Atlas Jaguar Collection is complete

By Maz Woolley

Advert below for this collection from the Atlas Editions UK Website.

Atlas Customer Service has confirmed that the Atlas Jaguar Series is now complete after 31 parts. It has been a well balanced collection of Jaguars from the SS1 to the latest models and includes their key sports racing cars too.  I was personally particularly pleased to get a well made Jaguar S Type.  I have only had a few quality control issues and despite being fitted with many small parts the models have survived the journey well even if the boxes have not always done so. I have listed all the parts below and pictures of them all can be seen in reviews elsewhere in MAR Online, just search using “Atlas Jaguar” in the search box to find them.

One wonders what series they will launch to replace this. Having test marketed the Mercedes Series one wonders if that will be launched shortly?

  • E Type
  • Mark II
  • XK140 Convertible
  • D Type
  • SS1 Airline
  • Mark VII
  • C Type
  • XJR 9
  • XK Coupe
  • XKR S
  • XKSS
  • XJ8
  • XJ-S
  • Mark 10
  • E-Type Coupe
  • XJ12c
  • Mark IV 3.5 litre
  • F Type Coupe
  • Mark IX
  • XFR
  • Mark I
  • XK150 Convertible
  • XJ
  • Mark V
  • XK120
  • S-Type
  • XJ6 Series 1
  • 240
  • XJR12
  • X-Type
  • F Type Cabriolet

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BMW Hommage Collection by Norev Part One

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs taken by, and copyright of, the Author.

When I presented pictures of the 2016 BMW Vision Next 100 last February I wrote “models of BMW concept cars to 1:18 scale are unusual …….”, I was wrong indeed ! In a very short time BMW and Norev have produced not one more concept car, but three of them.

The group is called “Hommage Collection” and it is composed of (for the moment) the 2008 M1 Hommage, the 2011 328 Hommage, and the 2015 CSL Hommage. Three great show cars, and three missed opportunities according to BMW fans, who asked vainly for production versions. According to Karim Habib (ex-BMW Chief Designer, now at Infiniti): ‘There is so much else that needs addressing right now – autonomous driving, CO2, connectivity..The Hommage cars make sure that old-fashioned excitement is alive and kicking. And don’t worry : we have more than enough ideas for the next three or four iterations…’. So BMW fans must be satisfied by scale models!

The 328 Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 751), is based upon the Vision Connected Drive Concept revealed in Geneva. It is a modern interpretation of the classic sports car from the 1930s and was produced to mark its 75th Anniversary. It shares the 1936 philosophy: “low weight = high performance”.

Here magnesium and aluminium are replaced by CRFP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), for aestethic and functional elements. Fine hides, satin or polished aluminium are all cleverly blended into a recipe that expresses the essence of the sport roadster just as the original 328 did. The two part alloy wheels of the Hommage reinterpret the characteristic perforated design of the original ones.

Instrumentation is minimalist like the original: a single circular tachometer, with indicators of oil temperature, oil pressure, and water temperature built in. And to the right a few control lights. The car is equipped with 4-point seat belts and ergonomically designed shell seats. Under the bonnet the Hommage sports a three litre six cylinder engine.

The 328 Hommage is reproduced well by Norev. It is diecast metal and has no opening parts. The car is finished in carbon black paintwork with a tan interior. Alas, all the characteristic “belts” over the engine cover are simply “painted”, well done, but only painted.




The M1 Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 752) was unveiled at the event Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2008 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the M1. The concept vehicle uses a mid-engine layout and borrows styling cues from both the original M1 and the BMW Turbo show car.

The design was created by Giorgio Giugiaro who got his idea from the BMW Turbo designed by Paul Bracq which was rich in advanced technical innovations. The front sports double head lights (not the pop-up type that are on the original M1) and the usual trademark kidney grille.

Like the original M1 there are double badges on the back of the car. No photographs of the interior, or its technical specifications, have been released to the public. The BMW i8, which is based on the BMW Vision Efficient Dynamics concept, is perhaps influenced by the M1 Hommage. Maybe BMW was using the Hommage concept to test the waters of the styling of the, then, upcoming i8. It is no coincidence that the Hommage concept was followed by the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept which then became the i8.

