WSI ACH Volvo F12

By Mick ‘Mixxy’ Russell

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

Copyright of Aston Clinton Haulage acknowledged

ACH or Ashton Clinton Haulage started life in the village of the same name in the Vale of Aylesbury back in the 1930’s, run by the late Les Fowler. The firm moved all sorts of loads, but by the 1970s New Holland was one of their main contracts and lead to them delivering loads all over Europe..

ACH moved to Leighton Buzzard before being bought by the French haulier Norbert Dentressangle. This Volvo F12 Globetrotter was driven by Pete Chaundy from new and the vehicle still exists and is based in County Down, Ireland.

The model is made by WSI  to 1:50 scale and was commissioned by Anglo Dutch Model. It is to be limited to a production run of 200. It is to WSI’s usual high standard of detail and finish, however it appears to have too big a gap between the cab and trailer. This could be cured by moving the trailer pin and landing legs back 5mm, but this also means cutting down the side impact bars. For me personally, i’ll be leaving as is!

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Atlas Deluxe Dinky #1420 Opel Commodore

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest issue in the Atlas Deluxe Dinky Toys series is the French Dinky Opel Commodore GS #1420 introduced in 1970 to 1:43 scale it lasted in production for just one year and was deleted in 1971. Painted in red with matte black bonnet and roof, and a single black side strip, rather than the twin shown on the box. The wheels were nicely engineered silvered castings which include the Opel badge in the centre, and which are fitted with rubber tyres. The box art is in the later French Dinky style, unsigned, and featuring the car against a white background. Unusually, in this case the car is shown in the same colour that the model is painted. It came with a ‘customs’sign in the box.

This model re-used the casting from #1405 Opel Rekord Coupe introduced in 1968 which was fitted with speedwheels and initially sold in a perspex box. In fact Dinky didn’t even bother to tidy up the chassis and the Rekord lettering remains on the base. Indeed the ‘splodge’ of ill defined cast-in letters on the boot and front wing look to me like Rekord badging too.

Here in the UK we had a hybrid version of this car sold by Dinky UK from 1971 in its own UK box. The car was the Commodore painted in blue with a matte black roof. It is missing the black bonnet and side stripe of the French release. The doors also appear to be different with the door card appearing in photographs on the web to be moulded into the metal door rather than being a separate plastic part. No effort has been made to make the car a UK spec car as the steering wheel remains on the left. It is fitted with a strange number plate GB5372MI in silver on black which is nothing like a 1971 UK number plate which would have been a white plate with three letters, three numbers and a J or K suffix.

The Opel Commodore A was introduced in 1967 as an upmarket version of the Rekord, with which it shared its body and mechanics. The GS version was top of the range and had a special paint job and a double carburettor version of the 2.5 Litre six cylinder engine. It was withdrawn in 1971 as the UK Dinky Toys model went on sale!

The Atlas model seems to be a very accurate replica of the original though Atlas has not reproduced the mould faults clearly visible on both French and British original models. The masking of the black painted roof is also done accurately unlike the variety of wobbly edges shown on original models.

This is another Atlas model with huge gaps at the front of the doors which are actually a good fit otherwise. In this case, looking carefully at original models on the Internet, Atlas seems to have introduced this fault. The original models do not seem to have this air scoop edge.

Another shortcoming in the upgrade to a Commodore is the rather bland chromed grille and lights which appear to be the grille from a Rekord and not a Commodore. The Commodore has two horizontal chrome strips top and bottom with a black background and a single set of small vertical bars. Unlike the Rekord which has a central horizontal strip with vertical bars above and below as shown on this model. The number plates are for the German City of Koblenz.

In summary a rather flawed original model from Dinky which has most of its faults reproduced by Atlas whilst with the doors they have introduced new faults.

According to my Atlas account the next model due is also an Opel, in this case the 1900GT.

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New Book: Corgi Toys

Corgi Toys, by Mick Overton, Amberley Publishing, English text, Paperback, ISBN 9781445688084, 64 pages, 80 color illustrations. Available direct from Amberley, and from Amazon UK in paperback or Kindle formats.

Disclaimer: this reviewer and the author are friends. We have meet in-person only a few times, but we communicate frequently and virtually about toy cars.

MAR Online has reviewed one other Amberley book in the past. This new publication is similar in format but is released in their Britain’s Heritage Series. However, this book is not a history lesson on Britain’s industrial past nor a scholarly business review of the way things were, like Factory of Dreams: A History of Meccano, Ltd. from 2012. This book is one collector’s account of Mettoy and Corgi Toys from beginning to end with a slightly different slant.

