Category Archives: Lancia

News from the Continent June 2019 – M4 Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

M4 Modelcars have three brands: Art Models, Best Models, and Rio. The models shown were scheduled for release in April and May and should available. All models shown are designed and diecast or made in resin in Italy to 1:43 scale.

April Releases

ART Models

ART207/2 Ferrari Dino S Coupe

Le Mans 24h 1966 – Salmon/Hobbs


ART403 Ferrari Dino 206 S

6th in Grand Prix of Brands Hatch 1966, 1st in class; Mike Parkes


ART404 Ferrari 166 Touring Barchetta

Winner of Palm Springs 1951 M.Lewis


BEST Models

BEST9743 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

Targa Florio 1969; drivers Maglioli/Pinto


BEST9744 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole 1982

In classic red.


RIO

RIO4596/P Alfa Romeo P3

Winner of Coppa Ciano 1932 – Tazio Nuvolari


RIO4597 Mercedes-Benz SSK

Mille Miglia 1932 – Broschek/Sebastian


RIO4598 Mercedes-Benz SSK

1st Grand Prix of Monaco 14.April 1929; Rudolf Caracciola 3rd.


RIO4599 Isotta Fraschini 8A Torpedo 1925

Blue with White bonnet accent


Releases May 2019

ART Models

Photograph supplied by M4 Modelcars to show car that the model is to be based on.
ART405 Ferrari 375 Plus

Winner of Carrera Panamericana 1954 – U.Maglioli . NB this model will be cast in resin.

BEST Models

Photograph supplied by M4 Modelcars to show car that the model is to be based on.
BEST9745 Ferrari 512 BB – Le Mans Classic 2010

Driven by Paul Knapfield


Photograph of car that the model will be based on
BEST9746 Ferrari 308 GTB Group 4

Winner of CI Vallelunga 1978 – Carlo Facetti


Photograph of car the model is to be based on supplied by M4 Modelcars
BEST9032/2 Porsche 908/03

Winner of 1000 km of Nurburgring 1970. Elford/Ahrens Jr.

Photograph of car the model is to be based on supplied by M4 Modelcars
BEST9132/2 Alfa Romeo TZ1

13th in Le Mans 194 – 1st in GT 1.6 Litre class – Businello/Deserti


RIO

RIO4600 Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B

Ruote gemellate 1935


RIO4601 Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B

Winner of Grand Prix of Montreux (CH) 1934. Carlo Felice Trossi (The racing debut of Alfa Romeo)


RIO4252/2 Alfa Romeo 1750 Berlina

Scuderia Ferrari 1932 – Chinese Red


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Mercury La Collezione Part Five

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we have three more models: #10 to #12, in the Mercury partwork collection being sold in Italy by Hachette.

Hachette no. 10 is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Bern taxi, a 1:48 scale model, based on the Alfa Romeo Giulietta already seen (Hachette n. 5, Mercury n. 17). This is in reality a 1956 or 1957 prototype of a model for the Swiss market, like the Fiat Nuova 1100 Bern taxi we have already seen (Hachette n. 3). The livery is red and yellow like the 1100, but it is slightly different. It is unknown how many prototypes were made, or why the model never reached production. Maybe the fact that the Giulietta was never used as a taxi in Switzerland might have played a part.


Hachette no. 11 is the Alfa Romeo 1900 Super, a 1:48 scale model (Mercury n.16) from 1955. Another simple model, just a painted shell on wheels, but very faithful to the real one. Available in many different colours, it was produced in three different “series”. Here Hachette has replicated the first one including features like the front lights made from small aluminium nails inserted into the body. It has no windows or interior, and is painted light blue. The Alfa Romeo 1900 was introduced at the 1950 Paris Motor Show, it was the first Alfa with a unitary body, the steering wheel on the left, and built on a “real” assembly line. It had a famous marketing slogan “The family car that wins races”. In 1951 the saloon was joined by a short wheelbase version. In 1954 the 1900 Super received a slightly larger engine and some small detail changes. It was produced until 1959, when it was replaced by the boxier 2000.


