Category Archives: Chevrolet

News from the Continent August/September 2017 – Busch

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Manufacturer.

The releases from Busch, and allied brands, expected by the end of September are shown below. All models are moulded for Germany to 1:87 scale.

Mercedes-Benz 170V

The pleasing shaped 170V was first presented to the public in February 1936 during the 26th International Automobile and Motorcycle Exhibition (IAMA) in Berlin.

41448 Mercedes-Benz 170V Cabrio limousine – two-tone green/cream
41450 Mercedes-Benz 170V Cabrio limousine – two-tone red/cream

 

Cadillac 66 Saloon

42958 Cadillac 66 Saloon “Metallica” – silver
42960 Cadillac 66 saloon “Metallica” – blue metallic

 

Toyota Land Cruiser Crawler

43038 Toyota Land Cruiser crawler vehicle

This special power train has been in use for 15 years and has even passed strict military tests.

Mercedes-Benz 300 Landaulet

44807 Mercedes-Benz 300 State Landaulet

Only three of this type of body were built. This was in the early 1950s and they users were the German Federal Public for state occasions, the Pope for his tours, and an Arab State.

Chevrolet Bel Air

More variations upon the old Revell-Monogram 1957 Chevy moulding bought by Busch.

45045 Chevrolet Bel Air Saloon 1957 “Metallica” – grey metallic
Chevrolet Bel Air Saloon 1957 “Metallica” – red metallic

 

Cadillac Eldorado

Another long running moulding in the Busch range. Here with custom wheels and a metallic paint job.

45118 Cadillac Eldorado Cabriolet, open, “Metallica” – brown metallic
45119 Cadillac Eldorado Cabrioet, open, “Metallica” – green metallic
45121 Cadillac Eldorado Cabriolet, open, “Metallica” – silver

 

Ford Probe

The Ford Probe 24V was made from Summer 1988 to Autumn 1997 in Flat Rock, Michigan, USA. It was imported into Europe too though it was never a strong seller.

47413 Ford Probe 24V “Metallica” silver
47414 Ford Probe 24V “Metallica” red
47420 Ford Probe 24V “Sport” blue

 

Mercedes-Benz M-Class

In the livery of the German motor rescue outfit.

 

48546 Mercedes-Benz M-Class facelift “ADAC”

Land Rover Defender

50361 Land Rover Defender “Carabinieri”

Caribinieri are a special Police Force unit in Italy.

 

50363 Land Rover defender “DLRG” with surfboard

This vehicle is equipped for rescue activities. The Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft e.V. (DLRG)  is the German Life Saving Group and is the biggest such organisation in the world.

Smart Fortwo

50712 Smart Fortwo Coupe 2014 “German Police”

Mercedes-Benz V and G Class

Many public services represented here. From the Fire Brigade to the Emergency Doctor Service and the Technical Assistance Service.

51169 Mercedes-Benz V-Class “Fire Brigade of Karlstein
51411 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 1990 Emergency Doctor
51460 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2008 THW

EsPeWe IFA W50

95231 IFA W50LA TLF16 GMK “Fire brigade of Ellrich

The TLF16 appliance went into production in 1985 based upon the 4×4 chassis of the IFA W50.


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Ace Model Cars (Australia) An update

By Graeme Ogg

Back in 2014 I posted a piece about Ace Model Cars, from whom I had just bought a nice resin model of a 1959 Ford Fairlane 500.

They were promising one or two other things in the pipeline but then I heard no more. So I got in touch with them recently and thought you might like an update on some of their current or forthcoming items. (Photos reproduced with their permission – some images may be changed on the website to show final production versions).

Needless to say, I am not acting as any kind of agent or touting for business on their behalf, but I know some of you are interested in Australian models (including Aussie versions of U.S. cars), and it isn’t a site you might come across in casual browsing.

There was a promise of an estate (wagon) version of the ’59 Ford, but apparently the man behind Ace Models, Tony Hanna, wasn’t happy with how it came out so it is still a work in progress, although now that Motorhead Models have done one in their Genuine Ford Parts” series, that could affect sales of the Ace version if/when it appears.