Mr. Overton does cover the historical background of Mettoy (the parent company of Corgi) and many of the unusual Corgi variations, using color photos from Vectis Auctions Ltd. and from a few personal collections. Vectis was fortunate to handle the Ullman family’s and Marcel van Cleemput’s collections, and the author was fortunate to have access to the auction house’s photo archives.

The other important aspect of this book is that it covers the original 1:43 Corgi Toys (some with pull-back mechanism), the small 3-inch cars, and the larger 1:36 scale cars. These different scales are given equal weight in the book, which is not common in books or websites about Corgi Toys.

Because the author is also a collector, some guidance on fakes and where to learn about and obtain these old Corgi Toys is given. Therefore, this book can be a great supplement to the The Great Book of Corgi 1956-1983, by van Cleemput, published 30 years ago. This new work does not list every model like previous books, but it does give background and insight into many rare variations not published before. If you are a Corgi Toys fan, this will be well worth searching out and obtaining!


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News from the Continent February 2018 – Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

All the models shown below were due to be available in late December 2018 so should be available at suppliers now. Ranges entitled PRO.R are premium ranges made in resin with etchings. Most other ranges are diecast metal and plastic. Some Schuco models provide a nostalgic look back at the toys produced by Schuco in the past so include printed material in the period style as well as models. Schuco models are made in China for Germany.  


450513600 Piccolo Pop Art “The Game”

Here small scale Piccolo models are packed as place markers to be used with the supplied games board and dice. It is all painted and printed in bright ‘pop art’ colours.


450905600 Volkswagen Transporter Typ 1b. Articulated race car transporter

The photograph above shows the original ‘Continental Motors’ Volkswagen based transporter with a Porsche shield on the trailer. Above that we see the Schuco model which is impressive and unusual.


450782800 Tractor Progress RS09-GT124

Here we find the Progress (Fortschriff) fitted with a flatbed. This tractor produced in the former DDR was unusual in allowing all sorts of fitments in front of the Driving cab. It was powered by a twin cylinder diesel mounted behind the driver and driving the rear wheels.

450782900 Tractor Progress RS09-GT124

Hree we have the same tractor unit with a different registration and fitted with a grass cutter fitted to the vestigial chassis forward of the cab.


450034700 Setra S6 Coach

This 1:18 scale model of a smaller coach, often used for tourist trips, is incredibly detailed with superb panoramic windows and finely fitted opening components. Here it is finished in a blue and white livery

450037600 Volkswagen Transporter Typ 1b Samba bus

Here SChuco’s Samba is fitted with racks to carry skis and is called a “Wintersport” edition. Again there are many finely fitted opening parts. I might have expected snow chain or studded tyres though with German winter tyre laws.

450037700 Volkswagen Transporter Typ 1b bus

Here we have the lower specified Transporter bus fitted out with seating and fewer windows. The model is entitled ‘on the move with the family’ from the advertising strap line on the vehicle itself.


450014800 FMR (Messerschmitt) TG 500 “Tiger”

Here we have the four wheeled version of the Messerschmidt with a 500cc engine replacing the normal 175cc to 200cc engine fitted to the three wheeler. Here it is finished in red.

450014900 FMR (Messerschmitt) TG 500 Roadster “Tiger”

Here we have the Tiger again, this time in white and with a convertible roof furled up open.

# 22771 – 22774

450006600 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Vision 6 cabriolet

Here we have a very expensive electric car from Mercedes-Benz in their premium Maybach range shown in blue the same colour it was premiered in in the US.

450006700 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Vision 6 Coupe

In red as shown at Pebble Beach the coupe is in red. Again this is an electric vehicle, but this time as a coupe with gull wing doors.


452629400 Porsche 924S

Here is a tiny 924 finished in white which was a common colour when the 924 was in production.


452636000 M47G battle tank

Here liveried for the German Army

452636100 M113 Armoured Troup Carrier

Here the armoured vehicle is an Ambulance unit of the German Army.

452636200 M113 Armoured Troop carrier

Here is the standard unit in operation with the German Army.

