The ones that got away.

By Gunnar Bernstrup

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs as acknowledged.

Opportunities missed. This thought came as I saw the beautiful Lansdowne model of the AC 16/80 in a friend’s collection.

Picture Credit: Brooklin Models

 

There are opportunities missed along the way for all of us. These thoughts concern mine about cars; real or models.

The AC 16/80 I missed in real life stood in a garage in southern Portugal. Not as bright red as the Lansdowne model, but very impressive, and well looked after by the owner of the garage. This was in the mid 1970’s. A year or two after ’The revolution of the roses’ when a lot of well off people fled the country and left houses and cars behind, afraid that the ‘reds’ would take over. The first free elections were to be held. Prices – on everything – were low.

”You can have it for 15 thousand”, said the owner. In Swedish currency. The pound was very low those days (We just had to pay 6-7 kronors for one pound in 1976-77. Today it’s double that price. So it’s difficult to make an exact evaluation of that offer. But perhaps one thousand two hundred pounds – £1,200.  Plus what time and inflation does of course. It was, however, a bargain.

Still, it was a lot of money for me. I tried to figure out how to get hold of the money and get it to Portugal (I was not easy to transfer big sums over the borders in a legal way ) and then drive the car all the way to southern Sweden. The project seemed too big for me. So I had to say no thank you.  And it didn’t take long before my economical situation had changed, when our radio show made a tremendous success. I had stopped myself and the opportunity was missed. And no, I didn’t buy the Landsdown model in time either!

By the way. There was an ‘Bond’ style Aston Martin in the garage too.  At ‘about’ twice the price for the AC!

 

Picture Credit: 007collector.com

Some forty-seven years ago (1971), I was ready to buy my first real car. It just had to be something different. I found a Mercedes-Benz 170 S – yes, a 1950 cab – on sale at around three-four thousand kronor, say three hundred UK pounds at the time. Since I then, as now, knew nothing about the technicalities of cars other than how to feed and drive them and about their history; I asked my good friend to join me when I looked at the wonderful object. He was a born engineer, so I could rely on him.

”It’s great fun, he said. But don’t buy it”. ”Useless brakes”,

So I didn’t. Since then, I cry every time I see such a car.

Photo Credit: www.carandclassic.co.uk

Instead, I bought a ‘Glas’. Nice, fast and rare, but worthless in quality. It only lasted 8 months.

In the early 1980’s, I missed several Dinky Toys Foden vans then sold for nothing – if you compare to today’s prices – because I thought the price was to high. This was in the early days of my collecting career when I had just discovered the hidden treasures in my mother’s attic. I, then, wasn’t even sure about the value of Dinky Supertoys since we never played with the big ones as kids. They were too expensive for our pocket money and even for our parents to buy as Christmas or birthday presents, I guess. Certainly too expensive for us to buy. Hence the lack of nostalgic feeling. A distant relative offered me a couple of well played Super Toys for free.

”I don’t collect them”, said I.

As the years go by, the offered collection has grown in quantity and quality. In my mind.

”How many Foden lorries, Guy vans … did I miss?” I ask myself .

I refuse to answer.

Picture Credit: Dinky Site.com

While thinking of it. We – four brothers – had lot’s of Dinky’s, Tekno, Märklin trains and such. Much was given away to younger relatives when we where teenagers and didn’t care. Nice gestures.

Picture Credit: MAR Online

The question is: How stupid can you get?!

Editor: I am sure that we all have memories of ones that got away. Things we saw but didn’t buy and have never seen again, or even nowadays ones that we lost eBay auctions for. Maybe other readers would like to share their own experiences! In my case I regret not breaking the Bank to buy several Pathfinder models which are now so expensive I will never be able to afford them.


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

Mercedes-Benz Pagoda Slot Cars

Two Fifty Year-Old SL Pagoda Slot Cars from Germany

By Frank Koh

MAR Online does not publish about slot cars very often, but these cars are so nice that they can act as static display models in any cabinet!  Two of my favorite slot cars are models of my favorite European sports car: the W113 Mercedes-Benz “Pagoda” SL. I took these two units out which I have owned for a couple of years now, so I could simply re-live my love affair with them.

