailed model of the HAAS teams 2016 car as driven by Estenban Gutierrez.


HAAS F1 Team Ferrari VF-16

This 1:43 scale model is cast in resin in China for Germany. It is a highly detailed model of the HAAS teams 2016 car as driven by Roman Grosjean.


All photographas have been supplied by Tecnomodel.

Tecnomodel continue to develop resin models of Alfa Romeo cars in their Mythos series. These are all to 1:18 scale and produced in small editions.


 MT18-21D Alfa Romeo 1300 Junior Zagato 1971

The model shown in in Piper yellow with a black interior. The wheels are the period aluminium finish.  The same car has also been produced in Alfa Romeo red and in Silver.

The Junior Zagato was produced in small numbers between 1969 and 1975 with the engine size starting at 1300cc and gradually increasing to nearly 1600cc by the end of production. Only just over 1500 of these cars were made.


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AutoCult November 2016

By Maz Woolley


Thomas Roschmann of Autocult has sent us news of the latest models to be launched. Again all are made in China in resin to 1:43 scale for Germany. They are the  usual mix of obscure and workaday subjects.


03007 Triver Rana

This microcar was launched in 1955 and was built in Bilbao in Spain until 1960. It was an attempt to provide basic transportation along the lines of the Italian Isetta with entry via a single front mounted door and space for two adults in the front and two children in the rear. All powered by a 399cc 15 HP boxer engine located between the rear wheels.

The poor sales were hardly surprising as in 1957 the SEAT 600 was launched offering the Spanish family more comfort and speed. Microcars like the Triver and Biscuter quickly became sidelined by a “proper” up to date small car.



05014 Gatso 4000 Aero Coupe

This car was produced in the Netherlands from 1948 in Heemstede and the owner of the factory was Maurice  Gatsonides. Its distinctive appearance came from the third central light. The production numbers are not firmly established and between 4 and 11 cars may have been made some as coupes and some as convertibles, and a four seater touring car was also proposed. The car was based on a Matford Chassis (French Ford which later became Simca) and a four litre V8 Mercury engine.

The name Gatso will be more familiar to UK readers as a brand of speed camera developed by Maurice in the 1950s when he was a rally driver as a timing device. It was widely used by UK police forces in the 1980s and 1990s



06011 Audi Asso di Picche

This was one of series of three cars produced by Giorgio Giugiaro of Ital Design in the early 1970s. Asso di Picche means “ace of spades”.

The body was built on the Audi 80 and shown at Motor Shows in 1973 but it was never taken up by Audi though some may say that the shape had some influence upon the first generation Quattro.



07005 Ford Thames 400E Racing Truck

The 400E has already appeared in the Autocult range and here it is presented as a basic racing transporter as used by Team Lotus in its early days. A similar model with a trailer has also been produced by SMTS in the UK.

The flat bed rear would have been added to a standard Chassis/Cab unit shipped by Ford and customised to allow one car to be strapped on.



08004 Goliath Express 1100 flatbed truck

Introduced in 1953  with a two stroke engine of 688cc and 29 HP this lightweight truck replaced the slow selling GV800. The engine was quickly uprated to 886cc in 1955 as the vehicle was struggling against the faster moving traffic of the mid 1950s. In mid-1957 Goliath introduced a 1093cc four stroke engine to power the 1100 but even this was not enough and production ceased in 1961.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – Jaguar Mark V Coupe

By Maz Woolley



The Jaguar Mark V Coupe was a drophead convertible launched at the 1948 London Motor Show at the same time as the XK120, with which it shared a stand. Whilst the chassis was new with all round hydraulic brales and independent fromt suspension the egine uinits were the pre-war 2.5 and 35. Litre units. The styling was an evolution from the pre-war SS- Jaguar lines and for the first time a “leaper” mascot was an optional extra.


The drophead coupé version was produced in very small numbers and is now highly sought after:

  • 2½ litre coupé 28
  • 3½ litre coupé 977


The editor believes that this model has been made for Atlas by IXO and it is likely to appear in a PCT range at some point in the future. It would make a good companion to Matrix’s Mark V drophead which was sold hood down.

The model has been well made though there are few short cuts. The Dashboard has all the indentations for instruments but nothing printed and the rear lights are just faintly painted over the “chrome” on the bumper. The lower part of the car is in plastic whilst the upper part is in metal but the paint is well matched and the gaps where they fit together are acceptable. The wheels are neatly done although most cars pictured on the web appear to have chromed rim embellishers which this does not. The grille and leaper are very nicely done though the grille would benefit from a black wash.

Again another very acceptable model in this series.

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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 901 Foden Diesel Wagon

By Maz Woolley



The latest item sent in the Atlas Dinky Trucks series is a classic Supertoy presented in a nice box which retains the style of the original but makes it clear that this is a replica licensed by Mattel. This model was in production between 1954 and 1957 and succeeded the similar 501 which had an earlier Foden cab style.


