Category Archives: 1:43

1:43 scale

Atlas Deluxe Dinky Toys is complete

By Maz Woolley

Many collectors received an email late on 20/3/2019 like the one shown below stating that the Atlas Dinky Deluxe series running in the UK is complete.

When I looked at my account on the Atlas website the collection shows as cancelled and not as complete and two models that I have not yet received are shown as having been sent. It will also be interesting to see if those who subscribed to the series at the higher rate to pay for a ‘Dinky’ garage will actually get one, and if not what DeAgostini as the owner of Atlas will do about taking their money under false pretences.

If we look at the collection advert above from their website it reflects the original publicity material for this series. I note that two models in the picture have never shipped to collectors: the Ford Galaxie; and Mercedes 230SL. Yet DeAgostini is currently selling them on their ModelSpace site. It seems a very poor reward for those who have subscribed to the series that they have to scrabble about elsewhere, and pay more, to get models that they should have had in the collection in the first place.

For the sake of completeness I include a table below which lists all the models that Atlas/DeAgostini say formed my collection though please note the final two are ‘in the post’. My apologies for the inconsistent presentation that is as Atlas created the entries.

If any reader has any details of additional models that they have received from Atlas in this collection please let me know (maronlineeditor@gmail.com) so that if there are any others we can create a full list.

It is clear that the collection was very different to that many UK collectors hoped for. The original test marketing promised many Binns Road Dinkys that have never appeared. There are even items on the revised collection advertising, issued when the collection finally launched, that have not been delivered to subscribers.

All in all I believe that the business practices of DeAgostini and its Atlas subsidiary have fallen well short of what loyal customers might expect. They accepted subscribers to series like the Jaguar Collection and Dinky Trucks long after they had finished the collection for early subscribers and then closed the collections for later subscribers well short of delivering them all the models the earlier subscribers got. They have also failed to send out advertised models in various collections despite the fact that in some cases the items were being sold to the wholesale trade in significant numbers and even available on DeAgostini’s own Model Space website.


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Autocult and Avenue 43 Release Three 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

We have recently had news of the third release from Autocult in 2019. As usual the release features a wide variety of unusual models. All the models shown below have been resin moulded to 1:43 scale in China for Germany.

In the streamliners series there is the unusual propeller driven
Schlörwagen. In the small cars series there is the little known BMW 531. A racing car appears in the form of the Kaimann Mk4 Formel Vau “Niki Lauda”. And finally there is another addition to the trucks series in the form of the Tatra T23.

In the line that Autocult distribute, Avenue 43, there is a
BMW 2200ti Garmisch Bertone.


03016 BMW 531 (Germany, 1951)

Following the Second World War BMW‘s management struggled to identify the direction that the company should develop in. The board was strongly in favour of concentrating on producing luxury cars but the development department was tasked with creating a small car to provide a step up from a motorcycle and sidecar. It was to use existing motorcycle components where possible.

The car used a modified 600cc twin boxer motorcycle engine with an additional fan for cooling and took two years to create the prototype as the development work for the 501 was the highest priority. The finished prototype was front engined and had rear wheel drive with seating fro two adults and two children

Though a pretty car the BMW management did not ever approve it for production as the 501 turned out to be a commercial success. In hindsight the over reliance on income from the 501 was one of the reasons that BMW found itself in trouble in the late 1950s and the BMW 700 which was also built on Motorcycle technology was the car that stabilised the company. Perhaps if the 531 had been introduced BMW might have had a more stable stream of income throughout the period?


04020 Schlörwagen mit Turbinenantrieb  (Germany, 1942)

This experimental car was created during the Second World War by Karl Schlör von Westhofen-Dirmstein who mounted a large shielded propeller powered by a captured Russian engine on his streamlined car which was already fitted with a standard Mercedes-Benz 170 H power unit. In effect the engine and propeller unit acted to significantly boost the power of the car. 

The streamlined car was shown to be very much more efficient than the standard Mercedes-Benz 170 before the propeller was fitted but people did not like its looks and there was no chance of it being adopted for production.

One wonders what the car would have been like to drive with both the engine and propeller running. History has not recorded any details of test drives but the lack of modern stability features and the weight and thrust at the rear might well have made the car practically unsteerable at speed. 


