Category Archives: 1:18

News from the Continent December 2019 – Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Two releases of models took place in November 2018. Each is described separately below. Schuco-Dickie are a long established German Group which also produces Solido models following their acquisition by the Group. Models are diecast in China for Germany unless stated otherwise. The ranges shown vary in scale and in detail with the Pro ranges being the most detailed and most expensive.

PICCOLO

450533600 Volkswagen T1 microbus “Surfer-Bus”



EDITION 1:43

450185600 Piccolo Gift-Set B


450292900 Hanomag L28 Delivery van “Kreidler” with Kreidler Florett motorcycle and driver figurine

450293900 Hanomag L28 Delivery van “Horex” with Horex motorcycle and driver figurine

450249600 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gull-wing coupe, dark blue


450368900 Set “Volkswagen T1b Samba bus, box van; Pick up with crew cab and Pick up


450374300 Volkswagen Transporter T1b Samba bus, red and beige



EDITION 1:32

450769900 Lanz Bulldog tractor with roof and manure barrel trailer


450781300 Fendt Favorit 622 LS tractor


450781500 Fendt 211 Vario tractor, green


450781700 Fendt 211 V Vario tractor, green


450765900 Set “Legendary tractors” – 3 models in a wooden box



EDITION PRO.R32

450903600 Steyr 1300 System Dutra tractor



EDITION 1:18

450041000 BMW Isetta Export motorcoupe, red/beige


450041100 BMW Isetta Export motorcoupe, blue/grey


450033300 Porsche 550A Spyder”Edition 70 Years of Porsche”, white



EDITION PRO.R18


450008600 Porsche Master tractor, red



EDITION 1:64

452019300 Set ‘Volkswagen Transporter T1’ ( three models )



EDITION 1:87

452632800 Volkswagen Transporter T1c box van with trailer, loaded with Porsche tractor


452634100 Mercedes-Benz O 321 Bus “German Bundespost”



MILITARY 1:87

452636360 MAN 7t gl. KAT1 Rocket launcher Lars II, German Bundeswehr

452636400 MAN 5t gl KAT1 tank truck with spots-camouflage



AVIATION 1:250

403551694 Junkers Ju52/3m


403551682 Ju-Air, Junkers Ju52/3m



AVIATION 1:600

403551691 Boeing 777-300 Air France ‘Olympia 2024’

Second Release November 2018

PICCOLO

450559500 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Piccolo Assembling Box ‘The little Gullwing-Mechanic’



EDITION 1:43

450310300 Mercedes-Benz Lo 2750 Flatbed truck “German Reichspost”


450310400 Mercedes-Benz Lo 2750 Flatbed truck ‘Christmas 2018’


450367600 Porsche 911 S – sepia brown



EDITION PRO.R43

450904100 Magirus Deutz O 6500 ‘Soccer World Champion Germany 1954’



EDITION 1:32

450769300 Lanz Ackerluft Tractor with half track


450778600 Güldner G60A tractor with roof and front loader


450776000 John Deere Harvester 1270G 8W with log


450779900 Hanomag Robust 900 tractor with front loader



Edition 1:18

450011700 K.L. Bulldog tractor – red


450011900 Lanz Bulldog halftrack -blue


450014700 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U401 with wild boar – green



EDITION PRO.R18

450006800 BMW 850i Cabriolet – red

450006900 BMW 850i Cabriolet – blue



AVIATION 1:600

403551690 Airbus A330-300 “KLM”


403551693 Boeing 777-300 “Japan Air Force 1”


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Chinese Contract Diecasting

By Maz Woolley

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

Having given my MAR Online Editor business cards to several Chinese companies at the London Toy Fair earlier this year I have had emails from Chinese companies eager for me to buy their products or to use their services. These are usually dry business circulars but one recently sent to me is full of pictures and information. Given the veil of secrecy that covers the production of models in China I think a look at the story they tell will be of interest to many of us who wonder where, and how, our models are made in China.

The companies name is TongTong Renhe which was founded in 2003 as a precision model maker and which operates under the TT brand. They are based in Shenzen Dapeng New which is part of the attrractive coastal Longang District in Guandong. They offer all stages of model making from research and development, through 3D design and mould making, to final production, They seem to mainly focus upon cars, container lorries, and fire trucks but that is not all that they produce as shown later.


Based in a pretty typical medium size industrial unit.

The Factory

The pictures shown below were provided by the company and show carious aspects of the factory unit. The unit is clearly not in use when the photographs were taken and the operatives look like they have been included for effect, the person spraying is doing so with an empty spray gun for example!

