This Moskvitch Looks Like a Simca!

By John-William Greenbaum

The Moskvitch 21418 Five-Door Hatchback was used by the Moscow Militsia PG, which was basically the urban patrol group (as opposed to traffic police)! The 21418, although designed and built in 1991, the final year of existence for the USSR, also happened to be among the first ever police patrol cars that were actually designed for the role as opposed to sedans that were modified into patrol cars by individual Militsia units.

The 21418 was based on the troubled but great on paper Moskvitch 2141, which was a knockoff of the Simca 1307 with some Audi characteristics added. However, it had all kinds of quality control problems, and to their credit, Moskvitch realized that a Militsia patrol car couldn’t have those quality control issues. The result with a centrally-planned communist economy, however, was that only about 100 were ever built. They stayed in service for about a decade until Moskvitch went bankrupt and couldn’t supply spare parts.

More Details

A special version of the Moskvitch 2141 Aleko made exclusively for the Soviet Militsia, the Moskvitch 21418 was one of the last cars ever to be exclusively built within the USSR. However, to learn a bit more about it, I think we first have to take a look at the 2141 Aleko. The Moskvitch 2141 “Aleko” should serve as a very strong reminder that just because a car looks terrific on paper doesn’t mean that its greatness will translate into an actual production car. The Soviet Union was determined in the early 1980’s to have a modern car to replace its old, 1960’s and 1970’s-style, boxy-looking sedans and station wagons that were running on 1960’s technology.

Two projects quickly came to the forefront: the VAZ-2108 Lada Sputnik and the more upscale Moskvitch 2141 Aleko. Although many saw the Lada Sputnik as a thrown-together attempt to catch up with not only the west, but in fact other Comecon countries like Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Yugoslavia, even the most scornful critics of the Soviet auto industry believed they had something in the Aleko. Although the car was copied heavily from the French Simca 1307 and used a number of Audi influences as well, it was believed that the car was improving on the Simca while offering more features and better handling characteristics. There was even brief talk of the Aleko becoming a competitive export car. But all of this was gleaned from the car’s blueprints.

In reality, the Aleko was plagued with setbacks from the start. Slated to go into production in 1984, delays at the Moskvitch factory producing the proper machinery pushed back the car’s release all the way until 1986. Early cars offered a zinc coating of the doors and interior to prevent against rust corrosion. However, that became a problem almost immediately when engineers were horrified that the poor-quality zinc itself was oxidizing and rusting the cars. As a measure to stop this, Moskvitch stopped applying the zinc coating. All that did was to make the car rust even more heavily. Fitting of the internal parts at the Moskvitch factory also began to deteriorate in quality. Even the quality of steel used was poor. When attempts at foreign marketing were made (under the name “Lada Aleko 141”), the car received uniformly terrible reviews due to its dreadful quality control and being so prone to rust.

Although the Aleko received a boost in quality when Russia transitioned to capitalism (and thus had access to better construction materials), it could never shake its poor reputation. In 1996, it was renamed the Svyatogor M-214100 and given a facelift in an attempt to save what truly was not that bad of a car. However, it still failed to catch on and was discontinued in 2000.

Moskvitch 2141-based cars formed the entirety of Moskvitch’s automobile range at this time and just two years later in 2002, OAO Moskvitch declared bankruptcy. Sitting dormant until 2007 with body shells literally sitting on the production lines, the company was finally liquidated. Sometimes, even the best laid plans go awry. In the case of the Moskvitch 2141 Aleko, easily the best car to be designed by Moskvitch (and certainly on paper a better design than anything Lada had to offer until well into the 1990’s), this proved literally true.

Moskvitch 21418 Five-Door Hatchback “Militsia PG” USSR
Model by ICV Models, Russia
Figure by Plasticville, painted and modified by the author's father
-Years Built: 1991
-Engine: 77 HP 4-cylinder four-stroke
-Fuel Type: Gasoline
-Top Speed: 96 mph


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Oxford Firenza 1800SL

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford Diecast have now launched a Vauxhall Firenza 1800SL to 1:43 scale to complement the 2300SL which appeared a few months ago. Although the models are very similar the 2300SL had additional instruments on the dashboard. The SL was the highest specification available initially until the “droop snoot” appeared in Magnum form.

