Category Archives: Matrix

Recent Announcements May 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix News

Matrix has announced a new model which has only been announced as it has become available to buy. This is in 1:43 scale resin made in China for the Netherlands.

MX41302-211 Mercedes Benz Sprinter Miesen Deutches Rotes Kreuz 2018

Maxichamps

Another revived mould diecast in China for Germany to 1:43 scale. Black is a good colour for this classic Mercedes-Benz and although derived from an old master this is still an excellent model of a popular car.

940034005 Mercedes-Benz 200 1968

Minichamps

Minichamps releases in 1:43 continue to arrive on sale. The models shown are all made in China for Germany. The releases continue to mix Grand Prix cars, racing cars, and cars. It is interesting to note that the revived 1:87 scale line appears to have stopped introducing models at the moment.

PORSCHE PANAMERA 4S DIESEL SPORT TURISMO – 2017 – ACHATGRAU-METALLIC
PORSCHE PANAMERA 4S DIESEL SPORT TURISMO – 2017 – BURGUNDER-ROT-METALLIC
PORSCHE 917/10 – VASEK POLAK RACING – JODY SCHECKTER – CAN-AM MOSPORT 1973
BRABUS 850 MERCEDES-AMG S 63 S-CLASS CABRIOLET – 2016 – GOLD

Not to be left out of the firms rushing to produce bigger and bigger models Minichamps are also issuing a significant number of models in large scales and a recent announcement was this diecast 1:12 scale Porsche, another must have for the Porsche collector?

PORSCHE 911 TURBO – 1977 – OLIVE

A TSM Land Rover

TSM produce many models for car companies to be badged as dealer promotional models. These may in time also turn up produced as TSM boxed products. Here we have a model of Winston Churchill‘s famous Land Rover moulded in resin in China for Europe. The model is to 1:43 scale. This model is due in August and is priced in the UK at around the same price as a Matrix model.


Northcord Model Company

The new Northcord operation seems to be recovering after the companies failure a couple of years ago. The new Enviro400 MMC model seems to be selling well and is now into a second release of the 10.5 metre single door casting of this modern double-decker. Here it is liveried in the Bournemouth Transport Yellow Buses livery as fleet number 200 (SN17 MTO) which joined their fleet in 2017.


Le Mans Miniatures

Although primarily known for their 1:32 scale slot car range of accurate historic racing cars they also make figures suitable to show with static models in several scales. Here we look at new models in 1:32 and 1:43 scales.

1:43 scale racing managers

Here we see models of Enzo Ferrari (Scudero Ferrari), Alfred Neubauer (Mercedes-Benz), John Wyer (Porsche) Norbert Singer
(Porsche).  

1:32 scale Gendarme

Here we have a model to the larger 1:32 scale which represents a patrolman on traffic duties in the uniform which was used between 1947 and 1965.

Matrix Models April 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix has recently announced last release in April and future releases for May 2019. As ever a fascinating mix of models with a significant number of historical sports cars in addition to the coach built specials we expect to see.

All the models announced are moulded in resin to 1:43 scale and finished with photo-etchings. They are made in China for the Netherlands. Unfortunately there are only a few illustrations of the models available, most being illustrated by photographs of the real car which do not give us any chance to evaluate how good the model is.

Most of the models shown are new mouldings and announced for the first time, whilst others are new models that have been announced previously.

Expected April 2019

MX40604-062 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale red / black 1953

Another version of the 212 Inter in well chosen colours and with Matrix good wire wheels. The interior models the tan leather seating well.

Expected May 2019


No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX40205-022 Bugatti T40 Roadster yellow / black 1921

MX40205-071 Bugatti T55 Roadster yellow / black 1932

A nice model of a classic Bugatti with typical nice Bugatti wheels well captured and the yellow stripe round the wings and running boards well applied.


No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX40205-072 Bugatti T55 Roadster black / red 1932


MX41001-021 Lister – Jaguar racing green 1958

A British motor racing classic. Designed around the straight six Jaguar engine that had powered the D Type.


No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX41001-102 Jaguar Pirana Bertone green metallic 1967


MX51001-061 Jaguar V12 Kensington Italdesign concept silver 1990

This is a design study that looks to the Author like a stretched Rover 75 and it was yet another attempt by an Italian designer to clothe Jaguars in a newer style of body in an era where they were determinedly traditional.