The orange Fleischmann roadster and the maroon Stabo coupe shown above are, in my humble opinion, much more realistic than the contemporary Scalextric slot car model, which is considerably more common and well-known to slot car mavens.

The iconic Mercedes-Benz 230SL/ 250SL/ 280SL of 1963-71 needs no introduction. The “SL Pagoda” as it was fondly referred to because of its unique hardtop design was Stuttgart-Sindelfingen’s sports car of the sixties that was revered for its sparkling grand touring performance, exceptional comfort, leading-edge safety and timeless beauty.

While the real car was being produced, two West German slot car manufacturers released scale masterpieces of the Pagoda, the Stabo 230 SL Coupe and the Fleischmann 280 SL Roadster. The external dimensions of both appear to be nearly-identical; hence we can take an educated guess that these two West German beauties are spot-on at 1:32 scale.  The photos speak for themselves.

By its very nature, a closed coupe would be less susceptible to damage than an open roadster, both in real life and in slot car parlance. The Stabo SL has that distinct advantage, but there are no plans to even take a low-speed “cruise” on the slot car track with this rare, well-preserved model.

Working headlights came standard on the Fleischmann SL Roadster. I don’t know if the lenses turned yellow from age, or the manufacturer sought to replicate a “French Market” headlight setup. The photo does not do justice to the very accurate and crisp detail on that signature “SL” grille.

The W113 230SL/ 250SL/ 280SL got its “Pagoda” moniker from the unique hardtop that was designed by Bela Barenyi, and the recessed center portion with raised sides are evident from this angle. An inside joke at the design studio of Mercedes-Benz was that the roof was created when a tree fell lengthwise on the car.

While Barenyi created the roof of the SL Pagoda, it is renowned French designer Paul Bracq who penned those very pleasing, timeless lines of the overall car. With its large “greenhouse” and stately yet flamboyant stance and the unmistakable Mercedes-Benz Three Pointed Star on that lovely SL radiator grille, the SL Pagoda looks as fresh and fast today as it did when it first debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1963.

The Stabo slot car featured revolutionary front wheels that “steered” in the direction the car would take on the track. Truly ingenious. While this particular unit appears to have seen some serious track use, it is nevertheless very well preserved for its half century-old age.

This particular Fleischmann unit does not appear to have been used at all. The contact brushes show practically no wear, the chassis plate is devoid of scratches, and the metal case of the high speed motor maintains a uniform shine with no abrasion. There’s even an “Ein/Aus” (“On/Off”) switch for the headlights.

Sadly, there is no public slot car track in Manila at this time; hence, these beauties will remain as display models, and “out of trouble”, indefinitely.   For any avid SL Pagoda enthusiast, this vintage pair is irreplaceable!


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

Promoting smart cars

By Fabrizio Panico

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

A “smart” family

The “smart” history (lower-case only) is too well-known to need re-telling in detail, suffice to remember the many tentative initial steps, from the Swatchmobile idea to the initial agreement with Volkswagen, to the deal with Daimler Benz and the birth of the joint company MCC (Micro Compact Car AG), then the start of production and the final buy-out by Daimler-Benz, becoming “smart GmbH” and then a Mercedes-Benz Cars division of Daimler AG.  Perhaps less known are the origin of the “smart” name (Swatch Mercedes ART) or of its emblem, a “c” and an arrow (respectively for “compact” and “forward thinking“).

From the start the promotional miniature side was well catered for: in 1:18 scale Maisto and Kyosho were able to present the full production, from the City-coupè (C450) to the City-cabrio (A450), even the Brabus and Crossblade variants, the models often including double plastic body panels, so you could change panels on the model just like the real car.