The Firenza (Florence) was a two door coupé built on the chassis of the HC Viva and was also assembled in South Africa as the Chevrolet Firenza.  It was a conventional four cylinder inline rear wheel drive car and the British equivalent of the Opel Kadett Coupé.

 

Like the previous blue 2300SL the car is very neatly painted and finished with badging and chrome nicely printed. Grille and lights are excellent all round. There is no photo-etch and some items like door handles are moulded in but at Oxford’s retail prices one would not expect anything else.

The wheels fitted to the real car are again well done and the rubber tyres are excellent.

So are there any criticisms: only that the left hand rear light cluster could be straighter. All in all a very good model and I hope that Oxford are set up to produce a “droop snoot” at a later date and a Viva HC.


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Brooklin 32 Detailed

By Maz Woolley

 

Shortly after finishing the makeover for the Brooklin 1956 Ford another Brooklin became available on eBay at a modest price so emboldened by the response to my first effort I bought it. to see that makeover visit http://www.maronline.org.uk/brooklin-brk23-makeover/

BRK32 is a model of the 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Coupe. In 1953 this series of Studebakers must have looked very radical low, sleek and very much more modern than cars from the big three and other independents. Designed by Robert E Bourke the head of Raymond Loewy Associates Studebaker design operation the basic shape continued through the 1950s albeit with growing wings until the launch of the Silver and Golden Hawk in 1957. Only around 20,000 of the 1953 Starliner were made so it was exclusive as well as different.

The Starliner was the name given to the two door coupe which was offered on both the the Champion and Commander ranges. Brooklin has chosen to model the top of the range Commander which was powered by a V8 rather than the straight six of the Champion.

The Studebaker model had much more detailing than the Ford with details picked out by Brooklin on the lower parts of the car with scripts, V8 signs and some chrome trim already in silver and a black wash on grille.  The photographs above shows the model as sold. You will see that none of the chrome around the windows was picked out making the model look a little unbalanced. My detailing this time was limited to the upper half of the model using Liquid Chrome and this has I think improved an already good model. At the point of photographing I had not added a layer of clear film on the metal lights with Krystal Klear but I will do so.

After Liquid Chrome painted on – front view
After Liquid Chrome painted on – rear view

Looking at eBay there are many much better improved models from John Roberts amongst others with two tone paint finish, as offered by Brooklin on later versions of this model.


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K&R Triumph GT6 Mark 3

By Maz Woolley

 

K&R models have been in business since 1977 making them one of the pioneers of the White Metal model industry.  The firm is now run by Stephen Roff who took over when his father Keith semi-retired. Their models are sold mail order, via their website  http://www.kandrreplicas.co.uk/ and at their eBay shop. Most of the models they offer have been available for some years, but they do add new models from time to to time.

At the time that the Author bought this kit some years ago there were no Triumph GT6s available on the market other than the K&R.  Prior to that Vitesse of Portugal made a Mark III and since that time Spark produced a nice resin model. It is a mystery why so many toys and models were made of the Triumph Spitfire and how few of the Spitfire derived GT6. K&R currently only offer the GT6 in  Mark One and Two versions but the Mark Three may well become available again in the future.

The GT6 used the Triumph straight six engine and gearbox in the 2 Litre configuration  used in the Triumph Vitesse. Its main competitor was the 1800cc MGB GT which was similar but had a rear bench useful for small children or luggage as standard. The GT6 came as a two seater as standard but could have a small rear bench added as an option. The GT6 was only ever produced in relatively small numbers with only around 13,000 of the Mark Threes being manufactured. By the time that the Mark Three was launched the GT6 was considerably faster than the MGB, 112MPH versus 105MPH and could go from 0-60MPH in 10.1 seconds rather than 13.0. The car was dropped from the Triumph line up in 1973 by which time British Leyland needed to start to rationalise its output. It kept the better selling selling MGB which soldiered on to 1980.

