Category Archives: Esval

Countryside Weekend in Review!

By Randy Rusk

Editor’s Note:  Every March in the suburbs of Chicago, USA, a group of 1/43 collectors come together to meet face-to-face.  After all year reading MAR Online and interacting on various virtual groups like Forum 43, it’s very nice to meet in-person, socialize, buy and swap, and ‘talk toys’.  The guys (it’s all guys unfortunately) come from all over the US, Canada, and occasionally even the UK.   The weekend is very full with Friday dinner for early-birds,  BuzFest on Saturday, and Chicago deep-dish pizza that night.  Sunday morning is the Countryside Classic Toy Show where many of the 1/43 guys have tables.  Then we all head back home with our various purchases!


Here are my impressions from the Countryside weekend for those who weren’t able to make it.  After checking into the venerable Holiday Inn, I ventured off to BuzFest. Buz’ gracious “hostess with the mostest!” wife had a great spread of sandwiches, snacks and desserts out – but I was saving myself for the deep dish pizza that was to come. More on that in a minute.

There was already a solid group of guys in the room when I got there, full of tales about models they recently acquired – or were about to:

But what stopped me in my tracks – and had me immediately reaching for my wallet – was the surprise arrival of a new Conquest woody, the 1959 Mercury Colony Park Station Wagon in red, black or white (with or without roof rack):

These came in just a day earlier from overseas so the timing was perfect. I nabbed the red one.  Several others snapped them up as well.  Regardless of the model that weakened your knees, Buz was very happy to get us into that next new car:

With stories shared and money spent, it was off to Giordano’s for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. A big thanks to Frank for once again coordinating a good meeting space with hot pizza at a great price.

And while you might look at these pics and wonder why no one is smiling, it’s because they all took their pizza consumption very seriously! With lighter wallets and full bellies, it was time to retire to the hotel for a fresh start in the morning.

Sunday was bright and sunny and felt like it was at least 20 deg F warmer – a very good sign. Another good sign was the long line waiting to get into the toy show.

Now, normally I’m not a big fan of crowds, but for the future of our hobby, it was really nice to see a big turnout of avid collectors pouring over the tables.

Word on the street is that they were all lining up to see John’s latest pink and green masterpiece in model making excellence:

OK, well, maybe not so much, but it was great to see all the dealers who support our hobby out in force with lots of great stuff to buy.  You might spot Automodello in the collage below.

Finally, at the Forum table, our thanks to Esval for sending several boxes of models, as well as to Sergio for a sneak peek of prototype samples of some of his latest offerings from Goldvarg. That newest woody (top left) is a must-have for me:

Well, all in all, it was a great time to catch up with old friends and new models. I always think of this show as the first sign of spring… and with the mix of scale models viewed (and purchased) over the two days, I can’t wait to see what the rest of 2018 holds!

I hope everyone made it home safely and I look forward to seeing you all again next year. A shout out to Dick Browne, our fearless leader at Forum 43.  I hope all is well and that we’ll see you all back in Chicago in 2019.


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Esval new for 2018

By Maz Woolley

Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer

Esval have been subject to a lot of comment on bulletin boards. They made a small number of highly regarded models and announced many more of great interest but then production stopped flowing, and they seemed unable to say when the announced models would appear, to the frustration of collectors waiting for them.  However they seem to be back and have launched some of the models previously announced at Nuremberg. Ten new models are said to be available now and this post includes some small pictures provided by Esval. Some comment has been made about the fact that models are not made to allow them to be displayed with either top up or top down, instead each has to be purchased separately.

One area that Esval needs to take action quickly is their web site. The section on new releases does not show most of these models which are all shown low down on the Home Page. Hardly the best way to show them off.

All these models are resin cast in China for Esval.

Victress S-1

The Victress was a low volume sports car made in the USA and was an early used of a fiberglass body shell.  It was made by the Hellings Company of North Hollywood, California.  It was used as the lead car in the Tony Curtis/Piper Laurie movie “Johnny Dark,” which debuted in June 1954.  After that it was called the “Johnny Dark Victress S-1.”  About 30 Victress S-1’s were made, and 200 S-1As. . The Victress S-1A body was basically the same as the body of Victress S-1, with minor changes.  The Victress was fitted on a variety of chassis so each car was unique.

Esval Models make both Victress S-1 and S-1A designs:

EMUS43025A  1953 Victress S-1 sport roadster
EMUS43025B 1954 Victress S-1A sport roadster

1953 Studebaker Manta Ray

The 1953 Studebaker Manta Ray was a fiberglass bodied customised sports concept built by Glen Hire and Vernon Antoine of Whittier, California.  The concept car was created on a chassis of 1951 Studebaker Commander. The creators used the flowing lines of a jet fighter in the styling and used many jet-age styling elements.  At a Car Show show in Los Angeles in 1954, Glenn and Vernon received a special trophy for the car as well as an award from a local newspaper for “Outstanding Creativeness and Engineering.”  This car featured in a number of car magazines in 1953 and 1954.  Only one car was ever built. The Esval model shows the car after restoration and is available as:

EMUS43027B 1953 Studebaker Manta Ray top down
EMUS43027C 1954 Studebaker Manta Ray top up

Pegaso Z-102 Spider

Esval have chosen to model the 1956 and 1959 Pegaso Z-102 Spiders styled by Serra. This distinctive car was made in post-war Spain. Pegaso were largely commercial vehicle and Bus and Coach makers but they made a limited number of sports cars based on racing car principles with alloy bodies  Most cars sold on the Spanish market at the time were produced by SEAT based upon established FIAT designs but the production of some luxury vehicles was encouraged by the Fascist Government for national prestige.

Serra was a coachbuilding company founded by Pedro Serra in Barcelona that made bodies on the Pegaso Z-102 chassis. Just 86 Pegaso Z-102 cars were produced, and out of these, only 28 cabriolets were built.

Esval Models sell two versions of this car from 1956 and 1959:

EMEU43005A 1956 Pegaso Z-102 Spider Serra
EMEU43005C1959 Pegaso Z-102 Spider Serra

1928 Stutz Blackhawk

Stutz built cars in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1911 to 1935 and the company made its reputation at the Indianapolis 500, a major American race.  The 1928 Black Hawk speedster harked back to the legendary Stutz Bearcat.  The Stutz Black Hawk speedster won the Stevens Trophy Cup at Indianapolis 500 and the AAA Stock Car championships. It was America’s fastest production car of the time, and one with considerable style.

EMUS43005A 1928 Stutz Blackhawk roadster top up
EMUS43005B 1928 Stutz Blackhawk roadster top down

1948 Tucker Torpedo

This model is based upon the one-of-a-kind 1948 Tucker Torpedo. This two door convertible was a prototype based on the Tucker sedan created by Preston Tucker.  Today Tucker is most remembered for his attempt to challenge the Big Three American auto makers by starting his own innovative car company.  The Tucker 48 was conceived by Tucker and briefly produced in Chicago in 1948.  The 1988 movie: “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” is based on the saga surrounding the car’s production.

It is said that Tucker himself gave the orders to start work on the two-door convertible project, but the car that was not finished before his empire crashed.  The Tucker convertible started life as a Tucker 48 sedan.  Only 51 Tucker cars were made before the company ceased operations on March 3, 1949.

The Esval Models versions are based upon a post-restoration version of this unique car with top-up and top-down:

EMUS43056A 1948 Tucker Torpedo convertible top down
EMUS43056B 1948 Tucker Torpedo convertible top up


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