07012 Kaimann MK IV ‘Niki Lauda’ (Austria, 1969)

Formula Vee was an open wheel racing series which was based on cars using Volkswagen engines, a bit like the Formula Ford series. Kaimann were an Austrian racing team whose 1966 entry was powered by a tuned Volkswagen 1200cc engine and could reach about 160KPH and which was very competitive from the start. In 1968 the ‘MK III’ emerged with improved tubular frame and a heavily Volkswagen 1300 cc engine which lifted the top speed to 180KPH.

In 1969 Kaimann introduced a new young Austrian driver, Niki Lauda, who was only 20 years old. With wins at Monza and Sopron and several 2nd places, the talented youngster showed the ability which was to take him to the top of Formula One racing in years to come.


11010 Tatra T23 (Czechoslovakia, 1931)

The legendary Hans Ledwinka joined Tatra in 1921. He is best known for his development of very distinctive streamlined cars but his chassis design used in the cars also found its way into the way that trucks were built.

The heavy-duty T23, was developed from the T13 and became available in 1927. The term “heavy” referred both to the chassis and to the large 7.4 Litre engine . The truck was a respectable and reasonably economical performer but it was the quality of the chassis that made it stand out. The independent swing axles gave an excellent ride well ahead of its competitors and the suspension was designed to allow the wheels to be at a slight angle until heavily laden when they would be pulled into a vertical position.


Avenue 43

60021 BMW 2200TI Garmisch Bertone

The 1970 Garmisch was based upon a design produced by the Bertone Design Centre for a car based upon the mechanics of the BMW 2200 TI, and was aimed at updating the look of the BMW range.

It is a conventional front engined, rear wheel drive four-seater coupé. Bertone devoted particular attention to the details like the large rectangular front headlamps, the linear motif which runs along the wings and the honeycomb-effect covering of the rear windscreen.


The car was shown at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show and its sober, elegant styling was part of a new trend in Italian design and many elements in the design can be seen in Alfa Romeo and other production cars later in the decade.

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Matrix March 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

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

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

New Models

MX10108-031 Aston Martin DB6 Volante grey metallic 1966

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

This model is in silver with the hood down.


MX10108-032 Aston Martin DB6 Volante red metallic closed 1966

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

MX40604-012 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale red 1952


New Versions

MX20302-372 Chevrolet Suburban K10 brown metallic 1978

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

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


MX20303-072 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon black 1942

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


MX51311-041 Maserati Mexico Speciale by Frua red metallic 1967

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

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


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Oxford Diecast Jaguar Mark V DHC

By Maz Woolley

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

I am a little late to look at this model which is one of Oxford Diecast‘s releases to 1:43 scale from 2018. The Jaguar Mark V Drop Head Coupe (DHC) is available with top up and top down, here we show the top down release in opalescent silver. The top up versions are available in dark blue and British racing green. It follows Oxford’s excellent 1:43 scale SS Jaguar. Like the SS Jaguar I expect that a version of this model will appear in the 1:76 scale range eventually.

Photograph copyright of HIstoric Auctioneers recognised.

The Mark V was produced from 1948 to 1951 replacing the 2.5 and 3.5 litre saloons and inheriting their six cylinder pushrod engines based upon pre-war Standard units.  It was available as a four door saloon and a two door convertible known as the Drop Head Coupé, both versions being full five seaters.  It was a transitional model and introduced engineering developments that would take Jaguar from being a small specialist car firm to a major player in the luxury and sports car market by the end of the 1950s. For the first time a Jaguar was fitted with independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes, and was specifically designed to be produced in both right and left hand drive. Also introduced were the classic wheels fitted with smaller 16″ tires, sealed headlamps and flashing turn signals for the important American market. It was the last car whose styling was influenced by the classic SS Jaguar lines developed by William Lyons before the Second World War. It was replaced by the more streamlined  Mark VII whose style was developed from that introduced with the the XK120 and which took the large Jaguars forward during the 1950s and which not only featured integrated wings and mudguards but also the classic XK engine .