The K&R model is typical of their earlier output. With a body shell supplemented by a Vacform for the windows, a base plate and a number of individual components to make up the interior,exhaust and wheels. It is an earlier model so has fewer tiny parts than thee more recent kits. The door handles and rear lights are moulded in rather than being supplied as separate items for example.

 

The pretty rear end based on the Mark IV Spitfire
Shape captured albeit a little heavily
Neatly modelled front end with the higher bumper to meet US legislation

The model is perhaps a little “heavy” but does capture the GT6 style very well right down to the high level front bumpers which did not mar this car in any way or lead to the horrible handling imposed on the MG by raising the car to meet US legislation.

The wheels capture the special wheels used on this model well, in fact wire wheels were not even an option by the end of this cars production run.

The vacform is thin and not particularly tight fitting in the window area and the front lights are just rounded discs. In this case they have been replaced by clear domed lights formed from  Krystal Klear. Care is also needed to try to get the tyres to sit correctly on the wheel rims.

The colour chosen by the Author may not be authentic but it shows off the GT6s lines better than a solid colour would.

Not a perfect model by any means but fun to build and relatively inexpensive.


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New Neo and Model Car Garage May 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs provided by Model Car World.

Model Car Group 

This brand is one of the many owned by Model Car World in Germany. It produces diecast and plastic models to 1:18 scale which are diecast in China for Germany. They are very competitively priced  in Europe offering a 1:18 scale diecast for only a little more than many mainstream 1:43 diecasts.

MCG #209972 Rover 3500 V8, Dark Yellow, RHD 1974

This casting has already been seen in police car livery but here it is in civilian form in a typical period “mustard” colour and with the optional boot fitting for the spare wheel which then allowed you to get your golf clubs in the boot.

The photographs suggest that key features like the “egg crate” grille, the wheel covers, and badging are all nicely captured.

 

MCG #209974 Saab 96 V4, blue 1971

Another seventies car and one that looks like an excellent model in the manufacturers photographs. The grille looks very good and the light lenses seem excellent too. The Saab logo on the mudflaps is a nice touch.

MCG #209973 Saab 96 V4, beige 1971

The beige version looks to be identical to its blue companion. Both colours are accurate for the period and I would not be surprised to see the car in the deep red which was often seen on seventies Saabs at a later date.

Neo

Neo is another Model Car World brand. In this case the models are made in resin in China for Germany and the cars shown below are to 1:43 scale. This range is more expensive than the MCG cars shown above.

Neo #176744 Ford Ranchero GT, white and orange, 1972

This complements the version of an earlier model of the Ranchero Neo did in black, and the Torino cars that it introduced some time ago. Photographs suggest that this model captures the original well with its car front end and truck like rear.

Neo #169249 Glas 1700 GT, silver 1965

Neo has already made the earlier Glas Isar T700 and here is the later 1700 GT. The Glas GT was a sports coupé produced by Hans Glas GmbH at Dingolfing. It was launched in September 1963 with a 1300cc engine at the Frankfurt Motor Show and production started in March 1964. The larger engined 1700 GT was launched  in May 1965.

In 1967 BMW acquired Glas and a number of cars were built with BMW engines and badges before BMW ceased production of the inherited Glas models in 1968.


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Auto Cult May 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Auto Cult has announced that they are supporting a Crowdfunding project for the reconstruction of a real Standard Superior Type I. This car was a precursor to the VW Beetle and highly influential in the Beetle’s development. This project will be started on the Indiegogo platform (www.indiegogo.com) and will be supported by Auto Cult with “Perks”.  Eligible funders will receive a unique set from Auto Cult made up of the following model cars in to 1:43 scale: Mercedes-Benz 120 (W17), NSU type 32, Standard Superior type II and a Tatra V570. This set will be probably be released in August 2017.

