All posts by Maz Woolley

Atlas Dinky – More Readers Thoughts

Hi Gunnar, Karl and all others,

When I grew up in Sweden in the fifties the French Dinky Toys range was not imported into Sweden. When finally the import started only selected models were available –  hence big gaps in my French Dinky collection. The gaps are now slowly being filled with Atlas Dinky and I don’t mind they being copies.

I filled a Billy cabinet from Ikea with all these French toys and I love them all. But of course – the original ones are closer to my heart.

 

Ragnar Falck
Via eMail
Sweden


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Readers Letters – Atlas Dinky Copies – Other views

Editor: The recently published email from Gunnar Bernstrop has certainly sparked some response. I include the comments which show that we all have slightly different views of reproduction models.

A sense of mischief?

I sense a little bit of mischief in Gunnar’s note.  But anything that
provokes discussion is fine by me. So here are MY thoughts and input to that discussion.

First, I recognise Gunnar’s points that these are simply copies of
someone else’s work. – But, as Maz remarks about all traditional types of art, – just because something is not an original does not mean we cannot desire and appreciate a copy.

Probably like most of us collectors, I had the original Dinky and Corgi toys as a child, but these were “toys” and treated accordingly (which is why I don’t still have those originals now, of course). At the time, absolute accuracy and detail were not a major concern to me – I was more interested in the “play value” of opening features etc.
Getting my hands on perfect condition copies brings back happy memories of childhood, but I could not justify to myself paying hundreds of pounds for an original Dinky Toy just to sit in a cabinet. – But equally I am now far better qualified to judge those “toys” in terms of their accuracy as scale replicas, whether from memory of the full size vehicles or from photos of original and preserved vehicles. On this front, I very much enjoy the Editor’s detailed analysis of the Atlas models, both against the real vehicle and against the original 1960’s “toy”.

So today’s reviews are not simply about “Is this a good copy of someone else’s work?”, but rather a review of “How good a model of the original vehicle was this model or toy when it was made 50 years ago?”, – which guides some of us into the decision about whether today’s model deserves shelf space in its own right. Arguably, he is just doing a 2018 review of a 1965 model, which just happens to be in perfect “ex-factory” condition, and that is fine by me.The surprising thing to me is just how accurate most of these “toys” are
as scale models, given the limits of the manufacturing technology, the materials, and the selling prices of the time. That accuracy of the scale model, and the fact the original full size vehicle is easily recognisable from the model is another dimension of my collecting interest. When the conversation turns to “Cars my Dad used to
have” and the like, to be able to show a good scale model of that car
can often stimulate further conversations and memories. Our hobby is not just about display cases, and having a “full set” of particular ranges or types. Its about the dialogue it provokes, including this one.

All the best to all MAR Readers and Contributors.

Brendan Leach
by email


Models at a price I can afford

I think the whole point of Atlas (and other) replica models is to give collectors the chance to buy ‘Dinky Toys’ at a reasonable price. Not everyone can afford auction prices for models/toys they loved as kids. I have a handful of Atlas / De Agostini Dinkies and enjoy owning them. If / when I tire of them they will go to Oxfam (or another charity shop) where another owner will be able to enjoy them at modest cost.

Jeffrey Stevenson
via MAR Online Facebook Page


A Chance to have what I missed

I think these models have given those not able to get them first time round (me included) the chance to own them, they will never replace the original thing. These are beautiful copies of originals and are, in most cases, superbly done.

Mick Mixxy Russell
via MAR Online Facebook Page


Mixed Feelings

I have mixed feelings about these copies. With their advertising budget and marketing through other channels, they should bring in more people to the collecting hobby; that is a good thing. Like Maz, I assume many experienced collectors buy them because the mint boxed originals are too expensive now. Being in the US, they are not so cheap for me (secondary market + high postage rates). On other side, they are just copies as Gunnar points out and not original.
Karl Schnelle
MAR Online US Editor
Via MAR Online Facebook page

 

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Oxford Diecast – Release 3 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Release 3 2018

Oxford have recently announced release three for this year and the inevitable has happened – there are much fewer new castings released this time. Now the range is so large much of the production capacity is being taken by the profitable second and subsequent releases leaving less production capacity to produce the expensive new models.

