Category Archives: Ixo

The Ford in Miniature – Ford of Brazil

By David Turner

 

First of all, lets make it clear that my knowledge of this subject is at best sketchy, in fact the project has been started in the hope that feedback will correct/fill some of the many mistakes/gaps revealed.

Fords were imported into Brazil from 1904, then from 1919 Model T’s were made from imported kits. Manufacture proper came in 1957 with the F600 and subsequently F100 and F350 trucks. Ford took over Willys in 1967 continuing their Aero sedan that dated back to 1954 followed in 1967 by the Galaxie – employing the 1966 US body until 1983. The 1970 US Maverick was made in Brazil from 1974-79 while the Escort was made from 1983. Ford merged with VW in Brazil from 1987-94 which got them both through a difficult period in that part of the world and today the Ford line in Brazil contains various familiar worldwide models made either locally or in various overseas plants.

Simca in Brazil began in 1958 by assembling imported kits of parts, including those for the one time French Ford Vedette. In Brazil the Chambord name was continued, while from 1961 the upmarket Presidence with Continental spare wheel and ‘sporty’ Rallye were added. In 1962 the Jangada estate derived from the French Marly brake arrived and the old Ford side-valve V8 continued in these cars until 1966. Chrysler had taken a share of Simca in France in 1958 and total control in 1966 – a Ford component was then obviously not politically correct.

Searching for representative miniatures of vehicles made in Brazil that carried a Ford badge has proved interesting but frustrating. For example the Aero sedan that Ford inherited from Willys has been produced as a 1954 promo, obviously for Willys, and then finding models of the 1950s trucks has been almost a failure. The 1957 F600 proved impossible, the only ’57 truck models recorded were the F100 pick ups from Buby appropriately in Argentina. The closest found in the cabinets was extremely vague in the shape of a small Hallmark Cards Christmas Tree ornament from Tonka that very loosely resembled a ’57 Ford T Series (tandem axle). with a cement drum. A ’58 was no easier, a Japanese made tinplate toy tipper distributed by Arkin in Detroit could be regarded as a ’58 while we got reasonably close with a 1959 F250 from Road Signature.

Next, let’s re-run some of the various mentions of the subject that have already taken place in MAR, notably and more recently by John-William Greenbaum who obviously has a good all round grasp of the South American motoring scene.

Many Ford products that have emanated from South America will have been very similar or identical to a US subject albeit often a few years later, and they will have been, or will be, included in that particular small Ford review in addition to being included in the following.

Back in MAR 226 Graeme Ogg pictured a Brazillian bodied Galaxie Landau in 1:43 by Automodelli and this differed from the US version in a few subtle details while a much bigger subject, albeit in 1:50 scale was the D800 Fittipaldi F1 Team Transporter also from Automodelli in MAR 253. This looks very like the D Series that we are familiar with in the UK and came in three versions.

Coming to the first of John-William Greenbaum’s Brazilian entries, in MAR 277 we have the ’67 Galaxie 500 with its distinctively different grille from Ixo for Altaya/DeAgostini and a Simca Chambord from the same source and that looks just like the French home market issue. This partwork is said to have run to over 100 issues, very few of which were Fords.

A significant family of blue oval badged cars in Brazil began in 1967 when Ford Brazil bought Willys-Overland who were producing Renault designed cars for that market. A new car, the Corcel was based on the yet to appear new version of the Renault 12. Initially a 4 door saloon was made and then was joined in 1969 by 2 door coupe with subtle ‘pony-car’ looks, (Corcel is Portuguese for Stallion) Three door station wagons followed a year later called Berlina. For 1975 a facelifted version featured one-piece rather than separate circular tail lights and other subtle changes.

The Corcel 11 appeared for 1978 and a corresponding second generation Berlina was included while a new addition was the Del Rey in 1981 and that featured a slightly more formal upright character. with more than a hint of MK11 Granada in its lines. Just a year later the Pampa arrived and this, still based on the Corcel 11 was a Coupe Utility or ‘Ute even, but basically a pick up.

In MAR 277 the Ixo Corcel illustrated is the pre-facelift 1970 version while other Fords in the series that are shown include a 1980 Belina 11; 1982 Del Rey Ouro (Gold); 1979 F100 pick up looking like the 1970 US item and 1975 Maverick GT Coupe that also has its origins back in the 1970 US version. The review continued in MAR 280 in which the Ixo 1980 Corcel 11 was illustrated along with the 1990 Escort XR3, the latter exhibiting a few of the US versions features.

Moving on to MAR 282 in which the 1989 Pampa was illustrated as was the 1980 F75 pick up. The latter was simply a re-named Willys Pick Up that in 1972 took over from the discontinued Ford Rural, and that in turn had been a continuation of the Willys Rural when Ford took over from Willys in 1967. Yet another curiosity in that issue was the 1962 Simca Jangada which was an amalgam of the two generations of the French Simca Marly station wagon, itself descended from the Ford Vedette when Simca bought Ford France! Still in MAR 282, we can see the 1980 Ford Jeep CJ-5 that the partwork listed as a 1963 Willys Jeep CJ-5. Most of the last lot can also seen in the November 2015 archive.

Finding any of the above partwork subjects in the UK is quite unlikely, however as is the way lately, models sometimes re-appear under different labels. For example Ixo themselves have issued some of these under their own label while some others have been found under the Triple Nine and White Box names and at the same time some have Premium X, an Ixo brand, on their base.

While the Ixo based subjects are invariably 1:43, a few models in various scales of the same subjects appear to be more intended as toys to be played with as they feature opening doors (in the old lower half only style) and pull-back motors. Some came with Portuguese language booklets entitled “Carros Nacionais 2” with pictures of the twelve models in that series. The only Fords being the Del Rey and Belina 11.

