A pair of Atlas Imps

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Atlas Editions often source different series from different contractors. Here we have two Imps which are clearly from different sources.  One is obviously derived from the Vanguards model as it still has Lledo engraved on the base. The other when looked at carefully has many features which differ from the Vanguards model.

Atlas Best of British Police Cars – Hillman Imp

Lledo and Corgi have made several versions of Imp Police cars: the Dumbarton twin set, a Renfrew and Bute car, and also a car in a  set with a Triumph Herald.

Here Atlas have modelled a Kent car though the picture below shows that they have not matched it completely.  In particular the spotlights should be closer to the main lights and there should be no over riders on the bumpers and the number plate should be moved up to the front panel.

Image result for XKN 618J

The wheels are the same as the original Lledo and could do with being updated as they are a little clumsy by today’s standards. They could also do with white paint on the wheel to match the original car.

Atlas quality control is erratic and this is manifest in the roof box being slightly crooked.

In addition as the picture above shows tho old casting holes for the wipers are much too large for the photo etch wipers fitted for Atlas.

Overall this is a pleasant if not entirely accurate model. The Author wishes that someone had modelled a Coventry Police Force Panda car as they were significant Imp users.

Atlas British Touring Car Champions – Sunbeam Imp

Bill McGovern won the BTCC in 1972 in an Imp prepared by George Bevan shown below chasing a Ford Escort Mark One.

Bill McGovern, Bevan Imp 1972

Bill McGovern at the 1972 British GP meeting
source: David Lawson @ forums.autosport.com,

This casting is significantly different to the one used from the Police Car with a plastic base and not a metal one. If it is compared to the Vanguards Super Imp it is clear that the heavily flared wheel arches and loss of overiders and number plate holder are not the only difference. The bonnet line lacks the clear indentation separating bonnet from body on the Vanguards model and the lights are plastic and not “diamonds”. The front panel with the Sunbeam Logo is simulated by printing. When the photograph is enlarged the Sunbeam script on red plate is perfectly clear.

As the views above show the windows are flush fit and have chrome surround trim printed on them front and rear. The front widow vent is printed on rather than being part of the casting as it was on the Lledo. . The B Pillar is much finer on the BTCC car too. Inside the roll cage and racing seat are well modelled. The alloy wheels with wide racing tyres have been very nicely made. The tampo printed advertising and racing numbers are very impressive.

At the rear the extra vents on the bonnet are modelled and painted matt black. Lights have been painted on and would have benefited from being printed in translucent colours over silver.

The picture above shows both the excellent flush fit windscreen and the neat plastic wipers used. Atlas would have been better using these wiper mouldings on the ex-Vanguards shell of the Police Imp to fill the large holes.

This is a rather more accurate model than the Panda Car and well done for a budget model.


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Tin Tin Triumph Herald

By Maz Woolley

All photographs of the model by, and copyright of, the Author. Pictures from The Black Island copyright of Hergé and his publishers.

The Atlas models of vehicles from Tin Tin books are attractively modelled and in many cases are around 1:43 scale. They are diecast in China for Atlas.  Comic books like Tin Tin are regarded highly on the Continent and there is even a museum devoted to Comic Book figures in Brussels.

Here we have a Triumph Herald Convertible from around 1960 towing a caravan in the book L’Île Noire [Black Island].  Tin Tin asks a couple to help him chase the bandits and they tell him to get in the caravan a curious act as the Herald is a four seater!

They then rush off at speed up a slope a Herald could never climb even without a caravan.

The Atlas model is finished in the usual matt finish used for this series making it look like it has been plucked from a cartoon. I find this finish quite attractive especially when combined with the well modelled occupants.

The sculptors of these models have spent a considerable time getting the models right as well as matched to the cartoon. With a few tweeks here and there Atlas could produce this as a standard Herald convertible something we are still waiting for in mainstream diecast form as Corgi made the later 13/60 convertible but not an earlier one.

As ever my model was supplied by an eBay seller from China as we have never had these models sold by Atlas officially in the UK.