Kyosho reproduced the Roadster-cabrio (C452) and the Roadster-coupè (R452), and the first Forfour (W452) even in different versions like the Pulse or the Passion.   Minichamps reproduced the 2007 second generation : fortwo (C451) and cabrio (A451). For the 2014 iteration (third generation) Renault was to share its Twingo platform with the new forfour, and it was Norev’s time to present the new fortwo coupè (C453), fortwo cabrio (A453) and forfour (W453) scale models, this time with standard Mercedes-Benz code numbers (B6 696 xxxx).

Here are the third generation smart cars in pictures and data, nice models, accurate representations of the real cars, but strangely lacking any safety belts ! The double bodypanels have been skipped, but a small screwdriver and a dust cloth are now present.

fortwo coupé (C453) 2014

 

B6 696 0280     white + lava orange     (passion edition #1)
B6 696 0281     titanium + black           (passion version)  
B6 696 0282     midnight + white          (proxy version)        

fortwo cabrio (A453) 2014

 

B6 696 0289     yellow + black
B6 696 0290     titanium + silver
B6 696 0291     white

forfour (W453) 2014

B6 696 0298   graphite + lava orange (passion version)
B6 696 0299   hazel + black         (prime version)
B6 696 0300   cadmium + black        (prime version)


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

Models 56 by Armco and a Load of Cobras: Part 2 Cobras

By Mick Haven

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs will be found at the end of the article.

As mentioned previously in MAR Online, Gateway Models near Brisbane, which Graeme referred to, is the trader I have dealt with the longest, probably seventeen years or so. I was fortunate enough to pay them a visit while down there in September 2017. From the outside it looks nothing like a model shop. Appearances are deceptive. It takes something special to keep me quiet but I was temporarily speechless there, and I didn’t see all of it. The place is stacked with model cars.

He also mentions the Falcon ‘Cobra’ GT, although I’m not sure that ‘GT’ is the correct title as I believe the correct designation is ‘XC’. The XC followed on from the very successful XA/XBGT ranges, produced from 1973 to 1976. The XC family was introduced in 1976, and would include a GS500 ‘Hardtop’, a large coupe, not dissimilar to the afforementioned Torino. In October 1977, Allan Moffat, partnered by Formula 1 legend, Jacky Ickx, would win the legendary Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst in an XC GS500 Hardtop, in the famous ‘1-2 form finish’ for Team Moffat. By the end of the race his car was virtually brakeless and should have come second, but he was team owner and orders is orders.

By the end of 1977, Ford Australia had built 13 ‘special order’ XC GS500 Hardtops. The modifications on these cars would become the basis for the Cobra XC ‘Option 97’. The company decided to capitalise on the 1977 Bathurst result and wanted to go racing so they needed a suitable car. Four hundred examples of whatever they chose had to have been built to meet CAMS homologation rules. It just so happened they had four hundred XC bodies left over with no buyers when production of the big coupe ceased in April 1978.

Rather than scrap them, Edsel Ford II, who was Ford Australia Managing Director. at the time, suggested they be saved and could be offered to the public as a road going race car. Production began in July of that year. I believe I read some time ago that Carroll Shelby was approached for permission to call the car ‘Cobra’, and to use the familiar Shelby stripes and Cobra badging. By coincidence, the colour scheme was the international colours for American racing cars, as seen on the Le Mans Cunninghams of the 1950s, e.g. Britain had its British Racing Green, Italy was red, France blue and so on.
Four hundred blue and white road going Cobra XCs were built, in two variants, Option 96 and Option 97. Of the four hundred, only 30 were Option 97s. These were numbered from 002 to 0031, and would be known as ‘Bathurst Specials’. The first two hundred would have a 5.8L 351 cu.in. motor, the remainder would have a 4.9L 302 cu. in. Two exceptions were car number 001 which would have the 302 cu. in. motor, and car number 351 which had a motor of that capacity.

