All posts by Maz Woolley

Customised Volkswagen Beetles and Transporter T1 and T2 Trucks, Vans and Minibuses

By Jerry J Broz

All pictures by, and copyright of the Author.

Upon leaving Formula One in 1999, I continued my subscription to F1 magazines, followed F1 on TV,  and collected F1 memorabilia and model cars and kits.  On the suggestion of my wife, I started collecting old and new Beetles, and Transporter Type 1 trucks, vans, and buses. Since then, I’ve gathered a large collection of diecast and resin models in 1:43 scale as well as kits of all scales.  I also established and maintain a library of pictures as a reference source for making models of existing concept, converted, and customised cars. Various web-sites, featuring photographs of customised cars, are good sources of ideas for converted model cars.  Subscribing to one of the full size Volkswagen magazines, such as the French “Super VW Magazine“, for example, is another exceptionally good source of ideas for all kinds of Volkswagen Beetles (old and new) and Volkswagen T1 and T2 trucks, vans and buses. The New Beetle models have great customising potential and full size VW Beetle and Transporter T1 and T2 commercials are among the most customised cars in the world. No matter how much these cars are changed they always retain the character of the original.  Few other cars can claim this strong identity and public recognition.

Whether made in metal, resin, or plastic models, and in whatever scale, these Volkswagens may be customised in endless creative configurations and settings. The following photographs show a few of my customised VW Beetles and Transporters.

Based on a 1:24 scale VW Transporter Type 1 truck, the rest of the “Search & Rescue” model is built out of the parts-box items. The dog figure is from Animal Den. The lights (blinking and others, as well as siren), all work. The wording on the side of the truck is created and printed on the P-touch labelling system, using 18mm/0.7″ laminated, white on clear, TZe tape. The decals are computer generated and Inkjet printed onto clear waterslide decal paper. The tracks are from a toy tank. The paint is airbrushed Tamiya Acrylic Red.


Based on the 1:24 scale Jada double-cabin truck converted into
“two-girls” service truck, the hard hat, ladders, search light, short wave antenna, tow/hoist chains, fire extinguisher, and other add-on parts are from the part-box. The traffic cones are from a Radio Shack Radio Control model car kit. The girl figures are from the toy set with sculptured dresses and repositioned arms and legs. All the lights work.

The wording on the side of the truck is created and printed on P-touch labelling system, using 18mm/0.7″ laminated, white on black, TZe tape. The heads of girls on the side of the truck are copied
from one of the web-sites to the computer, reduced, Inkjet printed
on the white, waterslide decal paper and cut out from the background.

The Vespa scooter is a New Ray model painted to match the colour of the truck.


A magazine picture inspired me to build this 1:24 scale box-stock
Jada VW Old Beetle . The air conditioner, front window visor, wheels, spare tire cover, and cargo box are parts-box items. The Coca-Cola cooler, and metal/wood roof rack are all scratch built. The side decoration is wallpaper thinned down to decal thickness and applied to the body via Futura. The paint is Tamiya Acrylic Bright white and the red stripe is a decal.


This is a VW Transporter Type 1 pick-up converted to a dragster. Chopped, shortened, and lowered body with a hand-made wheelie bar and working roof hatch. Large (dip dish) and small (with simulated wire) wheels and tires, as well as all the other parts are from the parts-box. Two-tone painting is Tamiya Acrylic white and Racing red with a black accent. The waterslide decals,
including the flames, are from the decal-box.


Built from a Jada Toys VW Old Beetle box-stock, this concept
model has a detailed interior and spoked wheels from parts-box.
The working gulf-wing doors were carefully cut out from the body
with a jewellers saw before they were attached to the centre of the
roof with a hinge  The paint is Tamiya Acrylic dark maroon.


Valentine’s Day inspired me to built this “Girls and their heart decorated new Beetle” ready to depart for evening of fun. The scene is based on the Maisto 1:32 scale, diecast new VW Beetle. The body of the car and the wheels are decorated from commercially available sheet of a hearts. The interior includes two-colour seats, painted headrests, and detailed dashboard. Dressed up, accessorised, and posed girls are from commercially available sets, the dog figure (Poodle ) is from Animal Den. The car is airbrushed with Tamiya Acrylic black.


A friend in Netherlands owns a real horse pulled “half-a-VW Beetle
wagon. A Revell kit was used to create this model, along with
a horse from Animal Den, and the driver, a seated Adam, is from
 American Diorama. Everything else is scratchbuilt including the
spoked wheels and horse harness. The paint is airbrushed Tamiya
Acrylic yellow.


Custom built for a client in California who owns a 1:1 three-seat tricycle built from part of the old Beetle. The rear part of the Beetle body and rear wheels and tires are from the Revell 1968 VW Beetle plastic kit. Front fork, wheel and tire are from a commercially available motorcycle kit. The rest of the tricycle is scratch-built from parts-box pieces and from sheet plastic, aluminium sheets and rods. The windshield is cut from clear plastic sheet.


A Maisto 1:32 scale New Beetle, re-designed as a practical Fresh Fruit shop delivery pickup. The wooden bed is scratchbuilt and Coca-Cola bottles in a yellow case are from Town Square Collection. Custom-made and Inkjet-printed waterslide decals are used. The finish is airbrushed Tamiya Acrylic spring green paint.


Based on 1:32 scale Kinsmart Old and New Beetles, this is  a prototype model built for the French “Retro Assurance” auto insurance company insuring “Old and Modern” (Anciennes et Modernes) cars of the same marque. The model is a combination of New Beetle (front body part) and Old Beetle (rear body part) including the appropriate wheels. The finish is Tamiya Acrylic light green and light blue.

This “Wolfsburg High” school bus is based on a 1:24 scale Revell
kit. I only used the front part of the body and the chassis, The rear
view mirrors and wheels/tires are from the parts-box. Everything else is scratchbuilt. The body is made from White Styrene sheets glued together with Bondene Solvent Cement for strong and permanent bonding.The windows are made from blue matte coloured film. There is no interior fitted. The “Stop” sign is functional. Painted in Dupli-Color Acrylic Enamel – School Bus yellow.