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GFCC Toys – Jaguar SS1

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Earlier this month Graeme Ogg introduced us to the 1959 Pontiac model in this range. Now the Jaguar SS1 mentioned in that article has arrived from a China based eBay trader. Although called a Jaguar SS1 It should just be an SS1 as the name Jaguar was adopted by William Lyons after the production of the SS1 had finished.

This model is very different to the Pontiac Graeme covered. The SS1 being similar to earlier Dinky models with no glazing, suspension or interior. However, the bumpers and lights are solid shiny silver metal as are the wheels which is a little different to Dinky. The GFCC Jaguar SS1 model is available in dark red, cream, and dark green.

The model is well shaped with the lovely flowing rear end and a nicely detailed and painted grille, though that could have been painted to represent the silver radiator shell as well but has not been. It is based upon the Airline streamlined body available in the mid-1930s.

It is curious that the box of the Pontiac was artificially aged but the box for this older style model is not. More surprising still is the fact that the spare wheels are not fixed to the car at all and only stay on the running boards when pressed hard into the depressions moulded for them.

My model was sent from China but GFCC seems to be a registered brand of Tongbo Toys. This brand is registered in Europe as well as the US and may be a trading company brand rather than a pure producer. Maybe they pick up models developed in China for other ranges or speculatively and not proceeded with?

I will certainly keep my eyes open for what comes next from GFCC Toys.


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Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 507 Simca 1500 Break

by Maz Woolley

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The third model in the Atlas Deluxe Dinky collection has made its way to me. Some collectors have had number four already which illustrates Atlas’ rather erratic shipping programme. Still 507 Simca 1500 Break is an example of how good French Dinky were by the mid-1960s with innovative features matching Corgi and others.

Dinky France modelled many Simca cars from the baby Fiat “Topolino” 500 made under licence onwards. The 1500 saloon was introduced by Dinky as 523 in 1963 with opening boot and doors and the Break followed in 1967 as 507 in silvery grey or white. Later 507 P was produced by Dinky France as a  Police car and is now a scarce and very expensive model. The box features box art by Jean Massé which shows the model in red which would have been a nice colour for the model but it was not produced in that colour by Dinky. Throughout the 1960s Dinky France box art was, like Airfix in the UK, created by excellent artists and included evocative backgrounds. Although Simca had long stopped making Fiat cars under licence the 1500 was a modern three box saloon or two box estate similar to the Fiat 124.

This Dinky model has lots of play features including opening doors and tailgate. The tail gate contains a small rear window that slides upwards to  form a complete rear door and inside is a tiny model of a picnic table as well as the spare wheel.

Atlas Customer Services are unable to confirm whether there would be any of the originally advertised British Dinky models like the Zodiac Mark IV and said that there were currently thirty-five models planned in this collection. This is many less than the number released in the equivalent French collection and perhaps indicates an expectation that subscriptions will fall off quite quickly on new Atlas collections.


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Chevy II 1962

By John Quilter

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

I recently learned that a partworks series from Argentina includes some interesting cars that are the same as some sold in the USA in the era. That is true of their Chevrolet 400 4 Puertas [Four Door] (1962) which is a exact duplicate of the car sold in the USA as a Chevy II. This was Chevrolet’s late answer to the very successful Ford Falcon. The partworks model is diecast and is very well done with proper chrome pieces, small standard hubcaps, blackwall tires, black interior and some chassis detail. These Chevy II cars were launched for the 1962 model year and came from the start with a four door sedan, two door sedan, pillarless hardtop, convertible and four door station wagon.

They were produced in the USA through 1965 with only minor trim and grill variations. The concept of this very conventional car was the answer to the Falcon which well outsold the radically designed rear engine Corvair which was Chevrolet’s initial “compact” offering for the 1960 model year.

Interestingly, the Corvair continued in parallel to the Chevy II although it was positioned as a more sporting member of the line up after the Chevy II took up the mainstream compact market niche. The Chevy II was launched with both a 153 cubic inch four cylinder engine or a 194 cubic inch inline six. In later years the engine choices expanded to include a 230 CID six, and in 1964, to the ubiquitous 283 V8 and by 1965 even a 327 CID version. Transmissions were generally the column shifted three speed manual or the two speed Powerglide automatic.

