Category Archives: Maserati

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.

Matrix March 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

Here are the details of the latest releases from Matrix. These models are all moulded in resin to 1:43 scale in China for the Netherlands. All are produced in limited quantities and two have already sold out on dealer’s pre-orders so may be particularly difficult to obtain.

Matrix prices have risen very considerably over the last few years but they seem to have steadied a little in recent months. I hope that this continues as I feel that sales must have declined as some Matrix models crossed the 100 UK pounds price point.

New Models

MX10108-031 Aston Martin DB6 Volante grey metallic 1966

The DB6 was an in-house styling exercise with the major emphasis upon wind tunnel testing to stop the back end lift that was experienced on the DB5, and re-engineering the height to give more space inside. The solution was a Kamm tail with a small lip spoiler at the rear. It was in production from 1965 to 1970 when it was replaced by the DBS. The convertible was made as the ‘Volante‘ from 1966 and only 140 were made.

This model is in silver with the hood down.


MX10108-032 Aston Martin DB6 Volante red metallic closed 1966

Here is the same model painted red and with its hood up. A neat presentation of the hood. It follows the earlier Matrix DB6 coupe which was painted a bright yellow.


MX 40108-011 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe Bertone Arnolt red 1953

This DB2/4 was a one of its kind Bertone bodied fixed head coupe commissioned by Stanley H ‘Wacky’ Arnolt. There is also speculation that the lost Arnolt chassis, LML/503, may also have been bodied in this style. The car was delivered by Arnolt to a French customer in 1955. The design was by Franco Scaglione, It is powered by the later DB2/4 2.9 litre engine.

This model is painted red the colour that the car was in when delivered from Bertone.


MX40108-012 Aston Martin DB2/4 Coupe Bertone Arnolt white 1953

The same car as above, literally in the case of the 1:1 scale car. Bertone was proud of this styling work and the car was seen in white at a Turin Motor Show. In more recent times the car made its way to the US where it currently resides. The car never went into series production because David Brown decided to stop supplying Aston Martin rolling chassis to Coach Builders.


MX40604-011 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe “Bumblebee” Vignale #0197EL black / yellow 1952

This model is another that dealers have taken up the whole output already clearly expecting this unusual variation to sell out quickly.

Vignale built about 153 Ferraris from 1950 to 1954. Not all were stylistic successes. The 212 Export Lungo modelled here by Matrix is known as ‘bumble bee’ due to the yellow and black colours used. They have vestigial rear fins and the classic Ferrari egg crate grille.

This car was originally delivered to a French customer, then was exported to the States before ending up in the UK where it was fully restored to its original finish before travelling back to the US again.


Another version of the same VIgnale Ferrari. This time in classic red. Less distinctive than its sister model but perhaps more typical of the colour selected by customers.

MX40604-012 Ferrari 212 Inter Coupe Vignale red 1952


New Versions

MX20302-372 Chevrolet Suburban K10 brown metallic 1978

Dealers have pre-ordered the entire run of this model so they obviously anticipate them being popular with collectors.

The model is of a seventh generation Suburban which was the longest lasting being in production from 1973 to 1991 though there were considerable changes in styling and engine line up over the long run. The Suburban was a truck like full sized SUV typical of the time.


MX20303-072 Chrysler Town & Country Wagon black 1942

The Town and Country wagon was introduced in 1941 and production was suspended in 1942 as the US turned to full scale war production after their entry into the Second World War.

The Matrix model captures the original well with the narrow chrome strips making up the grille and on the rear wing neatly added. The pictures suggest that the wooden panels have been simulated well too.

The Town and Country returned to production in 1948 but only as a sedan or convertible. The pre-war eight passenger wagons were the last of their kind.


MX40201-062 Bentley 4.25 litre Pillarless Saloon Carlton grey metallic 1937

Editor: Reader Kenneth Hodges has kindly pointed out to the Editor that the Coachbuilder is Carlton as stated by Matrix and that the car is not Carlton grey as the editor had incorrectly assumed. So the original non-italicised text in the paragraph below is incorrect. Carlton were an English Coachbuilder based in London. They were noted for building modern looking cars and were quite productive until the Second World War. After that, staff previously involved with Carlton, had a business re-bodying pre-war Rolls-Royce chassis in a more modern style but as demand for that fell they faded away.

Matrix do not tell us which coachbuilder the car was made by. From the styling a continental coachbuilder seems more likely than a traditional UK firm. The lack of a running board and the way that the rear wings have been handled suggest a French origin perhaps?

In any event the model is excellent with the dramatic lines around the faired in rear wheel being very crisply captured.