In 1:76 scale we will see:

  • OXF 76AQ001 Audi Quattro Tornado Red
  • OXF 76CP001 Ford Capri Mk1 Maize Yellow
  • OXF 76FE001 Ford Escort Mk1 Modena Green
  • OXF 76SCV001 Showmans Caravan Maroon
  • OXF 76TX5001 LEVC Electric Taxi Black

In 1:43 scale:

  • OXF 43CF001  Bedford CF Ice Crean Van/Morrison Mr Whippy
    OXF 43CCC001A Ford Cortina MkII Crayford Convertible Blue Mink Roof Up

In 1:50 scale:

  • OXF 50FST001 JCB Fastrac
  • OXF 50HYD001 JCB Hydradig

Finally in 1:72 aircraft 

  • OXF 72WD001 Westland Dragonfly Royal Navy WH991
  • OXF AC089 Lavochkin LA7 Sergei Federovich Dolgushin
  • OXF AC090 Focke Wulf 190A 15/JG 54 _Hauptmann Rudolf Klemm
  • OXF AC090S Focke Wulf 190A 15/JG 54 – Hauptmann Rudolf Klemm – No Swastika
  • OXF AC091 Macchi Veltro 205 1L.Gorrini – 1 Squadriglia – 1 Gruppo Caccia – 1944
  • OXF AC092 Mitsubishi A6M2 Imperial Japanese Navy

Oxford have confirmed that many of the models from release two of 2018 will be with us in the final quarter of this year and that many newly announced liveries and recolours of current castings will be appearing over the next two quarters.


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Readers Letter – On Atlas Copies

I certainly enjoy your esprit and ambitions for MAR Online.
But – reading the article about the Atlas copy of a Dinky Opel I react as I do to almost every one of the articles about the Atlas copies.

Is there anything easier than copying someone else’s work?

I can draw Tintin but Hergé invented him. With modern techniques you can – almost – fool anyone. It is of course more difficult to copy masterpieces of art since you need the right material; paper, colours, pencils and all the paraphernalia from days gone. But even skilled experts have been fooled. Though no one can be fooled with a ’true’ Mona Lisa by Da Vinci.

There are people who try to copy money, but their results are seldom mentioned as excellent. Or lovely. as reports about Atlas efforts often say.

An Atlas copy of a toy? It’s just a copy. If bad, you can point that out, but if well done it’s still just a copy made to look as the real thing. Why not write about the original toy and add: – Atlas have made a copy, but don’t get fooled. It’s just a copy.

And the box art? Oh how simple to reproduce. No specialists are needed doing that job. I think we can do it at home.

Just thinking …

Gunnar Bernstrop
by Email


Editors reply: Gunnar is a long time reader and contributor to MAR and it is good to know he reads and supports MAR Online.  His opinions on Atlas Dinky replicas are shared by many .

But how far do we take this line of thought? Diecast models are not individual works of art. If they are thought of as original creations then only the masters of the models are actually original all the production models are just replicas of the master in the same way copied paintings done by students in great masters studios were. Again, the Jean Massé art work was the original every printed box made by Dinky or Atlas is effectively a copy.

When I review Atlas models or Norev reproductions, or Dan Toys I cannot credit the reproducer with more than replicating the original well, and where they have not I say so. For me they are copies which allow me to hold and enjoy something I can’t afford just like the prints on the wall of my work room.

What do other readers think?


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Atlas Dinky Deluxe #542 Opel Rekord

By Maz Woolley

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

Atlas are now issuing the Dinky Deluxe models at twice the previous rate. With no more new or competing ranges, and warehouse space costing money, they clearly have an incentive to get the collection finished as soon as possible. The latest new model is French Dinky #542 Opel Rekord which Atlas have had reproduced by Norev in metallic grey. This is an original colour and the original model was also made in blue and gold.

This model replaced #554 which was an earlier P2 Opel Rekord which was modelled as a four door saloon and reproduced by Atlas in the original Continental Dinky series, though it didn’t make it into the UK Dinky series as far as my records show. #542 was introduced in 1964 and was in production until 1969 when it was replaced by #1405 Opel Rekord Coupe which was also advertised as forming part of this Dinky Deluxe Series.

The box is again a lovely replica of the original with its Jean Massé painting of a couple in the car gazing at a Chateaux in the middle distance. Were their way to stay there or were they just sight seeing? Who knows? It makes a nice scene though.

The collectors card supplied by Atlas to accompany this model states that this is a model of the 1700 Coupé but the coupe had a sloped rear section of roof and windows curving at top and bottom to a point. All the artwork and the model itself actually show a an Opel Rekord A two door with its standard rear window and less sloped roof. This was launched in 1963 with a 1488cc engine, though by the end of its run the 2605cc six cylinder engine had been ‘shoe-horned’ in.  The car was available as a two or four door saloon, a two door estate car, a two door delivery van and a two door coupé.

