Category Archives: 1:43

1:43 scale

Two Flawed-but-Cool Models from the Seventies

by Frank Koh

  • Japan’s Take on an Italian Sports Car
    • 1/43 scale K.K. Sakura Maserati Bora, late seventies.
  • Italy’s Take on a Japanese Sports Car
    • 1/43 scale Polistil Datsun 240Z/ Nissan Fairlady Z, dated 2/1976.

The K.K. Sakura Maserati Bora is a poorly-styled miniature, but it was brilliantly executed with opening doors and rear canopy, working concealed headlights that pop up with the flick of a lever, metal chassis plate and beautifully-cast albeit totally inaccurate wheels with gigantic hubs. The long single windshield wiper is also an unforgivable error, but who’s complaining?

It looks more like an obese chipmunk than a Maserati Bora, but let’s admit, it’s one interesting ride! Besides, how many of these rare models exist today?

The Polistil Datsun 240Z is not one of the company’s best efforts, but the fact that it’s a genuine Italian Market model with a Milan license plate and the it has the popular ducktail spoiler certainly make up for its shortcomings.

Not the nicest Polistil model, but any first generation Datsun Z is a blue-chip automotive investment!

Seventies model car packaging at its finest. Four decades later, we can truly appreciate how the old school toy companies made their wares catch the eyes of young collectors. Coincidentally, both models here are referred to as “Super Cars”. Despite the divergent provenance of the two cars, we can therefore consider them a controversially-matched pair.

Opening doors and rear canopy plus pop-up headlights are on the Maserati, and opening doors on the Datsun Z.

Could these two have been neighbors in Italy? Check out that Milan license plate on the Datsun Z. I call it Sports Car Immigration on a Small Scale.

Not the best renditions of these two classic sports cars, but let’s admit, they are kinda cute.  This pair of well-traveled vintage sports car miniatures also reached my house by way of Sydney, Australia!


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Atlas BTCC Hillman Avenger

By  Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Atlas has now completed the BTCC collection at model 24. It is still inviting new collectors to sign up on its web site despite the fact that Atlas had already sold significant numbers of at least 16 of that collection to the wholesale trade.  The model shown in this post is the car that Bernard Unett drove to the 1974 Class A British Saloon Car Championship a 1600cc Hillman Avenger GT. For Rootes/Chrysler collectors it complements the Sunbeam Imp already seen in this series.

The Atlas model appears to be a realistic replica of the car from period photographs with the livery very accurately captured. Even the GT chrome strip is printed across the roof. The use of multi part windows that flush fit into the gaps make the side windows much more convincing than on models where the B pillars are cast items.

Lovely “bullet” wing mirrors are replicated as are the taped front lights. The windscreen wipers are plastic, black and are thin and accurately formed – I just wish more makers would use these and not photo-etched ones. The period Warwickshire number plates are neatly done front and rear.

The rear of the two door Avenger is very well modelled with the hockey stick rear lights very nicely done with translucently painted lenses behind clear plastic.  All the rear badging and logos are clearly printed and well positioned as is the GT badge on the C Pillar.

Quite a lot of effort has gone into the wheels which have the ventilation slots in the gaps between the silver rims.

The Chrysler Pentastar is much to the fore in the livery. Inside the dash mouldings are good and include the extra rev counter perched above the dashboard but they do not include all the extra switchgear in the centre and left of the dash, or the fire extinguisher.

The casting is thought to be by PCT (Ixo’s owner) and it will be interesting to see if it is used again. Comparing it to the Dodge  1800SE from the South American series which was based upon the Avenger there are some similarities but the body shell is not identical.


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AutoCult February 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

AutoCult has announced three models for release this month. In their series “Prototypes” they model the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket Concept car. In their series “Delivery Vehicles” they have created the Willys FC-150 Pickup. Finally in the series of “Buses”  there is a Mercedes-Benz OP312 an Rooijen.

 

1/43 #06020 Oldsmobile Golden Rocket (USA, 1956)

Oldsmobile has been part of General Motors since 1908.  In the 1950s their designs came from the department headed by Harley J. Earl. It was the time of the “space race” and the futuristic influence of rocket shapes was felt in the concept cars made by all the big US car makers.

The car modelled by Auto Cult is an Oldsmobile made specially for the 1956 General Motors Motorama, a show where GM showed off concept cars in a bid to attract visitors who could be persuaded to buy their latest production cars which were also on show.

