Category Archives: Ixo

The Negrão Racing Dynasty

By Sergio Luis dos Santos

All text and photographs copyright of the Author.

Throughout all  sports it’s fairly common to find family dynasties where generations from the same family play the same sport. In motorsports it’s the same.  We may remember some well known racing dynasties, from short-lived ones like Hill, Villeneuve and Senna, to the longest ones like the Andretti, Piquet or Fittipaldi, just to name a few.

Here are some models from the Brazilian family Negrão: Alexandre Furnari Negrão (Xandi Negrão), Alexandre Sarnes Negrão (Xandinho Negrão or Alexandre Negrão Jr.) , Antônio Augusto Furnari Negrão (Guto Negrão) and André Negrão.

All models are in 1:43 scale.  [Click photo for larger image.]

  1. Audi TT-R – Mil Milhas de Interlagos 2004 – Xandi Negrão, Xandinho Negrão and Guto Negrão. Schuco.
  2. Ferrari F 430 GT2 – Mil Milhas Brasileiras 2007 – Alexandre Negrão, Alexandre Negrão Jr and Andreas Mattheis – ProModelTek.
  3. Aston Martin DBR9 – 24 Hours Le Mans 2008 – Xandinho Negrão with Peter Hardman and Nicki Leventis – IXO.
  4. Aston Martin DBR9 – 24 Hours Le Mans 2008 – Xandinho Negrão with Peter Hardman and Nicki Leventis – Spark.
  5. Alpine A-470 – 24 Hours Le Mans 2017 – André Negrão with N. Panciatici and P. Ragues – Spark.

And here are views of their other ends!

I hope you like them.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 20

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 58 to  60

 

Three very interesting buses : from France, Germany and USA/Canada. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

 

No. 58 (no. 50 in the French collection) Panhard Movic IE24 1948 – At last a vehicle from the oldest vehicle manufacturer: first to produce petrol engines (1887) under a license from Daimler, Panhard et Levassor sold their first automobile in 1890. Their first vehicles set many modern standards, it had four wheels, a clutch pedal to operate a chain-driven gearbox, a front-mounted engine and radiator, the first modern transmission and the steering wheel. This “state of the art” layout was called the “Système Panhard”. Before the Great War Panhard et Levassor was already one of the largest and most profitable manufacturers of automobiles. Between 1910 and 1924 Panhard et Levassor offered plenty of models with conventional valve engines, alongside cars powered by sleeve valve power units, a technology patented by the American Charles Yale Knight, and from 1924 till 1940 all Panhard cars used steel sleeve valve engines only. After the Second World War the company was renamed Panhard (without “Levassor”), and produced light cars making the bodies and several other components out of aluminium, mainly because of postwar government steel rationing. A false evaluation of production costs using that material pushed the firm close to bankruptcy, forcing a hurried return to steel. The last Panhard passenger car was built in 1967, after assembling 2CV panel vans and selling ownership progressively to Citroën. From 1968 Panhard only made armoured vehicles, and were then absorbed by Auverland and from 2012 by Renault Trucks Defense, a division of Swedish Volvo Group. Panhard built trucks from the 1910s, and during the Second World War made technical investigations for a new diesel engine, using the Lanova type of cylinder head in order to achieve an higher efficiency and a reduced noise. These engines were named 2HL, 4HL and 6HL according to the number of cylinders and where HL stood for “huile lourd” (heavy oil or diesel fuel). After the Second World War as part of the “Plan Pons” Panhard was grouped into the U.F.A (Union Française Automobile) together with Somua and Willème and entrusted with the manufacture of medium tonnage heavy goods vehicles.

In 1952 Panhard presented a vehicle with a seven tons of payload called Movic, a vehicle particularly well adapted to the reconstruction needs of the time, powered by either a 85 or 100 hp diesel engine, or a 90 or 110 hp petrol engine. Like many other firms Panhard used a five letter system to designate the vehicle class in order to facilitate orders (hence the Movic name), and a combination of letters and numbers to identify the chassis type (like IE24). The Panhard Movic IE24 used a 5 meters wheelbase and was able to transport fifty passengers, powered by the 4HL engine, with bodies by Currus or Besset. But production was always very limited and 1962 saw the end of any production of civilian trucks and buses.

The model is shaped accurately and the cream and green livery appears authentic and neatly printed. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis with basic detail. A basic interior is fitted,and there are many small separately inserted parts, like wipers, mirrors, lights and chromed bumpers.

The red spot indicates that it is a regular line service. It sports the insignia of a transport firm from Mouthoumet, a small village in the Aude department, Occitaine region, in the south of France, and it is fitted with an accurate French registration plate, from the Aude department (11) prefecture of Carcassonne.

There is a very nice baggage rack on the roof, and a well modelled large rear ladder. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of a simple tourist bus typical of the 1950s.

 

 

No. 59 (no. 48 in the French collection) General Motors “New Look” TDH-5301 1959 – We have already seen the GM history and its TDH-3610 (see part 10, no. 29) and its PD-3751 (see part 14, no. 41), Scenicruiser (see part 2, no. 4) and type 6000 School Bus (see part 3, no. 7), and how the more usual GMC badges did not appear until 1968, replacing GM, GM Coach and Yellow Coach badges previously used. The GM New Look bus (an official term used by GM), was introduced in 1959 to replace the previous transit buses, like the TDH-3610, and was available in both Transit and Suburban versions (less than 3,300 made). More than 44,000 units were produced by 1986 (from 1978 production in Canada only) and it soon becoming an iconic North American sight, and gaining the “fishbowl” nickname after its six-piece rounded windscreen.

The air-sprung self-supporting monocoque structure with aluminium frame and riveted body panels was powered by a rear transverse engine, a two-stroke V6 diesel by Detroit-Diesel, 238 cv, usually with an angle-drive single ratio automatic transmission. Its whole design, an airplane-like stressed-skin construction, was patented by GM (U.S. Patent D182,998), to avoid any unwarranted competition. As usual its denomination (TDH-5301) was a full technical description : T for transit bus, D for diesel, H for hydraulic transmission, 53 for the number of seats and 01 for the series. The first city to take delivery of the New Look was Washington D.C.. The New Look was particularly appreciated in Canada, with a local production of more than 11,000 units, while its heir, the RTS (Rapid Transit Bus), was almost rejected in Canada, pushing GM to resume production of an updated New Look (the Classic) from 1982.

The scale model is based on one of the Canadian buses, with the blue/silver and ivory livery typical of the Toronto Transit Commission. It has a plastic body and metal baseplate which is detailed and has an added silver exhaust. This is a very large model in 1:43 scale and is fitted with a correct interior and a nice driver area.

Very well reproduced side windows with silver frames are included. The usual added plastic parts can be found: lights, wipers, mirrors, bumpers. There are nice wheels with the correct twin rear ones.

The line number is 71, from St. Clair Avenue to Runnymede station (Runnymede is a residential neighbourhood on the western side of Toronto’s downtown core, not far from the shore of lake Ontario). The registration plate is a correct one for Ontario from 1961 (white on black). Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice reproduction of a much loved Canadian bus.

