Category Archives: Lamborghini

Trip Report – 1/43 and Others in Italy, Part II

By Karl Schnelle

Continuing my car journey across northern Italy started in Part I

After being inundated with Ferraris in Modena and Maranello, we moved out into the Italian countryside. The Maserati museum collection was sold in the 1990s when they went through a restructuring, but a private collector saved it with the help of the local government.  It is open to the public at his dairy farm.  Cows and cars – what a combination!  A side benefit is that you can also taste and buy their cheese!   Inside the museum, I could not get close enough to his 1/43 display cabinet, but he had a few Masers in there!

The original highlight of this trip, the reason I signed up, was a visit to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo.   Ever since I had my 1976 Alfetta, I have wanted to visit.  Then in 2011, it closed down and I was bummed out.  Re-opened in 2015, it was back on my bucket list!

A funny story – I walked over to the Carabinieri in the Subaru and asked if they had any Alfas in their fleet.  One of the four said they have one in Milano, but he never got to drive it!  I guess they were parked there in the back to be on call if needed.  It was a big day at the museum because the 400 classic cars of the Mille Miglia were passing by out front!

After the overload at the museum, we headed to Lake Como for a little non-car downtime. That meant time for me to search out any model shops.  Just 5 minutes from the hotel was this jam-packed store.   Previously, the one in Bologna was already closed, the one in Maranello was at 3-hour lunch, and the two in Milano were closed on Sunday like every store, so I was happy to get to at least one store during business hours.  Many 1/43 Alfas were examined, but none that I needed…  Prices were about the same as the internet in the US, but it’s always nice to see them in-person and up-close.

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Up next was the second private collection:  really amazing ‘Pebble Beach’ quality Alfas and Lancias in a nondescript warehouse outside Milan.

For some reason, the owner had a case of 1/43 Gulp handbuilt Alfas there.  Perhaps, they are there because they made his rare Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Carrozzeria Aprile!

By happy coincidence, the private Vespa museum was nearby and the owner was around to open it up for us.  It pays to have a tour guide who speaks Italian. Of course, he had the requisite partworks in his display cabinets.  There must have been 100s of full scale mopeds on display above his Vespa parts business.

Next day, it was off to Turin to stay at the ex-Fiat factory at Lingotto.  Their 1923 test track is still on the roof!  Did you happen to see the original Italian Job?

A short walk from factory is perhaps the best automobile museum in Europe, the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile.  Redesigned in 2011, it is a fun place for any car guy or girl to visit.  But why do they have a boxed Dinky Toy BMW Isetta;  Dinky never made one!  I think they previously had ‘Dinky’ 24L Vespa 400 in there that must be out on a temporary exhibit somewhere!

The other 1/43 mystery was why they had a large Brooklin Model display.  After further investigation, the new silent partner (or owner) at Brooklin is Nicola Bulgari, and two of his newly-restored American cars are on display in this Turin museum now!

Another fun display is the new Fiat 500 covered with >500 500s!  I think they are 1/55 Majorettes…

And finally because our esteemed Editor has been writing a lot about Atlas and DeAgostini lately, we zipped by this place on the A4 Autostrada on the way back to Malpensa airport to end our long, glorious trip.

I hope that these two posts has not been too much for you.  However, if you would like more details or photos from anywhere we visited, please let me know via the contact info below. Arrivederci!


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Trip Report – 1/43 and Others in Italy, Part I

By Karl Schnelle

I have been home from Italy a couple weeks now and just got my 500 car photos organized.   It was a trip of a lifetime, I have said several times!  The Alfa Romeo Owners Club (USA) had organized a tour of Italy, and I happened to see their ad.  I immediately signed up and then asked my wife.  Not as bad a mistake as you may think, as she happily added on four extra days (with absolutely no car activities)!

The plan was to see the Alfa Romeo Museum (naturally), the Ferrari museum, the private Maserati museum, Lamborghini factory, Ducati factory, and 2 private collections.   In hindsight now, I don’t know which was more amazing.  Perhaps that we timed it just right to be at the start of the Mille Miglia was the highlight!  [Click to enlarge the photos,]

I did hunt out some model car stores and looked for any 1/43 Alfas to add to my collection, but that was really low priority compared to all the other sights to see!  What follows then is a photo travelogue of some of my model car sightings over the ten-day trip.