This model from Argentina is made by Premium Collectibles Trading, a huge Macau based Chinese production operation and the umbrella group of many brands of models such as Premium X, Ixo, Ixt. They are also sub-contracted to produce models for: DeAgostiniAtlas Editions, Altaya, HachetteWhite Box and others. They produce models in resin as well as diecast. Maybe since this one is in diecast it will have a longer production life and appear in other PCT or third party ranges over time. In fact, there are a number of items in these country specific partworks ranges, such as the Mexican range  which I believe would have an appeal in other countries. Otherwise it’s up to the buyer to find sources on auction sites who are making these available to the diehard international collector like the writer. Sometimes, with this hobby it’s all about the discovery and the chase.

The only improvement I would make to this item is a black wash to the grill.


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Auto Cult final releases of 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs provided by, and copyright of, Auto Cult.

Auto Cult Set of the Year

Auto Cult have made their final release for 2017.  This is their set of the year which features a book and a 1:43 scale model of a Porsche-Auto Union type 52 Sportlimousine. The book is also available as a separate item. The set is made in limited numbers.

Two versions of the book are available, one written in English and the other German. It is 184 pages long and looks at the stories of the often rare and strange vehicles modelled by Auto Cult in 2017. It features pictures of both the models and the real vehicles.

This design for a super car was penned in the offices of  Ferdinand Porsche but the exact details have been lost in history.  Based on the Typ 22 – a racing car concept, commissioned by the company Wanderer but never built – they created a design for a super car that was allocated Typ 52 according to the in-house numbering sequence. Josef Kales was responsible for the engine and Erwin Komenda drew the body. Both created an ambitious design  with a sixteen-cylinder V-engine of 4.4 litres with forced induction from a Roots-type supercharger and an estimated output of over 200 hp.

The sketched blueprints showed a low car body with a central driving position with passenger seats on either side offset to the rear. The designers were apparently divided on whether to built in a rear bench seat or not, since the sketches of both layouts exist. The V-16 engine was a mid-engined arrangement as the gearbox needed to be accommodated ahead of the rear axle.

 

The rear end of the car body with its great number of air outlets harmoniously curved around the engine. The front of the car in the design sketches had a large upright radiator grille, which probably carried the airstream via inner ducts to the engine. Externally fitted mudguards that followed the general silhouette of the car completed the harmonious overall look.

Unfortunately the super car never progressed beyond the design stage. Why there was not even a prototype built remains unclear.

Dubonnet Dolphin

Also released this month is the Dubonnet Dolphin to 1:18 scale. This was developed in France in the early 1930s by André Dubonnet and called the Dolphin to go with its aerodynamic shape.

Dubonnet had been a pilot during the First World War and then a racing driver in Bugatti and Sunbeam cars and dreamt of creating a streamlined car for mass production With the Engineer Chedru, he  created a car body powered by a 3.6 litre Ford V8 engine. The tear drop shape was rounded and an unconventional solution had to be found for the doors. At the front only the right half next to the steering wheel could be opened and two further doors were fitted further back on both sides which also provided access to the front area.

The engine was positioned directly behind the back seat and at the  rear axle point Dubonnet was provided an upright tail unit influenced by aircraft to stabilise the car at high speed. So that the sophisticated aerodynamics would not be marred by external influences Dubonnet provided complete cladding for all four wheels.  In the case of the steerable front wheels the cladding was fixed directly onto the axle and followed the steering movement.

 

Compared to a conventional Ford car the performance was considerably better, with the prototype reaching a maximum speed of 173 km/h (108 mph), when the standard Ford was only reached 131 km/h (82 mph). But this performance failed to convince any company to put the car into mass-production so André Dubonnet moved on to other projects and the car was lost to history.

For collectors of larger scale models Auto Cult has announced their next 1:18 scale model which is to be a Skoda 935 which will be released in 2018.


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Wolseley 2200 Conversion

By John Quilter

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. They can be seen below the text.

So what do you do when you end up with a duplicate model of one you already have? A while back a fellow model club member, who only works with 1:24th scale models, gave me a Heller plastic kit of an Austin Princess 2000. So what to do with this since I had already built a stock Princess 2000? Checking the British Leyland product range circa 1975 I found that there was a Wolseley version, the Wolseley 2200 of the controversial Harris Mann wedge design era that included the Triumph TR7.