 

 

No. 60 (no. 49 in the French collection) Borgward BO 4000 1952 – The origins of the company go back to 1905 with the foundation in the Bremen area of NAMAG, maker of the Lloyd car, and of Hansa Automobilgesellschaft, due to merge in 1914 to form the “Hansa-Lloyd-Werke A.G.”. After the Great War the company soon faced bankruptcy, but Carl Borgward, already owner of the Goliath-Blitzkarren business, took control of it, greatly expanding the scope of his auto business and broadening the products range. 1939 saw the first use of the Borgward name as a brand, while the Second World War saw the production of many military trucks, half-tracks and munitions, but also lead to the destruction of Factories due to heavy Allied bombing. Notwithstanding the buildings destruction, the tools were almost untouched and it was possible to restart truck production before the end of 1945, and cars from 1949.

Like many other buses in the aftermath of the Second World War the BO 4000, launched in 1951, was strictly derived from the B 4000 truck, in turn heir to the B 3000, produced in large numbers during the war. Powered by a straight-six five litre diesel engine with ‘turbulence’ combustion chambers, it was very efficient. The bus was produced for three years only, and sold less than two hundred units, so it is a rare bus indeed.

But it must be said that though Borgward produced in total only 631 buses it made more than 43,000 trucks. Borgward buses were very expensive and often created to order: clearly the company had difficulty in amortising production costs on such small production volumes, leading to troubles in competing in the marketplace and in assuring the needed cash-flow. This despite being a pioneer in air suspension and automatic transmission. In 1961 the company was forced into liquidation by creditors, even if they were then paid in full. Many spoke of a conspiracy, but it is doubtful if Borgward trading beyond 1961 would be able to generate sufficient cash to repay existing debts and any new borrowing needed.

The scale model is an accurate reproduction of the only existing BO 4000, a preserved bus still in use on the Sylt isle, the fourth-largest German island in the North Sea, nowadays connected to the mainland by the Hindenburgdamm, an 11 km-long causeway joining from 1927 the North Frisian island to mainland Schleswig-Holstein, which is exclusively a railway corridor. The model is shaped accurately and the blue and light grey livery with a black roof appears authentic and neatly printed. The body is plastic, as usual, with a metal baseplate which is well detailed and has an added silver exhaust. Due to the large side and roof windows, which are well executed, the interior appears full of light and is fitted with nice seats. Many small plastic separate parts are used, like mirrors, lights and bumpers, plus width indicators at the front and a towing hitch at the rear.

It is fitted with accurate British occupation zone registration plates. On the sides we see the logo of the Wander Falke (the peregrine falcon) and a very small plate, probably identifying the coachbuilder. Nice chromed hubcaps are fitted and the correct twin rear wheels. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A good choice, a rare and likeable bus .


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More from 1964 – Dodge and Plymouth Conversions.

By John F. Quilter

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

In my never ending quest to make something that no model maker makes, at least currently, I have done some work with the diecast Universal Hobbies 1964 Plymouth Belvedere hardtop and the 1964 Dodge sedan which is in the Mexican partworks series and I believe comes from Ixo. Both of these cars, the Belvedere and the Coronet, were the mid-sized cars for Plymouth and Dodge in 1964. Since these two cars were from Chrysler Corporation and were closely related by some styling features as well as overall size I thought I could do some mixing, matching, and modifying.

The Plymouth comes as a Belvedere hardtop and extras of these in my collection became a convertible in red, a four door sedan in light beige, plus a two door sedan in metallic turquoise.

 

Using the displaced top from the conversion to the four door sedan I transplanted this to the Ixo Dodge making a Coronet hardtop Then with still another four door Dodge I fabricated a rear roof and tailgate and created a station wagon.

This one was the most involved transformation and I used some sheet aluminium to add the roof extension and tailgate. The quarter panels had to be somewhat reshaped from the sedan and multiple layers of aluminium created the raised panel on the tailgate.  An option on these wagons was a luggage rack so this was made using silver paperclip wire and some aluminium feet to mount it to the roof. Transverse rubbing strips suitably bare metal foiled were applied to the roof.

The plastic interior section with the seats needed to be modified cutting off the parcel shelf and adding a load floor. Using Google images is vital in getting the shapes and proportions right on these type of conversions and I was lucky to find the all-important 90 degree side photo plus others showing various details such as the fuel filler cap, tail lamps and rear bumper which is different from the sedan. A 13 inch diameter piece of electrical solder served for this purpose with suitable bending and filing for the correct final shape. Solder is ideal for this purpose as it is already very shiny silver in colour and can easily be filed and polished to a high gloss with only a final coating of clear lacquer to preserve the chrome like appearance.

A careful study of the sales brochure for this Dodge on this site http://www.lov2xlr8.no/broch1.html provides specifications for length, a selection of colours for interior and exterior. Colour chips found on Google are also useful. I learned that in the case of this Dodge wagon it was about 5 inches longer than the sedan, all in the rear quarter panel so this was factored into the conversion process. The Ixo sedan comes with blackwall tires which would have been uncommon on a new car in 1964 so I created thin whitewalls using my loop of thin gauge wire technique. A bit too three dimensional but when working in 1:43 and doing custom work one has to be creative and resourceful and until a supplier, such as Tin Wizard, produces some very thin whitewall decals these will have to suffice.

The Plymouth convertible was an easy job, simply cut off the roof of the hardtop using a jeweller’s saw, and fabricate a top boot with sheet lead and paint in a suitable vinyl top colour. It was easy enough to do that I was able to preserve all the paint and tampo printed badging of the Universal Hobbies item. When doing one of my conversions I always preserve one of the factory production models to illustrate what I started with. In the case of the Plymouths the metallic blue hardtop in the photograph is unaltered. In the case of the Dodges the metallic turquoise sedan is the starting point.

The Plymouth light beige sedan was a bit more involved as it required taking the cut off roof from the Dodge and grafting it on to the Plymouth. Of course when mixing and matching these parts one has to sometimes alter the plastic interior and dashboard unit to fit. And an alternative interior colour may be chosen based on internet research. When going from a two door body to a four door body the rear doors have to be engraved in, the front door shortened, and new door handles fabricated and mounted.

So with these Dodge and Plymouth variations I have replicated many of the body styles that were part of the lineup in 1964.


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The Soviet Era START Passenger Van

By John-William Greenbaum, with photos by the author, Robert Brodowski, and Eugen Pedersen

One of the most revolutionary designs to be produced on a somewhat large-scale basis in the USSR was a rather bizarre looking minibus known as a SARB START.

A few years ago, the DeAgostini partworks people brought out a 1/43 version that they called a SARB START passenger van.  It was part of their Autolegends USSR series and sometimes listed as a GAZ START.  Here it is in a nice diorama setting.  It was probably made by IXO.

The actual name is the SARB START (it used a GAZ-M21 engine and running gear). It was pretty much manufactured by two guys in their garage in what is now Eastern Ukraine, but the Soviet Government took notice and proceeded to run the project into the ground in spectacular fashion!

Here is the Spark Models version done for VVM Models.

Next, here is one of the late production versions done by IXO for DeAgostini,

And finally, here is a rare version, handmade in Ukraine by Vector Models, Kherson.

