Category Archives: 1:43

1:43 scale

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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News from the Continent September 2018 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

The newsletters from Norev continue to announce a wide range of models in a variety of scales. This article looks at releases from August and September.

Releases August 2018

1:12 Scale

 

121562 Citroen DS 19 Saloon 1959

Prototype shown of this very large model painted Marron glace and Carrara white.

1:18 Scale

 

183200 BMW X6 M 2016

Another prototype image showing opening parts, painted silver

 

185726 Caravan Henon 1955

As modelled by Dinky in the 1950s. Here made in a large sacle with opening components. Painted the typical white colour.

 

185230 Renault Clio Williams 1993

Model of the special edition associating Renault with their partners in Formula One Williams  – Finished in blue with the characteristic special wheels.

 

188442 Volkswagen Golf GTI 1990

Photographs of the prototype model showing opening features. Painted in grey metallic paint as so many originals were.

 

188419 Volkswagen Golf GTI “20th Anniversary 1996”

Another GTI to contrast with the 1990 car. This time in silver

1:43 Scale

 

154543 Citroen HY van 1962 – silver

 

509001 Dacia Duster 2018 – Vision brown

 

509003 Dacia Duster 2018 – Dune beige

 

517594 Renault Clio R.S. 2013 – Flame red

 

530040 Saviem S105M Coach 1969 – “Bordeaux”

1:87 Scale

 

151477 Citroen 2CV AU 1951 – grey

 

474337 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet 1957 – black

 

475462 Peugeot 504 Coupe 1971 – silver

 

576085 Simca Aronde Montlhery Speciale 1962 – grey metallic

1:43 Scale JET-CAR

 

471713 Peugeot 205 GTI 1986 – red

 

310608 Citroen C3 WRC “Rally of Mexico 2017”

310607 Renault R.S. 01 – 2015 “Oregon Team”

Releases September 2018

1:18 Scale

 

183230 BMW 507 Cabriolet 1956 – silver

 

181615 Citroen DS5 2011 – pearl white

 

181616 DS5 2015 – ink blue, white, or red

 

183464 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL saloon 1990 – Pearl blue metallic

 

183594 Mercedes-Benz A-Class 2018 – red

 

183598 Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting break 2015 – black

 

183592 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2018 – black

 

183479 Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG-Line 2018 – Iridium silver

 

183483 Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG-Line 2018 – Ruby pearl metallic

 

185145 Renault Alpine A442 – Winner France 24 hours 1978 drivers Pironi / Jaussaud

1:43 Scale

 

155560 Citroen C5 Aircross 2018 – Pearl white & red decoration

155561 Citroen C5 Aircross 2018 – Volcano red & silver decoration

 

170013 DS7 Crossback Performance line 2018 – Platinum grey

 

472403 Peugeot 204 Coupe 1967 – Maroon

 

472443 Peugeot 204 Cabriolet 1967 – beige metallic

 

476503 Peugeot 605 saloon 1998 – white

 

475821 Peugeot 508 saloon 2018 – dark blue,white, or red

 

475820 Peugeot 508 GT Saloon 2018 – Ultimate red

 

473887 Peugeot 5008 GT 2016 – Pearl white

 

517704 Renault Megane RS Trophy 2014 – Pearl white

 

517744 Renault Talisman 2016 – Palatine silver

 

870054 Volvo XC90 2015 – Magic blue, white, or red

NOREV CLASSICS to 1:43 Scale

 

CL5811 Talbot-Lago T26C 1949 #24 – Louis Rosier

 

CL5812 Talbot-Lago T26C 1950 #8 – Georges Grignard

PLASTIGAM to 1:43 Scale

431020 Camion Renault Trucks D 2.1 “Eboueur” (dustbin lorry)

 

431025 Camion Renault Trucks D 2.1 “Depanneuse” (breakdown truck”

 

431035 Camion Renault Trucks D 2.1 “Benne” (dump truck)

MINIJET 1:64 Scale

 

310808 Citroen 15/6 saloon 1939 – black

 

310809 Citroen 15/6 saloon 1939 – grey

 

310704 Citroen SM 1971 “French Gendarmerie”

 

310906 Citroen C5 Aircross 2018 – grey & orange

 

310909 DS7 Crossback 2018 – gold

 

310907 Peugeot 508 saloon 2018 – blue, white, or red

 

310806 Renault Master 2014 “Fire brigade”


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The BATs are Back!

