Category Archives: Chevrolet

Greenlight Estate Wagons Series One Part Two

By Maz Woolley

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

Greenlight launched their 1:64 scale Estate Wagons Series in 2018 and have now made two releases. A previous article looked at a pair of Fords. This article looks at another two wagons from the first release, both Chevrolets.

All the wagons are in the same generic series one blister packs with only the insert holding the model and a slip of paper being different between the Fords and Chevrolets. These are clearly intended to catch the eye when hung on a rack in the store but make for a large pack for a 1:64 scale model.

The two models covered in this article are: 1955 Chevrolet Two-Ten Handyman and the 1955 Chevrolet Nomad. The picture below shows line drawings of the Two-Ten body styles available with the Handyman at the bottom.

Copyright of 55ClassicChevy.com website acknowledged

The Chevrolet Nomad was the fully loaded two door estate car with a rakish curved door and window surrounds unique to the model. Fitted with full carpeting and a lots of chrome on the sides and round the windows it was available with a new, OHV V8 engine option. The styling was influenced by one of the cars at the 1954 Motorama presentations which mated a Chevrolet Corvette front end to a rear end similar to that of the Nomad.

In contrast the Two-Ten Handyman was a two door mid-range wagon with the One-Fifty wagon being the base model. The Two-Ten Townsman was similar wagon but with four doors. As can be seen in the photograph below the Two-Ten has more conventional upright B and C posts than the Nomad and has partial hubcaps rather than full wheel trims. Inside it would also have been rather less well equipped in standard form than a Nomad, and more likely to be fitted with a straight 6 rather than a V8, It was also significantly cheaper to buy.

Looking at the models the printed badging is excellent as are the lights and the other printing. The Chevrolet badge and bonnet ornament are well captured. The ‘chrome’ line on the Nomad surrounding the front lights and carrying on to the front wings is in the correct place but is perhaps a little too broad.

The Two-Ten Handyman has body colour pillars which is entirely correct and the ‘chrome’ trim to the rear is again correct but slightly too heavy. However the trim on the front wing seems to be incorrect for this model. From the illustrations and photographs on the web the Two-Ten models did not have trim on the front wing. Maybe it was a dealer option or fitted to a restored car used by Greenlight when designing the model? I hope that it is not printed on in future releases. I would remove it, but its close proximity to the finely printed and correct Chevrolet script on the front wing means that it might risk damaging the script.

To the rear the tailgate of the Nomad has the characteristic vertical chrome strips as featured on the Motorama car and the small gold coloured Nomad badge on the tailgate. It also has the correct Bel-Air script and logo on the rear wings.

The Handyman, below, is plainer but features a nice badge on the tailgate. Both models have somewhat oversize tow bar units made to allow them to tow trailers like the ones from the Hitched Homes series. However to give Greenlight their due the tow bar at least tries to look like the real article rather than being modelled as a simple peg.

One missing feature on these models is registration plates which are absent front and back. Period correct plates would be nice even if they were supplied as decals so you could choose your state.

These models are reasonably priced in North America and are are very collectable especially as their competitors M2 and AutoWorld seem to be scaling back new castings in their 1:64 scale ranges at the current time.


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

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.


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The GMP Chevrolet Camaro

Their 1:18 Scale 1967-68 Camaro Casting: Brilliant Optimization of Resources

By Frank Koh

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

The ingenious utilization of carefully-designed body castings in order to create numerous variants of a certain type of model is what spells maximum profitability. This is the story of a 1:18 scale casting by GMP, which was used in diverse automotive genre, including vintage Trans Am and road race cars, Pro Touring and concepts and a host of other themes.

Take a 1:18 scale Camaro body, slightly modify the fender contours and valance panels, lose the front and rear bumpers, design a variety of hoods and trunklids for relevant automotive applications and create various interiors, powertrains and undercarriage componentry and related systems and accessories to suit a daunting diversity of automotive themes. Then, suddenly you have one of the most versatile lines in model vehicle history. Trans Am and road racing legends, Pro Touring, custom vehicle and styling concepts, and more, all based on one body casting. It worked for the original Georgia Marketing & Promotions under the stewardship of founder Tom Long.

The GMP 1:18 scale 1967-68 Camaro body shell served as the basis for fabulous replicas of the #6 and #36 Penske Racing Camaros which included the car of 1968 Trans Am overall champion Mark Donohue, the #13 Smokey Yunick “cheater special”, the awesome Pro Touring cars from the GMP Street Fighter series, special commemorative models such as the Lateral-g.net car and the #08 Biante Touring Car Masters (TCM) tribute racer commissioned by Biante Models Australia, and much more, including today’s GMP releases as a subsidiary of Acme Models. One basic “tweaked” body style, so many possibilities!