Some History of the Actual Thing

The SARB START was the brainchild of a pair of young designers named A.S. Antonov and Yuri S. Andros.  It had its roots in the early 1960’s in the Severodonetskaya Avtoremontnaya Baza (“Severodonetsk Automotive Repair Center”), better known as SARB, which was a small car, truck, and bus repair facility that typically dealt with a large number of cars produced by GAZ. Severodonetsk is not a very large town and is currently located in Eastern Ukraine.  How this vehicle, therefore, came to the eventual attention of almost everyone in the USSR is a bit surprising, but perhaps it should also be a sign of just how good the design was, at least on paper.

Because SARB typically serviced GAZ vehicles, it should come as no surprise that at the heart of the SARB START is a 70 horsepower, 4-cylinder engine, slightly down-rated (by five horsepower) from what was standard fare on the GAZ-M21I, GAZ-M21L, and GAZ-21R Volga sedans. Also identical was the car’s running gear, and indeed, it had the same wheelbase as the “Volga 21”. However, that was about it in terms of similarities and that’s where the design really started to deviate from the norm not just of Soviet or East Bloc automotive production, but quite frankly all automotive production. A.S. Antonov and Yuri Andros were fascinated by the use of alternative materials to construct vehicles. In mid-1963, while reading about VNIITE’s proposed-but-at-the-time-unbuilt PT Taxi that used fiberglass panels over a steel frame as well as what the East Germans had hoped to accomplish with their Trabant cars made completely of Duroplast (albeit very poor quality Duroplast), the two believed that they could do better by simply building an all-fiberglass vehicle with high-grade fiberglass mixed with granite restoration paste.

Within months, the duo had a 1/10 scale prototype designed and had envisioned how to build it and even use it. Its purposes would be as a combination van, a fixed route taxi, a tourist minibus, and a panel van (the only one of Antonov and Andros’ ideas that would never be realized). By mid-December 1963, Antonov’s design began attracting more than a bit of attention. The Ukrainian SSR’s government also recognized the vehicle’s potential by submitting it without Antonov’s knowledge to the MinAvtoProm (Soviet Ministry of Automotive Production) as an “unofficial” evaluation. When the MinAvtoProm’s bureaucrats, incensed at Nikita Khrushchev for going around them to build the VNIITE PT Taxi, got word of a potential competitor, they co-opted the design and began having stories run in Pravda about the brilliant Antonov and his minibus, which he had dubbed the START. They also began supplying Antonov and Andros with the materials they would need to make the START as a way of getting back at VNIITE.

Yuri Andros, who designed most of the vehicle’s actual body, did so with an eye not toward beauty (indeed, he believed the START to be quite ugly according to an interview), but rather toward reducing drag, yet still keeping a spacious passenger or freight compartment. Despite the ungainly look of the vehicle, it actually had a fairly typical Soviet minibus layout: two front doors, a service door behind the passenger side front door, and also a large, rather spacious trunk. A.S. Antonov, meanwhile, did not believe a front-mounted engine to be safe in a crash test. Therefore, the SARB START would be a mid-engined design; the first and only Soviet minibus to hold that distinction (Save the LASZ “START Luganchyk” and Glavdonbasstroe Donbass, which were descendants of the START.).

While building their first prototype, the two engineers received a rather chilling visit from the KGB: if the design succeeded, they would be obligated to provide SARB START Minibuses to the KGB free of charge. The somewhat apolitical designers quickly said yes in order to save their own skins, with some of the first START minibuses ever built going to the KGB for evaluation purposes. Yuri Andros quickly became convinced that the fiberglass/GRP body was close to indestructible. Getting all the free press he wanted between the MinAvtoProm and Pravda, he arranged to have one of the very first body shells dropped from a height of nearly 40 feet. With cameras rolling, a crane placed on a platform first raised and then dropped the body shell. Although there were obviously dents and scrapes, the fact that the body neither shattered nor crumpled shocked just about everyone present, Andros and Antonov included.

In January 1964, the two men were given the go-ahead to start serial production of the SARB START, as you see it here. And that’s when the roof caved in the entire project. Andros and Antonov had envisioned specific, rather utilitarian roles for the START (as well as being a KGB SIGINT vehicle), but apparently, the Soviet government had absolutely no idea what to do with the design. Instead of Andros and Antonov’s specific wish that it be a combination van first and everything else second, they turned it into a tourist minibus. Indeed, it went quite a bit overboard: three, three-seat sofas were installed inside the back, there were cabinets for dishes, a serving table was placed over the engine access door, and a sink with faucet was placed in the trunk in case anyone needed to wash their hands. A.S. Antonov is said to have remarked “at least they kept the AM radio”, or something to that effect.

Antonov believed the START had turned into something ridiculous and, in an attempt to get the project back on line the way he wanted it to, he formed a second production line in Donetsk called Glavdonbasstroe, trusting Andros to try and keep production going at SARB. Antonov’s production line produced the far more utilitarian but otherwise identical Donbass minibus, which unfortunately has yet to be modeled. The Donbass holds the interesting distinction of being the only “START-type” minibus exported, with at least two going to Poland. The Donbass was never produced in quantity, however, and it eventually ended Antonov’s association with the project.

By late 1965, problems started to be reported with the SARB START Minibus’s body. Andros was confused, given the high-quality fiberglass combined with the GRP paste he’d been given. However, sure enough, on many of the 1965-built STARTs, the body started to become warped. Andros never learned it until many years later, but it turned out that he was being supplied with low-quality fiberglass. The SARB START was also slow to build. By the first few months of 1967 (i.e. when production ended), just over 100 STARTs had been built since 1964.

The production output apparently wasn’t efficient enough for the MinAvtoProm and despite Andros needing help with better quality materials, he never got them due to this reason. By 1967, despite a successful design, Yuri Andros had enough. With funding problems of all kinds cropping up, he turned production over to a fellow by the name of D.A. Melkonov, who built twenty LASZ “START Luganchyk” Minibuses in Luhansk. By adding a better suspension as well as redesigning the hourglass-shaped C-pillar into something far more conventional, Melkonov basically solved all but the problems with low-quality materials. But even then, Melkonov put wood pulp into the fiberglass to prevent warping. However, by this time, it was too late. The MinAvtoProm and most government agencies had withdrawn their support.

The “START-type” minibus was now a thing of the past and neither Andros nor Antonov ever designed another vehicle. When one examines it, however, the SARB START was a terrific idea that was far ahead of its time. Unfortunately, it was too far ahead of its time, in the wrong country, and being produced under the wrong system of government to succeed in any way, shape, or form.


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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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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 18

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 52 to 54

This time we’ll look at one of the most popular British buses, a quite rare one from France and another “ethnic” one, from Colombia. 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. 52 (no. 41 in the French collection) Bedford OB 1947 – We have already seen the Bedford history and its TJ Rocket (see part 11, no. 33). And how, established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall in 1930 to manufacture commercial vehicles, it soon became a leading international brand, with substantial export sales throughout the world. Its success was due in large part to the smooth running in-line six cylinder engine with overhead-valves, of Chevrolet origin (the famous stove-bolt six). The semi-forward control “O” type lorry chassis was introduced in August 1939, with a coach-chassis version named “OB“. Duple Coachbuilders modified their Hendonian body to fit the chassis, which was longer than the previous WTB model. Only 73 OB buses were built before production stopped due to the outbreak of the Second World War, After the war it reappeared largely unchanged and was produced till 1951, with a total of almost 13,000 produced.