Hachette no. 12 is the Lancia Flavia first series, a 1:48 scale model (Mercury no. 31) from 1961. Like the Alfa 1900, the Flavia model was produced in three different “series”. Here it is replica of the first series with windows but no interior. It is painted a deep blue (almost green) colour and has very detailed rear lights. Later the model received seats and steering wheel, but some details were simplified. A very nice decal is used on the boot reproducing the model name badge with the same style of letters as the real one, the script on the baseplate is similar. The real Lancia Flavia was, like all the previous Lancias, a very innovative model: front-wheel drive, a four cylinder boxer engine, and all round disk brakes. It was introduced at the 1960 Turin Motor Show with a rather underpowered 1,500 cc engine, and a steep price. The Flavia was soon made available with a more powerful 1,800 cc engine, rather better suited to its size and weight. In 1962 the four-door saloon was joined by a coupé version by Pininfarina (reproduced by Mercury as no. 32), a convertible by Vignale and a Sport by Zagato. A new body design was presented in 1969, then in 1971 the “Flavia” badge was discontinued. Production lasted until 1974 when it was replaced by the Beta. Like the previous Aprilia, Ardea, Aurelia, Appia and Flaminia, the Flavia was named after a Roman road, the Via Flavia, leading from Trieste to Dalmatia.


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Pego Lancia Beta

By Maz Woolley

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

The Lancia Beta was a luxury car produced by Lancia shortly after they had been taken over by Fiat using much technology from Fiat stock rooms to bring the model to the market quickly. It was produced from 1972 to 1984. It was made in several styles but this article looks at a model of the fastback saloon which was sold as the Berline.

The car was well received by the motoring press for its quality fittings, comfort, space handling, and performance. Sadly, the first series of cars was exceptionally quick to rust so they depreciated badly and were the main factor in the decline of the Lancia brand in the UK. It is said that the cars used Soviet steel sent to Fiat in exchange for royalties to build the Lada, but as far as I know this has not been proven. Poor preparation and rust protection may also have played their part as this was the era of frequent strikes and poor build quality for many makers. Indeed so bad was the rust on relatively new cars that the UK Distributors were said to have bought back and crushed a significant number of the cars in an attempt to maintain brand loyalty.

The model is by Pego a brand that I had never heard of before and which does not seem to have a wide distribution outside Italy. The firms addresses are in Italy but I cannot find any web presence at all. They seem to have made only a few models, all of Italian cars, and all appear in multiple colours and some in rally, or rally assistance liveries too:

  • Alfa Romeo 90
  • Alfa Romeo 146
  • Alfa Romeo 33
  • Lancia Beta Berlina

Here we look at the Lancia Beta Berlina which is available in several colours and in rally assistance liveries. The model that we are looking at is in red. And as far as I can determine is the only version of the first generation Beta Berlina currently available in this scale. It is modelled to 1:43 scale and made in China with a diecast body and plastic base.

The model box and its fittings as well as the standard of the model suggests that it may have been made by Universal Hobbies for Pego. Perhaps in that case it has already appeared in a part work or may do so in the future. Though, unusually, the model has Pego moulded into the base rather than printed, and also printed on its plinth. This may mean that Pego has exclusive use of the moulding – we will see.

The Beta was an attractive car for a family saloon and the transverse front mounted engine made for a spacious interior and a large boot space. The model catches the overall shape of the body very well, though I think that the side windows are a little shallow. However this is difficult to determine as the car has the body printed silver window surrounds often also seen on Oxford Diecast models. Whilst this detracts less from the model in 1:43 scale it is still a shame as flush fitting widows would have been a much better solution.

The wheels are neat mouldings of the alloys fitted to the original car though they could have done with a darkened centre from the pictures of 1972 cars on the web.

The front grille is an excellent unit with separate light lenses inserted and though my photographs do not shown it clearly the Lancia Badge in the centre of the grille is nicely done. The front indicators in the bumper have not been mounted straight which is easily remedied with a careful push back into place. The windscreen wipers are plastic plated items produced quite finely and seem rather more realistic than some etched ones are.