The grey seems to suit the model better, in my opinion, than the blue and white colours used on its previous appearance in the range.


MX51311-041 Maserati Mexico Speciale by Frua red metallic 1967

The Maserati Mexico was derived from a 2+2 prototype shown on the Vignale stand at the October 1965 Turin Salon. It used a 4.9-litre 5000 GT chassis which had been damaged. After the show the prototype was sold to the Mexican president Adolfo López Mateos so the model became known as the Mexico. Vignale’s prototype was so well received that Maserati put it into production debuting in August 1966.

The car modelled by Matrix is not a standard Maserati Mexico. In May 1967 a German Maserati importer had a special Mexico  made by Maserati and bodied by Frua.  Appearing like a 4-seat Mistral but built on the 3500 GTs tubular chassis this prototype ‘Mexico’ was fitted with the Mistral’s six-cylinder 3.7-litre Lucas fuel-injected engine. Its dashboard came from the Quattroporte.


Autocult and Avenue 43 February 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest Autocult and Avenue 43 models have now been announced. All are resin made in China to 1:43 scale for Europe.

The Autocult models are from the following categories:

  • Streamliners – Hewson Rocket
  • Delivery Vehicles – DAF Pony
  • Past Brands – Amilcar G36 Pegase Grand Prix
  • Engineers/Small Series – MGB Jaques Coune

The Avenue43 models that they distribute have two new models;

  • Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale
  • Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

Autocult

04019 Hewson Rocket (USA, 1946)

In 1946 William Hewson owned dealerships in Los Angeles. He wanted to capture the market with a $1,000 Dollar car but had to find someone to design and make one for him. he turned to Coachcraft a Californian company created in 1940 who made everything from small cars to custom luxury ones. Coachcraft survived in business until 1966.

Coachcraft’s prototype had a curvy aluminium body fitted to a chassis strong enough to make a stressed roof unnecessary, but in true US Style customers were to be offered three types of roof: a soft top, a clear plastic top and a metal top. There was a choice between two different engines; a four cylinder and a six cylinder installed in the rear.

Sadly when Coachcraft finished its development work Hewson could not pay the 16,000 US Dollars due so the car never went into series production and remained owned by Coachcraft who sold it on to a car dealer for 650 US Dollars in 1959. It is now part of the collection at the Lane Motor Museum in the United States.



#08010 DAF Pony (NL, 1968)

The DAF pony was developed to tender for a US Military contract for a light terrain truck. Sadly for DAF they did not win the tender so they turned the design into a vehicle that ran from 1968 to 1969 and sold seven hundred units.

The vehicle was powered by the twin boxer engine from the DAF 44 and power was delivered by DAFs favoured Van Doorne Variomatic system.

The idea was to offer a small, individual truck for retail shops, and small business users, which was specially suited to inner city work in Amsterdam and other historic cities in the Netherlands with narrow streets. Available as a platform truck or as a tractor-trailer combination DAF probably had hopes of cornering a specialist market sector. Sadly buyers were few as van based pickup trucks were not much larger and could carry greater loads.



#02017 Amilcar Typ G36 Pegasé Grand Prix Roadster(F,1935)

Designed by Géo Ham who was famed for his aircraft and automobile designs, and built by Figoni & Falaschi body builders, this model aimed for sales to the moneyed classes. The new roaster was based on Amilcar‘s model G 36 Pegasé, which was introduced in 1935. Its four cylinder overhead valve engine was supplied by Delahaye and tuned with bigger valves and an improved oil pump system to provide 25hp more than the standard engine. But the performance was still not good enough to provide the thrill that rich individuals were seeking and which competitors were providing.

The design with its elegant curved bumpers, chromed footsteps, flowing wings, and spectacular rear lights was undoubtedly stylish but this was simply not enough to attract people who could buy what they liked. The company, founded in 1921 ceased production during the Second World War and never produced any more cars.



#05011 MG B Jacques Coune (BE, 1964)

In 1963 he had his works create a coupé on the underpinings of the MG MGB Roadster introduced that year. It was presented to the public in 1964 and was widely praised. Encouraged by this he put the car into limited production using parts from many cars to keep the costs down. The lights came from the Simca 1000 and both the front as well as the rear window came from the Renault 8.

In the mid-1950s Jacques Coune had a workshop and sales organisation in the Avenue de la Couronne in Brussels. He had agencies for Abarth and Iso and was well known for his racing activities. But his real passion was to have cars built to his own design.