Duple developed the new “Vista” as the standard coachwork for the postwar OB with elegant curved roof and waistlines. Seating capacity was normally 29 with overhead luggage racks, whilst the rear luggage boot was also used to store the spare wheel. The OB is one of the most popular preserved coaches: more than 180 are still in existence, with nearly 70 in roadworthy condition. They regularly appear in period television programs and movies. Duple Coachbuilders was active from 1919 until 1989 : its name was intended to convey the principle of a single vehicle being suitable for a dual role. Ex-military Ford model Ts were converted to a small touring car body that could be transformed into a van by removing the decking at the rear and fitting a van top. This dual-purpose body was then built also on Morris Cowley and Oxford chassis, production ceasing around the end of the 1920s.

Coachwork had been built since the inception of the company, but in 1928 it was decided to make an effort to increase output of this body type. By the middle of the 1930s bus bodies were produced in quite large numbers with a busy export business. After the war there was a move towards metal-framed bodies, but the 1950s brought a difficult time for the coachbuilding industry as there was a rapid decline in orders and competition became intense. The 1980 deregulation of coach services for journeys of over 30 miles caused the market for light coach chassis to collapse. Duple’s output fell from 1,000 bodies in 1976, to 340 in 1983. In July 1989, the decision was made to close down the Duple operation, some parts of it sold to domestic rival Plaxton.

The scale model is based on one of the preserved buses, with the usual combination of a metal body and a plastic baseplate with minimal detail. It is in a bright livery in cream and green. The destination plate reads Dartmouth, and the operator is Southern National.

The registration was issued by Devon County Council. The model is quite heavy. It is true to the original shape and the livery and registration plate seem to be authentic, but why is the side indicator near the door gold instead of orange? Many small separate parts are fitted, lights, mirrors, and wipers for example. A very nicely modelled front grille is fitted with the Bedford logo and script. The Duple logo is printed on the bonnet sides.  A basic interior is fitted but the drivers area is well modelled. The tyres are nicely moulded but the wheels are ugly.  The identical coach has been reproduced in 1:24th scale by Sun Star (but in that case it is indicated as from 1949). There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice reproduction of a once familiar sight on British roads.

 

No. 53 (no. 42 in the French collection) Chausson ANG 1956 – We have already met Chausson, its history and its succesful APH bus from 1950 (see part 5, no. 14) and how, beside making components for the automotive industry, they started producing car and unitary bus bodies. During the post war boom Chausson supplied thousands of buses to many French cities, but in 1959 Saviem acquired all their buses activities and Chausson left that market. In 1954 Chausson developed the AN type, a bus family based on the concept of the monocoque body, an assembly of tubes and ribbed and bent steel plates, welded together, assuring an high rigidity. According to the builder, it was the one that would be able to impose itself in all continents, even intended to be delivered in spare parts to be assembled as a “Meccano”, with easy completion with left or right hand drive, and with identical rear and front faces, pneumatic doors and large side luggage compartments. But the initial version, the ANH, suffered from many early defects: a poor visibility towards the front, an engine with too little power, and poor cooling.

Chausson reacted very quickly, and introduced a new version from 1957: the ANG. The small split windscreen was replaced by a single panoramic one, while an Hispano-Suiza engine, lying under the floor with 150 hp, replaced the previous Hercules engine. The clients were still doubtful and when Chausson sold its bus operation to Saviem the ANG production was stopped, to reappear in 1960 in the form of a new Saviem bus, the SC-5 of 36 seats, using many elements of its previous bodywork but with an engine placed in the front. Less than 300 ANG versions were produced.

The scale model is quite heavy, with a plastic body and metal baseplate. The registration plate is from the Seine-et-Marne department (Île-de-France) and the destination plate says Fontainebleau, famous for its royal castle.

The model is accurately shaped and the red and cream livery is correct, but its symmetrical body is quite ugly. A nice interior is fitted with a well detailed drivers cockpit. Good side windows and wheels are fitted. There are the usual added parts like bumpers, lights, mirrors and wipers (three of them). No apparent differences to the French edition. A correct reproduction of an unsuccessful French bus.

 

No. 54 (no. 43 in the French collection) Ford F600 “Chiva” rural bus 1990 – The mountainous geography of the Andean regions, like Colombia and Ecuador, requires the use of very strong vehicles for their rural public transport network. These are usually built on a truck or bus chassis with an artisan built open wood body with basic fitments and bench like seats. They are characterised by the use of bright colours (usually the yellow, blue, and red colours of the national flags) and elaborate ornamental paint work.

They are fitted with a ladder to a large and strong rack on the roof which is used for carrying people, livestock and merchandise. Locally they are called “chiva” (Spanish for goat) or “escalera” (Spanish for ladder). Chivas were first introduced in the Medellin region in the early 20th century, soon becoming a natural solution to the need of moving both cargo and passengers simultaneously. Through the years their aesthetic approach became a cultural trademark of rural Colombia, evolving into works of folk art. Others regard them as a symbol of underdevelopment. A similar approach, but based on a Willys Jeep, is called “jeepao”.

Sometime you could find these unique buses also in New York, were the “chiva” has developed into a customised bus, carrying party goers around the city. The “chiva” modelled in this collection is based on a Ford “F600” truck chassis, usually with a V8 diesel engine, famous for its endurance and longevity. The first-generation Ford F-Series (light trucks and pickups) was introduced in late 1947 and assembled at sixteen different Ford factories. All F-series were available with optional “Marmon-Herrington All Wheel Drive” until 1959.

 

Their design evolved steadily and successive generations followed each other constantly. According to the year indicated by Hachette this “chiva” should be based on the eighth generation of the Ford F-Series produced from 1986 to 1991, their engine lineup was updated with both the inline-6 and the V8 converted to fuel injection, while the the diesel V8 from International (Navistar) was enlarged from 420 to 444 cubic inches.

The scale model sports the red, light blue and yellow colours of the Colombian flag, and is made with the usual combination of plastic body and metal baseplate. It is a large and fairly heavy model. Near the engine cover an oil bath air filter is correctly reproduced (compulsory because of the dusty tracks), with a vertical silver exhaust at the rear which leads up to the roof, in order to avoid smoke being drawn in to the passenger area. Correctly, it is a very basic bus, but it is enriched by the details: printed artwork, ladder, roof rack, mirrors, and grille. Nice front wheels are fitted. A correct Colombian registration plate is fitted, with the municipality of issuance “Andes” embossed at the bottom of the plate itself.  Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition. A colourful choice, adding a “Spanish American touch” to the collection.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 17

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we look at Autobus from the world – part seventeen (nos. 4951).