This months releases made in resin in China for Germany to 1:43 scale are shown below.


Past Brands series

#02011 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite (GB, 1960)

This model represents a works car built by Healey in Warwick in small numbers specifically for racing. Extensive use of aluminium and fiberglas as well as disk brakes and a heavily tuned BMC A series engine made it quite quick in the hands of talented drivers .

It spawned a whole industry in after market parts to allow the standard sports car to be turned int a “replica”.


Streamliner series

#04008 Maybach SW35 Stromlinie (D, 1935)

This streamlined prototype was shown at Motor Shows in 1935. The slogan used was  “ a fast car specially suited to the autobahn”. With styling influenced by Paul Jaray it was based on a chassis with a 3.5 Litre straight six engine of 140HP which could reach 160KPH which was a very high speed for its time. Two cars were manufactured by Karosseriefabrik Spohn in Ravensberg but series production never took place and sadly both cars were lost in the Second World War.

 


Prototypes series

VW Steyr Prototype

This curious “marriage” of this well engineered combination of a Steyr Type 50 or 55 car body with a Volkswagen Kubelwagen chassis remains a mystery of automotive history. There is no knowledge of who did the work or why and Auto Cult are seeking information from anyone who can add any knowledge about this vehicle.

 


Racing Cars series

Porsche 550 Durlite Spider

 

What do you do when you write of your Porsche 550? Well in 1958 American racing driver Bob Wedd had Durlite build him a new skin in aluminium with a very slippery shape including a steeply raked nose and a “Kamm Tail”. This produced a very aerodynamically efficient car with design features that would become standard on sports racing cars in the 1960s.

 


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Model Auto Review Magazine 1986

By Maz Woolley and Karl Schnelle

This is the fifth in a series of articles looking at each year’s output of the original Model Auto Review magazine.   Last month, we reviewed the year 1985 so this month we have reached 1986, a year when 6 issues were produced. We show you the Cover and Contents pages of the magazines and some colour pages to give a flavour of what the magazine looked like. (Click on the images to get a larger copy.)

1986 was the year of “Big-Bang” deregulation in the UK and Perestroika in the Soviet Union with most evening news bulletins in the UK seeming to feature Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Mikhail Gorbachev. After years of worrying about the impact of Nuclear Weapons being launched from the Eastern Bloc the first Nuclear fall-out for Europe came with the meltdown of the Soviet Nuclear Power Station at Chernobyl.

Over in the US collectors were more likely to have a job with unemployment falling  but in UK the opposite was true with high unemployment showing no signs of declining.

Here in the UK the examinations usually taken at 16 were radically changed. Gone were the Ordinary (O) Levels and Certificate of Secondary Education (CSE) exams taken by the editor to be replaced by the new single General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exams.

In the world of Transport the M25 Motorway which runs in a ring around London was completed. Agreements were reached to finally build the Channel Tunnel. Over in the US smoking was banned on public transport. Sadly, the US Space Program had a set back with the sad disintegration of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The best selling car in the UK was the Ford Escort and the transition from the Mark III to the very similar Mark IV version happened that year. All the 10 top selling new cars in the UK  were produced by Ford, Vauxhall or Austin Rover with most made in the UK.  There were some significant changes as PSA dropped the Talbot brand and yet again scaled back UK production. The sign of the times was the opening of the Nissan factory in Sunderland outside the traditional car building heart of the UK in the same way Japanese factories in the US were well away from Detroit. In US local production again dominated the sales charts. The top seller was Ford F series which was no surprise.  The Chevrolet Celebrity, Chevrolet C/K Pick-up, US Ford Escort, Chevrolet Cavalier, Oldsmobile Ciera, Ford Ranger , and Ford Tempo were all in the Top 10. The sign of the times was the Honda Accord up there in the top 10, albeit built in the US though.

In the Cinema Top Gun and Crocodile Dundee were blockbusters of the year. Wham and George Michael had a successful year in the pop charts with multiple hits, as did Madonna and the Bangles.