Compared to the MGB Roadster the Coupé was more than 50 kg lighter and was therefore able to accelerate to a top speed of 180 km/h. MG are said to have test driven the car but they never expressed any interest in taking it up. Apparently the British Engineers said the design was “… too Italian”.

After two years production and 56 cars being built production ended. This coincided with MG introducing the MG MGB GT a practical coupé of their own.

Coune also converted other standard cars from Mercedes-Benz, Volvo and BMW.


Avenue 43


Maserati 3500 GT Special Spyder Vignale

The 3500 GT Spyder by Carrozzeria Vignale, designed by Michelotti, was introduced at the 1960 Salon International de l’Auto. In 1961 it became the first fuel-injected Italian production car. It was fitted with  Lucas mechanical fuel injection and was fitted with a standard 5 speed gearbox. Curiously the convertibles were only called Spyders for overseas markets.


Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT

The Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT was built as a prototype in 1962 based on the earliest version of the Chevrolet Corvair. It never went into production but was toured widely round the US to gather interest in the Corvair brand and finally the shape was used in Disneyland for the cars used  in the World of Tomorrow car ride attraction.

Bill Mitchell was the Design Studio Director and the Corvair Monza GT coupe was designed by Larry Shinoda and Tony Lapine and owed much to the Bertone designed Testudo concept car. Like the earlier design, the GT doors swung upward and were actually a front hinged canopy that extended into the B section. The rear engine cover also hinged at the rear.

The engine fitted was a standard Corvair unit of 145 cu in (2,380 cc) Unlike the production Corvair, the GT engine was mounted ahead of the transaxle, turned around 180 degrees and mounted as a mid-engine layout. Besides its streamlined appearance, the Monza GT had some innovative features: magnesium-alloy wheels; 4-wheel disc brakes; and fixed seats with adjustable pedals. 

Some of the styling features of the GT, notably the rear end, were the inspiration for the 1965–1969 Corvair. Perhaps more notably the design would also influence the 1965 Chevrolet Mako Shark II concept car and the 1968-1982 Corvette (C3) that clearly resembled it.

Today, the Corvair Monza GT concept car is to be found in the GM Heritage Collection.


Supercars UK Partwork

Edited by Maz Woolley with contributions from Mike Allen and Jeffrey Stevenson.

Text by, and copyright of, the respective Authors. Photographs as credited. If no credit stated photograph by, and copyright of, the Editor. 

Just as my editorials had questioning the future of part works here in the UK both Mike Allen and Jeffrey Stevenson drew my attention to a new partwork being sold in the UK. This is currently being advertised on UK TV where Jeffrey saw the advert and was tempted to buy one, Supercars: The world’s greatest cars in miniature. The first part is in the shops now and I’ll let Mike take over the story:  “The format is similar to previous partworks – a huge piece of cardboard with a model car, a magazine about the car and information on future models. As usual the first one is sold at a very low price: 2.99 GB Pounds. After that the next one is 5.99 and then the remainder 10.99.

Photo Credit: Mike Allen

Mike says of the model: “The first model, a 1:43 scale Ferrari LaFerrari 2013 (most models have the year date in the description, a good idea), is in a hard plastic display box. Good features for me are the deep rich red colour, engine details, highlighted disc pads and the Ferrari logo on the centre of the steering wheel. The magazine is informative, but I wish it had some photos of real cars on roads as well as artwork and studio shots. For an additional £1.50 an issue subscribers get three 1:24 scale models, which look to have opening parts. The full collection is 60 models.”

Jeffrey says of the model: “It’s a nicely finished model with no opening features, but with glazed front lights, very good wheels, windscreen wipers and mirrors. The interior is clearly visible and looks good and there is a representation of the engine visible behind the passenger cabin. The base plate has a blank space where a maker’s name might appear on a different issue of the model.”

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Stevenson

Of the magazine Jeffrey says: “Each car comes with a magazine. This isn’t bad – a bit of a ‘showroom glossy’ type of magazine, but not bad.

With reviews like that, and the bargain price, I went to a newsagent and bought myself the La Ferrari to see what it was like and dissembled it to see if I could find any clue as to its maker. But no part had any markings other than a code number . If asked to guess I would say that this was made by either Universal Hobbies or PCT Industries (Ixo‘s parent)and is finished to a good standard for a budget model.

To find out more I initially went to the UK Panini site and there is absolutely no mention of the collection there.  However ‘Googling‘ quickly lead me to www.modelsupercarcollection.com which is the dedicated site for the collection. Browsing the site soon made it clear that the collection is distributed in the UK by Panini but is actually originated by Centauria whose logo appears on the cover of the magazine that comes with the model. Further investigation suggest that they, like DeAgostini, are substantial players on the Italian partwork market. In fact they are running both a Supercars series and Ferrari series  currently in Italy.

