Category Archives: Fiat

The Ford in Miniature – Ford of Brazil

By David Turner

 

First of all, lets make it clear that my knowledge of this subject is at best sketchy, in fact the project has been started in the hope that feedback will correct/fill some of the many mistakes/gaps revealed.

Fords were imported into Brazil from 1904, then from 1919 Model T’s were made from imported kits. Manufacture proper came in 1957 with the F600 and subsequently F100 and F350 trucks. Ford took over Willys in 1967 continuing their Aero sedan that dated back to 1954 followed in 1967 by the Galaxie – employing the 1966 US body until 1983. The 1970 US Maverick was made in Brazil from 1974-79 while the Escort was made from 1983. Ford merged with VW in Brazil from 1987-94 which got them both through a difficult period in that part of the world and today the Ford line in Brazil contains various familiar worldwide models made either locally or in various overseas plants.

Simca in Brazil began in 1958 by assembling imported kits of parts, including those for the one time French Ford Vedette. In Brazil the Chambord name was continued, while from 1961 the upmarket Presidence with Continental spare wheel and ‘sporty’ Rallye were added. In 1962 the Jangada estate derived from the French Marly brake arrived and the old Ford side-valve V8 continued in these cars until 1966. Chrysler had taken a share of Simca in France in 1958 and total control in 1966 – a Ford component was then obviously not politically correct.

Searching for representative miniatures of vehicles made in Brazil that carried a Ford badge has proved interesting but frustrating. For example the Aero sedan that Ford inherited from Willys has been produced as a 1954 promo, obviously for Willys, and then finding models of the 1950s trucks has been almost a failure. The 1957 F600 proved impossible, the only ’57 truck models recorded were the F100 pick ups from Buby appropriately in Argentina. The closest found in the cabinets was extremely vague in the shape of a small Hallmark Cards Christmas Tree ornament from Tonka that very loosely resembled a ’57 Ford T Series (tandem axle). with a cement drum. A ’58 was no easier, a Japanese made tinplate toy tipper distributed by Arkin in Detroit could be regarded as a ’58 while we got reasonably close with a 1959 F250 from Road Signature.

Next, let’s re-run some of the various mentions of the subject that have already taken place in MAR, notably and more recently by John-William Greenbaum who obviously has a good all round grasp of the South American motoring scene.

Many Ford products that have emanated from South America will have been very similar or identical to a US subject albeit often a few years later, and they will have been, or will be, included in that particular small Ford review in addition to being included in the following.

Back in MAR 226 Graeme Ogg pictured a Brazillian bodied Galaxie Landau in 1:43 by Automodelli and this differed from the US version in a few subtle details while a much bigger subject, albeit in 1:50 scale was the D800 Fittipaldi F1 Team Transporter also from Automodelli in MAR 253. This looks very like the D Series that we are familiar with in the UK and came in three versions.

Coming to the first of John-William Greenbaum’s Brazilian entries, in MAR 277 we have the ’67 Galaxie 500 with its distinctively different grille from Ixo for Altaya/DeAgostini and a Simca Chambord from the same source and that looks just like the French home market issue. This partwork is said to have run to over 100 issues, very few of which were Fords.

A significant family of blue oval badged cars in Brazil began in 1967 when Ford Brazil bought Willys-Overland who were producing Renault designed cars for that market. A new car, the Corcel was based on the yet to appear new version of the Renault 12. Initially a 4 door saloon was made and then was joined in 1969 by 2 door coupe with subtle ‘pony-car’ looks, (Corcel is Portuguese for Stallion) Three door station wagons followed a year later called Berlina. For 1975 a facelifted version featured one-piece rather than separate circular tail lights and other subtle changes.

The Corcel 11 appeared for 1978 and a corresponding second generation Berlina was included while a new addition was the Del Rey in 1981 and that featured a slightly more formal upright character. with more than a hint of MK11 Granada in its lines. Just a year later the Pampa arrived and this, still based on the Corcel 11 was a Coupe Utility or ‘Ute even, but basically a pick up.

In MAR 277 the Ixo Corcel illustrated is the pre-facelift 1970 version while other Fords in the series that are shown include a 1980 Belina 11; 1982 Del Rey Ouro (Gold); 1979 F100 pick up looking like the 1970 US item and 1975 Maverick GT Coupe that also has its origins back in the 1970 US version. The review continued in MAR 280 in which the Ixo 1980 Corcel 11 was illustrated along with the 1990 Escort XR3, the latter exhibiting a few of the US versions features.