Its split rear screen and thrusting wings and light bearing winglets were to be seen on production cars in the future. The car body was made in fibreglass  and it was fitted with a V8 engine with 275 hp.

 

1/43 #08009 Willys Jeep FC-150 Pick-Up (USA, 1956)

By the mid-1950s the WIllys range looked rather old-fashioned and so Willys planned the launch of a new delivery truck with a new and striking design. The management brought in the well-known designer Brooks Stevens. Stevens’ concept was influenced by the design of heavy-duty trucks. The engine was positioned right underneath the driver’s cab. Due to its cab over engine design the delivery truck got the designation “Jeep-Forward-Control”, or “FC” for short.

It did not need a long development phase to get the van into production as parts like the chassis and the engine were already in in use. The chassis came from the in-house 1954 SUV “CJ-5” and the engine was the “Hurricane” type. On November 29, 1956, the first of these vehicles were presented at a special event for dealers.

The wheelbase of the small delivery truck was strikingly short at just two meters. It also had a small turning circle. But, the narrow width of only 1.2 metres gave it undesirable handling traits. Two years later this was addressed by broadening the truck to 1.4 metres whilst retaining the same load bed length.

Altogether the production of this style of truck lasted from 1957 to 1964.  All variations added together sold no more than 30,000 units which was considerably less than Willys had hoped.

 

1/43 #10002 Mercedes-Benz OP312 van Rooijen (NL, 1958)

 

The DUKW has inspired many vehicles. Some built buses looking like boats and some built ones that could also perform as one. Tours are available in Prague today in a bus-boat based on a modern coach which is amphibious. But the bus modelled by Auto Cult was based on a series of buses inspired by the style of boats but which could not travel in water.

This special boat-bus, named `Huwelijksboot’ (Dutch for wedding boat), was one of three identical vehicles. All three buses were built by the body maker van Rooijen in the 1950s. The body maker was  based in Montfort (Netherlands).  The buses were styled to look boat shaped and fitted with wood and railings and even funnels to make it look the part.  There were even tyres on the vehicles ship’s side just like the ones used to protect a normal boat as it landed at a pier.

All three boat-buses were built on the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz OP 312, had an engine with a performance of 120 hp, and offered space for 32 passengers. These vehicles provided a comfortable ride with a special style.


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Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 1424 G Renault 12 Gordini

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

My deliveries of models in this collection seem to be a month behind some others who have just received a Peugeot 404 Commerciale. The model I had delivered this month is a replica of 1424 G, a Renault 12 Gordini.

Dinky made the most of this casting releasing both a R12 and R12TL as 1424.  As I understand it this was produced from 1969 in France and then later in Spain.

A considerable effort was involved in creating the Gordini version which had filler cap re-positioned, bumpers removed, and a new front grille. This was made in France first, then later by Pilen for Dinky in Spain with yellow headlights.

The replica captures the original well. Though the opening front doors are curious as they are fully glazed but do not have the upper door frames. This is the kind of compromise that Dinky Toys and others made at the time.

Sadly the model has standard silver spun hubs and not the Gordini Alloys shown on the Box.

The shiny grille from the original model is dropped for a matte black one as fitted to the Gordini. But without extra printing the grille lacks the silver lines and Renault badge that are there on the original vehicle.

The rear view is rather severe as only the lights and number plate bear any printing. The Renault badge and boot catch are there but are not picked out. The “go faster” stripes are pretty accurately positioned but the printing is a little thin and doesn’t cover as well as might be desired on the bonnet.

Some have complained that the drivers door does not stay shut. Looking at the mechanism it is quite different to a standard UK Dinky one. The door card is actually metal and fixed onto the door shell and extends to form the hinge rather than the door being cast with an integral hinge. This makes the hinge much less intrusive and the door open in a more realistic way. A nice model well reproduced by Atlas but like others before it in this series many will have already bought this from China on eBay after its release in France.


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GFCC 1956 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Four Door Hardtop

By Maz Woolley

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

Here is the latest model from GFCC Toys a 1956 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Four Door Hardtop. Reviews of the previous Jaguar, Pontiac, and Studebaker models from this maker may all be found elsewhere on this site.  Although the models claim to be from a company registered in the US this seems to be a conceit as the models only seem to be available from Chinese sellers on eBay and on the Chinese equivalent of eBay, Ali Express. Perhaps due to the Chinese New Year holidays only the Jaguar seems to be listed at the moment.