If any reader decides to collect this series we at MAR Online would  love to see a photograph or two of each model and to have your comments on how good they are. The models advertised as coming in the future are:

  • McLaren P1 2013
  • Ferrai Panamerica 2018
  • Bugatti Chiron 2016
  • Aston Martin DB11 2016
  • Lamborghini Aventador 2103
  • Ferrari 812 Superfast 2017

For subscribers only  the following additional models will be sent:

  • Maserati Bora Gruppo 4 1973
  • Lamborghini  400 GT Flying Star II
  • Aston Martin DB7 Zagato
  • Ferrari F60 America 2015
  • Ferrari Portofino 2018

With a standard subscription there are additional free gifts: A binder for your magazines and a book called Living the Supercar Dream. If you take out a premium subscription, which adds £90 to the cost of your collection if there are 60 parts, you also get three 1:24 scale cars which are all Ferraris with some opening parts.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Matrix’ New Racing Series

By Maz Woolley

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

Matrix has announced a new range of models called “Race Collection” with full details being available on their website at http://www.matrixscalemodels.com/ 

The initial release of models are all of cars driven by Sir Stirling Moss in the 1950s. All are made to 1:43 scale in resin and photoetched materials in China for Holland. All the models shown are pre-production samples which have been hand finished. The models are expected to be released September and October this year (2018).

MXR40108-011 Aston Martin DBR1 1000kms Nurburgring #1 winner Moss / Fairman 1959

Moss qualified fastest in this car but when Jack Fairman span the car and ended up in a ditch when overtaking an Alfa Romeo Guiletta it looked like it was all over. Amazingly Fairman pushed the car out of the ditch unaided and made it back to the pits for Moss to take over and get the car back up to first place in just three laps. The car went on to win the race.

 

MXR40108-012 Aston Martin DBR1 #7 Winner RAC Tourist Trophy Moss / Brooks 1958

Aston Martin had a good day at Goodwood in 1958 finishing 1-2-3! Moss and Tony Brooks lead home the field in this four hour race.

 

MXR40108-013 Aston Martin DBR1 #30 Second Silverstone Sports Car Race Stirling Moss 1959

A different story in 1959 as the Aston became less competitive. Moss struggled to meet the pace of the other cars and did very well to finish second to Ray Salvadori in a Cooper-Maserati.

 

MXR41311-011 Maserati 250F #28 Winner GP Monaco Stirling Moss 1956

Fangio may have been quicker in practice but Moss set of well and lead the race right until the end despite a heart stopping moment when he drove into the rear of Perdisa‘s car when braking for a corner.

MXR41311-012 Maserati 250F #1 Winner Goodwood Glover Trophy Stirling Moss 1956

Moss decided to drive the works car rather than his own for this race. Mike Hawthorn in a BRM lead from the line but Archie Brown and his Connaught took the lead for some time with Moss overtaking him and then running on to an easy win.

 

 

MXR41311-013 Maserati 250F #34 Third Grand Prix Belgium Stirling Moss 1956

A dramatic race although the Maserati could just not meet the pace set by the new Lancia-Ferrari driven by Fangio which won the race. Moss running an easy second then had a major mechanical breakdown as the rear half shaft and wheel seized and destroyed themselves.  Unlike today when an F1 driver would have been out of the race Moss could run back to the pits take over Pesari’s car and use it to finish third.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Maserati Kyalami 1976

By Maz Woolley

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

From time to time models from Italian part works turn up on eBay and at toy fairs. When they do they often offer a good budget model for a modest price. The model this article focuses on is a 1:43 scale Maserati Kyalami issued as part of an Italian part work by Leo Models of Italy but made in China for them. Leo Models specialised in preparing a range of masters for part works and budget ranges  though the web site quoted on the model is no longer responding so this cannot be confirmed.

Excess stock from the Maserati part work series has been made available through wholesalers in the UK over the last few years, though not all the cars available to subscribers appear to have been made available on the secondary market. The standard of the models is variable but the Kyalami is very good.