Moving on to MAR 282 in which the 1989 Pampa was illustrated as was the 1980 F75 pick up. The latter was simply a re-named Willys Pick Up that in 1972 took over from the discontinued Ford Rural, and that in turn had been a continuation of the Willys Rural when Ford took over from Willys in 1967. Yet another curiosity in that issue was the 1962 Simca Jangada which was an amalgam of the two generations of the French Simca Marly station wagon, itself descended from the Ford Vedette when Simca bought Ford France! Still in MAR 282, we can see the 1980 Ford Jeep CJ-5 that the partwork listed as a 1963 Willys Jeep CJ-5. Most of the last lot can also seen in the November 2015 archive.

Finding any of the above partwork subjects in the UK is quite unlikely, however as is the way lately, models sometimes re-appear under different labels. For example Ixo themselves have issued some of these under their own label while some others have been found under the Triple Nine and White Box names and at the same time some have Premium X, an Ixo brand, on their base.

While the Ixo based subjects are invariably 1:43, a few models in various scales of the same subjects appear to be more intended as toys to be played with as they feature opening doors (in the old lower half only style) and pull-back motors. Some came with Portuguese language booklets entitled “Carros Nacionais 2” with pictures of the twelve models in that series. The only Fords being the Del Rey and Belina 11.

Recently included in the MAR online Ford 1941/2 feature, the Minimac was produced in Brazil and depicts the civilian version of the CJ5 Jeep that was made locally by Ford from 1967 to 1983.

Model listing – Fords from Brazil
Automodelli Brazil 1976 Galaxie LTD Landau 1:43 handbuilt
Automodelli Brazil D800 Copersucar F1 Transporter 1:50 handbuilt
Ixo China 25 1967 Galaxie 500 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 10 1959 Simca Chambord 113mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 21 1969 Corcel 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 31 1980 Belina 11 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 16 1982 Del Rey Ouro 104mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 11 1979 F100 Pick up 114mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 1975 Maverick GT 106mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 49 1980 Corcel 11 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 53 1990 Escort XR 3 94mm 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 63 1989 Pampa 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 66 1980 F75 pick up 114mm 1:43 plastic
Ixo China 67 1962 Simca Jangada 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 68 1980 Jeep CJ-5 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 82 1971 Corcel GT 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 88 1962 Simca Rallye 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 94 1996 Fiesta 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 101 1977 Maverick Super Luxe 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 104 2000 F250 1:43 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1975 Corcel 114mm 1:39 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1980 Belina 11 114mm 1:39 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1982 Del Rey 116mm 1:39 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1979 F100 Pick up 108mm 1:45 diecast
Carros Nacionals 1975 Maverick GT 114mm 1:40 diecast
Minimac Brazil 1967 Jeep CJ5 76mm 1:43 metal
Tonka 1957 T600 Cement truck 80mm 1:83 diecast
Arkin Japan 1958 F series dump 199mm 1:25 tinplate
Road Signature China 1959 F250 4 x 4 pick up 289mm 1:18 diecast
Illustrations: Fords from Brazil

Arkin Distributing Co. 1:25 tinplate from Japan: 1958 F series dump. Lever at the side operates the tipping body, Flywheel motor on front axle.

Road Signature 1:18 diecast from China: 92318, 1959 F250 4×4 pick up, opening doors, hood and tailgate plus plenty of detail inside and underneath.

Tonka 1:83 diecast Christmas tree ornament: 1957 T Series cement truck, issued by Hallmark 2002, operating discharge chute at rear.

Triple Nine 1:43 plastic from China: 43050, 1980 F75 pick up, this was the Willys Pick up until 1972. Carries the Premium X logo on the base but came in a Triple Nine box.

Carros Nacionals 1:39 diecast: 1980 Belina 11, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 238, 1982 Del Rey Ouro, one example that was available generally under the Premium X name as well as in Brazil.

Carros Nacionals 1:39 diecast: 1975 Corcel, face lift version with one-piece tail lights, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

White Box 1:43 diecast from China: 096, 1990 Escort Mk1V XR3 another example available around the world but in this case on the White box label.

Carros Nacionals 1:45 diecast: 1979 F100 pick up, this is the 1970 US item, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 393 1980 F100 pick up, this is the 1970 US issue, has the same licence plate as the Brazilian partwork issue.