The car modelled by Oxford Diecast was featured at auction in 2014. It was built on the 1st of December 1950 and first registered on the 3rd of February 1951  by the Northampton licensing office. The model looks very true to the original car in colour and finish with the wheels accurately reflecting the Ace wheel trims, painted rims, and Jaguar details on the wheel centre.

I am glad to say that this model reaches the same standards that their excellent Rolls-Royce models have in this scale. The metallic flake in the opalescent paint finish is quite fine and the overall paint finish is very good indeed.

The hood irons looked too large to me until I looked at the original car and saw that Oxford has got them quite right they are huge on the real car too. The crumpled effect of the folded hood has been well realised though the plastic is perhaps a little too reflective.

Door handles are moulded in and painted silver. They are so small on this car that separate items would have possibly looked over scale so I am perfectly happy with the moulded in ones.

The interior is well modelled too with nice wood effect dash and door cappings. The leather seats and door trimming is nicely matt and matches the colour of the real car. Even the nice matt floor is the light grey of the original car’s carpet.

One criticism is that the dash board has been rather simplified with the secondary dials and radio not shown.

The grille, bumper and lights are excellently moulded and finished and the number plates are excellent. The light lenses are first class with a representation of the bulb moulded in and the chrome light rims are delicately modelled.

A leaper is fitted and is quite finely modelled and does not look over scale. This was actually an optional accessory on the original car and the car this model is based on is fitted with one.

There is a small gap round the main lights faired in pods, which are separate plastic items, but it is scarcely noticed at normal viewing distances so it is no real issue.

The rear lights are part of the rear bumper assembly and are painted over silver background which is an effective solution. A neat boot handle is good.

After a run of disappointments with some recent Oxford Diecast models this model reminds me how good they are when they get it right.


Other versions of the Mark V available include an Atlas Jaguar Collection model, made by Ixo, of the DHC with top up as shown in the photograph below.

Neo produce a Mark V Saloon as shown below, a vehicle that is also available as a 1:43 unglazed pewter model by Danbury Mint also shown below.

Neo Jaguar Mark V Saloon – Photograph from Neo Models
Picture copyright rights of eBay vendor recognised.

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MAR Online Reader to Win an Unique Goldvarg

By Maz Woolley

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

Have you ever wondered what happens to all the pre-production models produced to make sure that the final product is right and that the selected paint colours come out correctly? Well in the case of the Goldvarg Collection Sergio has decided to share some of them with collectors. He is entering everyone who is subscribed to his website before he selects the winner in March 2019 a chance to win a unique colour sample which has already been shown here in MAR Online

Now Sergio Goldvarg has kindly offered a superb prize for one lucky MAR Online reader in celebration of the announcement of his new issues for 2019 , click here to see an article about the Goldvarg 2019 releases.

So what is the prize? Sergio will send the lucky winner a unique pre-production sample of the 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint in white. The production model is due to ship in the first half of 2019 but the winner will get a pre-production sample which will be a great addition to their collection. The photographs below from Sergio show the model to be won.

To win this prize you need to send an email to me at maronlineeditor@gmail.com with: your answers to the five questions below; your name and country of residence; and your preferred email contact address. All those who send an email with the details above and the correct answers to the questions below which arrives in the email box by the end of the closing date of April 2nd 2019 will have their names placed in a hat and one will be selected as the winner. The lucky winner will be contacted by email after the draw so that they can provide a delivery address for Sergio to send them the model.

QUESTIONS

  1. Who was the maker of Sergio’s first toy vehicle?
  2. What country was the final white metal Goldvarg model made in?
  3. What is Sergio’s Profession?
  4. Which comic strip characters were used in adverting for the Ford Falcon?
  5. What is the first name of Sergio’s Wife?

Now don’t forget!

Email your answers to maronlineeditor@gmail.com with your full name and your country of residence and state your preferred email contact address should you win.

For those who love the model, but don’t win the competition, the full production version of this car will be GC-010 B 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint Polar White and it is expected to be available to buy by mid-year.


Terms and conditions

The editor’s judgement on the correctness of answers is final.

Only a single entry per person is allowed and only those entries which include a full name, country of residence, email address, and correct answers will be entered in the draw.

Only emails which are in the editors email box by the end of April 2nd 2019 will be eligible for the competition.

