Esval September 2018 Release Announcement

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. All images provided by the Manufacturer.

Esval models have been often been the subject of discussion on bulletin boards. They have announced many models of interest to collectors that have either taken a long time to appear or which have not yet been produced. Recently they sent out publicity material announcing twelve models to be released between November 2018 and  Spring 2019.  Sadly none of these are the 1938 Humber Snipe or 1958 Packard hard top coupe previously announced as future subjects and which also no longer appear as future releases on the web site or in the 2018 brochure.

Esval models are resin cast in China for the US to either 1:18 or 1:43 scale.

1:18 Scale Models

1937 Duesenberg SJ Towncar

This model is due for release in November 2018. It comes in four different configurations. This is the first 1:!8 scale model from Esval and if of the 1937 Duesenberg SJ Towncar by Rollson, which is known as the last Duesenberg ever made. This car was modelled by Esval a couple of years ago in 1:43 scale.


The cars first owner was a wealthy German avant-garde painter, Rudolf Bauer who had it built even though Duesenberg had already gone out of business. It was intended to be the longest and most distinctive Duesenberg ever built. The body was constructed by Rollson, an American coachbuilder that specialised in town cars or town cabriolets. The car was delivered to the owner in 1940.

1:43 Scale Models

1950 Mercury Leo Lyons Coupe

This is due to be released in November 2018.

A custom car based upon the 1950 Mercury and built by a  20-year old called Leo Lyons. Drawing on the help of established custome builders in California like Ed Iskenderian and George and Sam Barris. Chassis and body panels were bought from Ford and “California Metal Shaping” custom designed and built the doors, hood, and top.  This car is regarded as the most radical custom version of the 1949-51 Mercury .

It was originally intended to make ten cars but in the end only the prototype was built. The model is based on the post-restoration version of this car.

2010 Porsche Cayenne 2 door Coupé by Merdad

Another release planned for November and a modern vehicle. The  2010 Porsche Cayenne 2 door coupé by Merdad. Merdad are a UK based coachbuilder who creates very expensive upgraded versions of Land Rover Evoques and Porsche Cayennes. It is not just a question of more powerful engines but they also fit strengthening frames as well as finishing the car in very high quality materials.

Only three of the 2010 versions were produced each slightly different and Esval has made two of them.


1920-21 Pierce Arrow Model 32 7-Seat Limousine

One of the models due in Spring 2019 is this 1920-21 Pierce Arrow Model 32 7-seat limousine. This was the largest car offered by Pierce Arrow at the start of the 1920s. Pierce Arrow was based in Buffalo, New York and is best known for its expensive luxury cars which did not survive the later depression.

The bodies for the Model 32 were designed by Leon Rubay, a freelance who also designed models for Marmon and Duesenbergs. In 1920, Pierce-Arrow launched the Model 32, which would form the basis of the company’s entire model lineup. This new chassis would be the only chassis available but would be available with 10 different factory body styles. 2,239 examples of the Model 32 were made before upgrades were made and the Model 33 was launched.

1951 GMC Series 100 5-Window pickup

November 2018 is the expected release date Our surprise new release this fall is one of the most legendary American pickup truck designs, 1951 GMC Series 100 5-window pickup.

The 1950s were the era when the classic American pickup became part of everyday US life and laid the grounds of the ‘lifestyle’ pickup of today. The Chevrolet and GMC’s so-called “Advance-Design” trucks led the way with production starting in 1947. These were entirely restyled and introduced new levels of comfort, convenience, and up to date looks. The new cab was wider, and offered more head and legroom. The model is based on a post-restoration vehicle.


1934-41 Adler Trumpf Junior 2 door Sedan

Spring 2019 should see the release of this model. A car for the masses was a German obsession throughout the pre-war period culminating in the KDF-Wagen. The 1934-41 Adler Trumpf Junior 2 door sedan was an early precursor which offered middle class families a practical and reasonably priced car.

Made in Frankfurt by Adler (Adlerwerke vorm. H. Kleyer AG), from early in 1934 the small two-door “Limousine” modelled here had a recommended price of 2,750 Marks. This model went on to be the company’s best selling car with over 100,000 being built before production ceased in 1941 during the Second World War.


1971 Trident Venturer Sport Coupe

The arrival of freely available equipment for building tubular frames and making fibreglass bodies spawned a collection of speciality car manufacturers in the UK in the 1970s. Some like TVR and Marcos are still remembered well, others have been lost in the past. Here Esval show a 1971 Trident Venturer sport coupe which they intend to release in Spring 2019.