The company goal which is about striving to reach the heights by working together
Rest and lecture areas as well as production facilities
Work benches for design area and boxes of finished models on view
Production line and work stations
Production machinery ready for work
More machinery
Another corner of the production area
Many machines are not automated
Spray booth being shown off

The products

Many of the products shown appear to be for the Chinese home market but others are clearly geared towards exports. Models are made to a variety of scales. First we will look at the 1:18 scale models

1:18 Scale Construction Vehicles
1:18 Scale Unnamed SUV
1:18 Scale Borgward Isabella
1:18 Scale Mazda MX5
1:18 Scale Mazda MX5 rear
1:18 Scale Sinotruck Tractor with Articulated Container carrier
1:18 Scale Sitrak Tractor with Articulated Container carrier
1:!8 scale La Ferrari

1:24 Scale

Sitrak (MAN and Sinotruck alliance) Fire Appliance
Ground to Air Missile System

1:43 Scale


1:43 Scale WTCC car surely produced for European brand.

1:48 Scale

Chinese Fighter aircraft. with a full cabinet of models behind

1:72 Scale

1:72 scale SInotruck tipper

Not to scale

How an earth do they not topple over? Fully laden display Container ship
A historic ship for display

The only product bearing a recognisable emblem is the Fighter Aircraft which has a box with the AF1 logo on it. Yet AF1 are a separate company also based in Donguan, perhaps they subcontract work to TT from time to time or there are other links.

Although many of the models are obviously aimed at the home market, and in particular the executive offices of those running trucks, ships and other vehicles, they are also clearly intent on selling models abroad with overseas partners.

It is interesting to see where our models are made and this type of contractor is the source of many of our models. The large number of new western brands of 1:18 scale metal models would not exist without such firms being able to develop and produce models to fit into a branded box sold by a Western firm..

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Chevrolet Impala SS 510 Prototype

The Summum Bonum of Full Size American Sedans

By Frank Koh

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

Chevrolet was enjoying the immense popularity and the consequent record-breaking sales of the introduced-in-1991 Caprice series. Because of its swoopy, Bauhaus-like contours, the Caprice earned the moniker “The Jellybean”, but Canadian cops fondly referred to it as “The Suppository”. The car handled exceptionally well despite its 4100+ lb curb weight, and the high performance LT1 motor with 260 bhp was ready for fitment into the Caprice 9C1 Police Package variants in 1993.

Product planners realized the immense sales potential of a large American grand touring sedan, and in due time the prototype of the Impala SS 510 was being developed. AutoArt released a fabulous 1:18 scale replica of the prototype SS 510 around 2002-03, and the photos speak for themselves. Actually the AutoArt SS 510 was a modification of the UT Models casting of the regular production Impala SS that the company produced around 1998.  Right before that, mother company Gateway Global phased out the UT Models brand and subsequently ruled that AutoArt would become the surviving entity. And the rest is model car industry history.

I love big old full-size/full-chassis General Motors B-Body cars; hence, this 1:18 scale Chevrolet Impala SS 510 Prototype is one of my favorite models from the brand. The AutoArt version is vastly improved over the UT Models, with opening rear doors, flocked carpeting, correct wheels and tires, and an accurate representation of the heavily modified 510 cubic inch V8 that was used in the actual prototype.

This model is from the early batches of AutoArt models, and it did not stay in production for very long. I certainly hope that the real Impala SS 510 SS prototype is in good hands today. It is a very historic car, because it served as the development mule for the 1994-1996 Impala SS.

AutoArt did a great job in replicating the SS 510 prototype’s wide, meaty alloy rims and high performance steel belted radials. The earlier UT Models Impala SS was criticized for the use of “undersized” wheels and tires which literally made it look like a football player wearing ballet shoes.

That “510” rear license plate proclaims what’s under the hood of this prototype. Regular production Impala SS vehicles got the LT1 260 bhp engine, essentially a detuned version of the engine in the C4 Corvette of the era.

The shape of the the B-Body 1991-1996 Caprice/Impala SS was ahead of its time. The outward visibility of the large “greenhouse” of the car was close to 360 degrees, in fact.

Unlike the UT Impala SS models whose rear doors did not open (despite being cast as separate pieces), the AutoArt SS 510 featured all four doors that would open independently. There was flocked carpeting and an accurate rendering of the modified 510 cubic inch V8 too.

All 3 variants of the UT Models regular production 1996 Impala SS in all the three actual exclusive colors of the real car: Black, Teal Green and Dark Cherry. This is as good (and as complete) as it’ll ever get.

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A look around in November 2018

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs provided by manufacturers and wholesalers.

There is a huge range of models being released in the final quarter of this year. This article looks at models from a wide range of manufacturers that we do not often review.

