All text by, and copyright of the Author. All photographs provided by the Manufacturer.
This article features models released by Norev in the first quarter of 2019. These are in a variey of scales but all are diecast in China for France. A more detailed review of a few of the more noteworthy releases can be found towards the end of the article.
Please note that some models are pre-production samples and may be marked as such, others may be final pre-production samples.
181626 Citroen GS “Basalte” 1978 – black and red features
Only 1,800 of these were allocated to French Dealers and they were the first special edition of the GS designed to encourage purchases at a time when the GS was beginning to get ‘long in the tooth’.
183568 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Cabriolet 1969 – brown
Fitted with a two and a half litre straight six engine the 250E was a strong seller in the upper part of the Mercedes-Benz range. The convertible was much rarer and more expensive. Similar in some ways to its predecessor it was noted for the squared off rear wings. The age of the fin was over.
Doors, boot, and bonnet all open without spoiling the lines of the model when closed.
183459 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 1976 – Inca red metallic
Mercedes-Benz flagship car from 1975 to 1981 and made in small numbers. It featured hydro-pneumatic rear suspension based on the same principles as Citroen used all round.
It had a high specification interior and was powered by a 6.9 Litre V8 engine with a three speed automatic gearbox and limited slip differential.
Again lots of opening parts.
188053 Nissan GTR R-35 2008 – dark grey metallic
Launched on the Japanese market in 2007 it eventually reached Europe in 2009 as a Performance Centre had to be built in any country that it was sold in.
Built in aluminium, steel and carbon fibre it is assembled on a jig like a F1 car. Powered by a V6 engine of nearly 4 Litres which could produce nearly 400 BHP and had a top speed of nearly 200 MPH.
Again opening parts seem to have good shut lines and reveal the fairly detailed interior.
187412 Porsche 962 C Winner Supercup 1987 – H.-J. Stuck
The World Sportscar Championship was a world series run for sports car racing by the FIA from 1953 to 1992. It combined events in North America and Europe and was an important target for the major racing car outfits. The Norev model represents the winning car in the 1987 series a time when Porsche dominated this area of racing.
This diecast model has no opening parts but has a lot of detailed printing to a high standard.
185742 Simca 9 Aronde 1953 – Amarante red
Here we see the first generation of the SImca Aronde, two years after its launch in 1951. A clean modern shape for its time when many car makers models still had wings and vestigial running boards.
Powered by an engine of just over 1200cc it was capable of a top speed of just under 80MPH though it took over 30 seconds to get from 0 to 60 MPH. In 1953 production of the Aronde reached over 100,000 showing its popularity with buyers
1:43 Scale Models
270353 AC ACE 1957 – grey metallic
270357 AC ACECA 1957 -blue metallic
170020 DS 3 Crossback “La Premiere 2019” – black with red roof
170021 DS 3 Crossback 2019 – blue and black roof
170022 DS 3 Crossback E-Tense 2019 – pearl and black roof
170001 DS X E-Tense 2018
270575 Ford 12M saloon 1954 – blue metallic
474604 Peugeot 406 saloon 2003 – Banquise white
474653 Peugeot 406 Break 2003 – Banquise white
151413 Citroen 2CV AZU 1959 – “Wegenwacht”
156076 Citroen 2CV Pick-up with ladder 1963
474654 Peugeot 406 Break 2003 “SMUR”
1:18 Scale MAXI_JET
182056 Motobecane AV 65 1965 -blue
1:64 Scale MINIJET
310810 Citroen 2CV 4×4 – etna grey
181625 Citroen GS Club 1972 – Camargue blue
Another outing for the GS moulding. This time in an earlier GS version in a more basic trim level.
183478 Mercedes-Benz S-Class AMG-Line 2018 – dark blue metallic
An up to date top of the range Mercedes-Benz. Modelled in a considerable level of detail with all doors, boot, and bonnet opening. The interior looks to be modelled to a high level of detail.
183423 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2018 – bluegrey
This will be a large model. It has impressive opening parts, though no opening bonnet.
183471 Mercedes-Maybach S650 Cabriolet 2018 – blue metallic
Here we have the latest top-end convertible from Mercedes-Benz. opening parts, lots of interior detail, and even fitted luggage in the boot makes this an excellent model in this larger scale.