1:600 Aircraft

22782 Airbus A330-300 “Delta Airlines”

22783 Boeing 787-8 “China Southern Airlines

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News from the Continent February 2019 – M4 Model Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

All the models shown below were scheduled to be released in January 2019 so should be available in retailers now. Unless otherwise stated the models are diecast in Italy to 1:43 scale. As is usual all the models are re-liveries or re-colours on long established castings

Art Models

ART398 Ferrari 335 S

Fourth placed at the Swedish Grand Prix 1957 driven by Hawthorn and Musso – Ferrari chassis #674

ART399 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

This placed second at a six hours race at Sebring in 1950 and was first in the two litre class driven by Kimberly and Lewis. This represents Ferrari chassis #0010

BEST Models

BEST9734 Ferrari 330 GTC 1966

Styled by Pininfarina this is a rare and expensive car. One in a similar colour sold recently for over 600,000 US Dollars. Here the Best model is stated as being painted in a hazelnut brown metallic finish.

BEST9735 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1,3 HF

Here the Fulvia casting is liveried for the car which finished third in the Coppa delle Alpi in 1968 driven by Trautmann and Trautmann.

BEST9736 Lancia Fulvia Rally 1,6 HF Fanalone 1969

‘Fanalone’ is the name for the cars with the large twin headlights fitted towards the end of the Fulvia’s run. Here it is in Corsa red with the distinctive front styling.

BEST9737 Porsche 550 RS

Here the RS is finished as it appeared when it ran in the Mille Miglia in 1957 driven by Heinz Schiller.

RIO Models

RIO4585 Lamborghini Miura P400 1966

Styled by Bertone this model is in the yellow colour many of these cars were finished in. IN fact it looks very similar to the 1967 car Jay Leno has which was originally bought by Dean Martin.

RIO4586 Citroen DS 21

Here finished as the 1.000.000th DS car produced and painted in gold. Unfortunately the painting has rather flooded all the scored body lines. Further issues include the front amber indicators being printed crookedly and the front bumper is missing the many black inserts fitted on the real car.

RIO4587 Fiat 1100/103

Here the RIo Fiat 1100 casting is seen again, this time as an Italian Police car from 1954.

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Brooklin Latest February 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Brooklin has recently shared some pictures of their latest models. Please note that the first three are pre-production tests with decals rather than photoetching on their sides. The final model is a test casting and is missing its vacform and rear bumper.

As the photographs show the level of detail on the models continues at the higher level introduced over a year ago.

All these models are cast in white metal in the United Kingdom nd are to 1:43 scale.

BML-28 1934 Chevrolet 2-door sedan

BML-29 1942 DeSoto DeLuxe Foor Door Sedan

BRK227 – 1957 Pontiac Safari Two Door Station Wagon

BRK-226 Buick GS 455 Hardtop

As can be seen the castings from Brooklin are rather thinner than they used to be and the chromed castings finer too. The increased use of chromed cages to represent the window surrounds has also increased the level of realism on the 1950s models in particular.

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Autocult and Avenue 43 February 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest Autocult and Avenue 43 models have now been announced. All are resin made in China to 1:43 scale for Europe.

The Autocult models are from the following categories:

  • Streamliners – Hewson Rocket
  • Delivery Vehicles – DAF Pony
  • Past Brands – Amilcar G36 Pegase Grand Prix
  • Engineers/Small Series – MGB Jaques Coune

The Avenue43 models that they distribute have two new models;

  • Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale
  • Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT


04019 Hewson Rocket (USA, 1946)

In 1946 William Hewson owned dealerships in Los Angeles. He wanted to capture the market with a $1,000 Dollar car but had to find someone to design and make one for him. he turned to Coachcraft a Californian company created in 1940 who made everything from small cars to custom luxury ones. Coachcraft survived in business until 1966.

Coachcraft’s prototype had a curvy aluminium body fitted to a chassis strong enough to make a stressed roof unnecessary, but in true US Style customers were to be offered three types of roof: a soft top, a clear plastic top and a metal top. There was a choice between two different engines; a four cylinder and a six cylinder installed in the rear.

Sadly when Coachcraft finished its development work Hewson could not pay the 16,000 US Dollars due so the car never went into series production and remained owned by Coachcraft who sold it on to a car dealer for 650 US Dollars in 1959. It is now part of the collection at the Lane Motor Museum in the United States.

#08010 DAF Pony (NL, 1968)

The DAF pony was developed to tender for a US Military contract for a light terrain truck. Sadly for DAF they did not win the tender so they turned the design into a vehicle that ran from 1968 to 1969 and sold seven hundred units.

The vehicle was powered by the twin boxer engine from the DAF 44 and power was delivered by DAFs favoured Van Doorne Variomatic system.