The technology the personal computer was developing again as IBM introduced the first laptop computer the PC Convertible which cost $2,000 which is the equivalent of around $4,400 now. Although “portable” it was still a DOS machine with a monochrome screen. But big changes were taking place in Intel Labs and the 386 chip was starting to be produced which was to be the game changer that would make the resource heavy Windows operating system practical.

So this was the background to our collecting. And despite the economic situation MAR shows that adult collecting was increasing with a steady increase of firms making models for collectors and even the large diecast firms seeing this as an opportunity for more sales with Corgi finally launching its 1:43 scale Classics range.

#18 Winter 1986

A somewhat sombre cover enlivened by the multi-coloured borders. The models on the cover are mainly to 1:43 scale with a mix of kits and finished models from small producers  as well as industrial firms. Provence Moulage presented a very nice Ford Woodie in resin and Starter’s NASCAR resin Ford Thunderbird appeared too. Another French company Sibur’s diecast Talbot Lago Le Mans was pictured alongside Revival of Italy’s Ferrari 500 F2 car. Finally a Matchbox Yesteryear Electric vehicle and a Corgi Thorneycroft in a dealer only Corgi livery are shown.

This being the first magazine of the year fourteen pages are devoted to the new model announcements from ranges around the world.

There were two editorials with Rod Ward the first tackling the problem of makers following each other by repeating the same subjects leaving other good subjects unmade, and the second discussing whether MAR should include model ratings and setting out what they may be if used. In practice then and now  MAR has steered clear of ratings as there are so many factors to consider and it is a subjective process.

Readers letters occupied a full 2 pages and covered contributions from Vic Davey in Hong Kong and others around the world. Subjects covered included USSR models, small models, and clarifications and corrections to previous articles.

Articles covered a huge range of items from Don Elliot’s Avon Automotive Decanters to Brian J Elliot’s “how to” on converting a Brumm Fiat to a Mercedes Simplex land speed record holder. Roger Bailey pops up with another article on buses, the Greyhound this time.

The colour pictures cover a huge range of items in multiple scales but it is noticeable that obsolete items are less prominent than in the early MAR years.

#19 Spring 1986

Green dominates the spring issue with a rural backdrop and a selection of vehicles in different scales. The FDS Ferrari Daytona is a very detailed kit even by current standards. An obsolete  Mettoy Morris Z  points to a John Hanson article on the Morris Z inside. A DAF promotional lorry sits alongside a Gama Opel Kadett to represent up to date subjects. A Provence Moulage kit of the Toyota Le Mans car is shown above a 1:16 scale Case tractor from ERTL. Finally we get one of two adapted Corgi Transits made specially to present to the Prince of Wales on a Ambulance Service visit.

Inside Andre Blaize continues his Rolls-Royce coverage, and Richard Ineson continues to write about Mebetoys. Don Elliots offbeat transport subjects are back in the form of decanters. Gerard Palazy has a great story of the models of the Paris Bus. Letters cover more than two pages and include one from the then editor of Stamp Magazine Richard West who many readers will recognise as the Editor who launched Model Collector and edited it for many years. A topic returned to again and again in MAR is the lack of credit given to the makers of masters by most ranges.

The colour covers show a wide range of scales , materials and prototypes. Estetka plastic models from Poland are featured as well as Igra and Bohemia from Czechoslovakia. Homburg models expensive hand built  resin Ferraris also feature. Amongst the others are Vitesse diecasts, and Herpa 1:87 plastic. A variety of resin models from Provence Moulage, MH Models, FDS are shown as well as Box  and Old Car diecasts.   All set off by a sole tractor from ERTL, a Farmall to 1:16 scale.

#20 Summer 1986

A suitable set of summer holiday graphics on the front cover which features an expensive Styling Models model built by BBR to 1:43, Starter resin kits of the MG Metro 6R4. A Ford Zephyr to 1:20 scale by an unknown maker heralds the start of a very long running series of articles.  Diecast VW Transporter in Fire livery  and  the obsolete Solido Silver Cloud are also featured.