The Riviera four door hardtop was an extremely popular model outselling the conventional four door Roadmaster. It was certainly a large and impressive car and appealed to those who could not afford a Cadillac but who liked large and powerful cars.

The side mouldings are printed neatly as are the door handles and quarter lights. The Buick “bullet holes” are there with four for the most upmarket version of the car but they have not been silvered as I would have expected.

The version that I bought is in pink and white and despite having a plastic base plate it is quite a heavy model. As on previous models the wheels are silver items with Dinky style round ended axles protruding.

The grille is quite fine and the Buick badge is printed neatly and not oversized as I might have expected. The bonnet emblem is neatly cast and silvered. The silver used is more like that used on Atlas Dinky than the silver used on collectors 1:43 models.

At the rear the lights have been done well but the lettering is very strange as it says CHRYSLER! Not exactly what you would expect.  Under the corner of each bumper and exhaust end sticks out in silver plastic rather more detail than I would have expected.

Inside we have a white dashboard and steering wheel as well as white seats. Though the backs of the front seats are in black. The dashboard has some quite detailed mouldings but nothing is picked out. Unusually the dashboard is in metal as is the steering wheel. The doors are fitted with plastic door cards rather than having them moulded into the casting .

So yet again GFCC has produced a hybrid model which is neither a “proper” collectable or a Dinky Replica and once again it has a character of its own.


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More Colorful Model Car Brands You Might Not Have Heard Of

By Ron Ruelle

Ed. Note:  The MAR Online Editors are republishing this article from the HobbyDB blog because some of these brands might be new and fun for you.  Others might be old hat (Quiralu  or Rextoys)?   Ron’s article on unusual model car brands was also republished by MAR Online in 2016.

A while ago, HobbyDB shared a list of unusual Model Car Brands with strange histories. The response we got was terrific, so we did another list. Since then, we’ve dug up enough other odd brands to compile yet another batch of model and toy cars you may have forgotten (if you ever heard of them at all.) All in all, this round of models comes from seven different countries if you’re counting!

Dream Become True

Dream Become TrueNo, that’s not a typo, it’s just clunky translation. This company started as “Dream Become True”, possibly playing off Chinese auto company Build Your Dream. They then changed it to “Dream Becomes True” which is still kinda clunky. Their main offerings are Model Cars in 1/32 and 1/24 scale, which are fairly detailed and include working parts as well as lights and sounds.They also make some pretty basic models of mostly high end exotic cars in 1/64, including about the only model of the Koenigsegg CCX available and, even if the doors don’t open correctly.

Gay Toys

gay toys school busSimple, inexpensive toys molded in color… what could go wrong? The sheer coincidence of the name unfortunately might have became a headache for the company (parental objections, etc.), so they didn’t produce many models under this brand. And well, when you try to do a search online for them, well, just make sure you keep “safe search” turned on. Even better, look for them on hobbyDB instead.

Quiralu

QuiraluQuiralu models were made in France in the 1950s and ’60s and included several microcars. The company and their models went into hibernation for many years until the original molds were resurrected in the late ’90s. They were used again to make a limited number of models with the same body castings but slightly different tinplate base and window glazing. The colors for each generation are often loud and fun.

Radon

radon model carThe name Radon probably doesn’t have any strange connotations in Russian like it does in other parts of the world. These cars are cold war relics, from a Russian state factory. They are mostly 1:43 scale diecast Soviet vehicles, including marques that aren’t likely to be reproduced in any other country. As a bonus, they do a lot of limos and other service vehicles, which are always neat to look at.

Rextoys

rextoysThese Portugal-produced models are best known for 1930s American cars. Detail is simple, but the cars sometimes come with well-known passengers… You can get the Cadillac V16 Convertible with President Franklin D. Roosevelt riding in the back, or, if you prefer, Italian actress and politician, Cicciolina. But not together, even though that would be really awesome!

Simba

SimbaThey Farbwechsel when they Temperaturwechsel! Simba, despite the very elephantine name, was a German company that made mostly models of German marques. Their color change cars were revolutionary at the time, as they were among the first where the color depended on the temperature of the water.

Smelly Speeders

Maisto Smelly SpeedersSure, these look like standard Majorette models. Except they have some odd color combinations, especially the brightly colored tires. And when you open them, well, the reason for the name becomes obvious. Each car was scented in generally favorable aromas such as coconut or strawberry, not unlike those emanating from your car air freshener. Unfortunately, if you find one in the package, there’s a good chance the scent has worn off over the decades.