Recently included in the MAR online Ford 1941/2 feature, the Minimac was produced in Brazil and depicts the civilian version of the CJ5 Jeep that was made locally by Ford from 1967 to 1983.

Model listing – Fords from Brazil
Automodelli Brazil 1976 Galaxie LTD Landau 1:43 handbuilt
Automodelli Brazil D800 Copersucar F1 Transporter 1:50 handbuilt
Ixo China 25 1967 Galaxie 500 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 10 1959 Simca Chambord 113mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 21 1969 Corcel 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 31 1980 Belina 11 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 16 1982 Del Rey Ouro 104mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 11 1979 F100 Pick up 114mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 1975 Maverick GT 106mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 49 1980 Corcel 11 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 53 1990 Escort XR 3 94mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 63 1989 Pampa 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 66 1980 F75 pick up 114mm 1:43 plastic
Ixo China 67 1962 Simca Jangada 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 68 1980 Jeep CJ-5 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 82 1971 Corcel GT 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 88 1962 Simca Rallye 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 94 1996 Fiesta 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 101 1977 Maverick Super Luxe 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 104 2000 F250 1:43 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1975 Corcel 114mm 1:39 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1980 Belina 11 114mm 1:39 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1982 Del Rey 116mm 1:39 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1979 F100 Pick up 108mm 1:45 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1975 Maverick GT 114mm 1:40 diecast
Minimac Brazil 1967 Jeep CJ5 76mm 1:43 metal
Tonka 1957 T600 Cement truck 80mm 1:83 diecast
Arkin Japan 1958 F series dump 199mm 1:25 tinplate
Road Signature China 1959 F250 4 x 4 pick up 289mm 1:18 diecast
Illustrations: Fords from Brazil

Arkin Distributing Co. 1:25 tinplate from Japan: 1958 F series dump. Lever at the side operates the tipping body, Flywheel motor on front axle.

Road Signature 1:18 diecast from China: 92318, 1959 F250 4×4 pick up, opening doors, hood and tailgate plus plenty of detail inside and underneath.

Tonka 1:83 diecast Christmas tree ornament: 1957 T Series cement truck, issued by Hallmark 2002, operating discharge chute at rear.

Triple Nine 1:43 plastic from China: 43050, 1980 F75 pick up, this was the Willys Pick up until 1972. Carries the Premium X logo on the base but came in a Triple Nine box.

Carros Nacionals 1:39 diecast: 1980 Belina 11, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 238, 1982 Del Rey Ouro, one example that was available generally under the Premium X name as well as in Brazil.

Carros Nacionals 1:39 diecast: 1975 Corcel, face lift version with one-piece tail lights, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

White Box 1:43 diecast from China: 096, 1990 Escort Mk1V XR3 another example available around the world but in this case on the White box label.

Carros Nacionals 1:45 diecast: 1979 F100 pick up, this is the 1970 US item, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 393 1980 F100 pick up, this is the 1970 US issue, has the same licence plate as the Brazilian partwork issue.

Carros Nacionals 1:39 diecast: 1982 Del Rey, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Ixo 1:43 diecast: 1959 Simca Chambord, this one came in an Ixo box.

Carros Nacionals 1:40 diecast: 1975 Maverick GT, this is the 1970 US car, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 148, 1975 Maverick GT, this is the 1970 US issue.

Minimac 1:43 metal from Brazil: A-1, 1967 Jeep CJ5 made by Ford Brazil.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 6

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs taken by, and copyright of, the Author.

This time we have one more British bus, a French one and an Italian one, all from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French collection “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

 

No. 16 (no. 16 also in the French collection) AEC Regal III by Harrington 1950 – The Associated Equipment Company, or AEC, built buses and lorries from 1912 until 1979, when it was taken over by Leyland and its name disappeared. Indeed its origins are connected to the LGOC (London General Omnibus Company) which started producing its own motor omnibuses in 1909, the X-type and then the famous B-type : in 1912 LGOC was taken over by the Underground Group of companies, and as part of the reorganisation a separate concern was set up for the bus manufacturing, named Associated Equipment Company. During the First World War its assembly lines methods helped in producing large numbers of lorries. Easily associated with London’s Routemaster, AEC gained a high reputation for quality and reliability, supplying commercial vehicles around the world. From 1929, all the names of lorries began with “M” (Majestic, Mammoth, and so on), and all those of buses began with “R” (Regent, Regal, and so on). The AEC Regent III was a double-decker bus chassis manufactured by AEC, usually fitted with AEC’s 9.6-litre diesel engine at the front, ‘Wilson‘ preselective gearbox and air-pressure operated brakes, and available with bodies from Park Royal, Metro Cammell Weymann and so on. From the Regent, indeed only a development of a 30s chassis, AEC developed a single-decker one, named Regal, for use in the suburbs and in the country. Thomas Harrington & Sons Ltd was a coachbuilder from 1897 until 1966, beginning with the construction of horse-drawn carriages, then specialising in commercial vehicles, buses and coaches, and after the First World War concentrating on luxury coaches plus some single-decker bus bodies and other general coachbuilding activity.

After the Second World War demand for new buses and coaches was somewhat pent-up and Harrington was able to build a satisfactory export trade, particularly to South America and British colonies. Production ceased in 1966 and spares, stock and goodwill were purchased by Plaxton. Following its introduction in 1935, the ‘dorsal fin’ (no aerodynamic function, in reality it housed the air ventilation system) was available on many different coaches and became a real trademark of Harrington.

The scale model, metal diecast body and plastic chassis, is the faithful reproduction of one of only two known survivors : run by the Bevan Brothers of Soudley Valley (Gloucestershire), it sports an elegant red and bordeaux livery. Registered KDD38, it is a Regal III type 9621A and it has a Harrington FC33F body, complete with the famous dorsal fin.