The Dinky model was a little short of play features as opening doors and tipping seats were fairly basic when other vehicles had opening bonnets and, or boots. The interior is a simple plastic affair but the opening doors do have door furniture and card details cast in but no upper frame or glazing. To the rear the Opel badge and name are nicely cast in and the rear lights are nicely cast and painted. For once Dinky actually painted the amber section as well as red and even left the  reversing lamp area clear. As usual no colour is applied to the front number plate but the rear one is painted yellow.

Overall the lines of the car are captured well. Opel were certainly heavily influenced by the new Chevrolets emerging in the early 1960s such as the Nova.  The Rekord badges are neatly moulded into the front wings and the grille is nice too.

The front end is slightly disappointing, as on the original as there is no Opel insignia on the bonnet which appears on the real cars that I have found on the internet. Though perhaps some early versions did come without the badge on the bonnet? It does have the nice period jewelled headlights in an appropriate size. Like the original Dinky the front indicators are moulded in but are not painted.

The next model that I am scheduled to receive is the Renault R6F which is a nice model and which I, like many others,  have already bought from a China-based supplier some time ago.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 19

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Numbers 55 to 57

 

Three successful buses, one from France and two from Germany, each one representative of a decade, from the fifties to the seventies. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

 

No. 55 (no. 44 in the French collection) Renault R 4192 1956 – We have already met Renault and its AGP Saharien (see part seven, no. 19) and TN6-C2 (see part twelve, no. 34).

Renault is one of the oldest automobile manufacturers,  established in 1899 and by 1903 it was manufacturing its own engines and by 1906 it had introduced its first commercial truck. Renault experienced formidable development after the Great War, taking advantage of the industrial power acquired during the conflict the brand consolidated its place in the commercial vehicles market. In 1945 Renault was nationalised and its resources were concentrated on the new 4CV and one ton trucks. After the Second World War Renault slowly incorporated many of its competitors. In 1955 it formed Saviem (Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d’Equipements Mécaniques) with Latil and Somua. In 1957 it bought Isobloc and in 1960 Chausson. In 1978 the Renault name was back, when Saviem grouped with Berliet forming RVI (Renault Véhicules Industriels).

In 1946 the demand for vehicles of all kinds was growing quickly and Renault presented the 215 D, an advanced-cab bus, closely derived from the ZPD, and bodied on the chassis of the 208 D truck, a prewar concept. But the competition was very strong and soon Renault presented the new chassis-less R 4190. The engine was now placed horizontally on the right side between the two axles, and the body had a rounded shape with a chromed grille. It was an instant success and was produced in many different versions (the R 4192 is a low roof version). In line with company policy in 1955 it gained the Saviem logo, in 1957 it was restyled and renamed the Saviem ZR2. In 1960 a new engine was adde and it was renamed again to the SC1. By 1965 it was named the  S45 and it went on until 1993, with periodic updates.

The model is shaped accurately, the body is plastic while the chassis is metal with lot of details. It has single rear wheels. Many additional small parts are used as usual, like lights, front bumper, mirror (one only) and registration plates, plus a large ladder to reach the luggage area on the roof.  The long bars along the roof are very nice, these were used to fix the canvas cover to protect the baggage. The livery seems to be authentic and neatly printed.

There are no indications of a transport company, only the destination plate (Clermont) and the registration plates (63) from the Puy-de-Dôme department (region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, prefecture Clermont-Ferrand, headquarters of the French tyre manufacturer Michelin).

 

The red circle on the front and rear means that the vehicle runs a regular service. The interior is quite basic, but it has a nice driver area. Also well reproduced are the doors, the windows and the wheels. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice reproduction of a once familiar sight on French roads.

 

No. 56 (no. 46 in the French collection) Setra S 215 HD 1976 – Setra is a brand we have already met with the Setra-Seida S14 (see part eight, no. 24). Founded in 1951, its origins are from the Wagenfabrik Kässbohrer, founded in 1893 in Ulm, while its name is short for “selbsttragend” (self supporting), referring to the integral nature of the construction. Until 1995 the firm operated under the name Kässbohrer-Setra, but in that year economic difficulties forced its sale to Daimler Benz, and to operate as a division of EvoBus GmbH. Standardisation and modularity were Setra’s winning features. The integral construction allowed changes to the wheelbase, the engine, and the interior fittings. The series 200 was presented in 1976.

