Category Archives: Ford

Greenlight Ford Country Squire and Pop-up Trailer

By Maz Woolley

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

Greenlight‘s Hitch and Tow range is now at release 16. Most sets combine trailers and cars already seen before but in this case the model included is a new variation on the Ford LTD Country Squire as seen in the Estate Wagons series, but this time finished as a 1981 model whereas the ones in the Estate Series are 1979, 1985 and 1986. The previous models may be seen here and here. In reality they are all basically the same model but the front end has been designed so that it can be modelled with the grille unique to each facelift.

All these models are diecast in China for the US and are scaled to 1:64 with plastic parts, and in the case of the trailers resin cast elements.

The 1981 Ford LTD Country Squire was part of the 8th generation of the Country Squire which had been launched in 1979. 1981 would see 9,443 sold with wood effect sides and 10,554 without. The large US car ranges still sold well at this time.

Popup trailers are still a fairly common sight on US roads. Basically a tent on wheels they offer some fixed furniture like a caravan and a lot of space for sleeping in the tent extensions. They are made by many small US firms and the Greenlight model seems fairly generic, unless a reader can identify the prototype. Interestingly the trailer is painted and finished with ‘wood’ panels to match the Ford tow car.

Like most Greenlight trailer models the screw support at the front of the trailer was the difficult to fit with the hole needing clearing of paint before it would screw in at all. In the original series I seem to remember them being factory fitted but they quickly let the customer struggle instead.

The finish on car and trailer is not as crisp as it could be in some areas which is pretty typical of Greenlight standards on the other Estate Cars. Curiously the moving tailgate does not lower to horizontal as the tab on the rear base of the tailgate cannot move past the internal floor moulding a restriction which I have not seen on the other LTDs.

A silver dot is painted on the passenger side front wing which I can only assume is an attempt to portray an aerial in its closed position. And like the previous LTDs the glazing is flush fitted which looks excellent at the front but at the side the top of the glazing that attaches to the roof spoils the lines of the upper part of the windows.

The inside of the trailer is detailed though it would generally not be seen at all as it would either be packed up and covered or covered by the popped up section. Again the making and painting could be better with small paint faults visible in some parts.

Finally the popped up camper. The tent section between the roof and the base is cast in resin and fits well. This casting is nicely made and painted.

All in all like most Greenlight models it captures as sllce of life at a reasonable price for US collectors. The finish could be a little better, the front wheel axles on the Ford are too wide for example but this is a budget item so the compromises are acceptable.

Matrix Releases for July

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix has announced a set of releases for July, all bar one are new releases which have not been announced before. The other has been previously announced but has now been produced. All are resin cast in China for the Netherlands with photo-etched and printed detailing and are to 1:43 scale.


MX40205-101 Bugatti T57SC Sports Tourer Vanden Plas Chassis #57541 metallic blue open 1938

The car that the model is based upon sold for nearly ten million dollars in 2016. It is powered by an eight cylinder 3.2 Litre engine with overhead valves and a Roots-type supercharger.

In addition this model will be produced with a raised hood as:

MX40205-102 Bugatti T57SC Sports Tourer Vanden Plas Chassis #57541 metallic blue closed 1938

MX41804-051 Stutz Model M Supercharged Lancefield Coupe black 1930

The car that this model is based on sold for over a million US Dollars in 2017. It spent its early life in the UK before being shipped back to thye US in late 1940s. The engine and chassis were developed during Stutz’ attempt to win Le Mans. The car was fitted with the M engine an overhead cam eight cylinder with a supercharger and reputedly capable of producing over 180 brake horsepower.

This model will also be available with an open ‘dicky’ seat as:

MX41804-052 Stutz Model M Supercharged Lancefield Coupe black w/open trunk 1930

MX50603-031 Ford Cougar II Concept #CSX2008 metallic red 1963

The 1963 Cougar was the third iteration of Cougar concepts and was introduced as a show model “from the company which pioneered the personal car.” in 1963. It was styled by Eugene Bordinat Ford’s stylist rather than Vignale who had styled the previous Cougar Concept.

To get into the car one needed to open the electrically-operated top-hinged doors. The fastback design was shown in candy red and used a fibreglass body fitted with a Ford 260 High performance engine pack and was built on an AC-Cobra tube frame. It was intended to reach speeds of around 170mph . Although handsome the design was not taken up by Ford who were content with the runaway Mustang sales and did not feel inclined to launch something so exotic even as a competitor to the Chevrolet Corvette. Perhaps the car was just not that suitable for sales as a rear panel had to be included that opened at speed to reduce air pressure in the car.

The car still exists today, I believe that it owned by the Detroit Historical Society and shown rarely.


MX40803-022 Horch 853 Sport Cabriolet by Voll & Ruhrbeck black 1938

The Horch 853 is equipped with a straight eight cylinder engine of 4944 cc and develops around 120 hp. It has a conventional four speed manual gearbox and rear wheel drive. During the Second World War Voll & Ruhrbeck’s works were destroyed by allied bombing and no records were left of the cars they had built.

The silver car which was the first release of this model was captured by the French and used by Marshal Jean de Lattre de Tassigny. In the post war period the car was to be found in Switzerland during which time it changed hands several times and was restored. Perhaps at one of these points it was painted black or perhaps there were more than one originals built?


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The Ford in Miniature – P100 1987

By Dave Turner

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

The Ford P100 pickup was based upon the Cortina from its introduction in South Africa, in 1971. It was later also produced in Portugal. Along with the arrival of the Sapphire in 1987 came a new look P100 sporting a cab with a front-end from the Sierra with two doors and two seats. The vehicle had an extended chassis which allowed a back box of just under seven feet long to be fitted.

At least two models of the P100 have been recorded. Motor-Pro in the UK were featured in MAR 73, our printed predecessor, in the April/May edition from 1993. They announced a white metal model to be available as a kit or ready built model. It is difficult to determine whether the model in my office was an original ready built model or a kit build as it was bought secondhand. One would have hoped that a ready made model would have been better finished but that was not always the case in the 1990s. Sadly the mirrors were missing when I bought it, but at least the wheels are a close approximation of the factory fitted standard steel wheels.