Also promised was a ’59 Dodge Custom Royal 4 door sedan. The first attempt at that didn’t satisfy him either so it has been re-worked and production is not too far away now.

No mention of the fate of the proposed 1960 Dodge Phoenix, but the nice (though imperfect) Neo model may have discouraged that idea.

An interesting Australian model that is almost ready for sale, needing just a few minor corrections, is the 1975 Ford Landau, a fastback coupé based on the Ford XA Falcon but with the front end from the Ford Fairlane LTD (which was a stretched Falcon). It will be offered in Port Wine (dark maroon), Grecian Gold, Ivy Green and Metallic Blue.

Also available is a ’62 Falcon XL in red, white over red, white over green, plain white and black.

Another U.S./Australian model now available is a 1966 Chevy Nova, with street versions in silver or red and three racing versions. I’m not enough of a Chevy man to know how it compares with the U.S. version but I believe that, like the Falcons, the Australian cars were imported CKD and re-trimmed to Australian specification,

A more typically Australian item is a Ford BA 1 ton flatbed pickup in metallic purple, metallic blue, orange or metallic green.

And a British/Australian mongrel currently on offer is an Austin A40 Hi-Lite ute in beige or light green. To the best of my knowledge Austin never offered this pickup on home territory, but the Ozzies love making ute versions of everything, Seems to be cultural thing.

All these models are resin, and prices are comparable with Trax so I guess that by the time you add shipping from the other side of the world, you would have to have a fairly specific interest in these niche models before parting with your money. But it’s nice to see things a little bit out of the mainstream.

If you want to take a look at these and other models on offer from Ace, the website is http://acemodelcars.com/index.php?route=common/home


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Neo’s Yank Tanks – a personal overview

By Graeme Ogg

Having apparently noted my occasional musings elsewhere about the merits (and otherwise) of Neo’s output of American cars, the Editor asked if I would care to post something here. Well, I don’t have any particularly original insights or behind-the-scenes revelations, but for anyone who hasn’t been following Neo’s offerings in great detail, here are a few personal thoughts about the good, bad and occasionally ugly aspects of some of the models I’ve acquired (with lots of helpful pictures for the hard of hearing).

After spending quite a few years trying to maintain a fairly representative 1:43 picture of the progress of car styling around the world, it finally dawned on me not so long ago that keeping up with it all was a hopeless and never-ending task, so I decided to gradually limit myself to filling long-standing gaps in my existing collection, of which Americana is a major element. That would ease the strain on the pocket.

Unfortunately, just around that time Neo started blitzing us with a series of Yank Tanks (as we disrespectful Brits call them) under the American Excellence label, which eventually just became the name of Model Car World’s U.S. sales outlet. So I wasn’t going to get off so lightly after all.

One of the first to reach me was this 1959 Dodge, a fine piece of baroque art, and for those of us who cut our teeth on Dinky Toys (my gums are still bleeding), the level of trim detail is pretty amazing. We used to have blobs of silver paint for headlights and smaller red blobs for tail-lights, and now we get full-colour photo-etched badging you need a magnifying glass to read. Well, that’s progress for you.

If a black and yellow rocketship is a bit too dazzling for your taste, they also did a nice, restrained police version, which against a suitable background could easily be passed off as the real thing.

I couldn’t wait for the next offering, a ’57 Imperial Southampton, and it turned out to be a real stunner. Also produced in black, ivory over powder blue and more recently as a Ghia Crown limo.

 

Yet another piece of wonderfully in-your-face aggressive styling was the 1960 Chrysler 300F, again well-executed, finely detailed and dramatic.

Hmm, getting tired of fins and chrome? Well, how about something more restrained, the Lincoln Continental-inspired ’64 Imperial.

Or even nicer, the ’69 Buick Riviera. I’d have preferred the original 1966/67 version, before they started fiddling with the clean styling, but it is still a handsome model.

Not all offerings were quite as subtle, but this 1972 Pontiac Grand Prix Hurst SSJ looks suitably striking and typical of its times.