Bburago and Maisto

Both brands from the same maker. Well known for budget models and often selling in toy shops and stores which offer few other model vehicles. The models are often in larger scales but 1:43 models also feature.

B18-11040 1:18 Bugatti Chiron


Bburago Triumph Bobber 1:18


M31409 1:10 Honda Repsol 2017 Marc Marquez #93

Ready painted assembly kits 1:24 ferarri FXX-X


M39124 1:24 Build your own Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

B18-31456 Mercedes Benz car transporter with 1 x 1:43 die cast car

B18-30393 1:43 Suburu WRX STI 2017 sold from trade pack

 

CMC

 

CMC models are famed for being both expensive and beautifully modelled. Here we see a group of Ferrari racing cars built to their usual very high standards. All the models date back to the classic 1950s racing scene.

CMC M183 Ferrari D50, 1956, GP Italy (Monza) #26 Collins/Fangio


CMC M184 Ferrari D50 yellow GP Belgium #20 Pilette and Lancia D50 #6 Ascari


CMC M185 Ferrari D50,1956 long nose, GP Germany #2 Collins

Ixo

Many of the Atlas Jaguar models have yet to be seen under the Ixo brand. Here we have the Mark Ten which appeared in the Atlas series with a rather ‘tip-toes’ appearance in maroon. Here we see it in a pale blue with slightly more detailed wheels. It still has Jaguar on the number plates rather than realistic ones.

 

IXO CLC291 Jaguar MK 10, metallic-light blue, 1961

Almost Real

They are makers of detailed 1:18 scale resin models, many sold in as promotionals by the manufacturers. This is a model of one of the last Defenders made.

ALM 810307 Land Rover Defender 110 Heritage Collection Green

Road Kings

Following the Scania recently looked at in MAR Online  there is now a new model. Again this is a classic tractor unit, this time from Mercedes-Benz. Again it looks a large and impressive diecast model.

Mercedes LPS 1632 1969 blue/red/black 1:18

Tecnomodel

These resin kits are very detailed resin models mostly to 1:18 scale and are made in Italy.

TEC 18111C Lotus Evora 410 met green 2017

These models are made in small batches. Batches are also to be made in yellow, silver and black


TEC 1897A Bizzarrini P538 Le Mans 1966 #10

Driven by Edgar Berney and Andre Wicky. The same mould has been used to produce two press versions in red and blue. There is also to be a blue Can-Am version.

CMR (Classic Model Replicars)

CMR make diecast models in China. They make a wide range of classic racing models. Most models are in 1:18 scale.

CMR 045 Porsche 917 LH #18 24h LeMans 1971 Rodriguez, Oliver


CMR 070 Ferrari 340 Berlinetta Mexico #20

3rd placed in the Carrera Panamericana  in 1952 driven by Chinetti and Lucas


CMR 111 Shelby Cobra Daytona coupe #12 24h LeMans 1965

Driven by Schlesser and Grant


CMR 112 Shelby Cobra Daytona #59 24h LeMans 1965

Driven by Harper and Sutcliffe


CMR 113 Aston Martin DBR1 #5 Winner 24h LeMans 1959

Driven by Shelby and Salvadori

CMR 12006 Ferrari 330 P4 #21 2nd 24h LeMans 1967 1:12 Scale

Driven by Scarfiotti, Parkes

BoS (Best of Show)

Best of Show is a brand produced for ModelCarGroup in Germany. The models are made in resin in China. Initially BoS models were made in 1:43 and 1:18 scale at a lower standard than the premium brands MCG own like Neo. After they stopped making 1:87 scale Neo models they introduced a slightly less detailed range of resin 1:87 scale models under the BoS brand. Here we see two of the Renault cars available which feature good wheels and detailing.

Renault 18, rot, 1978


Renault Fuego, metallic-dunkelbeige, 1980

CMF

Another MCG brand made in China from resin to 1:18 scale. These are detailed models and considerably dearer than their MCG diecast 1:18 scale range.   Following the fashion to model the immediately pre-war German streamliners that is popular with many ranges this year.

Maybach DS8 Stromlinien-Cabriolet Spohn, light grey and black  1934


Maybach SW35 Stromlinie Spohn, black and beige 1935


 

The Ford in Miniature – 2001 Fortyniner

By Dave Turner

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

Around Ford’s Centenary in 2003 numerous events and creations were produced to celebrate the achievement . One of these was a concept called the Fortyniner as a tribute to the 1949 Ford that in reality could be said to have saved the company in the years following the Second World War. Two examples were created, a black closed car with an all glass top and a red convertible.