Trident Cars Ltd. built cars from 1966 until 1977 in Woodbridge and then Ipswich. The first car was the Clipper convertible with a body styled by Englishman Trevor Frost. This was based on a TVR prototype TVR. The Clipper Coupe was built on a TVR Grantura Mark III chassis, but this was later switched to an Austin-Healey 3000 chassis. The Trident Venturer was launched in 1969 as a cheaper alternative to the Clipper using a similar body fitted to a Triumph TR6 chassis powered with a Ford 3-litre V6. Sadly the late 1970s was beset with financial crisis and Trident closed in 1974. An attempt to revive the company in 1976 but the company finally closed in 1977.  This car is now rare as only 84 Trident Venturers were built.


1949-50 Delahaye 135M Coupé by Guilloré

Another model due to be released in November. This is a stylish 1950s design from the French car maker Delahaye. This is a 1949-50 Delahaye 135M coupé by Guilloré.

Delahaye was one of the firms whose Grand Turismo cars were famous and fashionable in the inter-war period. The firm was a pioneer of the French motor industry opening its first workshop in 1896. Delahayes won a reputation for high quality engineering and after the success of the Delahaye 135 in the “Coupe des Alpes” in 1935 they focused on sportier cars. After the Second World War Delahaye revived production of the 135M and eight of this model were made from 1949-50 and only five now survive. The car has right-hand drive like many high quality French and Italian cars of the period. Delahaye’s 135 rapidly dated as the new generation of cheaper, faster and cheaper factory produced sports cars like the Jaguar XK120 emerged. Esval Models intends to make two versions of this car in dark blue and in off-white, each car has distinctive design.


1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe

Due for release by Esval this November. Italy had many small producers and styling houses in the 1950s. The 1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe, is a product of that era. Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia was established by Piero Dusio in 1939 and made a variety of sporting goods. After the Second World War Dusio built a number of Fiat-powered racing cars using the extended acronym Cisitalia and started making passenger cars in 1947. By 1949 Cisitalia was bankrupt by 1949 and Dusio moved to Argentina. In 1960, Dusio attempted to resurrect the Cisitalia brand. The 1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupé was a car of the revived company and based on the Fiat 1500S.

The body was crafted by Carrozzeria Fratelli Fissore of Savigliano, one of the biggest names in the coachbuilding business after the Second World War. Like many of these small concerns records of their output are rare. It is estimated that fifteen to thirty of these cars were produced.

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News from the Continent September 2018 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

The newsletters from Norev continue to announce a wide range of models in a variety of scales. This article looks at releases from August and September.

Releases August 2018

1:12 Scale


121562 Citroen DS 19 Saloon 1959

Prototype shown of this very large model painted Marron glace and Carrara white.

1:18 Scale


183200 BMW X6 M 2016

Another prototype image showing opening parts, painted silver


185726 Caravan Henon 1955

As modelled by Dinky in the 1950s. Here made in a large sacle with opening components. Painted the typical white colour.


185230 Renault Clio Williams 1993

Model of the special edition associating Renault with their partners in Formula One Williams  – Finished in blue with the characteristic special wheels.


188442 Volkswagen Golf GTI 1990

Photographs of the prototype model showing opening features. Painted in grey metallic paint as so many originals were.


188419 Volkswagen Golf GTI “20th Anniversary 1996”

Another GTI to contrast with the 1990 car. This time in silver

1:43 Scale


154543 Citroen HY van 1962 – silver


509001 Dacia Duster 2018 – Vision brown


509003 Dacia Duster 2018 – Dune beige


517594 Renault Clio R.S. 2013 – Flame red


530040 Saviem S105M Coach 1969 – “Bordeaux”

1:87 Scale


151477 Citroen 2CV AU 1951 – grey


474337 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet 1957 – black


475462 Peugeot 504 Coupe 1971 – silver


576085 Simca Aronde Montlhery Speciale 1962 – grey metallic

1:43 Scale JET-CAR


471713 Peugeot 205 GTI 1986 – red


310608 Citroen C3 WRC “Rally of Mexico 2017”

310607 Renault R.S. 01 – 2015 “Oregon Team”

Releases September 2018

1:18 Scale


183230 BMW 507 Cabriolet 1956 – silver


181615 Citroen DS5 2011 – pearl white


181616 DS5 2015 – ink blue, white, or red


183464 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL saloon 1990 – Pearl blue metallic


183594 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2018 – red


183598 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting break 2015 – black


183592 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2018 – black


183479 Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG-Line 2018 – Iridium silver


183483 Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG-Line 2018 – Ruby pearl metallic