The only real noticeable differences between the Princess and 2200 were the shape of the bonnet and a trapezoidal grill. So I decided to modify this kit into a Wolseley by adding a bulge to the bonnet and a modified grill. A layer of styrene plastic to the bonnet and a grill made from a piece of solder bent to shape made the conversion possible. Google images showed that there was a gold colour offered in 1975 with a tan interior. This is a nice addition to my Wolseley shelf, and if I am correct, it was the last BLMC vehicle badged as a Wolseley before the marque faded into obscurity.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 9

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Parts 25 to 27

One more French bus, a British one (but bodied in Malta), and a German one : a lovely triplet from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1/43 bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

 

No. 25 (no. 18 in the French collection) Citroën type 46 DP UAD 1955 – André Citroën was a graduate of the École Polytechnique in Paris in 1900. In that year he visited Poland where he bought the patent to a set of gears with a fish-bone structure, less noisy and more efficient, leading to the invention that is credited to him: double helical gears, the inspiration of the double chevron logo of the Citroën brand itself. After being a successful director of the Mors automobile company and establishing its own mechanical company, during the Great War he was responsible for mass production of armaments. Realising that the end of the war would leave him with a modern factory without a product, he decided to switch to automobile manufacturing. He intended to make a light car of good quality, but made in sufficient quantities to be low priced. André founded the Citroën automobile company in 1919, leading it to become the fourth-largest automobile manufacturer in the world by the early 1930s. A pioneer not only in the automotive field, but also in advertising, sales and even toys, obviously he couldn’t ignore commercial vehicles. By 1931 he had also decided to create a bus company to offer ease of transport to a greater number of people : Transports Citroën was established as an interurban bus and coach operator. Until then the motor coach in France catered for the holiday maker rather than being employed in regular routes. He also launched a taxicab company in Paris, but that did not last long. We have already seen the type 45 (part two, no. 6), based on a truck type chassis, produced from 1934 to 1953 and replaced by the type 55 (part three, no. 9). In 1953 the type 55 and its little brother, the light truck type 23 (see part five, no. 15), sported a new front end of a more modern type created by the Citroën Levallois body plant, while chassis and mechanical components were as before.

In 1955 the new type 46 was sold alongside the type 55, very similar externally to the 55, but now with a new petrol engine : a six in line of 5.2 litres and 90 CV. But their main defect was that the long bonnet and the conventional cab compromised the seating area. Many bus and coach bodies were built by Amiot, Currus, Faurax & Chaussende (Lyon), this scale model particular body is by Carde of Bordeaux.

The types 55, 46 and 23 were replaced in 1965 by the types 350 – 850, designed by Flaminio Bertoni, and nicknamed “Belphégor”, because the strange shape of their front bodywork resembled the “phantom” of the soap opera played by Juliette Greco.

The scale model is the faithful reproduction of a vehicle from a picture that can be find on a web site dedicated to the history of “Transports Citroën”, which is really interesting. It is a type 46 running on route no. 53, from Paris to Sens, via Fontainbleau, the first route from Paris (established in 1932), with a registration plate from Paris. The livery is the classic postwar one : light brown (almost cream) over dark brown with a red band. The model body is metal (but the front bonnet is plastic), while the chassis is plastic, with an added exhaust.

The rear overhang is really imposing, to wonder how many times it scratched the road. On the roof there is a nice luggage area with a very contorted ladder. Front grille and wheels, double at the rear, are well reproduced, while the wipers are only engraved. On both sides, and at the rear, there is the logo of Transports Citroën, alas not very visible (red on dark brown !). Interior is basic, but realistic. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model, we wonder if the real one is still alive?

 

 

No. 26 (no. 19 in the French collection) Fordson Thames ET7 1952 – Fordson name is perhaps more known as a successful tractors manufacturer, but trucks were sided to the tractors from 1933.