After Brossel (see part 12, no. 36), now it is time to explore another Belgian manufacturer, the famous Van Hool, then we have one more Citroën bus and another previously seen German manufacturer  Neoplan. 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. 49 (no. 38 in the French collection) Van Hool VHF 306 Vistadome 1961 – We have already seen how the Belgian automotive industry is often overlooked, but is a thriving and dynamic one. Bernard Van Hool was born in Koningshooikt (near Anversa) and as a young boy he took a great interest in mechanics, construction and electrics. An active entrepreneur, he started a diamond cutting factory, then a company making other machinery, but the Second World War destroyed everything and he found a new challenge in the transport sector. His ambition was to build bridges and roads, and he needed a vehicle to transport his men to the works, and he decided to rebuilt an old bus with a whole new body. That was the birth of a new challenge: building coach bodies and running a coach tour operating company. He was successful and in 1957 a commercial agreement with Fiat was signed. Van Hool would use Fiat engines and other mechanical components in its vehicles. Van Hool developed from being a small coachbuilder to a manufacturer of integral buses and coaches, known as Van Hool-Fiat (VHF), whilst continuing to also be a renowned coachbuilder. This cooperation was a great success, introducing series production (over 500 coaches by July 1961) and they were exported all over Europe and Africa. In 1981 the cooperation with Fiat was terminated, and Van Hool started to use engines and axles sourced from Caterpillar, Cummins, Mercedes, DAF and MAN and gearboxes from ZF or Voith, or using whole chassis from Volvo and Scania. Since the mid-1980s, Van Hool has also been active on the North American market. In 1990 Van Hool purchased the coachbuilding business of LAG Manufacturing, a Belgian company founded in 1947 by two Geusens brothers that had achieved some success in the United States. Under the new management the product line was expanded. In recent years, Van Hool has been focusing on new propulsion technologies, introducing fuel-cell hybrid buses as well as diesel-electric hybrids.

The VHF 306 is part of the first generation of buses born from the agreement with Fiat : a fast and well made design allowing an early success and the subsequent expansion of the company. The first bus was the VHF 682, the chassis had bent sheet metal beams and the body was welded to it, with a single piece windshield and a very low horizontal radiator grille. The engine was a straight six diesel of 10.7 litres and 150 CV (the same used by the Fiat 682 RN bus), placed horizontally between the axles. Some countries didn’t allow its 12 metres body length, so a new 11 metres bus was developed in 1959 and named VHF 309, while the 682 was renamed 306. Later on they developed an extra-luxury version of the 306, the Vistadome, with an elevated floor for the passengers and a second windshield over the main one.

The scale model is based on the Vistadome version, with the usual combination of a plastic body and a well detailed metal baseplate, sporting a dark red livery.

The registration plate is correct for Belgium (red characters on white background) and very likely also for the year: Belgian plates are owner specific, giving no reliable information about the original registration year of the car to which they are fixed.

The body shape is well reproduced, with nice side windows and tinted ones on the roof, and a separate antenna. As usual there are many separate plastic parts, like side exhaust, lights, mirrors and wipers. The interior is quite basic, with the steering wheel being perhaps a bit too large.

The rear wheels rub on the body though this could be specific to my model). There is no apparent difference to the French edition. A really big model of a large tourist bus typical of the 1960s.

 

 

No. 50 (no. 39 in the French collection) Citroen U 23 Besset 1947 – We have already seen the history of André Citroën and its type 46 (see part nine, no. 25), and how in 1953 the type 55 (part three, no. 9) replaced the type 45 (part two, no. 6). Before the Second World War Citroën developed a homogeneous range of commercial vehicles formed by the types 29 (later 32) and 45, based on truck derived chassis and designed to be bodied as long distance buses, plus a little brother, the light truck type 23 (see part five, no. 15), based on the type 11 and powered by the Traction Avant engine, obviously flipped around in order to drive the rear wheels through a specific gearbox and with an inverted direction of rotation to maintain the direction of rotation of the crank. But its power was quite poor, it gave a maximum speed of only 65 km/h and allowed only 14-20 seats. Presented at the 1935 Paris Motor Show as a light truck, quite basic but very reliable. Many coachbuilders showed their proposals for the 23, like Surirey of Flers (Orne) still active in the field of commercial vehicles, or Besset of Annonay (Ardèche), author of our model. Joseph Besset started as a wooden wheel maker and in 1920 founded an industrial body shop adding coachwork to chassis from Berliet, Bugatti, De Dion Bouton, Delage, Hispano-Suiza, Renault, Rochet-Schneider and Rolland-Pilain. In 1927 he decided to build coaches on truck chassis by Panhard, Citroën and Renault. In 1934 he swapped building wood framed bodywork for lighter and more resistant closed tubular metal structures using electrical welding and patenting the procedure. In 1938, at the International Fair of Lyon, Joseph Besset presented the first European coach with an integral structure with engine at the rear located in a cantilever : the Isobloc (see part 6, no. 17). But in 1951 competition forced Besset to cease his activities. The company changed names several times and became Floirat, then SACA, Saviem, Renault Industrial Vehicles, Irisbus-Iveco and since 2013 Iveco Bus.

This is a weighty but small model compared to the Van Hool. It captures the line well with sympathy for the exaggerated lines of the dark green and light green livery. It is based on a coach preserved by the Orain company of Messac (Ille-et-Villaine), while another one is in the Annonay museum.

Metal body and plastic chassis, with a simulated spare wheel under the chassis. The driver area is well reproduced, with nice passenger seats.

The registration plate is from Ille-et-Villaine, a department located in Brittany, in the northwest of France. A very nice radiator grille is fitted and the front lights are quite fine. As usual there are many added parts, like lights, mirrors, wipers and a large rear ladder to reach the baggage area over the black roof.

There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A very nice model, but perhaps a lighter livery would improve its appearance.

 

No. 51 (no. 40 in the French collection) Neoplan NH 9L 1964 – When we met the 1983 Neoplan NH 22 Skyliner (part nine, no. 27) we saw the Neoplan founder’s eldest son, Albrecht Auwärter, and the Swiss Bob Lee, developed a new coach as part of their dissertation at the Hamburg University. The “Hamburg” bus was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 1961. Both Albrecht and Lee joined Neoplan after graduating from the university : Albrecht took over management of the company, and Bob Lee later became head of Engineering and Design. The NH range (Neoplan Hamburg) was characterised by clear-cut lines with straight edges and large windows, curved over the roof. From the beginning the NH was produced in four different lengths (from 8.16 to 12 metres) named NH 8, NH 9, NH 12 and NH 14 according to the number of rows of seats. All models had rear pneumatic springs and Henschel straight six diesel engines with 115-180 CV. The NH 9 was the most successful, but at the end of the 60s competition forced Neoplan to substitute it with the NH 10, which was able to carry more passengers. The NB range replaced the NH range in 1971 and the Henschel engines were replaced by Daimler Benz ones. Henschel was founded in 1810 in Kassel, producing locomotives among other things, then developed trucks and buses, both before and after the second world war, and diesel engines following the issuing of a  Lanova license, but at the end of the 60s it was absorbed bit by bit by Daimler Benz.

The scale model is shaped accurately and the cream and green livery appears authentic and neatly printed.

 

It is a faithful reproduction of a bus preserved by Will-Reisen, a travel company from Haßfurt, a town in Bavaria, Germany, capital of the Haßberge district.

The body is plastic, as usual, with a metal baseplate with limited details. The silver roof is a separate part. Many more small plastic separate parts are fitted, like exhaust, wipers, mirrors, lights and bumpers, plus a very large antenna in front. The Henschel scripts over the front and rear grilles are rather crude..