The M1 Hommage is well reproduced by Norev in a striking orange metallic paint. The windows are obscured as no-one but BMW know what the interiors look like.  The model is made of diecast Metal and has no opening parts.


My next article will look at the CSL Hommage (BMW no. 80 43 2 413 753). I will compare it to its famous ancestor which was nicknamed “the Batmobile”.

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Atlas Dinky – 811 Caravane

By Maz Woolley

Yet another French Dinky in this series. It is now some time since the Aston Martin DB3S which was the last model from the UK Dinky range in this series and that was issued at the end of 2016. I imagine that many collectors are now stopping collecting the series if postings on the web are any indication.

811 Caravane was issued by Dinky France in 1959 in beige or cream with a white roof. Dinky never stated the make of Caravan modelled but it is stated to be a Hénon in many reference books. This Caravan was never sold by Dinky UK. At some point in production it was slightly modified so the tab holding baseplate down at rear looked like a number plate.  Atlas have chosen to reproduce the model in Cream with white roof. The Caravane had been withdrawn by 1964 by which time it was looking old fashioned.

Although Dinky chose a “real” caravan to model, rather than make a generic one as earlier Caravans in the range had been,  it seems very plain as the big windows open on a completely vacant interior. Indeed the full length window on both sides makes one wonder how the interior was arranged.

Although glazing is boasted on the box it merely emphasises the lack of interior. Pictures of the Caravan suggest that they mostly had lots of curtains and some representation of curtains would have lived up this model,

A large tow hook is fitted at the front of the Caravan suitable for use by French or British Dinkies. This gave the Caravan great play value.

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The Scooter in Miniature – Other Makes

By Dave Turner

Photographs and illustrations of some of the models discussed in this article taken by the Author may be found at the end of the article. 


Ducati began producing radio parts in 1922 followed by cameras and electric razors. After the Second World War Ducati acquired Siata to produce clip-on motors for cycles and in 1952 launched the Cruiser scooter. Years before its time it featured a 175cc ohv four stroke motor with a 12 volt electric starter, automatic transmission and styling by Ghia. Far too sophisticated for the period it died after just two years but another attempt came with the totally basic Brio 48 in 1964 with a 94cc 2 stroke motor followed by the Brio 50 and 100/25 between 1968/9.

A very nice model of the Cruiser is available sold as Altaya but made by Ixo no doubt in conjunction with a part-work. Of mainly diecast construction it features plastic side panels and working steering.


Makers of German aircraft since 1922 Heinkel were limited to three and two wheeled vehicle production after the Second World War. Their 150cc Tourist 101 was made from 1953-54 and featured a four stroke engine. This model was replaced by the 175cc 102 in 1954 while a Mk11 version with more streamlined rear bodywork was made from 1962-67. A smaller two stroke machine, the 112 featured a 125cc engine in 1960 but was enlarged to 150 in 1961 for continued production until 1967.

Schuco produced some superb 1:10 scale diecast models of the Mk11 Tourist in a variety of versions as well as smaller versions in their Piccolo range.


The Czech firm of Janacek made the German Wanderer motor cycle under licence and when they merged with the Czech Arms Works who had made motor cycles since 1932, the name Jawa was created. Their distinctive 501 scooter made from 1957-64 featured a pointed nose that accommodated the fuel tank and the headlamp. A subsequent model the 502 had more power with a 175 engine and the headlight was later moved onto the apron being replaced in the nose by the horn. In 2017 an electric powered scooter, the 507, featured the same styling and is to be built in limited numbers in China.

A smaller engined and less eye-catching scooter, the Manet appeared in 1958 and featured a 98cc motor and became the Tatran with 125 motor in 1965.

A flywheel powered plastic toy Cezeta captured the recognisable styling very well and carries the CH logo as its only means of identification.


The French Motobecane company made motor cycles from 1923, the post war Mobylette being among their most popular products. In 1984 the Japanese Yamaha company became its parent company and the name became MBK. Among the contemporary Japanese parent companies products was the Zuma scooter and MBK gave it the name Booster and the French factory have produced these in large numbers in 50 and 125cc versions.

Appropriately Majorette, possibly in conjunction with Hatchette, have produced a model of the French version of this machine, said to be a 1995 50cc example.