 

Its models are identified by the maximum number of rows of seats (like 15 for this bus), while the letters added after the type number indicate the equipment and features, like HD for Hochdecker (high floor). The engine was located behind the rear axle, usually a diesel by Mercedes-Benz Henschel, here a V8 delivering 256 HP. The body shape was indeed a glass box with flat sides and large sealed windows, a huge slightly inclined windscreen,  and an unobtrusive front grille. Almost perfect, it was very successful and was  produced until 1991, to be replaced by the new 315.

The quite large scale model is true to the original shape and the livery is authentic, created by Setra itself to commemorate the forty years of the series 200. As usual it has a plastic body and metal baseplate. The baseplate is largely undetailed apart a silver painted exhaust. Many small separate parts are fitted like mirrors, lights, bumpers, grille, wipers. It looks very real indeed from a picture you could almost believe that it is the real vehicle.

A nice driver area is included but the seats are basic. There are well reproduced wheels (twin at the rear axle) with the chromed hubcaps adorned with the “K” of Kässbohrer. The German registration plates are from Ulm and the code number (S 215) is a clear reminder of the bus name. No apparent differences to the French issue. An accurate reproduction of a bus known all over Europe.

 

No. 57 (no. 57 in the French collection) Büssing Senator 12 D 1964Büssing AG was established in 1903 in Braunschweig (Germany) by Heinrich Büssing, heir of a blacksmith dynasty and founder of many bicycle, engineering and railway signal works. From heavy duty trucks to omnibus and armoured cars, Büssing soon developed into one of the largest European producers. In 1923 it presented the first rigid three-axle chassis and the world’s first full-size bus which allowed Büssing to lead the market share in Germany in commercial vehicles. In 1934 Büssing took over NAG. After the Second World War civilian production was resumed and in 1950 the company name became Büssing Nutzkraftwagen GmbH while production was concentrated on underfloor-engined trucks.

The company was taken over by MAN AG in 1971, which continued production of its underfloor-engined truck range through to the late 1980s, still using Büssing’s Brunswick Lion emblem. We have already met MAN and its 535 HO (see part fifteen, no. 43). The Senator 12 D was part of a new bus family (11R, 12R, 13R and 15R) launched in 1959.

 

The self-supporting bodywork was based on welded steel tubes and was fitted with a rear underfloor six inline diesel engine. Both city and long distance versions were made in different lengths and with different interior designs. Their names were changed regularly: Konsul, was followed by Senator, President and Prefekt. During the sixties they represented about 50% of all the buses in Germany. The Senator 12 D was presented in 1965 and gained an enlarged engine producing 150 HP. Their robustness and reliability combined with good performance allowed them to perform a very long working life with many still in service until the eighties.

This is another nice reproduction. Again with a  plastic body and metal baseplate, which in this case is well detailed with twin rear wheels. A red and cream livery is used, probably from the city of Hamburg based on the registration plates and the destination board (Altona train station). A neat “Lion” emblem can be seen on the front and the rear. The model has the usual added plastic parts like lights, bumper, mirrors, and destination boards. Like the other buses covered in this article it has a basic interior. The windows are well reproduced and on the sides is a well printed advert for the AEG washing machine. No apparent differences to the French issue. Another good choice, a well known bus.


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The Ford in Miniature – Falcon XA, XB and XC 1972-79

By Dave Turner

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

Ford Falcon XA

Replacing the US designed Falcon XY in February 1972 the XA was the first Falcon to be completely designed and produced in Australia. While based on the preceding XY and having the same wheelbase, the bulkier and bolder styled body was a couple of inches longer. Five levels in the sedan line started with the basic version, the 500, the Futura, the Fairmont and the GT. 2 door hardtops came as the 700, the Fairmont and the GT. The wagons on a 5 inch longer wheelbase (the same as the contemporary ZF Fairlane) came as the basic version, the 700 and the Fairmont. Then there were the basic and 500 Utility and the van.

Engine choices were a couple of straight sixes in 3.2 and 4.1 litre sizes and a couple of V8s of 4.9 litres and 5.7. The four door sedans featured the ‘coke bottle’ line rather like being a larger version of the Cortina MkIII while the 2 door coupes boasted very deep rear quarters with rather sinister looking rear side windows quite different to the sedans.