185145 Renault Alpine A442 – Winner France 24 hours 1978 drivers Pironi / Jaussaud

1:43 Scale


155560 Citroen C5 Aircross 2018 – Pearl white & red decoration

155561 Citroen C5 Aircross 2018 – Volcano red & silver decoration


170013 DS7 Crossback Performance line 2018 – Platinum grey


472403 Peugeot 204 Coupe 1967 – Maroon


472443 Peugeot 204 Cabriolet 1967 – beige metallic


476503 Peugeot 605 saloon 1998 – white


475821 Peugeot 508 saloon 2018 – dark blue,white, or red


475820 Peugeot 508 GT Saloon 2018 – Ultimate red


473887 Peugeot 5008 GT 2016 – Pearl white


517704 Renault Megane RS Trophy 2014 – Pearl white


517744 Renault Talisman 2016 – Palatine silver


870054 Volvo XC90 2015 – Magic blue, white, or red

NOREV CLASSICS to 1:43 Scale


CL5811 Talbot-Lago T26C 1949 #24 – Louis Rosier


CL5812 Talbot-Lago T26C 1950 #8 – Georges Grignard

PLASTIGAM to 1:43 Scale

431020 Camion Renault Trucks D 2.1 “Eboueur” (dustbin lorry)


431025 Camion Renault Trucks D 2.1 “Depanneuse” (breakdown truck”


431035 Camion Renault Trucks D 2.1 “Benne” (dump truck)

MINIJET 1:64 Scale


310808 Citroen 15/6 saloon 1939 – black


310809 Citroen 15/6 saloon 1939 – grey


310704 Citroen SM 1971 “French Gendarmerie”


310906 Citroen C5 Aircross 2018 – grey & orange


310909 DS7 Crossback 2018 – gold


310907 Peugeot 508 saloon 2018 – blue, white, or red


310806 Renault Master 2014 “Fire brigade”

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2012 London Olympic Coca-Cola HAPPY BUS Pull-Back Promo Cars.

By Jerry J. Broz

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Translation from Japanese by Fumiaki Ishihama.

The previous two articles about Coca-Cola Japan Promotion Campaigns, entitled “2005 Coca-Cola VW New Beetle Pull-Back Promo Cars” and the “2016 Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature CarCollection“, featured Coca-Cola liveried miniature models of various delivery cars, trucks and vans, in small sizes all promoted in conjunction with Coca-Cola drinks. The models were made in China, to no particular scale, and exclusively for Japan’s Coca-Cola Promotion Company.

Combining the promotion of 2012 London Olympic Games with Coca-Cola Drinks, the Coca-Cola Japan Promotion introduced a promotional campaign called “Happy Bus“, which featured the famous Red London Double-Decker Bus. (The Red Double-Decker buses in London have basically become a national symbol of England.) For a limited time, the Happy Bus were produced as a give-away item with the purchase of a bottle of Coca-Cola drink from local convenience stores.

The miniature London Double-Decker Buses were exclusive to the Coca-Cola Japan Promotion Company and not available on any open model car market in Japan, the USA, or rest of the World. As such, the individual buses are very hard-to-find and the complete sets are rare.

The “Happy Bus” promotion consisted of 4 identical London Double-Decker buses (design A, B, C, and D), moulded in dark red ABC resin, and set apart by four different sets of, tampo printed, decorations of the Coca-Cola, 2012 London Olympic logos, slogans, Union Jack, Coke bottle/bottles and other signs. Only the right side and top of the buses were decorated. The left side has the upper and bottom sides of windows and the entrance door at the front of the bus.

The basic design of these models interpreted and captured the visual character of London Double-Decker Bus quite well, including the moulded-in and painted details, which include the front and rear bumpers, license plates, grille, front and rear lights. The models were powered by a “Pull-Back” motor. The identification of each car was moulded into the baseplate – (Coca-Cola, HAPPY BUS, and the design A, B, C,or D).

All models had blackout windows, and were made in China to no particular scale. See the size of the “Happy Bus” in comparison with the size of a US Quarter coin.

The four London Double-Decker Buses were inserted in clear blisters (shaped to confirm to the shape of bus) in order to be clearly seen when on display. Using folded tabs, the blisters were attached to the front of the cards (identical for all four buses except  identification of the design). The card itself was then folded in such a way that the ends formed a holder by which the carded “Happy Bus” slides around the neck of the Coke Bottle.

The front, colourful and catchy side of the card lists identification of the product:

PULL BACK CAR – under that is the line
Design (A,B,C or D) and All 4 Types
Opposite of this is a combined logo of the
Olympic Rings, Coke Bottle and British Flag.
Under this logo is, in English
Coca-Cola” logo plus the line
Worldwide Partner.