A Portugese operation under the name Trapalhada issued a 1:35 scale P100. Appropriate that the home of the P100 should give us a model of one. However we might have expected it to be a bit more accurate – the front end is that of a Sierra Ghia when the P100 featured one from the Sapphire. In addition the proportions of the model are all over the place. The front end is a scale 7″ too long, the pickup box is 4″ too short, whilst the model is a scale 5″ too wide.

Known Models listing

Illustrations

Motor-Pro 1:45 White Metal from the UK
Trapalhada 1:35 Resin from Portugal

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News from the Continent June 2019 – Busch Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here are images of the releases made by Busch Group in their ranges in March and April 2019. All the vehicles are moulded in plastic in China for Germany unless otherwise stated.


Busch Releases March 2019

41711 Pontiac TransAm muscle car – orange

42720 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 with oval rear window – beige

42724 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 with oval rear window – blue

42891 Weimar Mobile Excavator T174-2 with funnel

45239 Ford Thunderbird Cabriolet – closed hood – blue

46220 Smart Fortwo 2012 City cleaning

Fighter against dust and dirt in the city of Dresden


46723 Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet – open – red

46733 Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet – closed – green

50050 Allgaier A 111L tractor

In 1906 Georg Allgaier founded Allgaier Werke GmbH in Hattenhofen in Württemberg. The A 111 Bauernschlepper was developed specially for motorising small farms and launched in 1952. It was later to form the basis of the short-lived Porsche Tractor.


50051 Hofherr-Schrantz Austro Junior 108 tractor

The Austrian company worked closely with Allgaier and later with Porsche. Porsche tractors were manufactured in Austria by Hofherr-Schrantz under licence.


51114 Mercedes-Benz Vito Halstenbeck Fire brigade

51125 Mercedes-Benz Vito Hessian Police, Germany

51259 Framo V901/2 bus Blue Postal vehicle – noise suppression service

Usually Public Service Vehicles of the DDR postal service were painted in yellow or grey. An exception to this were ones used by radio and television service.


51570 IFA G5 1956 box body – sahara beige

A prototype created to compete for an order from the Egyptian army.


51704 Nagetusch caravan – lilac and silver

51816 Robur Garant K30 box van “Circus Aeros”

51912 Land Rover Discovery “Federal Police of Germany” – mint green

51918 Land Rover Discovery “Bavarian Police”

52010 Framo V901/2 box van “Milk transport in the city of Dresden”

52011 Framo 901/2 box van HO food transporter

52200 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen ambulance Bavarian Red Cross

52201 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen Fire brigade ambulance

52202 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen ambulance, green

52203 Mercedes-Benz VF 123 Miesen hearse

54905 Transport trailer of the DDR Red Cross

59943 Trailer with steel masts

EsPeWe automobile models to 1:87 scale

95029 HW 80.11 trailer “NVA”

The trailer was manufactured from 1969 onwards in the VEB Kraftfahrzeugwerk Ernst Grube plant in Werdau.


Mehlhose automobile models in scale 1:87

210007701 Trailer for Multicar ‘Circus Busch’

210007800 Long timber trailer “Circus Busch”

210008300 Multicar M21 “Circus Busch”

210009901 Tractor Famulus with trailer ‘Circus Busch’
210010299 Trailer T4 ‘Circus Busch’

Busch Releases April 2019

41009 Mercedes-Benz O 3500 coach ‘Köhne´s travel service’

41010 Mercedes-Benz O 3500 coach ‘Our home country’

42740 Volkswagen Beetle, with rear split window, German Federal Post

46657 Plymouth Fury “Sheriff staff car”

46735 Volkswagen Hebmüller Cabriolet – closed – two tone green metallic

48727 Fiat 500 “on Tour”

48728 Fiat 500 “Carabinieri”

In Italy the Carabinieri are one of the main law enforcement agencies and like the French Gendarmerie it is under the control of the Military rather than civil authorities.


50557 Lada 1600 saloon – red with black roof

51138 Mercedes-Benz Vito “drain cleaning”

51139 Mercedes-Benz Vito “Heavy duty transport guiding”

51210 Framo V901 box van Potsdam Fire brigade

51211 Framo V901/2 box van Berlin Waterworks

51462 Mercedes-Benz G-Class 2008 German Government Police unit

51571 IFA G5 1956 box truck – mobile workshop for the passenger transport organisation of Karl-Marx-Stadt (today Chemnitz again)

51754 Nagetusch mobile shop for Merz and Pilini

51756 Nagetusch mobile shop “Circus Busch”

51813 Robur Garant K30 box van – Minol

51815 Robur Garant K30 box van – snow white dry cleaning

51913 Land Rover Discovery “THW”

59957 Trailer with motorboat – Bavarian Red Cross water rescue service”

59962 Trailer with high mesh siding

EsPeWe automodels to 1:87 scale

95243 IFA W50 LA with tank “German Red Cross (DDR) “

95244 IFA W50 LA/PV flatbed truck – driving school

Mehlhose automodels to 1:87 scale

210009614 Multicar M21 – grey – Exquisit

210009616 Multicar M21 – Black – Exquisit

210010005 Balkancar E-Karre – grey

210010224 Trailer T4- blue with red frame

This agricultural trailer was manufactured from 1956 to 1966 in the former DDR.


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News from the Continent June 2019 – Norev

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

This article looks at models released in April and May 2019. Norev models are diecast in China for France in various scales.

April Releases

1:18 Scale

182771 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 1986 – white

187436 Porsche 935

24h France 1979 – Newman/Barbour/Stommelen


1:43 Scale

151509 Citroen Type A 1919 – red

153172 Citroen B2 Caddy 1923 – maroon

153029 Citroen Traction /7C Faux-cabriolet 1937 – dark blue

200000 Delamare Deboutteville & Malandin 1884

This is a model of the first french petrol powered vehicle.