The Atlas replica is nicely made and has the solidity and simplicity of the original toy. Its size making it a very impressive model indeed.


As the photograph shows the printed grille work on the front of the cab has been neatly done as has the ridges bumper.


At the rear there is little detail other than the tow hook and spare wheel which is correct.

Again this series continues to deliver what was promised unlike the Atlas Dinky Toys collection where the latest package was sealed correctly but with no model included at all!

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Readers Question – Atlas Models

Peter Walker writes:


Do you know where I can get the Atlas silver cars in 1:43 scale and the Atlas Editions classic sports cars?

Thank you


We often get questions about how to buy particular models which readers have seen on our pages or elsewhere.  Often these are for models which have been issued in a subscription series or as a part work with a model and a magazine.  The answer will invariably that be that you need to look for the models on the secondary market on eBay or at Toyfairs.

Why is this, some readers will ask? This is because of the sales model adopted by those running subscription series like Atlas and those selling part works like DeAgostini.  They will only allow you to subscribe to the series as a whole and that series will only be available for a limited period of time. And each series will be sold only to the country it is launched in, though castings may appear in series issued in France, Holland, and the UK. In a few cases models can be bought on back order from the suppliers web site but they will seldom accept overseas orders and some models never appear as back orders anyway. Atlas never make models available singly in this way in the UK.

So unless the series is active and you are prepared to subscribe to a whole series, at least up to the last issue that you wish to collect , and you have a bank account and delivery address in the country the series is issued in, you will generally not be able to get the models direct.

Both the series that Peter enquires about are no longer being sold on the Atlas Website so the only source for these models will be from people who subscribed to the series to sell them on at a profit or who decide to sell the whole or part collection off when they finish. In some cases auction houses will be asked to sell whole or part series and people also do this on eBay from time to time.

The silver cars from Atlas and a similar series made for Altaya in Spain turn up on eBay with only a small premium over their original sale price. The Atlas sports car series  also turns up on eBay but this is often at very significantly higher prices than Atlas charged. One example of this is the Daimler SP250 sports car which I believe was made for Atlas  by Norev and attracted prices similar to the Norev original. In a some cases models from Atlas and others also turn up on eBay being sold by a Hong Kong or Chinese seller. However, caution is needed as a lot of these models appear to be factory quality control rejects though I have bought some that are absolutely perfect.

So my advice to Peter has to be to keep an eye on a few specialist Auction houses especially if he wants to buy a full or part set of the models and to keep an eye on eBay and at Toyfairs if he just wants one or two.

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Free copies of Model Auto Review and Modellers World (No longer available)

By Maz Woolley

A reader has now collected these magazines so they are no longer on offer. We wish them many happy hours reading about the early days of model collecting.  

A reader has contacted us to offer an almost unbroken run of Model Auto Review magazines from Issue 1 through to 1993 as well as 1981-83 copies of Modellers World magazine to any reader interested in collecting them.


These would need to be collected from Reading  in the UK. If any reader is interested please email the editor in the first instance at maronlineeditor at

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The Ford Car in Miniature – Ranchero 72-79

By Dave Turner

“The Personal Pickup” – Ford Ranchero 1972-1979

Having been based on Ford’s Torino since 1968, when that car got a substantial re-design for 1972, the Ranchero followed suit, coming on a four inch longer wheelbase than before and adopting the front end of the new top-line Gran Torino. Coverage of the various previous Rancheros from 1957 to 1971 were included in the appropriate car articles in Model Auto Review – going back to 1989 and at intervals since.

In keeping with the application of the top line Gran Torino’s styling, the 1972 Ranchero was regarded as suitable to have all manner of luxurious variants and options available. The base level Ranchero 500 was quite luxurious while the Ranchero GT (Gran Torino) was aimed squarely at the performance market with twin hood air-scoops, bold side striping and a variety of high performance engines. Super luxury top level was the Ranchero Squire featuring translucent wood-tone panelling on the sides and tailgate together with a plush interior.

New five mph front bumpers and associated modified grille and lights came with the 1973 Gran Torinos and the Ranchero was similarly treated. Model choices remained the same as in 1972. 1973 was the best year for Ranchero sales throughout its history.
Yet another front end facelift came in 1974, once again echoing the new front of that year’s Gran Torino but this remained unchanged for the next two seasons, the three variants, Ranchero 500; Ranchero GT; and Ranchero Squire continuing as before.

As the Gran Torino morphed into the LTD11 for 1977, the Ranchero duly got the new front end but otherwise looked similar to the preceding version. Quad headlights were now stacked in pairs rather than side by side while the front fenders came to sharp corners that accommodated indicator and parking lights.The Ranchero served out its last three years of production relatively unchanged from this point. The line up continued with the same three levels of finish as before.

Unfortunately the model situation leaves a bit to be desired as far as these Rancheros are concerned. Apart from couple of the ’72 examples there seems to have been nothing – an opportunity for makers looking for untouched subjects.