The winner will be contacted by email after the draw to obtain their full postal address and their name will be announced in an article following the draw in April 2019.

The model will be send to the winner by post by Sergio Goldvarg.

Listed members of the MAR Online editorial team are excluded from the competition. However, our contributors are free to enter.

Please note that any email addresses supplied will not be added to any contact or mailing lists or used for any other purpose than to run this competition.


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Mercury La Collezionne Part Three

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we have the latest parts, #4 to #6, in the Mercury partwork collection being sold in Italy by Hachette.

No. 4 is the Lancia D24, a 1:43 scale model from 1957. A simple model, but very faithful to the real one. Proving this is the inclusion of the small air scoop over the right headlight.

Alas, they didn’t add the windscreen and the rear lights. But it is a worthy reproduction of a car that won so many races, from the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, to the 1954 Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.


No. 5 is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta saloon, in a rare two-colour livery, very likely available originally only on the Swiss market as it was produced at the special request by the Swiss importer, Count Giansanti Coluzzi.

The real car was never offered by Alfa Romeo with a two-tone finish, but some were painted like that by Italian coachbuilders. The Giulietta is a 1:48 scale model from 1956, and the Hachette reproduction is faithful to its first version, where the headlights are like small aluminium nails, inserted into the body.


No 6 is a Volkswagen Beetle in PTT livery. The Beetle was a ‘must’ for all toy car ranges from the early 1950s onwards. Models in the PTT livery have featured in many ranges right up to the current date.

The Volkswagen Beetle was introduced into the Mercury range as model #15. This was produced in several colours with three shades of blue alone! The model represents a 1954 oval rear window Volkswagen and #15A was the same casting finished in PTT livery. There were variations on this model with Paolo Rampini‘s Modelcars in the World showing models with different colour tyres: black and grey tyres. Hachette has chosen to use black tyres and has created a convincing replica.

The next model due in the collection with be the Lancia Appia.


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Alfa Romeo Guilia Part Four

By Robin Godwin

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

Finally we’ll look at one of Italy’s older toymakers, Mercury, and a relative newcomer, Mebetoys. With lots of time to examine real prototypes, and for Mercury at least, with many years of diecast experience behind them, one would expect nothing short of perfection. Alas, these two examples are among the worst.

Mercury #4 was introduced in 1965, according to Mercury Tutta la Produzione, by Bocco, Clemente, Coen, Pereo and Pontoni, published in 2005. It is identified as a Giulia Super on the box, but as a Giulia TI on the base (Alfa Romeo made a Giulia TI, a Giulia TI Super, and a Giulia Super, all different). Perhaps pedantic, but according to Wikipedia, the Giulia TI Super was a special lightened road going (but produced for racing) version introduced in 1963. Only 501 were built, all white save for one red and one grey version. They were easily identified by having mesh grills in place of the inner two headlights, and no overriders on the bumpers. The Giulia Super was introduced at the March 1965 Geneva Auto Show and was a regular road-going sedan that incorporated some of the performance features of the earlier Giulia TI Super. My guess is the tooling was underway for a regular Giulia TI when the Giulia Super was introduced at Geneva. It was easy to change the box printing to give the impression that they were first with the latest model, but they never updated the base of the model. That said, they also managed to put a three-spoke plastic steering wheel into the interior, which was a standard Giulia Super feature. But that is the only discernable feature in 1:43. Enough history. The model is otherwise pretty abysmal with half opening doors and a totally incorrect rear window profile. They completely missed the notchback styling with wrap around rear window. The top rear passenger side window profile is incorrect as well, being too rounded.

A Super box but with a TI inside. Colour illustration shows a properly drawn rear notchback whereas line drawing shows the incorrect lines actually modelled

The model comes with opening doors and a separate detailed engine part underneath the opening bonnet. Jewelled headlights adorn the front but rear lights are painted. There is a separate oil pan/ transmission housing casting screwed into the base plate. Bumpers are separate chrome plastic pieces. There is a reasonable attempt at the Alfa Romeo steel wheels. That they are chromed is a good thing, as that provides a barrier between plastic wheels and rubber tires. There is evidence of wheel melt on the inner surfaces of my wheels, but that does not affect displayability.