On top of the back side of the card, under the “ache face” is a line that clearly states “Do not put in mouth“. Adjacent is a red square, “For age over 6“, and next to that is a list of the materials used to make the Happy Bus. These include the Body: ABC resin, Gear: POM resin, Tires: ABC resin / TPE resin, Screw / Shaft: Steel.

On the very right side is Made in China, and 2012 Not for Sale. And under that “For age over 6

<Contact information about this item>
Coca-Cola HAPPY BUS Pull Back Car Office.
Free dial 0120-403-990.
Available hours: 10:00-17:00 (except Sat, Sun, National Holiday).
This campaign ends after item is no longer available.
COCA-COLA & COCA-COLA are registered trademarks of
The Coca-Cola Company

!Cautions when use (please be sure to read)
1st black circle (bc) indicates: This item is pull-back toy car and it is not intended for any other application.
2nd bc: Keep out of reach from small children to avoid risk of accidental ingestion.
3rd bc: Never disassemble, drop or throw.
4th bc: Handle with care to avoid injury from sharp edges.
5th bc: Avoid contacting the rotating wheels with hair or clothing in order prevent tangling.
6th bc: Do not use the strong force when handling the
model, as it will lead to damage.
7th bc: Do not play with toy, if damaged or deformed.
8th bc: Do not place to near heat for extended periods of time as it can cause injury, damage, or deformation due to the hot temperatures.

These miniature models of the Red London Double-Decker Buses would make a great addition to any collection of Red London Double-Decker Buses.

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The BATs are Back!

By Karl Schnelle

Alfa Romeo BATs, that is!  Earlier this year, I heard from a  fellow collector that AutoCult was making a small batch of 1:43 Alfa Romeos. Known for making models of strange, rare vehicles, I had to investigate. It turns out that AuoCult made them for a German distributor, Ravensberger Handelskontor, so the model appears in blue ‘Masterpiece’ packaging.

Perhaps because this is a commission, their Alfa is not all that strange or unknown like most AutoCults: it’s a BAT 7 from 1954. Here it is with its mini-me (a MicroMachine)!

Then, the same collector (thanks, Harvey) informed me in August that they released the BAT 5 in the same limited series.  After a quick search, I had that BAT in hand as well!

Why is AutoCult doing these now, and will BAT 9 be far behind?

Franco Scaglione designed these three concepts while working  at Bertone  in 1953/4/5.  BAT stands for Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica.  If I remember correctly, they were restored over 10 years ago and are now owned by the same person.  All three were united at Pebble Beach in 2006 (Motor Trend).   As far as I know, the Blackhawk Collection has them now but not on display any more (Petrolicious).  How unfortunate!

I am not sure if this is a global trend or not, bur several art museums here in the USA have presented special art exhibits on car design featuring  the actual concept cars or classic collector cars.   I am aware of the High Museum in Atlanta (2014), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2015) , and the Frist Museum in Nashville (2016).  I made a special trip to Nashville to see that exhibit because the three BATS were on display!

That was an amazing experience for me.  To absorb all the angles and wings took some time.   I was entranced enough to only get a few quick photos.   I have a few other BATs in 1:43, but to see them in full-scale was a different experience.

Comparison to SMTS

Back in the 1990s, I bought the 5 and 7, and I assume they were fairly new then, by SMTS, 1:43 white metal made in England.  I don’t think they ever did the BAT 9.   Provence Moulage from France also did a 1:43 resin kit of the BAT 9.  Looksmart from Italy might have come out soon after the SMTS with all three, but they were more expensive, and I did not think they looked better than the SMTSs I already had.

Here is the SMTS BAT 7; I hope the green background keeps you awake!  This BAT is an old white metal handbuilt, but it has beautiful paint – a little grayer perhaps than the AutoCult. The SMTS is 1990s white metal technology and really nice, just missing the PE window surrounds, triple wipers, and recessed headlights!

The AutoCult and the SMTS are very similar in scale. The SMTS may be just slightly more narrow in the roof (on the bottom of the photo below).

Comparison to Bizarre

Then, about twelve years ago, Bizarre (a brand made by Spark) brought out all three in resin.  Here is their BAT 5.

Looking at the AutoCult, I am  glad I did not spring for the more expensive Looksmart several years ago! The older Bizarre is more bluish and wider in the photo below.

The Bizarre also has a lower stance and seems meaner. However, the new AutoCult seem closer in color, in stance, and in width. It was 1953 so a pretty high road clearance was probably common.

Their BAT 7 is below with the AutoCult on the right.

On the green background, the colors are about right on the two models. I think the full-size is a bit more bluish, but who knows how many times its been repainted? But without a birds-eye view at the Frist, I am not sure which one is more accurate on shape. The AutoCult/Masterpiece is again much more narrow and closer to 1:43 scale in wheelbase. The Bizarre is closer to 1:42, but is from 12 years ago!