There are a number of differences between the two, mainly under the skin, but the most obvious externally is the addition of a ‘power bulge’ on the bonnet of the Option 97 in addition to the two ‘flared nostril’ intakes already in place on the Option 96, and on previous XAs, XBs and XCs, including four door saloon, estate, Ute and van variants. The XC Cobras would also have their own blue and black seats and ‘Globe’ alloy wheels. I’ve got three of these, one in 1:64th scale, one in 43rd scale and one in 1:18th, all by Biante. In model and 1:1 scale, Option 97s are sought after. A genuine full size Option 97 can command big dollars if and when one comes up for sale. Even the Option 96 doesn’t come cheap, but these do get offered from time to time, with prices usually around $100,000 AUD, some more, some less.

Graeme makes mention of its size, citing, ‘some views show it to be a compact’. I’ve referred to it as the ‘big coupe’. So how big were they? They are, or were, easily on a par with the Holden (Vauxhall) Monaro and Audi A5 coupe familiar on UK roads today. For comparison the XAGT coupe was 4808 mm L x 1969 W x 1369 H. The Monaro and A5 are 4789 L x 1841 W x 1397 H and 4673 L x 2029 W x 1371 H respectively, so compact they weren’t. It weighed in at 3500 lbs. I did see one at Ford Fair some years ago and compact it wasn’t. Also, some time ago, I exchanged e mails with a guy who lived in the Oxfordshire countryside and he had an XC Cobra. Negotiating those narrow country lanes with it was interesting to say the least. Attached are the pics he sent me. What I didn’t know at the time was that there were the two variants. Looking at the pics while writing this, I noticed that it’s an Option 97. How much is that worth today? I think he worked for TWR at the time as one picture shows the car outside TWRs premises. I know he emigrated to Australia taking the XC with him. There is much racing footage of them on You Tube. I imagine they were a real handful at racing speeds and they would clock up to 170 mph down Conrod Straight.

From a collecting perspective, the 1:43rd scale is one which I’ve had as long or longer than virtually of all my Australians, for at least fifteen years, possibly more. It almost certainly came from those good ol’ boys at Gateway. The 1:18th scale came next, bought at a Ford dealership near Melbourne, and the 1:64th example by Biante Minicars would eventually follow some years later. Even so, I’ve had that since at least 2011, as it was in a display of Ford models I showed when the club, South Hants Model Auto Club put on a display at Ford fair that year. I also had another one in 1:87 scale by Cooee Road Ragers (Made under contract by Oxford Diecast). The Biante Minicars 1:64 example is my only Option 97 Cobra XC in the familiar white with blue stripes colour scheme, the other two being Option 96s. The total number of Option 97s I have in three scales is eight, of which two are 1:18 scales two are 1:64 scale, and the remainder in 1:43.

One is the Allan Moffat/John Fitzpatrick GS 500 Hardtop ‘Federation’ car number 25 from Bathurst 1979, and I have one of those in 1:43rd scale and one by Biante Minicars. The other 1:18 scale is Biante’s Carter/Lawrence ‘Brian Wood Ford’ from Bathurst 1978, resplendent in its overall dark blue with red and yellow stripes with wide yellow ‘Magnum’ five slot racing wheels with slick tyres. Two of the 1:43rd scales are as raced in 1978 and 1979, by Dick Johnson, the latter a car which he co-drove with ex Formula 1 and Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan at Bathurst. The ‘79 car would be dubbed ‘reverse Cobra’, owing to the body colours being ‘the other way round’ i.e. with white stripes over blue, rather the more familiar blue stripes on a white body. A unique feature about the stripes was in their application and defied the norm. Apparently, rather than take a white body and then apply the blue stripes across the body and along the sides, the blue bits  were applied first, then taped over and the car painted white. Very odd.