Very nice wheels with the AEC logo, and neat shades over the side windows too. The driver’s area is separated from the passenger seats, all being well reproduced.

Nice front grille with the AEC logo. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


 

No. 17 (no. 2 in the French collection) Isobloc 648 DP 1955Joseph Besset, a coachbuilder in Annonay (Ardèche), was one of the many specialised in buses and coaches, but was unsatisfied by the truck chassis then available : he acquired in 1937 a license from the American Gar Wood based on the principle of a welded tubes structure, which was rigid enough to avoid the use of a separate chassis, and founded Isobloc in Lyon to become a full manufacturer . To avoid the conflict of interest which would arise if his coaches competed with coaches from chassis makers using his bodybuilding facilities bodywork was no longer built for others.

The prototype was a success and in the post-war period it was so popular it reached almost 20% of the registrations in its class. The rear overhung engine, a petrol from Ford, was thirsty, and it was quickly replaced by a Panhard diesel. But Besset no longer had the means to develop his business and Isobloc was taken over by Saca and then by Saviem.

From 1959 there were no more Isobloc buses. The 648 DP was the final evolution of the Isobloc coach, powered by a Panhard 6.8-litre diesel engine, and fitted with a five speed gearbox, and air brakes. It was liked by the drivers as it was a real Gran Turismo coach, with plexiglass roof windows and lots of chrome.

The scale model has a metal body and a plastic chassis with basic details. It is finished in a cream and brown livery. It has no destination plate, but the registration is from the La Manche (English Channel) department. The seats and the driver area are well modelled. At the rear the luggage ladder is modelled, as is the luggage area on the roof, where trunks and suitcases have been included. Lights and bumpers are separate items as is the exhaust system. The large area of windows have been well modelled capturing the Isobloc look well. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


 

 

No. 18 (no. 62 in the French collection) Fiat 626 RNL 1948 – The Fiat 626 was a medium truck built to the specifications of the Italian army and air force for military operations prior to the Second World War. It was the first Fiat truck with the advanced cabin and it replaced the models 621 and 633. The 626 N (N for nafta, Italian for diesel fuel) was the initial civilian version, followed by the NL (Nafta Lungo, or diesel long) with a longer wheelbase and the NLM (Nafta Lungo Militare) for the army. Production finished in 1948, after 10,000 Fiat 626 had been built.

In addition to the standard ones, Fiat put into production one more chassis, the 626 RNL (Ribassato Nafta Lungo, lowered long diesel) for the bus version, which was very common even in the postwar period. The engine was a 5.7-litre diesel six, a bit under-powered with only 70 hp, but it had the advantage of being easy to maintain. The bus version was adopted by the Italian air force, and often it is called “Aeronautica Italiana” type. The structure is typically pre-war, with a wooden roof covered by a waterproof canvas. It was homologated for 27 seats, plus 32 if drawing a special trailer.

The scale model is the faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the Politi collection, very likely one of the largest in Italy (see www.collezionepoliti.it), more than 600 buses, lorries and cars, many of which may be hired.  The registration plate, from Udine, is the original one, but the 626 was first painted in the classic medium blue-dark blue livery, but is now painted red and dark red.

As usual the model has a plastic body and metal chassis. The chassis is good and is fitted with nicely rendered classic “Trilex” wheels. Correctly a different type on front and rear.  The interior is rather basic but that reflects the fact that the original vehicle was very basic. Many separate items are fitted like the front and rear lights, both bumpers and the rear spare wheel door. A ladder is provided to the rear to reach the luggage area on the roof, but no baggage is fitted.

A neat front grille complete with the period Fiat logo finishes the model well. Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part Five

By Fabrizio Panico

 

This time we have one more bus from Italy and two from France. All from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French  “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 13 (not in the French collection, at least for the moment) Fiat 418 AC/M Menarini 1975 – A typically urban bus, produced by the Italian Fiat bus manufacturer from 1972 onwards. Adopted in all the large cities of Italy, this urban bus has had an unprecedented commercial success: over 6,000 were produced and its legendary strength and mechanical characteristics of reliability and low consumption extended its working life well after the year 2000. Beside the standard Fiat body, as usual named “Cameri” from the site of the plant near Novara, two 418 chassises (AC and AM, short and long version) were available to outside specialised bodywork manufacturers like Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda, Dalla Via, Padane and Menarini.

Menarini was established in Bologna in 1919 building horse drawn carriages and car components. From 1925 it started producing buses and trucks bodies for Fiat chassis. After the war the transition from wood to metal for interiors allowed a great growth, but in the 1980s an excess of prudence by ownership (favouring self-financing over a bank loan) slowed the expansion and made the company weaker in the face of competition, especially foreign competition, leading to its acquisition by Breda.

An articulated version was produced by Macchi and Viberti. The 418 was equipped with the Fiat 8200.12 diesel engine, a flat straight six, placed centrally under the floor, of 9,819cc developing 143 kw of power. Some versions had an automatic gearbox, but a manual gearbox was available.

The model has a plastic body and a very light metal baseplate, with few details. The livery is dark green and light green, typical of the period, and the logos are of the ACNA of Trieste. It has quite nice wheels, and a well detailed the driver area, with a full dashboard and levers. The interior is quite basic (but it was indeed a very “Spartan” bus), note the presence of the conductors seat with its tickets machine. The doors and the windows are well executed as are the two rear mirrors and the wipers.

In the French collection (no. 53) there is another Fiat 418, a 1972 Cameri from the AMT of Genova, the body is a bit different (doors, front lights and windscreen), the livery is orange and grey. It will be used as a gift to the subscribers to the Italian collection. We’ll see it later on.