This Italian company began in 1930 producing pedal cycles but like many moved into mopeds and scooters in the post war period. A myriad of different scooters were produced but the Phantom F12 appeared in 1997. The F12 Phantom had a 50cc motor and was water cooled, production lasting until 2003.

Maisto produced a 1:18 scale diecast model of the F12 Phantom and it comes complete with “liquid cooled” stickers that are barely legible.


Mitsubishi began as a shipping company in 1870 and from 1881 developed into a huge conglomerate embracing first coal mining, then steel producing, shipbuilding, insurance and eventually producing anything and everything imaginable. From 1921 aircraft were produced and in common with some other Japanese operations they enforced slave labour during the Second World War. Motor scooter production began in 1946 with the 112cc C10 Silver Pigeon while at least seventeen further developments of the Silver Pigeon scooter were made up to the early 1960s, taking 45% of the Japanese scooter market.

The C110 Silver Pigeon was a 175cc 4 stroke machine with automatic transmission made between 1960/61 and some tinplate toys of which were made by both Marusan and Bandai.


The German Simson brothers got into the gun and gun barrel producing business in 1856 and by 1896 were making bicycles. Although firearms continued to be their principle products cars were made from 1907 to 1934 – with the inevitable wartime gap. As the Simson family were Jewish, the German Third Reich seized their factory in 1936 renaming the operation BSW. Following the Second World War the factory ended up in the German Democratic Republic and began producing 4 stroke motor cycles in 1949. In 1955 the Simson name was restored and the production of two stroke mopeds began developing into the KR51 Simson Schwalbe (Swallow) scooter in 1964. This featured a 50cc motor and large 16” wheels and with an increase in power output became the KR51/1 in 1968. The subsequent KR 51/2 remained in production until 1986 and the Schwalbe has become quite collectable in Germany.

A 1:10 diecast Simson KR 51/1 Schwalbe was produced by Schuco in 2006 while a much smaller 1:87 model of the same subject has been made by Herpa.


This Japanese company began by producing loom machines in 1909 but was trying to expand its product base by experimenting with a prototype light car prior to the Second World War. Following the hostilities production of 36cc powered cycles began in 1952, motor cycles in 1954 and cars a year later. In the early 1980s their first scooters appeared with the CS50, 80 and 125, called Gemma in Asia, Roadie in the UK and Puch Lido in Europe.

A 1:28 scale diecast Gemma 50 was made by Tomy, a slightly larger 1:24 scale diecast of the same subject from Tamiya and kits in 1:12 scale from Aoshima/Imai.


Yamaha began producing pianos and reed organs in 1887 and ultimately became the largest manufacturers of musical instruments in the world. They first produced motor cycles is 1954 with their 125cc two stroke Dragonfly, that was based on the German DKW RT 125, as was the BSA Bantam. Their first of many scooters came in 1981 with the 50cc Salient and 80cc Beluga, Riva in the US and Hercules in Europe. In 1985 a 125cc version was added. The Zuma scooter came in 1989 and this was also made in France by MBK. In an effort to modernise their range of scooters Yamaha produced the YJ 50 Vino in 2001 which continued until updated into the XC50 in 2006. Production of this continues today while the 125cc version lasted from 2004-10. The Yamaha Majesty was a large machine appearing in 2001 and was produced in 125, 250 and 400cc sizes.

In model form Yamaha scooters have been produced in various sizes and materials. Plastic kits for the Beluga came from Aoshima/Imai in 1:12 scale and Otaki in 1:16 scale, while a diecast 1:24 scale version came from Tomica. A diecast/plastic 1:18 scale Vino YJ50R came from Welly, a diecast 1:6 scale version of the same was done by New Ray while the big Majesty DX 400 also came in 1:18 scale from Welly.


This German company began by producing detonators in 1917 but as the demand for weapons parts declined after the war motor cycle manufacture began in 1921. Following the Second World War microcar, moped and scooter production was undertaken and inspired by the Parilia Greyhound, the Zundapp Bella scooter appeared in 1953. These became generally regarded as among the best scooters in the world at the time and through various updates continued in both 150 and 200 versions until 1964. An attempt to get into the small scooter market was launched in 1964 with the Roller 50 that was based on the contemporary Lambretta Slimline. The company closed in 1985 and the factory and stock were moved to China.