Another one is the 1978 Bathurst XC Cobra of once again, Moffat and Ickx, carrying race #1, relating to their win the year before. They couldn’t repeat the heroics of 1977 and the car was a DNF. The other model shown is of the Garry Wilmington/Jeff Barnes 1978 Bathurst runner. This model was produced by Trax in 1993, by whom I have two Falcon road coupes, one of which is an Option 97. Trax also released a Cobra XC Option 96 and a small number of other XBGT and XCs in 1:43 scale, including the # 25 Federation car and the ‘Brian Wood Ford’. They also produced a model of the Jack and Geoff Brabham car from Bathurst 1977. The total number of XA/XB and XC coupes in my collection is twenty seven in three scales, including, aside from the Moffat/Ickx ’77 car, the XAGT Bathurst winners from 1973 and ’74, plus one XBGT saloon by Trax from their Opal range. There are a number of XC Cobra models in other scales by other manufacturers. OzLegends have both Option 96 and 97 in 1:32 scale and these can be found on eBay. Dinkum Classics is another manufacturer of the popular coupe. Models of XA/XB GTs can occasionally be found on eBay, and some via dealers ‘down under’, of which I’m happy to report, there are still a large number. Biante’s XC Cobra in 1:43 scale is rarer, while an Option 96 in 1:18 scale, although slightly less rare, commands good money, see below. Those with deeper pockets may be interested in XA/XB and XCs in 1:18 scale. For example, at the time of writing, Hobby_Link have a Biante Auto Art Moffat/Ickx 1978 Bathurst XC in that scale, for a mere £462.56 plus just £13.11 shipping, or $809.95 + $22.95 AUD if you prefer. Gateway have an Option 96 for just £227.87 + £51.40 shipping, or $489.00 including shipping. Seen on eBay is the Moffat #25 car at £313.46 + £40.68 shipping. This model doesn’t even have the  ‘Camel’ sponsor decals, owing to tough Australian tobacco advertising laws. They can be obtained from other sources. As with all internet buys, prices vary from seller to seller. Then there’s always the added danger of getting stung by Customs and Royal Mail. Ouch! Sometimes I’ve been caught, other times I’ve got lucky and paid nothing. As an owner of more than twenty 1:18th scales by both Biante and Classic Carlectables, I should add that they are superb and worth every penny.

When I first started collecting them all those years ago, I was astonished at the quality and detail to be found on them, and at the time, with a good exchange rate, great value for money too. Many have opening doors boot and bonnet, steerable wheels and fully detailed engines with plug leads etc, and detailed undersides and interiors, despite being well over ten years old. Biante’s FPV GT nee Falcon XR8, even has a carpeted boot mat and a fire extinguisher. Although a tad more expensive these days, they still make great value. The race cars are truly magnificent. Collectors of Scalextric are not ignored either. There are many fine slot car models of Australian race cars which would make great display models. There’s a plethora of them on eBay including the XA/XB XCs and V8 Supercars. Earlier in the year I took delivery of their Dick Johnson Sierra RS500 1989 Bathurst winner and very nice it is too. Shame about the driver figure. Is that really the great man? How fortunate I am that neither my house or my wallet are overly large.

 

Just for the record, for any MAR Online readers who may be interested in exploring the wonderful world of Australian die casts, I can thoroughly recommend the following traders; Biante, Gateway, Motorfocus, Kollectable Kaos, Jays Models, Pit Stop Models, Top Gear aka Trax, Ace Models, Replicars and Automodelli among many others. There’s always eBay of course from where I got many of mine, but beware, many sellers on eBay au, won’t post up here. If they do they’ll be on eBay UK. A model shop, where you can browse to your hearts content, still exists in Australia. In the early days, I was even ordering them from main car dealers, who usually stock a fine selection of models appertaining to the brand of car, e.g. Ford or Holden. DJR race car models can also be ordered directly from DJR/Team Penske. Classic Carlectables, another fine brand, cannot be sourced directly from them, but the XA, XB and XC doesn’t feature in their range. Their excellent web site does list every model they have ever produced, including a picture of each one and the release date. Biante’s web site does list all their releases since 1998 under the heading, ‘customer service’, then ‘view the list here’, but it stops at 2014 and there are no pictures. The coupes were released long before that.