188523 Volkswagen 1303 superbug 1972 – green metallic
517864 Box Alpine A110 Pure & Legende 2018 – Limited Edition of 500.
517865 Alpine A110 Legende 2018 – Alpine blue
270504 Aston Martin DB5 Coupe 1964 – night blue
830040 Audi Q8 SUV 2018 – white
479820 Peugeot 2008 2013 – white
479849 Peugeot 2008 GT Line 2016 – Perla Near Black
870067 Volvo V90 Cross Country 2017 – Savile grey
150091 Citroen 2CV Cogolin 1961 “Fire brigade”
479821 Peugeot 2008 2013 “City Police”
479822 Peugeot 2008 2016 “Gendarmerie”
Here I look at some remarkable models, issued by NOREV and worthy of a closer examination.
183701 Benz Patent-Motorwagen 1886 in 1:18 scale
Norev released this first real automobile in excellent detail in 1:18 scale. Initially only for the Daimler Benz Company, now it is available to collectors through retailers.
The first stationary gasoline engine developed by Carl Benz was a one-cylinder two-stroke unit which ran for the first time on New Year´s Eve 1879. Benz had so much commercial success with this engien that he was able to devote more time to his dream of creating a lightweight car powered by a petrol engine, in which the chassis and engine formed a single unit.
The major features of the two-seater vehicle, which was completed in 1885, were the compact high-speed single-cylinder four-stroke engine installed horizontally at the rear, the tubular steel frame, the differential and three wire-spoked wheels. The engine output was 0,75 hp (0,55 kW). Details included an automatic intake slide, a controlled exhaust valve, high-voltage electrical vibrator ignition with spark plug, and water/thermo siphon evaporation cooling.
On January 29, 1886, Carl Benz applied for a patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine.” The patent – number 37435 – may be regarded as the birth certificate of the automobile. In July 1886 the newspapers reported on the first public outing of the three-wheeled Benz Patent Motor Car, model No. 1.(23238)
Not too far from Benz, Gottlieb Daimler developed also a four-stroke gasoline engine, but he placed this unit into a former horse drawn coach, into a boat and into a railway engine.
Some years ago, Daimler built a number of replicas of this car shown above. One was shown at Techno Classica driven by a young woman to commemorate Bertha Benz, who made the first long distance trip in an automobile upgraded by her husband Carl.
151397 Citroen 2CV Citroneta 1963 – blue – scale 1:43
The Citroneta was a version of the 2CV manufactured in Chile and Argentina. It used a type AZ chassis with a 425 cc engine developing 12 bhp. Both chassis and and engine were made in France while the bodywork ( for both 2 and 4 door versions) was designed and produced in Chile. The last of the “boot design” cars was built in 1973. The Citroneta was produced by the Citroen factory in Arica and apart from the chassis and engine/transmission used mainly locally made components.
Production of the 2CV in Chile started in 1953 as a way of boosting local employment. Initially, they were laughed at as they seemed small, under powered and insubstantial compared to the US imports of the time.
Soon the Chilean designers created a body to suit the country´s specific needs. The car needed to be useful for both city dwellers and also for farmers who needed to carry fruit, vegetables, hens or even pigs. Thus an open boot was included to help this and the “decapotable” roof abandoned.
The sales success that this model enjoyed was so great that it can be said that almost every Chilean has driven a Citroneta. All the streets were filled with this “French Miracle” as they were nicknamed. They also gave many Chileans their first chance to own a car, since before the 2CV there wasn´t any car available at such a low price.
The model is well detailed, with a number of separate parts used to detail it. It is an interesting supplement to every 2CV collection.
The Continental GT is not only a fast and luxurious car, but it also secured Bentley’s survival. 66.000 GT coupes have been sold since 2003. The third generation was launched in 2018, and has been reworked extensively. A longer bonnet and a lower front profile make it look more modern. Whilst the front retains the Bentley grille, slightly enlarged, as well as the four headlight style the rear gets new ellipsoid rear lights and a general restyling.
The model is accurately shaped and well detailed. Norev provide the Bentley promotional models of this car, hence the high level of detail and quality of finish.