Penske and Yunick

The winningest Trans Am racer of 1968, the #6 Penske Racing Mark Donohue car that won the championship that year. Next to the Penske is the infamous #13 Smokey Yunick ’68 Camaro that came in first on a few occasions but never won a race due to numerous equipment violations and disqualifications. Definitely not a matched pair, but it’s always cool to display these two long-discontinued GMP Camaros together.

The #6 and #36 Penske Camaros featured removable air cleaners so the owners of these models could better appreciate the intricate details of the 302 cubic inch Z/28 V8 engine, including of course the Holley 4-barrel carburetor. GMP thought of everything!


George Follmer drove this 1967 Camaro for Team Penske.

Pro Touring

The classic, traditional Trans Am racers and the modern Pro Touring vehicles used the exact same basic body in all GMP variants of the ’67-’68 Camaro. Only the hoods, trunk lids, and of course the appropriate powertrains, suspension, wheels, grilles, lights, interior and other componentry differed from model to model. How ingenious of GMP to have designed the Camaro body to work perfectly on such diverse automotive themes!

Two of my favorite Pro Touring Camaros: the red 1967 Z/28-style coupe from the Street Fighter series, and the very exclusive green Lateral-g.net 1968 Camaro commemorative model, #995 of 996 units produced. Lateral-g.net, also known as the Protouring Network, is an online presence for Pro Touring modifications, culture and lifestyle.

All GMP had to do was design year-specific grilles for the 1967 and 1968 Camaros (plus the different taillights, of course), and instantly two different model years were created. The green Lateral-g ’68 Camaro was fitted with a “traditional” Small Block V8 with the Cross Ram intake and dual quads, whereas the red Street Fighter ’67 Camaro came with a more modern LS powerplant.

Everything opened on the GMP Camaros. Poseable steering, full diecast baseplates, complete engine wiring, plumbing, hoses and belts. Whether the theme was Pro Touring or Vintage Racing, all requisite componentry was finely and accurately replicated.

Biante

This one’s my favorite variant of this highly versatile GMP Camaro casting. It’s the Australian market-only Biante Touring Car Masters (TCM) series tribute car that celebrated the overall championship of Steve Mason, who piloted a first generation Camaro. This particular unit is #107 of 2008 pieces made. My uncle and aunt were so kind as to hunt down and procure this model for me when they went to Australia in 2008.

Dual quads and all the plumbing, tubing, braided and rubber hoses, belts, wiring and even the accurate hood hinges would serve as adequate motivation to display these lovely, exceptionally realistic GMP Camaros with their hoods in the open position.

The 1:18 scale miniature model of an American car (1968 Camaro), produced by an American company (GMP), commissioned by an Australian company (Biante Models) was only available in Australia! Two wonderful people from Texas went on vacation to Australia and bought it for me. What could be more special, and global, than that?

Since these Camaros were acquired, ACME Trading Company has purchased GMP, and several more variants of the casting have been issued


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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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Goldvarg Collection for 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

It is only about 18 months since Sergio Goldvarg’s Goldvarg Collection was re-launched. Aimed at a relatively modest price point for high quality models made in resin with fine etched parts, the models have found a ready market with collectors . Many who have watched Brooklin and others becoming increasingly expensive over the same time period have welcomed a more affordable collection. Goldvarg models have not just had price on their side but also quality. The releases to date have provided an interesting range of models which in many cases are the first modern models of the subjects. Up to now the focus has been on US produced vehicles for which there is a strong demand.

Sergio is very happy about the sales he has made since introducing the range, with retailers regularly ordering the latest releases. The first six models GC-001 to GC-006 have all completely sold out and others are selling fast.

One interesting feature of the Goldvarg Collection development process is how Sergio has used the Internet to allow keen and knowledgeable collectors to comment on his choice of subjects, colours, and the accuracy of his pre-production samples. This appears to have been a very creative process with issues being identified and ironed out well before models are launched, and accurate and attractive colours being chosen. For collectors it offers a unique degree of participation in the development of a model range.

Looking forward to the next set of releases due in March/April 2019 models from the 1960s are to the fore. We also see one of the classic car based vans with US Airline related livery. Please note that the models shown below are mostly samples, some even early pre-production tests and the final releases may differ slightly from what you see below.