Give the above traders and models, and eBay a look, you won’t be disappointed. Appreciation for some of the above goes to ‘Wiki’ and to Bill Tuckey from his book   ‘True Blue’ 75 Years of Ford in Australia.


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

News from the Continent September 2018 – Schuco and Solido

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Text by, and copyright of, the Author. The Photographs are all supplied by the manufacturer.

Schuco continues to issue models at a rate matched by few others. Both under their own brands and the Solido brand which they acquired some time ago. All their models are made in China for Germany in a variety of scales and most are diecast metal, though some of their premium range are made in resin. They also release many nostalgic objects related to models.

This article will look at the releases month by month from July 2018 onwards.

Schuco

July release 2018

Accessories

 

450986800 Schuco Espresso cups set 1

 

450986900 Schuco Espresso cups set 2

Edition 1:43

 

450334300 Volkswagen T2a Luxus-Bus “AEG Lavamat” – red

Edition PRO.R18 1:18 scale

This is a premium range incorporating a considerable amount of detail.

 

450012200 Volkswagen Fridolin delivery van “German Post”

 

# 450012300 Volkswagen Fridolin delivery van “PTT – Swiss Post”

Edition PRO.R32

1:32 scale super detailed models.

 

450903300 IFA RS-01 Pioneer tractor – green

Edition 1:87

 

452628800 Volkswagen Transporter T1c box van “Ferrari Automobili”

 

452637400 Porsche 911 R (991) black/red

452637700 Porsche 356 Coupe – blue

SOLIDO

1:18 scale

 

421184100 Porsche 911 RSR 2,8 1974 – green

August Releases 2018

Schuco

Edition 1:43

 

450256700 Opel GT Coupe – orange

450249700 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster – black

 

450258600 Fendt device carrier GT with load “pieces of wood”

 

450314700 MC Cormick D 326 tractor – red

 

450335600 Deutz D40 L tractor – green

Schuco Edition 1:18

 

450031200 Porsche 356 A Carrera Coupe “Edition 70 years of Porsche”

450028900 Volkswagen T1b delivery van “Messerschmitt cabin scooter”

Edition 1:87

 

452635300 8 pieces of Volkswageb Beetle “for loading railway model car transporters”

 

452632300 BMW Isetta motor coupe – beige/orange

 

452632600 Jaguar XK 120 – red

452630700 Porsche 911 GT3 RS – silver

452632500 Citroen 2CV with open roof – blue

452632900 Porsche 356 A Speedster – grey

SOLIDO

July 2018

1:18 Scale

S1802101 Bugatti Atlantic SC – black

S1802102 Bugatti Atlantic SC – blue

S1800805 Lancia Stratos GR4 Rally Monte Carlo

 

S1800106 Renault 4L GTL “Fire brigade”

S1801103 Porsche 911 RSR Brumos “24 hours of Daytona”

S1800807 Fiat 131 Abarth “Tour de Corse”

August 2018

Edition 1:43

450264000 Opel Captain with Westfalia trailer – red/white

 

450218400 BMW 507 roadster – ivory

Edition PRO.R43

Another 1:43 scale premium product. Resin cast and in limited editions of 500.

450903800 Volkswagen Beetle with camper-trailer

Edition PRO.R18

1:18 scale resin cast detailed premium models

450016900 Isocarro pick up with wine load “Transporte de Vino”

Edition 1:64

452015900 Set “Concept black” – 3 different models

This includes Porsche 918 spyder, Audi R8, and Lamborghini Huracan.