The idea was to offer a small, individual truck for retail shops, and small business users, which was specially suited to inner city work in Amsterdam and other historic cities in the Netherlands with narrow streets. Available as a platform truck or as a tractor-trailer combination DAF probably had hopes of cornering a specialist market sector. Sadly buyers were few as van based pickup trucks were not much larger and could carry greater loads.

#02017 Amilcar Typ G36 Pegasé Grand Prix Roadster(F,1935)

Designed by Géo Ham who was famed for his aircraft and automobile designs, and built by Figoni & Falaschi body builders, this model aimed for sales to the moneyed classes. The new roaster was based on Amilcar‘s model G 36 Pegasé, which was introduced in 1935. Its four cylinder overhead valve engine was supplied by Delahaye and tuned with bigger valves and an improved oil pump system to provide 25hp more than the standard engine. But the performance was still not good enough to provide the thrill that rich individuals were seeking and which competitors were providing.

The design with its elegant curved bumpers, chromed footsteps, flowing wings, and spectacular rear lights was undoubtedly stylish but this was simply not enough to attract people who could buy what they liked. The company, founded in 1921 ceased production during the Second World War and never produced any more cars.

#05011 MG B Jacques Coune (BE, 1964)

In 1963 he had his works create a coupé on the underpinings of the MG MGB Roadster introduced that year. It was presented to the public in 1964 and was widely praised. Encouraged by this he put the car into limited production using parts from many cars to keep the costs down. The lights came from the Simca 1000 and both the front as well as the rear window came from the Renault 8.

In the mid-1950s Jacques Coune had a workshop and sales organisation in the Avenue de la Couronne in Brussels. He had agencies for Abarth and Iso and was well known for his racing activities. But his real passion was to have cars built to his own design.

Compared to the MGB Roadster the Coupé was more than 50 kg lighter and was therefore able to accelerate to a top speed of 180 km/h. MG are said to have test driven the car but they never expressed any interest in taking it up. Apparently the British Engineers said the design was “… too Italian”.

After two years production and 56 cars being built production ended. This coincided with MG introducing the MG MGB GT a practical coupé of their own.

Coune also converted other standard cars from Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and BMW.

Avenue 43

Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale

The 3500 GT Spyder by Carrozzeria Vignale, designed by Michelotti, was introduced at the 1960 Salon International de l’Auto. In 1961 it became the first fuel-injected Italian production car. It was fitted with  Lucas mechanical fuel injection and was fitted with a standard 5 speed gearbox. Curiously the convertibles were only called Spyders for overseas markets.

Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

The Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT was built as a prototype in 1962 based on the earliest version of the Chevrolet Corvair. It never went into production but was toured widely round the US to gather interest in the Corvair brand and finally the shape was used in Disneyland for the cars used  in the World of Tomorrow car ride attraction.

Bill Mitchell was the Design Studio Director and the Corvair Monza GT coupe was designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine and owed much to the Bertone designed Testudo concept car. Like the earlier design, the GT doors swung upward and were actually a front hinged canopy that extended into the B section. The rear engine cover also hinged at the rear.

The engine fitted was a standard Corvair unit of 145 cu in (2,380 cc) Unlike the production Corvair, the GT engine was mounted ahead of the transaxle, turned around 180 degrees and mounted as a mid-engine layout. Besides its streamlined appearance, the Monza GT had some innovative features: magnesium-alloy wheels; 4-wheel disc brakes; and fixed seats with adjustable pedals. 

Some of the styling features of the GT, notably the rear end, were the inspiration for the 1965–1969 Corvair. Perhaps more notably the design would also influence the 1965 Chevrolet Mako Shark II concept car and the 1968-1982 Corvette (C3) that clearly resembled it.

Today, the Corvair Monza GT concept car is to be found in the GM Heritage Collection.

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Take-Off Wheels – Chevrolet Camaro

By Robert Brodowski

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

Several years ago, MAR Online published articles about two Corgi Toys with Golden Jacks and Take-off Wheels: the Rolls-Royce and the Chevrolet Corvette. Now, we present another Corgi with Take-off Wheels! One of their best toy cars was number 338, the Chevrolet Camaro, with Take-Off Wheels from 1968-71. The Camaro had a black plastic top that was removable and a red interior.

In the photo above you can see a mechanic removing a wheel – he is from another Corgi Toy from that period. The front end is jacked up with the built-in Golden Jack, and the Take-off Wheel has already been removed! What play value!