Built from 1:32 scale Maisto metal model of old VW Beetle.  A reshaped body painted in Tamiya’s spray-can acrylic yellow paint, includes a working roof hatch and computer designed and Inkjet printed waterslide decals. The detailed interior includes seat with seat belts, dashboard with steering wheel, and fire extinguisher. Model has a completely wired and plumbed engine. The wheels and tires are from parts-box.


A 2007 French “Super VW Magazine“,  had an article entitled “Papy’s Story”  which set out McBeetle’s (Victor W. McBottle) concept of a desert racer, the highly modified VW Beetle motivated me to build this land speed racer from a Revell 1:24 scale VW Beetle kit. Plenty of scratch-building and reshaping went into this model. There’s very little left of the stock Revell kit. The wheels with chrome hub caps. covers and tires, as well as a driver and parachute are from the parts-box. The airbrushed paint is Tamiya Acrylic Gloss red applied over a white primer.


This model is based on an editorial illustration in French magazine “Super VW Magazine“. It is built from a box-stock Polar Lights/Disney plastic kit and painted with Tamiya Acrylic yellow. The windows were painted from inside with Tamiya Acrylic clear orange. The model also has darkened headlights lenses, hand-made
front and rear bumpers and hood pins as well as deep dish wheels. The side decals were based upon the magazine picture and computer cleaned, brightened and Inkjet printed on clear waterslide decal paper.


Built from a Jada Toys VW Old Beetle box-stock, this concept model has detailed interior and special wheels from the partsbox. The working “suicide” doors were carefully cut out from the body with a jewellers saw before they were attached to the body by a hand-made hinge. The paint is Tamiya Acrylic gloss black.


This concept of a  “Beach Beetle” started with a Welly 1:32 scale New Beetle diecast. Using a rotary tool I removed the portion of the door and a body, I then filed it to the correct curvature, and sanded the opening smooth. After removing the original paint, the body was primed and painted in Tamiya Acrylic, desert yellow. Reshaped  mirrors, the jewellery chain for protection, and the antenna with a ball topper are added. The lowered windshield is tinted.

Built from a box-stock Welly 1:32 scale VW New Beetle and painted
using an airbrush in Tamiya Acrylic, Italian (Ferrari) red. The only scratchbuilt part is the rear wing and rear wing side panels. The wheels and tires are from parts-box and decals are from decal-box.


Based on a Kinsmart 1:32 scale New Beetle, this is a model of Retro-Designs‘ VW New Beetle with stylised Bentley front and rear end with a fully detailed interior and chrome plated typical Bentley radiator. Painted in Tamiya Acrylic bright white.

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Chocolate Land Rovers

By Mike Pigott

All photographs by, and copyright of the Author.

On a recent trip to Antwerp in Belgium, we visited an upmarket, specialist chocolate store located in a former palace just off the central square. The shop, called The Chocolate Line, featured a large range of gourmet chocolates and several large chocolate sculptures on display. One product that caught my eye was a window box containing five model Land Rovers in assorted colours. My first impression was that it contained diecast models, possibly a set of 1:76 scale models by Oxford Diecast or Cararama, both of which use a similar packaging style. Closer inspection revealed them to be one-piece mouldings without separate wheels or interiors. Admittedly I should have realised that as I was in chocolate shop, they must be made of chocolate; but instead of being in the customary brown and cream colours of chocolate novelties, they were in five very unusual shades with a glittery sheen. Anyway, I went ahead and treated myself to a set.


Although The Chocolate Line’s logo is an ocean liner, the company uses a long-wheelbase Land Rover Defender for publicity purposes; supposedly because they travel around the globe to source the finest cocoa beans. The chocolate Defenders were officially licensed by Land Rover and were heavily promoted on the Belgian distributor’s website.


As described on the packaging, the Land Rovers were not your average chocolate treats. They were actually made from chocolate-coated praline, with the unique fondant fillings designed by famous Belgian chefs and chocolatiers. The flavours were concocted especially for this set by the chefs who, incidentally, were all Land Rover drivers. They were very unusual flavours for chocolate pralines, inspired very much by modern fusion cuisine. Although the chefs were Belgian, there was a noticeable Japanese influence in three of the Defenders.

The gold Defender was created by the founder of The Chocolate Line, Dominique Persoone. It was made with hazelnut praline and key lime, and was probably the best tasting of the five. The black car was by Sergio Herman, and had the unusual fusion of salted caramel and sakura (Japanese cherry blossom). The red vehicle by Jonnie Boer was gin flavoured. David Martin’s green Land Rover was made with Miso (Japanese soya bean paste) plus fine Okinawa salt. Finally, the white one was also Japanese-inspired; Gert De Mangeleer produced a very odd concoction of koji (fermented rice) and green Matcha tea.

It has to be said that the taste of some of the Defenders was somewhat… interesting. They no longer appear on The Chocolate Line website, and it appears the set was intended as a limited-edition release. As praline can go off after a while, it is not really possible to keep the Land Rovers in mint condition. Throughout my many years of model car collecting, these remain the only ones I have actually eaten!

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Jello and Chips (or Crisps, if you must)

By Robin Godwin

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. 

In North America, we call it “jello,” a gelatin dessert (Jell-O is actually a brand/trademark name, and jello, like “hoover” to you Brits, (for virtually any vacuum, or as a verb… to hoover the kitchen… ) has become a generic term). I believe jello is called jelly in the UK, and of course jelly means something else across the pond.

When we North Americans want a thinly sliced fried potato snack, we eat some chips, whereas it’s crisps in the UK. I’m guessing that jello and chips or jelly and crisps were staples of every nine-year olds’ diet in the 1960s. It is a bonus when one can nurture one’s interest in automobiles when eating these delicacies. So it was in 1960 (plus or minus a year) when General Foods (GF) Ltd. of Canada introduced the “Famous Car Picture Wheels.”  These plastic wheels were available in every Jell-O product and, a short while later, in 10-cent bags of Hostess Potato Chips (also a GF brand). They started with Jell-O boxes, but likely the company executives determined it would take too long to acquire the full collection of 200 wheels – a challenge even for a jello-loving nine-year old, so the wheels were added to the chips. Reference to the collection, however, is strictly to Jell-O.