No. 14 (no. 7 in the French collection) Chausson APH 1950 – Société des usines Chausson was a French manufacturing company, based in the Paris region from 1907, supplier of components to the automotive industry, like radiators, tanks and exhaust systems. Chausson added car bodies to its range of specialities after the 1930s when, following the acquisition of Chenard & Walcker and a Budd licence, focused its attention on unitary bus bodies.

During the post war boom, by now with Peugeot and Renault its principal shareholders, and merged with Brissonneau and Lotz, Chausson also produced bodies for light commercial vehicles and smaller volumes coupés such as the Renault Floride/Caravelle, the Opel GT and the Citroën SM. Chausson closed in 2000.

The use of a self-supporting metal bodywork instead of the traditional use of a separate chassis lightened the weight of the vehicle and made it more efficient at constant engine power.

According to the directives of the “Pons Plan” for the modernisation and reconstruction of the industry, Chausson started producing buses and coaches derived from its first 1942 prototype, the KOM, at first named APE (petrol Panhard engine), and then followed by the APH (diesel Panhard engine) and the AH (petrol Hotchkiss engine). To accommodate the longer Hotchkiss engine it was necessary to extend its front cover, and to standardise it: it created the “nez de cochon” or “pig nose”. It was a wide success, but already by 1952 the AP52 had a new body style, with a flat front. But the thousands of buses supplied to many French cities during the first 1950s allowed for a long lasting memory of the “nez de cochon”, much loved by all the French. Then in 1959 Saviem acquired all their buses activities and Chausson left that market.

Plastic body and metal baseplate for a quite heavy model with a bland livery, light green and cream.

No indications of a transport company, only the Chausson logos, but the registration plate is from the Isère department, very likely Grenoble (in southeastern France) and the destination plate says Vienne, a commune of the same department, 20 mi south of Lyon, once a major center of the Roman empire. The front lights, rear mirrors and the “nez de cochon” are all nicely reproduced, but the wipers are only engravings on the screen. The drivers area is well reproduced with the typical engine cover, and the windows. There is a nice luggage rack on the roof complete with a small folded ladder at the back. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

No. 15 (no. 11 in the French collection) Citroen type 23R series U Chassaing 1947 – The Citroen type 23 was presented at the 1935 Paris Motor Show as a light truck with a payload of only 1,500 kg. Powered by the 1911 cc petrol engine of the “Traction” mounted in reverse (driving the rear wheels through a specially developed gearbox) and with an inverted direction of rotation.

It had a maximum speed of 70 km/h. In 1936, the company offered a diesel version, in 1940 its chassis was extended by 37 cm in wheelbase and named 23L, to became 23R the following year with hydraulic braking and a reinforced chassis. It was a very basic truck, but here simplicity equalled reliability, and that’s what users need. In 1953 it was equipped with a new monocoque cabin, its production lasted until the late 1960s, and over 120,000 were sold.

A very small model, if compared to the previous ones, but of extreme elegance in its dark green and white livery. Metal body and plastic chassis, with double rear wheels and a spare wheel under the chassis. It is a torpedo body, with four rows of seats, each with its own windscreen, and it is very well detailed. The drivers area is well reproduced, with even the pedals reproduced. The radiator grille and the front lights are very nice. Even the folding top fittings are modelled on the body sides. There are  no apparent differences to the French edition.

It is the reproduction of one of two petrol type 23R ordered, in bare chassis form, by the company of coaches Rocamadour-Georges du Tarn in 1947 and bodied as sixteen seater torpedos by Chassaing, in Martel, Lot department. It was used until 1964 on the line Rocamadour-Aurillac-Cahors and the Gorges of the Tarn, the second torpedo having been destroyed in an accident. This company was mainly concerned with tourist traffic: pilgrimages, excursions to the sea, weddings and the like. A tour like that could last a whole week and in that case a baggage trailer would be towed. The vehicle modelled has survived and has been restored in the original colours by a local enthusiasts club.


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Yugo 45A Three-Door Hatchback in 1/43

By John-William Greenbaum

As the progenitor of arguably the most pathetic series of automobiles ever to be imported into the United States, I’d say a Yugo 45 deserves to be featured here. However, this one, the Yugo 45A, was more of an offshoot of the vehicle Americans were used to seeing (the Yugo 45). Built by Zastava in Kragujevac (which is now part of Serbia) as a possible replacement for the aging Zastava 750, the original Yugo 45 was itself supplemented by the short-lived Yugo 45A in 1987.

Still, it wasn’t much of an upgrade; aside from weighing about 100 pounds more due to a higher level of interior trim and having steel door handles, there was virtually no difference. The first Yugo 45’s of any kind were built in 1978, and they were exported not to the US, where they gained infamy, but rather to East Bloc countries such as Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and, most famously, Poland. It was here that they were first called “Yugo,” with Czechoslovakia and Poland both buying the cars in tremendous quantities.

The Czechoslovakians lacked a subcompact car whilst the Poles relied on the tiny, uncomfortable Polski Fiat 126P “Maluch.” However, while it may have looked more modern and gotten better gas mileage, the Yugo was a death trap if it ever got into an accident involving a larger vehicle. The chronically problematic front axle also made steering the car difficult, prompting one critic to call it “the perfect car for driving in a straight line”. Also, it had severe aerodynamic issues; although designed to employ many Fiat 127 parts, it didn’t borrow directly from the far-superior Fiat 127.  A Yugo was once blown off the Mackinac Bridge in the United States by a gust of wind, for example.