No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX51001-062 Jaguar V12 Kensington Italdesign concept green 1990

No photograph of Model issued by Supplier


MXR41001-021 Lister-Jaguar Daily Express Silverstone Moss #29 first green 1958

Malcolm Campbell was fond of fast cars for private use as well as for setting records. He had raced Type 37A Bugatti cars in grand prix races in France before he set his sight on world record breaking. His private cars were painted the same colour as the Bluebird record cars. A tradition his son, Donald Campbell, kept up. The model looks like it captures the Bugatti lines very well and the colour is convincing.

MX40205-091 Bugatti T57S Corsica Roadster Malcolm Campbell #57531 blue 1937

No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX40205-092 Bugatti T57S Corsica Roadster Malcolm Campbell #57531 blue half open 1937

No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX41607-082 Singer Design Porsche 911 orange 2014

No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MX50205-022 Bugatti T101 Antem Coupe green 1951

A curious beast! Campers seem to be very popular models at the moment with a continental partwork given over entirely to them. Here Matrix do not credit the maker of the camper section and a whilst a search of the internet showed up a photograph of this camper at a show it did not give details of the maker. Perhaps the printed details to the rear of the caravan might give the maker away but the photograph’s resolution is not detailed enough to see what it says.


MX50304-061 Citroen ID Camper blue / gold 1973


MXR41302-011 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR Mille Miglia Jenkinson / Moss #722 winner 1955

The famous winner of the Mille MIglia modelled here with tyhe passenger area covered and with what looks like two flyscreens. This is curious as the car run in the race had a single one piece full with screen and was open on passenger and driver’s sides as Denis Jenkinson sat there alongside Stirling Moss.


No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MXR41302-012 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR RAC TT Moss/Fitch #10 first silver 1955

No photograph of Model issued by Supplier

MXR41302-013 Mercedes-Benz 300SLR GP Sweden Fangio #1 winner silver 1955

Matrix March 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Here are the details of the latest releases from Matrix. These models are all moulded in resin to 1:43 scale in China for the Netherlands. All are produced in limited quantities and two have already sold out on dealer’s pre-orders so may be particularly difficult to obtain.

Matrix prices have risen very considerably over the last few years but they seem to have steadied a little in recent months. I hope that this continues as I feel that sales must have declined as some Matrix models crossed the 100 UK pounds price point.

New Models

MX10108-031 Aston Martin DB6 Volante grey metallic 1966

The DB6 was an in-house styling exercise with the major emphasis upon wind tunnel testing to stop the back end lift that was experienced on the DB5, and re-engineering the height to give more space inside. The solution was a Kamm tail with a small lip spoiler at the rear. It was in production from 1965 to 1970 when it was replaced by the DBS. The convertible was made as the ‘Volante‘ from 1966 and only 140 were made.

This model is in silver with the hood down.


MX10108-032 Aston Martin DB6 Volante red metallic closed 1966

Here is the same model painted red and with its hood up. A neat presentation of the hood. It follows the earlier Matrix DB6 coupe which was painted a bright yellow.


MX 40108-011 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe Bertone Arnolt red 1953

This DB2/4 was a one of its kind Bertone bodied fixed head coupe commissioned by Stanley H ‘Wacky’ Arnolt. There is also speculation that the lost Arnolt chassis, LML/503, may also have been bodied in this style. The car was delivered by Arnolt to a French customer in 1955. The design was by Franco Scaglione, It is powered by the later DB2/4 2.9 litre engine.

This model is painted red the colour that the car was in when delivered from Bertone.


MX40108-012 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe Bertone Arnolt white 1953

The same car as above, literally in the case of the 1:1 scale car. Bertone was proud of this styling work and the car was seen in white at a Turin Motor Show. In more recent times the car made its way to the US where it currently resides. The car never went into series production because David Brown decided to stop supplying Aston Martin rolling chassis to Coach Builders.


MX40604-011 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe “Bumblebee” Vignale #0197EL black / yellow 1952

This model is another that dealers have taken up the whole output already clearly expecting this unusual variation to sell out quickly.

Vignale built about 153 Ferraris from 1950 to 1954. Not all were stylistic successes. The 212 Export Lungo modelled here by Matrix is known as ‘bumble bee’ due to the yellow and black colours used. They have vestigial rear fins and the classic Ferrari egg crate grille.

This car was originally delivered to a French customer, then was exported to the States before ending up in the UK where it was fully restored to its original finish before travelling back to the US again.


Another version of the same VIgnale Ferrari. This time in classic red. Less distinctive than its sister model but perhaps more typical of the colour selected by customers.