The editorials show the problems with international mail order in the 1980s with the need for readers to pay with a method which UK banks would accept without a large fee and to send IRCs and not foreign stamps to allow questions to be answered. It made me realise that the Internet and Paypal have been wonderful enablers.

The colour pages include a wide range of models with everything from obsolete Minix models to Sun models of the Humber Super Snipe drophead and the Sun transkit for the VW Beutler Estate Car based on the Tomica Dandy VW. Eligor, Gama, Polistil and Shaback models represent current diecasts.

Inside an excellent article on Minix from Robert Newson who has written many books on model makers is inside. Tekno trucks are back with the L series looked at in detail by Clive Chick. Andre Blaize continues his Rolls-Royce coverage. Amongst other articles are Roger Bailey on Tuff-Tots and Midland Red Motorway coaches and John Comber on Model Caravans. A very long running series starts with part one of a series initially entitled Ford Miniature Cars by Dave Turner covering early Consul and Zephyr models. You can find many postings on this web site as Dave continues to chronicle the Ford in Miniature  30 years later!

 

#21 Extra 1986

A return to stylised graphics for this issue and the Front Cover has an interesting mix of models from the Allsorts resin kit 1:48 scale London Transport RF single decker to a restored Bing tinplate model. A Team T resin kit of the Jaguar XJR6 with Jaguar livery as run at Silverstone is  centre stage. Diecasts from ERTL , Box, and Schabak fill other spots.

Two pages of readers letters with lots on Bugattis and models in the form of decanters and bottles were followed by a further section on responses to the motor caravans article from the previous month.

An article by the magazine’s editor tells readers that the new Corgi 1:43 Classics were to be made in Portugal by Vitesse – a relatively short lived arrangement . This marked the shift for Corgi away from 1:32 scale and back to 1:43 with a series kicked off with the Morris Minor models. Andre Blaize looked at the SIlver Cloud II in models. Clive Chick got to the Tekno Ford D series. Catalogue Corner by Horst Macalka features Corgi and this series continued for may years. Don Elliot concentrates on the rare US made AM (ambo) tinplate models. Dave Turner’s article now gets the same title it runs under today “The Ford in Miniature”  with part two covering further UK Fords up to the Scorpio. John Hanson looks at the Scammell Scarab and again we see reader’s chops as well as a wide range of new models for sale.

The colour pages show models from many firms that seem to have come and gone quite quickly like Dubray and Guild Models. Others that lasted longer were Provence Moulage, Replicast, Automany, MA Collection and Western. Land speed record cars feature on inside cover a subject which was very popular in the early years of MAR. The rear colour cover included the ERTL 1:43 tractors and a Ford car as well as many 1:87 plastic models. There is even a set of Arcade cast iron models.

#22 Autumn 1986

The cover is autumnal with a leaf motif as a background. The cars featured are all 1:43 except for a single 1:50. The old timer is a Bussing by Cursor. Provence Moulage resin Ferrari Daytona and Ford Escort in sporting liveries are pictured. Lion Cars DAF tractor unit represents commercial vehicles . The Williams-Honda FW011 is from Tameo as a white metal kit. The Nascar Chevrolet Monte Carlo came from Starter as a resin kit as did the Renault 5 Turbo rally car.  The final model shown is the unusual Sibur diecast and plastic model of the Citroen Kegresse half track which crossed from Persia to China in the 1930s.

The editorial on the devaluation of the pound sounds awfully familiar to UK collectors today who have seen the recent significant increase in model prices.

Readers letters again come from around the world and pose questions to Editor and readers on a range of topics. The topic of quoting prices and suppliers cane up – a topic that was to be repeated many times – MAR did not quote prices or sources due to the fact that any price quoted would be irrelevant to many readers around the world.

Articles inside look at Bugatti,Ford, and Zee Toys. and Solido, A Ford Tug chop is described and various other chops by Fred Harris are shown. Coverage of new models shows items like the Picollino 1:76 sports and racing cars models and Brooklins latest.