At the rear we have nice separate lights, albeit that the fixing lug shows through too obviously. Curiously the rear number plate was not fitted to the car but attached by clear tape under the base. It would have been nice to have period authentic number plates printed front and rear but they are absent from this model. The Lancia badging which shows that this is a Beta 1800 LX is neatly printed on the boot lid.

Inside the model is a moulded tub in black with no details picked out. The dashboard and central console have been moulded in some detail and the door cards have the door furniture modelled in. A steering wheel is fitted with some moulding to it to match the real car. It is all is very difficult to see as the glazing unit is pretty thick.

Although model has some shortcomings it is a welcome addition to my collection. The original car sadly never lived up to its promise but hopefully my model will not rust as quickly!


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Mercury La Collezione – Part Four

By Fabrizio Panico

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

More Mercury by Hachette Parts 7 – 9

Here we have three more models, #7 to #9, in the Mercury partwork collection being sold in Italy by Hachette.

Hachette no. 7 is the Lancia Appia 1st series, a 1:48 scale model (Mercury no. 14) from 1955. As usual a simple model, but very faithful to the real one. The headlights are like small aluminium nails, inserted into the body, no windows or interiors are present, green livery. The real one was launched in 1953, smaller than the Aurelia
the Lancia flagship, but similar in outline. In 1956 the 2nd series was presented at the Geneva Motor Show, same front but a new rear body end with a more modern look. A coupé, by Pininfarina, and a cabriolet, by Vignale, were now available. In 1959 there was the 3rd series, with a new front, inspired by the Flaminia, the Aurelia’s successor (both were reproduced by Mercury, the 3rd series as no. 5, the Flaminia as no. 8).


Hachette no. 8 is the Mercedes W196 formula 1 carenata, a 1:43 scale model (Mercury no. 56) from 1956. Quite a heavy model, larger than the previous ones, and really faithful. It has a very nice front grille, painted in matt black with the “star” emblem. The driver’s seat is painted in blue, and the steering wheel is present. Racing numbers are added on the satin silver livery. The “carenata” was reproduced by many other brands, but Mercury was the only one to reproduce both versions, the “carenata” and the “cigar shaped” one (Mercury no. 55). Mercury also reproduced the “carenata” in 1:60 scale (Mercury no. 22).


Hachette no. 9 is the Autobianchi Bianchina, a 1:48 scale model (Mercury no. 6) from 1958. Another simple but very faithful model, very small (only 63 mm), and fitted with windows. In the beginning it was produced only in single colours, later it was presented in nice two-colours liveries (here light green and grey). All the details were carefully reproduced, down to even the smallest ones. The small box was enhanced by a colour reproduction of the car, whilst the model name “bianchina” was reproduced in the script used by the manufacturer on the car on both the box and the model baseplate.

The real Bianchina was the result of a joint agreement amongst Fiat, Bianchi and Pirelli: It was a success, and the car was followed by a cabriolet and estate “Panoramica” versions (the Panoramica was reproduced by Mercury as no. 11).


M4 Model Cars Italy March 2019

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

M4 Group in Italy both design and manufacture in Italy. Models are diecast to 1:43 scale unless stated otherwise.

February 2019 Releases

We start with the releases made in February across their ranges.

ART Models

ART400 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

As run at the Grand Prix of Luxemburg, Findel in 1949 – driven by Luigi Villoresi – R.R. Winner


ART401 Ferrari 857 S

As run at the 1000 km Paris/Monthlery in 1956 – 5th position driven by De Portago and Hill


BEST Models

BEST9738 Lancia Beta Montecarlo

This is a Group 5 test car Varano 1979 this was driven by Riccardo Patrese and has been issued in a limited edition of 79 pieces with figurine.


BEST9739 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1200 HF

As driven in the 1966 Monte Carlo Rally by Cella and Lombardini. It finished 5th over all and 1st in their class.


BEST9294/2 Ferrari 275 LM

A driven at the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1968 by M.Gregory and C.Kolb


RIO Models

RIO4588 Fiat 1500 – 1936

Here the existing Fiat 1500 Casting is fitted with a roof rack carrying skis and a container for their fittings.


RIO4589 Ford 999

As used in Baltimore in 1904 to set a world speed record by Henry Ford. This is one of the early speed record holders produced by Rio over the years.