In the US, the Yugo 45 didn’t sell well or even last long in the market. When most Americans think of a Yugo, they’re thinking of the Yugo 55, which had a slightly higher trim level. Regardless, the Yugo 45 had most of the characteristics of its successor. It was powered by an engine that delivered about 45 horsepower with a top speed of around 70 mph (ditto the Yugo 45A). Interestingly, the Yugo could maintain its fuel efficiency at top speed, getting about 40 miles per gallon of gas. When it was doing the speed limit, it could get around 45-50 mpg.

However, it was plagued by other problems. For example, in a high-speed turn, the wheels would infamously scrape against the wheel wells. Quality control problems also plagued the car in both the west and the East Bloc markets. As such, the car didn’t sell well in many East Bloc markets. Why, for example, should a Polish citizen buy the Yugo when he already had access to the Polski Fiat 126P? Even though this car too was pretty lousy, it was at least Polish-made, less expensive, and parts were more readily available. The Yugo’s needing near-constant maintenance was another problem.

Of the 794,428 Yugos of all types produced, a whopping 141,115 of these were sold in the United States; nearly 18% of total sales. Many more were sold in Yugoslavia (and the former Yugoslavia) itself, as well, and it was models like the Yugo 45A that were sold domestically. Even though the Yugo 45 was still being produced, the Yugo 45A did at least offer a modernized interior as well as better door handles.

Ultimately, outside of Yugoslavia, the Yugo was essentially a failure in the East Bloc. With less expensive cars of equal or even better quality on the market with a larger supply of parts available, the Yugo didn’t really have a market niche other than being just another communist-manufactured product.  The Yugo’s slightly larger 4-door cousin , the Zastava 101 or 1100, did sell well in Czechoslovakia and Poland, and its five-door hatchback “big brother”, the Yugo Florida, also sold well.

In Yugoslavia itself, the Yugo 45 was made right up until the bitter end. The same, however, could not be said of the Yugo 45A. It was discontinued due to the Balkan Wars, with the steel door handles and higher level of interior trim not being possible to maintain while Zastava was also churning out rifles and ammunition.

Model by Ixo for Croatian DeAgostini “Legendarni Automobili”
Figure by Lionel, painted by the author's Father
Years Built: 1987-1994 (Produced in Serbia after the breakup of Yugoslavia)
Engine: 45 HP 4-cylinder four-stroke
Fuel Type: Gasoline
Top Speed: 70 mph

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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part Four

By Fabrizio Panico

Three more models 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.

At last a Japanese bus, very ”American” indeed, plus a “classic” from Italy and a “streamliner” from Germany.

No. 10 (no. 56 in the French collection) Lancia Esatau P Bianchi & Co 1953 – Lancia produced a wide range of vans, trucks, buses and military vehicles from the very beginning, forming Lancia Veicoli Industriali in 1912. After Fiat‘s takeover of the company production of commercial vehicles ended in the early 1970s, with some models rebadged as Iveco. The Esatau is a famous series of truck and bus chassis produced from 1947 to 1980, the first trucks were of the bonneted type (nicknamed “musone”, big snout or nose).

They were fitted with an inline six cylinder diesel engine, later on switching to a cab over engine. In 1949 the first buses were of the “underfloor” type, the engine was laid on its side, in front of the front axle. The buses were bodied by the most important coachbuilders, among them the Bianchi & C. of Varese, like the Gran Turismo model presented. The city bus version remained in production from 1948 through 1973, and was used in Rome, Milan and Turin. Trolley bus and articulated versions were also made, like the trolleys used in Athens.

A large model of a big vehicle, actually an Esatau V11, as can be read on the model’s front. The body is plastic, while the metal baseplate is well detailed. Light blue and dark blue livery, with poor definition where the masking  has not created a crisp edge to the over painted area. The twin front grilles are very nice: very “fifties”. A fragile front antenna is fitted and a sunshade can be seen on the windscreen.

There is a small ladder at the rear and a luggage rack on the roof. Interiors and driver area are a bit basic, but the fitting of the inserted windows is very good. There is a “trailer” signal on the roof, but due to the fact there is no trailer it should be reclined. Indeed, the driver of this splendid vehicle would have been penalised by the police: the signal (yellow triangle on a black background) had to be in an upright position, clearly visible, only when towing and had to be folded in an horizontal position when there was no trailer. The licence plate is from Milan, and is marked December 1954. No apparent differences to the French edition.


 

No. 11 (no. 13 in the French collection) Mercedes Benz LO3100 1936 – Karl Benz built the world’s first motorised bus in 1895, and by 1898 both Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler, then rivals, were already exporting their buses to Europe. Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft and Benz & Cie merged into one company in 1926: Daimler-Benz AG (also known as Mercedes-Benz) was formed. The following year the company presented its first combined bus range. During the thirties the development of the Autobahn network forced vehicle manufacturers to improve their products, mechanically and aerodynamically.

In 1935 Mercedes presented the Lo 3100 Stromlinien-omnibus: an aerodynamic small bus derived from the Lo 3100 standard bus. A light vehicle, with a very smoothly  profiled body, and fitted with a 90 CV six cylinder diesel engine, it was able to reach a 115 km/h top speed, but only carried 22 passengers. The driver’s area was separated from the passengers one.

Operated by the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft, in a cream and red livery, it was not as successful as hoped: the cheaper railways were still preferred by the public. After a few years the war put an end to such experiments. Only in 1951 did Mercedes-Benz presented its first bus specifically designed for passenger transport, and not derived from a truck, as were the buses produced until then. Since 1995 Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches have been under the umbrella of EvoBus GmbH, belonging to Daimler AG.