By Karl Schnelle

Alfa Romeo BATs, that is!  Earlier this year, I heard from a  fellow collector that AutoCult was making a small batch of 1:43 Alfa Romeos. Known for making models of strange, rare vehicles, I had to investigate. It turns out that AuoCult made them for a German distributor, Ravensberger Handelskontor, so the model appears in blue ‘Masterpiece’ packaging.

Perhaps because this is a commission, their Alfa is not all that strange or unknown like most AutoCults: it’s a BAT 7 from 1954. Here it is with its mini-me (a MicroMachine)!

Then, the same collector (thanks, Harvey) informed me in August that they released the BAT 5 in the same limited series.  After a quick search, I had that BAT in hand as well!

Why is AutoCult doing these now, and will BAT 9 be far behind?

Franco Scaglione designed these three concepts while working  at Bertone  in 1953/4/5.  BAT stands for Berlinetta Aerodinamica Tecnica.  If I remember correctly, they were restored over 10 years ago and are now owned by the same person.  All three were united at Pebble Beach in 2006 (Motor Trend).   As far as I know, the Blackhawk Collection has them now but not on display any more (Petrolicious).  How unfortunate!

I am not sure if this is a global trend or not, bur several art museums here in the USA have presented special art exhibits on car design featuring  the actual concept cars or classic collector cars.   I am aware of the High Museum in Atlanta (2014), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2015) , and the Frist Museum in Nashville (2016).  I made a special trip to Nashville to see that exhibit because the three BATS were on display!

That was an amazing experience for me.  To absorb all the angles and wings took some time.   I was entranced enough to only get a few quick photos.   I have a few other BATs in 1:43, but to see them in full-scale was a different experience.

Comparison to SMTS

Back in the 1990s, I bought the 5 and 7, and I assume they were fairly new then, by SMTS, 1:43 white metal made in England.  I don’t think they ever did the BAT 9.   Provence Moulage from France also did a 1:43 resin kit of the BAT 9.  Looksmart from Italy might have come out soon after the SMTS with all three, but they were more expensive, and I did not think they looked better than the SMTSs I already had.

Here is the SMTS BAT 7; I hope the green background keeps you awake!  This BAT is an old white metal handbuilt, but it has beautiful paint – a little grayer perhaps than the AutoCult. The SMTS is 1990s white metal technology and really nice, just missing the PE window surrounds, triple wipers, and recessed headlights!

The AutoCult and the SMTS are very similar in scale. The SMTS may be just slightly more narrow in the roof (on the bottom of the photo below).

Comparison to Bizarre

Then, about twelve years ago, Bizarre (a brand made by Spark) brought out all three in resin.  Here is their BAT 5.

Looking at the AutoCult, I am  glad I did not spring for the more expensive Looksmart several years ago! The older Bizarre is more bluish and wider in the photo below.

The Bizarre also has a lower stance and seems meaner. However, the new AutoCult seem closer in color, in stance, and in width. It was 1953 so a pretty high road clearance was probably common.

Their BAT 7 is below with the AutoCult on the right.

On the green background, the colors are about right on the two models. I think the full-size is a bit more bluish, but who knows how many times its been repainted? But without a birds-eye view at the Frist, I am not sure which one is more accurate on shape. The AutoCult/Masterpiece is again much more narrow and closer to 1:43 scale in wheelbase. The Bizarre is closer to 1:42, but is from 12 years ago!

Final Words

In March this year, I attended the 1:43 get-together in Countryside, Chicago.  Harvey brought his Looksmart BAT 7.  So here are all 4 examples together in one place: AutoCult – SMTS – Bizarre – Looksmart!!!