MX40604-012 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale red 1952


New Versions

MX20302-372 Chevrolet Suburban K10 brown metallic 1978

Dealers have pre-ordered the entire run of this model so they obviously anticipate them being popular with collectors.

The model is of a seventh generation Suburban which was the longest lasting being in production from 1973 to 1991 though there were considerable changes in styling and engine line up over the long run. The Suburban was a truck like full sized SUV typical of the time.


MX20303-072 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon black 1942

The Town and Country wagon was introduced in 1941 and production was suspended in 1942 as the US turned to full scale war production after their entry into the Second World War.

The Matrix model captures the original well with the narrow chrome strips making up the grille and on the rear wing neatly added. The pictures suggest that the wooden panels have been simulated well too.

The Town and Country returned to production in 1948 but only as a sedan or convertible. The pre-war eight passenger wagons were the last of their kind.


MX40201-062 Bentley 4.25 litre Pillarless Saloon Carlton grey metallic 1937

Editor: Reader Kenneth Hodges has kindly pointed out to the Editor that the Coachbuilder is Carlton as stated by Matrix and that the car is not Carlton grey as the editor had incorrectly assumed. So the original non-italicised text in the paragraph below is incorrect. Carlton were an English Coachbuilder based in London. They were noted for building modern looking cars and were quite productive until the Second World War. After that, staff previously involved with Carlton, had a business re-bodying pre-war Rolls-Royce chassis in a more modern style but as demand for that fell they faded away.

Matrix do not tell us which coachbuilder the car was made by. From the styling a continental coachbuilder seems more likely than a traditional UK firm. The lack of a running board and the way that the rear wings have been handled suggest a French origin perhaps?

In any event the model is excellent with the dramatic lines around the faired in rear wheel being very crisply captured.

The grey seems to suit the model better, in my opinion, than the blue and white colours used on its previous appearance in the range.


MX51311-041 Maserati Mexico Speciale by Frua red metallic 1967

The Maserati Mexico was derived from a 2+2 prototype shown on the Vignale stand at the October 1965 Turin Salon. It used a 4.9-litre 5000 GT chassis which had been damaged. After the show the prototype was sold to the Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos so the model became known as the Mexico. Vignale’s prototype was so well received that Maserati put it into production debuting in August 1966.

The car modelled by Matrix is not a standard Maserati Mexico. In May 1967 a German Maserati importer had a special Mexico  made by Maserati and bodied by Frua.  Appearing like a 4-seat Mistral but built on the 3500 GTs tubular chassis this prototype ‘Mexico’ was fitted with the Mistral’s six-cylinder 3.7-litre Lucas fuel-injected engine. Its dashboard came from the Quattroporte.


Final Matrix Models of 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix has recently announced some new models to be issued in December. These are all 1:43 scale resin cast models made in China for the Netherlands.


MX20301-212 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75 Limousine Black 1970

This is the second version made from this mould. This time it appears in black. A colour often to be seen for formal cars.


MX20303-022 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton LeBaron gold 1941

This is the second version of this car, originally released in cream. Here it has been made with a gold paint finish. 


MX40307-012 Cord L-29 Phaeton Sedan creme closed 1931

The Cord Phaeton has already been seen in the range with its hood down. Here we have the hood and rear windows erected.


MX41302-142 Mercedes-Benz 500K Tourer Mayfair #123689 red closed 1934
 
Another model where the basic casting has already been released in a hood down form. Here the second version in the same red colour but with the hood up.


Matrix Models October 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix Models continue to release news of new models very close to the date of release presumably in an effort to make sure that their small batches of models sell before similar models can be produced by competitors.  This removes the sense of anticipation that some other ranges offer, though sometimes the awaited model from others never arrives! It replaces it with releases that have more impact as their choices continue to find nice new prototypes for collectors. All Matrix models are highly detailed based on resin mouldings produced in China for the Netherlands, models are usually in 1:43 scale though a smaller number of 1:18 scale models are also made

1:18 Scale

Here we have two different versions of the classic 1958 Ferrari 250 GT which is a highly collectable car with real ones costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars at auction.

These are new models and this is a new announcement by Matrix.

MXL0604-031 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina silver 1958

MXL0604-032 Ferrari 250 GT Coupe Pininfarina red 1958

 

1:43 Scale Models

 

Daimler cars have often appeared in the Matrix range and here Matrix present some of the most outrageous coachbuilt cars form the years when Lord Docker owned the company and his publicity seeking wife exerted a great influence on the top of the range cars shown at motor shows.