Each plastic wheel has a numbered, full-colour cardboard picture insert of a specific automobile. While the coins were free in the food items, the poker-chip style carousel designed to hold the full collection of 200 wheels, along with a descriptive booklet or “Fact Book”, were mail order purchases from GF in Cobourg, Ontario. The carousel features eight columns of 25 wheels each, to divide the collection into eight eras, with each era being colour coded. The first era covers 1769 to 1899, with subsequent columns/eras covering only a decade, except for the last, which only covers 1960 and 1961, the issue period of the series. Many significant cars are covered, with an emphasis on North American production, naturally. Curiously, there is no VW Beetle, despite being imported into Canada from 1952, but the much less common Karmann Ghia did get its own wheel.

The artwork on the wheels and in the fact book are “evocative of the era,” similar to early Dinky Toy catalogues. Unfortunately, the artist is not mentioned, but it could be Don Watt, who was credited with the illustrations on the similar second General Foods issue of “Famous Aircraft of the World” . The fact book was compiled by J. Ralph Turner, then president of the Antique and Classic Car Club of Canada, and was also available in French, Canada’s other official language.

I am certain that this was a Canada only promotion, and several points support this conclusion. I worked in Washington, DC for five years in the early 2000s and attended many big US toy shows and never saw these coins, yet they are regularly seen at Canadian toy shows; series documentation is in both of Canada’s official languages; General Foods Canada is the issuing agency; and there is even a unique Canadian produced Ford Frontenac wheel (the Frontenac was never sold outside Canada). This is a fascinating piece of automotive history that had great appeal to a generation of kids hooked on diecast cars, Jell-O and chips. Anybody who wants to see more of these wheels can do a Google search for Jell-O famous cars, and then click on Images for Jell-O famous cars.

The carousel was a special mail order item. It held all 200 wheels. These are hard to find these days in mint condition, with white “handles/retainers” often missing

The booklet that came with the carousel – 76 pages of detailed car facts, along with monochrome line drawings that were the same as the colour versions in the wheels

First wheel for each era. Superb artwork. Note colour coded plastic.

Some of the more obscure cars (well, for Canada in 1960, that is). #181 is the Canada only Ford Frontenac. Highlighted here for Dave Turner!

Light blue wheel on bottom is from the later Famous Aircraft series (note propeller), and includes the Hostess potato chip logo. The Famous Cars (top) only mentions Jell-O

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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 10

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Issues 28 to 30

Three more buses, each one from a manufacturer already previously met in this listing: Fiat, General Motors and Berliet, all from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 28 (not yet issued in the French collection) Fiat 411/1 Cansa ATM 1962 – A typically urban bus, produced by the Italian Fiat Veicoli Industriali (see part 8 no. 23) from 1957 to 1970, replacing the 680RN. Adopted for mass transport in all large cities of Italy, it had a big commercial success : over 1,500 were produced and their legendary strength and reliability extended the working life until well after 1990.

The 411 represented a real revolution in public transport : despite having a front engine (and a large bonnet next to the driver) it had a very low floor, and it was the first to offer power steering and a semi-automatic gearbox. The usual body was by CaNSA (Carrozzerie Novaresi Società Anonima), an ex-aeronautical company, from 1936 in the Fiat Group, based in Cameri, near Novara, founded in 1913 as “Società Anonima Gabardinei” by Giuseppe Gabardinei, to promote and develop aeronautical activities (also a flight school), later CANSA (acronym for “Costruzioni Aeronautiche Novaresi Società Anonima“). In 1946 it started to produce coach bodies (becoming CaNSA or Cansa) as the official bodywork of the Fiat buses. In the late 1960s, the denomination Cansa was abandoned in favour of Fiat Cameri‘s bodywork. The 411 was also available with bodies by specialised bodybuilders like Menarini, Macchi, Piaggio, Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda F.C., etc.

The first version had the Fiat 203 engine of 10.7 litres developing 150 hp (a diesel straight six, the same unit was also used in the 682 truck), in 1960 the second series, renamed Fiat 411/1, benefited from the Fiat engine 203A/61 of 11.5 litres developing 177 hp. At the same time there were some changes to the body, like the use of a three door front exit. On the same chassis Fiat produced the 2411, the most widely distributed trolleybus in Italy.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the ATM collection (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi). It has a plastic body and metal baseplate which has basic details of the chassis.

The livery and the registration plate are correct for the period. Nice doors and wheels and well modelled windows are evident. Small details like the roof exiting engine exhaust are captured as well. Two rear mirrors, front lights and bumpers are all made as separate parts. A scale model which represents this urban bus, so common everywhere in Italy, very well.


No. 29 (no. 22 in the French collection) General Motors TDH-3610 1955 – GMC (General Motors Truck Company) is a division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors, its production focuses nowadays on trucks and utility vehicles.

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant in 1908, as a holding company for Buick. In 1909 GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, then the Reliance Motor Car Company was also purchased by GM, merged in 1911 with Rapid, and in 1912 the marque “GMC Truck” first appeared at the New York International Auto Show. In 1925 GM purchased a controlling interest in Yellow Coach, a bus manufacturer founded in 1923 by John D. Hertz as a subsidiary of his Yellow Cab Company. After purchasing the remaining portion in 1943 and merging it into their GM Truck Division, GM renamed it GM Truck and Coach Division. Although GM continued with the Yellow Coach product line, the Yellow Coach badge gave way to the GM Coach or just GM nameplate in 1944, while GMC badges did not appear until 1968. GM withdrew from the bus and coach market because of increased competition in the late 1970s and 1980s.

The GM “Old-look” transit bus was introduced in 1940 by Yellow Coach beginning with the production of the model TG-3201 (Transit Gasoline – 32 seats, 1st series). Production of most “Old-look” models was stopped upon the release of the GM New-Look bus in 1959, however some shorter models continued to be built until 1969. About 38,000 “Old-look” buses were built during the 29-year production run, their name is an unofficial term applied after the release of the GM New-Look, this time an official term used by GM to describe their new line of buses.

