Category Archives: Autocult

Auto Cult June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Auto Cult continue in their quest to cover unusual subjects. Their models are moulded in resin in China for Germany. Unless otherwise stated the models are to 1:43 scale. As usual each model released is to a different theme.

Small Cars

#03011 Nissan Tama E4S-47

After the  Second World War Tachikawa were not allowed to manufacture aircraft. So like other such concerns it looked for something to build. As there was increasing demand for vehicles, but a shortage of fuel, so they decided to “Go Electric”.

The E4S-47 was the result of this choice, built in a new factory Tokyo Denki Jidoosha. A 16 volt – 120 ampere electric motor was front-mounted and produced 3.3 kW. Its power was supplied by exchangeable batteries. Fitted with a two-speed gearbox the Tama reached a top speed of 35 km/h.

Introduced in May 1947 the model had “Tama” added to its name which was the name of the production site. However, production only lasted a year and the vehicle was replaced in 1948.

 

Streamliners

#04009 Gomolzig Taifun streamliner

Built in 1949 this car caught the public attention as it was fitted with gull wing doors. It was built by Herbert Gomolzig who was an engineer with an eye to the future at a time when Germany was still just starting to re-build after the Second World War.

 

The gull-wing doors were covered to the top by simple hooked in cloth tarpaulins. Once rolled up these adjustable tarpaulins conveyed a sense of driving a convertible. Whilst technically innovative the doors meant that the rest of the car had to be made stronger to compensate. Given the materials available at that time this may not have been fully achievable and may explain why the car never went into production. Little more is known about the car other than it was based on a BMW chassis and probably had a four cylinder BMW engine.

In 1952, after the Taifun did not go into production, Gomolzig founded an own engineering office, turned his back on the automobile industry and working for the aviation industry and in general engineering.

 

Camping Vehicles

#09004 Saab 92H Motorhome

This vehicle is a precursor to the modern all -in-one Motorhome so popular in the US, though rather smaller in size.

Based on the Saab 92 with its DKW like water cooled two stroke two cylinder engine it was built in 1963 by Torsten Johannesson who wanted a car with integrated sleeping facilities so that he didn’t have to tow a trailer.

Torsten’s bulbous design created the maximum interior space but the vehicle is said to have been unbalanced with a great deal of the weight at the front. It was also twice the weight of the Saab 92 so it was very underpowered. Perhaps unsurprisingly Johannesson did not get the road approval for his 92H motorhome from the Swedish authorities, so the prototype is unique.

Buses

#10001 VW Beetle “Wolfsburger Bähnle”

This vehicle offered sightseeing with a difference. Bähnle is a German vernacular term for “little train”.  This vehicle was run by a community company in Wolfsburg until 1976 providing users with a tour through the City.

Built by the Berlin bodybuilder Friedrich Rometsch based upon a Volkswagen Beetle it had only six seats which proved to be insufficient to meet demand and it was fitted with a matching trailer made by Hermann Harmening.

From 1958 the 14 metre long train towed by the VW Beetle carried up to 48 passengers at a maximum speed of 50 KPH on its regular tours. After 15 years in storage the City of Wolfsburg passed the vehicle to Volkswagen in 2003 for them to restore and use in the new Autostadt theme park at the Volkswagen factory.

 

Sculptures

#80004 Mercedes-Benz SL-X

This model is to 1:18 scale and is based upon a car that never ran. The wooden design study is as far as the development went and is on display at the Mercedes Museum.

In the mid-1960s a mid-engine sports car, internally designated SL-X, was worked on at Mercedes-Benz. Its design was based on an idea from the Italian Giorgio Battistella. Giorgio Battistella and the former head of the Mercedes-Benz design department, Paul Bracq, sat down together and pondered about the design of a new sports car with the three-pointed star emblem on the hood. They sought to produce a radical design.

The design was for an extremely low car with the engine behind the seats to allow this. A wooden mock up without an engine and any interior was produced. The design was never signed off to progress beyond the mock-up stage though it perhaps influenced Bruno Sacco when he produced the C-111 which also had gull-wing doors and the seamlessly flushed pop-up headlamps.


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Auto Cult May 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Auto Cult has announced that they are supporting a Crowdfunding project for the reconstruction of a real Standard Superior Type I. This car was a precursor to the VW Beetle and highly influential in the Beetle’s development. This project will be started on the Indiegogo platform (www.indiegogo.com) and will be supported by Auto Cult with “Perks”.  Eligible funders will receive a unique set from Auto Cult made up of the following model cars in to 1:43 scale: Mercedes-Benz 120 (W17), NSU type 32, Standard Superior type II and a Tatra V570. This set will be probably be released in August 2017.