MX50402-041 Daimler DK400 Stardust Lady Docker Hooper blue 1954

This model was announced last month but is now available. The shape is similar to the Empress already made by Matrix but the faired-in front lights and massive grille of this car are distinctive.

 

MX10402-022 Daimler DE36 Hooper DHC Green Goddess red metallic/silver

Only a photograph of the real car has been supplied by Matrix so we cannot judge the standard of the model to come. Here we have a car which has already been modelled beautifully by Pete Kenna in white metal and supplied with parts to show it hood up or down. This is the first time Matrix have announced that they will be modelling it and they appear to have chosen to model it with a two tone paint finish which disguises the sheer bulk of this car. It will be a large model as the Kenna is.

 

MX51705-171 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Aero Coup de Foudre #3BU184 blue 1937

Here is a new model of a coachbuilt Rolls-Royce, another type of vehicle Matrix have specialised in producing. This is a new moulding and this is the first time that it has been announced. The vehicle itself has the rather staid and upright Rolls-Royce front end grafted on to a rather extreme coupe body influenced by the contemporary French styling mode. Whether one views the result as a complete success seems irrelevant as it captures the days of coachbuilt cars so well.

 

 

MX50304-051 Citroen DS Safari BBC Camera Car green 1973

This model has been announced before but we now see the model for the first time. The camera car shown was featured on some BBC footage in the 1970s and it was created for the sole purposes of filming horse racing. It would run round a track round the outside of the course filming the horses as they ran. A Citroën was chosen because of the levelling settings and compliance built into the hydro-pneumatic suspension system. The model has caught the period green and grey colour scheme and Logo very well.


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More new models from Matrix August 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Hot on the heels of the announcement of their new Racing Series  Matrix has announced new models in the main ranges for the Autumn. The models are made in resin in China for the Netherlands to 1:43 scale and are expected to be available between September and November.

As usual the models represent some scarce coachbuilt or prototype models.

MX20303-021 Chrysler Newport Dual Cowl Phaeton LeBaron cream 1941

 

MX20303-031 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept LeBaron green metallic 1941
MX20303-032 Chrysler Thunderbolt Concept LeBaron green metallic closed 1941

 

 

MX40102-091 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Figoni Coupe black / white 1933

 

MX40408-021 Delahaye 145 V12 Franay Cabriolet #48772-3 blue metallic 1946

 

MX41306-011 Mohs Ostentatienne Opera Sedan gold metallic 1967

 

MX50108-131 Aston Martin Bulldog grey 1979


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Matrix’ New Racing Series

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs all supplied by the manufacturer.

Matrix has announced a new range of models called “Race Collection” with full details being available on their website at http://www.matrixscalemodels.com/ 

The initial release of models are all of cars driven by Sir Stirling Moss in the 1950s. All are made to 1:43 scale in resin and photoetched materials in China for Holland. All the models shown are pre-production samples which have been hand finished. The models are expected to be released September and October this year (2018).

MXR40108-011 Aston Martin DBR1 1000kms Nurburgring #1 winner Moss / Fairman 1959

Moss qualified fastest in this car but when Jack Fairman span the car and ended up in a ditch when overtaking an Alfa Romeo Guiletta it looked like it was all over. Amazingly Fairman pushed the car out of the ditch unaided and made it back to the pits for Moss to take over and get the car back up to first place in just three laps. The car went on to win the race.

 

MXR40108-012 Aston Martin DBR1 #7 Winner RAC Tourist Trophy Moss / Brooks 1958

Aston Martin had a good day at Goodwood in 1958 finishing 1-2-3! Moss and Tony Brooks lead home the field in this four hour race.

 

MXR40108-013 Aston Martin DBR1 #30 Second Silverstone Sports Car Race Stirling Moss 1959

A different story in 1959 as the Aston became less competitive. Moss struggled to meet the pace of the other cars and did very well to finish second to Ray Salvadori in a Cooper-Maserati.

 

MXR41311-011 Maserati 250F #28 Winner GP Monaco Stirling Moss 1956

Fangio may have been quicker in practice but Moss set of well and lead the race right until the end despite a heart stopping moment when he drove into the rear of Perdisa‘s car when braking for a corner.

MXR41311-012 Maserati 250F #1 Winner Goodwood Glover Trophy Stirling Moss 1956

Moss decided to drive the works car rather than his own for this race. Mike Hawthorn in a BRM lead from the line but Archie Brown and his Connaught took the lead for some time with Moss overtaking him and then running on to an easy win.