RIO4590 Lamborghini Miura P400S 1969

Another release of the Muira 400S. Here painted gold.


RIO4591 Mercedes-Benz 20-35 Landaulet 1909

Here the model is based upon a car featured at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. However, the Rio product manager has had the name stated incorrectly. This car is a Daimler as it was produced before the company merger that formed Mercedes-Benz took place in 1926..


March 2019 Releases

ART Models

ART034/2 Ferrari Dino 246 SP

Here modelled as the winner of 1000 km Nurburgring 1962 driven by Hill and Gendebien.


ART402 Ferrari 212 Export

Here the car is finished as first in class winner and fourth in class and second overall at SCCA Pebble Beach in 1952 driven by A. Stubbs


BEST Models

BEST9740 Porsche Carrera Abarth

Finished as the car which finished 7th at the 12 hour race at Sebring in 1962 driven by Gurney and Holbert.


BEST 9741 Lancia Fulvia F&M Special HF

A very unusual open Fulvia as entered in the 1000 km at Nurburgring in 1969. It finished 1st in the 1.6 class driven by Munari and Aaltonen.


BEST9742 Ferrari 308 GTS 1980

The Best 308 GTS finished in the colours used in the US TV series Magnum.


RIO Models

RIO4592 Fiat 128 Rally 1971

Another release of the 128 Saloon from Rio. Here in a pale blue and in Rally trim level. Looking at the photograph I hope that production models are not as heavily painted as this as the shut lines seem to lack crispness on the photograph. The front sidelight created by simply tampo printing a silver square also looks like a compromise that reduces the quality of the model.


RIO4593 KdF (Volkswagen) Cabriolet

Here is a KdF modelled after the car given as a gift to Adolf Hitler on his 50th birthday on 20.April 1939. And accompanied by a period publicity photograph.


RIO4594 Fiat Balilla Ambulance car Africa 1935

This must have been of limited use as a military ambulance as it is a very short van body. It would also have been limited use off road as it was a conventional two wheel drive chassis.


RIO4595 Mercedes-Benz SSK

The Rio SSK casting here finished as a car that ran at Le Mans in 1932 driven by Foucret and Foucret. This wire wheels on this model reflect the age of the casting and need upgrading to meet current standards.


Merit 1:24 Scale Racing Car Kits

By Aldo Zana

All text, photographs and models by, and copyright of, Aldo Zana.
Reprinted with permission of VeloceToday.com on-line magazine
.

When the editor of Veloce Today was collecting Merit kits in the late
1950s, he could not have known that another writer-to-be was doing
exactly the same thing, at the same time, but in faraway Italy. His
Italian counterpart, Aldo Zana tells us all about these British models.

The whole range of the Merit 1:24-scale plastic kits assembled and painted in period liveries: mid-Fifties. Front line: British F1 and the Jaguar D-Type. Mid row: Italian F1 and Grand Prix racers and the Lotus 11. Rear row: French racers, Mercedes W196, Cooper 500 MkIX and Aston Martin DB3S.

It was hard times in the second half of the Fifties for European kids in love with Formula One and longing to become part of its world by collecting and playing with model racers. We Italians faced especially limited choices: the hard-to-find die-cast Nigam, the elusive Zax, or the old Mercury racers of the Forties: oddly scaled, with questionable faithfulness and tires fit for an all-terrain army truck. The rise of globalisation brought from the UK to the best Italian toy shops the die-cast Dinky Toys and the first Corgi Toys. The former listed obsolete F1/F2 single seaters of the early Fifties in its catalogue. Corgi featured more updated models of British production: however, merely two, already non-competitive in real life against our all-conquering Ferraris and Maseratis after Mercedes-Benz’ withdrawal in 1955. And they looked too small alongside the Dinkies and Mercuries. And then, out of the blue, cameMerit, although quite difficult to locate among the contemporary fast-growing and highly visible offerings of plastic (polystyrene) kits dominated by the leading US brands of Monogram, Revell, and Aurora.

Italian racers of the Forties and Fifties. From the left: Maserati 250F, Maserati 4CLT/48, Lancia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo 158.