A basic interior is fitted and the steering wheel seems to be a bit too large. Nice wheel covers are fitted. There is an accurate German registration plate for the Haßberge district. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model, quite representative of 1960s technology.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 16

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Nos. 46  to 48

This time we visit fabulous India with a Tata bus, France again with another Berliet and step behind the Iron Curtain with a postwar Skoda. All of them are from the Italian Hachette partwork ‘Autobus dal mondo’, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French partwork ‘Autobus et autocars du monde’, produced in Bangladesh by Ixo. At the time of writing Italian Hachette has announced that the partwork will be extended to eighty models (the French one is marching towards 120), but the first two models (nos. 61 and 62) are nothing more than new liveries on old castings: not a good start, let’s hope we see something new.

No. 46 (no. 45 in the French collection) Tata LPO 1512 1990 – The origins of Tata can be traced to a company founded in 1868 by Jamshedji Tata : today Tata Group is an Indian multinational conglomerate holding company, headquartered in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), and owned by Tata Sons, a registered charity. One of its members is Tata Motors Limited (formerly TELCO, short for Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company) a multinational automotive manufacturing company producing passenger cars, trucks, vans, coaches, buses, sports cars, construction equipment and military vehicles,. The group includes Jaguar Land Rover, with manufacturing and assembly plants in India, as well as in Argentina, South Africa, Great Britain and Thailand.

Founded in 1945 to produce locomotives, the company manufactured its first commercial vehicle in 1954 in a collaboration with Daimler-Benz AG (which ended in 1969): the chassis was a copy of the Mercedes L 3500, and from it was derived a whole series of bus and truck chassis, like the Tata 1210 and then the 1510, and its more modern variant the 1512. The Tata 1510/1512 was the largest selling bus in India and neighbouring countries, combining good features and low ownership cost. Built on a sturdy frame with parallel side members, suited to the difficult local conditions, and equipped from 1993 with a Cummins straight six diesel engine (previously with a Tata-Mercedes Benz 697 engine), the 1512 was usually bodied by contracted suppliers to customer requirements. Alas in later years its reliability was often hindered by poor maintenance causing frequent accidents, notwithstanding a legal maximum speed of 40 km/h.

The scale model represents a 1990 large capacity long distance bus where, lacking any air conditioning, the side doors (obviously on the left side) have been deleted, at the expense of safety. There is the usual combination of a plastic body and a metal baseplate, which is well detailed. It is painted in a bright livery in white, yellow and light green. On the sides there is the “Stage Carriage” writing, meaning it is a vehicle stopping at designated places, plus others printed in Indian characters, which the Author cannot decipher. The registration plate is one from the Delhi Regional Transport Office, correctly printed in black over yellow, as required for a public use. The prefix DL-1P is specifically allocated to Delhi commercial buses.

The angular shape of the bus is well reproduced, with large windows and many separate plastic parts, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers, plus a chromed side exhaust. Very nice wheels and driver’s ‘cab’ area. The seats are only basic. Note the shadows on the windows representing the safety bars on their lower side. No apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of an almost unknown bus, at least in Europe.


 

No. 47 (no. 36 in the French collection) Berliet PLR 10 1955 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Crusair (see part 8, no. 22), PHL 10 (see part 10, no. 30) and PR100 ranges (Jelcz version, see part 14, no. 40) and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative. In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR 8, a very powerful bus, but old fashioned even before it was launched: its heavy welded box frame, its dual rear wheels and horizontal engine meant high costs, both to buy, to use and to maintain. The PLR 8, an urban bus, was equipped with a 125 CV five cylinders MDUH diesel engine, while the PLR 10, an intercity bus, had a 150 CV six cylinders MDZH diesel, later used also on the urban version of the PLR 10. In 1958 a new generation of very low consumption engines was developed thanks to the MAN injection system, but this evolution did not save the model from its fate, as it was not the commercial success the new engine deserved.

With the cooperation of Vétra for the electric systems, Berliet produced a trolleybus version of the PLR 10, named ELR, a variant appreciated in Nice and Marseille.

The scale model represents an urban version (the correct name should be PLR 10 U) of the Monegasque CAM (Compagnie des Autobus de Monaco) with only 20 seated places and large central and rear platform for 70 standing places. The model is in a very elegant white livery with the coat of arms of the Principality on the roof. There is the usual plastic body with metal baseplate, and the exhaust is enhanced in silver.

The red circle on the front means that the vehicle runs a regular service, but it is in contrast with the “Special” in the destination board. The registration plate is not correct for the year, it should be white on blue, the blue on white was released only from 1978. Very likely it is a copy of a preserved and re-registered bus.

A nice front grille is provided, suitably pierced, and good wheels. A well reproduced driver’s cockpit is present as well as a basic interior. Usual added parts like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers are fitted. No apparent differences to the French edition. A good choice, fifties buses are the most loved.


 

No. 48 (no. 37 in the French collection) Skoda 706 RO 1947 – In 1859, Count Wallenstein-Vartenberk, owner of an already established foundry and engineering work, set up a branch in Pilsen, then in the Kingdom of Bohemia, part of the Austrian Empire. In 1869, the plant was taken over by Emil Škoda, who soon expanded the firm, and in the 1880s founded what was then a very modern steelwork, which was a leader in arms manufacturing. Exports included heavy castings, such as parts for the Niagara Falls power plant and for the Suez Canal sluices. In 1924, Škoda Works acquired the Laurin-Klement car manufacturer, later known as Škoda Auto.

The companies were separated after 1945, when the whole Czechoslovak economy came under government control : the car works in Mladá Boleslav became AZNP (Automobilové závody národní podnik or National Automobile Manufacturing Industry) today’s Škoda Auto, while the truck plant became part of a conglomerate of nine truck producers headquartered in Liberec as LIAZ (Liberecké automobilové závody), although the trucks and buses were still marketed as Škodas. Later, Škoda became well known in the USSR and other countries as a trolleybus manufacturer, but when in late 1989 the company was privatised very soon mismanagement, and the loss of guaranteed access to the East-European market, led to a collapse. In 1991 the Czech government sought a foreign partner for the passenger car works, choosing Volkswagen with a 30% initial stake, rising to 100% ownership by 1999.

The Škoda 706 RO is an urban bus produced from 1947 on the frame of the 706 R truck, and bodied by Sodomka (from 1948 named Karosa). In 1896 Josef Sodomka founded a manufacturing plant for coaches, and producing automobile bodywork of its own design from 1925, designed to be mounted on automobile chassis produced by Praga. In 1948, the company was nationalised and incorporated into a ‘National Enterprise’, which was then given the name Karosa (acronym for “Factory for carriages, cars, rotors, machine tools, cutting machines and buses”). Karosa become the sole manufacturer of buses in Czechoslovakia, but in 1989, after the fall of the communist regime, Karosa had to reduce its production. Help came from Renault, Karosa later becoming part of Irisbus and then of Iveco Bus. At the time the RO was a modern high capacity bus and was exported to many countries within the communist block, China included. The engine, a Skoda straight six diesel engine with 145 CV, was placed in front next to driver, and the rear axle was propelled by a long driveshaft. The body presented a very long rear overhang. Its heir, the RTO (quite similar, but much more comfortable with a lowered frame), was presented in 1958 and continued serial production until 1972, while it was produced under licence until 1977 by Jelcz (see part 14, no. 40) in Poland.

