Category Archives: Shows and Museums

Museo Botta is now free to visit!

By Maz Woolley


Regular readers may remember an article in MAR Online about the Museo Botta   This is an online Museum created for Giovanni Botta an Italian collector of model cars and advertising materials which originally charged a small sum to make an e-visit.

A press release from Giovanni brings the news that e-visits to the museum are now free. This is good news as the collection is well worth a visit – why not have a look there are some very interesting items on display.

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Retromobile 2017

By Fabrizio Panico


Fabrizio brings us a photo essay from Retromobile  2017. Retromobile is an annual show held at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in Paris, France. It is considered by many to be one of the finest displays of historic vehicles held each year. It is said that the show this year had 90,000 visitors and 550 stands. 

For collectors of model vehicles Retromobile is a  chance to see the prototypes of models that they have in their collection. Many of the vehicles are privately owned and not on display often so it is a rare opportunity to see them. Although there are always crowd pleasers from Bugatti and Ferrari there are also a wide range of less well vehicles as well.

Traders at the show sell all sorts of automobile ephemera and several model traders attend the show. Fabrizio has also captured a few of the interesting items that they had on offer.


1900 Renault Y type C 

1906 Krieger electric 

1913 Clement-Bayard CB10 

1920 Ballot Indianapolis racer 

1920 Bignan type 132C torpedo 

1920s GN racers 

1921 Alfa Romeo G1 racer

1922 Citroen B2 autochenille Scarabe d’Or

1922 Renault 40CV torpedo 

1924 Bugatti type 23 Brescia

1924 LaFayette type 134

1934 Peugeot 301 CR cabrio

1934 Renault TN6C

1935 Mercedes Benz 130 H open-top saloon

1935 Renault Viva Grand Sport cabriolet

1935 Rover Twelve sports saloon

1936 Bugatti type 57 S Atlantic

1939 Bugatti type 57 C VanVooren (replica)

1939 Citroen Traction 11 Commerciale

1939 Renault Viva Grand Sport coupe

1941 Citroen TUC

1941 Dodge T110-L14

1947 Delahaye 135 M roadster Figoni

1949 Delahaye 135 M Victoria Chapron

1950 Ferrari 166-212 Export Uovo Fontana

1950 Renault Juvaquatre fourgonnette

1951 Panhard Dyna X cabriolet

1952 Mercedes Benz 300 SL W194

1956 Aston Martin DB2_4 mk2 Tickford

1957 DB HBR5 coach Cottard

1957 Renault 4 CV Police

1960 Abarth 1000 Bialbero Record

1960 Alfa Romeo 6C3000 CM Superflow IV Pininfarina

1960 Lancia Flaminia Loraymo

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Breadvan

1963 Ferrari 250 Le Mans

1965 MG EX234 prorotype Pininfarina

1968 Bouffort Minima

1968 Mehari SEAB Pompiers

1984 MG Metro SR4

1984 Porsche 928 station wagon

1985 Audi Quattro S1 (replica)

Panhard Dyna X Commerciale

Simca 8 Commerciale

Dinky Toys for sale

Dinky Aircraft set for sale

Hubley Set with interesting mix of scales

Assorted toys showing in cabinet

Tekno models for sale

Rare TriAng Minic set in fine condition

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Museo Botta

By Maz Woolley

All the images used in this article have been provided by the Museum and their copyright applies to all the items shown. 



A new venture has been launched on the web based upon the collection of its founder Giovanni Botta. Giovanni has been collecting model cars and advertising materials since 1972. Now he shares his collection with others with similar interests. With a web site he can make it available to the world in the way a physical museum with glass cases could not.

The museum consists of thousands of cards with pictures and detailed descriptions for each model car and advertising items. In order to fund the website, and to avoid the need to continually bombard users with advertising, Giovanni has to levy a small charge for entering the museum, at the time of writing this is 3 Euros for 3 hours visiting time. If you logout correctly you can return to use up any unused time left later. This is an interesting innovation and it will be interesting to see if it is a success as if it is we may see other collections tread a similar path.