Of course, if you produce models to this standard, you are going to attract the attention of seriously knowledgeable (and picky) collectors, ready to jump on any detail faults. Get a badge half a millimetre out of place and you are careless, guilty of poor research and treating collectors with contempt. So when Neo produced this 1958 Chevrolet Impala, there were loud protests that it might look handsome enough, but Impalas didn’t come with 2-tone paint.

Ah, so it must be a lesser Bel Air? No, the Bel Air had a different rear roof pillar treatment, and 4 tail lamps instead of 6. So the cognoscenti wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole. Me? I just thought it was a pretty nice ’58 Chevy. However, I wouldn’t let Neo off so easily with their ’61 Dodge, which was handsome in many ways but had a seriously sagging roofline (I bought one anyway, but that roof does annoy me).

Grumpy old man? No, I just treat each arrival on its merits, and this ’58 Rambler certainly has many. The real thing may have been a strapped-for-cash re-skin of an ageing platform, but Neo’s cool, clean rendering deserves a place in any Old Yank collection.

Another fine item delivered by my overworked postman was a 1959 Pontiac Bonneville. I always remember this car being advertised in dazzling white or yellow, so the gunmetal seemed a little drab at first, but it’s very subtle and the finish and detail are pretty much flawless. It’s another model you could easily pass off in a photo as a 1:1.

So then they heard my complaint and did a convertible in a more suitable yellow, but spoiled it with an ugly black windscreen surround. I suspect it’s because they had to glue the screen to the slim pillars and wanted to hide the glue. Personally I think the odd trace of clear adhesive would have been much less obtrusive. But if you can divert your eyes from that detail, the rest of it is a thing of beauty inside and out.

Oddly enough, they can do convertible screens with that black border when they want to, as shown on their ’57 Ford Fairlane, but this unsightly feature re-appears on several other convertibles.

Having done a ’59 Pontiac, they turned their attention to the ’59 Oldsmobile, which was essentially the same body. So how did they manage to make it look like the Sydney Harbour Bridge? It makes the old Franklin Mint ’58 Edsel (the famous “Pink Banana”) look pretty good by comparison.

Mine was so bad I e-mailed them in the hope they would be doing a product recall, but received a terse little reply saying that “Due to the fact that this model was made by hand and not machined, it may result in small inaccuracies.” So that’s OK.  It is a lovingly flawed artisanal product and I should display it with pride. (It’s in a box under the bed in the spare room).

More recently they had a touch of the same problem with the ’57 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser. Not nearly as bad, and it’s harder to see quite where it goes wrong, but it certainly isn’t entirely straight.

One of the latest arrivals is a 1961 Dodge Dart. A slightly odd bit of styling, and an interesting choice. So interesting, in fact, that Neo apparently went to the trouble of scouring the entire planet to find the only car in existence (presumably a restored specimen) with a non-standard side spear, and promptly modelled it as a BoS in 1:18 scale in the identical metallic grey colour, followed by a maroon Neo version in 1:43. Overall it’s actually quite a nice model, but why ….?

They redeemed themselves with this 1960 Buick Flxible ambulance, which looks accurate in every respect and with plenty of the kind of detail we oldies could once have hardly dreamed possible.

But all that fine detail comes at a cost, not just in the price but in terms of fragility. I’ve photographed some of these models on their plinth because removing the model then trying to re‑mount it on those spring-loaded screws is almost guaranteed to detach a photo-etch strip, wing mirror, badge, aerial or whatever. Even without touching them, P/E parts applied to curves can spring free over time, and even careless dusting can detach a part. There’s obviously a very delicate balance between unsightly excess adhesive and parts coming loose because of too little glue. It also looks as if the P/E parts come pre-backed with “instant grab” adhesive, and if the final assembly operative (political correctness forbids I should say “the little Chinese lady”) doesn’t get a part perfectly lined up first time, any attempt at adjustment can lead to buckled or semi-detached trim strips.  If as a buyer you’re nervous about getting to work with the white glue, cotton buds and masking tape, you may have to put up with a few loose dangly bits on the model shelf.