At least three very different miniature Bellas have been made. Tinplate toys came from Technofix while a variety of 1:10 scale diecast models of the 1957-59 R204 came from Schuco in 2004. The latter included solo examples, some with “Deutsche Bundespost” boxes mounted on the rear as well as machines with sidecars. There has also been some 1:43 scale models of the same R204 Bella from Premium Classix, in this case those with a rear box are marked “Ginos Pizza”


As a final section there has been a few toys of scooters that so far have not been identified, in fact they are probably not meant to depict any particular example.

A quite imaginatively styled plastic battery driven toy called Chalmy Rider came from WS in Hong Kong and carries the number 6623 under its base. The seat tips revealing space that accommodates a couple of AA batteries, the fitting of which drives the twin rear wheels and illuminated an orange headlight.

An extremely slim plastic toy scooter that vaguely resembles something like the Triumph Tina carries no markings at all and probably came as an accessory to a Barbie type toy.

An all wood crafted toy has a suggestion of machine made parts that have been glued together but carries a barcode under its base.

Model list

Ducati Cruiser 175cc 1952-54 Altaya/Ixo 70mm 1:25 diecast/plastic
Heinkel Tourist 103A2 175cc 1960-65 Schuco 1:10 diecast kit
Heinkel Tourist 103A2 175cc 1960-65 Schuco Piccolo diecast
Jawa Cezeta 501 175cc 1957-64 CH 164mm plastic flywheel
MBK Booster Rocket 50cc 1984 Majorette 99mm 1:18 diecast/plastic
Malaguti Phantom F12 50cc 1997-03 Maisto 102mm 1:18 diecast/plastic
Mitsubishi C110 Silver Pigeon 175cc 1960-61 Marusan tinplate
Mitsubishi C110 Silver Pigeon 175cc 1960-61 Bandai tinplate
Simson KR 51/1 Schwalbe 50cc 1968-71 Schuco 1:10
Suzuki Gemma 50 50cc 1982-88 Aoshima/Imai 1:12 plastic kit
Suzuki Gemma 50 50cc 1982-88 Tamiya 80mm 1:24 diecast
Suzuki Gemma 50 50cc 1982-88 Tomy 58mm 1:28 diecast
Yamaha Beluga 80cc 1981-87 Aoshima/Imai 144 mm 1:12 plastic kit
Yamaha Beluga 80cc 1981-87 Otaki 1:16 plastic kit
Yamaha Beluga 80cc 1981-87 Tomica 80mm 1:24 diecast
Yamaha Vino VJ50R 50cc 2001-05 Welly 102mm 1:18 diecast/plastic
Yamaha Vino  VJ50R 50cc 2001-05 New Ray 1:6
Yamaha Majesty DX 400 400cc 2005-09 Welly 117mm 1:18 diecast/plastic
Zundapp Bella 200cc 1953-62 Technofix tin
Zundapp Bella R204 200cc 1957-59 Schuco 1:10 diecast kit
Zundapp Bella R204 200cc 1957-59 Premium Classix 1:43 resin



Altaya/Ixo 1:25 diecast/plastic from China : 1952 Ducati Cruiser

Schuco 1:10 diecast kit : 06537, 1960 Heinkel 103 A2 Tourist.

Schuco Piccolo diecast : 05701, 1960 Heinkel 103 A2 Tourist.

CH plastic flywheel driven : 1957 Jawa Cezeta 501.

Majorette 1:18 diecast/plastic from Thailand: 1984 MBK Booster Rocket

Maisto 1:18 diecast/plastic from China : 1987 Malaguti Phantom F12.

Marusan tinplate from Japan : 1960 Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C110.


Bandai tinplate from Japan: 1960 Mitsubishi Silver Pigeon C110.

Schuco 1:10 diecast kit : 06640, 1968 Simson KR 51/1 Schwalbe.

Aoshima 1:12 plastic kit from Japan: 1982 Suzuki Gemma 50

Tamiya 1:24 diecast from Japan: 1982 Suzuki Gemma 50

Tomy 1:28 diecast from Japan: 49, 1982 Suzuki Gemma 50.


 Aoshima 1:12 plastic kit from Japan: 1981 Yamaha Beluga.