That original ’49 Ford featured what was regarded as radical new styling for the time embodying a simple shape with clean body panels combined with what were then modern conveniences. The 1949 Ford was presented with the Fashion Academy Award in both 1949 and 1950. This fifty year later concept car appeared in 2001 and was styled keeping to those original ideas and marrying them to what were significant custom car touches from the period as well as modern elegant and clean lines from Italian designers such as Ghia.

Appearing a year earlier in 2000 was the new Thunderbird concept that subsequently went into production in virtually the same form. Much of the character of this new Thunderbird was also incorporated into the Fortyniners styling.

The concept was powered by a 3.9 litre 32 valve V8 Thunderbird engine, the front fender badges are in the Thunderbird style and are lettered “Powered by”.

So far the only model of the Fortyniner concept to be found came from Auto Art at the time of the real thing and as usual they have done a superb job of it. At 1:18 it represents the ‘closed’ version and captures the simple but elegant lines perfectly having opening doors hood and trunk, steerable front wheels and a complete interior. The latter features the distinctive central ‘console’ that was part of the cars structure while such things as the cruise and radio controls located on the steering wheel was done to echo those bright horn rings of fifty years previous – have all been depicted. Turning the model over reveals a plethora of engine, transmission, drive line, steering and suspension detail. Beware, while enjoying the examination the projecting mirrors are vulnerable and delicate.

Auto Art China 72031 2003 Fortyniner concept closed 266mm 1:18 Diecast
Illustrations:

 

 

Auto Art 1:18 diecast from China: 72031, Ford Fortyniner concept.

Auto Art 1:18 diecast from China: 72031, rear view of Fortyniner.

 

With MIRA 1:18 diecast from Spain: 6250, 1949 Ford Coupe the inspiration for the Fortyniner concept.

Rear view of the two Ford Coupes.


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Big enough to catch the eye!

By Maz Woolley

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs from Manufacturers and Wholesalers.

There has been a decided trend towards the production of more 1:18 scale models so I suppose that I should not be surprised to see a 1:18 scale Scania tractor unit announced by a company called Road Kings. This is of a 1976 Scania LBT 141 operated by ASG and painted in its famous blue and yellow livery. This model is due to be released this month (November 2018).

Such units were operated on long Trans-International routes so the left hand drive is correct as are large tanks for fuel.

Photographs of the model show an  extremely impressive level of detail which is good as at this scale every fault would be noticeable. I don’t know whether any trailers will be released to accompany this model but if they are the whole outfit would make an amazing display.

Tekno have made a similar Scania in 1:50 scale but I am sure that collectors of ASG models may well be tempted to buy this model even if they already have the Tekno.

Looking at web pictures of the real Scania 141 in this livery the model seems to be well executed catching the original well. The pristine paint seems a bit bright, though I don’t think many buyers will weather the model which I think would actually improve the looks if done well.

From the rear the chassis components seems well modelled as do the wheels and all the tanks.

A side on view certainly catches the no nonsense square lines of the original Scania.

This view of the cab shows a lot of details moulded in or added as extra parts. The rear view mirror set is particularly impressive. In 1:18 scale the plastic bars holding the mirrors can be robust and in scale!

 

A final look at the front view as seen in rear mirrors! The grille slates seem to be very well moulded and defined.

A final note is that the model seems to be no more expensive than many mid-range 1:18 model cars so I suspect that this will be a popular model and I look forward to see what other trucks Road Kings bring out.


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Promoting smart cars

By Fabrizio Panico

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

A “smart” family

The “smart” history (lower-case only) is too well-known to need re-telling in detail, suffice to remember the many tentative initial steps, from the Swatchmobile idea to the initial agreement with Volkswagen, to the deal with Daimler Benz and the birth of the joint company MCC (Micro Compact Car AG), then the start of production and the final buy-out by Daimler-Benz, becoming “smart GmbH” and then a Mercedes-Benz Cars division of Daimler AG.  Perhaps less known are the origin of the “smart” name (Swatch Mercedes ART) or of its emblem, a “c” and an arrow (respectively for “compact” and “forward thinking“).

From the start the promotional miniature side was well catered for: in 1:18 scale Maisto and Kyosho were able to present the full production, from the City-coupè (C450) to the City-cabrio (A450), even the Brabus and Crossblade variants, the models often including double plastic body panels, so you could change panels on the model just like the real car.

Kyosho reproduced the Roadster-cabrio (C452) and the Roadster-coupè (R452), and the first Forfour (W452) even in different versions like the Pulse or the Passion.   Minichamps reproduced the 2007 second generation : fortwo (C451) and cabrio (A451). For the 2014 iteration (third generation) Renault was to share its Twingo platform with the new forfour, and it was Norev’s time to present the new fortwo coupè (C453), fortwo cabrio (A453) and forfour (W453) scale models, this time with standard Mercedes-Benz code numbers (B6 696 xxxx).