The GM “Old-look” bus was somewhat streamlined in appearance, had small windows (often with additional windows below the roof), and was built using a monocoque bodywork with steel frame covered with riveted sheet metal panels, rather than the old body-on-frame design. Most “Old-look” buses were powered by the Detroit Diesel 6-71 inline six-cylinder diesel engine, while the shorter models were powered by the four-cylinder version of the same diesel engine, but it was possible to choose a gasoline engine. Manual and automatic transmissions were available, while in 1940 and 1942 a few buses were built with electric propulsion systems instead of a transmission. It was available in several lengths and widths according to local legislations.

In 1946 GM began offering its Thermo-matic heating and ventilation system, in 1953 air-ride suspension became standard on all but the smallest model buses, and in 1958 air conditioning was added as an available option. Following WW2 an agreement was reached to build GM’s model TDH-3610 under license in Soviet Union (but with diesel-electric propulsion, similar to that used for the TDE-40xx models), and production was assigned to ZiS (Zavod imeni Stalina) as model number 154 (we’ll see it later on, as no. 37 in this series). The ZiS-154 at first used a Yaroslavl YAZ-204 diesel, but supply problems forced a switch to the Detroit Diesel 6-71, also built under license. Problems with the reliability of the drive-train components resulted in the ZiS-154 being discontinued after only four years of production and 1,165 units.

The scale model represents a famous bus : the “Rosa Parks” bus, a TDH-3610 (Transit bus Diesel with automatic transmission – 40 seats, 10th series) of the Montgomery (Alabama) City Lines.

The legal autonomy granted to the southern states after the Secession War led to a series of laws aimed at the reduction of the civil rights of the people of colour. The segregation imposed in private and public places was intended to prevent the creation of a multiracial society. In 1955 a woman, Rosa Parks, refused to surrender her place on the bus to a white. The arrest and subsequent condemnation pushed the then unknown Martin Luther King Jr to launch a protest campaign and boycott against Montgomery bus companies, lasting more than a year. The parallel domestic and international reactions resulted in a first reduction in segregation in 1956, but its abolition took place only in 1964.

The model is quite heavy as it has a metal body and a plastic baseplate. The baseplate is not very detailed and the rear exhaust is only highlighted by silver paint. The baseplate shows the model as “TDH 3714”, which is quite strange. Front and rear bumpers are chromed and separate parts like front and rear lights, front grilles and wipers are used. Well detailed wheels are fitted but only one rear view mirror and a rather basic interior. A nice “GM coach” badge is fitted. The adverts are interesting period items: Hanna Paints at the rear, and the side ones say “Why fight traffic ? Go by bus” and that was in 1955! There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


No. 30 (no. 23 in the French collection) Berliet PHL 10 Grand Raid 1966 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Cruisair range (see part 8, no. 22), and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative.

In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR8, a very powerful bus, but already old-fashioned. Then in 1956 it launched the PLH, with innovative styling and a beam frame with a base of square section steel tubes and a round tubular body skeleton. The squared body allowed maximum interior space, large windows, a light and practical driving position, and excellent soundproofing. The engine, an in-line five cylinder diesel with 150 CV, was placed horizontally amidship on the right side. To follow the evolving legislation Berliet presented in 1959 an evolution of the PLH, the PHN or “Randonnèe” with an extended wheelbase and an optimised structure, while the old PLH was renamed PHC or “Escapade”. The mechanical components were maintained, with the option of a 6 cylinder engine with 180 CV. The PHN underwent an endurance test from November 1960 to March 1961 at the Autodrome of Miramas : 200 000 km were travelled in 97 days with an 85.86 km/h average. From 1960 the Randonnèe was updated stylistically, and in 1964 to the PH range was added the PHL or “Grand Raid”, an extended version, derived from the PH100, an urban bus for mass transport. During the fifties Berliet was highly successful, but in the sixties the competition with Saviem, Magirus, Mercedes, Scania, Volvo and Fiat was very tough : it was necessary to innovate continuously, but once again resources were lacking and in 1967 Berliet was acquired by Citroen. Between the PLH and PH range, more than 6,000 units were produced.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal baseplate, with basic details of the chassis.

Quite a bright livery and superb visibility thanks to the large windows, which are nicely black framed.

The registration plate is from the department of the Alps of Haute-Provence, while Reillanne is a small town in the Luberon regional natural park.

Nice wheels and a well detailed interior are fitted. The seating features nice split individual coach seats with high backrests. The driver’s cab is well detailed. As usual many separate parts are fitted: front and rear chromed bumpers, lights, wipers and front grille. A nice model. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

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Atlas Dinky Trucks – A summary

By Maz Woolley


The news that some people have had this collection marked as complete, as I have, has caused some discussion on Facebook pages and bulletin boards. As there are a considerable number of people who are still waiting to receive the Foden Regent tanker and a few waiting for others models as well they are rightly concerned about whether Atlas will supply them now the last model in the collection has shipped.

I have extracted the information below from the information Atlas provides online about my collection. It is useful if not always 100% accurate. I would advise collectors to save the information away when a series finishes as I notice that my Jaguar Collection details have suddenly vanished from my members area.


Atlas Description Dinky #
1 LEYLAND ESSO tanker 943
2 GUY Warrior van HEINZ 920
3 BEDFORD TK Tipper 435
4 AUSTIN Covered wagon 413
5 BERLIET GLB Pompiers 32 E
6 LEYLAND Octopus Flat + chains 935
7 GUY Vixen “Lyons” 514
8 BEDFORD TK Wreck Truck 434
9 FODEN High sides Wagon 901
10 GUY Warrior flat truck 432
11 Isobloc Type 3 29 E
12 BERLIET GAK Beverage truck CERT 588
13 AUSTIN Open Wagon 412
14 Foden with chains 905
15 GUY Vixen van “Spratts” 917 Atlas collection list claimed wrongly that this was in “Robertsons” livery
16 GUY Vixen Flat truck 512
17 STUDEBAKER Milk Truck 25 O
18 Panhard semi remorque bache 32 AB
19 FODEN Tanker “Regent” 942
20 FORD Poissy “Calberson” 25 JJ
21 Guy Vixen van “Slumberland” 514
22 CITROËN HY “Philips” 587
23 BEDFORD TK Coal truck 425
24 Ford Benne à ordures 25 V
25 LEYLAND Octopus wagon 934

I believe that Atlas intended to  run this series longer than they have done. Perhaps there was a rapid drop off in collectors when French Models started appearing as there was with the Dinky Toys collection?   It is perhaps better to finish at 25 if the intention had been to eke the series out with models from the continental series as sales may have fallen significantly then.