Both the 1972 models depict the GT version, the Hot Wheels offering has been out since 2009 and at least 7 variations have appeared some of which are approaching being realistic models, spoiled mainly by significantly oversize wheels. The other model leaves little to be desired as far as a superb model is concerned. From Neo it features the optional black design on the hood, the optional extra instruments on the dash, the distinctive GT side flash and the non-standard Magnum 500 wheels.

Ford Ranchero 1972-1979


Mattel Thailand 2009 N6960 1972 Ranchero GT 77mm 1:70 diecast
Neo/American Excellence China 2012 44855 1972 Ranchero GT 130mm 1:42 Resin
Illustrations Ford Ranchero 1972-1979


2-ford-ranchero-hot-wheels 1-ford-ranchero-hot-wheels

1&2 Mattel Hot Wheels 1:70 diecast from Thailand: N6960 1972 Ranchero GT spoiled by big wheels.

4-ford-ranchero-neo 3-ford-ranchero-neo
3&4 Neo 1:42 resin from China: 44855, 1972 Ranchero GT

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Del Prado Dodge Tradesman

By John Quilter


Del Prado make a 1: 43 scale 1977 Dodge Tradesman van in Stad Menen livery with some special features common on a public utility truck or phone company truck, such as ladders, flood lights and warning lights. I wonder why a Belgian livery was on a US type van unless there was Chrysler production of these in Europe. I was attracted to this van not because of its special features but more because, to my knowledge, there have been no previous models of this very US common commercial van made over a number of years before the introduction of the European designed replacement.


There were multiple versions of the van over the years, some with windows, some with out and some with a sliding side door or hinged side doors and even fancy trimmed ones with rows of seats for family use or shuttle passenger service. Wheelbases and lengths varied depending on the intended use. Engines were a 225CID OHV inline slant six, an iconic Chrysler power plant, or larger V8 engines such as the common 318CID unit but with options of 360CID, 400CID or even a massive 440CID. Gearboxes were usually the Chrysler Torqueflite but manual three speeds and even some four and five speeds were offered during certain years. The cab and chassis were commonly used over the years for motorhome conversions.


Like most of the reasonably priced Del Prado range this model comes in a clear plastic bubble pack on a plastic base. I bought two since I wanted to convert one back to a more stock production configuration. This entailed removing the roof items, and a more involved change, eliminating the roller door in the rear and replacing it with a pair of windowed hinged door which were much, much more commonly seen on the streets. I made these doors from sheet styrene plastic with various hinges, license plate plinth, and handle added.


Final finishing in a very common commercial vehicle white but leaving the interior seats and fascia black as it came. I added a bit of deluxe-ness with chrome bumpers front and rear but left the grill and hubcaps the standard aluminium painted colour. Strangely Del Prado got the D O D G E badging off centre on the bonnet so I was able to correct this with new silver decal letters. Without actually measuring the model all indications are that it is in true 43rd scale.



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Editorial November 2016

In the year 2000 the USA produced 5.5 million cars and fewer than a million were made in China. In 2015 the USA produced just over 4 million cars and China made over 12 million, yet the huge rise in Chinese car production has had little impact on model cars available to collectors outside China. Maybe model cars don’t appeal to a Chinese population which gained access to computers and smartphones at the same time as owning their first car? If Chinese car makers encouraged production of more models of their cars for publicity purposes there could be models of the Buicks, Volkswagens, Suzukis and others that we never see in the West. Maybe we would then be able to buy them on eBay.

The fall in the value of the pound has triggered price rises for model collectors in the UK. There has been press comment on Hornby imposing substantial price rises across the board, even though many models had already been imported and paid for at the previous lower prices. Other producers are raising prices as well, if only for new models. Firms like Brooklin are having to introduce variable pricing across their ranges to reflect the greater costs involved in making certain models. Even producers unaffected by the state of the pound seem to be increasing prices as rising prices of oil and raw materials has an impact on their costs. Sales may start to suffer if higher prices clash with the static or decreasing incomes of collectors. It is not only UK firms who are suffering due to increased costs of raw materials and costs of production in China. The new ‘lower-price’ Maxichamps range is a case in point. When conceived it should have been comparable in price with Oxford, but even though Oxford prices have increased slightly, Maxichamps will cost at least 50% more than comparable Oxford models on the UK market. Outside the UK the price differential will remain the same, because of the lower value of the pound against international currencies.

On a lighter note thank you to the clubs who send me your newsletters. I may not acknowledge them all, but they are all read with considerable enjoyment. For those who live near enough to visit an established club I suggest you go along to a meeting or to see them at the many events they run or at which they exhibit. Contact details for many clubs can be found from the clubs page reached from the link on the bar at the top of each page of MAR Online. This is a good way to advance your hobby in congenial company.

We have seen some interesting articles in MAR Online on a wide range of subjects over the last few months. Many thanks to those of you make it possible. Remember if your interest is not represented we would love to hear from you; writing for MAR is easy. We are happy to format and edit your work, and even sometimes to translate it.

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