Final Words

In March this year, I attended the 1:43 get-together in Countryside, Chicago.  Harvey brought his Looksmart BAT 7.  So here are all 4 examples together in one place: AutoCult – SMTS – Bizarre – Looksmart!!!

Some people upgrade their collection and dispose of the older one when a better representation comes out.  In this case, I think I will keep all my BATs.  It’s fun to compare and contrast them!

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News from the Continent September 2018 – Busch

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs provided by the manufacturer.

Here are the new releases from Busch for September. All are moulded in plastic to 1:87 scale.

Combine harvester Progress E514

The successor of the type E512 was in a number of points improved self-driving harvesting machine for threshing cereals, oilfruits and pulses.Production started in 1982. In the former DDR, the vehicle was also used for harvesting maize and sunflowers.

40174 Combine harvester Progress 514 with maize picker – blue
40175 Combine harvester Progress 514 with maize picker – green


41710 Pontiac Firebird TransAm – red


45001 Chevrolet Bel Air – Flames


The concept: Smart forTwo cars parked around the City which can be hired like the bicycle schemes in many cities.

46135-01 Smart Fortwo 07 Car2go – free tanker
46135-02 Smart Fortwo 07 Car2go – Local patriot
46135-03 Smart Fortwo 07 Car2go – Rhineland Express


46656 Plymouth Fury “Tennessee State Trooper


47365 Citroen Jumper “French Gendarmerie”


47524 Ford Mustang Cabriolet with soft top – yellow


49820 Mercedes-Benz M-Class W164 “Emergency Doctor – Herford”


50362 Land Rover Defender “British Airport”


51127 Mercedes-Benz Vito “Patrol car of the German Autobahn Police”


51128 Mercedes-Benz Vito “Portugesian Taxi”


51167 Mercedes-Benz V-Class “Politi (Norwegian Police)”

Barkas Collection latest releases

Eight differently coloured and liveried Barkas V901/2 half-bus or box van have been produced as a mini-series.

51292 Barkas Halfbus V901/2 No. 7 “BVF Carburettor Factory of Berlin”

51293 Barkas Halfbus V901/2 No. 8 “KfZ Werke Ernst Grube Werdau”


51508 IFA G5 1959 “NVA loaded with convoy-way plates”

The 6×6 truck loaded with typical pre-manufactured concrete pieces for the reinforcement of the paths along the German/German border.

51509 IFA G5 1960 “NVA with crane and loaded with boundary posts”

51605 Robur LO 1800A “Measuring vehicle for tractor tests”

EsPeWe Models 1:87 Scale


95234 IFA W50 LA/A “Sea rescue service”

95236 IFA W50 LA/A “Fire brigade”

Busch Aircraft models


25018 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G6 Hungary

The Me 109 G6 aircraft from 1944 is painted in the colours of the 101st fighter group, also known as the Puma Group. The group was created under the command of wing commander Aladar Heppes for the Royal Hungarian Airforce. Approximately 760 aircraft fought with the Luftwaffe against the Red Army along the Eastern Front during the Second World War.

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A few new Aussies from 2018

By Mick Haven

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

Having just read Dave Turner’s Aussie Ford feature, happy to say I’m the proud owner of many of those pictured, and some!

Pictured below are some of the models that I’ve been able to obtain from ‘down under’ over the last year. An interesting mix of racing and street cars.

Biante Minicars Falcon XD and XE



Dick Johnson’s Mustang



New Biante Falcon



Trax Falcon



Trax Mk II Zephyr Ute


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News from the Continent September 2018 – M4 Model Cars Italy

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

Here is a look at the September and October releases from M4 Model car group. These models are made in Italy and are diecast to 1:43 scale unless otherwise noted.


ART Models


ART392 Ferrari 860 Monza

3rd at 1000 km of Nurburgring 1956 – drivers Hill / De Portago / Gendebien


ART393 Ferrari 500 TR

3rd in Grand Prix of Rome 1956 – Paul Frere

Best Models


BEST9721 Ferrari 308 GTB – American Version 1976

Red standard road car finish


BEST9722 Porsche 550 RS – 12 hours of Sebring 1957

8th overall and 1st in Class S1.5 – Bunker /Wallace


BEST9723 Ferrari 512 BB 1976

Bi-colour yellow and black


BEST9724 Ferrari 512 BB LM

1000 km of Fuji 1981 – drivers Griswold/Bond

Rio Models


RIO4572 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Police 1961

From the collection of the Museum of Rome


RIO4573 Volkswagen Beetle 1953 “Police”

Another strangely inaccurate model from Rio. There is an oval rear window but no triangular ventilators in the front doors and the bumpers and tail lights are from a 1948 car.