351341 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018 – black –1:43 scale
The Mercedes G-Class is the oldest product in the Mercedes-Benz range. In the last 40 years the Swabians sold 300.000. But the time was ripe for a change. The appearance has only had a minor reworking.The body became 5 cm wider and 12 cm longer, but the boxy shape remained.
However, under the skin a revolution took place. The rigid front axle was replaced by independent suspension and a newly developed steering system give more comfort. Ground clearance, wading depth, angle of ascent and descent, are all improved.
But with the improvements comes a higher price tag, over a 100,000 Euros. Editor:rather higher than the much more luxurious Range Rover.
The miniature is accurately shaped, and well detailed, with many small separate components used to detail the model. The photographs above show the new and old versions of this model.
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.
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
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.
Editor:Reader Kenneth Hodges has kindly pointed out to the Editor that the Coachbuilder is Carlton as stated by Matrix and that the car is not Carlton grey as the editor had incorrectly assumed. So the original non-italicised text in the paragraph below is incorrect. Carlton were an English Coachbuilder based in London. They were noted for building modern looking cars and were quite productive until the Second World War. After that, staff previously involved with Carlton, had a business re-bodying pre-war Rolls-Royce chassis in a more modern style but as demand for that fell they faded away.
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 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.
Here are the models announced by Norev for introduction in January 2019. As usual these are diecast models made in China for France unless otherwise stated. Many pictures are of pre-production samples and those are over printed to make it clear that changes may occur before the models ship.
1:18 Scale Models
181730 Citroen SM 1971 – Gold Leaf
183701 Benz Patent Motorwagen 1886 – green
183492 Mercedes-AMG GT3 2016 – Team Akka
184856 Peugeot 205 GTI 1,9 1992 – Miami Blue
184770 Peugeot 905 Winner France 24 hours 1992
Winner driven by Dalmas / Warwick / Blundell
184773 Peugeot 905 Le Mans 1993
Third placed driven by Bouchut / Brabham / Helary
151397 Citroen 2CV Citroneta 1963 – blue
155328 Citroen C3 Aircross 2017
Grey and white roof with orange decoration details
270320 Bentley Continental GT 2018 – black
509003 Dacia Duster 2018 – Dune beige
509004 Dacia Duster 2018 – Cosmos blue
351341 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2018 – black
473888 Peugeot 3008 GT 2016 – Platinium grey
517790 Renault Megane Estate 2016 – Cosmos Blue
517792 Renault Megane Estate 2016 “Gendarmerie”
517789 Renault Megane Estate 2016 “Police Nationale”
517797 Renault Megane Estate 2016 “Fire Brigade”
NOREV CLASSIC 1:43
This range is modelled on the Atlas Dinky or Dan Toys ranges both actually made in Norev’s Chinese plant too. These versions carry interesting period liveries in boxes in a style used by Norev when they made their models in plastic.
CL6911 Berliet GAK pick up with canvas cover “Moutarde de Dijon”
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
A glitch means that the December announcement by AutoCult did not arrive in the editor’s email. As there were some interesting models announced we have summarised them here.
#05024 Bentley Type R Gooda
This model is of a sports racer built on a Bentley R type chassis in 1966. It was created for Robert (Bob) Gooda by Peel Coachworks who fitted it with a shorter fastback body with a significantly lower weight, Bob Gouda gave the racer its only public outing at the Bentley Driver’s Club race that was held at the Silverstone circuit in August of 1967. In the hands of co-owner Brian Dumps, the car started with race number 21 and did its laps on the wet racetrack.
#06028 Skoda 440 Spartak Polytex
In 1955 Škoda launched the Type 440 sedan and it remained in production with evolutionary upgrades until 1971. Once in production an idea was developed to build a sports version and Czeck architect Otakar Diblik was commissioned to design a suitable car body.
The new body was in fibreglass hand laid in one piece. The doors and hood were formed as separate pieces fitted to the main body. A removable roof was fitted that used Plexiglass, which was completely clear. With a total weight of only 56 kg (123.2 pounds), the body was very light. The prototype used the standard 1,089cc Skoda four cyclinder engine with only 40HP and the car struggled to go faster than 70MPH. The warping of the body lead to the exrcise being consigned to history and the project car was left in a boiler room. Today, the prototype has been restored in a form very close to the original, although the roof is different.