There is no need to trace here the history of US Ford, suffice to say that Ford Motor Company (England) Limited was established in 1909, and soon started assembling the model T from imported chassis and mechanical parts with bodies sourced locally, then in 1914 Britain’s first moving assembly line for car production started at Trafford Park, Manchester. In 1917 a plant opened in Cork, Ireland, to manufacture tractors and some years later also cars : Henry Ford and Son Limited company (Fordson) was officially incorporated. The Model T started the commercial vehicles production, from 1933 to 1939 badged Fordson, changing to Fordson Thames until 1957 after which they became plain Thames until 1965, when they reverted to Ford. The truck operation was sold to the Iveco group in 1986. The petrol-engined Fordson Thames ET6 (side valve Ford V8 or 4-cylinder “Cost Cutter” engine from 1953) and Perkins diesel-engined ET7 (4.7 litre six-cylinder) were first introduced in 1947, ‘ET’ standing for English Truck, to replace the Fordson 7V. The conventional cab with long bonnet and split windshield was built by the body builder Briggs Motor Bodies. The chassis now had half-elliptical leaf springs and hydraulic brakes, a significant improvement to the predecessor. They were to be renamed in 1957 as Ford Thames 500E and 520E, soon to be replaced by the forward control Thames Trader FC. Spanish Ebro built the Fordson Thames in license from 1956 to 1963 as Ebro B-series.

Appreciated for their simplicity and sturdiness many ET6/7 were exported, mainly in the Commonwealth, as “cowl and chassis” only, to be equipped with a local bodywork, like our scale model, very likely with a body built by Micallef in Malta. These Maltese old buses, full of character and loved by every tourist, were taken off the road in 2011 when Arriva started operating the public transport service and replaced them with new vehicles to reduce harmful emissions . Many of them have been saved by Heritage Malta, now seeking a site to house the new Transport Museum.

The scale model is the faithful reproduction of a vehicle still alive in Malta, route no. 80, registered EBY537. The Perkins logo on the rear panel claims to have a diesel engine. Quite an heavy model, metal body (but front bonnet and wings are plastic) and plastic chassis well detailed, but the rear exhaust is only highlighted by silver paint. The body has no door on the left side (because of the Maltese climate ?), and the interior, though quite basic, can be fully appreciated. The yellow-red-white livery is typical of Maltese buses. Chromed front and rear bumpers are added. Nice detailing of the front grille and lights, and the double rear wheels. No apparent difference to the French edition. An invitation to go and try the real one.

 

 

No. 27 (no. 21 in the French collection) Neoplan NH 22 Skyliner 1983 – Gottlob Auwärter GmbH & Co KG was founded by Gottlob Auwärter in Stuttgart in 1935, to manufacture trailers for trucks and bodywork for bus and truck chassis. At the end of the Second World War German industries were banned from producing vehicles greater than 3 ton load capacity. It was therefore necessary to re-use what had been spared by the war: a rich market for Neoplan, at least until the new generation vehicles, like Isobloc or Setra, brought forward the integral structure solution. By 1953, the company moved to a partial monocoque design with a steel tube skeleton and welded side panels. The engine was moved to the rear, and in 1957, air suspensions improved the comfort for passengers. For their dissertation at Hamburg University the founder’s eldest son, Albrecht Auwärter, and the Swiss Bob Lee, developed a new coach, with clear-cut lines with straight edges and large windows : the “Hamburg” bus was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961.  Albrecht’s second son, Konrad, also developed a new kind of bus for his dissertation : a double-decker bus (hence its name, Do-Bus), with a low-frame front axle, low weight and able to carry up to 100 passengers. It was the origin of the NH 22 Skyliner. In 2001 Neoplan was acquired by MAN AG to form Neoman Bus GmbH, which was fully integrated into the bus division of the larger MAN Nutzfahrzeuge Group in 2008, and ceasing to exist in its own right.

The Skyliner is a double-decker multi-axle luxury touring coach, it was introduced in 1967 and undergone a continuous process of evolution up to today. The lower floor allows the installation of toilets, kitchens or sleeping cabins in the back, below the main passenger compartment, while the engine and the baggage compartment are isolated in the rear of the bus. The large front overhang forces the driver to anticipate the steering, but the handling is still very good. Current Skyliners are available in two lengths : the short C version (12.44 metres) and the long L version (13.79 metres) with a correspondingly longer wheelbase. The original Henschel engine has been replaced by a 12.5 litre MAN straight-six common rail turbodiesel with intercooler, and an output of 353 kilowatts, mounted upright in a longitudinal orientation at the rear of the coach, connected to a twelve-speed ZF automated manual transmission.