GC-007 A 1970 Ford Galaxie Grey Metallic & Black roof


GC-007 B 1970 Ford Galaxie Caramel Bronze & white roof


GC-008 A 1965 Mercury Ocean Turquoise & White Roof


GC-008 B 1965 Mercury Gold Poly


GC-009 A 1969 Ford Torino Calypso Coral


GC-009 B 1969 Ford Torino Yellow



GC-010 A 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint Rangoon Red


GC-010 B 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint Polar White


June to October 2019 Releases

GC-011 A 1961 Chevrolet Impala Turquoise Metallic


GC-011 B 1961 Chevrolet Impala Fawn Metallic


GC-015 A 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix Sunfire Red/ Marimba Red


GC-015 B 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix Aquamarine /Yorktown Blue


GC-017A 1961 Pontiac Catalina Twilight Mist


GC-017B 1961 Pontiac Catalina Rose Metallic


GC-019A 1962 Buick Special Station Wagon Camelot Rose W/roof rack


GC-019B 1962 Buick Special Station Wagon Marlin Blue no roof rack


GC-022 A 1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone  Jamaican Yellow with vinyl black roof


GC-022 B 1966 Mercury Comet Cyclone red with white roof

GC-PAA-001 1953 Ford Courier Pan American “The System of the Flying Clippers”


GC-BI-001 1953 Ford Courier “Braniff Airways”

GC-PAA-002 1958 Ford Ranchero “Pan American Airways”


GC-BI-002 1958 Ford Ranchero “Braniff Airways”


Also planned for later in 2019

GC-012 A 1956 Mercury Monterey Station Wagon Verona Green
GC-012 B 1956 Mercury Monterey Station Wagon Lauderdale Blue

GC-014 A 1958 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon Sun Gold Yellow
GC-014 B 1958 Ford Country Squire Station Wagon Seaspray Green


GC-016 A 1960 Mercury Country Cruiser Station Wagon Aztec Turquoise(tba)
GC-016 B 1960 Mercury Country Cruiser Station Wagon Royal Lilac.(tba)


GC-018 A 1963 Chevy Nova Laurel Green Poly
GC-018 B 1963 Chevy Nova Saddle Tan Poly


GC-026 A 1958 Ford Fairlane 4 Door  Gunmetal grey metallic & Sun Gold
GC-026 B 1958 Ford Fairlane 4 Door Silvertone Green & Seaspray Green


GC-020A 1961 Oldsmobile “Bubble Top” Red Metallic with white roof. Photo of prototype.
GC-020B 1961 Oldsmobile “Bubble Top” Green Metallic with white roof

GC-021 A 1960 Oldsmobile Charcoal Mist Poly & White roof. Photo of prototype.
GC-021 B 1960 Oldsmobile Palmetto Mist Poly


So collectors of US cars in 1:43 scale have quite a few interesting models to look forward to during the course of 2019 from Goldvarg as well as the models expected from Esval, Matrix, Neo and others.


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Goldvarg Competition News

By Maz Woolley

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

Sergio Goldvarg has just announced a competition for everyone subscribed to his website https://www.goldvargcollection.com/.

Do you wonder what happens to all those lovely prototype models produced by firms to test different colour options? Well Sergio has decided that the best thing to do with some of his is to share them with his collectors. All subscribers to his website will be automatically entered into a competition to win a unique prototype model. This will be the 1961 Chevrolet Impala prototype in Metallic Blue as shown below. This is a colour sample, and the colour will not be used for production models so it will definitely be a highlight for the winners collection.

If you are not a subscriber to the Goldvarg site then perhaps now is the time to subscribe. Subscribers get regular email updates on the models to be issued and get a chance to see models during their development stages as well as updates when they are released.

The winner will be announced in March 30, 2019.

I am delighted to announce that Sergio has very generously offered a different and desirable sample for a MAR Online competition so keep following MAR Online to enter our forthcoming competition.


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Brooklin Latest February 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Brooklin has recently shared some pictures of their latest models. Please note that the first three are pre-production tests with decals rather than photoetching on their sides. The final model is a test casting and is missing its vacform and rear bumper.

As the photographs show the level of detail on the models continues at the higher level introduced over a year ago.

All these models are cast in white metal in the United Kingdom nd are to 1:43 scale.