Here are the third generation smart cars in pictures and data, nice models, accurate representations of the real cars, but strangely lacking any safety belts ! The double bodypanels have been skipped, but a small screwdriver and a dust cloth are now present.

fortwo coupé (C453) 2014

 

B6 696 0280     white + lava orange     (passion edition #1)
B6 696 0281     titanium + black           (passion version)  
B6 696 0282     midnight + white          (proxy version)        

fortwo cabrio (A453) 2014

 

B6 696 0289     yellow + black
B6 696 0290     titanium + silver
B6 696 0291     white

forfour (W453) 2014

B6 696 0298   graphite + lava orange (passion version)
B6 696 0299   hazel + black         (prime version)
B6 696 0300   cadmium + black        (prime version)


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Models 56 by Armco and a Load of Cobras: Part 2 Cobras

By Mick Haven

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs will be found at the end of the article.

As mentioned previously in MAR Online, Gateway Models near Brisbane, which Graeme referred to, is the trader I have dealt with the longest, probably seventeen years or so. I was fortunate enough to pay them a visit while down there in September 2017. From the outside it looks nothing like a model shop. Appearances are deceptive. It takes something special to keep me quiet but I was temporarily speechless there, and I didn’t see all of it. The place is stacked with model cars.

He also mentions the Falcon ‘Cobra’ GT, although I’m not sure that ‘GT’ is the correct title as I believe the correct designation is ‘XC’. The XC followed on from the very successful XA/XBGT ranges, produced from 1973 to 1976. The XC family was introduced in 1976, and would include a GS500 ‘Hardtop’, a large coupe, not dissimilar to the afforementioned Torino. In October 1977, Allan Moffat, partnered by Formula 1 legend, Jacky Ickx, would win the legendary Hardie-Ferodo 1000 at Bathurst in an XC GS500 Hardtop, in the famous ‘1-2 form finish’ for Team Moffat. By the end of the race his car was virtually brakeless and should have come second, but he was team owner and orders is orders.

By the end of 1977, Ford Australia had built 13 ‘special order’ XC GS500 Hardtops. The modifications on these cars would become the basis for the Cobra XC ‘Option 97’. The company decided to capitalise on the 1977 Bathurst result and wanted to go racing so they needed a suitable car. Four hundred examples of whatever they chose had to have been built to meet CAMS homologation rules. It just so happened they had four hundred XC bodies left over with no buyers when production of the big coupe ceased in April 1978.

Rather than scrap them, Edsel Ford II, who was Ford Australia Managing Director. at the time, suggested they be saved and could be offered to the public as a road going race car. Production began in July of that year. I believe I read some time ago that Carroll Shelby was approached for permission to call the car ‘Cobra’, and to use the familiar Shelby stripes and Cobra badging. By coincidence, the colour scheme was the international colours for American racing cars, as seen on the Le Mans Cunninghams of the 1950s, e.g. Britain had its British Racing Green, Italy was red, France blue and so on.
Four hundred blue and white road going Cobra XCs were built, in two variants, Option 96 and Option 97. Of the four hundred, only 30 were Option 97s. These were numbered from 002 to 0031, and would be known as ‘Bathurst Specials’. The first two hundred would have a 5.8L 351 cu.in. motor, the remainder would have a 4.9L 302 cu. in. Two exceptions were car number 001 which would have the 302 cu. in. motor, and car number 351 which had a motor of that capacity.

There are a number of differences between the two, mainly under the skin, but the most obvious externally is the addition of a ‘power bulge’ on the bonnet of the Option 97 in addition to the two ‘flared nostril’ intakes already in place on the Option 96, and on previous XAs, XBs and XCs, including four door saloon, estate, Ute and van variants. The XC Cobras would also have their own blue and black seats and ‘Globe’ alloy wheels. I’ve got three of these, one in 1:64th scale, one in 43rd scale and one in 1:18th, all by Biante. In model and 1:1 scale, Option 97s are sought after. A genuine full size Option 97 can command big dollars if and when one comes up for sale. Even the Option 96 doesn’t come cheap, but these do get offered from time to time, with prices usually around $100,000 AUD, some more, some less.