A nice model of a really “compact” small bus. Plastic body and a detailed metal chassis. The roof has a plastic insert to represent the opening top. The window inserts are very well executed. Its aerodynamic shape is enhanced by the white and silver livery. Quite a nice front radiator grille, another plastic insert. It has a basic interior, but the driver area is nicely detailed, with the presence of the gear and brake levers, and a dashboard with instruments. No licence plates, only the model denomination (a works presentation model ?). No apparent differences to the French edition.


 

No. 12 (no. 14 in the French collection) Isuzu BXD 30 1962 – Isuzu Motors’ history began in 1916, when Tokyo Ishikawajima Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. started a cooperation with the Tokyo Gas and Electric Industrial Co. to build automobiles. A technical cooperation with Wolseley Motors Ltd generated in 1922 the first domestically produced car, the Wolseley A-9. In 1933, Ishikawajima Automotive Works merged with DAT Automobile Manufacturing Inc. and changed its name to Automobile Industries Co., the following year their products were renamed Isuzu (after the river near the famous Ise Grand Shrine), that translated into English means “fifty bells”. More mergers and renaming followed and in 1953 the Hillman Minx was produced under license of Rootes Group. The 1961 introduction of Isuzu’s first own car, the Bellel, didn’t put an end to Isuzu’s never ending search for a commercial partner : Subaru, Mitsubishi and Nissan came and went, a more durable agreement was at last signed with General Motors. In the late 1990s Isuzu dropped all sales of cars and is today mostly known as a commercial vehicles and diesel engines manufacturing company.

In Japan the BXD30 is considered a real national monument : it draws its origins from the pre-war bonneted TX trucks and adopts a lowered frame behind the driver’s seat facilitating a very low step to give easy passenger boarding.

The engine is a direct injection 130 CV straight six diesel, famous for its good performance and reasonable consumption. Different bodies and interiors were available, depending upon its use. It was used as both an urban bus and a medium distance one. Like all Japanese vehicles the driver seat is on the right and the passenger access is on the left,

The model sports an orange and yellow livery, with many logos and Japanese characters, but there is also a logo in European characters : Tokai Bus Co. is a company owned by the JR (Japan Railways Group) providing regional, long distance, and chartered bus services) and operating in the Tokai region, connecting Nagoya with other major cities in Japan.

The model is quite heavy, very likely due to the metal body and plastic chassis, both of them well detailed. Front and rear white bumpers are plastic inserts. The correct green licence plate with white lettering is a nice touch.

No apparent differences to the French edition, aside perhaps from the yellow paint’s shade, here it seems to be a darker one, but it could depend on the production batch.


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Atlas Germany – Ambulance Collection Part 2

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

 

The third model in this new range of Ambulances from Atlas to a scale of 1:43 has now been sent to subscribers.  Part 1 shows the first two models in this new range.

7 495 103 EMW 340/4 Sanitätskraftwagen (Ambulance car)

BMW presented the model 326 at the International Car and Motorcycle Exhibition in Berlin 1936. This mid-range car was manufactured in their plant at Eisenach in Thuringia. After end of the Second World War the Eisenach BMW plant found itself in the Soviet occupied part of the former Third Reich.

Under Soviet control and supervision the the newly founded state  Avtovelo company developed a new car based on the BMW 326, This was named the BMW 340 ,and after a lost lawsuit in 1952 it was renamed the EMW 340. An estate car was created based upon the saloon car, and this was in turn converted into an Ambulance.

The EMW 340 was powered by a six cylinder petrol engine developing 57 hp with a four speed gearbox providing drive to the rear wheels. In all just over 21,000 BMW/EMW 340s of all kinds were built between 1949 and 1955.

The model is very accurately shaped. It has already issued in the model series “Commercial vehicles of the former DDR”. That version was painted a slightly more ivory colour and was rather more detailed than this issue. Here it is in beige, and with less detail presumably to reduce manufacturing costs. The red and white emblems on the hub caps are missing, the front indicator lights are now only printed and not separate plastic mouldings. The base moulding is fairly basic.

Not only has the model been made to a lower specification but quality control problems at the maker are obvious. The windscreen wipers were not properly attached and one side window was broken.  However, the signal flag was better fixed than on the previous version of this casting.


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Cheaper than China

By Robin Godwin

This article was published on the old MAR site at zeteo.com which no longer exists. We have added it to this site as part of the exercise to keep interesting articles from the old site available to our readers. Please note that the model described is no longer a current issue.

This Ixo is cast in Bangladesh for the Eaglemoss Russian Combat Machines series. It’s a nice clean casting and virtually indistinguishable from anything coming from China. There are some fantastic pieces of Russian military hardware in this series. Typically, you need to live there to subscribe, but many of the models are available on the secondary market, especially on eBay. More info can be found at www.combatmachines.ru

There is also an Eaglemoss Russian Tanks series, with more information at www.russiantanks.ru. This series was up #110 in December 2014. Many are duplicates from other “combat tank” ranges.

Above: Very nice little 1:72 model of Russian PC30 9K57 (Russian nomenclature; NATO calls this the BM-27 220 mm 16 Round Multiple Rocket System)

Above: no country of manufacture marked and otherwise very little detail on the ZIL chassis. IXO unique screw heads visible

Above: base of packaging. Google translation of Russian text reads “Manufacturer”, and it states it is Ixo owned Sonic (Bangladesh) Limited.

Editor’s Note: This was one of the earliest models from PCT Industries spotted as being made in their Bangladesh factory. Since then some DeAgostini sportscars sold to the countries of the former Eastern Bloc and the Buses range from Hachette have been produced there. It would seem that PCT have decided that rather than accept pressure from the Chinese Government to move production out into the Chinese provinces they have moved to a country with an even cheaper labour force.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part Three

By Fabrizio Panico

 

Three more models 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.

In this third part we are back with buses from France and USA, then a new country : Spain, but all of them quite distinctive.