Some people upgrade their collection and dispose of the older one when a better representation comes out.  In this case, I think I will keep all my BATs.  It’s fun to compare and contrast them!


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A few new Aussies from 2018

By Mick Haven

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

Having just read Dave Turner’s Aussie Ford feature, happy to say I’m the proud owner of many of those pictured, and some!

Pictured below are some of the models that I’ve been able to obtain from ‘down under’ over the last year. An interesting mix of racing and street cars.

Biante Minicars Falcon XD and XE

 

 

Dick Johnson’s Mustang

 

 

New Biante Falcon

 

 

Trax Falcon

 

 

Trax Mk II Zephyr Ute

 


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News from the Continent September 2018 – M4 Model Cars Italy

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here is a look at the September and October releases from M4 Model car group. These models are made in Italy and are diecast to 1:43 scale unless otherwise noted.

September2018

ART Models

 

ART392 Ferrari 860 Monza

3rd at 1000 km of Nurburgring 1956 – drivers Hill / De Portago / Gendebien


 

ART393 Ferrari 500 TR

3rd in Grand Prix of Rome 1956 – Paul Frere


Best Models

 

BEST9721 Ferrari 308 GTB – American Version 1976

Red standard road car finish


 

BEST9722 Porsche 550 RS – 12 hours of Sebring 1957

8th overall and 1st in Class S1.5 – Bunker /Wallace


 

BEST9723 Ferrari 512 BB 1976

Bi-colour yellow and black


 

BEST9724 Ferrari 512 BB LM

1000 km of Fuji 1981 – drivers Griswold/Bond


Rio Models

 

RIO4572 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Police 1961

From the collection of the Museum of Rome


 

RIO4573 Volkswagen Beetle 1953 “Police”

Another strangely inaccurate model from Rio. There is an oval rear window but no triangular ventilators in the front doors and the bumpers and tail lights are from a 1948 car.


 

RIO4574 Citroen DS 21 saloon 1969

In Paris Taxi livery.


October 2018

ART Models

 

ART394 Ferrari 290 S

15th at Watkins Glen 1964 – J. Flynn


 

ART256/2 Ferrari 860 MONZA

Winner of 12 hours race at Sebring 1956 – Drivers Fangio /Castellotti


Best Models

 

BEST9725 Ferrari 250 GTL

Here modelled as the car of Jay Kay in blue


 

BEST9726 Porsche 908/02 Flunder

10th at Nurburgring 1000 km 1971 – drivers Wicky / Cabral


 

BEST9727 Porsche 550RS

Winner of 10 hours race at Messina – drivers Heinz / Strahle


Rio Models

 

RIO4575/P Mercedes-Benz 770

In German Wehrmacht Africa Corps camouflage markings from 1941. Figures of Field Marshall Rommel and driver.  The authenticity of this model is questionable as no photo exists of the large Mercedes-Benz 770 in khaki camouflage, In the many photographs of Rommel he is in a captured British armoured vehicle or a KdF Kubelwagen.


 

RIO4576 Fiat 18 BL

Here this early Fiat truck is in the livery of the Peroni beer company.


 

RIO4577 Citroen DS 19 Break

Here the DS Break has been fitted with the trappings of a hearse.


 

RIO4578 Fiat 238 1972

Here the 238 van with a high roof extension has been fitted with a roof mounted loudspeaker  and liveried for the “Italian Police”.


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New models – 2018 Jaguar I Pace and E Pace

By John F. Quilter

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

Jaguar is finally following the lead of Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and others in Europe of making available a range of their cars, both past and very current, in my favourite international collecting scale of 1:43. These are, at least in the UK, available from the official Jaguar UK website, https://shop.jaguar.com/uk/model-cars. The US Jaguar website does not have as large a range and it seems to lag what is offered on the UK site. I’ve been told by at least one dealer parts manager, and have prior experience, that scale models are a popular item in dealership lifestyle accessory boutiques. Unfortunately, US models collectors cannot order from the UK site but enterprising 1:1 car retailers have made some of these models available on eBay. So for die-hard collectors there is a way to obtain them which is what I did buying from Guy Salmon Jaguar in Bristol.