BML-28 1934 Chevrolet 2-door sedan


BML-29 1942 DeSoto DeLuxe Foor Door Sedan


BRK227 – 1957 Pontiac Safari Two Door Station Wagon


BRK-226 Buick GS 455 Hardtop

As can be seen the castings from Brooklin are rather thinner than they used to be and the chromed castings finer too. The increased use of chromed cages to represent the window surrounds has also increased the level of realism on the 1950s models in particular.


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Autocult and Avenue 43 February 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest Autocult and Avenue 43 models have now been announced. All are resin made in China to 1:43 scale for Europe.

The Autocult models are from the following categories:

  • Streamliners – Hewson Rocket
  • Delivery Vehicles – DAF Pony
  • Past Brands – Amilcar G36 Pegase Grand Prix
  • Engineers/Small Series – MGB Jaques Coune

The Avenue43 models that they distribute have two new models;

  • Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale
  • Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

Autocult

04019 Hewson Rocket (USA, 1946)

In 1946 William Hewson owned dealerships in Los Angeles. He wanted to capture the market with a $1,000 Dollar car but had to find someone to design and make one for him. he turned to Coachcraft a Californian company created in 1940 who made everything from small cars to custom luxury ones. Coachcraft survived in business until 1966.

Coachcraft’s prototype had a curvy aluminium body fitted to a chassis strong enough to make a stressed roof unnecessary, but in true US Style customers were to be offered three types of roof: a soft top, a clear plastic top and a metal top. There was a choice between two different engines; a four cylinder and a six cylinder installed in the rear.

Sadly when Coachcraft finished its development work Hewson could not pay the 16,000 US Dollars due so the car never went into series production and remained owned by Coachcraft who sold it on to a car dealer for 650 US Dollars in 1959. It is now part of the collection at the Lane Motor Museum in the United States.



#08010 DAF Pony (NL, 1968)

The DAF pony was developed to tender for a US Military contract for a light terrain truck. Sadly for DAF they did not win the tender so they turned the design into a vehicle that ran from 1968 to 1969 and sold seven hundred units.

The vehicle was powered by the twin boxer engine from the DAF 44 and power was delivered by DAFs favoured Van Doorne Variomatic system.

The idea was to offer a small, individual truck for retail shops, and small business users, which was specially suited to inner city work in Amsterdam and other historic cities in the Netherlands with narrow streets. Available as a platform truck or as a tractor-trailer combination DAF probably had hopes of cornering a specialist market sector. Sadly buyers were few as van based pickup trucks were not much larger and could carry greater loads.



#02017 Amilcar Typ G36 Pegasé Grand Prix Roadster(F,1935)

Designed by Géo Ham who was famed for his aircraft and automobile designs, and built by Figoni & Falaschi body builders, this model aimed for sales to the moneyed classes. The new roaster was based on Amilcar‘s model G 36 Pegasé, which was introduced in 1935. Its four cylinder overhead valve engine was supplied by Delahaye and tuned with bigger valves and an improved oil pump system to provide 25hp more than the standard engine. But the performance was still not good enough to provide the thrill that rich individuals were seeking and which competitors were providing.

The design with its elegant curved bumpers, chromed footsteps, flowing wings, and spectacular rear lights was undoubtedly stylish but this was simply not enough to attract people who could buy what they liked. The company, founded in 1921 ceased production during the Second World War and never produced any more cars.



#05011 MG B Jacques Coune (BE, 1964)

In 1963 he had his works create a coupé on the underpinings of the MG MGB Roadster introduced that year. It was presented to the public in 1964 and was widely praised. Encouraged by this he put the car into limited production using parts from many cars to keep the costs down. The lights came from the Simca 1000 and both the front as well as the rear window came from the Renault 8.

In the mid-1950s Jacques Coune had a workshop and sales organisation in the Avenue de la Couronne in Brussels. He had agencies for Abarth and Iso and was well known for his racing activities. But his real passion was to have cars built to his own design.

Compared to the MGB Roadster the Coupé was more than 50 kg lighter and was therefore able to accelerate to a top speed of 180 km/h. MG are said to have test driven the car but they never expressed any interest in taking it up. Apparently the British Engineers said the design was “… too Italian”.

After two years production and 56 cars being built production ended. This coincided with MG introducing the MG MGB GT a practical coupé of their own.

Coune also converted other standard cars from Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and BMW.


Avenue 43


Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale

The 3500 GT Spyder by Carrozzeria Vignale, designed by Michelotti, was introduced at the 1960 Salon International de l’Auto. In 1961 it became the first fuel-injected Italian production car. It was fitted with  Lucas mechanical fuel injection and was fitted with a standard 5 speed gearbox. Curiously the convertibles were only called Spyders for overseas markets.


Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

The Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT was built as a prototype in 1962 based on the earliest version of the Chevrolet Corvair. It never went into production but was toured widely round the US to gather interest in the Corvair brand and finally the shape was used in Disneyland for the cars used  in the World of Tomorrow car ride attraction.

Bill Mitchell was the Design Studio Director and the Corvair Monza GT coupe was designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine and owed much to the Bertone designed Testudo concept car. Like the earlier design, the GT doors swung upward and were actually a front hinged canopy that extended into the B section. The rear engine cover also hinged at the rear.

The engine fitted was a standard Corvair unit of 145 cu in (2,380 cc) Unlike the production Corvair, the GT engine was mounted ahead of the transaxle, turned around 180 degrees and mounted as a mid-engine layout. Besides its streamlined appearance, the Monza GT had some innovative features: magnesium-alloy wheels; 4-wheel disc brakes; and fixed seats with adjustable pedals. 

Some of the styling features of the GT, notably the rear end, were the inspiration for the 1965–1969 Corvair. Perhaps more notably the design would also influence the 1965 Chevrolet Mako Shark II concept car and the 1968-1982 Corvette (C3) that clearly resembled it.

Today, the Corvair Monza GT concept car is to be found in the GM Heritage Collection.


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Take-Off Wheels – Chevrolet Camaro

By Robert Brodowski

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

Several years ago, MAR Online published articles about two Corgi Toys with Golden Jacks and Take-off Wheels: the Rolls-Royce and the Chevrolet Corvette. Now, we present another Corgi with Take-off Wheels! One of their best toy cars was number 338, the Chevrolet Camaro, with Take-Off Wheels from 1968-71. The Camaro had a black plastic top that was removable and a red interior.

In the photo above you can see a mechanic removing a wheel – he is from another Corgi Toy from that period. The front end is jacked up with the built-in Golden Jack, and the Take-off Wheel has already been removed! What play value!

The back of the box shows how the Take-off wheel mechanism works. It also shows the front headlights have small plastic covers that can be slid sideways at night!

The picture above shows the covers slid back to reveal the jeweled headlights.


The front of the box shows that the original price in $US was not very cheap for the time but quite a bargain now. The front SS stripe can be easily seen as well.

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London Toyfair 2019 Part Three

By Maz Woolley

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

This the third in a short series of articles based upon the Author’s recent visit to the London Toyfair, a large trade show featuring toys of all kinds, where vehicle models for the UK market are shown by wholesale importers as well as Hornby and Oxford Diecast. The previous article about the Hornby stand can be found here.

This article shows some of the models displayed on the Oxford Stand. With so many models in production the stand has an impressive display of hundreds of models in various scales.

Last year I tried to photograph models through glass in the crowded display cabinets and the pictures were not very good. This year the Oxford representatives on the stand were extremely helpful and got out a number of items for me to photograph. Although I photographed quite a few models I did not capture all the novelties on display. A few have been photographed in the cabinets as there wasn’t time to get out every model that I would have liked to photograph.

It should be remembered that many of the models pictured are made up of a special light alloy used for trial shots and 3D printed fittings. These can only suggest what the final product will look like. Even the fully painted models of unreleased items are hand finished production samples used to confirm that the model is ready to put into production and may not fully reflect the models when they go into production.

So starting with 1:43 scale. Here there was a display of all the expected re-coloured models. but also pre-production casting of the Bedford CF Ice Cream Van as shown below. Adrienne Fuller who is responsible for selecting cars and other vehicles for Oxford explained that although this is a quarter without many new 1:43 models they are still expecting to produce two to three entirely new castings in this scale this year in addition to recolours.

This mould by Oxford has really caught the look of the CF well. It should make an excellent model when it appears. It will be appearing in classic Mr. Whippy livery first, then Hockings but I am sure there will be more liveries over time especially as so many of this type of van were brought secondhand by small local firms across the UK.

The 1:43 scale Morris J2 minibus in Skyways livery from the final release of 2018 was shown and looks like an impressive model. Seen to the rear is another of the final release in 2018 the Fred Dibnah Lightweight Land Rover in 1:43 scale.

And now on to some very large 1:43 scale models. The new Weymann Fanfare South Wales – announced as an Oxford special to celebrate their 25 Years trading. The model shown below is a pre-production item and is fitted trial plastic components – the broken horn will not feature on the production model! The model features a plastic upper section with a diecast chassis. It is a striking model with the very high level of moulded and printed detail they can achieve when using plastic.