 

 

MXR41311-013 Maserati 250F #34 Third Grand Prix Belgium Stirling Moss 1956

A dramatic race although the Maserati could just not meet the pace set by the new Lancia-Ferrari driven by Fangio which won the race. Moss running an easy second then had a major mechanical breakdown as the rear half shaft and wheel seized and destroyed themselves.  Unlike today when an F1 driver would have been out of the race Moss could run back to the pits take over Pesari’s car and use it to finish third.


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Catching up on Autocult and others

By Maz Woolley

All text copyright of the Author and photographs provided by Autocult.

It is some time since we last looked at Autocult whose releases have continued through the year. Here we look at some of the curious vehicles from releases 6 and 7. All the models shown are resin cast to 1:43 scale in China for Germany.

#04017 Arzens La Baleine

Paul Arzens (1903–1990) was a Paris born French industrial designer of railway locomotives and motor cars. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and was able to live reasonably well on the sales of his paintings. This gave him time to pursue an interest in engineering and design.

In 1935 Arzens became involved in the production of cars. He designed and constructed a six-speed automatic transmission which he installed in an old Chrysler and proved to work. Robert Peugeot tried the car and was impressed, although hopes that the system might be adopted for the Peugeot 402 came to nothing, possibly because Peugeot had recently signed a deal with Cotal involving their pre-selector transmission.

Two years later Arzens came up with an eye-catching and streamlined two seater cabriolet prototype built on the chassis of an old Buick. The car was christened “La Baleine” (the whale). With its integrated headlights, panoramic curved windscreen (of ‘plexiglas’) and ‘ponton’ format styling the design anticipated sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s. The car subsequently joined the Bugattis of the Schlumpf Collection at what has become the National Motor Museum in Mulhouse.

#05021 Fiat 2100 Berlina Speciale

The Fiat 1800 and 2100 were six-cylinder saloons produced by Fiat between 1959 and 1968. Both six-cylinder models appeared in 1959 and in 1963, a four-cylinder 1500 cc version was added to the range. The 1800/2100 were designed in-house by Dante Giacosa famous for designing the Cisitalia as well as many cars produced during his time as Lead Engineer for Fiat.

The 2100 was Fiat’s flagship car much used by officials and industrialists. It introduced the crisp three box formula that was to serve Fiat well when used for the smaller Fiat 1500 and then 124/125 and 128 saloons. The 2100 had a 2054 cc six-cylinder engine and a simple but stylish interior with the instruments clustered on the then fashionable single panel in front of the steering wheel with a ribbon speedometer. In autumn 1959, the 2100 Speciale, as modelled here by Autocult, was introduced. It had a lengthened wheelbase and different front grille. The Speciale was used by diplomats and officials. The 2100 was discontinued in Italy during 1961, when the Fiat 2300 became available.

 

#06027 Monteverdi Palm Beach

The Monteverdi Palm Beach was a concept car built by Swiss manufacturer Monteverdi in 1975. It was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1975.  The car never went into production and remained a one-off.  It was built on a shortened Monteverdi High Speed 375C chassis and was painted copper with an interior made of cream-coloured leather. The purchase price of the Palm Beach was given as 124,000 Swiss francs.

The outside of the Palm Beach was influenced by the Montiverdi Berlinetta coupe particularly its low front end with the striking narrow radiator grille and the square twin headlamps. To the rear the tail lights were from a Triumph TR6 were used. Underneath the Palm Beach used the 375C chassis and drive train as well as the conventional 7.2 litre Chrysler V8 .

 

#07010 Moskvich G2

Every now and then the Soviet Union allowed its designers to develop something which was ‘fun’ rather than solely utilitarian. Though often, as here, the underpinnings were fairly basic. The Moskvitch G2 was a sports car derived from the earlier Moskvitch G1. Instead of an open wheel car it was now fitted with an aerodynamic body (spider or hard-top) and was capable of a top speed of 139 mph. This was a very credible speed given that the mid-mounted 70 hp 1,074 cc inline 4-cylinder flathead engine was derived from an engine developed for the pre-war Opel Kadett.

The G2 broke several speed records in the USSR in 1956. In 1959, the engine was replaced with a unit based on the engine from the Moskvitch 407 and a rollbar was installed above the driver’s seat. The G2 was decommissioned in late 1963.