Totally wrong rear window treatment. Correct-for-a-Super three spoked steering wheel just visible here. I have seen a white steering wheel version on eBay but could not tell if it was two spoke or three spoke

Mercury issued a rallye Giulia version, also as model #4 in 1971. Bumpers were removed with the holes thru the body filled in, and additional spotlights were cast in the grill. Jewelled headlights were deleted, but the remainder of the casting looks unchanged. I have seen one of these on eBay for hundreds of euros, possibly the most expensive early Giulia you can buy. I have seen replacement racing decals online, so caution must be exercised if one is in the market for an original version. Although the Mercury scale is listed as 1:43, it is noticeably larger than the Edil and French Dinky 1:43 versions. The wheelbase is exaggerated, being longer than the (claimed) 1:42 Mebetoys and also longer than the two 1:41 plastic models from Politoys and INGAP, so something was amiss at the design stage.


Mercury Giulia rallye version (photo: from internet search)

Mebetoys was the most prolific of the early Giulia modelers, producing a regular TI in many versions starting in 1966, a Giulia Super from 1968, and later, a Nuova Giulia with horrible whizzwheels from 1978. I have not seen in the flesh a Giulia Super from Mebetoys and suspect it may be a nomenclature version (or just the addition of a three spoke steering wheel). The Nuova is a casting change. If anybody has a Super, can they please send a photo to the editor. I have seen a Nuova with earlier more accurate wheels on eBay, but suspect it may be a fake. The base on the Mebetoys attaches with screws, so all bets are off when it comes to purported wheel and interior colour variations.

Mebetoys A7 Giulia TI Carabinieri with early domed wheels from 1967. Body shape is just too squared and casting is a bit rough

The model came with opening front doors, less quarter windows, chromed plastic bumpers, front and rear, a chromed one-piece plastic insert for the headlights and grill, and working suspension. There were no jewelled headlights, like most of the other models in this review. The scale is cast as 1/42 on the base, and when placed alongside the French Dinky and Edil, seems about correct – the Mebetoys has a slightly longer wheelbase and body. Curiously, the box is marked 1/43.

Mebetoys base with SCALA 1/42 cast in
Mebetoys box indicating 1/43

I don’t have a later variation of the model, so cannot say if the scale on the base was eventually changed to match the box, or vice versa. The improved wheels appeared sometime after 1967, which was the issue date of the model pictured. They look to be quite accurate renditions of the Alfa Romeo steel wheels.

Mebetoys, left, and Mercury. This picture does not really show the size difference between the two

I talked about the Edil moulds moving to Turkey, but of course it is well known that Politoys  (plastic, fibreglass, and metal) and Mebetoys moulds also travelled to different countries. However, I have never seen a Giulia TI from these early issues reproduced in their new homes. If any reader has proof otherwise, please send a photo to the editor.

So there is a summary of the contemporary models issued shortly after the first Giulia TI rolled off the assembly lines. We have highlighted six companies that produced miniatures, some very well, and others less so. I was fortunate to start collecting these in the eighties, since they have more recently become extremely sought after and, accordingly, very expensive.


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Brooklin goes Pink!

By Maz Woolley

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

To celebrate International Womens Day, which is March 8th this year, Brooklin has made three limited editions in three different shades of pink. The idea for the limited edition is said to come from Angela, Julie, Sarah, and Veronika, all of whom work in the assembly area at Brooklin Models.

The models are all available to order now and are being produced in limited editions of only 199 of each model and with a free postage offer if you enter a code at the checkout. So what are the three models?

From left to right above we have the:

  • 1957 Oldsmobile Super 88 2-door Convertible in “Powder Puff Pink” (BRK 194P)
  • 1952 Cadillac series 62 Coupe in “Lilac Pink” (BRK 181P)
  • 1965 Chevrolet Impala Coupe in “Pink Pearl” (BRK 223P)

Three clearly different shades but all definitely pink! Individual photographs of all three taken by Brooklin are shown below with the tag line that Brooklin have given each one..

A unique iconic model, a tribute to luxury, sensuality and that irresistible 50s femininity.
The model which celebrates the ‘Pink way of life’: Lightheartedness and vitality are the keywords of the Pink Ladies from every era.
The car for rebellious women, trendsetters and trailblazers.