The South Wales version is not to be the only use of this moulding. Oxford were showing a Southdown version which has been announced as part of release one 2019. With a destination board for Bournemouth this model suits the Southdown livery well.

Moving on to 1:76 scale there were some interesting recolours shown. Below is another version of the J4 this time as an Austin J4 in BMC Parts livery due for later release. This is a nice livery and the Austin version of the grille seems to be very well printed.

The forthcoming Volkswagen Transporter T4 Camper looks very good and will be a popular model.

Oxford’s Transporter T1 Camper and Samba Bus in 1:76 scale both showed up looking ready to be put into production. Photographs are shown below.

Another re-use of a casting is the relatively new Leyland Sherpa now seen in Egyptian telephone livery, as seen in a well known Bond film. This model is sure to be popular even without film themed packaging. I hope that this casting soon gets used to produce models of vehicles used by the UK utilities firms.

We also saw test shots for the Volkswagen T5 Transporter which will be seen in various forms and also in a set which includes one of each generation of the Transporter from T1 to T5. Below we have test shots of the California camper

Shown below are test shots of the T5 van which will appear in several liveries starting with that of the RAC. I am sure that this will be seen in a wide range of liveries for current users.

Oxford often show models in a very early stage of development before they are announced. The Volkswagen T1 camper with surf boards shown below does not seem to exist in any current release but I am sure that we will see it in the future.

The Volkswagen T1 van casting get another release this year in Coca Cola livery. The test shot below shows the roof display with an advertising bottle on the roof.

One of the model sets which created a lot of interest when announced in the last release of 2018 was the RAF Bloodhound missile set. This was released by Corgi in the 1960s and by Airfix too. Here we have the new 1:76 scale from Oxford. The accompanying Land Rover has been well finished in RAF blue and markings.

This will make an impressive set re-creating the Jet Age long before Cruise missiles and Polaris carrying submarines.

The Oxford 1:87 scale range of US vehicles has been a strong seller. And the display showed some due for early release and others in early pre-production form.

The new Chrysler 300 Convertible can be seen in the photographs below. This casting looks good in red and the printed silver and badging looks like it could be very well done.

The forthcoming Dodge Charger Daytonas were also shown and are impressive in this scale.

The ‘standard’ Dodge Charger was shown too and looks good. It is interesting that it has been modelled with the headlights showing as many models of this car have the headlights in their concealed position.

Another model close to release is the De Soto Suburban with its roof rack. This is a rather earlier car than many in this range so it will be interesting to see if models from this period sell well. A taxi version is expected later.

Another model due soon is the Dodge D100 Sweptside which is due for release soon. The model looked very well finished and US pickups make for popular models so I expect it may sell out quickly. It is interesting that the rear seems to be a separate moulding so we may well see more variations on the D100.

Here we see very early test shots of the 1954 Pontiac Chieftain with a siren fitted to the roof. The model has been announced for release 1 2019 in two tone blue as a standard sedan so presumably police and possibly fire versions will follow later in the year.

Another very early casting shot is the Cadillac Eldorado Brougham 1957 again announced in release 1 2019. Reminiscent of the contemporary Matchbox model this is slightly smaller but promises to be impressive even in this smaller scale.

Another announced recently as part of Release One 2019 is the Chevrolet Panel van. The model may be released as an Ambulance first but clearly a van will also be forthcoming and I expect this to appear in several classic american liveries.

The early shots below show that Oxford have captured this classic 1950s van very well.

The final test casting on display in this scale is the Chevrolet Corvair Coupe announced recently. Even though this is an early shot it shows the potential for this to be a really nice model. The coupe also came in some very nice paint finishes so hopefully Oxford will be able to release it in several different authentic versions.

Oxford’s 1:148 scale range is another with upper components made in plastic. On show were some pre-production trials. These are interesting as they are made in clear plastic with 3D printed parts as shown in the photographs below.

First we have the Land Rover Discovery 4.

Then the Shelvoke & Drewry Freightlifter which is to appear in British Railways Western livery in 2019.

Presumably the photographs below show the pre-production test for the recently announced Hants and Dorset Bristol MW6G.

And finally in this scale the Green Goddess fire appliance expected in National Fire Service livery.


Unfortunately although samples of the new Citroën H catering van were there I did not photograph them.

I would like to thank Oxford Diecast for sharing so many pre-production and test models with us, and for so patiently getting models in and out of cabinets to allow me to photograph them.


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