Maybe this partly explains why Neo seem to be moving away from using so many vulnerable P/E parts where a less vulnerable form of trim will suffice – which brings me to the fact that there is a strange state of flux developing between Neo and their BoS “budget brand”. BoS recently brought out a ’61 Lincoln Continental where the trim detail wasn’t that far off what you’d expect from Neo. Then we get a convertible version, obviously based on the same mould, and pretty much the same trim level, but badged as a Neo. Lovely colour, which may be enough to tempt some people – but at twice the price? Hmm.

And then they do it again. BoS issues a decent enough Chrysler Valiant with mainly painted brightwork but P/E side window frames. Then out comes a Neo version, in a stunningly bland colour and with the P/E frames apparently replaced by silver paint – which is arguably tidier, but once again, twice the price for a near-identical model from the same outfit?

What sort of marketing strategy is that? Maybe they are testing the waters in terms of pricing and trim levels (while collectors can only watch in confusion) and we may end up with Neo and BoS being “averaged out”, which might mean leaving the high-end detail market to deadly rivals Matrix/GLM.

We shall see. Meanwhile, with just a few specimens from my own Neo collection I hope I’ve shown you – if you didn’t know it already – that despite some flaws and detail blunders, Neo at their best have given us some stunning 1:43 models which can take pride of place on any display shelf.

Just don’t take them to bed and hug them at night, because they’ll break.


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M2 Chevrolet 150 Handyman Wagon

By Maz Woolley

 

This M2 release 39 Autothentics model is diecast to 1:64 scale in China for the US. Unusually M2 has chosen to model the bottom of the station wagon range for 1957 the Handyman which had only two doors and a lot less chrome trim than the four door 1957 Chevrolet 210 Beauville Station Wagon already produced in release 35. The 150 was also the basis for the Sedan Delivery  so I wonder if M2 will also do that at some point with the livery possibilities that will offer.

The 1957 model year 150 kicked off with a straight six but that was dropped in favour of the 235 V8 Blue-Flame engine as standard. Lift the bonnet of the model and the engine shown is a V8. A manual gearbox was standard but Powerglide or Turboglide automatics were available. Performance was good by contemporary standards. Although the 57 Chevy is a classic released time and time again for model collectors it was actually Ford that sold more 57 cars.

The M2 model is to their usual standards and the doors, though opening, are properly full framed and have acceptable shut lines. All the lights, grille and badging are well represented and the simple wheels and hub caps capture the bottom line trim well. The Handyman logo is printed on so small I had to get a magnifying glass out to confirm it was there under the flags on the rear wing.


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New Matchbox Casting – Chevrolet Wagon

By Robin Godwin

 

Matchbox has recently introduced a new casting. This is of a 1959 Chevy Wagon (estate) – in Brookwood trim level. It is a great model for the $1.00 Canadian it is sold at in WalMart, about 60 UK pence at current exchange rates. It features the correct Brookwood side trim and even includes the side mounted fuel filler cover, something that Brooklin failed to include on their Brookwood Wagon.

The windows have a dark tint to conceal the lack of interior. The brown plastic canoe mounted to the rooftop luggage box is moulded in one piece. A one piece chromed plastic base includes both bumpers. Superfast type wheels are a bit of a let down in that they are way too large (diameter and width), but at least they are toned down somewhat. Scale is not a real concern for Mattel in this range, but it is slightly smaller than 1:64.

The photographs above show the new release beside the original Matchbox #57 Chevrolet Impala, which was first illustrated as a line diagram in the second version of the 1960 catalogue. The original was listed as 1:80 scale.

This new Matchbox casting is a nice addition to an inexpensive range.


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Interesting Comparisons, Or Then Again, Maybe Not

By Graeme Ogg

A package arrived this week containing the BoS Chevrolet Caprice wagon. Not always keen on BoS models, some of them have quite drab or insipid colours and weak-looking trim detail, and look built down to a price (which of course they are). But I’d say this wagon looks pretty good.

Caprice_wagon_BoS

I did my own version some years ago, based on the fairly crude Road Champs sedan, so couldn’t resist comparing them side by side. The main thing that strikes you is the apparently huge difference in length, although that impression is partly due to the Road Champs being too tall in the body and sitting high on oversize wheels, making it look dumpier. Still quite a striking difference in the look of the two models, though.