Carros Nacionals 1:39 diecast: 1982 Del Rey, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Ixo 1:43 diecast: 1959 Simca Chambord, this one came in an Ixo box.

Carros Nacionals 1:40 diecast: 1975 Maverick GT, this is the 1970 US car, opening doors, pull-back motor on rear axle.

Premium X 1:43 diecast from China: 148, 1975 Maverick GT, this is the 1970 US issue.

Minimac 1:43 metal from Brazil: A-1, 1967 Jeep CJ5 made by Ford Brazil.


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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 6

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs taken by, and copyright of, the Author.

This time we have one more British bus, a French one and an Italian one, all from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French collection “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

 

No. 16 (no. 16 also in the French collection) AEC Regal III by Harrington 1950 – The Associated Equipment Company, or AEC, built buses and lorries from 1912 until 1979, when it was taken over by Leyland and its name disappeared. Indeed its origins are connected to the LGOC (London General Omnibus Company) which started producing its own motor omnibuses in 1909, the X-type and then the famous B-type : in 1912 LGOC was taken over by the Underground Group of companies, and as part of the reorganisation a separate concern was set up for the bus manufacturing, named Associated Equipment Company. During the First World War its assembly lines methods helped in producing large numbers of lorries. Easily associated with London’s Routemaster, AEC gained a high reputation for quality and reliability, supplying commercial vehicles around the world. From 1929, all the names of lorries began with “M” (Majestic, Mammoth, and so on), and all those of buses began with “R” (Regent, Regal, and so on). The AEC Regent III was a double-decker bus chassis manufactured by AEC, usually fitted with AEC’s 9.6-litre diesel engine at the front, ‘Wilson‘ preselective gearbox and air-pressure operated brakes, and available with bodies from Park Royal, Metro Cammell Weymann and so on. From the Regent, indeed only a development of a 30s chassis, AEC developed a single-decker one, named Regal, for use in the suburbs and in the country. Thomas Harrington & Sons Ltd was a coachbuilder from 1897 until 1966, beginning with the construction of horse-drawn carriages, then specialising in commercial vehicles, buses and coaches, and after the First World War concentrating on luxury coaches plus some single-decker bus bodies and other general coachbuilding activity.

After the Second World War demand for new buses and coaches was somewhat pent-up and Harrington was able to build a satisfactory export trade, particularly to South America and British colonies. Production ceased in 1966 and spares, stock and goodwill were purchased by Plaxton. Following its introduction in 1935, the ‘dorsal fin’ (no aerodynamic function, in reality it housed the air ventilation system) was available on many different coaches and became a real trademark of Harrington.

The scale model, metal diecast body and plastic chassis, is the faithful reproduction of one of only two known survivors : run by the Bevan Brothers of Soudley Valley (Gloucestershire), it sports an elegant red and bordeaux livery. Registered KDD38, it is a Regal III type 9621A and it has a Harrington FC33F body, complete with the famous dorsal fin.

Very nice wheels with the AEC logo, and neat shades over the side windows too. The driver’s area is separated from the passenger seats, all being well reproduced.

Nice front grille with the AEC logo. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


 

No. 17 (no. 2 in the French collection) Isobloc 648 DP 1955Joseph Besset, a coachbuilder in Annonay (Ardèche), was one of the many specialised in buses and coaches, but was unsatisfied by the truck chassis then available : he acquired in 1937 a license from the American Gar Wood based on the principle of a welded tubes structure, which was rigid enough to avoid the use of a separate chassis, and founded Isobloc in Lyon to become a full manufacturer . To avoid the conflict of interest which would arise if his coaches competed with coaches from chassis makers using his bodybuilding facilities bodywork was no longer built for others.

The prototype was a success and in the post-war period it was so popular it reached almost 20% of the registrations in its class. The rear overhung engine, a petrol from Ford, was thirsty, and it was quickly replaced by a Panhard diesel. But Besset no longer had the means to develop his business and Isobloc was taken over by Saca and then by Saviem.

From 1959 there were no more Isobloc buses. The 648 DP was the final evolution of the Isobloc coach, powered by a Panhard 6.8-litre diesel engine, and fitted with a five speed gearbox, and air brakes. It was liked by the drivers as it was a real Gran Turismo coach, with plexiglass roof windows and lots of chrome.