As usual various options and specials add to the complexity for example the Grand Sport Rally Pack ‘boy-racered’ up the base, the 500 and the Fairmont while the proposed GT-HO Phase IV was abandoned after just one example. Just 250 of the GT – RPO 83 Falcons were made – 130 sedans and 120 hardtops, and differed only by a few mechanical upgrades with no external changes. Another limited run were the Falcon 500 Superbird RPO – 77 hardtops featuring considerable mechanical upgrades to engine, suspension, instrumentation complete with rear window louvre.

The up-market version of the Falcons were the bigger Fairlanes but these differed from the regular Falcon in size and equipment sufficiently to demand a separate feature – sometime.

Australia seems to have a reasonably healthy model car supply base with several local operations providing miniatures of their home-grown product. For example Top Gear/Trax may be the most familiar on this side of the globe although Classic Carlectibles and Oz Legends have also been imported.

Oz Legends have in fact provided quite a few models of the XA in a variety of 1:32 scale diecast sedans, hardtop and Ute versions. Most of which appear to be limited to 2,500 examples and feature opening doors, hood and trunk. Classic Carlectibles have gone the 1:18 scale route with slight variation on the same subjects.

Back on 1:32 a range on the Signature label (Yatming?) has a few sedans, hardtops and utes and inevitably concentrates on the higher performance end of the line and like the other makes includes a few customised examples. Auto Art offered some Aussie Falcon Hardtops under the Biante name in both 1:18 and 1:43 scales.

Top Gear/Trax seem to have concentrated on 1:43 for most of their vast range of Ford models but the only XA seems to be the 1972 GT Sedans in at least four colours. These came in the relatively expensive Opal Series that featured a vast amount of detail for 1:43. All four doors open as well as bonnet and boot while the interior and engine compartment are detailed to an incredible degree. The door windows are in the lowered position so that the interior can be viewed without opening the doors.

Falcon XA Models

Oz Legends
Ute 150mm 1:32 diecast
Ute GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GT RPO-83 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GT  RPO-83 150mm 1:32 diecast
Classic Carlectibles
18268 China Superbird hardtop show car 250mm 1:18 diecast
18448 China Hardtop GT RPO-83 250mm 1:18 diecast
18545 China Sedan GT HO Phase 1V 250mm 1:18 diecast
18615 China Sedan GT RPO-83 250mm 1:18 diecast
18640 China Hardtop GT 250mm 1:18 diecast
Signature
China Hardtop 351GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
China Utility GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
China Utility GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
China 2016 Sedan GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Auto Art/Biante
72725 China Hardtop GT 1:18 diecast
72726 China Hardtop Superbird 1:18 diecast
72747 China Hardtop GT 1:18 diecast
China Hardtop GT 1:43 diecast
Trax
T005 China 2008 Sedan GT Ltd 2400 112mm 1:42 diecast

Falcon XB

Succeeding the XA in November 1973 the XB was very similar but featured a few subtle changes to the bonnet and grille – the latter having a central divider. The sedans got larger tail lights that featured a wrap-around section at each side. Once again there were some ‘specials’ such as the Sovereign Edition based on the 500 and celebrating Ford Australia’s 50th Anniversary. The John Goss Specials were Hardtop 500s with decals and a GT bonnet named after a local race driver while the McCleod Horn Specials were produced by a Sydney Ford dealership and identified by a large strobe stripe on the body side.

The Australian model suppliers have provided even more of the XB series than of the previous one. The same names crop up again but with the addition of a new one on this subject – Hot Wheels, who offered a XB Coupe in no less than 20 versions, and apart from the unsightly wheels they are reasonably acceptable.

Most of the previously mentioned ranges offered both custom and competition versions of the standard issues while some are detailed to a commendably degree once again. For example the 1:43 Auto Art XB GT 351 Hardtop features a great deal of underside detail – even steerable front wheels while deciding not to bother with opening doors etc, and probably looks neater as a result. The Trax Opal Series XB GT 351 Sedan followed their XA in featuring a mass of detail plus opening parts quite neatly. The Oz Legends range now included a trio of Panel Vans.