RIO4574 Citroen DS 21 saloon 1969

In Paris Taxi livery.

October 2018

ART Models


ART394 Ferrari 290 S

15th at Watkins Glen 1964 – J. Flynn


ART256/2 Ferrari 860 MONZA

Winner of 12 hours race at Sebring 1956 – Drivers Fangio /Castellotti

Best Models


BEST9725 Ferrari 250 GTL

Here modelled as the car of Jay Kay in blue


BEST9726 Porsche 908/02 Flunder

10th at Nurburgring 1000 km 1971 – drivers Wicky / Cabral


BEST9727 Porsche 550RS

Winner of 10 hours race at Messina – drivers Heinz / Strahle

Rio Models


RIO4575/P Mercedes-Benz 770

In German Wehrmacht Africa Corps camouflage markings from 1941. Figures of Field Marshall Rommel and driver.  The authenticity of this model is questionable as no photo exists of the large Mercedes-Benz 770 in khaki camouflage, In the many photographs of Rommel he is in a captured British armoured vehicle or a KdF Kubelwagen.


RIO4576 Fiat 18 BL

Here this early Fiat truck is in the livery of the Peroni beer company.


RIO4577 Citroen DS 19 Break

Here the DS Break has been fitted with the trappings of a hearse.


RIO4578 Fiat 238 1972

Here the 238 van with a high roof extension has been fitted with a roof mounted loudspeaker  and liveried for the “Italian Police”.

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New models – 2018 Jaguar I Pace and E Pace

By John F. Quilter

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Jaguar is finally following the lead of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and others in Europe of making available a range of their cars, both past and very current, in my favourite international collecting scale of 1:43. These are, at least in the UK, available from the official Jaguar UK website, The US Jaguar website does not have as large a range and it seems to lag what is offered on the UK site. I’ve been told by at least one dealer parts manager, and have prior experience, that scale models are a popular item in dealership lifestyle accessory boutiques. Unfortunately, US models collectors cannot order from the UK site but enterprising 1:1 car retailers have made some of these models available on eBay. So for die-hard collectors there is a way to obtain them which is what I did buying from Guy Salmon Jaguar in Bristol.

The two newest Jaguar products, the cutting edge all-electric I Pace, and the compact crossover vehicle, the E Pace are now available in multiple colours in 1:43 scale. The I Pace is in Photon Red or Corris Grey and the E Pace in Yulong White or Caldera Red, all official Jaguar colours. These items come on a black plinth covered by the usual clear Perspex box and the black card stock sleeve is surrounded in a clear plastic outer covering. This elegant packaging is marked “Jaguar” making these official promotional items. In the USA promotional models of cars dates back to the early 1950s when AMT and Johan produced a continuous series of 1:24 scale plastic models of each US automaker’s latest car. They were accurately done in proper colours with glazing and interiors, but unfortunately they were made of a type of plastic that tended to warp severely with age greatly disappointing avid long term collectors. By the early 60s this issue had been dealt with and later items are more durable.

The Europeans tended to be inclined to do promotional items in the more compact 1:43 scale though larger scale items are available on the Jaguar and Land Rover websites. These two items are made by TSM Model in China and judging by their heft are diecast, not resin. TSM, also known as True Scale Models, is a maker of many 1:43 scale models and have apparently landed the contract with Jaguar for these items and perhaps others going forward. TSM’s range of 1:43 items includes Honda, Toyota, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche and others.

The I Pace I received from Guy Salmon Jaguar is in Corris Grey, one of 12 colours the prototype car can be ordered in and is left hand drive. Its interior is a single colour light Oyster one of five interior colours Jaguar offers on the 1:1 version according to my US brochure.

This model comes with one of the nine wheel styles offered, the 22 inch Style 5069. The roof is a very large tinted glass panel. The 1:1 car comes in three specification packages, S, SE, and HSE with varying levels of equipment and features. The HSE includes a Driver Assist Package that incorporates Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, High Speed Emergency Braking, 360 Degree Surround Camera with Blind Spot Assist. Exterior colours on the prototype vehicle include two different whites, two different silvers, two different greys, three different blacks, two reds and a dark blue.

Wheels are the 21 inch split spoke type, one of no less than 10 Jaguar offers for this vehicle which vary from 18 inch to 22 inch. Overall length of the full size I Pace is 184 inches making it a bit bigger than the 173 inch E Pace. The model measures 4.27 inches making it within .05 of an inch of correct 1:43 scale.