#09006 Mercedes-Benz G bimobil Husky 235

The bimobile is a German demountable camper system similar to those commonly fitted to US pickups though in this case it is designed to directly attach to the host vehicles chassis.  Obviously the key sales point is that you may use the host vehicle for other uses when not going camping and you may replace the host vehicle and fit it to the new one in turn. You may even by a small crane to help you take the unit off the chassis and to re-attach it. The unit is fitted with jacks so can even be lived in when it is not mounted on the chassis.

The bimobil started with a unit fitted to a Peugeot 504 but has been fitted to a wide range of chassis since including the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen as modelled by Autocult which gave it a real ‘go anywhere’ capability.

#10003 Opel Blitz Ludewig Aero

Germany in the 1930s was the home to a wide range of new vehicles and a strong trend towards aerodynamic solutions inspired by the new Autobahn network.  The small bodybuilders Ludewig Brothers of Essen bagan a fruitful collaboration with Opel from the early 1930s.  After the launch of the Opel Blitz three ton truck the Ludewig Brothers workshop developed some prototype bodies for this vehicle, one of them was a bus with a new body of streamlined and rounded form.

The style of the radiator grille was unusual – the Ludewig studio designers deviated from the traditional Opel shape, as generally seen on trucks and other buses, and created a new, rounded form for the front of the body. The engine cowling was rather elegantly combined with the rounded-off wings over the front wheels. To the rear of the body there was an aerodynamic crest reminiscent of the fin of a huge fish.  Two interior styles were seen: in the first the passenger seats were arranged at an angle of 45 degrees to the windows for the optimum view; and in the second the passengers sat on sofa-like chairs.

This bus was coachbuilt by the Ludewig Brothers in very small numbers to order because a mass produced version would have cost more than the market would pay. About seven or eight are known to have been built and many were used to ferry foreign visitors to the 1936 Olympics around as part of the Nazi propaganda effort. They were briefly in service with OBI, an Essen based tour operator after the Olympics. The fate of these vehicles was to be commandeered for use as military transport at the onset of the Second World War.

 

 

Avenue 43

 

Autocult act as distributors for this range of vehicles.

 

#60012 Dodge Charger III

This was a concept car widely shown in the late 1960s but never turned into a road going car. Indeed the shape seems to owe much to the Chevrolet Corvette. The prototype was created for the US national auto show circuit in 1968 and was designed by the staff at Chrysler’s advanced styling studios. The construction of the show car was sub-contracted to the Detroit based fabrication team of Vince Gardner and Paul Shedlik. An automotive prodigy, Gardner was barely out of his teens when he helped Gordon Buehrig craft the original clay model for the Cord 810, while his own designs included the Ford Vega sports car and the Studebaker Gardner Special. The Charger III was one of many projects Gardner and Shedlik tackled for the bigger car makers. The two-man team personally crafted the fibreglass body shell for the Chrysler show car, which was 74 inches wide, only 42 inches tall, and had a 100-inch wheelbase.

The prototype had no engine or drivetrain installed. However, the automaker’s press materials suggested that a Dodge 426 Street Hemi could be installed under the low-profile hood. As there was no engine fitted the power required to operate the Charger III’s numerous display functions, including the clamshell-style cockpit canopy, was actually provided by a 120-volt electrical cable. Photos indicate that the Charger III had at least two different paint finishes: the gold featured at the Chicago Auto Show, and the brilliant Candy Apple Red as shown on the Avenue 43 model.

Like so many show cars it is thought the original was broken up at some point though some more fibreglass bodies found their way into the world of drag racing so the shape lived on.

#60013 Porsche 645 Spyder “Mickymaus”

Developed from the 550 A and 1500 RS Porsche this 1956 prototype nicknamed “Mickey Mouse” had a wheelbase of 2,000 mm and a reduced track width. This change allowed a smaller front profile and higher top speed. The central tail section was raised to house a cooling fan as well as housing two rear facing openings for the air intakes for carburettor and cooling system. The vehicle was powered by an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine with four camshafts (two on each side), which were powered by vertical shafts. It had dual ignition with two separate ignition manifolds, two ignition coils and two twin choke Weber 40 DCM carbs.

At a race on the AVUS course on September 16, 1956, Richard von Frankenberg had an accident with the Mickey Mouse. The car crashed over the north curve’s steep slope into the paddock, about fifteen feet below, and burned; Frankenberg, who had been thrown out, remained almost unhurt. The 645 project ceased and work was devoted to the Porsche 718 1500 RSK Spyder which appeared in the middle of 1957.

Matrix new Announcement

This Matrix model is resin cast in China for the Netherlands to 1:43 scale.