Falcon XB Models

Oz Legends
Sedan GT 140mm 1:32 diecast
Ute GT 140mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GS 140mm 1:32 diecast
Panel Van GT 1:32 diecast
Panel Van 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GS 1:32 diecast
Panel Van GS 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GT 1:32 diecast
Classic Carlectibles
Sedan GT 1:18 diecast
18615 Sedan GT RPO-83 1:18 diecast
Hardtop GT John Goss 1:18 diecast
Signature
Hardtop GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
Ute GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
Auto Art/Biante
52742 China 2003 Hardtop GT 111mm 1:43 diecast
72742 China Coupe GT 1:18 diecast
72796 China Sedan GT 1:18 diecast
72881 China Hardtop GT 1:18 diecast
72886 China Hardtop GT McCleod Horn 1:18 diecast
Trax
T006 China 2008 Sedan GT 351 112mm 1:43 diecast
Hot Wheels
2010 Malaysia 2009 Hardtop GT 351 75mm 1:64 diecast

 

Falcon XC

A second update brought us to the XC Falcon in July 1976 and this was to carry through to March 1979, late examples can be identified by featuring a Ford oval on the XCs horizontal grille. The front of the XC was given a softer look than the XB while a larger rear door window was provided by the use of the Contemporary ZH Fairlane rear doors effectively losing the ‘coke-bottle’ line. Tail lights were now horizontally divided while the GT was replaced by the GXL and the Fairmont given rectangular headlights. A limited run of 400 Cobra Hardtops were finished in white with blue racing stripes.

Models of the XC are far less well represented than the first two of the series. Oz Legends are present again but so far only the Hardtop Cobra has been recorded while the only Auto Art XC seems to be once again the Cobra but in 1:43 this time. Trax have concentrated on the Hardtop to a greater extent, they again did the Cobra first but followed it with at least six further versions, some of them in competition form as the Hardtops were a favourite with the racing fraternity. Another Cobra they did was a model of the projected Phantom that in reality didn’t go into production and this was followed by another rare subject, the GS Homologation Hardtop of which only 13 real examples were made. Finally a model of the production GS Fairmont 4.9 Hardtop was produced. A sedan Fairmont GXL was a recent issue and while it is a highly detailed resin model, it features a degree of stick-on chrome edging – none of which has peeled off yet it must be said.

Falcon XC Models

 

Oz Legends
Hardtop Cobra 140mm 1:32 diecast
Auto Art
52752 China Hardtop Cobra 111mm 1:43 diecast
Trax
TR10 China 1994 Hardtop Cobra Ltd 7500 111mm 1:43 diecast
TR10C China 1998 Hardtop Cobra Phantom 4500 111mm 1:43 diecast
TR10F China 2004 Hardtop GS Homologation 3200 111mm 1:43 diecast
TR10G China 2008 Hardtop GS Fairmont 4.9 2800 111mm 1:43 diecast
TRR 36 China 2016 Sedan Fairmont GXL 115mm 1:43 resin

Illustrations Ford Falcon XA, XB and XC

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10G, Hardtop XC GS Fairmont 4.9.

rear of TR10G

Trax 1:43 resin: TRR 36, Fairmont XC GXL

rear of TRR36

 

Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: 2010, Hardtop XB GT 351 one of at least 20 versions.

 

rear of Hot Wheels

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: T006, XB Sedan GT 351.

 

rear of T006

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China : T005 XA Sedan GT.

 

rear of T005

 

Auto Art 1:43 diecast from China: 52752, XC Hardtop Cobra.

 

rear of 52752

 

Auto Art 1:43 diecast from China: 52742, XB Hardtop GT.

 

rear of 52742

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10F, XC Hardtop GS Homologation

 

rear of TR10F

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10C XC Hardtop Cobra Phantom.

 

rear of TR 10C

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Coca-Cola Miniature Delivery Cars promotion

By Jerry J. Broz

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

These Miniature Delivery Cars were introduced by Japan Coca-Cola Promotion in July 2016. They were available as a free promotional item with purchase of a bottle of Coke or Diet Coke at local convenience stores and lasted until all these promo cars were gone, usually within one or two weeks.

The promotional toy cars were, and still are, common within the  Japanese beverage. The promotional campaigns start suddenly and are gone from the stores in a couple of weeks. One of the past Coca-Cola promo items was four delivery cars with a strap for mobile phones. In recent years there were some more promo items with Coca-Cola logo. One of them was a set of 6 types of pull-back model cars with removable key rings. In 2006 at their 120 anniversary, the Coca-Cola Japan company introduced 24 types of key rings with assorted objects, six of them were models of Coca Cola Delivery Cars.

The Japanese promo cars in small scales, as well as die-cast or plastic model cars in larger scales, are rare finds for collectors outside of Japan.

These miniature cars in Coca-Cola livery, as well as other promotional cars are not available on the open model car market in Japan, the USA, or rest of the world. They are extremely rare to find, especially in a complete sets, even on the eBay or at the swap meets.