The two newest Jaguar products, the cutting edge all-electric I Pace, and the compact crossover vehicle, the E Pace are now available in multiple colours in 1:43 scale. The I Pace is in Photon Red or Corris Grey and the E Pace in Yulong White or Caldera Red, all official Jaguar colours. These items come on a black plinth covered by the usual clear Perspex box and the black card stock sleeve is surrounded in a clear plastic outer covering. This elegant packaging is marked “Jaguar” making these official promotional items. In the USA promotional models of cars dates back to the early 1950s when AMT and Johan produced a continuous series of 1:24 scale plastic models of each US automaker’s latest car. They were accurately done in proper colours with glazing and interiors, but unfortunately they were made of a type of plastic that tended to warp severely with age greatly disappointing avid long term collectors. By the early 60s this issue had been dealt with and later items are more durable.

The Europeans tended to be inclined to do promotional items in the more compact 1:43 scale though larger scale items are available on the Jaguar and Land Rover websites. These two items are made by TSM Model in China and judging by their heft are diecast, not resin. TSM, also known as True Scale Models, is a maker of many 1:43 scale models and have apparently landed the contract with Jaguar for these items and perhaps others going forward. TSM’s range of 1:43 items includes Honda, Toyota, Bentley, Aston Martin, Porsche and others. https://www.tsm-models.com/product.php

The I Pace I received from Guy Salmon Jaguar is in Corris Grey, one of 12 colours the prototype car can be ordered in and is left hand drive. Its interior is a single colour light Oyster one of five interior colours Jaguar offers on the 1:1 version according to my US brochure.

This model comes with one of the nine wheel styles offered, the 22 inch Style 5069. The roof is a very large tinted glass panel. The 1:1 car comes in three specification packages, S, SE, and HSE with varying levels of equipment and features. The HSE includes a Driver Assist Package that incorporates Adaptive Cruise Control with Steering Assist, High Speed Emergency Braking, 360 Degree Surround Camera with Blind Spot Assist. Exterior colours on the prototype vehicle include two different whites, two different silvers, two different greys, three different blacks, two reds and a dark blue.

Wheels are the 21 inch split spoke type, one of no less than 10 Jaguar offers for this vehicle which vary from 18 inch to 22 inch. Overall length of the full size I Pace is 184 inches making it a bit bigger than the 173 inch E Pace. The model measures 4.27 inches making it within .05 of an inch of correct 1:43 scale.

Jaguar’s E Pace is the next size down from their first crossover vehicle, the F Pace which is based on the XF saloon (length 195 inches) platform launched in 2007. The E Pace, based on the XE saloon (length 184 inches) is a size smaller and expands the range of crossover vehicles. E Pace, at 173 inches is a relatively compact vehicle.

The E Pace model by TSM is in Yulong white which is one of 10 colours offered on the real Jaguar. Interestingly they are heavy on whites, there are two shades, blacks, two shades, and greys or silvers, three shades. Surprisingly there are no greens in the selections but I am told by a US Jaguar salesman that white, black, and silver are currently the most popular colours. The model is also left hand drive and with an all Ebony interior. The E Pace model measures 4.02 inches making it exactly correct 1:43 scale. It should be noted that TSM also produce a 1:43 scale replica of the F Pace.

On both of these models there is some chassis detail including a chrome exhaust system on the plastic base plate on the E Pace. Obviously no exhaust system on the I Pace. There is a lot of commonality in the styling of these two cars with such things as a glass roof, a uniform Jaguar trapezoidal grill in black, and the visor over the rear window. The I Pace has a “reverse” scoop in the middle of the bonnet which is, according to the brochure, an exit for air entering the grill adding to aerodynamics.