MX20301-183 Cadillac Superior Funeral car 1970

Matrix has just announced a ‘surprise model’ which had not been previously announced but which will ship soon. This Cadillac Funeral Car looks to be a nice model of a classic Cadillac.


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Jaguar Station Wagons

By John F. Quilter

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

A brief history of Jaguar Station Wagons: some in 1:43 scale.

Station wagons have always been part of the motoring scene in Europe although perhaps not as large a part of the market as they were in the USA from the early 1950s to the 1980s when mini vans and SUVs and more recently crossover vehicles began to displace them in popularity. In England in the 1930s there were custom built station wagons which the English called ‘Estate Cars‘ due to their popularity as utility vehicles on and around country estates,  or in some cases Shooting Brakes which were designed to carry shooting parties to the shoot with their guns,  ammunition, and refreshment. These were often wood framed body conversions on a production chassis. Woodies in American lingo. There were such conversions on Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and even Allard cars not to mention the more common Fords such as the Ford Pilot. Like in the USA these were often built by speciality body builders making for quite a variety of styles over the decades. The Morris Minor Traveller, a wood bodied estate was an in house project and was made by BMC and British Leyland from 1953 to the end of production in 1971 and it may well have been one of larger volume longest running estates, production wise. By the end of the 1950s, all metal wagons became the norm and BMC produced some of these such as the Morris Oxfords and Austin Cambridge. Others from their rivals  included Ford Consul (body conversion by Farnham) and Vauxhall Victor and Cresta PA, (body conversion by Friary and in some cases Grosvenor). Others built estate cars in house like Rootes Group whose Hillman Minx and Hillman Husky were factory built and Standard Triumph whose Standard Vanguard and 8/10, Triumph Herald, and Triumph 2000 ranges all offered  factory built estate cars. All these were lower line, or mid line, family cars where the estate car market was larger than the market for estate car versions of luxury cars. Jaguar being an up market product left the limited demand for wagons to speciality builders who often did only a handful for specific (and well healed) customers.

 

A little research on the Jaguar side shows that there were estate car conversions of the Mark II, Mark IX, and others such as the Lynx Eventer shooting break conversion on the mid 1980s to 1990s XJS and during the same era there was the Ladbroke-Avon conversion of the Jaguar XJ6/XJ12 Series III sedan. Compared to the XJ40 estate wagon prototype and conversions, the Series III did not lend itself as well to an estate modification. Its wide C pillar and slopping deck lid made for a bit of a strange look for the wagon. Its rear hatch with the oversize window seemed awkward as well as the large trapezoidal shaped rear side window.

The next generation of Jaguar saloon (the XJ40 body) was the base for some better looking and handsome estate conversions and it is known that two were built, designed by Chris Humberstone of Chris Humberstone Design Ltd. in 1988 for Hatfields of Sheffield and apparently a third one was built for an American customer and has been seen at some club events. The XJ40 conversion comes off as a better more integrated design than the Series III. The Series III retained the dual fuel tanks although with relocated fuel fillers. The entire conversion was in metal without any use of fibreglass panels. There was a also an official Jaguar XJ40 estate prototype built which never went into production. Quite handsome, it differed from the others in the D pillar area and rear hatch. In silver with lattice wheels it escaped a prototype destruction has been spotted at the Lincolnshire North Jaguar Enthusiasts Club events in the UK and differs in colour from the Humberstone designed one often seen in dark blue with lattice wheels, or wires wheels on the LHD version.

Going back to the XJS this conversion was done by Lynx Engineering who were formed in 1973 in Sussex and were known for C and D Type replicas and a few XJS convertibles before Jaguar got in the business for the USA 1989 model year. After their XJS convertibles, Lynx did have another variation on the XJS theme and this was the Eventer which was a shooting break conversion with a large rear hatch giving access to a long flat floor to accommodate luggage or whatever one puts in a shooting brake. All together Lynx produced about 67 of these, 52 in pre-facelift style and 15 post facelift, 18 left hand drive and 49 right hand drive. And just a few were made using the AJ6 six cylinder engine. The prototype of the Eventer was shown in 1982 and the last production was in 2002.

The Mark II station wagon, of which only one was made, known as a County, was produced from an idea by Mike Hawthorn who commissioned coach builders Jones Brothers to undertake the conversion. Unfortunately the car was only finished following his death. It became known as the MK II Country. Jaguar ended up using the car as fast assistance car for the factory racing saloons.