The title of the promotion was “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” and consisted of 12 small, interesting model cars, vans, and trucks, from the year 1913 to the year 2003. The models are made in China to no particular scales, but with a more details than one would expected in the models of this size.

 

(See a few of them in comparison with the size of the US Quarter coin.)

All models, including the wheels and tires, are made from ABS resin with exceptional details.  Each car has clear windows, simulated, simplified interiors, and some of the models have a rows of the simulated Coca-Cola bottles. The very fine, clean and sharp tampo prints and thin stickers of the Coca-Cola corporate, promotional logos and slogans are superior to most of larger die-cast or plastic model cars.

The model cars were: 1913 Ford Model T, 1920 Ford Model AA Truck, 1930 Ford Model A Sedan Delivery.

Second Picture: 1938 Dodge Airflow Refrigerated Van, 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery Commercial Car, 1956 Ford F-100 Pickup.

Third Picture: 1958 Nissan Coball, 1962 Daihatsu Midget, 1965 Dodge A-100.

Fourth Picture: 1990 Ford Econoline Van, 1996,
Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great, and 2003 Dodge Ram Quad Cab.

Twelve models of assorted delivery cars, vans, trucks in Coca-Cola liveries, were inserted into clear blisters (built to conform to the shape of each individual model) to be clearly seen when on display.

 

By folded tabs, the blisters were then attached to the front of the cards (identical for all 12 models). The card itself was then folded such that the ends formed a ring by which the card was attached to the neck of the Coke bottle to boost the promotional value of Coca-Cola Drinks.

 

 

The blister card effectively communicated the name of the promotion and the product’s use and features, while attracting the consumer with a visible model car, blue sky with white clouds background and colourful graphics.

Centered on top of the front side of the blister card is a line “It’s Summer! Be Refreshed!” with on each side of which is “Enjoy Coca-Cola” logo and the “Coke Please!“. line. Under this is the name of the promotion: “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” with a yellow starburst listing “12 TYPES“. At the bottom of the blister card is line in English “Delivery miniature car collection” printed white on black back ground.

On the top of the back side of the card, in the red box, is a warning: “Caution < to parents> please be sure to read“. This is followed by 10 suggestions on how to safely handle the product. Additional information, (black on the blue background), lists the material from which the model is made. The bottom of the back side of the card, in the white box, lists how to reach the Coca-Cola Promotion Office and the days and hours of business, following by the statement that this product was produced under license from featured car manufacturer and Coca-Cola. The line at the bottom of the card says “For Age Over 6” followed by MADE IN CHINA and in a very small box “Not For Sale“.

Folded and included into the card is a small catalog sheet. The front side (beside the “It’s Summer! Be Refreshed!” “Delivery miniature car collection” and “Coca-Cola Delivery Miniature Car Collection” with a yellow starburst listing “12 TYPES“) the catalogue sheet lists all 12 cars in collection with year and marque description. On the left side of the front page is a detailed description and picture of the featured car.

In the sheet shown, it’s the “1958 Nissan Coball” and under the picture of the truck is brief description of the role the Nissan Coball played in Coca-Cola delivery cars: “Coball is the first domestic Coca-Cola delivery truck that played an active role when sales dramatically increased“.The initial colour of the car was Yellow, but since 1964 it has changed to the Coca-Cola’s Red. The miniature car can be displayed in a diorama setting by placing the catalogue sheet’s back side photo behind the car. The last line says ” This product is made under license by Nissan Motor“.


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Abrex Skoda 136 Rapid

By Maz Woolley

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

Abrex are a Czech firm who have models diecast in China to 1:43 scale.  Their models have previously been cast by Hongwell and the latest model looks like a Hongwell production as well. The focus of the Abrex range in recent years has been Skoda cars and in particular the later releases produced after they were taken over by Volkswagen. But in between the new cars they have produced models of the older cars produced when they were behind the iron curtain.

In recent times Abrex output had slowed down and the retail model shop associated with them in Prague stopped trading.  Just a few months before that they had announced an intention to make the 136 Rapid but when contacted on Facebook they said that it was unlikely to be released. Turn the clock forward a couple of years and to my surprise an Italian model shop trading on eBay advertised Abrex Skoda 136 Rapid models in various colours and in right and left hand drive. Since then I have also seen the models listed by UK importers.