The scale model has a metal body and a plastic chassis with basic details. It is finished in a cream and brown livery. It has no destination plate, but the registration is from the La Manche (English Channel) department. The seats and the driver area are well modelled. At the rear the luggage ladder is modelled, as is the luggage area on the roof, where trunks and suitcases have been included. Lights and bumpers are separate items as is the exhaust system. The large area of windows have been well modelled capturing the Isobloc look well. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


 

 

No. 18 (no. 62 in the French collection) Fiat 626 RNL 1948 – The Fiat 626 was a medium truck built to the specifications of the Italian army and air force for military operations prior to the Second World War. It was the first Fiat truck with the advanced cabin and it replaced the models 621 and 633. The 626 N (N for nafta, Italian for diesel fuel) was the initial civilian version, followed by the NL (Nafta Lungo, or diesel long) with a longer wheelbase and the NLM (Nafta Lungo Militare) for the army. Production finished in 1948, after 10,000 Fiat 626 had been built.

In addition to the standard ones, Fiat put into production one more chassis, the 626 RNL (Ribassato Nafta Lungo, lowered long diesel) for the bus version, which was very common even in the postwar period. The engine was a 5.7-litre diesel six, a bit under-powered with only 70 hp, but it had the advantage of being easy to maintain. The bus version was adopted by the Italian air force, and often it is called “Aeronautica Italiana” type. The structure is typically pre-war, with a wooden roof covered by a waterproof canvas. It was homologated for 27 seats, plus 32 if drawing a special trailer.

The scale model is the faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the Politi collection, very likely one of the largest in Italy (see www.collezionepoliti.it), more than 600 buses, lorries and cars, many of which may be hired.  The registration plate, from Udine, is the original one, but the 626 was first painted in the classic medium blue-dark blue livery, but is now painted red and dark red.

As usual the model has a plastic body and metal chassis. The chassis is good and is fitted with nicely rendered classic “Trilex” wheels. Correctly a different type on front and rear.  The interior is rather basic but that reflects the fact that the original vehicle was very basic. Many separate items are fitted like the front and rear lights, both bumpers and the rear spare wheel door. A ladder is provided to the rear to reach the luggage area on the roof, but no baggage is fitted.

A neat front grille complete with the period Fiat logo finishes the model well. Again there are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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Polski Fiat 126P in 1/43

by John-William Greenbaum

This little Polski Fiat 126P NP was called the “Ryjek” compact sedan! In Polish, “Ryjek”, in this context, means “Little Snout”. That’s because the 126P NP basically was the result of taking the rear-engined Polski Fiat 126P and moving the engine around to the front while reversing the entire drivetrain.  The 1/43 model pictured below is made in Poland by Moye Modele!

It was a relatively reliable car, but since it failed to have any truly different variants from the regular 126P (I believe some people were hoping for a hatchback version, which never came), it was really pretty much a waste of money as far as putting it into production went. Since performance tests showed it to be the 126P’s equal and in a few cases, slight superior, it just wasn’t worth putting into mass production, especially with Poland’s difficult economy.

In the automotive world, we have undoubtedly seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and the downright bizarre. For all of its fairly traditional, boxy looks, the Polski Fiat 126P NP “Ryjek” Compact Sedan has to be classified as the latter. The irony is that if not for one design feature, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind whatsoever that it would have reached production rather than languishing away as a prototype. For you see, the Polski Fiat 126P NP was, distilled down to its simplest definition, an attempt to turn the rear-engined, very common Polski Fiat 126P Compact Sedan around so that it was a front-engined car!

The  “Little Snout” was designed in 1977 by a Professor Zdzislaw Pozdziak. He had the help and cooperation of a design team led by Professor Jerzy Ginalski of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts designing the body and veteran engineer Jerzy Winogrodzki for the running gear. According to Pozdziak, the primary aim of the 126P NP project was to give the little 126P front-wheel drive as well as a slightly more powerful engine. Furthermore, it was hoped that with a front-engined version of the 126P, it would make the car easier to modify into various different versions that had been attempted and generally failed, such as a pickup, a kombi (station wagon), and most importantly, a hatchback.

However, it just had too much in common with the ordinary, inexpensive, and indeed reliable 126P that was being produced in massive quantities.  The Polish Government  ran out of patience: they’d gone severely over-budget when it came to program funding for the 126P NP and wanted a result. As such, the moment they asked the Polish Government for funding to turn the 126P NP into a hatchback, the program was terminated.