We started our tour with two factory tours near Bologna (‘no photos please’); both Ducati and Lamborghini had museums attached to their factories.  The Ducati gift shop had lots of nice motorcycle models for sale, but I am more of a car guy. Lambo strangely had no gift shop or models for sale.

Next stop was a private collection at a farm out in the countryside, truly amazing pre and post-war cars. mostly Italian.

We had time for an extra stop in Modena at the Museo Casa Enzo Ferrari.  They had a nice 1/43 display of Enzo’s first workshop – when he worked for/on Alfa Romeos!  Is that a Brumm Bugatti out front???

In the display cases were two vintage, large scale models: a Ferrari liquor container and a Maserati wind tunnel model.

The next day we were off to Brescia for the start of the Mille Miglia.  While we were there, we also saw the Mille museum.  They had a few 1/43s for sale, but had 2 full cases of 1/43 Mille cars inside the museum: handbuilts on wooden bases as well as the Italian Hachette Mille partworks series!

Later we also went to the Ferrari museum in Maranello near the current factory.  A recreation of Enzo’s office had a few 1/43s on his cadenza.

My favorite full scale might have been this gorgeous 250 Europa.

In the F1 room, they had a whole wall of 1/43 Ferrraris.  Here is the middle section.

Their gift shop was stocked with high end, handbuilt 1/43s. At that price, they could be BBR, MR, or Looksmart, or even better!

Of course, just go across the street to an independent store if you want more reasonable prices for the same cars!

I’ll take a break now and post Part II later.  Hopefully this has not been too many photos all at once.   If you would like more details or photos from anywhere we visited, please let me know via the contact info below.  Ciao…


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News from the Continent March 2018 – Schuco

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All photographs copyright of the manufacturer. Text copyright of the Author.

This article shows releases from Schuco during the first three, months of 2018 across a number of scales and ranges. All are diecast in China for Germany.

CLASSIC

 

450178200 Micro Jet “Super Sabre F100” assembling box

Piccolo

450143300 Cadillac ´54 “Happy Birthday 2018”

450510700 VW Scirocco “Model of the Year 2018 in tin box”

 

Edition 1:87

 

452627800 Porsche 356 Cabriolet – blue

452631500 Volkswagen T1c Pickup with canvas cover – blue

Military 1:87

452636800 Bell UH HD helicopter “Heer(army)”

 

Edition 1:64

 

452015400 Volkswagen T1 Bus “Police”

452015500 Volkswagen T1 box van “VW Service”

452015600 Mercedes-Benz /8 saloon – dark red

452016100 Volkswagen T1 box van “Fire brigade”

452016200 Volkswgen T1 Bus “#53 Rally”

It is hard to believe that someone might place the rally numbers of the legendary Beetle Herbie on a transporter!

 

Edition 1:43

 

450256800 Volkswagen Split Window Beetle 1953 with roof rack

This models a 1953 split rear window Volkswagen with the correct triangular air vent windows in the doors. But has air intakes in the sides in front of the A-pillars which is from a 1951 version of the Beetle. This has been pointed out to Schuco in the past but they resist all calls for changes to be made.

450330300 Volkswagen T3 “Joker” Campingbus with trailer, loaded with a BMW Isetta.

450256900 Porsche 356 Cabriolet “Edition 70 Years of Porsche” – beige

Edition PRO.R43

 

450887800 Porsche 911 (993) Speedster – red

450887900 Porsche 911 (993) Cabriolet – grey

450891900 Porsche 911 Coupe – green

Edition PRO.R43

 

450895300 Porsche Master tractor – red

450902800 Lamborghini 2241 R tractor

450902700 Hürlimann DH6 tractor – red

Edition 1:32

 

450772200 John Deere 7710 tractor

450781000 IHC 1255XL tractor – red

450776000 John Deere Harvester 1270G 6W – green

450780300 Hanomag Robust tractor with fairground trailer


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Readers Letter

Notes from another Lamborghini Lover

 

Further to the article on Lamborghini by Mick Haven of the South Hants Model Auto Club I would like to add a few comments/recollections.