Tomica 1:24 diecast from Japan: 1981 Yamaha Beluga.

Welly 1:18 diecast/plastic from China: 2001 Yamaha Vino YJ50R.

New Ray 1:6 from China: 2001 Yamaha Vino YJ50R.

Welly 1:18 diecast/plastic from China: 2005 Yamaha Majesty DX 400.

Technofix tin from Japan: 1953 Zundapp Bella.

Schuco 1:10 diecast kit: 06590, 1958 Zundapp Bella R204.

Schuco 1:10 diecast kit: 06593 1958 Zundapp Bella r204 with Deutsche Bundespost box.

Premium Classix 1:43 : 1957 Zundapp Bella R204.
Premium Classix 1:43: 1957 Zundapp Bella R204 with Ginos Pizza box.
WS plastic battery driven from Hong Kong: Chalmy Rider toy.

Anonymous slim plastic scooter.

Anonymous wood scooter.


Readers who have enjoyed this series of articles may find the two Auto Review publications written by Dave Turner about real Scooters of interest:

  • “Scooters”
  • “More Scooters” 

For more information go to

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The Ford in Miniature – Mercury Cougar 1998-2002

By Dave Turner

Photographs of some of the models referred to in the article taken by the Author can be found at the bottom of the article.

“Sharpen Your Senses” 

The name Mercury Cougar was among the most revered of motoring families, since it made its first appearance in 1967 as a big brother to the Mustang it had acquired a strong following. Initially they were basically slightly enlarged Mustangs and continued to be a variation of a contemporary Ford and employing much of the same technology.

Unfortunately due to years of alleged mismanagement the Mercury label became extinct on Jan 1st 2011, having been an important branch of the Ford group since 1938. The final breed of Cougar arrived in 1998, being as usual based on a contemporary product, this time the Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique, which were the US versions of what Europe called the Mondeo. These final variants of Cougar have been described as one of only two memorable Mercury cars in over 20 years – the other being the 2003/4 Marauder.

Effectively replacing the Mazda based Probe and produced in the Ford/Mazda plant at Flat Rock Michigan they had the looks, the performance and the road holding that should have made them best sellers. It is said however that as the money was being made by trucks and SUVs Ford was not really putting much effort into things like sporting coupes, and the final nail went in when Ford discontinued the Cougar/Mystique lines to concentrate on saving the company by pushing where the biggest profits were. Apparently it was still touch and go.

Styled in Europe, the concept was called “aero-angular” and when launched by Jay Leno he is quoted as saying “I like a car with a good ass – this one’s got it!” A total of 184,222 were made. Like the Probe before it, two versions were available, a 2 litre four, and a 2.5 litre V6. Very few changes took place during production, a sure indication that Ford had already lost interest, the front end was slightly altered for 2001 – the full width ‘sharks mouth’ gave way to a central grille with a light at each end.

As Mercury was not represented in many export countries, the car was sold in them with a Ford badge, although hefty import duties forced an inflated price tag and resulted in understandably poor sales. While the US market cars came with a range of no less than ten very exciting exterior colours, export examples (as far as to the UK at least) were limited to just three. These were black, a rather aggressive blue and silver, the latter being by far the most attractive (it took us some time to find one and we still have it eighteen years later!) although green replaced the blue for 2001/2.

The Models.

Just two miniature ’98-02 Cougars have been found, and they both were contemporary with the real article. Both were conceived in Europe and so carry the blue oval badges rather than the Cougars head and feature left hand drive. At least the two small Cougars we have are extremely nice models – the Minichamps 1:43 came in at least four colours, like the real car it is the silver finish that sets the model of to its best advantage. Despite having no ‘V6’ badge on the rear, it would appear to depict the larger engined version by studying the path of the exhaust system highlighted in silver on the well detailed base.

The larger of the two models came under the Action name, a spin-off of the Minichamps programme and of course it is up to the usual standard expected from that source. Doors, hood and trunk open without unsightly gaps while the trunk interior goes as far as depicting the recess for tools on the right side while the hood reveals a fair imitation of the Duratec 2.5 Litre V6 as confirmed by the “V6’ badge on the rear. Plenty of interior detail but it has a slightly more ‘plasticky’ look in this larger scale. At the time this model was issued a US home market version was also listed that would have obviously featured the Mercury insignia, no front licence plate holder and a narrow but deeper rear licence plate recess – this has so far proved elusive.