In 1957 Merit produced precise 1:24 scale models of current Formula One protagonists: Lancia-Ferrari V8, Maserati 250F, Gordini T-16, as well as milestones of the pre-1952 F1 seasons: Alfa Romeo 158, Talbot-Lago T26, Maserati 4CLT/48 San Remo”. And thanks to a flurry of new offers in a few months’ span, we could also buy and build the emerging British single-seaters striving for the limelight after a decade of playing second fiddle to the Italians in the form of the Connaught B-Type “Syracuse” 1956, BRM P25 1956, and the Vanwall VW4 1956.

It became easier for Italian kids to become loyal to Merit’s growing offer of racing cars. The company enlarged its range with three sports car icons, all made in the UK: the well-known multiple winner
Jaguar D-Type, the lesser known Aston Martin DB3S and the as yet unknown Lotus Mk XI, a name on the verge of becoming a leader.

All British: the three sports cars in the series. From the left: Aston Martin DB3S, Lotus 11, and Jaguar D in Ecurie Ecosse livery.

The Merit kits came from a company called J & L Randall Ltd., based in the town of Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, north of London. They were all sold in a standard, nondescript box, the same for every model: small and unappealing at a time when competing US brands already showcased their products on box-lids with colourful and attractive art to win the prime spots in shop windows . The only way to select the right Merit kit was a small label glued on one of the narrower sides.

The Alfa Romeo 158 with the standard box in the background. The box was the same for every kit.

They were quite expensive for the period, too: 1,100 Liras, when
the average monthly salary of a worker was about 45,000 Liras.
By comparison, a Mercury die-cast model racer cost 180 Liras and a Dinky 230-250 Liras.

The kits were moulded in flawless plastic; the surface was so clean and regular that it was possible to skip painting the body. It wasn’t a simple task for a kid to smoothly hand brush the Humbrol enamels; airbrushes for modellers were still a long way into the future. The solvent used at that time by Humbrol allowed, nevertheless, a clean and uniform finish even when working with the brush.

The instruction sheet of the 4CLT/48 Maserati. The front side tells in short the history and the races of the real car, the back side presents a clear illustration of the easy assembly procedure.

Assembly was quite straightforward too: the body was split in two halves, top and bottom. Axles and driver seat had to be glued to the bottom half, other details (exhaust pipes, windscreen, dashboard, steering wheel) to the top section, before joining these two sub-assemblies. Each wheel/tire was moulded in two halves and the tire had to be carefully painted matte black. The spokes were a decal (transfer, in British parlance) to be applied on a little transparent celluloid disc, subsequently set onto the outside of the wheel prior to gluing the hub cap. The quality of the decals was only fair and I preferred to avoid them.

The racing number decals were usually quite hard and dry, prone to
cracking. Yet, it was possible to soften them using highly diluted vinyl glue, given the lack of softening liquids on the market. The instruction sheet had a pedantic list of building steps on the front, ending with the painting scheme, but a clear assembly drawing on the back. More interesting was, at the top of the first page, a short presentation of the real car, a summary of its main successes as well as a basic description of its technical characteristics and performance.

Talbot-Lago T26, 1949, one of the two “super” kits featuring engine detail. The body was left unpainted. Note the smoothness of the plastic injection.

Two kits were super-detailed to include the engine and a removable engine bay cover: the 1950 Alfa Romeo 158 and the 1949 Talbot-Lago T-26 4.5 litre. Both were probably made so detailed because the moulds were already available when pressure to launch new models forced the company to simplify and shorten the production cycle.

The whole range of 1956 F1 and Sports cars went on sale in 1957,
a remarkably short time to market: Lancia-Ferrari, Maserati 250F,
BRM P25, Connaught B-Type “Syracuse”, Gordini T16, Vanwall VW4. A very British choice was the addition of the Cooper 500 Mk IX, 1956.

A tribute to the former German dominance was the kit of the Mercedes-Benz W196, the 1954 road-racing version mistakenly presented as the 1955 model. The Maserati 4CLT/48 was another obsolete racer in the series. The kit didn’t have the inner details of the Alfa Romeo and the Talbot-Lago. It was an unusual selection of a car that wasn’t a winner, yet it was well-known being driven by Thailand’s Prince Bira and Brit Reg Parnell.