The scale model represents quite accurately a bus exported to China, with a red and white livery, and a dark grey roof. The Author apologises but he is unable to translate the Chinese characters. At the time China encouraged the workforce to live close to work to limit need for transport to work. Nowadays their cities are blocked by traffic like ours, and worse.

The bus has the usual form of construction with a plastic body and metal baseplate, which is well detailed. A side exhaust is added, as are front and rear tow hooks. Very nice doors and the wheels are fitted. Among the added plastic parts are the usual lights, bumpers, mirrors (five of them) and wipers. On the roof a triangle is fitted, very likely to be used to indicate the presence of a trailer. Another nice reproduction of a bus almost unknown in Western Europe.


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Hachette Italy World Buses Part 15

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Parts 43 to 45

Three more European buses: a Spanish and we could say two Germans, because the Heuliez is the copy of a Mercedes-Benz one. All of them are 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.

No. 43 (no. 70 in the French collection) MAN 535 HO 1969 – The origins of MAN can be traced back to the XVIII century when the “St. Antony” iron works started operation in Oberhausen, in the Ruhr region. After many mergers and countless name changes, in 1898 the Maschinenbau-AG Nürnberg and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg AG merged to form a company that in 1908 was renamed Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nürnberg AG (MAN). Besides ore mining and iron production in the Ruhr region, mechanical engineering (mainly railway and steel based building) became the dominating branch of business in Augsburg and Nuremberg, with spectacular works like the Wuppertal monorail and the first steel bridges. In 1915 they started to assemble Saurer trucks and after a few years their own truck chassis. Together with Rudolf Diesel and the Bosch company, MAN developed and perfected the high-speed compression-ignition engine, powering heavy trucks and buses. During the Second World War MAN supplied diesel engines for submarines and tanks, projectiles and artillery of every kind, becoming the target of massive Allied bombing attacks. After the end of the war the allies split up the group, separating mining, iron and steel production from engineering, plant construction, commercial vehicles and printing machines. In 1952 MAN presented its first bus with a rear engine and self-supporting body structure, the MKH2, soon followed by the urban Metrobus and its articulated derivatives. The 535 HO (for heckmotor, rear engine) was introduced in 1963, intended both as suburban and tourism bus, in competition with the Mercedes O321 and the Bussing Konsul-10. It was a limited success. Produced with a length of 9.3 or 10.3 metres, it had a very high flat floor, large windows and a six cylinder diesel engine with 135 or 160 CV. Its first version had a curved roof, sometimes with additional windows in the roof. In 1969 the roof was flattened, with higher side windows and squared headlamps. But the MAN history is very complex, for example from 1967 until 1977 MAN collaborated with France’s Saviem, badging their light to medium duty trucks as MAN, and after that a deal was signed with Volkswagen which lasted until 1993. Meanwhile in 1971 there was the take-over of the truck and bus division of the commercial vehicles manufacturer Büssing (the logo on the front of all MAN trucks and buses shows a lion, from the coat of arms of the old Duchy of Brunswick, headquarters of Büssing), but at the beginning of the 1980s there was a dramatic downturn of commercial vehicle sales caused by the oil crisis and the economic crisis. There were agreements with the Chinese company Sinotruk and later agreements and acquisitions of the Indian company Force Motors and the Brazilian Volkswagen truck and bus operation. In 2001 MAN Nutzfahrzeuge AG acquired Neoplan Bus GmbH, creating Neoman Bus GmbH. Then, in July 2011, Volkswagen AG acquired the majority of the share capital in MAN, planning to merge MAN and Scania to create Europe’s largest truckmaker.

The scale model is based on one of the preserved buses, with the usual combination of a plastic body and a metal baseplate. It is well detailed with a bright livery in cream and red. The registration plate is from Landshut, a town in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, situated on the banks of the river Isar.

The angular shape of the MAN is well reproduced, with the large windows well modelled and many small separate plastic parts, like lights, bumpers, mirrors and wipers.

A very nice front grille is fitted, only ornamental due to the rear engine, and good seats and nice chromed hubcaps. A minor fault is the missing steps at the front door, the transparent doors show a void in their place. There are no apparent differences to the French edition. A nice model of a tourist bus typical of the 1960s.

 

No. 44 (no. 59 in the French collection) Pegaso 6035 EMT 1972 – We have already seen the Pegaso history and its Z-403 Monoscocca (see part 3, no. 8) and how its parent company, ENASA (Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones S.A.), was took over by IVECO in 1990, and the Pegaso name disappeared in 1994 after building more than 350,000 vehicles. Its first trucks were slightly modified petrol engined Hispano-Suiza 66G, soon followed in 1949 by diesel models (Z-202), also available as articulated tractors, road train and coach or bus (Z-401). In the 1960s and 1970s, the impressive economic development of Spain allowed Pegaso trucks and buses to cross borders and link the Spanish economy with the European Economic Community. In 1961 Pegaso started with the “6000 range” the production of the “Monotral” buses and coaches, based on an Italian Viberti patent, a chassisless design with an underfloor horizontal engine, a very light yet full-length vehicle. These vehicles adopted the same design of the self-supporting structure used for the Z-403monoscocca“. Within the 6000 range, the models 6035 and 6038 were notable for the large number of units built,with the 6424 being the range’s latest development before the absorption of ENASA by Iveco, produced from 1989.   The first prototype of Pegaso 6035 was designed by the coachbuilder Jorsa and was tested on the streets of Barcelona at the beginning of 1965, it was a sturdy, spacious and aesthetically very nice bus. Equipped with an horizontal six online diesel Pegaso 9101 engine of 170 CV, mated to a hydraulic clutch, and a semi-automatic gear shift (Wilson). It had servo assisted steering and mixed suspension. It was one of the most popular urban buses in Spain during the 1970s and 1980s : Barcelona, Burgos, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, San Sebastián, Santander, Sevilla and Valencia were some of the cities that chose this bus, which remained in service for more than 20 years. The EMT fleet of Madrid bought 415 units, all with three doors, with access by the rear, except the last five that had only two doors, when the role of bus conductor was dropped. It was the last bus to sport the Madrid blue livery before, in 1974, the city council decided to change the colour of the fleet to red.   Production of the 6035 stopped in 1979, but during all its life it was constantly updated.   To meet the need for a larger capacity bus it was presented an articulated version, the 6035A, with a length of 18 metres. This was another success with more than 100 units in Barcelona bodied by Hugas and more than 500 in Madrid, bodied by Noge.

This model is also based on one of the preserved buses, with the blue and ivory livery typical of Madrid painted on the plastic body which is attached to a metal base plate, with the exhaust picked out in silver.

There is a very detailed front with the Madrid insignia and the joint emblem Jorsa/Pegaso, as well as the model name. The line number is 61, from the Moncloa bus station, serving the northwest of the Madrid region, to Calle de Narvàez, near the University Pediatric Hospital in front of the El Retiro park.

On the sides and at the back there adverts for the EMT night service. Well reproduced folding doors, windows and driver’s cab feature. More basic are the  seats and interior. There is a lovely “Pegasus” logo on the chromed hubcaps. Many small separate parts are fitted like the wipers, rearview mirrors, lights, and bumpers.