Graeme makes mention of its size, citing, ‘some views show it to be a compact’. I’ve referred to it as the ‘big coupe’. So how big were they? They are, or were, easily on a par with the Holden (Vauxhall) Monaro and Audi A5 coupe familiar on UK roads today. For comparison the XAGT coupe was 4808 mm L x 1969 W x 1369 H. The Monaro and A5 are 4789 L x 1841 W x 1397 H and 4673 L x 2029 W x 1371 H respectively, so compact they weren’t. It weighed in at 3500 lbs. I did see one at Ford Fair some years ago and compact it wasn’t. Also, some time ago, I exchanged e mails with a guy who lived in the Oxfordshire countryside and he had an XC Cobra. Negotiating those narrow country lanes with it was interesting to say the least. Attached are the pics he sent me. What I didn’t know at the time was that there were the two variants. Looking at the pics while writing this, I noticed that it’s an Option 97. How much is that worth today? I think he worked for TWR at the time as one picture shows the car outside TWRs premises. I know he emigrated to Australia taking the XC with him. There is much racing footage of them on You Tube. I imagine they were a real handful at racing speeds and they would clock up to 170 mph down Conrod Straight.

From a collecting perspective, the 1:43rd scale is one which I’ve had as long or longer than virtually of all my Australians, for at least fifteen years, possibly more. It almost certainly came from those good ol’ boys at Gateway. The 1:18th scale came next, bought at a Ford dealership near Melbourne, and the 1:64th example by Biante Minicars would eventually follow some years later. Even so, I’ve had that since at least 2011, as it was in a display of Ford models I showed when the club, South Hants Model Auto Club put on a display at Ford fair that year. I also had another one in 1:87 scale by Cooee Road Ragers (Made under contract by Oxford Diecast). The Biante Minicars 1:64 example is my only Option 97 Cobra XC in the familiar white with blue stripes colour scheme, the other two being Option 96s. The total number of Option 97s I have in three scales is eight, of which two are 1:18 scales two are 1:64 scale, and the remainder in 1:43.

One is the Allan Moffat/John Fitzpatrick GS 500 Hardtop ‘Federation’ car number 25 from Bathurst 1979, and I have one of those in 1:43rd scale and one by Biante Minicars. The other 1:18 scale is Biante’s Carter/Lawrence ‘Brian Wood Ford’ from Bathurst 1978, resplendent in its overall dark blue with red and yellow stripes with wide yellow ‘Magnum’ five slot racing wheels with slick tyres. Two of the 1:43rd scales are as raced in 1978 and 1979, by Dick Johnson, the latter a car which he co-drove with ex Formula 1 and Le Mans winner Vern Schuppan at Bathurst. The ‘79 car would be dubbed ‘reverse Cobra’, owing to the body colours being ‘the other way round’ i.e. with white stripes over blue, rather the more familiar blue stripes on a white body. A unique feature about the stripes was in their application and defied the norm. Apparently, rather than take a white body and then apply the blue stripes across the body and along the sides, the blue bits  were applied first, then taped over and the car painted white. Very odd.

Another one is the 1978 Bathurst XC Cobra of once again, Moffat and Ickx, carrying race #1, relating to their win the year before. They couldn’t repeat the heroics of 1977 and the car was a DNF. The other model shown is of the Garry Wilmington/Jeff Barnes 1978 Bathurst runner. This model was produced by Trax in 1993, by whom I have two Falcon road coupes, one of which is an Option 97. Trax also released a Cobra XC Option 96 and a small number of other XBGT and XCs in 1:43 scale, including the # 25 Federation car and the ‘Brian Wood Ford’. They also produced a model of the Jack and Geoff Brabham car from Bathurst 1977. The total number of XA/XB and XC coupes in my collection is twenty seven in three scales, including, aside from the Moffat/Ickx ’77 car, the XAGT Bathurst winners from 1973 and ’74, plus one XBGT saloon by Trax from their Opal range. There are a number of XC Cobra models in other scales by other manufacturers. OzLegends have both Option 96 and 97 in 1:32 scale and these can be found on eBay. Dinkum Classics is another manufacturer of the popular coupe. Models of XA/XB GTs can occasionally be found on eBay, and some via dealers ‘down under’, of which I’m happy to report, there are still a large number. Biante’s XC Cobra in 1:43 scale is rarer, while an Option 96 in 1:18 scale, although slightly less rare, commands good money, see below. Those with deeper pockets may be interested in XA/XB and XCs in 1:18 scale. For example, at the time of writing, Hobby_Link have a Biante Auto Art Moffat/Ickx 1978 Bathurst XC in that scale, for a mere £462.56 plus just £13.11 shipping, or $809.95 + $22.95 AUD if you prefer. Gateway have an Option 96 for just £227.87 + £51.40 shipping, or $489.00 including shipping. Seen on eBay is the Moffat #25 car at £313.46 + £40.68 shipping. This model doesn’t even have the  ‘Camel’ sponsor decals, owing to tough Australian tobacco advertising laws. They can be obtained from other sources. As with all internet buys, prices vary from seller to seller. Then there’s always the added danger of getting stung by Customs and Royal Mail. Ouch! Sometimes I’ve been caught, other times I’ve got lucky and paid nothing. As an owner of more than twenty 1:18th scales by both Biante and Classic Carlectables, I should add that they are superb and worth every penny.