As a late teenage boy from a small town in Gloucestershire I was absolutely bowled over at the first sight of the lime green Miura on the front of the Telegraph Magazine at the time of the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. I just had to learn as much as possible about this amazing ‘Supercar’ as it had been described by Car Magazine.

A trip to London by train specifically to visit Lamborghini Concessionaires in Alie Street, in London E.1. was called for. Mick Haven’s description brought the showroom back life. Unlike MIck’s my visit was made during the working day either late morning or early afternoon.

From memory I recall that there was no sales person around to speak to when I arrived. An inspection of the two cars revealed them to be a 400GT and…. a dark blue Miura with white interior. I learned that the Miura belonged to the Shah of Iran and was stored for him in London. The ski rack attached to the roof was for when he came to Europe in the winter to go skiing in Europe!

Before I left the showroom I was allowed to have an official brochure for the 400 GT2+2 and the Miura! A great finish to the day. I still have those brochures today. In autumn 1968 when I learned that the Miura S was to follow on from the P400 I wrote a letter to Alie Street enquiring when would they expect to have the ‘S’ in their showroom. I was amazed to get a reply on a postcard with a red Miura on the front from them saying they had no delivery date as yet. I still have that postcard too!

I only caught up with Lamborghini again in the late 1970s when I started working in London. They were imported by Porsche GB handled by Portman Garages in St George’s Square, W.1. I’d missed the Whyteleafe and Lower Thames Street chapters but met Del Hopkins who ran the servicing side of Lamborghinis out at a separate premises in West London.

My 1:43 die cast Lamborghini collection is of approximately 350 items and still growing. My brochure collection complements it and features factory catalogues up to Aventador.

Last year’s Salon Privé at Blenheim celebrated 50 years of the Miura and starred the 1968 Brussels Motor Show Miura Spyder. That was a must see. If the opportunity should ever arise I recommend a visit to the Lamborghini Factory Museum and the Tonino Lamborghini Private Museum. An eBay auction recently produced a large Lamborghini Factory produced poster for dealers showrooms showing Espada, Countach and Urraco which I’d only ever seen hanging on the wall of Tonino’s Museum.

The lime green ‘Twiggy’ Miura that Mick wrote about can be seen at various car events, and the lady who owns it has a LM002 which appeared at Brooklands Supercar Sunday this year.

Like Mick I’m a life long fan of the Lamborghini marque.

Ian Hunt,
Redhill. Surrey.

By email

 

 

A Lamborghini “passione”

By Mick Haven

The Author shares why he has a passion for Lamborghinis. 

It is 1969 and I’ve got myself a steady girlfriend. So on a Saturday evening we go out riding around in my little black Standard 8. This is no ordinary Standard 8. It had 5½ Js on the back, Pirelli Cinturatos, fish fryer headlamp guards, a Standard 10 engine with an 8 head, no hub caps or bumpers, a stick on front number plate and a remote gear shift from a Triumph Herald sourced from a breakers. To make it fit, I cut, or hacked, a hole in the floor so as to match it with the original gearbox. Naturally, the hand brake had to be bent around to the left to allow for the remote which sat between the seats. I digress.

On the night in question, we set off for London, a trip of about fifteen to twenty miles from home in Dagenham, Essex. We eventually found ourselves in Aldgate, at the top end of Commercial Road in London E.1. The road split here at a set of traffic lights. To the right it went via Aldgate High Street to Leadenhall Street, Cornhill and on to the heart of the City of London, i.e. The Bank of England. Taking the left fork, would take the motorist along a little street called Alie Street, to Tower Hill and across Tower Bridge to ‘sarf of the river’, the Thames that is. Many of the buildings in Alie Street still bore the scars from the intensive bombing in World WarTwo. As we turned into Alie Street, we saw on the left a small petrol station, with a forecourt and  some National Benzole pumps standing on a raised concrete island. Ok, there was nothing unusual about that, National Benzole were as familiar then as were Esso, Shell and many others. It was what was on the other side of the island that stopped us in our tracks. There was a small uninspiring showroom, and inside were of all things, Lamborghinis. We were speechless. We got out of the car and peered through the windows of the folding doors in disbelief at what we saw. Until then, a Lamborghini was a picture in magazine, or something to drool over at 1960s Earls Court Motor Shows.