I also include a Mark IX conversion which although billed as a hearse it could well pass for a station wagon with some re-configuring of the interior. Fairly attractively modified from the sedan and devoid of an exaggerated raised roof it could have doubled as an estate car. It was an early example of a car with a hatchback. Details of the maker of this conversion are not readily available but it was produced before Jaguar’s launch of the Daimler DS420 cars which were loosely based on some of the mechanicals of the Mark X saloon. Being a much larger car it was more suitable for a conversion to a hearse and there were many various conversions done over this car’s long production run.

And finally, there is Jaguar’s first in-house production wagon, the X Type, the first Jaguar designed by Ian Callum and launched a few years after the saloon version. Known as the Sportwagon in the USA it was not a big seller but was notable as the first true Jaguar production wagon. A pity, as it seemed a useful and well-designed variation of the X Type but it carried the same Ford Mondeo stigma as the sedan.

In the ever comprehensive world of 1:43 scale models each of the above mentioned cars have been replicated in miniature either in the past or currently. The earliest being the Mark IX which was done by two model makers, the French company Provence Moulage as a resin kit and as a fully built model by Milestone Miniatures in white metal. Both are rare and long out of production. Provence Moulage also did the Mark II County as a resin kit. Moving to more recent items the Ladbroke Avon Series III XJ wagon is a product of Matrix scale models www.matrixscalemodels.com It was produced in pale primrose or light metallic blue and also has some chassis detail. However, these resin collectable replicas are produced in limited production numbers (albeit greater that the real car) and would now only be available on the secondary market.

The Lynx Eventer was done a number of years ago in resin as a kit by Provence Moulage in France. It came with BBS type accessory wheels, left hand drive and decals for the bonnet and hatch. The more recent Eventer was a Premium X model in a dark metallic blue, right hand drive and a biscuit interior. A fair amount of chassis detail is also provided. Wheels are the “starfish” type. Judging by the weight this item metal diecast. Interestingly, Matrix also did an Eventer, in light metallic blue but this one is a resin item.

The pictured Mark II County is a long obsolete built kit by Provence Moulage but more recently Matrix, who often seem to find rare and unique Jaguars to replicate, have produced a black County in resin with disc wheels. Certainly the Matrix version would be easier to find currently.

Going still more modern we have the circa 1988-1990 XJ6 wagon in dark metallic blue produced in miniature by NEO scale models. http://neoshop.replicars.nl/index.php. At this writing this model is currently available.

And finally, we have a replica of the first production Jaguar wagon, the X Type Sportwagon. This one was done by Premium X under their number PR095 in silver with left hand drive and even a tiny leaper on the hood, and some chassis detail showing the dual exhaust systems and suspension. The interior is two tone black and grey.

Although not truly a station wagon there is already a replica of the F Pace produced in 1:43 scale and model collectors eagerly await one of the Chinese based model makers to launch an XF Sport Break in 1:43 scale. Will it be NEO, Matrix, or Premium X all who have all done multiple Jaguars in the past?


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Massive Matrix

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of Maz Woolley. Photographs supplied and copyright of the Manufacturer.

55 years ago in 1963 the Porsche 901 was first shown to the public at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (Frankfurt Motor Show).  By 1964 the first cars were reaching the hands of garages for sale as the 901 but when it was shown at the Paris Motor Show Peugeot pointed out that they had already registered numbers with a 0 (zero) in the middle and Porsche had to rename the car and chose to call it the  911 a name which is still with us today.

The work on what became the 911 started in the late 1950s with sketches by Ferdinand “Butzi” Porsche  of a larger and faster replacement for the 356. The 911 when launched had a boxer six cylinder engine of 2 litres and could seat two small rear passengers as well as driver and front seat passenger.

We have recently seen a trend for model makers to produce to larger scales with lots of 1:18 and quite a few 1:12 scale models launched recently. But here Matrix go even bigger presenting a museum standard scale model made in China in Resin for the Netherlands to 1:6 scale. It has taken almost 2 years for Matrix to develop this large model. A small team of engineers has worked on this and has had a few false starts and the need to rework many parts as they have worked to  capture a car in this large scale for the first time. It takes more than 245 parts build this car. Even the smallest light bulbs and the seat rails are modelled as are the Porsche logo on the horn and the under bonnet grille.

Matrix have launched the car in silver metallic and bahama yellow. It is also possible to get Matrix to make a ‘bespoke’ version build to your own specifications at extra cost.

All photographs have been supplied by Matrix and show a very impressive model for Porsche 911 fans. The model will take up a lot of display space as it is well over two feet in length!

I wonder how many more very large scale models we will see from resin producers over the next year?

 


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