On entering the museum you may choose between model cars or advertising objects and can view the collections by various themes or search them as you wish. The collections are quite clearly personal and rather than focus on collecting everything of a particular kind there are a few items across lots of different categories. As far as the cars are concerned the collection has many interesting items and often these are shown photographed from a number of angles. Although the collection is divided into many categories  it should be noted that some like presidential and royal cars have just one item in them. The collection includes model makers like ERIA that I had never seen before.

The screen shot below shows a typical card for model cars.

The photography is of high quality and a variety of shots and variation details is often included which is more instructive than viewing a model in a display case would be. One instinctively tries to double click on the larger image shown on the card to get a full screen image and examine the model more closely but unfortunately you are not allowed to do this which those looking to examine detail may find frustrating. This is made worse by the fact that the card is shown in a  band in the middle of the screen on wide screens and does not make full use of the screen width.  That said the image quality and presentation does give a good view and one can always use one’s browser zoom to enlarge the view.

The advertising section is arranged in a  similar way and contains lots of period items showing the various styles of design. Particularly interesting are the counter displays for a wide variety of products showing what advertisers thought would catch the eye in different decades.

I enjoyed my visit and found much to interest me there.

Like all Museums there is a shop which can be accessed without paying for a browsing section. The shop sells some high quality Italian resin models from small firms like IV Model and PIT Model as well as some models that have been made specially for the shop which are shown below:

S16/08 (Mu.Bo. 001) Fiat 500 A advertising “GELATERIA DE PELLEGRIN”


S16/05 (Mu.Bo. 002) BRUMM’S Fiat 500 “MUSEO BOTTA”


MUSEO BOTTA (Mu.Bo. 003) Porsche 356 1300 # 285 F. Van de Kaart – J. Swaters Rally Montecarlo 1952.

This car was characterized by “periscope” headlights and was produced in a very few pieces (for now only 6) with the collaboration of IV MODEL (Ilario Vecchiato).

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Toys in Nuremberg

By Fabrizio Panico


Photographs were taken by the Author and appear after the text below.


Nuremberg is an ideal place to establish a Toy Museum. From the doll makers of medieval times and the tin toy industries of the 19th and 20th centuries, to the present International Toy Fair, Nuremberg has always been the most famous “toy town” in the world.

The Nuremberg Toy Museum opened in 1971 in the very heart of the Old Town, near the famous Hauptmarkt. Based on the collection of Lydia and Paul Bayer, its collection comprises more than 70,000 items, about 5% currently displayed, the rest safely in their stores, but all are made accessible “virtually” by web displays of technical information and pictures.

From the wooden toys on the ground floor to the dolls (with their incredible houses and shops) and Lehmann toys on the first floor, the “Tin World” (vehicles, trains, boats etc) on the second floor and the more recent toys (post Second World War) on the third floor, you will be amazed by all the beautiful toys. A Museum Shop on the ground floor offers publications and selected toys.

I will limit my pictures of this wonderful museum to the displays of road vehicles. If you are interested in other toys then you may see the web site at

Almost all the toys displayed are of German origin, with a few foreign ones to provide a comparison, the most striking example being the Märklin Metallbaukasten and Meccano and their derivatives. However, you will find that there are many more foreign models in store and viewable via the web site.

Worth a visit indeed!


01 – a beautiful display of penny toys

02 – the VW set by DUX

03 – the VW set by DUX

04 – Gunthermann Studebaker and Tipp & Co limousine

05 – VW Transporters by Tipp & Co

06 – VW Transporters by Tipp & Co

07 – Distler Porsche and Tipp & Co Mercedes

08 – Schuco display

09 – Schuco Mirakocar

10 – Volkspolizei Wartburg 353 by Schockwellenreiter Modellauto (DDR)

11 – Lehmann GNOM tin fire engine

12 – Bing limousine

13 – Distler limousine

14 – Märklin Auto-baukasten truck

15 – Märklin Auto-baukasten set

16 – Märklin Aerodynamic and Mercedes

17 – Aero-Car by Blomer & Schuler

18 – Lehmann GNOM models

19 – Lehmann Deutsche Reichspost van

20 – Lehmann cars

21 – Lehmann in DDR : the Sportwagen no. 512 by VEB Mechanische Spielwaren

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