A real piece of history outside F1 and sports cars, the Cooper 500 Mk IX, 1956, recalls a glorious period of British racing. Body unpainted.

A final touch of class was the colour of the ink used for the instruction sheets: dark red for the Italians, British Racing Green for the British, blue for the French. The Mercedes sheet fell outside the paradigm, printed in dark blue as the historically correct white or silver would have been impossible to read.

The boxes of the later kits contained a small multi-page
educational leaflet on Motor Racing, a more detailed description of the prototype, and a promotional bottom line advertising the brand of motor oil used in races by the car. The leaflet on the Vanwall doubled to eight pages and ended with a tribute to Tony Vanderwell who “raised the prestige of British Automobile Engineering throughout the world”.

The four-page leaflet in the Jaguar D-Type box. A good recap of the car’s history. Britain still ruled. And the following year it also became true in F1.
Below, all fourteen of the Merit models in individual photos. You won’t see this often!
Vanwall VW4, 1956, when the Brits knocked at the forefront of F1. Decals are original.
1956 Lancia Ferrari. The Merit kits was on sale early 1957, a remarkably short time-to-market.
Gordini six-cylinder F2, 1952. Humbrol paint (“Enamel” on the original British tin) to cover the body.
Alfa Romeo 158 with engine cover removed to show the inner details. The other “super” kit together with the Talbot-Lago
Alfa Romeo 158, 1950, hood in place.
Talbot-Lago T26, 1949. A good representation of the engine.
Mercedes W 196, 1954, open wheel version. Decals are original including the chequered cover of the driver’s seat
The diminutive Cooper Mk IX, 1956. The silver exhaust was easier to paint.
Maserati 4CLT/48 in Argentinian livery, as raced by Fangio in Europe.
Aston Martin DB3S, 1956. The yellow trim is an addition of the kit builder.
Connaught B-Type “Syracuse”, 1956. Quite a rare bird in real and scale model worlds.
Lotus 11, 1956. Airbrush repainted after 60 years when the plastic suffered signs of shrinking.
Jaguar D-Type, 1954. The gap at the rear end of the front section of the body is due to having modified the part to make it tilting forward like the real thing.
Maserati 250F, 1956 version.
BRM P25, 1956. To use the brush for the semi-metallic finish was quite a brave endeavour over- sixty years ago.

Mercury La Collezione Part Three

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Here we have the latest parts, #4 to #6, in the Mercury partwork collection being sold in Italy by Hachette.

No. 4 is the Lancia D24, a 1:43 scale model from 1957. A simple model, but very faithful to the real one. Proving this is the inclusion of the small air scoop over the right headlight.

Alas, they didn’t add the windscreen and the rear lights. But it is a worthy reproduction of a car that won so many races, from the 1953 Carrera Panamericana, to the 1954 Mille Miglia and Targa Florio.


No. 5 is the Alfa Romeo Giulietta saloon, in a rare two-colour livery, very likely available originally only on the Swiss market as it was produced at the special request by the Swiss importer, Count Giansanti Coluzzi.

The real car was never offered by Alfa Romeo with a two-tone finish, but some were painted like that by Italian coachbuilders. The Giulietta is a 1:48 scale model from 1956, and the Hachette reproduction is faithful to its first version, where the headlights are like small aluminium nails, inserted into the body.


No 6 is a Volkswagen Beetle in PTT livery. The Beetle was a ‘must’ for all toy car ranges from the early 1950s onwards. Models in the PTT livery have featured in many ranges right up to the current date.

The Volkswagen Beetle was introduced into the Mercury range as model #15. This was produced in several colours with three shades of blue alone! The model represents a 1954 oval rear window Volkswagen and #15A was the same casting finished in PTT livery. There were variations on this model with Paolo Rampini‘s Modelcars in the World showing models with different colour tyres: black and grey tyres. Hachette has chosen to use black tyres and has created a convincing replica.

The next model due in the collection with be the Lancia Appia.