The quite large, but light, scale model has metal body and plastic chassis and here we find some problems. The engine is at the rear, but the exhaust is reproduced going from the front to the rear of the vehicle, as is the transmission. Someone took a wrong turn! Alas that isn’t the only problem : the underside of the upper floor has not been represented, and that gives a poor impression. Again, there are three central supports to the roof in the upper floor, clearly needed for structural sturdiness, but very unrealistic. A better engineering solution could be found for a 1:43 model. The white-blue-silver livery is well represented, with the logo well printed over corrugated metal sheets. Front bumper with grille and lights are separate added items, like the rear one. There are separately added wipers for both floors, and rear view mirrors.

The interior is nice, quite a luxury version, with small compartments with table and opposing seats. The driver’s cab area is well represented, like the simulated engine ventilation grilles.

Registration plate is from Bochum, in North Rhine-Westfalia. The year indicated for the bus (1983) is perhaps doubtful, the shape of the model seems closer to the original version when launched. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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The Ford in Miniature – Maverick 1969-77

By Dave Turner

Photographs appear after the text and are by, and copyright of, the Author.

“It’s A Little Gas” – Maverick 1969-77

As the strap line on Fords March 1969 brochure claims, the whole point of the new Maverick was that it was aimed at the economy market and as such was going to be frugal on gas – a rather important subject at this time in the US. This was the smallest Ford made in the US until the even smaller Pinto arrived for 1971 and until then the only one that sold for under $2000.

It was based on the Falcon but with the wheelbase shortened to 103” and was initially available with the 170ci or 200ci in line 6. The name Maverick was applied to an unbranded head of beef cattle and that explains the stylised horned cattle head on badges and publicity material. So much in demand was an economical small car during the fuel problems of the time that by 1970 the Maverick was Fords best seller in the US by far. At least by then the finish of the car had become a little less austere with bright trim added to the rain gutters and window frames together with full wheel covers. An option was the Grabber “sporty” package, prior to it becoming a stand-alone model.

A four door version of the Maverick arrived in 1971 with a wheelbase extended by almost 7 inches while a 250ci 6 was added to the engine choices. The sporty version of the 2 door called the Grabber was added to the range as a specific model and this had the option of a 302ci V8 and was identified by having a different hood boasting twin air intakes and black stripes together with a blacked out grille that contained a pair of driving lights. .

In 1973 the cars were fitted with 5mph bumpers and the pair of extra lights in the grille came with every version while the central grille emblem was replaced by a Maverick badge close to the left side auxiliary light. The full strength federal bumpers arrived for 1974 and these changed the whole character of the relatively small Maverick almost giving it a slightly whimsical air. This didn’t worry the fuel starved US motorists who kept buying these cars in vast numbers. In fact the Maverick was due to be replaced by the slightly bigger Granada for 1975 but continued alongside it for another two years.

1976 Mavericks received a new split grille while front disc brakes became standard. The sporty Grabber was deleted although a Stallion Group option on the 2 door provided something that at least looked sporty. This was deleted for 1977, the Mavericks last year. Almost throughout the cars production there were numerous options that featured various layouts of vinyl roofs and wide rubbing strips along the body sides that contrived to give these economy machines a touch of luxury.

Models of the Maverick are rather limited in number but extremely varied in concept. So far no four door Maverick model of any description has been found, a bit of a surprise as the real 4 doors were certainly big sellers at the time. As mentioned in the Ford in Brazil piece, the pedigree of some of these is rather complex. A 1975 Maverick is mentioned in MAR 277 in a piece by Jon William Greenbaum in which it is listed as a GT by “Ixo-for-Altaya/DeAgostini. The US car brochures don’t list a GT, their sporty versions was called Grabber – and by 1975 it had the hefty federal bumpers. However, as mentioned in that article Premium X has issued it and this features the plated bumpers of the original US cars, plus “Ford Maverick GT” on its base. It probably represents a 1971/2 US car – small bumpers and V8 engine. Also in the “Brazil” piece, the Carros Nacionals ‘toy’ Maverick comes complete with “GT” on its base while the opening doors and pull-back motor are obviously intended it to be played with.