 

There is no apparent difference to the French edition. A nice reproduction of an emblematic Spanish bus.

 

No. 45 (no. 71 in the French collection) Heuliez O305 HLZ 1969 – The “French edition” of a famous German bus (more than 16,000 copies from 1969 to 1987) the Mercedes-Benz O305, the product of standardisation requested by the VoV (Verband Offentlicher Verkehrsbetriebe), the Association of German Public Transport. Similar buses were also produced by Büssing, Gräf/Steyr, Ikarus, Magirus-Deutz and MAN. Designed for use as a single-decker bus, it was later redesigned to accommodate double-decker bodies, and it was built as either a complete bus or a bus chassis. The engine was a horizontal six in-line diesel producing 210 CV, positioned at the rear of the bus. This was very reliable and almost noiseless. The body had a high floor, needing two steps, and a square shape with large windows. The Heuliez version had squared headlamps, a higher roof, different bumpers and lacked the small windows at the rear corners. Its origins came from a strong French nationalistic spirit: Compared to the Berliet PR100, the O305 was easily the winner, and it was preferred to have the benefits of the Mercedes-Benz but made in France and sold with a  French badge. Many in France resented the  “German invasion” as the German manufactured goods proved to be better than their competitors. On the initiative of Alain Chenard, mayor of Nantes and president of the Compagnie Nantes de Transport (future Semitan), fruitful contacts took place between Heuliez and Mercedes-Benz, leading to the production by Heuliez of all the buses exported to France. Heuliez was a company founded in 1920 to produce bodies on Renault, Citroën, Peugeot and Simca chassises. Heuliez specialized in the study and building of prototypes for manufacturers, producing short series for niche markets or derivatives, such as vans, convertibles and breaks in small series. Its subsidiary Heuliez Bus went through many different part-owners: from Renault to Volvo, to Irisbus, until it was entirely bought in 2001 by IVECO and it is now a 100% subsidiary of CNH Industrial.   After the O305 HLZ (more than 600 copies) it developed a minibus based on the Renault Master and more urban buses for French towns, like the GX107 and GX187. In the 1980s Heuliez was asked to renovate the O305 of Nantes: the oldest buses were unbodied, slightly lengthened and fitted with the body of the GX107, the interior was redesigned and the buses renamed GX44, while the most recent ones remained O305 until their reformation.

The model is shaped accurately and the white, green and orange livery appears authentic and neatly printed. The body is plastic, as usual, with a metal base plate with limited detail.

Many small plastic separate parts, like wipers, mirrors, lights and bumpers are used. It is fitted with accurate French registration plates for Nantes, a City in the Atlantic Loire. A basic interior is accompanied by a nice dashboard with lots of detail.

 

On the sides are two small adverts for Michelin ZX tires. Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition. An almost obvious choice, given the French origin of the collection.


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Converted to some Chevy IIs

By John Quilter

Photographs and text by, and copyright of the Author.

The partworks series from Argentina includes a model they call a Chevrolet 400 sedan. This diecast replica is likely made by Ixo a brand name produced by Premium Collectibles Trading Co of Macau, China. Unfortunately, these partworks items are a bit difficult to obtain for collectors outside the partworks subscription area. However, some enterprising individuals apparently get a number of subscriptions and then re-market the models on eBay for other parts of the world. Collecting 43rd models is sometimes all about the chase for some unusual item not already in one’s collection. Perhaps since these items are diecast with the attendant higher tooling costs compared to resin models, they will appear in some other marketing channel in the future.

This Chevrolet 400 was of interest to me as it is a car that was sold in the USA from 1962 to 1965 as the Chevy II. It was a belated entry into the compact car market by Chevrolet who soon realised by mid-1960 that the radically engineered air cooled rear engine Corvair was being handily outsold by Ford’s very conventional Falcon. Both were launched in the fall of 1959 as 1960 models in answer to the ever growing popularity of the European small cars such as the Volkswagen Beetle, Renault Dauphine, Morris Minor, Hlllman Minx and many others including the Ford Consul and Zephyr, Opel Record, and Vauxhall Victor, which were known as captive imports.

Seeing the Corvair was not matching the Falcon in sales GM hurriedly designed an launched the Chevy II as a 1962 model and it came in two door and four door sedans, a four door wagon, a convertible and pillarless hardtop. Engines ranged from a 153 cubic inch four cylinder to a 230 cubic inch six cylinder. Later cars had larger V8s up to the ubiquitous Chevrolet 283 and even the 327. Gearboxes were usually three speed column shifted manuals or the two speed Powerglide. The basic first generation body design lasted until 1965 when it got a re-skin for the next two years. Along the way it was renamed the Nova. This name had a bad translation into Spanish as “no go” hence the Argentine version being called the Chevrolet 400. This was as small car by American standards but was probably considered a mid to large car in many other markets. Like Ford and the Falcon based Mustang, GM took the Chevy II and used it as a base for their pony car, the Camaro in 1967.

The partworks version is a white four door sedan, probably the most common of all body types. It is quite accurate and in all respects replicates the US version closely. I was able to acquire three of these partworks items so I could create different versions. I chose to make a station wagon and a convertible.

The convertible was the easiest being that I only had to use my jeweller’s saw to cut off the roof, change the length of the door from a four door car to a two door car and create a top boot using a piece of sheet lead. The door edges can be made with a saw cut groove and the lead material lends itself easily to bending and shaping for a top boot.

I added the detail of period accessory wheel trim rings and thin white walls to the existing black walls using some white painted wire rings. Decals for whitewall this thin are not yet produced to my knowledge but this might be a good offering for one of the decal suppliers such as Interdecal marketed by Tin Wizard.

For greater accuracy I added a graphic artists tape chrome moulding down the flanks to replicate the factory moulding. The Ixo model has this in tampo print along with various badges. After repaint in red, I was able to touch in the badges approximately using my newly discovered Molotow 1mm chrome paint pen. Both the convertible and wagon got a bare metal foil sill moulding as per the actual cars.

The work to create the station wagon was a bit more complex in that I had to create a roof extension and side windows. Careful research on Wikipedia showed that the station wagon had a slightly longer length than the sedan, all in the rear quarter.

This meant that to get the correct proportions I was necessary to cut off the tail panel and extend it rearwards and fill the resulting gap with epoxy metal. Being a four door car the door joints were retained from the sedan.

I appreciated adding these variations of American compacts to my collection as model makers such as NEO, Premium X (another PCT brand) and Goldvarg* seem to be concentrating of the larger, flashier American cars in their products but if one is going to replicate what was on the streets this era, compacts from all of the big three American makers certainly played an important part at the time. I welcome models of some of the other GM compacts of the time such as the Pontiac Tempest, Olds F-85 and Buick Special or Ford’s Mercury Comet or the intermediate Mercury Meteor or Ford Fairlane. There are no shortages of body style to pick from as all had a full range of versions.

*Editors Note: John sent his article to MAR Online the day before Goldvarg announced that the Chevy II will form part of their forward programme. If Goldvarg do a Chevy II two door hardtop it will allow John to complete his collection without the need to convert another partwork model!


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