Retromobile 2019

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Once again February brings us back to Paris, both for Retromobile, and for the traditional auctions of Artcurial, RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams, a visual overdose enriched by a certain elegance, even if you start to perceive some slight fogging due to the changing tastes of the public. On the other hand it is for the market to dictate the show and not our personal interests.

This year Paris greeted us with windy days, but fortunately without the snow of last year. Alas the defections of the big automakers continue from their previous showcase of the Champs Elysées. First Citroen, Mercedes and Toyota left, now Peugeot has left its showroom too, leaving only Renault in the place that was a symbol of French motoring. How much longer before there are no showrooms on the Champs Elysées?

As usual, the Parisian show has attracted fans from all over the world. It is rich in novelties, celebrations of anniversaries, and exhibitions dedicated to specific brands. Even here there were alternate presences and absences: FCA is back, the absence of Mercedes-Benz is alas confirmed. Brand and/or model clubs attend in abundance, although their grouping together in Hall 3 reduces their presence a little.

Big celebrations took place of the centenary of Citroen with a great review of cars and prototypes, unfortunately narrow corridors meant the exhibits were difficult to walk around. Peugeot was a little poorly represented , maybe we had become used to better shows in previous years, whilst Renault chose to devote itself entirely to the ‘Turbo Years’, with the result of a series of cars of relative ‘aesthetic’ interest.

The general impression was of a reduced presence of real “vintage” cars in flavor of newer ‘classics’, which are evidently the most requested by the public today. This is the market! Fortunately the Teuf Teuf Club and the Compiègne Museum exhibited a rich collection of De Dion Bouton vehicles, while a specific exhibition was dedicated to the Bédélia, a classic of French cyclecars.

Another ‘gem’ on show was the monstrous Berliet T100, a giant destined for the African deserts and whose journey from Lyon to Paris constituted an adventure, considering its dimensions are ‘out of the norm’.

A rich collection of motorcycles from Gnome & Rhone was on show, as well as a display of the Citroen DS Chapron, in all their variants. Honda was celebrating the twenty years of the S2000 (too new in the Author’s opinion to be at such a show). The long suspension bridge between Hall 1 and 2 housed the Mini exhibition, celebrating their 60 years. There was an interesting cutaway Mini, but perhaps they could have included more variants : the Moke and the Mini Marcos appeared a bit lonely. As usual, the Saumur museum presented two tanks, a Sherman and a Panzer IV.

After lookinmg at all the displays there were plenty of opportunities to spend your money. There were many Dealers with their “jewels” and of course scale models, spare parts, books, and accessories. Add to that the wide range of goods from the many artists and artisans.

Again a show not to be missed where there is so much on offer that everyone can find lots of interest. The photographs below show some of the highlights of the show.

Citroën – 100 Years Display


Citroen GS Camargue Bertone 1972


Renault 1000kg Voltigeur 1956


Delahaye 135 M Figoni Falaschi 1946


BMW 320 Group 5 Junior Team 1977


Alfa Romeo 750 Competizione 1955


Lancia Rally 037 1982


Abarth 1000 monoposto record 1960


Jensen CV8 Mark III 1965


Classic early Léon Bollée advertising material


Wolseley Hornet Mark III 1969


Gnome Rhone motorcycle and side car outfit


Bédélia BD2 1912


Tiffany Golden Spirit 1986


Alfa Romeo 8c 2900 B Berlinetta Touring 1939


Scale Models Club display on the theme – Peugeot


News from the Continent February 2019 – M4 Model Group

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

All the models shown below were scheduled to be released in January 2019 so should be available in retailers now. Unless otherwise stated the models are diecast in Italy to 1:43 scale. As is usual all the models are re-liveries or re-colours on long established castings

Art Models

ART398 Ferrari 335 S

Fourth placed at the Swedish Grand Prix 1957 driven by Hawthorn and Musso – Ferrari chassis #674


ART399 Ferrari 166 MM Barchetta

This placed second at a six hours race at Sebring in 1950 and was first in the two litre class driven by Kimberly and Lewis. This represents Ferrari chassis #0010

BEST Models

BEST9734 Ferrari 330 GTC 1966

Styled by Pininfarina this is a rare and expensive car. One in a similar colour sold recently for over 600,000 US Dollars. Here the Best model is stated as being painted in a hazelnut brown metallic finish.