So for those who follow the Jaguar developments and products, these are great models of the vehicles to add to one’s collection and in my case will bring my display of Jaguars from 1932 on up to current. I look forward to others as Jaguar’s range of products continues to expand and develop.


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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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Atlas Dinky Deluxe #542 Opel Rekord

By Maz Woolley

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

Atlas are now issuing the Dinky Deluxe models at twice the previous rate. With no more new or competing ranges, and warehouse space costing money, they clearly have an incentive to get the collection finished as soon as possible. The latest new model is French Dinky #542 Opel Rekord which Atlas have had reproduced by Norev in metallic grey. This is an original colour and the original model was also made in blue and gold.

This model replaced #554 which was an earlier P2 Opel Rekord which was modelled as a four door saloon and reproduced by Atlas in the original Continental Dinky series, though it didn’t make it into the UK Dinky series as far as my records show. #542 was introduced in 1964 and was in production until 1969 when it was replaced by #1405 Opel Rekord Coupe which was also advertised as forming part of this Dinky Deluxe Series.

The box is again a lovely replica of the original with its Jean Massé painting of a couple in the car gazing at a Chateaux in the middle distance. Were their way to stay there or were they just sight seeing? Who knows? It makes a nice scene though.

The collectors card supplied by Atlas to accompany this model states that this is a model of the 1700 Coupé but the coupe had a sloped rear section of roof and windows curving at top and bottom to a point. All the artwork and the model itself actually show a an Opel Rekord A two door with its standard rear window and less sloped roof. This was launched in 1963 with a 1488cc engine, though by the end of its run the 2605cc six cylinder engine had been ‘shoe-horned’ in.  The car was available as a two or four door saloon, a two door estate car, a two door delivery van and a two door coupé.

The Dinky model was a little short of play features as opening doors and tipping seats were fairly basic when other vehicles had opening bonnets and, or boots. The interior is a simple plastic affair but the opening doors do have door furniture and card details cast in but no upper frame or glazing. To the rear the Opel badge and name are nicely cast in and the rear lights are nicely cast and painted. For once Dinky actually painted the amber section as well as red and even left the  reversing lamp area clear. As usual no colour is applied to the front number plate but the rear one is painted yellow.

Overall the lines of the car are captured well. Opel were certainly heavily influenced by the new Chevrolets emerging in the early 1960s such as the Nova.  The Rekord badges are neatly moulded into the front wings and the grille is nice too.

The front end is slightly disappointing, as on the original as there is no Opel insignia on the bonnet which appears on the real cars that I have found on the internet. Though perhaps some early versions did come without the badge on the bonnet? It does have the nice period jewelled headlights in an appropriate size. Like the original Dinky the front indicators are moulded in but are not painted.

The next model that I am scheduled to receive is the Renault R6F which is a nice model and which I, like many others,  have already bought from a China-based supplier some time ago.


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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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The Ford in Miniature – Falcon XA, XB and XC 1972-79

By Dave Turner

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

Ford Falcon XA

Replacing the US designed Falcon XY in February 1972 the XA was the first Falcon to be completely designed and produced in Australia. While based on the preceding XY and having the same wheelbase, the bulkier and bolder styled body was a couple of inches longer. Five levels in the sedan line started with the basic version, the 500, the Futura, the Fairmont and the GT. 2 door hardtops came as the 700, the Fairmont and the GT. The wagons on a 5 inch longer wheelbase (the same as the contemporary ZF Fairlane) came as the basic version, the 700 and the Fairmont. Then there were the basic and 500 Utility and the van.

Engine choices were a couple of straight sixes in 3.2 and 4.1 litre sizes and a couple of V8s of 4.9 litres and 5.7. The four door sedans featured the ‘coke bottle’ line rather like being a larger version of the Cortina MkIII while the 2 door coupes boasted very deep rear quarters with rather sinister looking rear side windows quite different to the sedans.