Tomte-Laerdal

Tomte-LaerdalStarting in the 1940s, this company produced primarily models of German cars but also one of an American military Jeep. Bodies were made of a single piece of rubbery plastic in a single color (some look kind of swirly) with a separate clear windshield in some cases. Details were crude at best. Later models mostly eschewed the clear parts for solid molded windows. Based on their Datsun 240Z model, it’s safe to say they were still making these at least into the early 1970s.

Starmada

StarmadaStarmada is a fairly new name to the model car business, debuting at the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg in 2009. They offer mostly European marques with a heavy emphasis on Mercedes-Benz. These are sold under the name Brekina in many countries. Two really neat things about them… they make a lot of odd body styles such as limousines and hearses. And if you can believe it from the photos, these cars are 1/87 scale, some of the most detailed cars you can get for an HO railroad.

Victory Industrial Products

Victory Industrial ProductsVictory Industrial Products or VIP was a small company that began its life during the second world war in a boat house which stood directly alongside Kingston Bridge in Hampton Wick near London. It was founded by two men, Captain William John Warren and Gerald Fenner Burgoyne who set up the company to manufacture small electrical components for the Ministry of Supply. Not quite nanotechnology, but the components were useful for making model trains, 1:20 plastic models, and 1:32 slot cars. They were mostly odd, utilitarian cars, but charming in a huge way.


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News from the Continent 2/2018 – M4 Modelcars Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs supplied by the Manufacturers

Here are the details of the releases expected from the M4 modelcars group in January 2018. These are all made in diecast metal to 1:43 scale in Italy unless otherwise stated.

ART Models

ART380 Ferrari 500 TR

Brynfan Tyddyn Road Races 1956 – Winner Carrol Shelby #128 – Chassis nr. 0614

 

ART149-2 Ferrari 500 TRC

Targa Florio 1958 – Winner in class Starrabba/Cortese #90 – Chassis No. 0682

BEST

BEST9690 Ferrari 512 BB LM

Le Mans 24 hours 1980 – O´Rourke/Phillips/Down #78 – Limited and numbered Edition of 50 pieces.

 

BEST 9691 Ferrari 250 LM

6 hours of Perth Caversham 1965 – Winner Martin/McKay #1

 

BEST9692 Ferrari 250 GTL

Steve McQueen’s personal car 1964

 

BEST9693 Porsche 356B Abarth

Le Mans 24 Hours 1960 – Winner in GT Class 1,6 litre Linge/Walter #35

 

RIO

RIO4557-P Mercedes-Benz 770K

“Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg Reichsparteitag Parade 1938

 

RIO4558 Volkswagen Beetle

Monte Carlo Rally 1954 – Mourier/Ramsing #310

This is again a very strange looking model, with mixed up details. The body is that of a Beetle with oval rear window from 1953, but without the little triangle-windows in the doors and fitted with bumpers from 1948. The rear lights are round, but in 1953 they were oval.

RIO4559 Mercedes-Benz SSKL

Stelvio Mountain race 1932 – Winner Hans Stuck #68


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News from the Continent 2/2018 – Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

The models shown were due for release by Schuco at the end of 2017. Editors Note: Schuco retail prices seem to have increased very considerably in the UK. I don’t know whether this is a result of the drop in the value of the pound and/or increased ex-factory prices from Schuco.

Edition 1:43

450335400 Mercedes-Benz L319 Werbewagen “Schuco Micro Racer” with Piccolo Volkswagen Beetle

450347600 Volkswagen T3a “Joker” Camper Van – medium blue

Edition PRO.R43

450901500 Opel Blitz Sattelschlepper “Porsche Renntransporter”

Edition 1:32

450780200 Hanomag Robust 900 Tractor “Christmas 2017”

Edition 1:18

450028600 Volkswagen T1b Samba Bus – green/white

450016600 McCormick 0326 Tractor – red

Edition PRO.R18

450010900 Goggomobil Coupe 250 cc – beige/dark grey

Edition 1:87

452628100 Porsche 911 (991) Carrera S – silver

452627900 Porsche 911 2.7 RS – blood orange

452627000 Porsche 911 GT3 RS “concept black”

452626800 Volkswagen T1c Samba Bus “Rally”

Strange to place the race numbers of the legendary “Herbie” from the Disney movies on a micro bus !

452626900 Volkswagen T2a Camper Van

452628200 Porsche 918 Spyder “Martini”

 

Picture of real car. Picture of model not available.