This months releases made in resin in China for Germany to 1:43 scale are shown below.


Past Brands series

#02011 Austin Healey Sebring Sprite (GB, 1960)

This model represents a works car built by Healey in Warwick in small numbers specifically for racing. Extensive use of aluminium and fiberglas as well as disk brakes and a heavily tuned BMC A series engine made it quite quick in the hands of talented drivers .

It spawned a whole industry in after market parts to allow the standard sports car to be turned int a “replica”.


Streamliner series

#04008 Maybach SW35 Stromlinie (D, 1935)

This streamlined prototype was shown at Motor Shows in 1935. The slogan used was  “ a fast car specially suited to the autobahn”. With styling influenced by Paul Jaray it was based on a chassis with a 3.5 Litre straight six engine of 140HP which could reach 160KPH which was a very high speed for its time. Two cars were manufactured by Karosseriefabrik Spohn in Ravensberg but series production never took place and sadly both cars were lost in the Second World War.

 


Prototypes series

VW Steyr Prototype

This curious “marriage” of this well engineered combination of a Steyr Type 50 or 55 car body with a Volkswagen Kubelwagen chassis remains a mystery of automotive history. There is no knowledge of who did the work or why and Auto Cult are seeking information from anyone who can add any knowledge about this vehicle.

 


Racing Cars series

Porsche 550 Durlite Spider

 

What do you do when you write of your Porsche 550? Well in 1958 American racing driver Bob Wedd had Durlite build him a new skin in aluminium with a very slippery shape including a steeply raked nose and a “Kamm Tail”. This produced a very aerodynamically efficient car with design features that would become standard on sports racing cars in the 1960s.

 


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Resin Roundup – March 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

This posting is a round up of some of the recent releases in resin which have caught my eye. All photographs on this page are from the manufacturer or retailers.

Auto Cult

1:18 Scale

Adler Trumpf Rennlimousine 

This 1:18 Scale model of this streamliner from Adler has already been released in 1:43 scale by Auto Cult.  The 1:18 scale version is now being made available.


1:43 Scale

Here are the 1:43 scale resin models made in China for Auto Cult of Germany. These form the second and third releases of 2017.

Bizzarini Machinetta  Engineers limited production series

Giotto Bizzarrini is best known for his association with super cars like the Ferrari 250 GTO and for the V12 engine that powered Lamborghini cars from 1963 on. The Machinetta was made when he was a mechanical engineering student at the University of Pisa. It is a  re-bodied Fiat 500 Topolino with a tuned engine and revised chassis. It was apparently a project completed towards his degree.

Ford Mach 2 Concept Prototypes series

The Mach 2 concept was a design and engineering study created by Ford’s design chief Gene Bordinat for a mid-engined sports car inspired by GT race cars that could replace the Cobra. The concept made its debut at the 1967 Chicago Auto Show and featured many off-the-shelf Mustang components, including its front suspension, front and rear brakes, and most notably the 289 cubic inch V8 engine which was placed behind the driver.

The car had a clean design to it with European looks but it was shown but never put into production.

Morris J-Type Delivery Vehicles series

The Morris Commercial J-type was a 10 cwt van launched by Morris Commercial in 1949 and produced until 1961. The van followed the emerging trend of having forward controls and sliding doors on each side. It was made in both left and right hand drive versions. The J type was fitted with a 1476 cc four-cylinder side-valve engine based on the one used in the Morris Oxford MO. Many of these vans were used by the Post Office and other public bodies. But as presented by Auto Cult it is a nice example of a plain van.

Audi 100 type Bischofberger Camping vehicles series

This car from the early 1980s is built on an Audi 100 Saloon. Inside the real camping car was a fridge, a sink, a stove, a table, and two sofas which can be transformed into a double bed. Pictures show it to be rather cramped inside. Bishofberger also did conversions on less glamorous platforms such as the Transporter and VW Golf Pickup.

Ford Model T “The Golden Ford” Early Beginnings series

This model is based upon a recently restored vehicle originally built by Arthur Edward George, an engineer and car racer. who’s firm patented the first trolley jack. Initially raced as a stripped chassis it won the all Ford race at Brooklands in 1912, were Henry Ford was said to be an interested spectator. The car became The Golden Ford the following year when it had a narrow single seat body of polished brass added to it.