A surprise from Brooklin but one which will delight some collectors!

International Women’s Day is celebrated each year as a focal point for Women’s rights. The theme for 2019 is ‘BalanceForBetter’ which focuses on The Better the Balance the Better the World which highlights the fact that a gender balanced world is a better one.


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Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 1421 Opel GT 1900

By Maz Woolley

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

My latest delivery from Atlas is a replica of French Dinky #1421, an Opel GT 1900. The original model was in the Dinky range from 1969 to 1971. The earlier releases of the original came with a sheet with a choice of French and German number plates though the Atlas model just has German plates ready fitted. The box art is in the later unattributed style with a white background and showing the car in red, a colour it was never issued in. The Atlas model replicates the blue colour the model was produced in for its entire run.

The Opel GT debuted as a styling exercise in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows. The production vehicle used mechanical components from the contemporary Opel Kadett B and two-door hard top bodywork produced by French contractor Brissonneau & Lotz. More than one hundred thousand were sold by Opel from 1968 to 1973. The car was unitary bodied and powered by a choice of a 1.1 or 1.9 Litre engine. mounted longitudinally at the front driving the rear wheels. One unusual feature of the Opel GT is the operation of the pop-up headlights. They are manually operated, by way of a large lever along the centre console next to the gear lever. Designed by Opel stylist Erhard Schnell the GT is a fastback, that has neither an externally accessible boot nor a hatch. There is a parcel shelf behind the seats that can only be accessed through the main doors. Behind the parcel shelf is a fold-up panel that conceals a spare tire and jack. Hence the need for the luggage rack fitted to the Dinky!

This model features ‘super rapide speedwheels‘ which do not seem to be much lower friction than normal ones, perhaps that is just Atlas not replicating them properly? In any event they are over shiny and not particularly good replicas of the real wheels. The doors are fully framed and open, as does the bonnet. However, none of the opening parts is a tight fit and the gaps round them are large.

The GT badging is moulded into the front wings and the front bumper unit is a large moulding with yellow jewels fitted as fog lights and what appears to be a Munich registration plate. Unfortunately the sides of the bumpers are too small to fully fill the recess leaving a substantial gap there too. I am sure that these faults are all there on the original model too, certainly web pictures seem to bear that out.

[Editor: Since publishing this article Jim McLachan has pointed out that his original Dinky has close fitting parts and no problem with a gap round front bumper. This clearly suggests that the Atlas replica is poorer than the original]

The rear of the model is finished simply with the lights moulded in and picked out in red and orange paint. The bumpers are well modelled as is the luggage rack though this is fitted crookedly on the model that I have. As it is simply retained by a single plastic pin into the bodywork I can see that it would be impossible to correct. In fact a missing rack is very common on the original models that survive.

Viewed from the side the blandness of the wheels and the large gaps round the doors an bonnet are quite clear. The side view also highlights the fact that the Dinky model roof is too low. Photographs show the side door windows to be rather higher and the roof rounder in profile. I am also a bit unsure about the front end where I think the gradual curve is too gentle and perhaps the front end is little long. What do you think?

The interior is all in red and the front seat backs do not tip forward. A shiny inline motor sits beneath the bonnet. Underneath there is a minimal moulding showing the drive train and exhaust and stating that the model is to 1:43 scale.

As with many other late Dinky models from France there is a street sign included showing speed controls.

All in all I am not sure that the model does the original vehicle justice but there I think Atlas has just perpetuated the shortcomings of the original Dinky.


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Hachette Italy World Buses – Part 24

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we are at part 24 of this series covering the releases from ‘Autobus dal mondo’. Something of  record to reach two years of issues of models and history.  And there are still more to go!

Parts number 70 to 72

At last a Swedish bus and two more French buses: a gas-fed war-time Renault and a Saviem used in Morocco (former French protectorate). They are from the Italian Hachette partwork ‘Autobus dal mondo’”, a collection of eighty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French series ‘Autobus et autocars du monde’”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.