1:87 Scale

159925 Citroen U23 Autocar 1947 – yellow and grey

1:64 Scale Minijet series

310910 Citroen CX saloon 1974 – sand beige metallic

May Releases

1:18 Scale

183489 Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class 2018 – silver

183488 Mercedes-Benz V-Class 2018 – grey metallic

185182 Renault Floride 1959 – Bahama yellow metallic

185152 Renault 5 1972 – red

1:43 Scale

070014 Austin Healey 3000 Mk 3 1964 – black with red sides

1:43 Scale – Norev Classics Series

CL6921 Berliet Stradair Tipper -orange and blue

1:18 Scale Maxi Jet Series

182065 Solex 1966 – black

1:64 Scale Minijet Series

310506 Citroen 2CV Charleston 1982 – yellow and black

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Old BP Toys from Denmark – Part II

By Karl Schnelle

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

As we learned in Part I, a collector in Denmark tracked down one of three Brdr. Petersen and interviewed him in the 1980s. Then, a local reporter heard about this and published an article about the brothers and their company. Another Danish collector saw this newspaper article and created a website about these toys! The website was deleted after the owner, Lars Nørholm, sadly passed away in 2002. However, I saw the website around 2000 and translated it to English (with help from Google translate).

Here is that translation with photos copyright from BP collectors from Denmark and USA: Viktor Kristoffer Lyby Tolsgaard, Thorben Hjortlund, and the author.


Brdr. Petersen – B. P. Legetøj (B. P. Toys)

By Lars Nørholm

History

In 1945 B.P. Toys started production of metal toys in Fredericia, Denmark. The company was started by three brothers: Svend Åge, Thorkild, and Christian Petersen. Svend Åge had always worked with metal and had worked as a metal worker for Voss. He experimented with making various kinds of toys. Almost for fun he made a relatively primitive car model, a DKW passenger car. He sold the car to a Mrs. Holm at the local toy store called 1000 Tings, on Gothersgade, in Fredericia, where it was sold for DKK 2 (Danish Kroner). The car was a huge success, and thus the foundation was laid for starting his own production.

By the end of the 1950s, toy production was over, and after only 13 years the company changed to producing gas tanks for mopeds and oil-burning heaters. At that time, there was no longer big money in toy cars, and competition was very tough from Tekno, Vilmer, and the like! “All children loved Tekno and Vilmer cars”. The company did not have the large amounts of capital that were required to buy new castings machines and make molds for new models.

Therefore, B. P. sold their molds and casting machines to a workshop in Odense, Denmark, which planned to continue production. But the project never succeeded and so everything was lost.

Interview with Svend Åge Hanghøj Petersen

NOTE: The following excerpt is from a newspaper article written by Poul Bech, Fredericia Dagblad, many years ago.

Two of my brothers who worked in Copenhagen, Thorkild and Christian, moved back to Fredericia. We owned two motorcycles and a motor boat, and it all was sold to provide the necessary start-up capital, says Svend Åge. In the autumn of 1946 we moved to other premises at Kirkestræde 16, and the production of an improved DKW car was started up on an assembly line. I think about 70,000 cars were sent to market of this type!

We later purchased three injection molding machines and tools and a new model was launched, while the DKW was dropped. The new model was a Ford V8. It became an even bigger success, so we now only produced the Ford V8 the next year, only this model! The money came in quickly and the Ford V8 became B. P.’s most popular model. In the first year, we made 3000 Fords a week and the total production probably approached 400,000. The car was sold across most of Denmark for 3.75 DKK.

Ford V8. Photo credit: private US collection.

The Ford V8 was manufactured in many colors, with red being the most common. In the company we had an efficient way to find the most popular color! The neighborhood children were invited to the factory at certain times. They were offered ice cream and were then allowed to take the car they liked best home with them. As a rule, it was the red colors that were preferred, so the factory ramped up the red models.

Three red BP on the left. Another Danish manufacturer on the right. Photo Credit: private Danish collection.

Collecting B. P. Toys

We all learned a lot and improved, and new models were sent to the market every six months. It took us a long time to develop a new model. First, a basic wooden prototype was designed and then one in clay. After the prototype model had achieved its final design, tools and molds had to be ordered. It could easily go six to seven months before we were ready for new production.

Today, there is no overall list of everything that BP has made, but the number is approx. 12-15. However, each model was produced in large numbers with relatively many variations. The finish was top-notch, and the models could almost match the quality of Tekno and Vilmer’s early production, although BP did not take the aspect ratio so seriously. The individual models did not have a consistent scale, fluctuating between 1:50 and 1:30.

The toys were sold in colorful boxes produced by a local Fredericia company called ALPAP. The name Brdr. Petersen, or BP, soon became known to the oil company of the same name, and they began a collaboration with the company. Soon one could find in the toy shops nationwide cars bearing the oil company’s brand, BP Benzin: a tank truck, gas pumps, a petrol station and a truck that transported 10 gas cylinders made of wood. [Ed: The BP symbol and color are different on the toys, so please see Part I for more details.]

Ford V8 BP tanker and gas pumps. Photo credit: private US collection.

Shell also quickly became interested and a similar agreement was reached. Brdr. Petersen never received money to advertise but instead got paid with the transfers / decals that were used on the toys.

Ford V8 articulated Shell tanker. Photo credit: private US collection.

Alongside this production, Brdr. Petersen produced the much sought-after moped and motorcycles. The range includes an NSU Quickly moped, as well as the motorcycles Nimbus and Ariel as a solo bike or with either a side-car or a small flatbed!

Nimbus with sidecar. Photo credit: private Danish collection.
Nimbus solo – click on the photo to see BP cast into the rear down tube. Photo credit: private US collection.

Brdr. Petersen is also remembered for their agricultural toys: a Massey Harris tractor with a number of implements that could be connected to the tractor. Among these tools are a two-wheeled trailer, fertilizer spreader, plow, harrow, seed drill and reaper!

Massey Harris 20 Tractor. Photo credit: private US collection.
Tractor and harvester. Photo credit: private US collection.

Alongside the car, truck, and tractor models, there was also time for other things. Thus, an unknown number of airplanes were produced to order. It was a fantasy design inspired by the comic book Jens Lyn (Ed: Danish translation of Flash Gordon!) that was popular with Danish boys at the time! Brdr. Petersen also received orders for 10,000 metal doll heads in two sizes for Algrema in North Jutland, but it is not known how many had actually been produced.

Helicopter. Photo credit: private US collection.

Also, the company tried to launch a puzzle game, but it failed. At the end of the 1950s, the production of toys ended after a total production of about 700,000 toys sold and delivered to the Danish market! Brdr. Petersen then changed production to subsequently concentrate on other, more profitable tasks!