Many collectors were disappointed by the fact that Atlas did not do a “Robertsons” Guy Van but issued “Spratts” instead. Perhaps political correctness  stopped us getting that. Though it now seems many spare Atlas Vans are being stripped and re-finished with the “Robertsons” decals available to restore old Dinkies.

This series was advertised with a strong emphasis on Dinky Supertoys and the models issued contain a considerable number of them.  All in all the models were nicely made and seem to be regarded by collectors as value for money.

An analysis of the range shows the following:

  • The Guy Vixen casting appeared four times with the Bedford TK and Foden three times and Austin and Leyland castings appearing twice.
  • There were seventeen UK Dinky releases and eight Dinky France originals replicated.

If any reader has received different models to me or has an opinion on this range that they would like to share please use the contact button above or email address at base of the article to let me know.

Although Atlas are still advertising the original Dinky Toys and Dinky Trucks collections to new subscribers it will be interesting to see whether late joiners get the same number of models as those who subscribe just after series is announced. It will also be interesting to see if those who have missed a model when it was released get them sent out before their collections are marked as complete.

The only Dinky Series left still adding models in the UK is what Atlas invoice as Dinky Toys II and which the web site sells as Deluxe Dinky Toys. This has kicked off with entirely French Dinky models after the Aston Martin DB5 starter model. The supply of models seems very erratic with some people having only just received number four whilst others are already on number five.

The DeAgostini version of the Dinky Toys series has also launched in the UK with a magazine as well as the car. This is being sold considerably cheaper than the Atlas collection was but uses the same castings but often painted different colours. If it is successful will DeAgostini – Atlas parent company – switch from the Atlas subscription series sales method to partworks in the UK? If so will the Dinky Trucks re-appear later under a different name?

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The Ford in Miniature – Ford Corsair 1963-1970

By Dave Turner

Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

“More Space – More Flair – More Everything”

Ford UKs Consul Classic had one of the shortest productions runs of any of their cars, it was intended to appear prior to the new 105E Anglia but the pressing need for a new small Ford in the UK changed those plans and the Anglia that arrived in 1959 was in such demand that production of the Classic was severely delayed.

The Classic’s replacement was given the project code ‘Buccaneer’ possibly in view its Halewood production site on Merseyside and the model name Corsair also had a nautical flavour. Ford had used this monica before on one of the larger US Edsels back in the late 1950s. The new Corsair had a certain US line in its styling – the front end echoed that of the ’61-3 Thunderbird in addition to hints of the German Taunus P3.

As Fords strap-line suggests, the new Corsair was a slightly enlarged Cortina, sharing that cars mechanics on a lengthened floorpan resulting in a 3” longer wheelbase. Even the same door shells were employed together with a new outer skin. Appearing in October 1963, the Corsair came initially as a two or four door saloon in standard, Deluxe or GT trim. The Cortina’s 1498cc engine was employed while a bench front seat with column change was standard although the GTs featured separate front seats and remote floor gear change – optional on the Deluxe. Automatic was available from December ’63. A revised dash arrived in September 1964 along with a 3/4 horn ring to replace the original controversial ‘quartic’ component.

A much more significant event for the Corsair took place in September 1965 when the new V4 engine made its debut. This was only the third wholly new engine from Ford UK since 1950 and came in 1663cc or 1996cc versions. Along with the new power unit another new dash was installed featuring the eyeball vents for the new “aeroflow” ventilation system, along with external extractors on the ‘C’ pillars and these later series were immediately recognisable by the large ‘V’ on the front panel. An estate version arrived with the new engine and these were produced by Abbotts who converted partly complete Corsair bodies using Cortina estate parts, only the fibreglass tailgate was new, created to close onto the Corsair saloons lower rear panel.

The pinnacle of the Corsair range was possibly the 2000 and 2000E that arrived in November 1966 featuring a considerably refined version of the larger engine and improved trim.

Models of Corsairs have appeared from the time of the real cars in a variety of forms up to the more recent selection of around ten years ago.

The appealing range of tiny resin/aluminium models from Autocraft included most of the UK Fords from the 1960s period, their Corsair depicts a pre V engined four door saloon and has such detail for its size that the front and rear badges are clearly present – if not quite readable!

Hongwell has produced some 1:43 2 door Corsairs for several labels and Maz Woolley touched on them in MAR 220 (March 2008) in which Motorart was referenced. In addition they came under the Cararama banner – sometimes accompanied by a caravan. What may have been the first version had opening doors and depicted a V4 engined car – unusual as a two door. However the amount of detail was commendable having virtually all the bright work around the windows, printed badges the appropriate instrument panel and a separate plated exhaust system plus an international ’S’ plate on the back panel for Sweden. Another issue from Hongwell omits the opening doors and has the badges for the pre-V engined cars despite having the raised ‘V’ on the front panel and the V pattern exhaust system – now part of the base. Like the V4 version it is left hand drive despite the 1964 registration plate for Wallasey (NHF 974) .

Contemporary with the real car the Dinky Toy Corsair came with many play features – slide-down windows, suspension, steering and opening bonnet with in-line engine inside. It even had the badges in the body casting – albeit a tad overscale but the interior was a very basic vac-formed item. Like the Hongwell the Dinky was sometimes paired with a trailer – this time carrying a boat. By simply painting the roof dull black complete with the ‘stitching’ lines Dinky tried to turn the model into a 2000E, ignoring its 2 door status as well as the in-line engine under the bonnet. At least they removed the redundant badges from the body casting and provided some reasonably appropriate wheels. Meccano shrunk the Corsair tooling to 1:65 and issued yet another 2 door Corsair in their Hong Kong produced Mini Dinky series. Not only did that continue the opening bonnet but it also boasted an opening boot lid. It also featured suspension but that at the front is invariably collapsed.