No. 70 (no. 93 in the French collection) Renault TN4 F (Gaz de ville) 1940 – This is the fifth Renault in the collection. Aside from those produced after mergers in the French bus and coach industry which combined Latil, Renault and Somua, into Saviem in 1955 . Later Isobloc and Chausson. were also absorbed. After the AGP Saharien (see part seven, no. 19), the TN6-C2 (see part twelve, no. 34), the R4192 (see part nineteen, no. 55 and part twenty one, no. 61) it is now the turn of another TN, a TN4 F modified to run on city gas, due to the scarcity of fuels during the Second World War. The STCRP (Société des Transport en Commun de la Région Parisienne) had already tested the use of a gasifier (tried on over 300 buses) and a mixture of alcohols (with poor results), and in 1940 decided to use uncompressed city gas (a mixture of methane and hydrogen). This choice needed each vehicle to have a very large storage tank (about 17-20 cubic metres) and it gave a very limited range on one fill (about 20 kilometres, just a round trip).

A container in rubberised canvas (from the stocks of balloons manufactured by Goodrich, in the outskirts of Paris) was placed on the roof, protected by a large fairing made of wood fibre panels. Over 500 buses were converted, TN4 F/H and TN6 only, but fuel wasn’t the sole problem; the scarcity of oil, tires and spare parts soon left many buses out of service and in June 1944 only 275 bus were still operative. Besides, the population preferred to move by the underground, the bus fleet being heavily affected by requisitions and evacuations. The result was a reorganisation of the Parisian transport system, with the STCRP and the Compagnie du chemin de fer Métropolitain de Paris (CMP) merging from 1942 to officially become the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) in 1949. It is interesting to note that despite the exceptional height (4.10 metres) and the extreme flammability of the gas there were never any major incidents.

The original bus, the first TN4 (a bus with a length of 9.5 metres, more powerful engine and with a larger capacity of up to 50 passengers) was introduced in 1931 at the request of the STCRP. It was the first Renault bus with the radiator in front of the engine instead of behind as used on previous ones. The first TNs had an open platform and an inline four cylinder engine of 58 CV, while in 1932 the TN6 received an inline six cylinder engine of 68 CV. After the war, all the TNs in service were refurbished, even adopting a more enclosed cabin to protect the driver. They were then slowly phased out, the last in 1971.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of thevehicle from the large “AMTUIR” collection (Association du Musée des Transports Urbains, Interurbains et Ruraux), its museum is now located in Chelles, Seine-et-Marne, part of the Parisian agglomeration (see www.amtuir.org). But TN4F No. 3158 is a replica. A false raised roof was placed on the vehicle and the vehicle is currently running on petrol (all roof fairings were eliminated during general revisions, completed in 1948).

As usual there is a plastic multi-part body with a metal chassis. Classic green and cream livery is well reproduced, and is lacking any advert. Like the chassis (where a printed name replaces the original one) and the interiors, the central part of the body is common with the previous TN6-C2 (no. 34), whilst the driver’s cab is now an open one. Many separate small items are fitted. Note the blacked-out headlight. It is a shame that there is a shiny metal support inside the rear platform. There are no apparent differences to the French release. A fair witness of past war times.


No. 71 (no. 94 in the French collection) Saviem SC1 1960 – We have already met the Saviem SC10 U (see part thirteen, no. 39), and how at the end of 1955 Renault, faced with strong competition from Berliet, and lacking factory capacity, decided to merge with Somua and Latil creating LRS Saviem, later incorporating Isobloc and Chausson. In 1949 Renault presented the R4000 series, the first “modern” Renault bus (previously they were based on a truck chassis, heavy and uncomfortable) with a unitary structure. The engine was now placed horizontally on the right hand 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 was a low roof version with a more powerful diesel engine). Following the mergers in 1955 it gained a Saviem logo, in 1957 it was restyied and renamed the Saviem ZR20. In 1960 a new engine was fitted and the SC1 name used. In 1964 the S45 name was used and it stayed in production up to 1993 with periodic updates.