When I first started collecting them all those years ago, I was astonished at the quality and detail to be found on them, and at the time, with a good exchange rate, great value for money too. Many have opening doors boot and bonnet, steerable wheels and fully detailed engines with plug leads etc, and detailed undersides and interiors, despite being well over ten years old. Biante’s FPV GT nee Falcon XR8, even has a carpeted boot mat and a fire extinguisher. Although a tad more expensive these days, they still make great value. The race cars are truly magnificent. Collectors of Scalextric are not ignored either. There are many fine slot car models of Australian race cars which would make great display models. There’s a plethora of them on eBay including the XA/XB XCs and V8 Supercars. Earlier in the year I took delivery of their Dick Johnson Sierra RS500 1989 Bathurst winner and very nice it is too. Shame about the driver figure. Is that really the great man? How fortunate I am that neither my house or my wallet are overly large.

 

Just for the record, for any MAR Online readers who may be interested in exploring the wonderful world of Australian die casts, I can thoroughly recommend the following traders; Biante, Gateway, Motorfocus, Kollectable Kaos, Jays Models, Pit Stop Models, Top Gear aka Trax, Ace Models, Replicars and Automodelli among many others. There’s always eBay of course from where I got many of mine, but beware, many sellers on eBay au, won’t post up here. If they do they’ll be on eBay UK. A model shop, where you can browse to your hearts content, still exists in Australia. In the early days, I was even ordering them from main car dealers, who usually stock a fine selection of models appertaining to the brand of car, e.g. Ford or Holden. DJR race car models can also be ordered directly from DJR/Team Penske. Classic Carlectables, another fine brand, cannot be sourced directly from them, but the XA, XB and XC doesn’t feature in their range. Their excellent web site does list every model they have ever produced, including a picture of each one and the release date. Biante’s web site does list all their releases since 1998 under the heading, ‘customer service’, then ‘view the list here’, but it stops at 2014 and there are no pictures. The coupes were released long before that.

Give the above traders and models, and eBay a look, you won’t be disappointed. Appreciation for some of the above goes to ‘Wiki’ and to Bill Tuckey from his book   ‘True Blue’ 75 Years of Ford in Australia.


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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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Esval September 2018 Release Announcement

By Maz Woolley

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

Esval models have been often been the subject of discussion on bulletin boards. They have announced many models of interest to collectors that have either taken a long time to appear or which have not yet been produced. Recently they sent out publicity material announcing twelve models to be released between November 2018 and  Spring 2019.  Sadly none of these are the 1938 Humber Snipe or 1958 Packard hard top coupe previously announced as future subjects and which also no longer appear as future releases on the web site or in the 2018 brochure.

Esval models are resin cast in China for the US to either 1:18 or 1:43 scale.

1:18 Scale Models

1937 Duesenberg SJ Towncar

This model is due for release in November 2018. It comes in four different configurations. This is the first 1:!8 scale model from Esval and if of the 1937 Duesenberg SJ Towncar by Rollson, which is known as the last Duesenberg ever made. This car was modelled by Esval a couple of years ago in 1:43 scale.

 

The cars first owner was a wealthy German avant-garde painter, Rudolf Bauer who had it built even though Duesenberg had already gone out of business. It was intended to be the longest and most distinctive Duesenberg ever built. The body was constructed by Rollson, an American coachbuilder that specialised in town cars or town cabriolets. The car was delivered to the owner in 1940.

1:43 Scale Models

1950 Mercury Leo Lyons Coupe

This is due to be released in November 2018.

A custom car based upon the 1950 Mercury and built by a  20-year old called Leo Lyons. Drawing on the help of established custome builders in California like Ed Iskenderian and George and Sam Barris. Chassis and body panels were bought from Ford and “California Metal Shaping” custom designed and built the doors, hood, and top.  This car is regarded as the most radical custom version of the 1949-51 Mercury .

It was originally intended to make ten cars but in the end only the prototype was built. The model is based on the post-restoration version of this car.

2010 Porsche Cayenne 2 door Coupé by Merdad

Another release planned for November and a modern vehicle. The  2010 Porsche Cayenne 2 door coupé by Merdad. Merdad are a UK based coachbuilder who creates very expensive upgraded versions of Land Rover Evoques and Porsche Cayennes. It is not just a question of more powerful engines but they also fit strengthening frames as well as finishing the car in very high quality materials.

Only three of the 2010 versions were produced each slightly different and Esval has made two of them.