As usual various options and specials add to the complexity for example the Grand Sport Rally Pack ‘boy-racered’ up the base, the 500 and the Fairmont while the proposed GT-HO Phase IV was abandoned after just one example. Just 250 of the GT – RPO 83 Falcons were made – 130 sedans and 120 hardtops, and differed only by a few mechanical upgrades with no external changes. Another limited run were the Falcon 500 Superbird RPO – 77 hardtops featuring considerable mechanical upgrades to engine, suspension, instrumentation complete with rear window louvre.

The up-market version of the Falcons were the bigger Fairlanes but these differed from the regular Falcon in size and equipment sufficiently to demand a separate feature – sometime.

Australia seems to have a reasonably healthy model car supply base with several local operations providing miniatures of their home-grown product. For example Top Gear/Trax may be the most familiar on this side of the globe although Classic Carlectibles and Oz Legends have also been imported.

Oz Legends have in fact provided quite a few models of the XA in a variety of 1:32 scale diecast sedans, hardtop and Ute versions. Most of which appear to be limited to 2,500 examples and feature opening doors, hood and trunk. Classic Carlectibles have gone the 1:18 scale route with slight variation on the same subjects.

Back on 1:32 a range on the Signature label (Yatming?) has a few sedans, hardtops and utes and inevitably concentrates on the higher performance end of the line and like the other makes includes a few customised examples. Auto Art offered some Aussie Falcon Hardtops under the Biante name in both 1:18 and 1:43 scales.

Top Gear/Trax seem to have concentrated on 1:43 for most of their vast range of Ford models but the only XA seems to be the 1972 GT Sedans in at least four colours. These came in the relatively expensive Opal Series that featured a vast amount of detail for 1:43. All four doors open as well as bonnet and boot while the interior and engine compartment are detailed to an incredible degree. The door windows are in the lowered position so that the interior can be viewed without opening the doors.

Falcon XA Models

Oz Legends
Ute 150mm 1:32 diecast
Ute GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GT RPO-83 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GT  RPO-83 150mm 1:32 diecast
Classic Carlectibles
18268 China Superbird hardtop show car 250mm 1:18 diecast
18448 China Hardtop GT RPO-83 250mm 1:18 diecast
18545 China Sedan GT HO Phase 1V 250mm 1:18 diecast
18615 China Sedan GT RPO-83 250mm 1:18 diecast
18640 China Hardtop GT 250mm 1:18 diecast
Signature
China Hardtop 351GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
China Utility GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
China Utility GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
China 2016 Sedan GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Auto Art/Biante
72725 China Hardtop GT 1:18 diecast
72726 China Hardtop Superbird 1:18 diecast
72747 China Hardtop GT 1:18 diecast
China Hardtop GT 1:43 diecast
Trax
T005 China 2008 Sedan GT Ltd 2400 112mm 1:42 diecast

Falcon XB

Succeeding the XA in November 1973 the XB was very similar but featured a few subtle changes to the bonnet and grille – the latter having a central divider. The sedans got larger tail lights that featured a wrap-around section at each side. Once again there were some ‘specials’ such as the Sovereign Edition based on the 500 and celebrating Ford Australia’s 50th Anniversary. The John Goss Specials were Hardtop 500s with decals and a GT bonnet named after a local race driver while the McCleod Horn Specials were produced by a Sydney Ford dealership and identified by a large strobe stripe on the body side.

The Australian model suppliers have provided even more of the XB series than of the previous one. The same names crop up again but with the addition of a new one on this subject – Hot Wheels, who offered a XB Coupe in no less than 20 versions, and apart from the unsightly wheels they are reasonably acceptable.

Most of the previously mentioned ranges offered both custom and competition versions of the standard issues while some are detailed to a commendably degree once again. For example the 1:43 Auto Art XB GT 351 Hardtop features a great deal of underside detail – even steerable front wheels while deciding not to bother with opening doors etc, and probably looks neater as a result. The Trax Opal Series XB GT 351 Sedan followed their XA in featuring a mass of detail plus opening parts quite neatly. The Oz Legends range now included a trio of Panel Vans.

