By Frank Koh
All text and photographs are copyright of the author.
I have owned this “bronzed” Yonezawa Diapet 1/40 scale Mitsubishi Galant A-II coupe from the early seventies for two years now, but I have yet to find out what material it is made out of. Could it be some specially treated zamac (zinc) alloy, white metal, brass or brushed anodized aluminum? And what would be the logic behind the production of this rare and special piece? Was it some sort of special dealer promotional model, or simply the product of a creative imagination?
The finish is unpainted, and there does not appear to be any form of “clearcoat” to protect the surface of the metal. If it were unpainted zamac (zinc), the finish would have been well-oxidized after more than 45 years sitting totally untouched in its mint box. Brass oxidizes too, so could it be some sort of brushed anodized aluminum?
Just like the “regular” painted variants of this Diapet Galant A-II, the lines and proportions are very, very convincing. Why this particular model was rendered in this esoteric treated metal alloy of still-undetermined origin remains a mystery.
And like most Yonezawa Diapet models of the sixties thru the very early nineties, this proudly Japan-made piece features opening doors, hood and trunk, plus reclining front seats! Tremendous play value for what was originally intended to be a toy car, but hey, when rendered in this mystery material, was it some sort of special dealer promotional model or just the product of a creative imagination, resulting in an interesting, if not frivolous adult conversation piece?
A friend who knows how to read Japanese said the literal translation of what’s written on the box is “Antique Color (Bronze)”. The photo on the box is the exact same “bronzed” piece as the actual model, whereas the “regular” painted Diapet Galant A-II variants had a painted car in the photo. What is the real intent of the manufacturer in producing this bewildering model?
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