Compared to the R4192 (see part nineteen, no. 55 and part twenty one, no. 61) the SC1 presented the same new front and rear “panoramic” screens already seen on the ZR20, a simplified front grille and improved wipers. But much more important were the new engine, the Fulgur diesel six with 150 CV (30 CV more than the previous one, which was aptly named “fainéant” or loafer), and the Grégoire suspension, the “aérostable”, a variable flexibility system, which gave a very comfortable ride.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of an interesting vehicle, a bus exported to Morocco, which was up to 1955 a French protectorate. As usual there is a plastic body and a metal chassis, very likely partly recycled from the previous R4192. The name on the baseplate is now printed, but the front and rear of the body are entirely new. The white and blue livery shows the logo of CTM, the Compagnie de Transport au Maroc, the line Casablanca-Marrakech, is still active today. Since its creation in 1919, the history of CTM accompanied that of modern Morocco, contributing to its development. In 1969 CTM merged with Lignes Nationales and extended its services to the whole Morocco.

It was the first Moroccan company privatised in 1993, at the same time as it was introduced on the stock exchange of Casablanca. Very nice white-wall tires and driver’s cab feature. The usual luggage rack is fitted to the roof and a large ladder provided for access. Many separate parts are used and the headlights pods are particularly notable. The characteristic long bars are fitted along the roof which are used to fix the canvas to protect the baggage. No apparent differences to the French series. Nice to have something from another continent.


No. 72 (no. 95 in the French collection) Volvo B375 1957 – Nice to see a Swedish bus at last. Today the Volvo Group (Aktiebolaget Volvo, shortened to AB Volvo) is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company headquartered in Gothenburg, and its main activity is the production, distribution and sale of trucks, buses and construction equipment. Automobile manufacturer Volvo Cars was part of AB Volvo until 1999, when it was sold to the Ford Motor Company, and then re-sold in 2010 to the Chinese Geely Holding Group. The brand name Volvo means “I roll” in Latin, conjugated from “volvere”. Volvo was established in 1915 as a subsidiary of SKF, a ball bearing manufacturer however both Volvo Group and Volvo Cars regard their founding to be in 1927, when the first Volvo car left the assembly line. The first truck debuted in 1928, an immediate success soon exported in Europe, while the first bus, named B1, was launched in 1934. After a very complicated (and too tedious to report here) sequence of partnerships, purchases and sales, the Volvo Group is focused on heavy vehicles and its operations include among other things Volvo Trucks, Volvo Buses, Mack Trucks, and Renault Trucks.

The Volvo Brage/Starke/Raske was a series of medium size trucks produced between 1954 and 1972 : the L370 Brage was named after the Norse god Bragi and sported an overhead valve petrol engine, in parallel with the Brage Volvo offered a diesel version called L375 Starke (Strong), likewise with a payload of 4.5 tonnes, to be replaced in 1961 by the sturdier L475 Raske (Swift) with a payload of 5 tonnes. From the L375 (L as in Lastbil, Swedish for truck) Volvo derived the B375 (B as in Buss, for bus), with the same chassis and mechanics of the truck. The engine was a diesel six in-line, with 95 CV. Early trucks had a non-synchronised four-speed gearbox, soon replaced by a synchronised five-speed transmission by ZF. The body was usually built by local coachbuilders, in this case a Danish one, V. Frandsen Karosserifabrikk. This long distance bus had a very long body, far outweighing the rear overhang and could carry 31 passengers. The spare wheel was hung at the rear externally, freeing more space for luggage compartments. A bus not avant-garde, not specially original, and lacking modernity, but very suitable for difficult Scandinavian roads.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal chassis, with an added exhaust, in front of a rear wheel, it is not very well connected either. The red and white livery is well applied, but there is no indication of the transport company. The destination board reads “Ystad (Rønne)”. Ystad is a town in Skåne County, in the south of Sweden, dating back to the 11th century, nowadays more famous for being the primary set for the detective series “Wallander”. Rønne is the largest town on the Danish island of Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, just in front of Ystad and connected to it by ferry.

The registration plate seems to be Danish, the yellow one for buses and trucks. A very nice radiator grille is fitted with the Volvo logo on show. The headlights and indicators are well modelled too. There is a well reproduced interior though the steering wheel seems to be a bit oversize. There is no apparent difference to the French edition. A similar bus, with a different livery, was produced in 1:72 scale by Editions Atlas. This is a nice reproduction of a classic bus, worthy of the long wait.


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