No. 7 (no. 10 in the French collection) GMC 6000 School bus 1989

Since the second half of the 19th century, in many rural areas of the United States and Canada there was clear the need of a transportation system for those students who lived beyond practical walking distance from school. From farm wagons to horse-drawn carriages, switching then to horseless vehicles, upgrading the body design as long as time and requirements advanced, up to 1939 when the design and production of school buses were “standardised” in a set of rules to be adopted by all body manufacturers.

Those standards were then upgraded, but one of them remains a key part of every school bus in North America today : the adoption of a standard paint colour for all school buses, named National School Bus Glossy Yellow, considered easiest to see in dawn and dusk. Another North American icon was born. GMC, the commercial vehicles division of General Motors since 1912, developed from 1940 a series of dedicated chassis for school duty : the baby boom of the 50s validated this choice, the demand from the school districts growing without end. Today almost half a million school buses are in constant use. GMC based the following B-series on its medium-duty trucks series 6000 : a cowled ladder chassis produced in three separate generations; introduced in 1966, the B-series was redesigned in 1984 and 1993. A strong and reliable chassis, with a wide range of engines : gasoline and diesel, and then alternative fuels like LPG (propane) and CNG (compressed natural gas). The body was usually produced by local suppliers, according to the national standards.

Quite an heavy model, metal body and plastic chassis. Dashboard and seats are a bit basic, but the exterior is really beautiful : it well represents the sturdiness of a vehicle found almost in every town of the States. The classic “yellow” livery is beautifully reproduced, rich with tampo printings. There is  nice modelling of all the different mirrors, flashing lights and the swinging (alas not operative) STOP sign on the left side. The front grille is very well represented with the GMC logo behind it.

Licence plates are from Pennsylvania, Loysville School District, oddly an area rich in Amish communities.. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

No. 8 (no. 6 in the French collection) Pegaso Z-403 Monoscocca 1951

Pegaso was a Spanish manufacturer of industrial vehicles and, for a short while, sports cars. Its parent company, ENASA (Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones S.A.), was created in 1946, based on the nationalization of the Hispano-Suiza Spanish assets, under the direction of automotive engineer Wifred Ricart, of Alfa Romeo fame. ENASA belonged to the state-owned INI (Instituto Nacional de Industria) industrial holding, established in 1941 to promote the development of Spanish industry and economy. INI included a broad range of companies, including SEAT, later on sold to VW. IVECO took over ENASA in 1990, and the Pegaso name disappeared in 1994 after building more than 350,000 vehicles.

The Z-403 Monocasco was a two-level monocoque (chassis-less) coach, fitted with a 125 hp diesel engine asymmetrically mounted amidships, and built between 1951 and 1957. For maximum comfort, independent front-wheel suspension was used, with transverse arms and torsion bars. The Z-403 structure allowed a better use of space, with all the mechanical units located on the underside of the vehicle, isolated from the passenger compartment, allowing great comfort, good weight distribution and high stability. Its structure, which later on inspired the Scenicruiser, was made up of steel profiles covered with steel panels combined with corrugated sheets of light alloy. The roof was made entirely of light alloy. All of them were structurally important parts. Highly though of because of its safety, comfort and passenger amenities, like radio, bar and even a bookcase, 50 vehicles it were produced in Barcelona. Primary customers were Iberia and Aviaco airlines and Atesa tour operator. No survivors are known to exist.

A very interesting model, beautifully reproduced, with many details that add to its value. Metal body and plastic baseplate, with a silver exhaust system. On the baseplate the model is correctly called “Monocasco”, the Spanish word for a monocoque body. The silver and white livery has a red streak along its sides and front. ENASA title and logo on the sides. Two “metal bars” protect the upper deck windscreens from tree branches, whilst the inside luggage racks are well represented. Licence plate says “1950” while the bus is reported being 1951, very likely a manufacturer test plate. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

 

No. 9 (no. 9 in the French collection) Citroën U55 Currus Cityrama 1955

Creativity, technology. audacity : three words that well represent André Citroën adventure from 1919. A pioneer not only in the automotive field, but also in advertising, sales and even toys, obviously he couldn’t ignore commercial vehicles. The Citroën truck type 55 launched in 1953, remaining in production until 1965, was available with either a petrol or diesel engine inherited from the Type 45. It had a payload in the order of 5 tonnes and was available in three wheelbases and in 2 x 4 and 4 x 4 versions. An economical and robust chassis, with easy maintenance and a straight six petrol engine: the ideal choice for Jean-Louis Dubreuil, the founder of Cityrama, when he decided to modernise its open top bus fleet. For his futurist project the company Currus would build a double-decker bus with stylishly curved, wrap-around windows, like the famous “bateaux-mouches”. Currus was a company founded in 1900, buying and then renaming the old carriage manufacturer Perrotin and Bollinger (Currus is the latin for carriage), and then in 1906 buying Chastel and David, another carriage manufacturer founded in 1805. By becoming their successor Currus could proclaim itself the oldest body maker in France!

Currus had to overcome many technical problems : the structure had to be as light as possible and visibility at a maximum. Steel profiles and panels were used for the body; curved glass was still in its infancy and plexiglass was often used in its place. The roof was transparent, and could be removed so the upper deck could be used for open air touring in the summer months. Two more buses were built in 1957, and the previous one was facelifted to their shape. Later on four more were produced using a chassis by Saviem. They were retired at the end of the 80s.