The stand out models for me on the inside front cover are the Jensen Hardtop and Facel Vega II by Enco both superb castings by Pete Comben and models I greatly enjoyed making from kits. Other models include several E Types. Eligors derived from earlier Norev plastic models in convertible and 2+2 form and Minimarque white metal handbuilt open cars. Others of note are CSV resin models of the Aston Martin DBS convertible, Mini Marque Packard Caribbean,  CCC resin Peugeot 401D, We also see Progetto K Ferrari 225 Spyder as well as MPA Ferrari 512M and a Lotus Elite in racing trim from DM in resin. A Sun Motor company Beetle transkit in resin to turn a Tomica Dandy into a VW convertible sits above a Yesteryear conversion which in turn sits above a Vitesse TR3A with its very overscale rack on the boot. Finishing off are a 1:20 scale Volvo-BM Tractor from Finland and a MA Collection resin 1937 Renault.

 

#23 Christmas 1986

A very geometric background suggestive of boxes perhaps for Christmas. The cover had models from Japan, France and Canada. From Sakura there was a cast Rolls-Royce and from Tomica Dandy a Mitsubishi Fuso bonneted fire appliance. From France in resin came a CCCJM kit of a Panhard Dyna woodie, from Provence Moulage a a Le Mans E Type, and from Starter a Ford RS200 and a Ford Mustang GTO. From Canada Mini Auto Emporium had a handbuilt Buick 1939 Canadian Royal Tour car.

Readers letters spilt over four pages and covered a wide range of topics from a suggestion that people form a model caravan collectors club to additional information to follow previous articles. The inter-war Marsh models mystery which ran for some time gathering information was also a subject of a letter.

Inside Stu Schaller gives an authorative account of the John Day range of models which were largely sold as kits made in white metal, and of racing cars. Vic Davey covered the Tomy Dandy Leisure series which consisted of cars from the standard range with roof racks ready to go on holiday. Regular items on Rolls-Royce and Ford continued and Jim McLachan looked at pedal powered Volkswagens. Geoff Keans continued his exploration of construction related models focusing on Volvo BM and M J Sharp looked at Impy Roadmasters. Catalogue corner covered French Dinky. Amongst the news pages is a picture of the first of the Corgi Classics in 1:43 scale the Minor Post Office Telephones van. Though not entirely accurate Corgi had hit the spot and it sold in large quantities as it was relatively inexpensive and was of a popular vehicle. The centre pages were dominated by pictures of Kids cars, the “ride in” variety

The colour pictures have a lot of classic British vehicles. From Provence Moulage in resin there were XJR6s in various liveries as well as the Aston Martin DB4 Zagato. Starter from France are featured with their Ford RS200 and Aston Martin DBR1 and a Ferrari 328 GTS. In white metal GPM’s white metal Bentley R Type features along with Brooklin’s Mustang Shelby. Pinder and Knie Circus models from Verem complement a 1:25 Schabak Transit. On the rear cover a Precision Miniatures Lincoln is driven by Santa Claus alongside a picture of the made up K&R Ford Pilot Woodie kit. Two Tomica Dandy Toyota saloons are complemented by their Mazda RX-7. A lovely Brumm diecast Alfa Romeo 2900 sits above a superb Aston Martin DB5 in resin from Provence Moulage.   Rio Hispano Suizas feature in open and closed forms. The Solido Age D’or 1950 Chevrolet in metallic blue sits on its plinth. A Lledo Ford A van with BBC Livery features alongside a model made in the Far-East for Australia with Grace Brothers livery. Editors note: Grace Brothers was a fictional Department Store featured in the BBC Comedy series “Are you being served?”.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – X Type

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest model to arrive in this series is a Jaguar X Type. The car modelled is the 2.0 Diesel introduced in 2003. The X Type was built when Jaguar was owned by Ford. It was an attempt by Jaguar to compete with the BMW 3 Series,  Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C Class. To make such a car profitably Jaguar had to design a car based upon the chassis of the Ford Mondeo of the day and to build it in a Ford Factory. Its sales were held back by purists not regarding it as a “true Jaguar” whilst others quickly realised that the top line Mondeos were better equipped and cheaper.