Caprice_wagons_3.rdJPGCaprice_wagons_1rd

I wondered if the RC body was too short in 1:43, or the BoS version was a little too flattened and stretched, so I got the calipers out. I have the BoS sedan (the New York taxi version – also one of their better models) and surprisingly the RC and the BoS sedans are identical in length at 128 millimetres.

Caprice_taxis

The real sedan was 17’10” (5435 mm) long, which in 1:43 should be 126 mm so both models are pretty close, although the excessive height of the RC makes its proportions less convincing.

Caprices_BoS_2

The wagon was 18’4″ (5740 mm) in length and in 1:43 that is 133 mm. The BoS wagon is spot-on, whereas my version lacks the rear-end stretch so comes up short. Mind you, 6 inches in 1:43 is only 3.5 mm, and the BoS wagon has a stretch of just under 5 mm, so it’s surprising just how much longer it looks compared with the taxi.

But the real moral of the story is – give a nerd a cheap pocket calculator and he’ll bore the socks off you.


Valiant_wagons_1rd

Also in my package were the BoS Valiant sedan and wagon. They are OK, but not exciting. They will go on a shelf to fill a gap in the 1960s Yank section, but will never be much of a turn-on.

Valiant_wagons_2rd

And of course I also did my own Valiant wagon some time ago, so once again a comparison was in order. I think I come out of it pretty well, all things considered, but obviously my views are not entirely unbiased. By the way, mine does actually have the “valley” down the middle of the roof, it just didn’t show very well in the photos.

Valiant_wagons_3rd

Since my wagon is based on the Trax model of the Australian Valiant, there are small detail differences which nerdy nitpickers might criticise as “unauthentic and un-American”. But we don’t have people like that around here (loud cries of “Damn right we don’t”) so I may just get away with it.

Thank you for listening.


This post was originally published in Diecast Forum 43.  We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Atlas Dinky Collection – Simca Versailles and Chevrolet Corvair

By Maz Woolley

 

Here are the two latest models shipped by Atlas in their UK Atlas Dinky toys range. Again they are models of French Dinky toys and not UK products from Binns Road. Diecast for Atlas by Norev in China these models are to roughly 1:43 scale as were most French Dinky models.

24Z Simca Versailles

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

This model was introduced in 1956 and was available in yellow with a black roof and blue with a black roof. The casting as later modified to produce the Ariane Taxi. The model was made until 1959 by which time 24K SImca Chambord was available with fitted glazing.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

This model is very nicely painted with good yellow paint which covers the model without filling the shut lines. The roof is black and shiny with neat masking.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Although still clearly a toy with no glazing or opening features this is a well mastered model capturing the US influenced model very well.

552 Chevrolet Corvair

This model has now been released in the Atlas Dinky series here in the UK. It has been previously been available in green on eBay at various times and the green version can be seen elsewhere on this site at http://www.maronline.org.uk/atlas-dinky-chevrolet-corvair/.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

The pale blue shown above is thought to be a colour used fro the French edition of the model which was made from 1961 to 1966 when the moulds were shipped to South Africa. The French made model came in blue, grey, red and turquoise.

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The casting again shows how good the French mould makers were at creating a scale model with a high level of detail for the period. Again a white interior is supplied.

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

The model captures the original car very well and though lacking the Corgi models opening parts it is a really good model of its time.


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Atlas Dinky Chevrolet Corvair

By Maz Woolley

Here is another model in the Atlas Dinky series obtained on the secondary market. I am not sure which official Atlas series this model will appear in. Pictures on the web suggest that Atlas has already sold this Corvair casting in Blue and Turquoise in mainland Europe This green model is replica of the rare and expensive South African made edition with a replica box with Afrikaans on one side and English on the other. It is possible that this model will appear in the UK series in the near future if it has not already been sold on the Continent.

The French Dinky Corvair casting was introduced in 1961 and production in South Africa was from 1966 after production finished in France and the moulds were exported. The Atlas model is a faithful replica and is painted and detailed beautifully – rather better than any original models would have been perhaps. The original casting captured the original well and showed off the high standard of masters produced in France.


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