452629900 Porsche 911 R (991) – white/red

 

Picture of real car. Picture of model not available.

Porsche 911 R (991) – white/green

452632000 Volkswagen T1c Samba bus – black/white

452631600 Porsche 911 (997) GT3 RS


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Goldvarg F100 on its way soon.

By Maz Woolley

All images supplied by Goldvarg.

The first release of Goldvarg’s new resin models of American cars has been very successful with almost all showing as sold out perhaps to the frustration of US collectors.

Sergio has now released pre-production pictures of the 1965 Ford F-100. This will appear in  Tropical Turquoise and Rangoon Red and looks very close to release. This 1965 car appeared in many TV series in the 1960s and epitomises the typical US Pickup used for work and play. Here the Goldvarg is presented with lots of the options that make this an attractive vehicle.

I look forward to seeing the pre-production pictures of the forthcoming 1960 Mercury Park Lane.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 11

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Parts 31 to 33

At last another British bus, but produced and bodied in Pakistan, and one each from France and Germany, the last two from manufacturers already previously seen in this listing, all of them from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French  “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo. We should be arrived to the second part of the collection, but the French one is still going on: originally planned for 60 models, this collection was initially extended to 80 and then to 100 models!

No. 31 (no. 25 in the French collection) Mercedes-Benz O 302 1972 – We have already met Mercedes Benz (see fourth part, no. 11), after the O 10000 (1938) and the Lo 3100 (1936) this time we see the O 302, manufactured by Mercedes-Benz between 1965 and 1974 at the Mannheim plant.Launched as a replacement for the O 321, it was sold as both a chassis and as an integral bus with Mercedes-Benz supplying the body, designed to an austere Bauhaus style, mostly as a coach. Over 32,000 were built over an eleven-year period (the O 321 reached 20,000 units in 13 years), it was later superseded by the O 303 which reached an even higher production volume, but over a longer period. “One for all” or “Jack of all trades” could well describe the O 302 : urban or country bus, touring coach, the “universal” bus everyone was waiting for. But it was the last of its kind. From the last half of the 1970s buses became specialised. The O 321 was a design of the 1950s (rounded contours and small windows), while the O 302 styling features were typical of the 1960s : basic squared shape with steeply angled front, generous side windows with slim pillars, and large rear screen.

While the regular service versions had plain side windows, the touring coaches featured curved windows extending into the roof, a truly “panoramic” bus. Available with four wheelbase lengths between 9.6 and 11.9 meters (from R10 to R13, according to the number of rows of seats), doors, equipment and seating varied greatly, ranging from practical urban buses to luxury touring coaches. Over the chassis was mounted a body of semi-integral construction, while the six in-line direct injection diesel engine was installed transversely at the rear. Different engine displacement and power levels were available, according to the vehicle dimensions and use. Air suspensions were standard on the urban buses and on the larger touring coaches.

This was the first touring coach from Mercedes-Benz to feature individual nozzle ventilation for every passenger seat, and the first to have an option of air conditioning. For the first time the driver had a genuine instrument panel in front of him. A worldwide success, the O 302 was exported everywhere , even in the States featuring typical stainless-steel side panelling. It was also produced in countries like Turkey or Korea. A last technical achievement: in 1969 the OE 302 was presented at the Frankfurt International Motor Show as the world’s first hybrid bus. Power was more than sufficient for an urban bus, but the range was limited to 55 kilometers.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal chassis with a few details and the exhaust system enhanced in silver. The inscriptions on the chassis define it as a type 10R, but there are only nine seat rows. The livery is white with a red roof and a low side stripe, also in red. On the side the lettering “Rundfahrten Pulay” refers to “Pulay Reisen” a family travel company from Leobersdorf, lower Austria. But the registration plate is from Esslingen, a district in the centre of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and according to the “H” it is a registration for “historic” vehicles. Very likely the scale model is a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle.

Very nice detailing of the front grille with the Mercedes-Benz emblem, good too are the front lights, rear mirrors and wipers. The side windows are nicely replicated as are the rear engine cooling grilles. Nice wheels with the typical chromed hubcaps are also in evidence.