Jaguar’s E Pace is the next size down from their first crossover vehicle, the F Pace which is based on the XF saloon (length 195 inches) platform launched in 2007. The E Pace, based on the XE saloon (length 184 inches) is a size smaller and expands the range of crossover vehicles. E Pace, at 173 inches is a relatively compact vehicle.

The E Pace model by TSM is in Yulong white which is one of 10 colours offered on the real Jaguar. Interestingly they are heavy on whites, there are two shades, blacks, two shades, and greys or silvers, three shades. Surprisingly there are no greens in the selections but I am told by a US Jaguar salesman that white, black, and silver are currently the most popular colours. The model is also left hand drive and with an all Ebony interior. The E Pace model measures 4.02 inches making it exactly correct 1:43 scale. It should be noted that TSM also produce a 1:43 scale replica of the F Pace.

On both of these models there is some chassis detail including a chrome exhaust system on the plastic base plate on the E Pace. Obviously no exhaust system on the I Pace. There is a lot of commonality in the styling of these two cars with such things as a glass roof, a uniform Jaguar trapezoidal grill in black, and the visor over the rear window. The I Pace has a “reverse” scoop in the middle of the bonnet which is, according to the brochure, an exit for air entering the grill adding to aerodynamics.

So for those who follow the Jaguar developments and products, these are great models of the vehicles to add to one’s collection and in my case will bring my display of Jaguars from 1932 on up to current. I look forward to others as Jaguar’s range of products continues to expand and develop.

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The Soviet Era START Passenger Van

By John-William Greenbaum, with photos by the author, Robert Brodowski, and Eugen Pedersen

One of the most revolutionary designs to be produced on a somewhat large-scale basis in the USSR was a rather bizarre looking minibus known as a SARB START.

A few years ago, the DeAgostini partworks people brought out a 1/43 version that they called a SARB START passenger van.  It was part of their Autolegends USSR series and sometimes listed as a GAZ START.  Here it is in a nice diorama setting.  It was probably made by IXO.

The actual name is the SARB START (it used a GAZ-M21 engine and running gear). It was pretty much manufactured by two guys in their garage in what is now Eastern Ukraine, but the Soviet Government took notice and proceeded to run the project into the ground in spectacular fashion!

Here is the Spark Models version done for VVM Models.

Next, here is one of the late production versions done by IXO for DeAgostini,

And finally, here is a rare version, handmade in Ukraine by Vector Models, Kherson.

Some History of the Actual Thing

The SARB START was the brainchild of a pair of young designers named A.S. Antonov and Yuri S. Andros.  It had its roots in the early 1960’s in the Severodonetskaya Avtoremontnaya Baza (“Severodonetsk Automotive Repair Center”), better known as SARB, which was a small car, truck, and bus repair facility that typically dealt with a large number of cars produced by GAZ. Severodonetsk is not a very large town and is currently located in Eastern Ukraine.  How this vehicle, therefore, came to the eventual attention of almost everyone in the USSR is a bit surprising, but perhaps it should also be a sign of just how good the design was, at least on paper.

Because SARB typically serviced GAZ vehicles, it should come as no surprise that at the heart of the SARB START is a 70 horsepower, 4-cylinder engine, slightly down-rated (by five horsepower) from what was standard fare on the GAZ-M21I, GAZ-M21L, and GAZ-21R Volga sedans. Also identical was the car’s running gear, and indeed, it had the same wheelbase as the “Volga 21”. However, that was about it in terms of similarities and that’s where the design really started to deviate from the norm not just of Soviet or East Bloc automotive production, but quite frankly all automotive production. A.S. Antonov and Yuri Andros were fascinated by the use of alternative materials to construct vehicles. In mid-1963, while reading about VNIITE’s proposed-but-at-the-time-unbuilt PT Taxi that used fiberglass panels over a steel frame as well as what the East Germans had hoped to accomplish with their Trabant cars made completely of Duroplast (albeit very poor quality Duroplast), the two believed that they could do better by simply building an all-fiberglass vehicle with high-grade fiberglass mixed with granite restoration paste.

Within months, the duo had a 1/10 scale prototype designed and had envisioned how to build it and even use it. Its purposes would be as a combination van, a fixed route taxi, a tourist minibus, and a panel van (the only one of Antonov and Andros’ ideas that would never be realized). By mid-December 1963, Antonov’s design began attracting more than a bit of attention. The Ukrainian SSR’s government also recognized the vehicle’s potential by submitting it without Antonov’s knowledge to the MinAvtoProm (Soviet Ministry of Automotive Production) as an “unofficial” evaluation. When the MinAvtoProm’s bureaucrats, incensed at Nikita Khrushchev for going around them to build the VNIITE PT Taxi, got word of a potential competitor, they co-opted the design and began having stories run in Pravda about the brilliant Antonov and his minibus, which he had dubbed the START. They also began supplying Antonov and Andros with the materials they would need to make the START as a way of getting back at VNIITE.