Yet here they were in all their glory, albeit as untouchable there as had been at Earls Court. I believe the first one which jumped out at us was a Miura in lime green. Behind it, if memory serves me correctly, was an Islero and possibly a 400GT. The love affair with them started right there. It became a Saturday night pilgrimage, and subsequent visits saw most of the Lamborghini models of the period, the Espada, the Islero, and on one occasion a Miura in dark blue, with white leather, in right hand drive! How rare was that. But was it that one, or an orange one or the lime green one? Time sadly clouds the memory, but there definitely was one. Other colours in the range were also spotted as time went by, until they eventually moved out of there to South Godstone in Surrey, a far more acceptable setting for such stunning motors.

Around about 1970, CAR magazine ran an advert offering for sale a Lamborghini driving jacket. It probably wasn’t of course, but it did have a stick on Lamborghini patch. I had to have one, and I’ve still got it, the patch that is, not the jacket. I didn’t see Lamborghinis again until they came back to London, W.1 in the late 1970s, where I remember riding past and seeing through the showroom window, the huge presence of a red Countach. Ironically, of all the Lamborghinis I’ve had a passion for, one model which stands out is the Marzal shown at Earls Court in 1967. A concept car, it never went into production, there was only one ever made, finished in silver, and when it came up for sale in 2011, it sold for 2 million US Dollars. The car was almost certainly the catalyst for the Espada, and the likeness is obvious. Various model manufacturers have made a model of it, e.g. Matchbox, Dinky and various others, all of whom produced it in a myriad of ridiculous colours, all except the right one, all of which are totally wrong, and are an insult to it. The example I have is a Polistil in white, which although wrong, is at least passable, as in some shades of light, the car may have looked white when photographs were taken prior to production. All other aspects of the model are superb. The Veneno is courtesy of Whitebox and represents good value for money.

There is in existence, a 1969 ‘G’ registered right hand drive lime green Miura, which turns up at various motoring events. It is, or was then, owned by a lady from north London and apparently she drove it daily around her locale. What’s surprising about that?

Our club (South Hants Model Auto Club) displayed frequently at Classics at the Castle at Sherborne. At the 2014 event, there it was. Thinking it was the car from Alie Street all those years before, I got talking to the owner who let me sit in it. If getting in and out of it wasn’t hard enough, how on earth did she manage to push the clutch pedal down the number of times that would be necessary in the traffic of north London, an area I knew well. It was “sooo” hard. I had sat in one before at the former Chelsea Auto Legends, another of our club days out. The clutch was the same, as were both owner’s response’s to my questions about driving it. “Oh you get used to it”. It later transpired that the Sherborne Miura wasn’t ‘that car’. I wrote an article about the show for Model Collector, with a picture of the car and added my thoughts about its history, concluding that it must be, based on, “how many right hand drive Miura’s are there”, of that year, and in lime green too? “Could this be the same car,” I asked? Why didn’t I ask her about its history? Who knows. Then by sheer luck, a reader saw the article and responded. Evidently, the car was known as ‘the Twiggy car’, due to it being owned by Nigel Davies, aka Justin de Villeneuve, Twiggy’s manager. And may also have been owned by a certain B. Ecclestone. It was originally white, was left hand drive, and had been converted and resprayed ‘Pistachio’ green. It was not the car I had seen over forty years before. Nevertheless it was great to see it there. I then saw it again at the London Racing Car Show at the ‘Ally Pally’ last year. Unfortunately, it’s owner couldn’t be traced.

Having joined South Hants Model Auto Club, I joined with other members in putting on displays of models at various motoring events, predominantly in the south of England. At the same Classics at the Castle event, the Lamborghini owners club arrived in convoy. Shortly before that event we had been invited to visit Bill Shepherd Mustangs in Weybridge. With that in mind I asked the organiser of the Lamborghini cavalcade if our club could pay a visit to his showroom. This we did. Not only were there Lamborghinis, but Bentleys and Aston Martins too. If there is such a thing as paradise in a high street, this was it. We were allowed to sit in any car which didn’t belong to a customer. What a day that was. The hardest part was deciding what colour we wanted! Supercars come and go, and everybody has their favourite, many people like more than one brand, and why not? I’m no different, but for me the number 1 supercar will always be Lamborghini.


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