BEST9735 Lancia Fulvia Coupe 1,3 HF

Here the Fulvia casting is liveried for the car which finished third in the Coppa delle Alpi in 1968 driven by Trautmann and Trautmann.


BEST9736 Lancia Fulvia Rally 1,6 HF Fanalone 1969

‘Fanalone’ is the name for the cars with the large twin headlights fitted towards the end of the Fulvia’s run. Here it is in Corsa red with the distinctive front styling.


BEST9737 Porsche 550 RS

Here the RS is finished as it appeared when it ran in the Mille Miglia in 1957 driven by Heinz Schiller.


RIO Models

RIO4585 Lamborghini Miura P400 1966

Styled by Bertone this model is in the yellow colour many of these cars were finished in. IN fact it looks very similar to the 1967 car Jay Leno has which was originally bought by Dean Martin.


RIO4586 Citroen DS 21

Here finished as the 1.000.000th DS car produced and painted in gold. Unfortunately the painting has rather flooded all the scored body lines. Further issues include the front amber indicators being printed crookedly and the front bumper is missing the many black inserts fitted on the real car.


RIO4587 Fiat 1100/103

Here the RIo Fiat 1100 casting is seen again, this time as an Italian Police car from 1954.


Abrex Cararama Lancia Ypsilon

By Maz Woolley

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

The second generation Lancia Ypsilon was Introduced in 2003 and was produced until 2011. Like the Alfa Romeo MiTo it was a small three door car designed appeal to buyers who wanted something with a bit more style than the standard Fiat group offerings and who were prepared to pay a premium for it.

It quickly became the best selling car in the Lancia range with an annual production of over 60,000 units. Initially assembled at the Fiat plant in Melfi in June 2005 production was moved to Sicily at the plant in Termini Imerese Palermo until the factory was closed by Fiat. The car has a three-door body and the design was said to be inspired by the historic Lancia Ardea.

The unitary body used a shortened version of the Fiat Group B platform which underpinned the Fiat Punto , Fiat Idea and Lancia Musa. The engine is transversely mounted at the front, with front wheel drive. The usual smaller capacity Fire and Multijet engines were on offer. 

The interior had plastic inserts on door panels and the instrument panel is covered with Airtex fabric, leather or Alcantara depending on the model. There is two-tone upholstery and plastic inserts mimic aluminium. 

I don’t believe that the car was officially imported into the UK as the Lancia brand was withdrawn from the UK market in 1995 and has never re-appeared though the third generation Ypsilon which was made in Poland and based on the smaller Panda/500 minicar chassis was sold here badged as a Chrysler until 2015 when Chrysler pulled everything other than Jeep out of the UK market.

The model shown here is branded Abrex/Cararama and is diecast to 1:43 scale in China presumably at the Hongwell plant in Hong Kong. It is packed simply in a cardboard box with clear plastic panel to view the model and when it can be found in the UK it is often sold for significantly less than an Oxford Diecast 1:43 model. Like most Cararama models it is an excellent casting which has been well finished and detailed.

Looking at the front the Italian number plate with the EU symbol is very neatly printed as is the Lancia badge on the nicely reproduced grille. The main and subsidiary lights at the front are well modelled and separately inserted. 

The interior is a black plastic moulding which has a lot of detail with a good dashboard and central console as well as nicely moulded door cards. There is no printing to highlight the interior and no attempt is made to provide two tone upholstery.

Along the side the wing mirrors are beautifully moulded and the alloy wheels well captured down to the small Lancia roundel printed in the centre. The black window surrounds and pillars are nicely done, printed on the plastic glazing insert. The momo DESIGN logo is neatly printed on the B pillar. The door handles are moulded into the casting but with undercutting giving them a realistic shape.

The anthracite coloured silk effect roof and rear hatch is painted really effectively and the roof has the typical Fiat group small aerial to the rear.

At the rear the high level brake light, number plate and Lancia badging is all printed finely. The rear lights are separately inserted and all painted the correct colours on the reverse.

Altogether an excellent budget model of an interesting car.