Quite different is the tin 2 door from Bandai that scales out to 1:20 and came with a variety of forms of propulsion – battery and remote control being just two. In no way intended to be scale models they are quite well proportioned, the entire body being pressed out of a single piece of tinplate.

Different again is the Funmate 1:35 plastic Grabber that was one of six similar Fords in this range of trigger-propelled toys. Featuring the twin air intakes on the hood of the 1971/72 cars it has a one-piece body and a silver base that includes front and rear panels.

Numerous kits for the Maverick have been recorded over the years, some have failed to be represented in this collection – usually due to not finding them. One in the US Hawk range of 1:24 plastic kits has proved elusive as have the Palmer US plastic 1:32 kits. Johan in the US produced some plastic promos for the Maverick from which some 1:25 kits were derived – most, or all of which were for custom/drag/funny cars. Meanwhile from Japan came some large 1:16 plastic kits from Fujimi and 1:24 kits from Otaki.

A resin kit from JPG offered a 1971 Grabber, Linberg produced some small plastic kits called Mini Lindy and included a 1970 2 door and of course Revell issued more 1:32 plastic kits of the 2 door cars.

Motormax have produced diecast Mavericks in both 1:60 and 1:24, some kits in the larger size depicting the ’74 and ‘76 cars with federal bumpers, the only miniatures of these later examples to have been found so far. The interior details appear to represent the earlier cars however. Johnny Lightning have offered some extremely acceptable small diecast models as well as less realistic toy versions of the same subjects. Their 2 door Mavericks have the Grabber type hood striping but lack the auxiliary lights in the grille so we will assume that they represent the Grabber option for the 1970 2 door. Mattels Hot Wheels Mavericks came in all manner of imaginative creations as well as a few more acceptable offerings.

A 1:21 scale toy Maverick came from Processed Plastic in soft plastic featuring a simple interior and rather narrow wheels/tyres. A stick-on label on the base declares “Please note: this toy is not licensed by, sponsored, or associated with any current television program or producer thereof.(Processed Plastic Co.)” Intriguing ! Tiger Wheels 1:64 toys were initially produced by Anson for gravity track racing but a subsequent issue of a Maverick seem to have been made in many colours and variations.

Ford Maverick 1969-77 model listing

Ixo/Premium X China 148 1975 2 door GT(Brazil) 106mm 1:43 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1975 2 door GT (Brazil) 114mm 1:40 diecast
Bandia Japan 4386 1970 2 door 229mm 1:20 tinplate
Funmate Japan 1971 Grabber 129mm 1:35 plastic
Hawk USA 1970 2 door 1:24 plastic kit
Johan USA 1969 2 door 1:25 plastic promo
Johan USA 1970 2 door 1:25 plastic promo
Johan USA 1971 2 door 1:25 plastic promo
Fujimi Japan 1970 2 door 1:16 plastic kit
Otaki Japan OT3-26 1970 2 door 1:24 plastic kit
JPG 1971 Grabber resin kit
Mini Lindy USA 27 1970 2 door 1:64 plastic kit
Motormax China 73600 1970 2 door 76mm 1:60 diecast
Motormax China 75120 1974 Grabber 193mm 1:24 diecast
Motormax China 73200 1974 2 door 193mm 1:24 diecast
Motormax China 73326 1976 Stallion 193mm 1:24 diecast
Johnny Lightning China 922 1970 2 door Grabber option 72mm 1:63 diecast
Mattel Malaysia 038/214 1971 Grabber 71mm 1:64 diecast
Mattel Malaysia 6414 1970 2 door 71mm 1:64 diecast
Palmer USA 1971 2 door 1:32 plastic kit
Palmer USA 1972 2 door 1:32 plastic kit
Palmer USA 1973 2 door 1:32 plastic kit
Palmer USA 1974 2 door 1:32 plastic kit
Processed Plastic USA 9485 1970 2 door 214mm 1:21 plastic
Revell USA H1249 1970 2 door 143mm 1:32 plastic kit
Revell USA H1108 1970 2 door re-issue of above 143mm 1:32 plastic kit
Tiger Wheels 1971 Grabber 1:64 diecast

Illustrations: Ford Maverick

Processed Plastic 1:21 plastic from USA: 9485, 1970 2 Door

 

 

Bandai 1:20 tinplate from Japan: 4386, 1970 2 Door

This example had remote control, others were battery powered.