The 126P NP “Ryjek” was not an inherently bad car, but it failed to achieve the single most important goal of any 126P-derived prototype in that it could not be turned into a hatchback; or rather, by the time it could be turned into a hatchback, the Polish Government had run out of both money and patience to do so. At least three examples of the well-preserved prototypes still exist in Polish museums, and while at least one is roadworthy, it seems doubtful that it’ll ever take to the streets again.

More details about the design are on the author’s Facebook page.

Polski Fiat 126P NP “Ryjek” Compact Sedan
Made in Poland 
Model by Moye Modele, Poland (figure by Replicars)
-Years Built: 1978-1981
-Engine: 26 HP 2-cylinder four-stroke
-Fuel Type: Gasoline
-Top Speed: 65 mph

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Atlas Dinky Collection 520 FIAT 600 D

By Maz Woolley

 

The Atlas Dinky Collection features another French Dinky model a FIAT 600 D.  Binns Road also produced a 600 but that was a cruder model  with one piece solid wheel and tyres based upon an earlier version of the car so perhaps we can be grateful that Atlas chose to use the French Model as the basis for their replica. The replica box shows off the nice Dinky art work well though the model lacks much of the detail shown on the box.

Atlas have chosen to have the replica made in cream. The model was also available in red when launched by Dinky France in 1963. It remained in their catalogue until 1970. This model has already been issued in this colour in the continental Dinky series from Atlas in France and other European countries.

Looking at pictures of the original model the replica is cast to a higher standard as it does not show the mould marks that many of the originals seem too.


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Hachette Buses from Round the World

By Fabrizio Panico

 

All photographs by the Author except for the picture of three buses below which is from Hachette’s web site.

 

Since February 2016 Hachette Fascicoli Srl, the Italian arm of Lagardère Publishing, has presented a new partwork available at Italian newsstands : “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French partwork “Autobus et autocars du monde”. Models are presented fortnightly in a transparent plastic bubble, with a release order which differs from the French one. Price is set at 19,99 Euro from the third issue. The French collection has already reached more than fifty models and has recently been extended to eighty. It is likely that it will later include the Italian specific models seen in the Italian series.

The first model in the Italian series (#20 in the French collection) is a Fiat 306/3 Cansa of 1962: A true national icon, for over twenty years it dominated medium and long distance coach travel in Italy.

Produced from 1956 by Fiat Veicoli Industriali (Iveco from 1975) to replace the 682RN, it was the first Fiat bus designed from scratch and not derived from a truck chassis. With a length of 11 meters, its main novelty was the flat engine, a diesel straight six, placed centrally under the floor. This was of 10.7 to 11.6 litres and 140 to 173 HP depending on the year of production.

Produced in three successive series (306/3 from 1962) the chassis received bodywork by Padane, Menarini, Orlandi, Viberti and many others, but the usual body was by Cansa, an ex-aeronautical company which was brought into the Fiat Group in 1936, based in Cameri, near Novara. From 1977 the Iveco 370 started to replace the 306, which was produced up to 1982.

The model, in the “classic” light blue livery, is reproduced quite faithfully and it is indeed the correct choice for the start of the “Italian collection”. The body is plastic, while the metal chassis adds “substance” to the model. Dashboard and interior are well reproduced, the only difference with the French edition seems to be a missing decal near the left front door. One issue with this series is the absence of a box which is needed to store them, after all you cannot display them all the time.


The second model (#4 in the French collection) is a Mercedes-Benz O10000 1938. A real “king” among the Mercedes-Benz buses and until the Second World War the largest one ever produced. Its model name O10000, instead of the more common LO, highlighted the fact that its chassis was derived from that of the L10000 truck , but much modified for transporting passengers.

Designed mainly for long distance travels, it was also tested as a double-decker by BVG for use in Berlin, but its length limited its use and a total of less than 400 units were produced.

The Reichpost ordered 160 units, to use for its postal and passenger services on the new “autobahns”, but the fuel consumption was high and at the end of the war some of the still quite new vehicles were used by the Deutsche Bundespost as mobile post offices between the larger towns.

When production started in 1937 the engine was a 12.5 litre diesel straight six, but in 1938 that was replaced by a “fast” 11.2 litre diesel and the wheelbase further stretched to 6300 mm. The body is by Kässbohrer, more commonly known as Setra after the war.

The model is really imposing, the red and black livery and the protruding nose adding to the whole impression of brute power. There is a plastic body and metal chassis as usual. Baggage on the roof rack and a detailed interior, as well as the two entry doors. reflect the fact that this bus is for long distance runs. The radiator and the Mercedes-Benz star are nicely modelled. There are no differences to the model already shown in the French edition.