Additional Production After Toys

The company then moved to new premises in Dahl Rasmussen’s Breeding Farm at 6 Julivej 5 in Fredericia, where they produced gas tanks as a subcontractor for Diesella, a moped manufacturer in Kolding, DK. Initially, the flat tanks were mounted to the luggage carrier, but in later production, a more modern oval tank was used on the moped. Brdr. Petersen was given an order for 10,000 tanks at 25 DKK each. The result of the work was so good that they subsequently became Diesella’s main supplier of gas tanks.

Brdr. Petersen expanded the workforce to 10-12 employees, welded tanks from morning to evening, and at some point also made tanks for S.C.O. and other Danish moped factories until the end of the 1960s, when the moped era was running out. The company was no longer able to find new markets.

Christian and Svend Åge stopped working at the company around 1965, when they both got jobs at the Carl M. Cohr Sølvvarefabrik (silverware factory). All the production equipment was sold to the Poul Christensen metal foundry, who for some years continued production in West Funen (the Danish island east of Fredericia).

Complete List of BP Products
• DKW
• Ford V8 Passenger car
• Truck, semi-trailer, and semi-trailer with wooden gas bottles
• Tank truck and semi-trailer, both with Shell or BP logo
• Petrol stations
Jens Lyn airplane
• Helicopter
• Metal figures: Freedom fighter, Montgomery, and King Chr. X
• Race car (open-wheel)
• Toy iron
• Doll heads
• Nimbus motorcycle, solo, with sidecar, or with flat sidecar
• Ariel motorcycle, solo, with sidecar, or with flat sidecar
• NSU Quickly moped
• Massey Harris tractor
• Tractor accessories: Reaper-Binder, Disc harrow, Wagon, Plow, Seed drill, Fertilizer Spreader
• Wooden gas station

Seed drill. Photo credit: private US collection.
Disc harrow. Photo credit: private US collection.

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Old BP Toys from Denmark – Part I

By Karl Schnelle

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

Few collectors have heard of these toys because they are from a small company started by the three Petersen brothers (Brdr. Petersen in Danish), hence BP Toys (BP Legetøj)! Only later, as we will learn, was there a connection to the BP oil and gas company. An educated guess on when they operated was from 1945/6 to 1958 or 65.

The rest of these MAR Online articles are comprised of two articles written in Danish many years ago. They are kept separate even though they contain a lot of similar information because they both refer to one of the brother’s direct comments. As a piece of Danish toy history, these two articles are published here separately so no details are lost.

In the 1980s, our first author called one of the brothers on the telephone. The brother graciously decided to talk to him so the author went to his retirement home. This is the story he wrote down after their conversation.


By J-R. M. Bjerg

The following text and photos are copyright J-R. M. Bjerg.

Many Danish children have played with toys from BP in the past. Behind this name are hidden three brothers’ names: Svend Åge, Thorkild, and Christian Hanghøj Petersen, who together formed Brdr. Petersen or BP. [Ed.: Brdr. is short for Brødre, or Brothers in Danish.]

I have been in contact with Svend Åge and have heard a little about the background of BP. Shortly after the war, around 1946, the brothers began producing toys in Fredericia, DK. They started with one of the top sellers of the time; a Ford V8 coupe. This model was distributed in the beginning by a local toy wholesaler, Mrs. Holm. Later, the negotiations were taken over by seven larger toy wholesalers. since the model was well received by both shops and children. Thus, the basis for increased production was set.

Ford V8 articulated Shell tanker, short tanker, and dropside truck. BP gas pumps in the back.

The factory then moved to new and larger premises behind the property at Kirkestraede 16, Fredericia. Here the factory installed three casting machines that were purchased in Svendborg. These could each produce 150-200 castings per hour. The machines were used extensively up to 16 hours a day. BP used the well-known zamak 410 (a zinc alloy called mazak in Great Britain). At 425-450 gr. per casting, this zamak alloy was the most suitable material, since model body castings would appear solid without seeming heavy or clumsy.

One little story worth noting is that BP tried to make a new model of a tractor, a Ferguson; however, it had already been launched by another company [Ed: Tekno made a small metal Ferguson; the less-known Molberg (Lion) made a small Massey Ferguson in metal as well; and Lego made a large, plastic Ferguson starting in 1951]. BP abandoned this model to make a Massey Harris instead. Here one has to say that the BP tractor had an advantage. BP produced several implements; in addition to a plow and cart, a disc harrow, harvester, seed planter and manure spreader were also made.

Helicopter, harvester, tiller, and tractor

In line with the demands of the time, a Ford V8 truck was also produced. Here BP worked with only one type of cab and undercarriage, after which they had a free hand to concentrate on what type of cargo bed could be mounted on the carriage frame. Several different ones were made:
• small tanker truck, Shell or BP
• small dropside trucks
• semi with tanker, Shell or BP
• semi with dropside
• semi with dropside, Shell or BP

The latter semi held gas cylinders made from wood, with Shell or BP markings. These came in big sacks from a wood factory in Aarup.

Race car, two King Christian X’s, and Montgomery

From BP, some great models of motorcycles also appeared. In April 1949 came a Nimbus with sidecar, a small flatbed or single. In 1955 came an Ariel with sidecar, flatbed, or single. [Ed: The flatbed in place of a sidecar were a common way to transport small items or boxes at that time in Denmark.] The well-known Quickly moped was also made but with extra finesse: a kickstand was added!

Toy iron , Quickly moped, and two Montgomery’s

Another interesting little story is that BP invited the neighborhood children for an ice cream at the factory and then gave them plenty of time to choose one toy in the color they preferred. It usually was the red color that won victory. Thus, most of the BP toys were painted red! In the post-war period, it was also difficult to obtain good colors, so some of the cars were painted in nail polish, which Svend Åge purchased in milk jugs, weighing approx. 40 kg each. With this, the models were painted.

The name BP soon became known to the oil company of the same name, and so they initiated a collaboration with the brothers. Therefore, Svend Åge went to Kobenhavn and made an agreement with BP, for the company to subsidize advertising on their packaging. The idea was so good that Svend contacted Shell and made an agreement with them also. The deal was that Shell paid for the transfers on the tanker trucks, gas pumps, and gas bottles.