Mercury Cougar 1998-2001 Model Listing


Minichamps China 2000 88020 V6 ‘Ford’ 110mm 1:43 diecast
Action China 2000 822132 V6 ‘Ford’ 253mm 1:18 diecast
Action China 2000 V6 Mercury 253mm 1:18 diecast

Illustrations: Mercury Cougar 1998-2002


Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China: 88020

This is the “Silver Frost” version, others being red, black and blue.

Minichamps/Action Performance 1:18 diecast from China: 822132

Cougar V6 in Medium Melina Blue

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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part Five

By Fabrizio Panico


This time we have one more bus from Italy and two from France. All from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French  “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 13 (not in the French collection, at least for the moment) Fiat 418 AC/M Menarini 1975 – A typically urban bus, produced by the Italian Fiat bus manufacturer from 1972 onwards. Adopted in all the large cities of Italy, this urban bus has had an unprecedented commercial success: over 6,000 were produced and its legendary strength and mechanical characteristics of reliability and low consumption extended its working life well after the year 2000. Beside the standard Fiat body, as usual named “Cameri” from the site of the plant near Novara, two 418 chassises (AC and AM, short and long version) were available to outside specialised bodywork manufacturers like Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda, Dalla Via, Padane and Menarini.

Menarini was established in Bologna in 1919 building horse drawn carriages and car components. From 1925 it started producing buses and trucks bodies for Fiat chassis. After the war the transition from wood to metal for interiors allowed a great growth, but in the 1980s an excess of prudence by ownership (favouring self-financing over a bank loan) slowed the expansion and made the company weaker in the face of competition, especially foreign competition, leading to its acquisition by Breda.

An articulated version was produced by Macchi and Viberti. The 418 was equipped with the Fiat 8200.12 diesel engine, a flat straight six, placed centrally under the floor, of 9,819cc developing 143 kw of power. Some versions had an automatic gearbox, but a manual gearbox was available.

The model has a plastic body and a very light metal baseplate, with few details. The livery is dark green and light green, typical of the period, and the logos are of the ACNA of Trieste. It has quite nice wheels, and a well detailed the driver area, with a full dashboard and levers. The interior is quite basic (but it was indeed a very “Spartan” bus), note the presence of the conductors seat with its tickets machine. The doors and the windows are well executed as are the two rear mirrors and the wipers.

In the French collection (no. 53) there is another Fiat 418, a 1972 Cameri from the AMT of Genova, the body is a bit different (doors, front lights and windscreen), the livery is orange and grey. It will be used as a gift to the subscribers to the Italian collection. We’ll see it later on.

No. 14 (no. 7 in the French collection) Chausson APH 1950 – Société des usines Chausson was a French manufacturing company, based in the Paris region from 1907, supplier of components to the automotive industry, like radiators, tanks and exhaust systems. Chausson added car bodies to its range of specialities after the 1930s when, following the acquisition of Chenard & Walcker and a Budd licence, focused its attention on unitary bus bodies.

During the post war boom, by now with Peugeot and Renault its principal shareholders, and merged with Brissonneau and Lotz, Chausson also produced bodies for light commercial vehicles and smaller volumes coupés such as the Renault Floride/Caravelle, the Opel GT and the Citroën SM. Chausson closed in 2000.

The use of a self-supporting metal bodywork instead of the traditional use of a separate chassis lightened the weight of the vehicle and made it more efficient at constant engine power.

According to the directives of the “Pons Plan” for the modernisation and reconstruction of the industry, Chausson started producing buses and coaches derived from its first 1942 prototype, the KOM, at first named APE (petrol Panhard engine), and then followed by the APH (diesel Panhard engine) and the AH (petrol Hotchkiss engine). To accommodate the longer Hotchkiss engine it was necessary to extend its front cover, and to standardise it: it created the “nez de cochon” or “pig nose”. It was a wide success, but already by 1952 the AP52 had a new body style, with a flat front. But the thousands of buses supplied to many French cities during the first 1950s allowed for a long lasting memory of the “nez de cochon”, much loved by all the French. Then in 1959 Saviem acquired all their buses activities and Chausson left that market.