 

1920-21 Pierce Arrow Model 32 7-Seat Limousine

One of the models due in Spring 2019 is this 1920-21 Pierce Arrow Model 32 7-seat limousine. This was the largest car offered by Pierce Arrow at the start of the 1920s. Pierce Arrow was based in Buffalo, New York and is best known for its expensive luxury cars which did not survive the later depression.

The bodies for the Model 32 were designed by Leon Rubay, a freelance who also designed models for Marmon and Duesenbergs. In 1920, Pierce-Arrow launched the Model 32, which would form the basis of the company’s entire model lineup. This new chassis would be the only chassis available but would be available with 10 different factory body styles. 2,239 examples of the Model 32 were made before upgrades were made and the Model 33 was launched.

1951 GMC Series 100 5-Window pickup

November 2018 is the expected release date Our surprise new release this fall is one of the most legendary American pickup truck designs, 1951 GMC Series 100 5-window pickup.

The 1950s were the era when the classic American pickup became part of everyday US life and laid the grounds of the ‘lifestyle’ pickup of today. The Chevrolet and GMC’s so-called “Advance-Design” trucks led the way with production starting in 1947. These were entirely restyled and introduced new levels of comfort, convenience, and up to date looks. The new cab was wider, and offered more head and legroom. The model is based on a post-restoration vehicle.

 

1934-41 Adler Trumpf Junior 2 door Sedan

Spring 2019 should see the release of this model. A car for the masses was a German obsession throughout the pre-war period culminating in the KDF-Wagen. The 1934-41 Adler Trumpf Junior 2 door sedan was an early precursor which offered middle class families a practical and reasonably priced car.

Made in Frankfurt by Adler (Adlerwerke vorm. H. Kleyer AG), from early in 1934 the small two-door “Limousine” modelled here had a recommended price of 2,750 Marks. This model went on to be the company’s best selling car with over 100,000 being built before production ceased in 1941 during the Second World War.

 

1971 Trident Venturer Sport Coupe

The arrival of freely available equipment for building tubular frames and making fibreglass bodies spawned a collection of speciality car manufacturers in the UK in the 1970s. Some like TVR and Marcos are still remembered well, others have been lost in the past. Here Esval show a 1971 Trident Venturer sport coupe which they intend to release in Spring 2019.

Trident Cars Ltd. built cars from 1966 until 1977 in Woodbridge and then Ipswich. The first car was the Clipper convertible with a body styled by Englishman Trevor Frost. This was based on a TVR prototype TVR. The Clipper Coupe was built on a TVR Grantura Mark III chassis, but this was later switched to an Austin-Healey 3000 chassis. The Trident Venturer was launched in 1969 as a cheaper alternative to the Clipper using a similar body fitted to a Triumph TR6 chassis powered with a Ford 3-litre V6. Sadly the late 1970s was beset with financial crisis and Trident closed in 1974. An attempt to revive the company in 1976 but the company finally closed in 1977.  This car is now rare as only 84 Trident Venturers were built.

 

1949-50 Delahaye 135M Coupé by Guilloré

Another model due to be released in November. This is a stylish 1950s design from the French car maker Delahaye. This is a 1949-50 Delahaye 135M coupé by Guilloré.

Delahaye was one of the firms whose Grand Turismo cars were famous and fashionable in the inter-war period. The firm was a pioneer of the French motor industry opening its first workshop in 1896. Delahayes won a reputation for high quality engineering and after the success of the Delahaye 135 in the “Coupe des Alpes” in 1935 they focused on sportier cars. After the Second World War Delahaye revived production of the 135M and eight of this model were made from 1949-50 and only five now survive. The car has right-hand drive like many high quality French and Italian cars of the period. Delahaye’s 135 rapidly dated as the new generation of cheaper, faster and cheaper factory produced sports cars like the Jaguar XK120 emerged. Esval Models intends to make two versions of this car in dark blue and in off-white, each car has distinctive design.

 

1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe

Due for release by Esval this November. Italy had many small producers and styling houses in the 1950s. The 1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupe, is a product of that era. Consorzio Industriale Sportiva Italia was established by Piero Dusio in 1939 and made a variety of sporting goods. After the Second World War Dusio built a number of Fiat-powered racing cars using the extended acronym Cisitalia and started making passenger cars in 1947. By 1949 Cisitalia was bankrupt by 1949 and Dusio moved to Argentina. In 1960, Dusio attempted to resurrect the Cisitalia brand. The 1961 Cisitalia DF85 Coupé was a car of the revived company and based on the Fiat 1500S.

The body was crafted by Carrozzeria Fratelli Fissore of Savigliano, one of the biggest names in the coachbuilding business after the Second World War. Like many of these small concerns records of their output are rare. It is estimated that fifteen to thirty of these cars were produced.


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