Ford V8 coupe, dolls’s head, and farm tractor implements

At an exhibition in Kobenhavn, Svend met Egon Siegemfeldt and was invited to see the Tekno factory, but his visit was cancelled for lack of time.

Alongside BP’s own production, there was also time for other things. They produced an unknown number of airplanes by special order, so these did not come with the name BP on the bottom. The planes were a kind of fantasy machine inspired by the comic book Jens Lyn (Ed: Flash Gordon in Danish!). Also, an unknown number of doll heads the size of an adult’s fist were also made; again the name BP was not used.

Jens Lyn airplane and Shell articulated trailer

Shortly thereafter, BP sold their tools, molds and one casting machine to another workshop that wanted to continue toy production, but it turned out that it never really got started, unfortunately due to unknown reasons.

BP, no longer produced toys, switched over to making gas tanks for Danish mopeds such as Disella and others. In addition, the factory also produced gas-fired burners or stoves. The factory was finally sold in the 1960s and another chapter in Denmark toy history was over.

With thanks to Svend Åge Hanghøj Petersen, without whose help I would have never been able to write these words. If the reader has any further information, I would very much like to hear from you.


1955 press release:

BP Legetøj from Brdr. Hanghøj Petersen, Fredricia. Increasingly, their execution is top notch, which they deserve. especially the beautiful shiny lacquer, the extraordinarily careful scale modeling, and the detail work.

Right now, for the Season the factory has announced appealing new items: Ariel Motorcycle solo, with flatbed, or with sidecar, on sale respectively for Kr. 4.25 4.85 or 4.85 excl. tax. In addition, a tiny little Quickly Moped with kick stand, which the boys certainly wanted to see in our previous mopeds. The sale price here is Kr. 2.50 excluding tax. All BP goods are available through leading wholesalers.


The second article was written after this one and will be published as Part II.

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Modifying a Hot Wheels Ford Panel Van

By Luciano J. Pavloski

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

Long ago I was looking for a Ford F100 van from the 1950s in 1:43 scale, but there was only one option in this scale: a very expensive 1955 Durham Classics model. If it’s expensive in Europe, here in Brazil: with the current exchange rate and postage costs it is astronomically expensive. Besides, whilst Durham’s miniature is beautiful, it’s not very detailed.

Then one day I noticed photographs on the internet of a Hot Wheels 1955 “hot rod” model that I had never previously paid any attention to. Despite not being a well-known model, looking at the photographs I saw that it is very well modelled with good proportions. It was a shame that it was a hot rod when I collect miniatures of unmodified vehicles.

I found a cheap model on eBay without difficulty and I bought it. Interestingly, it was manufactured in 1999 and came in its original sealed plastic packaging. It was nice to take a brand new model out of the box after 20 years! There were even some yellowish adhesive tapes and elastic that had dissolved over time.

Compared with Yat Ming after completion

The Hot Wheels model reproduces the original vehicle very well and is in the correct scale when placed next to a Yat Ming pick-up and both have the same dimensions. The hood opens showing an all-chrome engine, except for the radiator. The wheels and tires are much larger at the rear, as befits a hot rod. The headlights are clear plastic and the interior (all in beige) has some non-original features. The steering wheel and sports seats are ‘after market’ items. The windshield wipers are moulded into the shell.

An interesting feature of the model is that the front section, including the doors, is moulded separately from the rest of the body and attached to it by rivets. That’s because Hot Wheels also produced models of the F100 pick-up at the same time and used the same front on both models.

Ok so that is the Hot Wheels model in its original state. But I had something else in mind: a red van with the original factory features.

The first step was to disassemble everything to remove the paint. Glass and dashboard are fastened by rivets and this is always the hard part when dismantling diecast models. Once everything was broken down to parts I could remove the original paint from the painted parts with paint stripper, and then paint it with red paint over white primer.

Luckily I already had the parts needed for the transformation in my scrap box. The wheels were replaced by those from a 1951 Ford F1 pickup from Ixo (Part of the Brazilian car collection). Greenlight also produce the pick up from the same mould.

The engine in the original was an uprated one, so I sanded some parts, removed the large carburettor, and replaced it with parts from a Ford BB157 1934 truck from Unique Replicas. I painted the engine block in blue and added two bars made with wire in the engine bay, because that exists in the original van. I hope that this is visible in my photographs.

Inside I replaced the seats and the sports steering wheel with others a closer match with the original ones. I painted the dashboard and interior of doors in red and the bench seat in brown.

Outside the mirror is the original, but I replaced the plastic rod with a metal one. The hood emblem was laser printed on glossy paper. The grille and bumpers were painted white. Before painting I masked the “V8” emblem and the indicator lights with adhesive tape to retain the chrome on these parts.

And that was it! It took some work, but it cost a seventh of the price of a Durham model and it has more details. I am pleased to add this to my collection.


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The Ford in Miniature – Ford Sierra

By Dave Turner

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

“Man and Machine in Perfect Harmony” –  Sierra

After twenty years of the extremely successful Cortina, Ford produced its replacement in September 1982 in the shape of the Sierra. Its aerodynamic form was soon dubbed “jelly mould” and it came  initially in either a five door hatchback or an estate. The Sierra was aimed squarely at the fleet and family market, in fact the early strap line in the heading above was soon changed to  “One Of The Family” to reflect this intention.

Compared to the replaced Cortina this new car was around the same size but roomier inside while possessing greatly improved ride comfort and being described at the time as a gigantic step forward – it was also significantly more expensive. The old layout of front engine, rear drive was continued  and the engines were carried over from the Cortina – the ‘Pinto’ 4 cyl  1300, 1600, 1800 and 2000, and at the top end the V6 in 2300 and 2800 while a Peugeot 2.3 litre diesel was also available.      

The wide choice of models started with a basic Standard no-frills  car and rose through ‘L’, ‘LE’, and  ‘GL’ to the well equipped Ghia with several changes throughout the Sierras ten year run. An attractive three door hatchback was sold in the UK for a short time but was more popular in Europe, while the 3 door XR4i debuted in January 1983 but unlike the regular 3 door this 2.8 V6 powered sports version featured an extra division in the rear side window in addition to a big bi-plane rear spoiler. The early low end models featured a dark grey coloured plastic front panel that incorporated a slatted grille, while the Ghia had a much more attractive smooth panel between the headlights that was gradually applied to the lower rank Sierras so that by 1986 only the base model continued to feature the slatted grille – albeit now painted body colour…..and this model was discontinued by the following year. 