 

The third model (#5 in the French collection) is an AEC Regent III London bus of 1939 – What’s more British than a red double-decker ? At least according to the usual stereotypes, because you could find the same buses in Toronto and then start wondering if you had boarded the wrong plane. Big Ben, a black taxi and a red bus have been a well known image of London for so many years, probably for longer than you have been alive.

It was 1911 when the LGOC (London General Omnibus Company) designed its first double-decker and the following year its new subsidiary AEC (Associated Equipment Company) started its production. In 1929 the first Regent was born, following the example of Leyland it has a lower chassis, an inside rear staircase and platform, and a enclosed driver cab, to the side of the engine.

After the nationalisation of the London Transport, AEC becomes a private company, but maintains privileged relations with it and in 1938 presents the prototype of the Regent III RT, reserved to London Transport only. The engine is a diesel straight six of 9.6 litres and producing 115 HP. It was fitted with a pre-selector gearbox made by Wilson . First bodies were produced in London Transport workshops and subcontracted to outside body builders after the war and were updated as production took place. Weymann produced about eighty Regent RLH buses with a lower height for London Country, which had many routes where the railway bridges were too low for the standard Regent.

The model is quite heavy despite its small size, very well detailed and “classic” in its red livery, but many would have preferred some more colourful advertising. There are no differences to the French edition.

Editor’s comment: The adverts carried by the bus are of Diana Ross in Lady Sings the Blues which was released in 1972 so the model probably represents a bus from the later years of production. The last service operated by a London Transport Regent ran in 1979.  


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Much more about the FIAT Granluce

By Fabrizio Panico

 

Apart from the photograph of the UK issue of the model taken by the editor all pictures and photographs have been provided by the author. 

Atlas Dinky 531 UK issue.

I would like to clear some issues in the recent article in MAR Online about the Atlas Dinky 531.

The Prototype

The Fiat 1200 Granluce (Grande Vue for Dinky France, or Large Light in UK) was a very short lived issue, the model being old already when first produced. However, its history is not an easy one. It should have replaced the 1100 TV, but they decided to change it from a performance model to a luxury one. The prototype was shown at the 1957 Turin Motor Show. Its bodyshell was strictly derived from the 1100-103 D, but with a more modern greenhouse, new rear fins and a new front grille.

Deliveries started at the beginning of 1958, but with big differences: the front doors weren’t hinged at the B pillar, but at the A pillar. The car was produced by the “Sezione Carrozzerie Speciali” (Special Bodies Department) at the old Lingotto factory. The engine was a 1221 cc one delivering 55 HP. A mild facelift was shown at the 1959 Geneva Motor Show with a different front grille, rubber on the bumper guards and a chrome strip on the doors, the engine had an higher compression ratio, delivering now 58 HP. At the end of 1960 its bodyshell was simplified for the upmarket “1100 Special”, while the standard “1100 Export” used the 1100-103 H one, both with the “old faithful” 1089 cc engine.

The 1200 was discontinued after 400,000 copies in September 1961, to be substituted by the new, more modern, 1300 and 1500 (the Corvair-like ones). Its bodyshell was simplified and used at the end of 1962 for the 1100 D, together with the 1221 cc engine.

The Atlas/DeAgostini Models

 

The Atlas and DeAgostini models correctly reproduce the 1958 version, the only problem being the C pillar. What is missing isn’t the roof colour, but a ribbed chrome panel.

The difference between the DeAgostini model and the original Dinky can be clearly seen on the base plate.


The Brochure Story

 

The brochure picture shown in the original article shows the 1957 prototype, not the 1958 version. It seems that the prototype brochure is much easier to find than the production one, very likely because they printed a lot of them and then didn’t use them, because of the doors change.

Pictures of the original vehicle with no “suicide” doors.

The Indian Story

Premier Automobiles Ltd of India in 1954 were granted a ten year license to assemble Completely Knocked Down (CKD) Fiat models. When the license expired in 1965 they bought the whole assembly line of the 1100 D from Fiat  and the rights to produce the 1089 cc engine. It was the first Indian 1100 to be produced as a Premier (the famous Padmini), before 1965 they were all badged as Fiats. The Padmini was produced with small improvements up to 1999.


As you can see the Fiat 1100-1200 history is indeed a long and complex one.


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