 

Edition 1:87

 

452637800 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing Coupe”

September releases – Schuco

Piccolo

450563400 Volkswagen Transporter T1 pick up with canvas cover and trailer loaded with Fendt Diesel horse

450143500 Porsche No. 1 1948

Edition 1:43

 

450389500 Volkswagen Beetle open air “flower decor” – green

450389600 Volkswagen Beetle open air “flower decor” – white

Edition 1:32

450769900 Lanz Bulldog with manure barrel trailer

450779300 International 433 tractor with rollcage – red

450779400 Case International 633 tractor with cab – red

Edition 1:18

 

450031300 Porsche 356 A Carrera Speedster “Edition 70 years of Porsche” – red & black

Edition 1:87

 

452632400 BMW Isetta motorcoupe “Country police”

452633500 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet with closed hood – white

452633600 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet with open hood – copper

452635400 Mercedes-Benz /8 saloon – 8 pieces for loading onto HO railway car transporters.


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

A Brazilian in Australian V8 Supercars

By Sergio Luis dos Santos

I live in Brazil and collect 1:43 scale cars from Brazilian drivers but no “open wheels” like Formula 1 or Indy cars. This makes my collection very specialized and keeps me on the hunt for hard-to-find and special editions, as well as some modified models.

As for the Australian V8 Supercars, Max Wilson raced there from 2002 to 08;  some info his career is here: https://www.driverdb.com/drivers/max-wilson/. Unfortunately,  only the cars from 2002, 03 and 04 seasons were released by Biante. They are also found in 1:64 and 1:18 scale. They are hard to find outside Australia so my search went through Australian eBay and some local shops that would ship the models to Brasil.

The Biante cars are:
  1. Ford AU Falcon Nº 65, 2002 season. Model nº 286 of 2000 released.
  2. Ford BA Falcon Nº 18, 2003 season. Model nº 193 of 2000 released.
  3. Ford BA Falcon Nº 888, 2004 season. Model nº 242 of 1000 released.

The models are very finely done (good details and tampo printing) but were manufactured years ago.  Looking at Biante’s current offerings, they may look even better.  Since there are no more Brazilian drivers racing them, I haven´t bought any of the newer releases.  Maybe one day Biante will release the other Max Wilson cars so I could fill in the gap years: 2005 to 08.

To show some further models, here are two more cars raced by Max Wilson in Brasil.
  1. Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI Nº 19. He raced at Interlagos, São Paulo, in the ITC Championship in 1996.  An easy mod using an HPI model.
  2. Chevrolet Sonic Nº 65 from the Brazilian Stock Car partworks. He raced this car in the 2016 season.

I hope you enjoy these photos!

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

 

Matrix Models October 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix Models continue to release news of new models very close to the date of release presumably in an effort to make sure that their small batches of models sell before similar models can be produced by competitors.  This removes the sense of anticipation that some other ranges offer, though sometimes the awaited model from others never arrives! It replaces it with releases that have more impact as their choices continue to find nice new prototypes for collectors. All Matrix models are highly detailed based on resin mouldings produced in China for the Netherlands, models are usually in 1:43 scale though a smaller number of 1:18 scale models are also made

1:18 Scale

Here we have two different versions of the classic 1958 Ferrari 250 GT which is a highly collectable car with real ones costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars at auction.

These are new models and this is a new announcement by Matrix.

MXL0604-031 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina silver 1958

MXL0604-032 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina red 1958

 

1:43 Scale Models

 

Daimler cars have often appeared in the Matrix range and here Matrix present some of the most outrageous coachbuilt cars form the years when Lord Docker owned the company and his publicity seeking wife exerted a great influence on the top of the range cars shown at motor shows.

MX50402-041 Daimler DK400 Stardust Lady Docker Hooper blue 1954

This model was announced last month but is now available. The shape is similar to the Empress already made by Matrix but the faired-in front lights and massive grille of this car are distinctive.

 

MX10402-022 Daimler DE36 Hooper DHC Green Goddess red metallic/silver

Only a photograph of the real car has been supplied by Matrix so we cannot judge the standard of the model to come. Here we have a car which has already been modelled beautifully by Pete Kenna in white metal and supplied with parts to show it hood up or down. This is the first time Matrix have announced that they will be modelling it and they appear to have chosen to model it with a two tone paint finish which disguises the sheer bulk of this car. It will be a large model as the Kenna is.