 

No. 32 (no. 24 in the French collection) Isobloc 656 DH Panoramique 1956 – We have already illustrated the short history of Isobloc (see sixth part, no. 17), this time we’ll met the last coach produced, when Isobloc had already declared bankruptcy and had been absorbed by the SACA (Société d’automobiles et carrosseries d’Annonay) of Sylvain Floirat. At the request of the new owner a new autobus was developed, the 655 DHU, and a new panoramic coach, the 656 DH. The 656 DH Panoramique was a groundbreaking vehicle, very comfortable and adaptable to different uses. Seating could range from 30 to 42, or to 52 when the toilet and the wardrobe were not installed.

The passenger platform was raised in the rear, to allow high visibility to all the seats, below it were huge luggage compartments. In the rear most had a toilet, a wardrobe, and a space for the hostess complete with refrigerator and cooker. The whole vehicle was air conditioned, thanks to forced air circulating on dry ice, whilst the seats were adjustable and had a  radio integrated in the headrest. It was 11.9 metres long and the rear housed a 7 litre supercharged diesel engine by Hispano Suiza in a longitudinal position with a Wilson pre-selection gearbox with five speeds, fitted just in front of the rear axle. It was indeed a flagship coach. But its life was very short, at the end of 1957 SACA was bought by Saviem (Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d’Equipements Mécaniques) and its production was stopped after only a few units. They could still be seen full of tourists in the streets of Paris until 1968.

This model has a plastic body (a bit flimsy) and a metal chassis with a few details and the exhaust system painted in silver. The livery in blue and grey is typical of Transcar, a branch of the SGTD (Société Générale des Transports Départementaux), specifically dedicated to the organisation of excursions and leisure trips. They were created in 1955 and still in business under the TRANSDEV banner.

The destination plate reads “Normandie – Cote d’Azur”, while the registration plate is from Paris. There is a very nice front grille with the Isobloc emblem, as well as plastic rear mirrors, front and fog lights which are separately fitted parts.

The airy glasshouse and the wheels, with chromed hubcaps and whitewall tyres, are nicely reproduced. A beautiful model, to be shown alongside the Greyhound Scenicruiser, the Pegaso Z-403 and the Citroen Cityrama, to be fully appreciated.

 

No. 33 (no. 26 in the French collection) Bedford TJ Rocket 1980Bedford was established as a subsidiary of Vauxhall in 1930 to manufacture commercial vehicles Bedford’s were based initially on Chevrolet mechanical parts as Vauxhall was bought by General Motors in 1925. It was a leading international brand, with substantial export sales of light, medium, and heavy trucks throughout the world. Its heavy trucks business was divested by GM as AWD Ltd in 1987, whilst the Bedford brand continued to be used until 1991 on light commercial vehicles and car-derived vans based on Vauxhall/Opel, Isuzu and Suzuki designs; subsequent GM Europe light commercial vehicles were branded as either Vauxhall or Opel, according to the market. Before 1925 General Motors assembled trucks in Britain from parts manufactured at their Canadian works, and marketed as “British Chevrolet“. In 1925 production was transferred from Hendon to Luton, Vauxhall’s headquarters, in Bedfordshire, from here the “Chevrolet Bedford” name, and from 1931 “Bedford” was used alone. Its success was due in large part to the smooth running in-line six cylinder engine with overhead-valves, of Chevrolet origin (the famous stove-bolt six).

The TJ was introduced in 1958 and was an updated version of the TD range. It was available in UK until 1975, after which it was manufactured only for export until 1986, and after that it was manufactured by AWD into the early 1990s. Petrol and diesel engines were available. It was never a big seller in the home market but a big export earner in developing countries, due to its basic layout and specification. Many assembly plants were established overseas in places like Pakistan and India.

In Pakistan the TJ is very popular. It has a cult status among drivers and is known for its power, reliability and durability. Many trucks and buses are highly customised and decorated by their owners. External decoration may include structural changes, paintings, calligraphy, and ornamental decor like wooden carvings and chains and pendants dangling off the front bumper. Usually the body is rebuilt in mogano wood, capable of absorbing vibrations and not splitting like the welded steel. Also the chassis is heavily modified: the height from the ground is increased and the suspension is strengthened. The luggage area on the roof is often used to transport more passengers, while the access to the interior is from the left side, like in the UK.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal baseplate, with basic details of the chassis. Quite an overdecorated livery for this Pakistani bus, sporting a Peshawar registration plate. It is quite difficult to see the interior, the windows being completely covered by the decorations. The exterior ladders are nice, and there are some nice added parts like the mirrors, lights and the front bar.

Only one wiper is fitted (very likely rain is optional in Pakistan). A well reproduced scale model, but not to everyone’s taste. No apparent differences to the French edition.


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