 

Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: 038/214, 1971 Grabber.

Featuring the twin air scoops on the hood. Auxiliary lights in grille barely discernible.

 

 

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 148, Brazil 1975 GT

Retaining the slender bumpers of the earlier US examples.

 

 

Carros Nacionals 1:40 diecast for Brazilian market: 1975 GT

Like the Premium X looking like earlier US cars.

 

 

Motormax 1:60 diecast from China: 73600, 2 Door.

 

 

Johnny Lightning 1:63 diecast from China: 922, 1970 2 Door

The striping indicates the Grabber option.

 

 

Funmate 1:35 plastic from Japan: 1971 Grabber.

 

 

Revell 1:32 plastic kit from USA: H1249, 1970 2 Door.

 

 

MotorMax 1:24 diecast kit from China: 75120, 1974 Grabber

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Togi History – Part IV

by Karl Schnelle and Koen Beekmann

In Part III of this series, we looked at the #5 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS.  Now, we will examine the Alfa Romeo Giulia Berlina.  This is the 4-door sedan (or berlina) made by Alfa from 1962-1978.   This must have been when Togi stopped numbering the baseplates on their new releases.  From online photos, the baseplate only reads 7/63 with no #6 anywhere.

NOTE: Koen Beekmann took the photos or acquired them from other collectors, unless otherwise noted.

Some Togi History

The original founder and owner of Togi, Alberto Lorenzini,  sold the company in the early 1990s; he passed away about 1995.  An article on Togi in the Italian magazine, Quattroruotine N°206, Nov. 1997, stated Togi had a new owner, so it was definitely sold sometime before 1997.  The original company used some small local factories to make all the casting for them.   The new owner, Alberto Lanzani,  was one of them (he made the Alfa 164 castings) and took two years or so for him to find all the molds and tools for all the toy cars from all the other factories.  The tools of the Giulia Berlina were lost, because the small company who produced the castings was long gone by then.

Giulia Berlina

In 1963, Togi brought out the Giulia TI Berlina model as a toy car with four doors, bonnet, and boot lid that all opened. That was quite special at the time. Mr Lorenzini had to find out for himself how to make all the openings work and how the hinges attached.  Was this the first toy car with all opening parts?  Edil Toys  did not make their 1/43 Giulia with 6 opening parts until 1966.

The early hinges on the Giulia look very different than later models.  The doors were hinged at a single point that was clamped between the bottom of the door and the floor of the interior, perhaps a strange way to do it, but Mr. Lorenzini was covering new design territory!  After the Giulia, a different method of hinging was chosen. You can see the low hinges on the disassembled early version below.

These models had a steerable front axle and front and rear suspension. A wheel key was supplied so the customer could disassemble the wheels;  with a screwdriver you could easily disassemble the whole model and then hopefully reassemble it.

Rampini (Automodelli Alfa Romeo 1910-1993, 1993) reports that  Carabinieri, Polizia, and Vigili Fuoco (Fire) versions came out in 1965.    Here is a catalog page from that time:

Then in 1967, the mold was modified to improve the lines of the model. After that, two new grills were available with clear headlight lenses:  Giulia 1600 Super (4 headlights) and a year later the Giulia 1300 (two headlights). The rear lights were no longer cast as part of the aluminum body but attached using separate red plastic parts.  Rampini also says the Super version has the two police and one fire versions as well.

Here are the three versions: cast front lights, 2 headlights, and four headlights:

The second author found this proof sheet for the Giulia TI kit several years ago – a collector had acquired it in the 1970s:

Here is the box it was for, as well as the box for the assembled model:

Finally, the Giulia TI came in a rare gift set with 2 other Togis, shown here from a 1960’s catalog:

Next time in Part V, we will continue the Togi story with the Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint.


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