 

MX51705-171 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coup de Foudre #3BU184 blue 1937

Here is a new model of a coachbuilt Rolls-Royce, another type of vehicle Matrix have specialised in producing. This is a new moulding and this is the first time that it has been announced. The vehicle itself has the rather staid and upright Rolls-Royce front end grafted on to a rather extreme coupe body influenced by the contemporary French styling mode. Whether one views the result as a complete success seems irrelevant as it captures the days of coachbuilt cars so well.

 

 

MX50304-051 Citroen DS Safari BBC Camera Car green 1973

This model has been announced before but we now see the model for the first time. The camera car shown was featured on some BBC footage in the 1970s and it was created for the sole purposes of filming horse racing. It would run round a track round the outside of the course filming the horses as they ran. A Citroën was chosen because of the levelling settings and compliance built into the hydro-pneumatic suspension system. The model has caught the period green and grey colour scheme and Logo very well.


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

 

And Now for Something Completely Different: the Cityrama Bus

By Robert Brodowski

All text and images are copyright of the Author.

In 1950’s Paris, tour operator Groupe Cityrama commissioned French coachbuilder Currus to create hyper-futuristic double-decker buses built atop a Citroën U55 truck chassis. The result? The Citroën U55 Cityrama Currus, Flash Gordon’s bus.

The Cityrama buses were built exclusively as tour buses in the bustling post-war era of Paris, when optimism and looking to the future was the order of the day. Underpinned by Citroën’s workhorse U55 chassis, Currus designed a daring, Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers double-decker bus with elegantly curved, wrap around glass at all vantage points. The roof was also all glass and could be configured for open-air driving during summer months.

It’s outrageous styling managed to get it into several movies of the era, including Le Corniaud and Zazie Dans Le Métro. The pointy roof ornament above the driver seems a perfect way to spear that treacherous Ming the Merciless, should the opportunity ever present itself.

My model here is a 1/43 scale diecast and plastic model produced by Ixo and was part of a series of iconic buses from around the world sold under the Hachette label. This Citroën bus is so utterly outrageous that I couldn’t resist.

Here are some online photos of the real one:


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

Atlas Dinky Deluxe #1416 Renault 6

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest model from Atlas is the French DInky #1416 Renault 6. This reproduction is in the red the model was made in between 1968 and 1972 and then after that made by Pilen in Spain in yellow.

Atlas has reproduced the original box showing the car in blue. The original Dinky also came in a box with the car shown in white. Neither colour actually reflected the models issued. As a late model the box illustration was a simple picture against a plain background rather than the lovely illustrations of the car in a setting used on earlier Dinky models of the 1960s.

The Renault 6 was a small family car produced between 1968 and 1986. It was launched at the 1968 Paris Motor Show, and was an upmarket alternative to the Renault 4 that would compete with the Citroën Ami 6 and the recently launched Citroën Dyane. It used a similar dashboard-mounted gear-lever and over-the-engine linkage to was used in the Renault 4 and the small Citroëns. The R6 used the R4 platform as well as its 845 cc engine and was technically nearly identical, but its hatchback body was larger and more modern.  An 1100cc engine was offered from 1970 and was regarded as a significant improvement. It was also made in Spain, Argentina, Belgium, and Columbia and the engine size often differed to the french market offerings according to local market regulations. The styling was influenced by the the larger Renault 16 though it was much more boxy in shape. Production began late in 1968 and lasted until 1980, but continued in other countries round the world until 1986.

The original Dinky captures the original vehicle fairly well but somehow  fails to capture the complicated curves on the side of the vehicle so appears slightly slab sided. The chassis states that the model is to 1:43 scale.

The play features do not include the tailgate but the opening front doors are full doors with a window frame and cast in door card and equipment details. The interior is in white plastic and is fairly good except for the very simplistic way that dashboards were represented on period French Dinky models.

The opening bonnet is actuated by pushing the steering wheel down which slightly lifts the bonnet in a rather ineffective way. A mechanism fitted to the French issue but not to the later models made in Spain.


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

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.


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