By 1984 the Ghia and XR4i featured those distinctive “Pepperpot” alloy wheels, subsequently adopted by the  new 2.0iS in the following February while a month later a 4 wheel drive XR 4×4 five door hatch replaced the original three door version. Several ‘Specials’ were offered during the Sierras run starting with the Laser in 1984 and continuing with the Laser II in November 1985, Estate Special June 1986,  Chasseau Estate March 1989, 1.8 Chasseur May 1991, Fresco and Quartz  September 1991 and Azura 1.6 May 1992. Model juggling continued to baffle followers including 2 litre Ghia in February 1986, and a new level LX a month later in most of the 4 cylinder engined forms.  

Another new model came in June 1986 – the 2.0i with its ‘Pepperpot’ wheels and of course there was the three door Cosworth that burst on the scene in July 1986 – the latter was described in this column in MAR 77 magazine back in March 1996. Meanwhile the mainstream Sierra was given a new relation in the shape of the 4 door Sierra Sapphire in answer to the UK competition from the booted Vauxhall Cavalier and the Montego. The three box shape gave this addition a quite different character to the hatchback version we had all got familiar with and came with engine sizes 1.6,  1.8,  2.0,  and 2.3 Diesel with choices  of trim level from ‘L’ through ‘LX’ ‘GL’  ‘GLX’ and Ghia. A recent article on this car in this series of articles may be found here.

The regular Sierra wasn’t left out on all the excitement as several subtle styling changes were carried out including new bumpers with re-shaped adjoining body work. For example the front of the bonnet was modified to extend down almost to the bumper. Deeper door windows and re-shaping of the rear lights – for example the wrap around part of the indicator is now less angled.  Another revised model appeared in October 1988 when the XR 4 x 4 got the German 2.9  V6 in place of the old 2.8 unit and that same 2.9 came in a new 4 x 4 GLS Estate in April 1989.

More confusion in February 1990 when the range labels were revised,  ‘Laser’ now being applied to what had been the ‘L’  while going up from there were ‘LX’  ‘GLX’  ‘GLS’  Ghia and XR 4 x 4.  In October 1991 the interior was revised with a re-jigged facia and then another new variation arrived in February 1992 with the 2.0GT

December 1992 was the end of Sierra production during which 1,270,000 examples were produced. In addition to the amazingly complex variety of what are regarded as the mainstream examples, many interesting offshoots of the Sierra story include the various 6 and 8 cylinder examples on the South African scene as well as the P100 pick ups, to be covered in an article soon, while Lincoln/Mercury dealers in the US and Canada sold the Merkur XR4 Ti for five years from late 1984 featuring a 2.3 turbocharged ohc version of the old Pinto unit. 

Models of the Sierra seem to consist mainly of contemporary toys in various sizes although just a few very nice handbuilt  miniatures have appeared in later years.

Models:   Starting with the XR4i :-

Among the toys at the time of the real car was a radio controlled XR4i in plastic from Asahi on their Atcomi label. It captures the shape quite well but proportions are a bit out – based on its length, it is a  scale 6” too wide.

Being a bit on the tubby side seems to be quite a common fault with toy Sierras, they possibly looked a tad strange if scaled out exactly but another example came from Argentina under the Buby name. It scales out to around 3” too wide but for a toy is quite reasonably detailed, the lower  section in plastic is no doubt shared with their companion toy hatchback. 


Another over-wide  (by around 7 scale inches) contemporary toy is the tin remote control XR4i
from Spain on the EGE label. The example to hand seems to have lost the bi-plane spoiler that simply clips over the rear screen. Various versions of this were achieved by printing various designs on the painted tin shell….such as ‘Police” or competition numbers.

Ertl took the over-wide thing to extremes with their 1:14 plastic remote control XR4i  as it scales out to no less than 10” extra in that department making the overall appearance a bit of a caricature. It is possible of course that it was intentional to prevent constant flip-overs by over enthusiastic remote control ‘drivers’ as stability would be a problem in that case with a correctly proportioned model.

Edocar is just one of a selection of toy XR4is  that feature the same diecast upper body and plastic base and lower sides/bumpers etc but carry various names on the base. Between them there must be an endless variety of colours and finishes. The Edocar like the rest is too wide in relation to length but otherwise the shape and detail are quite acceptable for toys. Their XR4i remained in their catalogue through 1992 but had disappeared 2 years later. Those marked MC Toy are variously marked as made in Macau and others in China. Some are marked ‘Merkur XR4Ti’ and others  simply ‘XR4Ti’ on the bonnet. Another example is identical apart from having the Maisto logo on the base but no country of manufacture mentioned.

Spain had quite a few toy makers, Guisval being among them and three sizes of XR4i can be found bearing that label. Their 1:60 offerings lack the bi-plane spoiler, one to hand is still in its sealed packaging and proves this. Their 1:42 version comes with plastic bi-plane fixed over the rear screen. Both feature opening doors in true toy fashion. Various versions of their 1:32 examples come as stock XR4i plus competition and NASA decoration. Another model XR4i from Spain came from Guiloy who produced it in 1:20 and  is in fact closer to a model than a toy despite featuring opening bonnet and doors quite tidily. It also sports Pepperpot style wheels. those at the front being steerable.  

Yet more tubby XR4is from Spain came from the MIRA range of diecast toys and despite their girth are quite recognisable although featuring rather prominent wheel arches and an under bumper bib-spoilers. Some example possess correct Pepperpot wheels while others feature wheels with ten holes rather than the correct eight.   

Matchbox produced a 1:58 XR4i in the UK during 1983 and went on to have them produced in Macau – unfortunately the latter has “XR 4 x 4” decals on the sides – obviously incorrect. Like most others they feature plastic lower sides/bumpers and base although these are separate components. Also from Matchbox for 1983 in their bigger Kingsize Series comes a larger 1:35 XR4i and apart from the opening doors, its construction is exactly the same as the smaller version. 