The back of the box shows how the Take-off wheel mechanism works. It also shows the front headlights have small plastic covers that can be slid sideways at night!

The picture above shows the covers slid back to reveal the jeweled headlights.

The front of the box shows that the original price in $US was not very cheap for the time but quite a bargain now. The front SS stripe can be easily seen as well.

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Tomica Limited Vintage Neo Toyota Crown Van Deluxe

By Maz Woolley

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

LV-N163b Toyota Crown Van Deluxe

Here is another 1:64 scale model diecast in China for Japan. The Tomica Limited ranges are premium ranges generally to 1:64 scale, unlike the standard Tomica range which is a ‘fit the box’ range like Matchbox. The Vintage ranges focus mainly upon classic Japanese vehicles of the past.

Here we have the Toyota Crown Estate, though I was interested to see that the Japanese call this style of vehicle a van. The Crown was a full size luxury model and the model shown here was the fourth generation of this vehicle sold between 1971 and 1974 generally fitted with a 2.6 litre engine but also available in smaller engines too.

Outside Japan everyone had round headlights as shown on the box whilst in Japan they had squarer lights which were early halogen lights. The model is fitted with the squarer units. Unfortunately for Toyota the styling did not find favour in the US and so sales were restricted. I think that there were a limited number of these cars imported into the UK.

The Tomica model is excellent. The level of detail is above expectations for a 1:64 scale model putting many of its competitors to shame. Fabulous flush glazing allows the windows surrounds to be printed beautifully and convincingly. There is even a tiny script on the C pillar which reads Crown Deluxe as well as tiny scripts on the tailgate. The wheels are excellent mouldings reproducing the period hubcaps well and they are fitted with nice rubber tyres.

Inside a black moulded tub represents the interior well, though there is an awkward lug in the rear luggage area presumably to fix the base plate in some way.

The car was from a period when heavy use of chrome work was expected on Japanese cars and the printed chrome is very realised. All lights are plastic self coloured inserts except for the front indicators and the grille is another plastic insert and moulded in detail.

All in all an excellent model and a model of a car from an era where few remain.

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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 23

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts number 67 to 69

This time we’ll look at another scarce Belgian bus (almost unknown outside France and Belgium), a recycled German giant (up to the Second World War it was one of the largest buses ever produced) and an innovative French one, alas a missed bestseller. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”. The models are produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 67 (no. 90 in the French collection) Brossel BL55 1966 – With the 1962 Brossel A92 DARL (see part twelve, no. 36) we have already seen a short review of the Belgian automotive industry and the Brossel history. The A92 DARL fully respected the specifications of the Compagnie Générale Industrielle de Transports (CGIT) of Lille: a modern 100-seater urban vehicle with one man operation. The body was from Jonckheere, a coachbuilder founded in 1881 and still active today after a fusion with the VDL group.

In 1966 an improved version of the A92 DARL was produced, called BL55 : the differences were limited to the spherical cylindrical windshield (already seen on the last A92 produced), the transmission system was now based on a Voith-Diwabus electric gearbox and the Leyland engine now delivered 135 CV. The BL55 was well received by many municipalities, especially its high roof version, and soon it could be also found in Liège, Charleroi, Arles, Brest, Nice and Montpellier. But the BL55 was never replaced as in 1968 Brossel was bought by British Leyland and its name disappeared the following year.

Like the real bus the scale model has very few differences when compared to the previous A92 DARL. The shape of the windshield is now a spherical cylinder, and the front and rear sides are slightly modified. Very likely the plastic body’s mould is partly re-used from the A92 DARL. At the front a new panel with a grille is fitted and “Leyland” has replaced “Jonckheere”, whist at the rear a new pattern of rear lights are fitted. The livery is the usual olive green and cream, the metal baseplate has been modified and the new version name printed. Usual small plastic parts have been added: lights, mirrors, bumpers, etc. However, the wipers are now engraved on the windshield.

The bus is from the town of Valenciennes, in the Nord department in northern France, about 50 km from Lille, and sports the CEN (Compagnie des Chemins de fer économiques du Nord) logo. The automotive industry was a key source of support for the local transport services, both Peugeot Citroën (PSA) and Toyota have manufacturing plants in the area.

The destination board reads “Saint Amand”, a city located about 10 km north-west of Valenciennes, almost in the heart of the Scarpe-Scheldt regional Natural Park. The registration plate is from Lille. As usual the red spot designates a regular scheduled service. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A fair reproduction of a bus well known in northern France.