Falcon XB Models

Oz Legends
Sedan GT 140mm 1:32 diecast
Ute GT 140mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GS 140mm 1:32 diecast
Panel Van GT 1:32 diecast
Panel Van 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GS 1:32 diecast
Panel Van GS 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GT 1:32 diecast
Classic Carlectibles
Sedan GT 1:18 diecast
18615 Sedan GT RPO-83 1:18 diecast
Hardtop GT John Goss 1:18 diecast
Signature
Hardtop GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Hardtop GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GT 150mm 1:32 diecast
Sedan GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
Ute GS 150mm 1:32 diecast
Auto Art/Biante
52742 China 2003 Hardtop GT 111mm 1:43 diecast
72742 China Coupe GT 1:18 diecast
72796 China Sedan GT 1:18 diecast
72881 China Hardtop GT 1:18 diecast
72886 China Hardtop GT McCleod Horn 1:18 diecast
Trax
T006 China 2008 Sedan GT 351 112mm 1:43 diecast
Hot Wheels
2010 Malaysia 2009 Hardtop GT 351 75mm 1:64 diecast

 

Falcon XC

A second update brought us to the XC Falcon in July 1976 and this was to carry through to March 1979, late examples can be identified by featuring a Ford oval on the XCs horizontal grille. The front of the XC was given a softer look than the XB while a larger rear door window was provided by the use of the Contemporary ZH Fairlane rear doors effectively losing the ‘coke-bottle’ line. Tail lights were now horizontally divided while the GT was replaced by the GXL and the Fairmont given rectangular headlights. A limited run of 400 Cobra Hardtops were finished in white with blue racing stripes.

Models of the XC are far less well represented than the first two of the series. Oz Legends are present again but so far only the Hardtop Cobra has been recorded while the only Auto Art XC seems to be once again the Cobra but in 1:43 this time. Trax have concentrated on the Hardtop to a greater extent, they again did the Cobra first but followed it with at least six further versions, some of them in competition form as the Hardtops were a favourite with the racing fraternity. Another Cobra they did was a model of the projected Phantom that in reality didn’t go into production and this was followed by another rare subject, the GS Homologation Hardtop of which only 13 real examples were made. Finally a model of the production GS Fairmont 4.9 Hardtop was produced. A sedan Fairmont GXL was a recent issue and while it is a highly detailed resin model, it features a degree of stick-on chrome edging – none of which has peeled off yet it must be said.

Falcon XC Models

 

Oz Legends
Hardtop Cobra 140mm 1:32 diecast
Auto Art
52752 China Hardtop Cobra 111mm 1:43 diecast
Trax
TR10 China 1994 Hardtop Cobra Ltd 7500 111mm 1:43 diecast
TR10C China 1998 Hardtop Cobra Phantom 4500 111mm 1:43 diecast
TR10F China 2004 Hardtop GS Homologation 3200 111mm 1:43 diecast
TR10G China 2008 Hardtop GS Fairmont 4.9 2800 111mm 1:43 diecast
TRR 36 China 2016 Sedan Fairmont GXL 115mm 1:43 resin

Illustrations Ford Falcon XA, XB and XC

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10G, Hardtop XC GS Fairmont 4.9.

rear of TR10G

Trax 1:43 resin: TRR 36, Fairmont XC GXL

rear of TRR36

 

Hot Wheels 1:64 diecast from Malaysia: 2010, Hardtop XB GT 351 one of at least 20 versions.

 

rear of Hot Wheels

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: T006, XB Sedan GT 351.

 

rear of T006

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China : T005 XA Sedan GT.

 

rear of T005

 

Auto Art 1:43 diecast from China: 52752, XC Hardtop Cobra.

 

rear of 52752

 

Auto Art 1:43 diecast from China: 52742, XB Hardtop GT.

 

rear of 52742

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10F, XC Hardtop GS Homologation

 

rear of TR10F

 

Trax 1:43 diecast from China: TR10C XC Hardtop Cobra Phantom.

 

rear of TR 10C

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