Competitors for Matchbox were Mattel from Italy with their Hot Wheels and they did a 1:42 XR4i  as well as a 1:32 version. Its ‘Speed Wheels’ emphasise their toy intentions but at least a simple form of fixing the steerable wheels one way or the other added to their play value. Looking very similar are the Mebetoys XR4is, also from Italy it’s likely that it was a shared project.

Another Italian entry came from Polistil in 1:25 and is closer to model than toy, and can boast correct proportion between length and width. Correct wheels add to the overall realism, in fact the only real complaint is the rather rough surface of the some of the castings beneath the paint.  

Scalextric illustrated racing XR4is in their 1984 catalogue but these were never issued but this range went on to produced the Cosworth 3 door. A slot XR4i was however produced in the smaller 1:47 but the example to hand lacks any form of identification on its base or inside as dismantling in an effort to find any id proved fruitless. 

One from France now with the nicely proportioned 1:43 Solido  spoiled only by the wheels that feature a vague interlaced ‘spoke’ pattern and are probably shared with various other contemporary  Solido models. This remained in their catalogues throughout the mid 1980s but was missing by 1989. Their close relation Verem also listed an XR4i and is likely to be the same thing marketed under the alternative name. A Verem sales sheet including the XR4i was reproduced in MAR magazine 14 –  Summer 1985.

The most recent, and probably among the most accurate are the Vanguards models, starting with a red finished example a variety of colours have been subsequently offered. Nothing can be faulted on these,  – the proportions are exact and in addition they are almost the only miniature XR4is to feature right hand drive. 

Moving on to the inevitable ‘small blob’ section, a Far Eastern operation under the Tai Cheong  banner produced some very small toy XR4is that minimise some of the detail but are still recognisable as an XR4i. Yet another in this category comes without any id on its base but an entry in the ‘master list’ has just one unaccounted for under the S & J name so this may be concluded to be it. Over the years the plastic has developed a few small  warp-ages. 

More ‘Matchbox’ style toys came from Welly in China and they follow the pattern of all the other similar toys and as such are quite acceptable. As often the case subsequent issues had varying base markings, for example the name Welly is omitted and an extra ‘9’ pre-fixed on the catalogue number. 

Intended to accompany H0 scale model railways, the Wiking range of plastic 1:87 vehicles that were made in Germany included an XR4i that represents the real thing in this small scale in a quite acceptable way. This was in the Wiking catalogue from the early 1980s and well into the 1990s.

Among the most satisfying miniature XR4i was the plastic kit from Tamiya that makes into an excellent model of the car, complete with steerable front wheels and opening sunroof. Its only drawback is the delicacy of parts like the mirrors that fall off almost simply by looking at them!….that could down to the ineffective way this builder assembled them!

Ford Sierra XR4i models

Double click to enlarge

Illustrations  Models of Ford Sierra XR4i
Asahi  1;22  plastic radio controlled from Hong Kong; RC 843R
Buby 1:56 diecast from Argentina;  1250
EGE 1:24  tin remote controlled from Spain: 119.
Ertl 1:14 plastic radio controlled from Hong Kong: 4767.
MC Toy 1:57 8441 (left) and Edocar  1:57 49 (right) diecast from Macau.
MC Toy 1:57 (left) and Maisto 1:57 (right) diecast from China.
Guisval 1:42 diecast from Spain: 323
Guisval 1:60 diecast from Spain; 101, the white example sealed in packaging shows no bi-plane spoiler.
Guiloy 1:20 diecast from Spain: 65540
Matchbox 1:35 diecast from UK: K100
Matchbox 1:58 diecast from UK (left) 55: and (right) Macau : 55 
MIRA 1:26 diecast from Spain 1503:  incorrect wheels – too many holes.
MIRA 1:26 diecast from Spain 1503:  correct wheel pattern.
Mattel Hot Wheels 1:42 diecast from Italy: 6102
Polistil 1:25 diecast from Italy: 2212.
Unknown make 1:66 plastic.
Solido 1:43 diecast from France: 1340.
Tai Cheong 1:69 diecast from China: TC 8834.
Vanguards 1:43 diecast:  12204 (left) and 12200 (right)
Welly 1:64 diecast from China: 98376 (left) and 8376 (right)
Wiking 1:87 plastic from Germany: 12204
Unknown make 1:47 plastic slot car:
Tamiya 1:25 plastic kit from Japan 2452   


Sierra Models

In 1988 a German operation called B S Design issued a huge range of solid resin car shapes in H0 scale possibly to accompany model railways or add to architectural design projects.  Apart from two steel axles and four wheels it was just the body, hardly a kit as such. their Sierra featured the early slatted grille and a single exterior mirror on the left side making it a lhd.

From a continually emerging range of model labels comes a very nice 1.6 Sierra Estate. This one is badged as Bos Models but very similar products come with a variety of names on their base such as Neo, Whitebox, Ixo, etc. This example features the early front end with slatted grille in body colour plus the bright strips in the side mouldings so we may deduce it represents a GL.

Recorded some time ago a miniature Sierra was listed in the Dana Johnson ‘Diecast Toys & Scale models’  (1998) under the Brand S label from Hong Kong. So far nothing has come to attention elsewhere answering this description.     

Looking decidedly chubby is the little smooth fronted 1:57 five door from Buby in Argentina. Like their XR4i this is excellent bearing in mind it was a toy, although the gap around the opening tailgate is inevitably slightly untidy but there is much worse out there.

Corgi’s Sierra is a story in itself. The model was developed alongside the real thing at Ford by the Mettoy Company as one of their last projects.  Large numbers were used as promotionals by Ford who had their own box design and it was badged  “2.3 Ghia” complete with wheels depicting the early Ghia pattern together with left hand drive. The rear hatch and the parcel shelf lifted up, while the front doors opened, albeit only the lower section. It is assumed that Ford were happy with the model being a scale 4” too wide! Corgi’s small 1:56 version had the front doors opening similarly and like the 1:36 version will have been issued in many colour variations. Some old Corgi Juniors were re-issued in the 1990s as Hot Wheels among them the Sierra. However in order to market this in the US it was labelled XR4Ti trying to represent the Merkur, which of course was a three door. An interesting presentation by Ford labelled “With Compliments Ford Fleet” came as a hollow 1:62 five door casting on a wood base, the casting having all the evidence  of being slightly scaled down from the smaller Corgi.