This model is made by Ixo for Atlas and we have already seen this casting used in the Premium X range I believe, see John Quilter’s article about those models at  http://www.maronline.org.uk/premium-x-jaguar-x-type/. Here the casting does not have a sunroof but retains the leaper which is not entirely accurate for a UK market car, though many owners did fit them as an accessory. This casting lacks the sunroof fitted to the Premium X Car but otherwise looks very similar though the Atlas is RHD and not LHD.

The model looks good in solid blue though the metallic silver/blue which was very common here in the UK might have been a better choice.  The printed badging and boot trim is very good.

Inside the matt finish to the dashboard top, seats and door cards is excellent and the dashboard with its instruments printed and wood effect dash panel are good too. Looking at the steering wheel even the ancillary stalks are fitted to the steering column and the wheel itself is nicely modelled and has the Jaguar boss printed in the middle.

Outside good mirrors with printed glass and good, if perhaps over shiny, alloy wheels are fitted. The flush fitting “glass” is excellent employing the four separate inserted window sections: front, side and rear with printed black edges seen before in this series.

The Atlas Jaguar Collection may now be drawing towards its close as their Customer Service team recently stated that the series would probably finish after the 31st model is produced.

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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 512 Guy Flat Truck

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest Atlas Dinky to arrive is #512 Guy Flat Truck. The flat truck is just one of several variants Dinky made using this chassis units. Others included a flatbed with tail board and a version with “wooden sides” round the rear platform. Each of the versions was made in multiple colour combinations as well so the original toys are fairly common at toyfairs though not cheap.

From 1954 the toy was sold in the Supertoy striped box that Atlas have had replicated and the blue and red combination with mid blue wheels was sold from 1955 onward. The model was renumbered over time to 912 in 1956 and 432 in 1958 when it was also updated with a newer Guy cab.

I believe that the Guy modelled by Dinky was the Vixen Four Ton Chassis.

The Atlas model is to the usual standards with crisp casting and detailing. It replicates the original well and has a lustre to the paint that few originals now share.

This is another classic Binns Road Supertoy which will be welcomed by collectors.


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Promotional Porsche Models – revisited

By Fabrizio Panico

This article was originally written for the old MAR Online site hosted as part of Zeteo.com. Now there is no access to that site anymore we have reformatted this article for the new site. Please note that this article was written some time ago and these models may now be unavailable from Porsche.

 

Macan Turbo

Porsche continues to have 1:18 scale promotional models made for them by Minichamps. The first model shown is the new Macan Turbo (WAP 021 154 0E) in sapphire blue metallic. It is a superb model.

 


 

918 Spyder

 

The second model shown is of the 918 Spyder (WAP 021 020 0E) in “liquid metal”. The 2011 model (WAP 021 191 0B) was of the concept car, quite different from the production one. It is interesting to see the many differences between concept and production vehicles.


Panamera Turbo

 

The final model shown is another 1:18 scale promotional by Minichamps for Porsche (WAP 021 012 0E), a nice Panamera Turbo S (latest facelifted version) in metallic dark blue. This is not a bad model, but a little disappointing if you compare it with the previous 1:18 Panamera promotional made by Norev for Porsche.

On the Minichamps only the front doors open, the windscreen wipers are moulded into the body, and many fine details simply do not exist. Seats and interior fittings are just “plastic” while the Norev ones suggested more expensive material. What can I say? After the Macan and the 918 I didn’t expect such a cheaply finished model from Minichamps, especially at a premium price.

 

It is noticeable that Porsche seem to be moving towards 1:18 scale “resin” models with the number in their catalogue growing but this means that prices are skyrocketing. In my opinion over 250 Euros is too expensive for a model with no opening features.


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