No. 68 (no. 91 in the French collection) Mercedes Benz O 10000 Osterreichische postbus 1938 – We have already met many times the “star” of Stuttgart: the gargantuan 1938 O 10000 (see part one, no. 2), the midget 1936 Lo 3100 (see part four, no. 11), the bright 1972 O 302 (see part eleven, no. 31), and the urban 1979 O 305 (see part twentytwo, no. 65). This time we’ll return to the giant O 10000 and one of its variants, the 1938 Osterreichische postbus. As already seen, the O 10000 chassis was derived from that of the
L10000 truck, modified for use as a passenger vehicle. All chassis had three axles, with single wheels, better for handling and a relatively high speed (max 75 km/h). The bus had lower side rails lowered and a longer rear overhang making it up to twelve metres in length.

When production began in 1937 the engine was a 12.5 litre diesel straight six, but as early as 1938 it was replaced by a “fast” 11.2 litre one. The body was by Kassbohrer, better known as Setra after the war. This bus was designed mainly for long distance routes. It was seriously handicapped by both its length and its high fuel consumption, and a total of less than 400 units was produced, of which 160 ordered by the Reichpost, to use for its mixed postal and passenger services on the new “autobahns”. After the Second World War some of them were sold to the Postamt, the new Austrian Postal service, to be used for mail sorting whilst en-route and to carry out subsequent distribution.

Like the previous red and black passenger bus model, the miniature is really imposing with the protruding nose adding to the impression of brute power. The model consists of a plastic body and metal chassis as usual, with many added plastic parts. Hachette operated a very smart ‘recycling’ operation, using the chassis and some parts of the previous model and adding a new body to create a new model.

It is indeed a faithful reproduction of a real post bus that served the Austrian Postal Service as a parcel truck after the Second World War, plying the Salzburg-Vienna route. Later on it was converted into a mobile post office which was used at events like the Salzburg Festival or as a temporary post office. Saved from scrapping, it was restored in 1987 and exhibited in the Mercedes Benz Museum (see

There is a very nice little fire extinguisher on the right side, but the interior is quite difficult to appreciate, due to the small dimension of the side windows. On the left side there are three “fernsprechzelle”, phone booths. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. Thanks to Hachette for a nice reproduction of an emblematic version of this rare German bus.

No. 69 (no. 92 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 8 MU 1956 – Another Berliet, but on the other hand we must remember that it is basically a collection of French origins. After the Crusair 3 (see part 8, no. 22), the PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30), the PR100 range (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40), the PLR 10 (see part sixteen, no. 47) and the original 1969 Crusair (see part twenty one, no. 62), it is now time to go back to the PLR 8 MU.

As you’ll remember Berliet was one of the first automobile makers, and was part of Citroën from 1967, and was then acquired by Renault in 1974 and merged with Saviem into the new RVI in 1978. After the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, and Berliet had to Face intense competition from Chausson and Renault both of whom had a new self supporting bodies. Indeed Berliet didn’t had any experience outside the field of heavy commercial vehicles, and choose to buy the whole company and know-how of Rochet-Schneider.

In 1951 it launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but already out of date: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to operate and to maintain. The PLR 8, a 90-seater urban bus, was equipped with a 125CV five cylinder horizontal MDUH diesel engine fitted slightly on the right side of the vehicle, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150CV six cylinder MDZH diesel, which was later also used on the urban version. Produced from 1952 to 1963, this vehicle was the first model of the brand equipped with a horizontal motor under floor. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, called “Magic” by Berliet. But this evolution did not save the bus from its fate, and it missed the commercial success it deserved.

The scale model represents an urban bus from Nice, department of Alpes Maritimes, in the south of France. The destination board reads “Trinité”, a town a few kilometers from the center of Nice and reached by climbing the first hills that surround the city,. Within is located the sanctuary of Notre Dame de Laghet, whose Baroque church, a famous destination for pilgrimages, dates back to 1656. The model has a plastic body, very likely derived from no. 47 and slightly modified, and a metal baseplate. The plate is still engraved “PLR 10”.

Dark green and white livery, with the Nice crest on the sides, together with the route board “Madeleine Massena Trinité”. A very nice front grille is fitted, suitably pierced. Good wheels are fitted. A neatly reproduced driver’s cab area is included though the rest of the interior is basic. It is at least different internally to the PLR 10. There are the usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers. Again there is no apparent difference to the French edition. A bit disappointing, the livery is the only significant change.

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