Steyr-Puch Adria TS Brands of the past series

This car was created by Otto Hölbl Karosseriewerk of Vienna in Austria. It was based upon the Steyr-Puch 700 chassis which was in turn an Austrian version of the Fiat 600. 18 cars were hand built in during 1960-61.

Reyonnah Little cars series

This company was created in France by Robert Hannoyer. Its name is the founders in reverse. The only vehicle made was a small four-wheeled vehicle with a relatively wide track at the front and a narrow track at the rear. The vehicle offered space for two, seated one behind the other, following the same basic lay-out as the better known Messerschmitt. A single-cylinder engine from AMC or Ydral of 175 cc or 125 cc powered the rear axle via a three speed manual gear box and chain drive.

An unusual feature of the car was that the front wheels could be adjusted to make it narrower so it could slide into a motorcycle parking place. The wheels had to be adjusted outwards before the car could be driven away. The car appeared at the Paris Motor Show for at least three years from 1950 till 1952 but poor sales meant that then faded into obscurity.McQuay-Norris Streamliner Streamliner series

McQuay-Norris was a maker of car parts such as piston rings and steering wheel knuckle bolts. It also produced and distributed electrical controls for gas appliances. In January 1936 McQuay-Norris produced a fleet of six cars called aluminium eggs due to their strange appearance. The cars were released in New York and in other locations in the United States. Each car was a part of testing of pistons, piston rings, and other engine parts manufactured by McQuay Norris. The bodies of the aluminum eggs were mounted on chassis of cars of different brands. They were driven in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, in different climates and highway conditions. The cars featured a streamlined design which reduced air resistance. Streamlining was effective in enabling the installation of fifteen instruments used in component testing.


Matrix

 

Many of the models already advertised are now shipping and just one new announcement has been made recently of a new model to 1:43 scale in resin made in China for the Netherlands.

 

MX40408-011 Delahaye 135M Antem Convertible 1949

Another model of classic coachwork on a Delahaye chassis. This car was shown at the 1948 Motor Show and evolved into the 1949 car modelled here. Elegantly keeping separate wings whilst incorporating the headlights to give the car a more modern feel. The rear wheels were hidden behind a fairing, in a nod to the trend for aerodynamic styling. A formula which was also used by Jaguar for the XK120.

MX 41203-021 Lancia Aurelia (B52) B-Junior Ghia 1952

An interesting model but a rather clumsy re-styling of the Aurelia which was rather better looking to the editor’s eye than this expensive offshoot!

Neo

 

Neo continue to release models with the latest announcement being of the Lancia shown below. These are resin made in China to 1:43 Scale for Germany.

213730 Lancia Flaminia 3C 2.8 Coupe Speciale Pininfarina 1963

Spark

Releases are mainly focused on Grand Prix., Le Mans and other racing cars currently where Spark and Minichamps both seem to be focusing quite strongly.  Both the models shown are resin made in China to 1:43 scale.

S4268 Lola MK4, No.15, Bowmaker Racing Team, GP Deutschland, 1962

This includes a figure of the driver Roy Salvadori. The car debuted at the 1962 Dutch Grand Prix and was powered by Coventry Climax engines. It was a mixture of a tubular frame and welded panels making it a semi-monocoque. John Surtees had success with the car at the Australian and New Zealand Grand Prix but it was outclassed by competitiors like Lotus and faded away its final swansong being wining the Rome Grand Prix in 1963 driven by the privateer Bob Anderson.

S3587 Spice SE 87C, No.131, Graff Racing, 24h Le Mans, 1988,

Spice raced cars fitted with Cosworth engines and had some class wins at Le Mans. This car was run by Graff Racing who are still racing today.

Mini Minieri

Continuing to focus upon rare and stylish cars these models are resin made to 1:43 scale.

MMIBT001 Jaguar B99 2011 Bertone

This was a concept car designed and developed by the Italian design house Bertone. It was on the Bertone stand at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. The 4-door saloon was shown in two versions: compact executive (B99) and grand tourer (B99 GT). Featuring  suicide doors and a low height it had a hybrid power train with a 1.4 Litre engine for range extension purposes with two electric motors of 201 bhp each driving the rear wheels. The B99 name is derived from B for Bertone and 99 for Bertone’s 99th year in operation.

Best of Show

 

Here are some of the recently launched 1:18 scale resin models made in China for ModelCarWorld of Germany.

CHRYSLER Imperial LeBaron 4-door Hardtop, 1971

DODGE Dart Phoenix, 1961

Ford Ranchero Pick-up 1979

 

Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept


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