Category Archives: Fiat

More Pocket Money Toys – Majorette

By Maz Woolley

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

Majorette were once regarded as the ‘French Matchbox‘ as they made small ‘fit in  a three inch box’ models sold at pocket money prices in French shops and supermarkets. Once part of a group with Solido they both ended up as part of the German Simba-Dickie group, owners of Schuco,  after they went bankrupt in 2009.

In a previous article I have looked at some of their limited editions but here are two models from their ‘Street Cars‘ series which are sold all around Europe on bubble cards like Matchbox or Hot Wheels. These models are diecast in Thailand to variable scales as they are designed to fit a standard blister pack which is used for all models in the range and doesn’t even have the make and model of the car on it..

Fiat 500

This model of the popular small Fiat is not based on the current version as the rear light printing has yet to be altered to create the body coloured panel in the middle. But it is a neat model of Fiat’s baby with the Fiat badges being neatly printed and small enough to need magnification before you can see how accurate they are. The baseplate states that it has been modelled to 1:55 scale.

The side profile is excellent and the standard fit ‘speed wheels’ even look like some of the more extreme alloys fitted to small cars. The painting even has a slight hint of the pearlescent sheen often used on these small Fiats.

At the front the 500 logo used in advertising is well printed as is the badge and front decorations. Lights are just printed areas of silver paint but they are quite effective.

To the rear the rear hatch, lights and number  plate areas are well modelled. Though the lights could be properly divided up to reflect the light clusters better.

The interior has no door cards but the seats are well represented and the moulded dash board is a good shape and the Fiat gear level mounted in the dash is well modelled.

Renault Twingo

Another popular car with the young, and the first saloon car in a long time with a rear mounted engine. Very much Renault‘s competitor to the Fiat 500 though its four doors make it the more practical and utilitarian of the two.  The detailing is pretty close to the current Twingo production model. The baseplate states that this has been modelled to 1:55 scale.

The side profile captures the car well. The ‘speed wheels’ again look like some aftermarket alloys fitted to small cars so do not look too out of place.

From the front the Twingo lights and grille are exceptionally well represented for a budget model. A dark plastic insert is used which is very effective. Painted small additional  lights and the black bumper panel complete a good front end.

Again the rear has been well captured with the badging nicely done. Printed rear lights are basic and again should be striped with amber and silver as well as red.

Inside again we get no door cards but a convincingly moulded set of seats, dashboard and steering wheel.

Pocket money toys they may be but they are also good, and reasonably detailed, models of every day cars that can be recognised from the streets.


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News from the Continent June/July 2018 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here are the latest releases from Norev. The models are diecast in China to various scales for Norev of France. As usual a mixture of new and historic vehicles.

June 2018 Releases

1:18 Scale

 

181632 Citroen C3 WRC No. 7 – winner Mexico 2017 – K.Meeke/P.Nagle

 

181633 Citroen C3 WRC No. 9 – Corsica 2017 – S.Lefebvre/G.Moreau

 

181634 Citroen C3 WRC No. 7 – Winner Spain 2017 – K.Meeke/P.Nagle

 

183420 Mercedes-Benz X-Class 2017 – silver

 

1:43 Scale

 

351339 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2017 – green metallic

 

511322 Renault Kangoo 2013 “Fire Brigade”

 

511395 Renault Kangoo 2013 “Fire Brigade- fire chief staff car”

 

511326 Renault Kangoo van 2013 “Fire brigade V.L.U.”

 

511327 Renault Kangoo Van 2013 “Fire Brigade – medical rescue service”

 

511323 Renault Kangoo 2013 “Police municipale”

 

511324 Renault Kangoo 2013 “Police municipale – yellow and blue striped”

 

511325 Renault Kangoo 2013 “Gendarmerie Outre-mer”

 

511328 Renault Kangoo 2016 “Vigipirate”

 

July 2018 Releases

1:18 Scale

 

183591 Mercedes-Benz 300 saloon 1952 – dark grey

 

183457 Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL 6,9 saloon 1976 – blue grey metallic

 

188520 Volkswagen 1303 Beetle saloon 1972 – red

 

188521 Volkswagen 1303 Beetle cabriolet 1972 – orange

Scale 1:43

 

517856 Alpine A110 Premiere Edition 2017 – blue

 

155476 Citroen C4 Cactus 2018 – Aluminium grey & black decoration

 

155477 Citroen C4 Cactus 2018 – deep purple & white decoration

 

518783 Renault Master 2014 “Fire brigade first aid”

 

518784 Renault Master 2014 “Fire brigade VSAV”

 

518785 Renault Master 2014 “Fire brigade VSAV yellow bumpers”

 

1:43 Scale – Jet Car Range

 

350009 BMW M3 E30 2-door saloon 1986 – black

 

270559 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 1986 – white

 

750033 Porsche 911 Turbo 19878 – green

 

517522 Renault Clio Williams 1993 – blue

 

840062 Volkswagen Golf GTI G60 1990 – red

 

155365 Citroen C3 WRC 2017 “Official Presentation Version

Second Release July 2018

1:18 Scale

 

182752 AC Cobra 289 1963 – white

 

182754 AC Cobra 289 1963 – black

 

 

181480 Citroen DS19 saloon 1956 – green & champagne

 

181481 Citroen DS19 saloon 1959 – Marron & Carrare white

 

187770 Fiat 500L 1968 – blue

 

183577 Mercedes-Benz 200 saloon 1966 – moss green

 

183589 Mercedes-Benz 280 CE Coupe 1980 – blue metallic

 

183467 Mercedes-Benz 300SL 1986 – Inca red

 

183453 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster 2017 – silver

 

183421 Mercedes-Benz X-Class 2018 – blue metallic

 

187663 Porsche 911 Turbo Targa 1987 -blue metallic

 

187595 Porsche 911 Cabriolet 1993 – black

 

188433 Volkswagen Golf Cabriolet 1995 – red

1:43 Scale

 

155584 Citroen C5 Tourer 2011 “SMUR de Forez”

 

474218 Peugeot 402 Eclipse 1937 light green

 

479818 Peugeot Partner 2010 “Fire Brigade medical service”

 

 

530023 Chausson AP52 Coach 1955 – clear grey & blue

 

1:87 Scale

 

153028 Citroen 7A 1934 – blue & black

 

153027 Citroen 11A 1937 – grey

 

155054 Citroen ID19 Break 1960 – light brown

 

158511 Citroen SM 1972 – Scarabee brown metallic

 

451896 Panhard Dyna Z12 1957 – Narcissus yellow

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News from the Continent June/July – Solido

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer

Solido models are diecast in China for France. Solido is part of the same group of companies as Schuco.

June 2018

1:18 Scale

S1800405 Citroen Acadiane “La Poste”

 

S1800903 Citroen Traction 11 CV

 

S1801106 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.8 RSR

 

S1800802 Subaru Impreza #5 Rally Monte Carlo 1995

 

S1800823 Alpine A110 1800S #1 Tour de Corse 1973

 

S1801501 BMW M3 Sports Evo black 1990

 

S1801502 BMW M3 saloon – red – 1986

 

1:43 Scale Models

 

S4302600 Bugatti T35B 1928 – blue

 

S4302700 Mercedes-Benz 190E saloon – 1984 – silver

 

S4302800 Renault Fuego 1982 – blue

 

S4302900 Simca Rally 2 1974 – yellow

 

S4303000 Jaguar D-Type 1952 – British Racing Green

 

S4303100 FIAT Panda 1990 – red

 

More SOLIDO 1:18

 

S1800305 Citroen Dyane 1974 – blue

 

S1800406 Citroen Acadiane “Michelin”

 

S1800506 Volkswagen Beetle 1303 SCCA Rally

 

S1800804 Porsche 911 SC Group 4 Rally dÁrmor 1979

 

S1801105 Porsche 911 RSR Sunoco 24 h of Daytona

 

S1801402 Fiat 500L 1969 – pink

 

421184670 Citroen 2CV6 “Cochonou”

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News from the Continent June/July/August 2018 – M4 Model Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text copyright of the Author. Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer.

This article covers releases from June to August by M4 modelcars of Italy. The models are diecast to 1:43 scale in Italy unless otherwise noted. M4 produce three different ranges:Art; Best; and Rio.

June 2018

ART Models

 

ART389 Ferrari 290 MM; Grand Prix of Portugal; Monsanto 1957 –A. de Changy #19 – 4th place

 

ART119/2 Ferrari 250 P – winner of the 12 hours of Sebring 1963 – Surtees/Scarfiotti #30

BEST models

 

BEST9709 Jaguar E-Type Spyder Electric -UK Royal Wedding 2018 – Harry and Meghan – Limited Edition

 

BEST 9710 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 – 24 hours of Daytona 1969 – S. Posey/R. Rodriguez #41

 

BEST9711 Jaguar E-Type Coupe – Rallye Monte Carlo 1965 – Pinder/Pollard #104

 

BEST9712 Ferrari 308 GTS – USA-version 1979 – black

 

BEST9713 Fiat-Abarth 750 “Record Monza SCCA National Cumberland 1959 – Duncan Black #81

RIO

 

RIO4569 Fiat 501 – 1919 – La Saetta del Re – black

RIO4226-E Bugatti 41 Royale Weyman – 1929 – black and yellow

This model has been released previously in a higher cost version with special packaging. This is the release of a slightly simpler version at a considerably lower price point.

RIO4227-E Bugatti 41 Royale Weyman – 1929 – black and red

Like the yellow and black version above this model has been released previously in a higher cost version with special packaging. This is the release of a slightly simpler version at a considerably lower price point.

July 2018

ART Models

 

ART390 Ferrari 860 Monza – 2nd in Grand of Venezuela – Caracas 1956 – Juan Manuel Fangio #602

ART391 Ferrari 250 California LWB; winner of the Nassau Memorial Trophy Race 1959 – Bob Grossman #18

BEST Models

 

BEST9196-2 LOLA T70 Mk III –  Le Mans 24 hours 1968 – J.Epstein/E.Nelson

BEST9714 Ferrari 330 GTS 1967 light blue metallic

BEST9715 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 – Le Mans Test 1968 – Grossman/Berney #15

 

BEST9716 Ferrari 308 GTB Group 4 – winner of Rally Piancavallo 1980 – ”Nico”/Barban #4

RIO Models

 

RIO4570 Fiat 238 hearse

August 2018

ART Models

ART026-2 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta – Dr. Giovanni Agnelli’s personal car

BEST Models

 

BEST9717 Ferrari 308 GTS – personal car of Gilles Villeneuve

 

BEST9718 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 “Safety Car Goodwood Revival 2013

 

BEST9719 Ferrari 512 BB LM – Silverstone 6 hours Relay 1981 – Salmon/Phillips

 

BEST9720 Porsche 356 B Carrera Abarth GTL – 12 hours of Sebring – Cassel/Sesslar

RIO Models

 

RIO4571 Fiat 1500 6C – Gasogeno 1935

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Catching up on Autocult and others

By Maz Woolley

All text copyright of the Author and photographs provided by Autocult.

It is some time since we last looked at Autocult whose releases have continued through the year. Here we look at some of the curious vehicles from releases 6 and 7. All the models shown are resin cast to 1:43 scale in China for Germany.

#04017 Arzens La Baleine

Paul Arzens (1903–1990) was a Paris born French industrial designer of railway locomotives and motor cars. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and was able to live reasonably well on the sales of his paintings. This gave him time to pursue an interest in engineering and design.

In 1935 Arzens became involved in the production of cars. He designed and constructed a six-speed automatic transmission which he installed in an old Chrysler and proved to work. Robert Peugeot tried the car and was impressed, although hopes that the system might be adopted for the Peugeot 402 came to nothing, possibly because Peugeot had recently signed a deal with Cotal involving their pre-selector transmission.

Two years later Arzens came up with an eye-catching and streamlined two seater cabriolet prototype built on the chassis of an old Buick. The car was christened “La Baleine” (the whale). With its integrated headlights, panoramic curved windscreen (of ‘plexiglas’) and ‘ponton’ format styling the design anticipated sports cars of the 1950s and 1960s. The car subsequently joined the Bugattis of the Schlumpf Collection at what has become the National Motor Museum in Mulhouse.

#05021 Fiat 2100 Berlina Speciale

The Fiat 1800 and 2100 were six-cylinder saloons produced by Fiat between 1959 and 1968. Both six-cylinder models appeared in 1959 and in 1963, a four-cylinder 1500 cc version was added to the range. The 1800/2100 were designed in-house by Dante Giacosa famous for designing the Cisitalia as well as many cars produced during his time as Lead Engineer for Fiat.

The 2100 was Fiat’s flagship car much used by officials and industrialists. It introduced the crisp three box formula that was to serve Fiat well when used for the smaller Fiat 1500 and then 124/125 and 128 saloons. The 2100 had a 2054 cc six-cylinder engine and a simple but stylish interior with the instruments clustered on the then fashionable single panel in front of the steering wheel with a ribbon speedometer. In autumn 1959, the 2100 Speciale, as modelled here by Autocult, was introduced. It had a lengthened wheelbase and different front grille. The Speciale was used by diplomats and officials. The 2100 was discontinued in Italy during 1961, when the Fiat 2300 became available.

 

#06027 Monteverdi Palm Beach

The Monteverdi Palm Beach was a concept car built by Swiss manufacturer Monteverdi in 1975. It was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1975.  The car never went into production and remained a one-off.  It was built on a shortened Monteverdi High Speed 375C chassis and was painted copper with an interior made of cream-coloured leather. The purchase price of the Palm Beach was given as 124,000 Swiss francs.

The outside of the Palm Beach was influenced by the Montiverdi Berlinetta coupe particularly its low front end with the striking narrow radiator grille and the square twin headlamps. To the rear the tail lights were from a Triumph TR6 were used. Underneath the Palm Beach used the 375C chassis and drive train as well as the conventional 7.2 litre Chrysler V8 .

 

#07010 Moskvich G2

Every now and then the Soviet Union allowed its designers to develop something which was ‘fun’ rather than solely utilitarian. Though often, as here, the underpinnings were fairly basic. The Moskvitch G2 was a sports car derived from the earlier Moskvitch G1. Instead of an open wheel car it was now fitted with an aerodynamic body (spider or hard-top) and was capable of a top speed of 139 mph. This was a very credible speed given that the mid-mounted 70 hp 1,074 cc inline 4-cylinder flathead engine was derived from an engine developed for the pre-war Opel Kadett.

The G2 broke several speed records in the USSR in 1956. In 1959, the engine was replaced with a unit based on the engine from the Moskvitch 407 and a rollbar was installed above the driver’s seat. The G2 was decommissioned in late 1963.

#09006 Mercedes-Benz G bimobil Husky 235

The bimobile is a German demountable camper system similar to those commonly fitted to US pickups though in this case it is designed to directly attach to the host vehicles chassis.  Obviously the key sales point is that you may use the host vehicle for other uses when not going camping and you may replace the host vehicle and fit it to the new one in turn. You may even by a small crane to help you take the unit off the chassis and to re-attach it. The unit is fitted with jacks so can even be lived in when it is not mounted on the chassis.

The bimobil started with a unit fitted to a Peugeot 504 but has been fitted to a wide range of chassis since including the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen as modelled by Autocult which gave it a real ‘go anywhere’ capability.

#10003 Opel Blitz Ludewig Aero

Germany in the 1930s was the home to a wide range of new vehicles and a strong trend towards aerodynamic solutions inspired by the new Autobahn network.  The small bodybuilders Ludewig Brothers of Essen bagan a fruitful collaboration with Opel from the early 1930s.  After the launch of the Opel Blitz three ton truck the Ludewig Brothers workshop developed some prototype bodies for this vehicle, one of them was a bus with a new body of streamlined and rounded form.

The style of the radiator grille was unusual – the Ludewig studio designers deviated from the traditional Opel shape, as generally seen on trucks and other buses, and created a new, rounded form for the front of the body. The engine cowling was rather elegantly combined with the rounded-off wings over the front wheels. To the rear of the body there was an aerodynamic crest reminiscent of the fin of a huge fish.  Two interior styles were seen: in the first the passenger seats were arranged at an angle of 45 degrees to the windows for the optimum view; and in the second the passengers sat on sofa-like chairs.

This bus was coachbuilt by the Ludewig Brothers in very small numbers to order because a mass produced version would have cost more than the market would pay. About seven or eight are known to have been built and many were used to ferry foreign visitors to the 1936 Olympics around as part of the Nazi propaganda effort. They were briefly in service with OBI, an Essen based tour operator after the Olympics. The fate of these vehicles was to be commandeered for use as military transport at the onset of the Second World War.

 

 

Avenue 43

 

Autocult act as distributors for this range of vehicles.

 

#60012 Dodge Charger III

This was a concept car widely shown in the late 1960s but never turned into a road going car. Indeed the shape seems to owe much to the Chevrolet Corvette. The prototype was created for the US national auto show circuit in 1968 and was designed by the staff at Chrysler’s advanced styling studios. The construction of the show car was sub-contracted to the Detroit based fabrication team of Vince Gardner and Paul Shedlik. An automotive prodigy, Gardner was barely out of his teens when he helped Gordon Buehrig craft the original clay model for the Cord 810, while his own designs included the Ford Vega sports car and the Studebaker Gardner Special. The Charger III was one of many projects Gardner and Shedlik tackled for the bigger car makers. The two-man team personally crafted the fibreglass body shell for the Chrysler show car, which was 74 inches wide, only 42 inches tall, and had a 100-inch wheelbase.

The prototype had no engine or drivetrain installed. However, the automaker’s press materials suggested that a Dodge 426 Street Hemi could be installed under the low-profile hood. As there was no engine fitted the power required to operate the Charger III’s numerous display functions, including the clamshell-style cockpit canopy, was actually provided by a 120-volt electrical cable. Photos indicate that the Charger III had at least two different paint finishes: the gold featured at the Chicago Auto Show, and the brilliant Candy Apple Red as shown on the Avenue 43 model.

Like so many show cars it is thought the original was broken up at some point though some more fibreglass bodies found their way into the world of drag racing so the shape lived on.

#60013 Porsche 645 Spyder “Mickymaus”

Developed from the 550 A and 1500 RS Porsche this 1956 prototype nicknamed “Mickey Mouse” had a wheelbase of 2,000 mm and a reduced track width. This change allowed a smaller front profile and higher top speed. The central tail section was raised to house a cooling fan as well as housing two rear facing openings for the air intakes for carburettor and cooling system. The vehicle was powered by an air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine with four camshafts (two on each side), which were powered by vertical shafts. It had dual ignition with two separate ignition manifolds, two ignition coils and two twin choke Weber 40 DCM carbs.

At a race on the AVUS course on September 16, 1956, Richard von Frankenberg had an accident with the Mickey Mouse. The car crashed over the north curve’s steep slope into the paddock, about fifteen feet below, and burned; Frankenberg, who had been thrown out, remained almost unhurt. The 645 project ceased and work was devoted to the Porsche 718 1500 RSK Spyder which appeared in the middle of 1957.

Matrix new Announcement

This Matrix model is resin cast in China for the Netherlands to 1:43 scale.

MX20301-183 Cadillac Superior Funeral car 1970

Matrix has just announced a ‘surprise model’ which had not been previously announced but which will ship soon. This Cadillac Funeral Car looks to be a nice model of a classic Cadillac.


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News from the Continent – M4 Model Car Group March 2018

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs provided by the manufacturer.

All the models listed below are made in diecast metal to 1:43 scale in Italy unless otherwise stated.

ART Models

ART381 Ferrari 500 TR

Winner SCCA Laguna Seca 1957 – Pete Loylely #125

 

ART382 Ferrari 250 California LWB Spider America 1958 – red

 

ART383 Ferrari 860 Monza

3rd in Mille Miglia 1956 – Luigi Musso #556

 

ART384 Ferrari 625 LM

8th in GP Venezuela 1956 – Pierro Drogo #36

 

ART385 Ferrari 860 Monza

2nd in Mille Miglia 1956 – Collins/Klementaski #551

 

ART386 Ferrari 500 TRC

12 hours of Sebring 1957 – 1st in 2.0 litre class – Hively/Ginter #28

 

BEST Models

BEST9694 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

Test car 1967 (new resin)

 

BEST 9695 Porsche 550 RS

Le Mans 1958 – 5th Godin de Beaufort/Linge #32

 

BEST9696 Jaguar E-Type Spyder

Elton John´s personal car.

 

BEST9697 Simca 1150 Abarth Rally 1963

 

BEST9698 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

9th in Targa Florio 1969 – Munari/Aaltonen (new resin)

 

BEST9699 Ferrari 250 LM Spyder

Test car 1965

 

BEST9700 Ferrari 250 LM Spyder

Pernis von Innsbruck/Tirol 1965 – Heini Walter #2 first in class

 

BEST9701 Porsche 550 RS

2nd in Targa Florio 1959 – Mahle/Strähle/Linge #118

 

BEST9702 Ferrari 330 GTC 1966

light blue metallic

 

BEST9703 Porsche 908/02 Flounder

Interseries Norisring 1970 – Niki Lauda #39

 

Image of car – no model shot available
BEST9704 Abarth 2000 SE

Mont Ventoux 1969 – Arturo Merzario #49 – 2nd – 1st in its class

 

BEST9705 Alfa Romeo TZ2

Pergusa Jolly Hotel Rally 1965 – De Adamich/Lini #148

 

RIO Models

RIO4560 Fiat 238 Tetto Alto

Service Van Lancia Racing 1975-1977

 

RIO4561 Volkswagen Beetle with skis 1953

This is again a very strange looking model. This Beetle has an oval rear window from 1953, but lacks the quarter lights in the doors and has the bumpers of a 1948 car. In between the windscreen wipers  there are air intake slots like those fitted to the Beetle from 1968 onwards. The rear lights are round, in original it were oval to this time. The model has been put together with no regard for accuracy.

 

RIO4562 Fiat 1500 6C

Police 1950

 

RIO4563 Fiat 519

Italian Red Cross 1932

 

RIO4564 Fiat 128 Rally 1971

Green

 

RIO4565 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 De Luxe 1953

Bordeaux red

Once again a very strange looking model and unauthentic. Oval rear window from 1953, but no quarter lights fitted at that time.bumpers of a 1948 car. In between the windscreen wipers  there are air intake slots like those fitted to the Beetle from 1968 onwards. The rear lights are round, in original it were oval to this time. The model has again been put together with no regard for accuracy.

 

RIO4566 Fiat 18 BL truck 1918

Italian Army


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Another Taxi Partwork!

By Fabrizio Panico

Photographs are by, and copyright of the Author, unless otherwise stated.

Another partwork is now being sold in Italy, this time from Centauria, looking like a copy of the previous similar partwork from Altaya in 2002-2004. Which then appeared as a DeAgostini partwork in Northern Europe. But there are changes: the models are now marked as from LeoModels but they do appear to be identical in many respects to the models made by Ixo for Altaya.

The scale seems to vary from the claimed 1:43 with models often more like 1:45 to 1:46. The collection has been announced as having 39 parts, what a strange number?

First issue is a Ford Crown Victoria 1998, even if the box says 1992, somewhat smaller and different to the Altaya one. The second issue is the Fiat 1400, similar to the Ixo one, perhaps a bit smaller. After the first issues the price will be €14.99 I’m wondering if this collection is really needed, the Ixo models, which were much better,  are still freely available at modest prices on eBay or at the various toys fairs everywhere.

Centauria is part of the Fabbri group of publishers better known in the UK for the James Bond Collection. Their products are aimed at the news stand market and they have a range of partworks such as fairy tale collections, Great Musicians encyclopaedias, and the art works series “The Masters of Colour”,

The boxed Ford Crown Victoria looking rather small on the standard sized plinth.

 

The first part in its packaging selling at half price to encourage people to collect the series. NB the model is claimed to be 1:43 scale.

 

To the rear of the launch card mount we see some of the proposed models all of which seem very familiar! It means that Volkswagen collectors and London cab collectors have yet another target to chase.

 

The first model unpacked.

The second Model unpacked.A FIAT taxi as already seen in the Altaya series.

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Hachette Italy – World Buses Part 10

By Fabrizio Panico

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Issues 28 to 30

Three more buses, each one from a manufacturer already previously met in this listing: Fiat, General Motors and Berliet, all from the Italian Hachette partwork “Autobus dal mondo”, a collection of sixty 1:43 scale bus models, very similar to the French one “Autobus et autocars du monde”, produced in Bangladesh for Ixo.

No. 28 (not yet issued in the French collection) Fiat 411/1 Cansa ATM 1962 – A typically urban bus, produced by the Italian Fiat Veicoli Industriali (see part 8 no. 23) from 1957 to 1970, replacing the 680RN. Adopted for mass transport in all large cities of Italy, it had a big commercial success : over 1,500 were produced and their legendary strength and reliability extended the working life until well after 1990.

The 411 represented a real revolution in public transport : despite having a front engine (and a large bonnet next to the driver) it had a very low floor, and it was the first to offer power steering and a semi-automatic gearbox. The usual body was by CaNSA (Carrozzerie Novaresi Società Anonima), an ex-aeronautical company, from 1936 in the Fiat Group, based in Cameri, near Novara, founded in 1913 as “Società Anonima Gabardinei” by Giuseppe Gabardinei, to promote and develop aeronautical activities (also a flight school), later CANSA (acronym for “Costruzioni Aeronautiche Novaresi Società Anonima“). In 1946 it started to produce coach bodies (becoming CaNSA or Cansa) as the official bodywork of the Fiat buses. In the late 1960s, the denomination Cansa was abandoned in favour of Fiat Cameri‘s bodywork. The 411 was also available with bodies by specialised bodybuilders like Menarini, Macchi, Piaggio, Portesi, Pistoiesi, Breda F.C., etc.

The first version had the Fiat 203 engine of 10.7 litres developing 150 hp (a diesel straight six, the same unit was also used in the 682 truck), in 1960 the second series, renamed Fiat 411/1, benefited from the Fiat engine 203A/61 of 11.5 litres developing 177 hp. At the same time there were some changes to the body, like the use of a three door front exit. On the same chassis Fiat produced the 2411, the most widely distributed trolleybus in Italy.

The scale model is a faithful reproduction of a restored vehicle, part of the ATM collection (Azienda Trasporti Milanesi). It has a plastic body and metal baseplate which has basic details of the chassis.

The livery and the registration plate are correct for the period. Nice doors and wheels and well modelled windows are evident. Small details like the roof exiting engine exhaust are captured as well. Two rear mirrors, front lights and bumpers are all made as separate parts. A scale model which represents this urban bus, so common everywhere in Italy, very well.

 

No. 29 (no. 22 in the French collection) General Motors TDH-3610 1955 – GMC (General Motors Truck Company) is a division of the American automobile manufacturer General Motors, its production focuses nowadays on trucks and utility vehicles.

General Motors was founded by William C. Durant in 1908, as a holding company for Buick. In 1909 GM purchased the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company, then the Reliance Motor Car Company was also purchased by GM, merged in 1911 with Rapid, and in 1912 the marque “GMC Truck” first appeared at the New York International Auto Show. In 1925 GM purchased a controlling interest in Yellow Coach, a bus manufacturer founded in 1923 by John D. Hertz as a subsidiary of his Yellow Cab Company. After purchasing the remaining portion in 1943 and merging it into their GM Truck Division, GM renamed it GM Truck and Coach Division. Although GM continued with the Yellow Coach product line, the Yellow Coach badge gave way to the GM Coach or just GM nameplate in 1944, while GMC badges did not appear until 1968. GM withdrew from the bus and coach market because of increased competition in the late 1970s and 1980s.

The GM “Old-look” transit bus was introduced in 1940 by Yellow Coach beginning with the production of the model TG-3201 (Transit Gasoline – 32 seats, 1st series). Production of most “Old-look” models was stopped upon the release of the GM New-Look bus in 1959, however some shorter models continued to be built until 1969. About 38,000 “Old-look” buses were built during the 29-year production run, their name is an unofficial term applied after the release of the GM New-Look, this time an official term used by GM to describe their new line of buses.

The GM “Old-look” bus was somewhat streamlined in appearance, had small windows (often with additional windows below the roof), and was built using a monocoque bodywork with steel frame covered with riveted sheet metal panels, rather than the old body-on-frame design. Most “Old-look” buses were powered by the Detroit Diesel 6-71 inline six-cylinder diesel engine, while the shorter models were powered by the four-cylinder version of the same diesel engine, but it was possible to choose a gasoline engine. Manual and automatic transmissions were available, while in 1940 and 1942 a few buses were built with electric propulsion systems instead of a transmission. It was available in several lengths and widths according to local legislations.

In 1946 GM began offering its Thermo-matic heating and ventilation system, in 1953 air-ride suspension became standard on all but the smallest model buses, and in 1958 air conditioning was added as an available option. Following WW2 an agreement was reached to build GM’s model TDH-3610 under license in Soviet Union (but with diesel-electric propulsion, similar to that used for the TDE-40xx models), and production was assigned to ZiS (Zavod imeni Stalina) as model number 154 (we’ll see it later on, as no. 37 in this series). The ZiS-154 at first used a Yaroslavl YAZ-204 diesel, but supply problems forced a switch to the Detroit Diesel 6-71, also built under license. Problems with the reliability of the drive-train components resulted in the ZiS-154 being discontinued after only four years of production and 1,165 units.

The scale model represents a famous bus : the “Rosa Parks” bus, a TDH-3610 (Transit bus Diesel with automatic transmission – 40 seats, 10th series) of the Montgomery (Alabama) City Lines.

The legal autonomy granted to the southern states after the Secession War led to a series of laws aimed at the reduction of the civil rights of the people of colour. The segregation imposed in private and public places was intended to prevent the creation of a multiracial society. In 1955 a woman, Rosa Parks, refused to surrender her place on the bus to a white. The arrest and subsequent condemnation pushed the then unknown Martin Luther King Jr to launch a protest campaign and boycott against Montgomery bus companies, lasting more than a year. The parallel domestic and international reactions resulted in a first reduction in segregation in 1956, but its abolition took place only in 1964.

The model is quite heavy as it has a metal body and a plastic baseplate. The baseplate is not very detailed and the rear exhaust is only highlighted by silver paint. The baseplate shows the model as “TDH 3714”, which is quite strange. Front and rear bumpers are chromed and separate parts like front and rear lights, front grilles and wipers are used. Well detailed wheels are fitted but only one rear view mirror and a rather basic interior. A nice “GM coach” badge is fitted. The adverts are interesting period items: Hanna Paints at the rear, and the side ones say “Why fight traffic ? Go by bus” and that was in 1955! There are no apparent differences to the French edition.

 

No. 30 (no. 23 in the French collection) Berliet PHL 10 Grand Raid 1966 – We have already seen the Berliet history and its Cruisair range (see part 8, no. 22), and how after the Second World War only commercial vehicle production was resumed, but that Chausson, Isobloc and Renault buses were much more innovative.

In 1951 Berliet launched the PLR8, a very powerful bus, but already old-fashioned. Then in 1956 it launched the PLH, with innovative styling and a beam frame with a base of square section steel tubes and a round tubular body skeleton. The squared body allowed maximum interior space, large windows, a light and practical driving position, and excellent soundproofing. The engine, an in-line five cylinder diesel with 150 CV, was placed horizontally amidship on the right side. To follow the evolving legislation Berliet presented in 1959 an evolution of the PLH, the PHN or “Randonnèe” with an extended wheelbase and an optimised structure, while the old PLH was renamed PHC or “Escapade”. The mechanical components were maintained, with the option of a 6 cylinder engine with 180 CV. The PHN underwent an endurance test from November 1960 to March 1961 at the Autodrome of Miramas : 200 000 km were travelled in 97 days with an 85.86 km/h average. From 1960 the Randonnèe was updated stylistically, and in 1964 to the PH range was added the PHL or “Grand Raid”, an extended version, derived from the PH100, an urban bus for mass transport. During the fifties Berliet was highly successful, but in the sixties the competition with Saviem, Magirus, Mercedes, Scania, Volvo and Fiat was very tough : it was necessary to innovate continuously, but once again resources were lacking and in 1967 Berliet was acquired by Citroen. Between the PLH and PH range, more than 6,000 units were produced.

The scale model has the usual plastic body and metal baseplate, with basic details of the chassis.

Quite a bright livery and superb visibility thanks to the large windows, which are nicely black framed.

The registration plate is from the department of the Alps of Haute-Provence, while Reillanne is a small town in the Luberon regional natural park.

Nice wheels and a well detailed interior are fitted. The seating features nice split individual coach seats with high backrests. The driver’s cab is well detailed. As usual many separate parts are fitted: front and rear chromed bumpers, lights, wipers and front grille. A nice model. There are no apparent differences to the French edition.


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Auto Cult November 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by, and copyright of , Auto Cult.

Another release from Autocult with a wide range of subjects. All are made in resin in China to 1:43 scale for Germany.

Early Years of Motoring Series

#01005 Fiat S76 “Beast of Turin“ 1911

Nicknamed “The Beast of Turin” this  28.35 Litre four cylinder Fiat was built to beat the records created by the “Blitzen-Benz”. The huge cylinders with three spark plugs produced  290hp and were mounted in a  very basic chassis. Racing at Brooklands the car was timed at nearly 200KPH. Attempts on the Benx records failed as the speed could only be broken in one direction of the record attempt.

The Auto Cult model captures the car well with fine wire wheels and the chain drive nicely captured.

 

 

Engineer’s Limited Production Series

#05019 Beutler Special Cabriolet 1953

Swiss brothers Ernst and Fritz Beutler  built attractive bodywork with Bentley’s amongst the chassis they clothed. In 1948 Porsche cars were given attractive bodies.

In the early 1950s they created an attractive Volkswagen Beetle based cabriolet with a supercharged and tuned engine. Attractive though it was Volkswagen did not take up the proposals as they were already working on a similar car with Karmann in Germany.

 

Racing Cars Series

#07008 VW Transporter T1 Double Cab Long pickup 1963

Hardly a racing car itself this long backed Volkswagen Transporter was built to carry Volkswagen racing cars as well as their mechanics.  This vehicle will make a nice companion to the Ford Thames with long back for racing cars already made by Auto Cult.

These “DoKa’s” as the double cab is known were popular across Europe and even in the United States.

Camping Vehicles Series

#09005 Johnson Wax House Car 1939

Designed by Brook Stevens famous for the Jeep Grand Cherokee Wagoneer and Harley Davidson FLH Hydra Glide. This vehicle was based upon a bus chassis and created for S.C.Johnson and Sons the famous US polish makers.

The big camper was presented at a fair in New York 1939. By the standards of the time the interior was markedly luxurious. The facilities included running water, a separate bathroom, a gas powered refrigerator and a foldout desk. Even a small laboratory was on-board. The boss of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., Herbert F. Johnson, planned to use the motorhome in Brazil, where his company was in search of carnauba palms. From the leaves of the carnauba palm they obtained the so-called carnauba wax, which was used as a versatile lubricant. However the search was abandoned in 1940 and the vehicle returned  home to Wisconsin.

When the USA entered the Second World War the motorhome got a ‘second life’ and served as a mobile recruiting office for soldiers in the state Wisconsin. Later it was used as a mobile blood donation centre, before it vanished without a trace.


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News from the Continent September/October 2017- Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Photographs provided by, and copyright of Schuco.

Schuco models are diecast in China for Germany in various ranges to various scales.

Recent Relelases

Piccolo (1:90 Scale)

450574400 Mercedes-Benz O319 “Edelweiss Klassik 2017”

Edition 1:43 (1:43 Scale)

450389300 Volkswagen Brezel-Beetle “Wintersport” – grey

This is another strange model from Schuco. It is a split-window Beetle yet it is fitted incorrectly with small ventilator windows in the doors. The original vehicle appeared in 1952 and was also without the “rheumatism flaps” by the A-pillars. Faults on Schuco VWs are repeated again and again in spite of information being supplied to the product manager. Schuco clearly let the Chinese manufacturers do what they want.

PRO.R43 (1:43 Scale)

450893500 Magirus Deutz O6500 “German Federal Post”

PRO.R32 (1:32 Scale)

 

450901700 Famulus RS 14-36 tractor – green

450901800 Tracked tractor T100 M3 – grey

Edition 1:87 (1:87 Scale)

 

452626700 Volkswagen Golf Mk.I GTI – silver

452627700 Porsche 356 A Speedster – red

452628300 Opel Manta A “Black Magic”

452630100 Mercedes-Benz LP608 box truck “Märklin”

452620700 Mercedes-Benz L1113 flatbed truck with tank “ARAL”

Releases expected in October 2017

EDITION PRO.R43 (1:43 Scale)

 

450891700 Porsche 911 (993) Turbo Cabriolet – blue

450891800 Porsche 911 (993) Speedster – silver

450891300 Porsche 911 Targa – Grand Prix white

450891400 Porsche 911 Targa “Rijkspolitie”

Edition PRO.R32 (1:32 Scale)

 

450896700 Coffee plantation tractor

Edition 1:18 (1:18 Scale)

 

450040200 Porsche Cayman GT4 – blue

Edition PRO.R18 (1:18 Scale)

 

450007300 Brütsch Mopetta scooter – red and white

 

450007400 Brütsch Mopetta scooter – blue and white

 

450010800 BMW 502 “Hearse”

Edition 1:87

 

452627200 Fiat 500 Rally – red

452627300 Fiat 500 Giardiniera “Sport” – white and red


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