Plastic body and metal baseplate for a quite heavy model with a bland livery, light green and cream.

No indications of a transport company, only the Chausson logos, but the registration plate is from the Isère department, very likely Grenoble (in southeastern France) and the destination plate says Vienne, a commune of the same department, 20 mi south of Lyon, once a major center of the Roman empire. The front lights, rear mirrors and the “nez de cochon” are all nicely reproduced, but the wipers are only engravings on the screen. The drivers area is well reproduced with the typical engine cover, and the windows. There is a nice luggage rack on the roof complete with a small folded ladder at the back. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

No. 15 (no. 11 in the French collection) Citroen type 23R series U Chassaing 1947 – The Citroen type 23 was presented at the 1935 Paris Motor Show as a light truck with a payload of only 1,500 kg. Powered by the 1911 cc petrol engine of the “Traction” mounted in reverse (driving the rear wheels through a specially developed gearbox) and with an inverted direction of rotation.

It had a maximum speed of 70 km/h. In 1936, the company offered a diesel version, in 1940 its chassis was extended by 37 cm in wheelbase and named 23L, to became 23R the following year with hydraulic braking and a reinforced chassis. It was a very basic truck, but here simplicity equalled reliability, and that’s what users need. In 1953 it was equipped with a new monocoque cabin, its production lasted until the late 1960s, and over 120,000 were sold.

A very small model, if compared to the previous ones, but of extreme elegance in its dark green and white livery. Metal body and plastic chassis, with double rear wheels and a spare wheel under the chassis. It is a torpedo body, with four rows of seats, each with its own windscreen, and it is very well detailed. The drivers area is well reproduced, with even the pedals reproduced. The radiator grille and the front lights are very nice. Even the folding top fittings are modelled on the body sides. There are  no apparent differences to the French edition.

It is the reproduction of one of two petrol type 23R ordered, in bare chassis form, by the company of coaches Rocamadour-Georges du Tarn in 1947 and bodied as sixteen seater torpedos by Chassaing, in Martel, Lot department. It was used until 1964 on the line Rocamadour-Aurillac-Cahors and the Gorges of the Tarn, the second torpedo having been destroyed in an accident. This company was mainly concerned with tourist traffic: pilgrimages, excursions to the sea, weddings and the like. A tour like that could last a whole week and in that case a baggage trailer would be towed. The vehicle modelled has survived and has been restored in the original colours by a local enthusiasts club.

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Dodge La Femme 1955

By John Quilter

All photographs taken by, and copyright of, the Author

In the mid-50s women were becoming more accustomed to owning their own car and Chrysler Corporation wanted a capitalise on this trend by producing a car that was specifically created and appeal to the ladies. To that end the Dodge division launched the La Femme in 1955. This was a special trim version of the Custom Royal Lancer two door hardtop. It was only supplied painted in pink and white with a pink and white vinyl and flower pattern cloth upholstery. These cars were supplied with some unique accessories for my lady, such as pockets in the back of the front seats for a soft rose leather shoulder bag, which was fitted with a lighter, lipstick, coin purse, cigarette case, and comb. The special pocket behind the driver’ seat housed the rain hat, rain cape and umbrella. The photograph below shows the specially constructed umbrella in use. I made this using the same white with pink flower material that was used on the seat upholstery.

These cars were only made in 1955 and 1956 and best research indicates only about 2500 were produced in total. It appears that marketing of this women’s car concept was not as successful as it could have been and it is likely that not every Dodge dealer at the time even received one for their showroom or to demonstrate to the potential lady customer or her gift giving husband.

All came with the Dodge hemi head V8 engine, the 1955 with a Super Red Ram of 270 CID and 183 horsepower or an optional version with four barrel carburetor and dual exhausts developing 193 horsepower. All came with Dodge’s Powerflite automatic transmission. By 1956 the engine size had been bumped up to 315 CID and three versions were offered ranging from 218 to 260 horsepower with two four barrel carburetors for the lady that wanted her La Femme to really step out. Badging on the front fender was in gold script.