Skoda publicity shot as shown on AROnline..co.uk

So why all the interest? I owned two Skoda Estelles, a 120 and a 130. I found them comfortable, quick enough to keep up and reliable. The jokes about Skodas were commonplace, but Skoda owners had the last laugh as the contemporary UK built cars were not noted for reliability or build quality but cost a lot more. What is more Skodas were fun to drive once you got used to the tail heavy handling and light steering. The interior plastics were crude but they stood up to kids and life in general. I always hankered after a 136 Rapid after the famous Autocar review proclaiming it to be “As Much Fun as a 911” , see cover reproduced below. But two door cars and young children did not mix so I never had the chance to buy one.

Autocar front cover image as shown on AROnline.co.uk

 

So to the Abrex model. This captures the lines of the original vehicles very well. To my eyes the 136 was quite a balanced design and the model catches the fact that the car has a complex series of curved surfaces – no box shapes here.

The black paint is not as even as it could be, though it appears to have a clear acrylic coat over the top to give it a nice shine. This is quite appropriate as Skoda black paint often showed an ‘orange peel’ texture.

The wheels are not bad replicas of the original ones which were British. The empty containers going back to Skoda from the UK were full of Goodyear tyres, UK sourced sun roof mechanisms, and UK sourced alloy wheels. In return most cars sold in the UK were fitted with those items which added to the showroom appeal.

The rear of the car with the badging and large rear lights as well as the exhaust pipe and the matt bumpers is all very well modelled. Underneath the base plate has been given some detail and the spare wheel which sat at the front under the luggage space has also been modelled in showing above the front cross member.

Inside the car is all black but that is exactly what the real one was often like. The door cards and dashboard are neatly moulded with quite a bit of detail. The instruments are also moulded in though none are highlighted in any way. The steering wheel looks accurate too.

There are a few minor issues with the car in RHD form. Firstly, the sunroof should have been scribed on this car as to my memory this model was always fitted with a sun roof. Secondly, the Czech number plates need swapping for UK ones. something I may do later.

All in all though a good model of a largely forgotten car of which only a handful remain in the UK, and for me a reminder of reading that particular edition of Autocar and wishing I could own the real thing.


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Autopioneer September 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Thorsten Sabrautzky the owner of the Autopioneer model range has sent us details of his latest release. The model is made in resin to 1:43 scale in Europe and is limited to 50 pieces. A programme of six models is planned per year.

Borgward “Windspiel” 1937

 

Borgward was a traditional German car manufacturer based in Bremen making vehicles from 1929 to 1961. Four brands were
produced: the “Lloyd” small car, the “Hansa” mid-range cars and the “Goliath” delivery van, as well as high end cars under the Borgward name including land speed record and racing sports cars.  For most of their existence they were the fourth largest car producer in Germany.  Borgward also made trucks and buses as well as tractors, tanks and helicopters.

The “Windspiel” four-door sedan was developed in
1936 by Borgward’s chief designer Herbert Scarisbrick and their factory manager Friedich Kynast at the Bremen “Hastedter” plant. It first shown in 1937 at the German International Motor Show. With its streamlined bodywork and the patent four-piece windshield, the Borgward “Windspiel” attracted considerable attention.

The “Windspiel” had a top speed of around 130 km/h. It was powered by a four cylinder petrol engine with rear wheel drive and an output of 40hp.

Streamliners were making an intellectual claim to be the future of design in Germany at this time as the new Autobahns allowed people to drive faster, for longer, imposing new demands upon cars which now needed to run at high speeds for hours on end. Aerodynamic experts Paul Jaray and Reinhard Koenig-Fachsenfeld were amongst those trying to persuade the market that streamlining was the way forward. Sadly Borgward did not put this car into production as the conservative market place preferred the older upright styles so popular in the 1930s, an attempt to re-use the engineering for a car under the Hansa badge failed too.

Ahead of its time, elements of this design finally made their way into the 1938 Hansa 2000 and it was influential on the shapes of the post war Borgward and Hansa cars by which time the public had started to catch up with the desirability of streamlining.

Thorsten tells us the next model car to be released will be the Opel Regent of 1928, officially the Opel 24/110. No trace of this car exists today as after GM took over a majority of the shares in Opel they realised that this eight cylinder model from Opel was a huge sales threat to the Cadillacs and Buicks that they hoped to sell in Germany. They stopped production of this car and bought back and destroyed every car already sold to clear the market for their US built models which ironically failed to sell in significant quantities as the economic crisis hit Germany in the early 1930s which was to be followed by nationalistic buying habits encouraged by the Nazi Party.

The photograph above shows a pre-production test model.


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