Brooklin produced a 4 door 1:43 Corsair in their Lansdowne series for 2004. Depicting a pre- V engined car complete with 1965 registration plates (GGX 175C: London) it comes with the correct post-Sept ’64 facia layout and those distinctive wing mirrors that swept back towards the windscreen. A year later the Lansdowne Collectors Club special model was a 2000E adapted from the regular Lansdowne item and was a limited run of just 150. The roof was finished in satin black but lacked the ‘seems’ and appeared strange as a result. The external vents were fitted, the badges changed and the wheel pattern made appropriate while the licence plates were updated to 1967 (CBH 822F : Buckinghamshire) but the same pre V engined facia was once again employed.

Lone Star was a UK brand of toys – chiefly of cowboy and gun related items but they ventured into die cast toy vehicles during the 1960s. Their 4 door Corsair in the Road-Master Impy Super Car Series suggests that they took the operation seriously as despite being only 1:59 scale featured opening front doors, bonnet and boot lid, suspension, steering, jewelled headlights, vac formed interior and windows, and rubber tyres (starting to split after 50 years).

The Matchbox Corsair appeared in early 1965, slightly smaller at 1:70 than the Lone Star and a great deal more simple, having suspension but no opening parts. However it did come with a plastic roof rack that carries an upturned rowing boat and carries a 1961 registration number (715 TVT Stoke-on-Trent)

Pathfinder models was a relatively short lived range of 1:43 white metal models and most seem to have acquired a perceived high value. In addition to their regular line, a series of five models of UK Fords were made exclusively for Minicar 43 in Oslo, among them was a run of just 350 Corsair 2000Es. The detail on this goes down to the black painted inserts in the bumper over riders and the little decoration above the extractor vents – a detail missing on all the other model 2000Es. The interior is especially well detailed with its wood effect facia a complete with the Aeroflow vents at each end. An appropriate licence plate for 1967 CMA 881F (Cheshire) is applied front and rear.

In 1964 Triang decided to create their own range of vehicles to accompany their popular model railways in 1:76 scale.The first one of four for ’64 was a Ford Anglia but a second series came in the following year and included a Corsair. A one-piece plastic body and a plated base that included bumpers grille and headlights looked extremely accurate although the axles were a tad short taking the wheels a shade too far inside the openings. Neat clear plastic windows allowed the empty interior to be seen, but they were meant to stand on model railway layouts. Triang must have thought that it was worth making the change to a V engined car when the time came and managed to squeeze the ‘V’ onto the front panel, it is almost invisible, while the extractor vents on the C panels are only a fraction deeper than the detail of the original decoration in that location.

The only Corsair available on the market larger than the 1:43 sector found so far is the plastic Telsalda under the Lucky banner. At 1:23 it is basically a push and go toy with flywheel on the rear axle and opening bonnet and boot lid, the shape is acceptable but spoiled by the flat straight line of the roof edge above the doors and oversize wheels.

Ultimate small Corsairs are of course the big 1:8 scale Shawcraft models made for Ford in the 1950s/60s along with at least ten others of the period. The Corsair seems to have been produced in both two and four door form and an example is reported to have sold for £3000.

Model Listing – Ford Corsair 1963-1970


Autosculpt UK Fo 06 1990s 1964 4 door 49mm 1:91 resin/aluminium
Dinky Toy UK 130 1964-9 1964 2 door rhd 106mm 1:42 diecast
Dinky Toy UK 169 1967-9 1966 2 door 2000E 106mm 1:42 diecast
Mini Dinky Toy Hong Kong 10 1964 2 door rhd 69mm 1:65 diecast
Hongwell China 13157 1964 2 door  lhd 105mm 1:43 diecast
Hongwell China 1965 V4 2 door lhd 105mm 1:43 diecast
Lansdowne UK 41 2004-9 1965 4 door    rhd 105mm 1:43 metal
Lansdowne UK 41x  (130) 2005 1967 4 door 2000E rhd 105mm 1:43 metal
Lone Star UK 18 1960s 1964 4door  rhd 75mm 1:59 diecast
Matchbox UK 45 1965 1964 4 door  rhd 64mm 1:70 diecast
Pathfinder UK 1007 (350) 1988 1967 4 door 2000E  rhd 106mm 1:42 metal
Triang Minix UK RC6 1965 1964 4 door 59mm 1:76 plastic
Triang Minix UK RC6 1967 1966 V4 4 door 59mm 1:76 plastic
Lucky/Telsalda Hong Kong 149 1964 4 door   rhd 198mm 1:23 plastic
Shawcraft UK 1960s 2 and 4 door showroom models 1:8


Illustrations- Ford Corsair 1963-70


Lone Star 1:59 diecast from UK: 18, early 4 door saloon.
Lansdowne 1:43 metal from UK: 41, 1965 4 door saloon.


Lansdowne 1:43 metal from UK: 41x, 1967 2000E limited run of 130 for Lansdowne Collectors Club.


Hongwell 1:43 diecast from China: V4 2 door saloon.
Triang Minix 1:76 plastic from UK: RC6, 1964 4 door saloon.
Early Minix on left V4 on right
V4 on left early Corsair on right, Aeroflow vent barely visible in Red V4
Autosculpt 1:91 resin/aluminium from UK: Fo 06, 1964 4 door saloon.
Dinky Toy 1:42 diecast from UK: 130, 1964 2 door saloon.
Hongwell 1:43 diecast from China: 13157, 1964 2 door saloon.
Hongwell Cararama V4 on left – early car on right the ‘V’ in the casting still visible.
Mini Dinky 1:65 diecast from Hong Kong: 10, 1964 2 door saloon.
Triang Minix 1:76 plastic from UK: RC6 1965 V4 4 door saloon, update from the earlier model.
Matchbox 1:70 diecast from UK: 45, 1964 4 door saloon originally came with a roof rack and boat.
Pathfinder for Minicar 43 1:42 metal from UK: 1007, 1967 2000E limited run of 350.
Lucky/Telsalda 1:23 plastic from Hong Kong: 149, 1964 4 door saloon.

Dinky Toy 1:42 diecast from UK:169, 2 Door 2000E saloon.
Rear view of Dinky 2000E

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Editorial January 2018

At the end of 2018 MAR Online will celebrate its fifth anniversary. We hope to see a continuing increase in the number of visitors and contributors to the site, so that we can share our passion for our hobby with even more like-minded collectors.

So what do I expect to see in 2018? I expect that there will be continued growth in sales of 1:76 and 1:144 scale models in the UK. These sectors have grown hugely over MAR Online’s lifetime. They seem to be drawing in whole new groups of collectors from children through to lorry drivers intent on owning a model of everything they have ever driven. Over in the USA I expect a similar growth in 1:64 scale models, as Walmart and hobby stores carry more special editions, and the premium producers make models designed to attract everyone from kids to grandparents. All around the world 1:18 scale seems to be growing at a spectacular rate and now offers models priced from the same as a 1:43 scale model up to thousands of GB pounds. 1:43 scale collecting seems to be at a crossroads at the moment. The collectors market seems to be able to support a range of firms selling premium-priced models and several new entrants have arrived this year, including Goldvarg. At the budget end of the market, however, there are fewer firms producing models, and even successful companies like Greenlight have used Ixo moulds originally made for partworks, Oxford Diecast have made some lovely Rolls-Royce models in this scale, but there has been no expansion in production of 1:43 scale models this year, as Oxford have chosen to put the effort elsewhere. If partworks and subscription series had not ordered models in such huge quantities, budget 1:43 scale models would be rather less common. One wonders how many of those folk who start collecting partwork models ever go on to buy more expensive 1:43 collectors models? If that number is small, then how will 1:43 scale remain vibrant in the future?

MAR Online would like to thank everyone who supplied articles and information in 2017 and looks forwards to lots of readers writing for us next year. Our special thanks to Hans-Georg, our German Editor, who finished his last set of articles despite having been rushed to hospital for emergency treatment. I am sure we all wish him well for a speedy full recovery to health.

All of the MAR Online team wish you a happy new year.

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Anonymous Alloy models from China

By Maz Woolley


Every now and again eBay throws up some curiosities as we have seen with the recent articles on GFCC Jaguar and Pontiac models in MAR Online. Indeed GFCC has come up with another US model recently, a Studebaker Speedster Coupé , which the Author has ordered and will review when it arrives. A photograph from the eBay listing is shown below.


At the moment there are a number of sellers of models described as “alloy classic models” which do not appear to have originated from Part Works or other known model ranges . Four seem to be available and photographs from eBay listings are shown below.


Austin Seven

Skoda Hispano


Rolls Royce Silver Ghost


Ford Model T


All the models appeared to be finished in a “Yesteryear” style with no window glazing but as the models were being offered very cheaply with no postage charges I decided to buy the Austin Seven to see what it was like.

The model is marked C.I.L. on the base but I seem to be unable to find any details of this company on the web. If readers have any details please let me know. As I expected the model is like a later “Model of Yesteryear“. It has a plastic roof but diecast body.

The wheels are one piece plastic affairs but as can be seen they have excellent spokes and rims and if they had been fitted with rubber tyres I would rate them as better than the wheels on Oxford’s equivalent model. The front lights are picked out but the rear ones though moulded in are not printed.

The body casting has been neatly detailed with handles, flaps and coachwork lines but none are printed. Underneath the chassis is made in plastic in some detail.  All in all this is quite a nice basic model but the one thing that lets it down is the paintwork this is far from smooth and the model really would benefit from taking the model apart and treating it like a kit.

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Atlas Dinky Trucks – 934 Leyland Octopus Wagon

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

This model is the last I will receive in the Atlas Dinky Trucks collection and they have saved a spectacular Dinky Supertoy for the end. The eight-wheeler Leyland Octopus was the first model in the collection as 943 a tanker in Esso livery  and to finish the collection we see the same chassis and cab used for 934 as a dropside wagon.

934 was released in two colour schemes: yellow and green as shown on the box and blue and yellow as Atlas has chosen to have the model painted. The blue and yellow version is considerably scarcer with a mint original likely to cost thousands at auction.

This model was issued in 1956 and was withdrawn in 1964. Like the 943 tanker the rear section of the toy had previously been seen on a Foden.

The bright red hubs are slightly different to original models I have seen on the web with the front wheel differing to the rear six wheels on this replica.

To the rear the tinplate hook and spare wheel are replicated.

The cab is well painted and replicates the original well.

This series started in early 2016 and has now ended nearly two years later. Many collectors seem to be waiting on the 942 Foden Regent Tanker issued in mid-2017 which was not sent to all collectors at that time. In my view this was one of the better series by Atlas with plenty of UK Dinky models replicated and where French models have been used some pretty interesting examples of those have been chosen.

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News from the Continent October/November 2017 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Photographs by the manufacturer except for the models with detailed reviews later in the article.

October 2017 releases

1:18 Scale


185144  Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – white metallic


185148  Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – blue metallic


187661  Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet 1987 – ivory


185260  Renault Break 300 kg 1951 – ivory


185261  Renault Break 300 kg 1953 “Parfums Revillion”


185133  Renault 16 1969 – beige grey metallic


185157  Renault 5 Alpine Turbo 1981 – Navy blue


1:43 Scale


150942  Citroen Visa II Chrono 1982


150941  Citroen Visa 1000 Pistes 1983


150943  Citoen Visa Cabriolet 1984 – Vision brown


155157  Citroen Saxo VTS 2001 – Thunderstorm grey / Quartz grey


154306  Citroen Xsara Break 1998 – Quartz grey metallic


770221  Fiat 1200 Spider 1959 – red


270552  Ford Focus RS 2016 – grey


471403  Peugeot 104 ZS 1979 – coral red


517747  Renault Safrane Biturbo Baccara 1993 – silver


517593  Renault Clio RS Gordini 2009 – Monaco blue


517646  Renault Megane Estate 2009 – platinum silver


517774  Renault Captur 2013  – brown and ivory


517721  Renault Megane 2016  – white


517722  Renault Megane 2016 – Police Municipale


517723  Renault Megane 2016 – ASVP


517724  Renault Megane 2016 – Police Municipale


350092  Triumph TR6 1970 – Damson red


840021  Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet 1949 – black and red

1:87 Scale


518577A  Renault Galion Tanker 1963 – Total

Minijet c.3 Inch variable scales


310702  Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing 1955 – silver


November Releases

1:18 Scale


# 184880  Peugeot 309 GTI 1988 – Vallelunga red


185271  Renault 30 TX 1981 – bronze brown metallic


181610  GT by Citroen Salon de Paris 2008


GT by Citroen 2008 – Electric blue


185265  Renault 20 TS 1978 – Algue green metallic


183441  Sauber-Mercedes C0  Winner 400 km Suzuka 1989 – Baldu / Schlesser

1:43 Scale

155327  Citroen C3 Aircross 2017 – pearl white, black roof and silver decoration


478708  Peugeot 807 2013 – Gendarmerie


517416  Renault Twingo Sport Pack 2014 – Flame red


518022  Renault Trafic 2014 – red


350098  Triumph Spitfire Mk. IV 1972 – Pimento red


870006  Volvo V40 2016 – Osmium grey


157080  Citroen DS21 Cabriolet 1971 – Forest green


472212  Peugeot 202 Pick-up 1947 – Garage Peugeot


474331  Peugeot 403 saloon 1963  – Ruby red


475433  Peugeot 504 Coupe 1969 – brown metallic


475432  Peugeot 504 Cabriolet 1970 – Capucine yellow


479859  Peugeot Expert 2011 – Gendarmerie


511382  Renault Kangoo 2007 – white


840093  Volkswagen K70 1970 – white


AV4107  Crowd barrier


MINIJET c.3 Inch variable scales to fit box


310802  Citroen HY 1969 “Fire brigade”


310805  Citroen HY 1969 – PTT (French Post)


310803  Citroen HY 1980 – red


310804  Citroen HY 1980 – Friterie


December Releases

1:18 Scale


184698  Chenard & Walcker 1500 kg Type CHV 1946 delivery van – green


184699  Peugeot D4B 1963 Ambulance


184854  Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 1988 – black


185209  Renault Supercinq GT Turbo 1985 – silver


185215  Renault Supercinq GT Turbo “Tour de Corse 1989 – Alain Oreille”


1:43 Scale


151398  Citroen 2CV Dolly 1985 – Rialto yellow & Cormoran grey


155329  Showcase Citroen C3 & C3 Aircross 2017

Limited Edition of 500 pieces.


270302  Morgan Plus 8 1980 – British Racing Green


517944  Renault Espace “Initiale Paris 2015” – Cassiopee grey


870061  Volvo S90 saloon 2016 – Electric silver


870066  Volvo V90 estate 2016 – Osmium grey


478709  Peugeot 807 2008 “Fire Brigade”


518768  Renault Master 2011 “Fire Brigade security vehicle”


518769  Renault Master 2011 “Fire Brigade VSAV”

Detailed Review of two models

Photographs from Hans-Georg Schmitt and other sources

Here are two Norev models that I have been able to review in detail.

184871  Peugeot 402 Eclipse 1937 – dark green

The 402 was one of the earliest exponents of the folding metal roof which has been revived in recent years.

In Autumn 1935 Peugeot introduced the 402 as Saloon, Coupé, Roadster and as a two-seater Cabriolet Transformable Electrique. This was the cabriolet with a revolutionary electric movable roof. In 1937 the concept was extended and the four-seater 402 L was introduced with a manual foldable roof.

First some pictures of the car itself which is eye catching sharing the same limited luggage space that modern cars with this type of roof have!

The model is based upon the four seater 402 L and it is made to 1:18 scale. It is diecast in China for France.

The body is authentically shaped, and has been painted very well indeed and has excellent printed detail like the coachlines.

Rear hinged doors are opening and the bonnet can be opened too. Headlights are fitted behind the front grille in the characteristic Peugeot style of the period and look authentic.

The roof can be opened and closed so realistically that it really looks like a shrunken version of the original.

The boot is well detailed and is filled with two suitcases and the spare wheel.

The interior is detailed and true to the original car, coloured in light beige. The dashboard is fitted with a central instrument panel, gear lever and glove box cover. The lever to open the windscreen is not forgotten, nor is the rear view mirror and sun visors. The steering wheel is placed in the right position. Under the bonnet, the engine is  replicated to a pleasing standard.

Finally the baseplate has excellent detail included as can be seen above.

153050  Citroen 11 Legere Coupe de Ville 1935 – dark red and black


In 1934 Andre Citroen presented the completely newly designed Traction Avant as type 7 with 34 HP and type 11 with 42 and 46 HP. The model was available as saloon, cabriolet and roadster. A few prototypes were made into a luxury version “Coupe de Ville”, which has been made by Norev. The model is die cast to 1:43 scale in China for France. The body is authentically shaped and the body has been correctly painted in two colours. Many parts are small separately inserted items.  Radiator grille, bumpers, headlights and some other parts are chrome-plated. The baseplate is disappointingly blank.


This new model is shown with the 11 A from 1936, the model entirely in black.

This 11A was issued in the 1970s as No. 29. The scale was also 1:43 and it was moulded in black plastic. Radiator grille, bumpers, head lights and hub caps were silver printed. The interior is well detailed and both the bonnet and the boot can be opened. Under the bonnet there is a one piece replica of the engine.

The body of the older model was moulded in one piece without separately inserted parts. The French mouldmakers of the 1970s were highly skilled as they had no CAD software or automated mould cutters. This was the time when small cars were changing from toys to collectables not to be sold to those under the age of 14 years. Although more delicately painted and detailed the newer 11 Coupé De Ville does not put the older model to shame.

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