To make a replica of the 1955 version I was able to obtain a long out of production Tron resin kit of the Custom Royal Lancer convertible. To create the La Femme it was necessary to fabricate a roof and attach it to the chrome white metal windscreen frame and rear deck. This I did with a small section of sheet aluminium after making various trial patterns with card stock.

I wanted to replicate the flowered upholstery as closely as possible so I searched a local fabric shop for women and found a white fabric with red spots but obviously the pattern was way too big for a 1:43 scale car. See the background to the photograph above for an example of the fabric. The solution was to colour photocopy it in 25% reduction and then cut out sections and glue them to the seats and a small portion of the door card.

Photos available on Google Images and my February 1988 copy of Collectible Automobile magazine provided many detail aids to this project. The Tron kit contains some photoetch for the side moulding, the vent windows, the grill edge moulding and screen wipers. The most difficult part is forming the curved rear window and properly proportioning the roof, photos and a Brooklin 1956 Plymouth Fury hardtop assisted in this.

The kit supplies decals for the V8 badges, the front and rear Dodge badges, the hubcap badges, the steering wheel badge plus the dashboard gauges and radio unit. It also contains multiple colour seat upholstery decals but not in the pink and white colours needed for the La Femme, hence my work around with the photocopied fabric.

This Tron kit contains a white metal base plate, fascia, twin exhaust systems and wheels which are cleverly made in such as way that white walls can be painted on before the black rubber tires are fitted. The La Femme badging was done with a bit of a squiggle of gold paint applied with the point of a sharp toothpick. I upgraded from the flat photoetch door handles to those for a Brooklin 1955 Dodge sedan as these are better detailed and chrome.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @

Editorial July 2017

Karl Schnelle, US Editor

As July starts, we would like to take a moment to summarise the first half of 2017.   MAR Online has over 100 regular readers on each of our platforms:  108 subscribers to the blog and 117 followers on Facebook.  All articles appear on both sites simultaneously.  We thought it would be  a nice idea to determine who subscribes to both, but people could use different names and emails online, and one platform uses emails while the other holds users first/last name.  So that is an impossible task.  However, please email the editors at (maronlineeditor @, or post a comment on Facebook.  Which do you prefer and why? We’d love to get some feedback on how we are doing.

One of the reasons we are steadily growing is the content we provide.   We had a record-breaking month with 34 articles published in June!  MAR Online is now averaging about 30 articles a month.  The Editors would like to thank all the people who write articles and supply information as well as readers and subscribers and Facebook commentators.  They really make the job of Editor worthwhile.   New submissions are always welcome, from new or existing authors.  How do you, as readers and collectors, like the content?  What do you collect that you do not see covered?   Are the posts about the right length? Too long? Too short?

The same Editorial team has been involved from the start of this online blog in December 2015:
  • Rod Ward – Consultant Editor and Founder
  • Maz Woolley – Online Editor and Website Manager
  • Karl Schnelle – US Editor and Website Contributor
  • Hans-Georg Schmitt – Consultant Editor Germany

All posts from our online beginning are listed on one master list.  Search it if you want to find an old article, or just use the green search button on the top menu.

Finally, as the US Editor, here are a few comments on American collecting trends.  Hot Wheels and other 1:64 scale models are still big here.  I have heard that local retailers are carrying less and less stock of diecast toy cars and trucks.  Therefore,  I went to my local Walmart recently to check out availability in a bricks and mortar setting.  With a new Spider-man movie out soon, the end-cap on the toy aisle was all Hot Wheels Spider-man vehicles.  Next were these 16 columns of Hot Wheels, whereas  Matchbox took up a lowly four columns.
Two stacks of M2 classic cars were there as well. They are more detailed (and expensive) than Matchbox, and so more collector-focused.  On the left are some of the Jada products that have been around for years.  These are closer to my preferred 1:43 scale but are all ‘tuner’ cars and trucks.
I did notice these 1:43 scale pull-back toys in Walmart-branded boxed.  These have been sold under different brand names for many years  in the US.
ERTL is still around but now owned by Tomy (who also now own the Britains farm toys range).   Walmart had one of their farm trucks for sale this week.
I will investigate Target and Toys”R”Us in the next few weeks and report back if I find anything different.  In the US, those are the major sources, unless you go online and shop at eBay or with other smaller online toy/model car suppliers.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @