Category Archives: Ford

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.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email us at

More new Goldvarg Collection models.

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Sergio Goldvarg.

Pictures of the production of the new Goldvarg Collection models from production batches are now available and news of the next three models to be made has been announced. These are resin cast models made in China for the US.

First photographs of the models that have already shipped. First impressions are good. As long as quality control is maintained these look to be fine models with a lot of detail but without too many fine photoetched parts to fall off or “spring”.

GC-001 1958 Ford Fairlane 500

GC-002 1956 Mercury Montclair


GC-003 1961 Ford Country Squire


And now to the news of the next releases. The subjects reflect the fact that licensing arrangements with Ford were made more quickly than those with others.

  • GC-004. 1965 Ford F-100 Pick-up 2
  • GC-005. 1960 Mercury Park Lane 2
  • GC-006. 1953 Ford Country Squire

Some very early prototype pictures have been released by Goldvarg of the first two subjects.

If these models are produced to the same standard, and retail at the same price point, as the first three released then I suspect that the relatively small batches to be made will sell out very quickly.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

The Ford in Miniature – Capri III

By Dave Turner

Photographs and illustrations of some of the models discussed can be found at the end of the article, as can a listing of all the models mentioned.

“For People Who Do Things In Style”

Ford Capri III 1978-1987

Ford launched their Capri series in January 1969, the first version of which lasted until the end of 1973, miniatures of these were covered in this column in MAR 49 back in February 1991. Second series Capris lasted until early 1978 by which time production had ceased in the UK, henceforth to be carried out exclusively in Germany. MAR 265 (October 2012) featured the Mark II Capri in miniature. Now it’s time to look at models of the Mark III Capri, production of which ceased in December 1986, although sales of the final examples continued through to 1988.

Throughout these years the basic structure of all the Capris remained the same. Giving the Mark II a softer more rounded look was achieved by providing it with slightly bulbous sides that curved back to the Mark I’s original narrow floorpan. Despite an almost negligible development budget Ford managed to give the subsequent Mark III a little more “thrust” by putting quad headlights into a sharper nose and taking the bumpers round to the wheel openings. Documenting in detail the many and subtle changes to the Mark III cars over the years would become tedious but briefly the line began with four engine choices – a 1300 ohv, 1600 and 2000 ohc, and 3 litre V6. Base, L, GL, S and Ghia degrees of finish and equipment with a mass of options created a complex overall choice. The ’S’ was immediately recognised by the “S” side striping in place of the bodyside rubbing strip.

The base models soon disappeared from the listings while in March 1980 a limited run GT4 appeared based on the 1600L featuring some rather wild striping and a few tweaks to the trim details. In January 1981 an “LS” was added featuring the 1600 ohc engine and having the feel of being between the “L” and a de-trimmed “S” . At the same time more ‘specials’ included the Tempo based on a 1300 or 1600 “L”, the Cameo based on the “LS” and the Calypso that was in effect a two-tone “LS”. In June 1981 the Cologne 2.8i V6 arrived to replace the Essex 3 litre V6 and in effect saved the Capri range from what was intended to be imminent termination. This German engined Capri in effect replaced the 3.0 Ghia, as that level of trim then only came with the 2000 ohc unit. This Cologne V6 engined car was developed by Tickford into some quite potent and desirable cars right through to the end of Capri production. From Jan 1982 no more 1300s were made while just four months later the Cabaret arrived in 1.6 or 2.0 form – more or less a two-tone finished “L” .

By mid 1983 the Capri range had been whittled down to just three models, the 1.6 LS, the 2.0 S and the 2.8i. Colour coding of the grille, mirrors etc came with the Laser 1.6 and 2.0 in January 1984, a treatment carried out to the 2.8i from September when it became subtitled “Special” along with 7 spoke alloy wheels, limited slip diff and improved trim and fittings. This and the two Laser models carried the Capri flag into 1986 although a rather special revised Tickford Capri was offered in small numbers (2 ?) from December 1986, coinciding with the end of all Capri production. For a couple of years the UK had been the only market that sold the Capri, and after the last one was made a total of 4,400 were left to be sold in 1987, and a few (150) in 1988. A last run special was created with the 280, unofficially known as the Brooklands, these featured 15” rather than 13” wheels and 1038 of them were produced. Eventually around £2000 had to be lopped off their list price of £11,999 to shift the last few.

Unlike the situation with the first Capris when contemporary models of the car were quite numerous, models and toys of the Mark III were rarely produced throughout the real cars production years. However they seem to have been issued almost continually ever since!

As an indication of how collecting can be complicated, fascinating and also frustrating is clearly illustrated when investigating a particular model Capri III that was trialled by Atlas as part of a proposed range. This was discussed at length by David Lynn in a recent issue of Diecast Collector and he came to the conclusion that the short trial run of model Capris was based on tooling by Ixo who had produced some resin Capri III models in their Premium X range and went on to make more under White Box and Ixo brands. The Atlas example depicted a 2.8i of 1981 in red while the Premium X models were of the Tickford development cars, a rhd white one for the handling and the red for power train development. The interior of the Tickford was finished in a plain light grey while the walnut dash and instruments were created with stick-on printed labels. When Ixo produced their 1982 lhd 2.8i on their own label it featured a very plain base marked simply 1:43 Ford Capri with a feint Ixo logo but the model is nicely detailed otherwise. The base is significant as the Whitebox lhd 3.0S has exactly the same base minus the Ixo logo. The selfsame ‘pepperpot” wheels were featured although these weren’t a standard ’S’ fitting but no doubt could be optioned. Also available on the Whitebox label were a 1980 rhd GT4 and a 1982 rhd 2.8i. A further issue of these Capris came under the RBA label and it is believed that these were also the same as the White Box examples.

Autosculpt miniatures were made in Sheffield from 1993 and were solid aluminium tinted resin around 1:90 in scale. All three Capris were included, their Mk III is listed as a 1978 and as it features a tailgate mounted spoiler but lacks the side rubbing strips it has to depict an ’S’ although the four spoke wheels don’t fit that assumption – the ’78 ’S’ had eight spoke wheels. A very small number of larger solid miniatures were also produced – usually for car clubs, and one of these was a Capri III, possibly a 2.8i in 1:38. Pepperpot wheels and twin exhaust tailpipes support this suspicion.

B S Design kits from Germany are similar in some ways as they are 1:87 solid resin but in kit form. The also produced a few plastic models in 1:25 and although a Capri III in the larger size has been recorded at some time no further details have been found.

More H0 scale Mk IIIs from Germany came from Herpa, with their quite simple plastic miniature that is marked “Ghia 3.0” on its base. Initially it came in self coloured plastic with a silver base/front panel/bumpers component but an alternative issue came in a metallic finish with black base and appropriately coloured lights. these were possibly contemporary with the real cars. A more recent issue depicted the German Zakspeed Turbo RS, 200 of the real cars were made from 1981 and possibly inspired the Tickford project. The Herpa RS featured a matt black bonnet. On the subject of the RS Mk III, very nice 1:87 and 1:43 models of the Turbo came from Neo featuring the subtle flared wheel openings to accommodate the wider wheels and the extra large rear wing on the tailgate. Unfortunately the mirrors on the smaller model have a tendency to fall off if you look at them too closely!

Another range of resin kits but in 1:43 was C G Hobby and included was a kit to make a Mark II or Mark III no doubt as a competition car. An example was purchased around 30 years ago but has not been seen for a long time amidst the mass of other various unbuilt Ford kits.

Back in 1980 Corgi produced two sizes of Mark III – 1:36 and 1:58 – all were 3.0 ’S’ versions, one in each size was sold as ”The Professionals” TV series car while a second colour was offered in the larger line and a several other colours were produced in the smaller scale. While in the Corgi arena an interesting Mark III in plastic that scales out to 1:19 is meant to be a racer but other than a mass of stick-on labels the model is in stock Mark III shape. A long antenna emerges through the left side front wing while the obscured interior contains all manner of electrical gubbins. A battery cover in the base reads “Corgi M5700 Capri made in Hong Kong to Mettoy Company Limited specifications”.

The Vanguards range is of course part of the Corgi operation, although it began as a Lledo project. Their range of Capri III models runs to around 20 variations although the variety is not as great as might be imagined. There have been three versions of the 2.8i plus a 280 and a 2.8i Special, a single 3.0 Ghia, one Calypso and no less than six 3.0 “S”, the rest are competition or Police versions. Interesting is that the first Vanguards issue of the Mark III has a detailed base marked “Corgi Drive Time Ford Capri Mk III” while all the rest have a simple “Vanguards Ford Capri Mk 111” marking.

Minichamps entered the Mk III arena in 2003 with a very nice 1979 3.0 ’S’ following a year later with a colour change on the same subject. In 2007 a 2.8i came along which compared to the 3.0 ’S’ was more or less a simple colour and decal change, same interior and very well detailed base with twin exhaust system picked out in silver with the addition of the distinctive ‘Pepperpot’ wheels. In the same year a 2.0 GT4 was added and again this was another colour change, while the same base had the right side part of the twin exhaust system was left unpainted and that side tailpipe was omitted. All very nice models of course.

Mark IIIs from Norev were all 2.8 of various derivatives, albeit in two scales. The 1:43 example is a superb miniature of the 2.8 Super Injection as it was known in Germany while the 1:18 scale models were treated to subtle changes to the wheels, grille colour and decals to create at least three different versions, 2.8 Injection, 2.8 Super Injection and 280 Brooklands. The larger models have among the neatest opening features seen on any models together with extremely detailed engine compartments.

More multiple Mark IIIs came from Oxford, albeit in 1:76 scale. At least two colours of each version – 3.0 ’S’, 2.0 Laser and 2.8i. plus one in police livery. These are relatively simple but attractively finished. In the same scale a list of models was produced by Maz Woolley in MAR 214 (August 2007) and that included an entry for a TPM resin/white metal kit Capri Mark III Ghia but as yet this has not been seen by this column.

By quite a long way the first model of a Mark III 2.8i that was recorded came from the Mini Racing Prestige stable of 1:43 handbuilt resin models. This was almost contemporary with the real thing and stood alone in the Capri cabinet for a while. It is now one of many while the depth of dust it has collected is evidence of how much longer it has been there! Like many of the early resin offerings, the body is not as crisp and well defined as the more recent products, but it was appreciated for many years. Despite having the ‘pepperpot’ wheels of the first 2.8i, it also has colour coded grille and front panel of the later Special/Super versions.

Finally, while not quite in the “model’ category, Scalextric did some Mark III Capris, at least two of which were quite ‘stock’ other than the inevitable imaginative colour decorations that are all part of the slot racing scene. Very likely several will have been repainted to match owners real cars.

Ford Capri Mark III Models.

Atlas (Ixo) China 1981 2.8i rhd WLR 200X 1:43 diecast
Ixo China 199 1982 2.8i lhd 289 EGF 75 104mm 1:43 diecast
Premium X China TIC 001 1982 Tickford rhd White 100mm 1:43 resin
Premium X China TIC 002 1982 Tickford rhd Red 100mm 1:43 resin
Whitebox China 163 1980 GT4 rhd 104mm 1:43 diecast
Whitebox China 247 1982 2.8i lhd 104mm 1:43 diecast
Whitebox China 152058 1981 3.0’S’ lhd 104mm 1:43 diecast
RBA China C120 1982 2.8i 104mm 1:43 diecast
Autosculpt UK FO3 1978 ’S’ 43mm 1:97 resin
Autosculpt UK 001 FO 2.8i 120mm 1:38 resin
BS Design Germany 1:43 plastic
C G Hobby KC4 MkII or MkIII 1:43 resin kit
Corgi UK 342 3.0 ’S’ rhd Professionals 129mm 1:36 diecast
Corgi UK 343 3.0 ’S’ rhd yellow 129mm 1:36 diecast
Corgi  Jr UK 61 3.0 ’S’ rhd  red 76mm 1:58 diecast
Corgi  Jr UK 64 3.0 ’S’ rhd Professionals 76mm 1:58 diecast
Corgi  Jr UK 141 3.0 ’S’ rhd white 76mm 1:58 diecast
Corgi Hong Kong M5700 radio control 228mm 1:19 plastic
Corgi Drive Time 10800 1983 2.8i rhd A481 WKU 104mm 1:43 diecast
Corgi Vanguards 10803 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd XFB 520T 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10807 3.0 ’S’ rhd TDF 292R 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10808 2.8i chrome plated 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10809 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd UOO 303T 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10810 1980 3.0 ’S’ rhd SLT 741W 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10811 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd TUF 30S 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10812 1982 2.8i rhd UMG 545Y 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10813 1986 280 rhd D194 UVW 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10814 1978 3.0 Ghia rhd VKT 78T 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10815 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd VHK 494S 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10816 1986 2.8i Special rhd D240 VRG 104mm 1:43 diecast
Vanguards 10817 1982 Calypso rhd SME 977Y 104mm 1:43 diecast
Herpa Germany 2005 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd 48mm 1:90 plastic
Herpa Germany 3005 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd  metallic 48mm 1:90 plastic
Herpa Germany 3505 1982 ’S’ lhd 48mm 1:90 plastic
Herpa Germany 28509 1981 RS  lhd 48mm 1:90 plastic
Mini Racing France MRA 0090P 1981 2.8i lhd 98mm 1:43 resin kit
Prestige France PM 95 1981 2.8i rhd 98mm 1:43 resin
Minichamps China 82220 1979 3.0 ’S’ lhd 101mm 1:43 diecast
Minichamps China 82222 1979 3.0 ’S’ 101mm 1:43 diecast
Minichamps China 82225 1982 2.0 GT4 lhd 101mm 1:43 diecast
Minichamps China 82226 1984 2.8i lhd 101mm 1:43 diecast
Neo China 87240 1982 Turbo lhd K AW 240 52mm 1:83 resin
Neo China 43326 1981 Turbo lhd K AW 325 105mm 1:43 resin
Norev 182710 1981 2.8i rhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182711 1984 2.8i Super lhd M CW 2095 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182713 1983 2.8i rhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182716 1982 2.8i 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182717 1982 2.8i lhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 182718 1986 280 rhd 242mm 1:18 diecast
Norev 705610 1984 2.8i Super lhd  K A1 272 103mm 1:43 diecast
Oxford China CAP 001 1980 3.0 ’S’ rhd  OWC 627W 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 002 1980 3.o ’S’ rhd  OAR 576W 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 003 1985 2.0 Laser rhd C99 UUE 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 004 1986 2.0 Laser rhd  D272 REW 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 005 1986 2.8i rhd D959 WTW 58mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford China CAP 006 1983 2.8i rhd A233 YNV 58mm 1:76 diecast
Scalextric UK C117 3.0 rhd 132mm 1:33 plastic
Scalextric UK C300 3.0 rhd with lights 132mm 1:33 plastic
Skytrex UK 111 31mm 1:139 solid metal
TPM UK 78F43 1978-81 Ford Capri Ghia 1978-81 1:76 Resin/White Metal kit
Illustrations: Ford Capri Mark III


Norev 1:18 diecast : 182713, 1983 2.8i rhd

Norev 1:18 diecast : 182711, 1984 2.8i Super lhd

Corgi 1:19 radio control plastic from Hong Kong : M5700

Autosculpt 1:38 resin from UK : 001 FO, 2.8i

Scalextric 1:33 plastic slot car from UK C117, rhd

Whitebox 1:43 diecast from China : 152058, 1981 3.0 ’S’ lhd

Vanguards 1:43 diecast from China : 10814, 3.0 Ghia rhd

Vanguards 1:43 diecast from China : 10803, 1978 3.0 ’S’ rhd

Vanguards 1:43 diecast from China : 10813, 1986 280 rhd

IXO 1:43 diecast from China : 199, 1982 2.8i lhd

Premium X 1:43 resin from China: TIC 001, 1982 Tickford rhd

Norev 1:43 diecast : 705610, 1984 2.8i Super lhd

Corgi Drive Time 1:43 diecast from China: 10800, 1983 2.8i rhd

Prestige 1:43 resin from France : PM 95, 1981 2.8i rhd

Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China : 82220, 1979 3.0 ’S’ lhd


Neo 1:43 resin from China : 43326, 1981 Turbo lhd

Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China : 82226, 1984 2.8i lhd

Minichamps 1:43 diecast from China : 82225, 1982 GT4 lhd

Corgi 1:36 diecast from UK : 342, 3.0 ’S’ “Professionals” rhd

Corgi Jr. 1:58 diecast from UK : 61, 3.0 ’S’ rhd

Corgi Jr. 1:58 diecast from UK : 64 3.0 ’S’ “Professionals” rhd

Oxford 1:76 diecast : CAP 003, 1985 2.0 Laser rhd

Oxford 1:76 diecast : CAP 002, 1980 3.0 ’S’ rhd

Herpa 1:90 plastic from Germany : 3005, 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd metallic

Herpa 1:90 plastic from Germany : 2005, 1978 3.0 Ghia lhd

Neo 1:83 resin from China : 87240, 1982 Turbo lhd

Autosculpt 1:97 resin from UK : FO3, ’S’

Skytrex 1:139 metal from UK : 111

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

A look at the Neo Ford Zodiac III Estate Car

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by the Author.

This Neo was released some time ago but it is still on general sale. It is made to 1:43 scale in resin in China for Germany. The Ford Zodiac Mark III was the top model in Ford’s line up from 1962 to 1966. With many mechanical similarities to the Mark II it somehow seemed like a larger car with a more dominating appearance. Its designer Roy Brown was also responsible for the Edsel and the Ford Cortina. The estate cars were a conversion by Abbots of Farnham who had had a profitable relationship with Ford which came to an end later in the 1960s when Ford decided Estate cars sold in sufficient volume to build them themselves. The Zodiac was powered by the familiar straight six engine of 2.6 Litres which had been fitted to the Mark II before it.

The Neo model captures the size and shape of the Zodiac Estate well. Its profile being very good. The photoetch looks good at first sight but is a bit too shiny and is not always shaped to give a flush fit in the channels it fits in.

The front end with its twin headlights and large grille are well captured and the Zodiac badging correctly printed in gold.

The wing mirrors are perhaps a little large with overscale shafts but this is presumably to stop them becoming so fragile that they would be easily damaged.

The estate car was quite a handsome conversion of the saloon with a  roomy interior and huge luggage space. Many of these estate cars were destined to become police vehicles as they could carry lots of emergency equipment and still have a reasonable turn of speed for Motorway Patrols.

The rear view show that Neo has made a nice job of the rear lights, handles and other rear details. The twin rear exhausts are present and are for once not chromed which is excellent as few would have been in the Sixties.


All in all this is a nice model from Neo and a top of the line Zodiac saloon would be a nice companion.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Intergranular Corrosion

By Maz Woolley

Photographs by the Author of a model in Dave Turner’s collection of Fords in MIniature.

Integranular corrosion is better known to collectors as “metal fatigue” or “zinc pest”. The alloys used for diecast models (Mazak/Zamak) should be stable and models should remain fine for years unless impurities exist in the alloys. Many of us became aware of this phenomenon when collectors of early Dinky models watched their models disintegrating before their eyes. Since when the same has been seen in other ranges with pictures of broken and fatigued Saratov produced USSR models featuring on some bulletin boards for example.

Many collectors, including me, had believed that modern mainstream die casters quality control was a guarantee that such problems would not arise. But it isn’t true. The pictures below are of a Corgi model which is gradually failing but Corgi are not the only people whose models have issues, and the failure of the model below should not be taken as an indication that your stored Corgi models are any more at risk than other makes.

The Millionth Transit was a popular release from Corgi but as can be seen from the photographs below this one it is suffering so badly from the corrosion that the sides are bowing out and the bonnet and roof are wrinkled.

Things are a little complicated by the fact that it appears that poor preparation or paint issues by some makers may cause the paint to lift and craze whilst the casting below is still actually in good condition. However, as the pictures above show when the metal starts to fail the surfaces become “wavy” which means that it is not just a problem with paint.

Many collectors, myself included, have models stored in boxes. It may be worth your while looking over models that you have not looked at in a while to check that they are all OK. If you should find models with Intergranular corrosion please let us know by email or facebook or via the contact form on the website. It would be interesting to see pictures and perhaps do a round up of the wider experience of collectors at a later date.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

The Ford in Miniature – Thames 400E

By Dave Turner

“The Word’s Most Versatile Light Van”

Photographs and illustrations of some of the models discussed are shown after the text.

After producing the E83W 10 cwt van for no less than 19 years, Ford UK introduced their new 400E Thames van in November 1957. That old E83W featured the 10hp 1172cc side valve Ford engine that was mounted off-centre towards the passenger side allowing the vehicle to have a semi-forward control layout.

As carrying capacity in as short a vehicle as possible became increasingly important the new 400E Ford managed to provide 170 cu. ft. (183 with the passenger seat removed) by simply building the vehicle high enough to locate the 1703cc engine from the MkII Consul low between the seats. Built on a separate chassis the 400E was ideal for having a wide variety of aftermarket commercial bodies mounted behind the cab or even encompassing the drivers compartment while that big 4 cylinder engine was man enough for whatever was asked of it.

Initially Ford produced the plain van and a 8 seater estate car but the latter gave way to a 12 seater bus in September 1958, featuring longitudinal rather than transverse rear seating, although towards the end of 400E production in August 1965 the estate car returned in small numbers. From March 1962 the Perkins 4/99 1621cc diesel engine became an option while from January 1963 the later 1703cc engine from the new Zephyr 4 was fitted together with the option of a four speed gearbox.

400Es came as 10/12cwt or 15cwt capacity and from February 1961 a pick up employing much of the vans lower bodywork appeared. Various coach builders became well-known for their 400E conversions – Martin Walter for example produced the Utilabrake featuring wooden slatted rear seats as well as the Utilabus complying with PSA regulations having a raised roof etc. On the other hand Kenex offered the 12 seat Kenebus and 11 seat Kenecoach with drivers bulkhead in addition to the Kenebrake with upholstered seats and Yeoman with wood slat seating. Another unusual variation was the Powatruc for which a motor driven air compressor was mounted behind the cab, the engine for that being additionally connected to the rear wheels – the regular engine under the floor being omitted.

Very few visual changes can date an example of the 400E, the detail of the Thames badge at the rear was changed in April 1960, the Consul 204E hub caps gave way to the Anglia 105E pattern from December 1961 while the “Thames” badges gave way to “Ford” from March 1965.

As far as models are concerned, there seems to have been a re-awakening of the 400Es existence in the last year or so – Oxford have produced some superb models at realistic prices in two scales while AutoCult’s very nice offerings come at less attractive prices.

Starting with the latter, so far three variations have been recorded – a flatbed, a dropside and a Team Lotus variation on the flatbed. There are many illustrations of these both online and in MAROnline, and from these it would appear that the cab front is a bit flat as well as being too high. Team Lotus had more than one 400E at various times but the example that carried cars was an extensively modified vehicle with a much longer wheelbase than the standard 400E.

Corgi produced 902,000 examples of their Airborne 400E camper conversion between 1962-66. As well as being an excellent rendition of the van itself, the interior of the real camper was replicated in a well detailed plastic moulding, rather than the simple vac-formed interiors that had been the norm until then. Opening rear doors pivoted in prominent top hinges while the elevated roof section was a fixed part of the main casting.

While the Corgi scales out to 1:44, a Hong Kong made plastic copy by TAT/Telsalda works out to be just twice the size at 1:22. This replicates each and every detail on the Corgi, including the big rear door hinges and absence of rear lights, and was featured by John Hanson in MAR 131 (May 1999) In addition to Corgi’s features, the big plastic one comes with flywheel drive on the front axle, a roof section that can be raised and lowered and a set of retractable steps at the rear. The exact same plastic shell was also utilised to create a 12 seat minibus that boasts a completely different interior featuring seats, each with an uncomfortable eye-watering looking central upright spike onto which various seated figures can be located. A removable roof rack allows access to the interior in order to re-arrange the occupants.

Another familiar contemporary diecast came from Dinky Toys who made their 400E between 1963-9, and they chose a flatbed on which a big Atlas/Copco air compressor was mounted. This was not Fords Powatruc but a self contained separate compressor albeit cast in unit with the flatbed of the 400E in this case. Lifting side panels reveal a well detailed control panel and power unit etc. while the cab interior has a basic interior. Like the Corgi the Dinky has a form of suspension in addition to which a primitive form of steering was included. Like the Corgi, the Dinky Toy was copied and the result came in the shape of a dropside truck in which was mounted a working elevated platform. No identifying marks have been found anywhere on this unusual adaptation that scales out to be smaller than the TAT/Telsalda at 1:27.

Often remarked upon is the amazing value for money that Oxford manage to incorporate in their 1:43 models – unfortunately only the 400E and Anglia vans have so far been produced by them in this scale for us fans of the Blue Oval. In view of their value we must accept that the same interior has been provided for both the van and minibus even though some real vans will probably have been fitted out with seats in the rear. Attention to detail goes as far as the post April 1960 “Themes” badge at the rear and Anglia 105E type hub caps. The 1:43 models are correct for 0 Gauge model railways and Oxford have duplicated their 400E van and bus in 1:76 for us 00 Gauge modellers along with some more Ford subjects.

New Zealand was the source of the Fun Ho series of small toys, and was produced by the F Underwood Engineering Co to around HO scale. These were simple diecast castings, a few with moving parts such as the 400E van on which the rear doors could be opened. In order to provide a ‘hinge’ the top of the doors were very narrow. A 400E pick up was also part of the range and these two scaled out to 1:81 although HO is 1:87. A total of 81,900 of the little vans were made, along with 69,900 pick ups – the latter called Ford Thames Freighter in Fun Ho speak. The Fun H0 range was initially made by an Australian company called Streamlux until 1962, the Underwood company took over manufacture in 1964 and subsequently added many more subjects, including the 400Es. Production ended in 1982 as the easing of import restrictions brought in cheaper toys but some models were subsequently reproduced by the Fun H0 National Toy Museum Foundry including the 400E pick up. These featured the addition of glazed windows and were illustrated in MAR 104 (Aug-Sep 1996)

Despite the real 400E Estate car having turned into a minibus by late 1958, when Matchbox launched their diecast of the subject for 1960 they called it a Ford Thames Estate Car and retained that label. Initially it came without glazed windows, subsequently clear and green tinted vac forms were fitted. Whether it was intentionally made to 1:76 to match 00 gauge model railways is debatable but it leant itself to be the basis of a subsequent reproduction by the Creative Casting Company who offered a metal kit of the 400E for model railway use. The latter lost a bit of the real vehicles tall narrow character in the transition and while it featured a full width front seat but none in the back, it also had some extremely narrow metal wheels. Another rather different spin-off from the Matchbox came from Hong Kong in a range of cheap plastic copies of Matchbox subjects called Blue Box. Rather naughty was the illustration on the box of what looks like the original Matchbox item, although this was made of extremely flimsy plastic featuring a wheelbase that is much too short.

Triang produced a range of 1:76 plastic road vehicles in the late 1960s called Minix – related to the Minic range but the X denotes no mechanism. Intended for use with 00 gauge model railways these were extremely accurate in their detail and proportion, the 400E being listed as 15cwt and like the rest featured a plated plastic base that included bumpers and grille. Later examples may have had black base and wheels. A simple interior depicted the seats, steering wheel and rear flat floor. Of the total 10 million Minix models produced, a third were sold as loads on Triang/Hornby railway wagons.

More 400Es for 00 scale came in kit form from R Parker, Maz Woolley described in detail the kits and building them in MAR 198 (Dec 2005) and MAR 209 (Feb 2007) as well as including photos of the same. Another 1:76 range of kits from Roadscale included a 400E van and this was described by Tony Askwith in MAR 129 (March 1999) while SMTS offered 1:43 kits to create the Team Lotus 400E conversion that was sufficiently long to accommodate a racing car.

Back in 00 scale, yet another 400E van came from Weico in Australia in their Wizard range, described by John Roberts in MAR 188 (Dec 2004) and Maz Woolley in MAR 191 (April 2005). It was suggested in the latter that it may have been inspired by the Minix. Weico came to this columns notice many years ago by producing repros of the old Australian Micro Models, several of which were 1956 Fords of various types.

No doubt the ultimate miniature 400E was made by Shawcraft Models along with several others in 1:8 scale for showroom use at the time of the real vehicles. For many years around 14 of these desirable models were kept at Dagenham but are believed to have been sold off and change hands now for substantial four figure sums.

Ford Thames 400E Model Listing
Autocult China 2016 8001 Dropside 1:43 resin
Autocult China 2016 Flatbed 1:43 resin
Autocult China 2016 07005 Team Lotus Transporter 1:43 resin
Matchbox UK 1969 70 Estate Car 54mm 1:76 diecast
Blue Box Hong Kong 342 Estate Car copy 55mm 1:75 plastic
Creative Casting Co UK Minibus copy 53mm 1:77 metal kit
Corgi UK 1962-67 420 Airborne camper 94mm 1:44 diecast
TAT/Telsalda Hong Kong 714 Airborne camper copy 185mm 1:22 plastic
TAT/Telsalda Hong Kong 714 12 seater bus copy 185mm 1:22 plastic
Dinky Toy UK 1963-69 436 Atlas Copco compressor 89mm 1:46 diecast
Unknown Dropside with cherry picker copy 152mm 1:27 plastic
Fun H0! NZ 1960s 20 Van 51mm 1:81 diecast
Fun H0! NZ 1960s 26 Pick up 51mm 1:81 diecast
Oxford FDE 001 Van 54mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford FDE 002 12 seater bus 54mm 1:76 diecast
Oxford FDE 1 Van 96mm 1:43 diecast
Oxford FDE 2 12 seater bus 96mm 1:43 diecast
Minix UK 1966-71 13 15cwt van 53mm 1:76 plastic
Weico/Wizard Australia 2004 10 15cwt van copy 1:76 metal
Parker UK 35 Van 1:76 metal kit
Parker UK 36 Flatbed 1:76 metal kit
Parker UK 42 12 seater bus 1:76 metal kit
Roadscale UK THA 1 Van 1:76 metal kit
Shawcraft UK Estate car showroom model 1:8
SMTS UK Team Lotus transporter 1:43 metal kit


Illustrations: Ford Thames 400E

Corgi 1:44 diecast from UK: 420, Airborne camper

Dinky Toys 1:46 diecast from UK: 436 Flatbed with Atlas-Copco compressor

Oxford 1:43 diecast for UK: FDE 2, 12 seater bus British Railways.

Oxford 1:43 diecast for UK: FDE 1, van British Railways

Minix 1:76 plastic from UK:13, 15cwt van

Fun H0! 1:81 diecast from New Zealand: 20, Van

Fun H0! 1:81 diecast from New Zealand: 26, pick up.

Matchbox 1:76 diecast from UK: 70, Estate Car

Blue Box 1:75 plastic from Hong Kong: 342, Minibus copy of Matchbox.

Oxford 1:76 diecast for UK: FDE 1, van British Railways.

Creative Casting Company 1:76 metal kit from UK: Minibus, copy of Matchbox.

TAT/Telsalda 1:22 plastic from Hong Kong: 714, Airborne camper copy of Corgi

TAT/Telsalda 1:22 plastic from Hong Kong: 714 12 seater bus using Corgi copy body.

Unknown Make 1:27 plastic: Dropside with cherry picker, copy of Dinky Toy flatbed as base.

Shawcraft 1:8 made in UK:400E Estate Car as photographed by Ian Ingham in the Ford Museum

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page.

Atlas Dinky Trucks – 25JJ Ford Calberson

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

The latest Atlas Dinky Truck series model to be sent to me is French Dinky 25JJ Ford Poissy in Calberson livery.  Dinky France made extensive use of this cab. originally as a flatbed with or without end boards, then as a truck, a tanker, a high sided truck, a tipper, a dustcart and a tow truck before making the covered truck with a liveried tilt in Calberson, Grand Moulins De Paris and SNCF liveries. The final version was as a Nestlé milk lorry fitted with churns like the Studebaker already seen in the Atlas series.

Calberson are now part of the major French logistics company Geodis Calberson.   They first started road haulage work in 1921 and by the end of the 1940s Calberson was set on expansion buying up smaller hauliers to grow the business. So in the early 1950s more and more vehicles would have been seen on French roads in the distinctive yellow with red grille and wheels.

25JJ was introduced in 1949 and deleted in 1952. Despite the short run multiple variations exist as the decals were changed several times. Dinky also made an articulated truck in Calberson Livery based upon the Panhard lorry.

Ford opened their Poissy plant in 1940 only for it to be taken over after the German invasion and for its output to be dedicated to the German war machine managed from Ford’s Cologne works. After liberation its output was then switched to supporting the Allies across Europe. Production of the 5 ton Ford F698W nicknamed “Poissy” started in 1946 . It was a development of the Matford  F917WS  trucks produced during the war.

The Atlas model has been nicely produced replicating the original well with an early version of the Calberson livery showing the outline of France with a train and lorry superimposed. The later liveries replace France with a globe with aircraft and ship images superimposed reflecting Calbersons livery changes as the company grew and became an international as well as a national carrier. The yellow paintwork with red contrasted grille and wheels has been well replicated and even the cast in tow hook is there at the rear.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @

Replica Märklins spotted

By Robin Godwin, Hans-Georg Schmitt, and Maz Woolley

Others copyright to all images shown recognised.

Every now and again items show up on eBay that surprise us. So it is with these replica Märklin models spotted recently on eBay by Robin Godwin. He spotted two models on offer: a Ford Capri and an Opel Manta A as shown in the photographs below.

Märklin 18103-02 Ford Capri

This is claimed to be 1:43 and appears to be available in Grey and Sapphire Blue on eBay currently

Märklin 18103-01 Opel Manta A

This can be seen on eBay in yellow and red on eBay

The Märklin brand is now owned by Schuco-Dickie and Hans-Georg was aware of Schuco-Dickie’s plans to  issue a model of the obsolete Krupp forward control lorry with drawbar from the 8000 range, as shown below, using the original tools. However he has not heard of any plans to remake any cars.

After a bit more web searching it turned out that these replicas are not recent releases as we thought but were produced before Märklin were taken over by Schuco-Dickie. It appears that they were originally sold only in a “one-off” set of 12 models shown below from an old Märklin website image. The set comprised of four different castings each in three colours made using the original moulds and all packed in “period style” cardboard boxes to add to the nostalgic feel:

  • Audi 100 Coupe
  • BMW 2002
  • Ford Capri
  • Opel Manta A

So the models currently being sold on eBay are almost certainly from this set. Having found this out it was possible to find pictures of the Audi 100 and BMW 2002 from this series.

Märklin 18103-03 Audi 100 Coupe

The Audi shows that all the original working features like bonnet, doors and boot are all reproduced on these models.

Märklin 18103-04 BMW 2002


The BMW box shown above suggests that only four boxes were made, one for each casting, with each having the colour of the model within manually marked.


Hans-Georg has made a detailed comparison of the photographs of the Ford Capri against an original model from his collection and he confirms that the replica matches the original casting though the wheels, which are said to be plastic on the re-issues, are different.

So Schuco-Dickie are not issuing replicas of the Märklin models but there seem to be plenty being made available from the sets made some time ago. Since they seem to be so freely available on eBay it may be that some unsold stock has been found in storage recently. If you collect Märklin cars, or just one of the four cars in the series, now would seem to be a good time to get the replicas if you do not already have them.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @

1966 Ford Galaxie LTD

By John Quilter

All photographs by, and copyright of the Author.

In 1965 Chevrolet launched a new top of the line four door car one notch above the traditional top of the line Impala. This was the Caprice which in 1965 was only available in a four door hardtop and usually came with a black vinyl top. Engines ranged from the standard 283 CID V8 all the way up to the newly launched 396 CID big block which had as an option the new GM Turbo Hydromatic three speed automatic. Interiors were quite plush with a sort of nylon cloths upholstery.

Not to be out done in 1965, Ford, launched a subseries of the top of the line Galaxie line known as the LTD. Unlike the Chevrolet  this was launched as both a two door hardtop and a four door hardtop. Engines ranged from the “small block” 289 CID V8 to the 352 CID to the 390 CID and ultimately a massive 428 CID unit. Transmissions were usually the three speed Cruise-O-Matic. Common power accessories were power steering and brakes and interior features were often air-conditioning, power windows, and seats. Vinyl tops were popular as well. The LTD and Caprice and the VIP at Plymouth were all marketing effort to entice buyers to abandon the “traditional” top of the line model for a newer even more plush version of the big three’s full sized cars. Ford even ran an ad touting the LTD’s silence in operation comparing it to a Mark X Jaguar!

This 1:43 scale model of the 1966 Galaxie 500 four door sedan was one of the part works series of Mexican cars. Billed as a 1967 it was in reality a 1966, at least in the USA. The conversion I did was to take this pillared sedan, remove the window frames, add a vinyl top and extend the sill moulding to the rear quarter panel as was fitted to the LTD. I picked a dark metallic green colour representative of the mid 60s colours and added a black vinyl top. By repainting the model I was able to overcome the model’s error in that the front and rear scuttle are moulded in the white top colour when they should match the body colour.

To add white wall tyres which would have come on virtually all LTD cars, I made them up using a ring of thin wire painted white and glued to the tire. Attempting a white wall this thin with decals or my previous method of cutting them from adhesive backed white shelf paper is not possible when one wants a white wall as thin as was used in the mid-60s onwards. (note to whitewall tire decal makers: thinner white walls would be a good expansion of the product line). Finally I added bare metal foil wheel lip mouldings and gave the grill a black wash. The F O R D letter badging on the trunk and hood had to be approximated with small dots of silver paint.

One of my model suppliers show a yet to be launched on pre-order, 1966 Galaxie two door hardtop in light blue which should make a good companion for the four door sedan and LTD pillar-less four door hardtop, see here.

Note: the last photo shows the Ixo (??) unmodified model with the incorrect, non-matching scuttle and rear panel and the black wall tires.

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @

The Goldvarg Collection

By Maz Woolley

All photographs have been provided by Sergio Goldvarg, and all copyrights are his.

Long time readers of the printed MAR magazine will know the name Sergio Goldvarg well. Sergio was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and like Rod Ward is an Architect. A love of cars led to a large collection of cars which started from his first Matchbox toy and a role as a motor sport writer too. Long time collectors will remember him for the Goldvarg Collection, a range of white metal models of American cars produced in the 1980s in a factory in Argentina.  The production of these models petered out in the political instability in Argentina and Sergio and his wife moved to the United States. When production in the Argentine became impossible one last white metal 1:43 scale model was commissioned from a UK based producer, an Oldsmobile 1958 with continental kit.  However the cost of doing business in this way was too high and no further new models were launched in the Goldvarg Collection.

In recent years Sergio’s personal collection of over 12,000 items has been recognised by Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest. Sergio continues to work in the US as an Architect and owner of a model-car themed restaurant called “Waffleworks”  located in Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, Florida. The restaurant has a permanent exhibit of nearly 900 model cars. His idea was to share part of his diecast collection in a place with a unique atmosphere. Sergio has also been an advisor to Sunstar and to Lucky Toys in recent past a role he had earlier played for Buby in Argentina.

In 2014 Sergio was inducted to the DIECAST HALL OF FAME, for preserving the legacy, honoring the dedication and rewarding the achievement in the scale model car industry.

Earlier this year Sergio decided the time was right to re-launch the Goldvarg Collection all made to 1:43 scale and in limited editions. Production in resin in China was decided upon. Unlike many of his European competitors Sergio has agreements with the car manufacturers for his products.  Two ranges are shown on the website: American Cars, and Europe and the Rest of the World. The American range is furthest ahead with the first three models in production in China as the photographs below show.

American Range

The first three cars in this range have sold out before the stock  has even landed in the US. News of the models quickly circulated on bulletin boards and their keen pricing no doubt helped.

GC-001 1958 Ford Fairlane 500

This model will be available in Torch Red/Colonial White or Azurre Blue/Colonial White.

GC-002 1956 Mercury Montclair

This model will be available in Persimmon/Classic White or Zaffron Yellow/Tuxedo Black

GC-003 1961 Ford Country Squire

This is being made in green metallic or blue metallic with the wood panels on the side painted in wood effect.

Europe and Rest of the World Range

The first two cars in the list are European but the rest are all Argentinian prototypes. No photographs of pre-production samples are available  yet. This range will be interesting to follow as it is new territory for the Goldvarg Collection.

  • Rolls Royce Phanthom II 1930 “Luis Sandrini”
  • Horch 853 Sportswagon Firetruck
  • Justicialista Sport with figure of Juan Peron
  • Justicialista Coupe
  • Tulietta GT
  • Joseso Microcar 1960
  • Dinarg D-200 1961
  • Kaiser Bergantin 1960
  • Rastrojero “Dakar” 2017

Readers who want to know more about Sergio and The Goldvarg Collection can find a lot more detail at this website

We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page,  or email us at maronlineeditor @