Looking just like the larger Corgi at first glance the Guisval 1:36 five door Sierra is in fact subtly different in that it features the early slatted grille at the front rather than the Ghia pattern on the Corgi plus the fact that it is not as wide and looks better for that. Most if not all come with competition decoration, this example displayed NASA stickers, which when removed revealed a extremely acceptable miniature Sierra. Smaller and also from Spain are the two Guiloy Sierras, of which both the three and five door versions have been produced. They are typical small toys of the period, and like the bigger Guisval feature opening front doors. 

In the odd-ball department must come the MIRA 1:60 scale 2 door convertible, it must be intended as some sort of competition vehicle as the interior sports just a single seat on the right side, despite there being no steering wheel. A much more satisfying ‘toy’ came from Majorette in France and while the gaps around the opening front doors are a tad unsightly it is otherwise very attractive with plastic inserts for front and rear lights and featuring the early slatted grille on the front panel. Their 1984 catalogue has it listed as simply Ford Sierra  by the time we reach the 1987/8 catalogues it is listed as both the Sierra and Ford Tempo, the latter no doubt another US sales ploy. 

Neo issued a fine pair of early Sierras in both GL and Ghia form, each possessing all the necessary small detail for early examples of such as the slatted grille front on the GL and smooth pattern on the 2.3 Ghia accompanied by the correct wheel trims on each. 

Siku marked their toy Sierra as  “2.3 Ghia” and it employed the same pattern of diecast body and  silver diecast base as the Majorette and both suffered the unrealistic feature of shiny silver bumpers as a result. While the French toy boasted opening front doors, the German Siku gave the kids an opening tailgate to play with and while shown in their catalogue throughout the mid 1980s it was always shown in red.

The smallest Sierra so far must be the sold metal Skytrex intended for use as scenic additions to N Gauge model railways.  It just recognisable by the distinctive side window layout as much as by anything else. 

Some confusion next – a 1:43 three door Sierra has the “Solido made in Portugal” markings on its base together with “No 1206” as well as “XR4i” – the latter is obviously incorrect. It doesn’t seem to appear in any mainstream Solido catalogue but looking on Google it appears several times both as three door and XR4i models – its base marking obviously causing confusion. The latter name is given to some of the three door examples – obviously wrong. However, the 1990 Verem catalogue shows an undecorated three door Sierra as number 741 but listed as “Marlboro”  and featuring a much deeper bib spoiler and more prominent side moulding around the wheels – competition style. At least the example available for this column provides an acceptable miniature three door that isn’t an XR4i or a Cosworth

A 1:36 plastic creation that looks like it could have been derived from the Corgi and features what looks like the outline that would accommodate a friction type motor on the front axle is marked  Transplastic  S A  on the base. Simple interior features just seats.

Another miniature that appears to have some Corgi features is the slightly smaller diecast item that has a pull-back motor on the rear axle. The plastic interior also looks to be a scaled down and slightly simplified version of the Corgi. The inevitable “Made in Hong Kong” is stamped into the base but no i.d. It could be one that came under the name Sport Runner.  

Ford Sierra Models

Double click to enlarge
Illustrations :- models of Ford Sierra
Transplastic 1:36 plastic from Spain.
Corgi  1:36 diecast from UK:  299
Guisval  1:36 diecast from Spain: 462
Sport Runner 1:43 diecast from Hong Kong.
Neo 1:43 resin from  China: 44296, Ghia
BoS 1:43 resin    43160:  Estate
Neo  1:43  resin from China: 44295: GL
Solido 1:43 diecast from Portugal: 1206  three door
Corgi 1:56 diecast from UK:129:  original Mettoy packaging
Corgi 1:56 diecast from UK: 129.
Buby 1:56 diecast from Argentina: 1070.
Majorette 1:57 diecast from France: 272.
MIRA  1:60 diecast from Spain: 206  convertible.
Hornby 1:76 plastic: R271.
BS Design 1:89 resin from Germany: 08
Skytrex 1:145 hollow metal from UK
Guiloy 1:55 diecast from Spain:61140.
Ford hollow cast  1:62 body on wood plinth.       

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De Agostini Dinky UK – Ford Vedette

By Maz Woolley

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

De Agostini French Dinky Toys #24 X

Ford Vedette 54

Although we are not following the DeAgostini Dinky collection in detail as we recorded the very similar collection from Atlas there have been a couple of models released by DeAgostini in the UK that were not part of the UK Atlas Dinky Collection and these are worth looking out for. All originally appeared in the Atlas French Dinky Collection series but were not issued in the UK series.

The Ford Vedette was a large family saloon car made by Ford SAF in Poissy in France from 1948 to 1954 when the French operations of Ford were bought up by Simca. It was powered by a side valve Ford V8 of 2.2 Litres derived from the unit used in pre-war Matford cars. The car was designed in Detroit and resembled early post-war Mercury models, a style that quickly dated when the three box style pioneered by Ford from about 1950 took hold.

After SImca took over the company a new version of the Vedette was launched which had been developed under Ford’s ownership and which gave the car an up to date American style similar to that used for the Taunus in Germany and Mark II Fords in the UK. Thsi was mostly sold as a Simca Vedette, but was badge as a Ford fro a few years in some overseas markets like Sweden, Netherlands, and Germany.

DeAgostini have replicated this model in blue as is shown on one side of the box. This model replaced the earlier Dinky Vedette 24 Q with the rear end well updated to the 1954 model but other parts of the model still showing 1953 features.

The 1954 update was issued in the blue shown and in grey and they were sold from 1954, the last year that the real vehicle was produced, until 1956. From 1956 to 1959 the casting was re-issued as a taxi.

The DeAgostini replica is made for them by Norev in China and the finish of the paint is so good that no original Dinky ever shone like that, and the silver work was never so neatly applied on the original either. However the model does capture the original car and model well.

The nice white tyres as fitted by Dinky France at the time of the original being made look model look very jaunty.

Although it has not been highlighted in silver the Ford V8 badge on the bonnet has been moulded neatly into the mould.

The original model captured the Vedette well and the replica does not disappoint. It is unglazed as the originals would have been and is a nice contrast to the contemporary UK Dinky models like the Standard Vanguard or Triumph Renown. Like the UK models this model has no scale marked on its base though it looks to be around 1:43 scale.