#09009 Berggren Future Car
In 1951 28 year old Swede Sigvard Berggren started to create a car based upon his own futuristic vision. The base was a chassis from a 1938 Dodge originally used on a taxi. Berggren and his assistant, Lennart Josefson, welded a tubular structure made from lightweight steel tube based on contemporary aircraft construction. The framework also acted as a roll cage in the event of an accident. Shaped body panels were fitted over the steel structure and the result looked like an aircraft without wings. The driver sat ahead of the front wheels and the large air intakes fitted to each side provided cooling for the 100HP flathead Ford V-8 engine.
As often happens, the novelty wore off and the owner lost interest with the car being passed to the Museum Svedinos in Ugglarp, Sweden.
The announcements for the first release of 2019 are another set of curiosities. Ranging from the streamlined Horch 930 S Stromlinie through a Cadillac Coupe de Ville prototype from Raymond Loewy to a South American small series car the FNM Alfa Romeo Furia G.
Horsch 930S Streamliner
Initially shown at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show this vehicle showcased Horsch ability to create a streamliner, a style that was very fashionable in Germany due to the new Autobahns which allowed journeys to be made at high average speeds. The car was fitted with luxury touches like a radio and a sink!
The Second World War stopped production after two or three were made and a couple with modified front ends were built from parts in 1945. But at that point the Zwickau was part of the DDR and such luxury cars were no longer any priority for the newly nationalised car industry.
Cadillac Coupe de Ville prototype Raymond Loewy
Raymond Loewy the well know US car designer designed this car to appear at the 1959 Paris motor show. Based on a standard Cadillac Coupe de Ville the cars body work was largely re-created in only a few days by a French coachbuilder Pichon-Parat. After the show Loewy drove the car round Europe bringing it back to the US. The car has recently been fully restored to show condition.
FNM Alfa Romeo Furia G.
FNM ( Fábrica Nacional de Motores ) made Alfa Romeo cars under license in their factory in Rio de Janiero. With models based on the 1900 saloon being a strong seller in the local market. In 1968 Alfa Romeo actually bought FNM from the Brazilian state.
The Furia was made after came about after a tie-up with Tony Bianca of Comionauto another local factory, who made his own sports model to compete in Brazilian races. The Alfa tie-in was based on the FNM 2000 chassis and a handful of prototypes were made of this pretty car before Cominauto terminated the project.
This article was originally published on the old MAR Online site on zeteo.com which has now become unavailable. It has been adapted to the new site and made available again. Please note that the model described was released some time ago and may now be difficult to obtain.
Harvey’s photographs of this 1:43 scale Resin model made in China for Matrix are used to illustrate this posting.
Guy Harold Radford came to coachbuilding a little late in the game. Having been a Rolls-Royce and Bentley dealer prior to World War II, following hostilities he looked to provide something a bit different to his customers. What he came up with in 1948 was the Countryman, not quite an estate car but more of a saloon with exterior woodwork. (Perhaps we Yanks influenced this, since the same year saw the Packard Station Sedan, Chevrolet Fleetline Aero Sedan, Nash Ambassador Suburban, and the Chrysler Town and Country). Radford reportedly built only eight of these woodies on Bentley Mk VI chassis, then moved on to a new Countryman idea in 1951, which was more of a hatchback for both the Bentley Mk VI and Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn. Matrix has modelled one of these later cars (1951 Bentley Chassis B40MD, Matrix No. MX10201-011).
Matrix No. MX10201-021 is a model of Bentley Chassis No. B441DZ. A little online sleuthing revealed this silver car with registration KLO 865, was sold by RM Auctions in 2010 for $71,500. Seems a little paltry, but it was an older restoration and the recession was in full swing. Based on the RM pictures, Matrix did a superb job of replicating this car.
I found online photos of two other Countryman woodies, one in green (UYV 608) and one in gunmetal gray (KXA 314), so Matrix has some more possibilities. Note however, that the woodwork is arranged a little differently on these. But I hope Matrix gives us another or both.
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