Yuri Andros, who designed most of the vehicle’s actual body, did so with an eye not toward beauty (indeed, he believed the START to be quite ugly according to an interview), but rather toward reducing drag, yet still keeping a spacious passenger or freight compartment. Despite the ungainly look of the vehicle, it actually had a fairly typical Soviet minibus layout: two front doors, a service door behind the passenger side front door, and also a large, rather spacious trunk. A.S. Antonov, meanwhile, did not believe a front-mounted engine to be safe in a crash test. Therefore, the SARB START would be a mid-engined design; the first and only Soviet minibus to hold that distinction (Save the LASZ “START Luganchyk” and Glavdonbasstroe Donbass, which were descendants of the START.).

While building their first prototype, the two engineers received a rather chilling visit from the KGB: if the design succeeded, they would be obligated to provide SARB START Minibuses to the KGB free of charge. The somewhat apolitical designers quickly said yes in order to save their own skins, with some of the first START minibuses ever built going to the KGB for evaluation purposes. Yuri Andros quickly became convinced that the fiberglass/GRP body was close to indestructible. Getting all the free press he wanted between the MinAvtoProm and Pravda, he arranged to have one of the very first body shells dropped from a height of nearly 40 feet. With cameras rolling, a crane placed on a platform first raised and then dropped the body shell. Although there were obviously dents and scrapes, the fact that the body neither shattered nor crumpled shocked just about everyone present, Andros and Antonov included.

In January 1964, the two men were given the go-ahead to start serial production of the SARB START, as you see it here. And that’s when the roof caved in the entire project. Andros and Antonov had envisioned specific, rather utilitarian roles for the START (as well as being a KGB SIGINT vehicle), but apparently, the Soviet government had absolutely no idea what to do with the design. Instead of Andros and Antonov’s specific wish that it be a combination van first and everything else second, they turned it into a tourist minibus. Indeed, it went quite a bit overboard: three, three-seat sofas were installed inside the back, there were cabinets for dishes, a serving table was placed over the engine access door, and a sink with faucet was placed in the trunk in case anyone needed to wash their hands. A.S. Antonov is said to have remarked “at least they kept the AM radio”, or something to that effect.

Antonov believed the START had turned into something ridiculous and, in an attempt to get the project back on line the way he wanted it to, he formed a second production line in Donetsk called Glavdonbasstroe, trusting Andros to try and keep production going at SARB. Antonov’s production line produced the far more utilitarian but otherwise identical Donbass minibus, which unfortunately has yet to be modeled. The Donbass holds the interesting distinction of being the only “START-type” minibus exported, with at least two going to Poland. The Donbass was never produced in quantity, however, and it eventually ended Antonov’s association with the project.

By late 1965, problems started to be reported with the SARB START Minibus’s body. Andros was confused, given the high-quality fiberglass combined with the GRP paste he’d been given. However, sure enough, on many of the 1965-built STARTs, the body started to become warped. Andros never learned it until many years later, but it turned out that he was being supplied with low-quality fiberglass. The SARB START was also slow to build. By the first few months of 1967 (i.e. when production ended), just over 100 STARTs had been built since 1964.

The production output apparently wasn’t efficient enough for the MinAvtoProm and despite Andros needing help with better quality materials, he never got them due to this reason. By 1967, despite a successful design, Yuri Andros had enough. With funding problems of all kinds cropping up, he turned production over to a fellow by the name of D.A. Melkonov, who built twenty LASZ “START Luganchyk” Minibuses in Luhansk. By adding a better suspension as well as redesigning the hourglass-shaped C-pillar into something far more conventional, Melkonov basically solved all but the problems with low-quality materials. But even then, Melkonov put wood pulp into the fiberglass to prevent warping. However, by this time, it was too late. The MinAvtoProm and most government agencies had withdrawn their support.

The “START-type” minibus was now a thing of the past and neither Andros nor Antonov ever designed another vehicle. When one examines it, however, the SARB START was a terrific idea that was far ahead of its time. Unfortunately, it was too far ahead of its time, in the wrong country, and being produced under the wrong system of government to succeed in any way, shape, or form.

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Editorial Announcement

I managed to walk into a low branch yesterday and it caught my eye. After some hours in hospital last night and this morning I am sitting here with a patch over my right eye as I have a scratched cornea. This means that using a computer screen is difficult. In the circumstances I hope that you will all understand that I will not be posting new articles for a few days.


MAR Online Editor