Wow, this is really quite a strange model, but it well represents the original vehicle. Due to its complicated shape the body is part metal, part plastic, while the chassis is plastic. The silver livery has the Cityrama logo and red and blue accents. Nice details are included like the open top of the upper deck and the green windows to reduce solar radiation. The interior is basic though the driver’s area is a bit more detailed. Correctly the upper deck seats are in rows of two (right side) plus one (left side), but they are of the new simpler type, without the integrated individual speakers. The lower deck seats are arranged in rows of two plus two, but all the pictures showing the older seats have them in rows of two plus one. Is it possible that the new seats allowed an increased capacity? Maybe a reader can answer the question?

The body represents the vehicle after the 1957 “update” with three front grilles to help prevent the radiator overheating in the heavy Parisian traffic. The licence plate is from the Paris department, and is the plate on the first 1955 Cityrama Currus. The frontal “rostrum” sports the “Ville de Paris” shield, with the legendary Isis boat. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part Two

By Fabrizio Panico

Here are three more models 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”. The models are produced in Bangladesh by Ixo for Hachette.

After an Italian, a German and an English bus, it is now time to explore three more countries : USA, Switzerland and France.

No. 4 (no. 3 in the French collection) Greyhound Scenicruiser 1956 – A real North American icon : the symbol of a different way to travel the highways. Produced by General Motors after a special order from Greyhound, it was styled by Raymond Loewy. Since the nineteen-fifties it has been the iconic image associated with long distance bus journeys across America.

Development began in 1947 and a series of prototypes were made culminating in 1954 with the first mass produced Scenicruiser. It had a unitary body with aluminium panels, pneumatic suspension, and three axles.

At the rear there were two diesel engines with a torque converter and an electrically controlled hydraulic clutch. But what is really special is the presence of a panoramic upper floor and the luxurious appointments like air conditioning, reclining seats, and a washroom. After the first 1,001 units a high rate of mechanical problems forced a change to a single V8 diesel engine, a mechanical four-speed transmission and some structural reinforcements : the new coach was called the Super Scenicruiser.

Actually the model represents a Super Scenicruiser, not a Scenicruiser. The classic “silver” livery is beautifully reproduced, complete with all the Greyhound decorations. A nice feature is the presence of the licence plates of all the states crossed during the trip, as required by the law. The body is plastic, while the metal baseplate adds “substance” to the model. Drivers seat and dash board  and the interiors are well reproduced. A really imposing model, like the Mercedes already seen. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


 

No. 5 (no. 8 in the French collection) Saurer L4C 1949 – A real “PostAuto”, owned by the Swiss Post Office (see the P licence plate), used to transport passengers and mail between the towns and villages of the Swiss mountains. With a double side member frame and a longitudinal front engine, this bus is quite similar to a contemporary truck. The engine, a diesel straight six with 125 Horsepower, was particularly brilliant, resilient and inexpensive, thanks to a Saurer own system of direct injection with dual turbulence that improved the combustion and increasing performance.

The closed body, usually by Ramseier & Jenzer, sports a panoramic transparent roof, which must have made the bus very hot during summer. The steering wheel on the right side helps the driver along the Alps hairpins and to distribute the mail at the frequent stops.

Before World War Two Saurer purchased its Swiss competitor Berna, but continued to use the Berna brand. From 1951 Saurer distributed OM medium weight trucks and buses in Switzerland under licence from the Italian Company. In the early 1980s declining sales forced Saurer to join FBW, forming NAW. Later on Daimler Benz took full control dropping all the historic brands.

The model has the classic “yellow post” livery, with black front fenders and silver upper body. It has a plastic body and a metal baseplate. A nice touch is the presence of the spare wheel under the chassis. The interior is quite basic but an accurate representation of the real one. Near the radiator there is a  “mail horn” logo which is the symbol of the Swiss Post Office. A fresh air intake is sited above the windscreen which must have been needed to cool the bus and undo some of the effects of the transparent roof. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


 

No. 6 (no. 1 in the French collection) Citroen type T45 1934 – Another national icon : more than 70.000 were produced before and after World War Two travelling all over France. Based on a truck derived chassis it had an engine designed specifically for it instead of using one already fitted to car. It had a petrol powered straight six of 4,600 cc and 73 Horsepower coupled to a four speed transmission.

Not a brilliant vehicle, but a robust one which you could rely on. In 1934 a T45 bus starting from Warsaw covered the 2,456 km of the 13th Monte Carlo Rally in 59 hours and 30 minutes.  After World War Two many old T45s were re-bodied with more up-to-date shapes and refitted with more comfortable seating. These bodies often located the cab over the engine. Many ran side by side with the newer T55 from 1953. The T45 lived through all the financial problems of Citroen, the takeover by Michelin, new laws controlling road transport, the impact of the nationalisation of the railways. It was even seen outside France in Africa and Asia.

The model sports a blue and cream livery, with black fenders. The model is quite heavy due to the metal body (like the AEC London bus), though it has a plastic baseplate. Two spare wheels are fitted at the rear of the body and a ladder to reach the luggage area on the roof. On the substantial luggage rack there are trunks and suitcases, some of which are also used on the Mercedes seen in Part One. There are no fleet markings or destination boards present.

The licence plate is from the Rhone region. The radiator is well done with the “double chevron” nicely modelled. An accurate interior is also fitted. Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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Atlas Jaguar Collection – XJR-9

By Maz Woolley

 

This article was originally written for the first MAR Online site in December 2015. It is one of the items which we have collected from the old site before it is eventually turned off. It has been adapted to the new site. 

Jaguar XJR-9

This appears to have been made for Atlas by Ixo and is very similar to a model previously available from Ixo under their own brand.

A nicely printed model with lots of sponsors details including tobacco brand details which are sadly often left unprinted due to concerns over infringing tobacco advertising rules.

The fine details are well done with the front lights being particularly finely made and the wheels and tyres being excellent.

The rear wing and diffusers are nicely realised. This is a model worthy of inclusion in this series.


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