The Kyalami is a four seater coupé produced by Maserati from 1976 to 1983. It was named after the Grand Prix circuit in South Africa where a Cooper-Maserati won the Grand Prix in 1967

This was the first model developed after Alejandro de Tomaso bought the company and it was derived from, and mechanically similar to, the the Longchamp a three-box grand tourer made by De Tomaso AutomobiliPietro Frua was commissioned by De Tomaso to turn the Tom Tjaarda-designed Longchamp, into a Maserati. The interior was also upgraded to incorporate classic Maserati elements such the steering wheel and instrumentation. Thankfully the Maserati V8 was used and not the American-sourced Ford V8 which was used in the Longchamp. The same styling found its way to the larger Maserati Quattroporte which shared the same running gear as the Kyalami. The fact card in the part work is completely wrong in its statements about the engine which is described as a 6 cylinder 1488cc unit. Clearly the quality control in pre-production was non-existent!

The model captures the shape well. Hints of the Lancia Beta, and even the Fiat 130 coupé in the styling perhaps? It is certainly a clean design with typical late 70s mixture of boxiness and sculpted sides.

The wheels and tyres are accurate if a little bland.

The front end is well modelled with the grille and lights very neatly done and the multi part front bumper with embedded indicators and sidelights nicely moulded and printed. However, a little red paint on the trident would have made it even better.

The windscreen wipers are fine mouldings and better than the Photoetch ones on many dearer models.

Inside the model a pale blue matt finish suggests the leather sets and door cards. The dashboard has instruments moulded in but is all black.

To the rear the missing number plate is annoying. Again the lights are very well made separate units, the multi-part bumper is well modelled. The chrome strip and name badges has been printed so finely it is only obvious how fine when you blow up the photograph of the model.

The glazing for this vehicle is excellent. Flush fit all around the car is shown with an open drivers window.

All in all a very nice part work model of a vehicle from a period when styling was considerably different to the styling we see today.


We welcome your comments and questions.   Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page or email the Editors at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.

Two Flawed-but-Cool Models from the Seventies

by Frank Koh

  • Japan’s Take on an Italian Sports Car
    • 1/43 scale K.K. Sakura Maserati Bora, late seventies.
  • Italy’s Take on a Japanese Sports Car
    • 1/43 scale Polistil Datsun 240Z/ Nissan Fairlady Z, dated 2/1976.

The K.K. Sakura Maserati Bora is a poorly-styled miniature, but it was brilliantly executed with opening doors and rear canopy, working concealed headlights that pop up with the flick of a lever, metal chassis plate and beautifully-cast albeit totally inaccurate wheels with gigantic hubs. The long single windshield wiper is also an unforgivable error, but who’s complaining?

It looks more like an obese chipmunk than a Maserati Bora, but let’s admit, it’s one interesting ride! Besides, how many of these rare models exist today?

The Polistil Datsun 240Z is not one of the company’s best efforts, but the fact that it’s a genuine Italian Market model with a Milan license plate and the it has the popular ducktail spoiler certainly make up for its shortcomings.

Not the nicest Polistil model, but any first generation Datsun Z is a blue-chip automotive investment!

Seventies model car packaging at its finest. Four decades later, we can truly appreciate how the old school toy companies made their wares catch the eyes of young collectors. Coincidentally, both models here are referred to as “Super Cars”. Despite the divergent provenance of the two cars, we can therefore consider them a controversially-matched pair.

Opening doors and rear canopy plus pop-up headlights are on the Maserati, and opening doors on the Datsun Z.

Could these two have been neighbors in Italy? Check out that Milan license plate on the Datsun Z. I call it Sports Car Immigration on a Small Scale.

Not the best renditions of these two classic sports cars, but let’s admit, they are kinda cute.  This pair of well-traveled vintage sports car miniatures also reached my house by way of Sydney, Australia!


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Maserati 4CLT c.1:10 scale handbuilt model

By Jerry J. Broz

All Photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Here we are looking at a few pictures of my very first model car, which was not a scale model, but an accurate depiction of the 1948 Maserati 4CLT. Built in 1955, when I was sixteen-year old, to approximately 1:10 scale, this model car is sixty-two years old. Back in 1955 when I started work on this model I had no documentation available for the actual car. and no access to any detailed drawings or photos; however, I was able to find some basic descriptions and a few low quality photographs taken at Grand Prix races.

The chassis and hood of the model were made from an aluminium sheet. The body was carved from balsa wood, sealed with a paste made from clear lacquer and baby powder, and then sanded and painted. The louvres in the body were hand carved and the louvres in the hood were hand formed. The brake disks and wheel centre hubs were turned from round aluminium rod on a small lathe. The wheels were made from short aluminium containers for water colour paints. The rims and center hubs were glued together and small holes were drilled around the perimeter of the rims and hubs for the spokes. Each wheel assembly was then hand-laced with smooth, thick thread in order to simulate the spoke pattern typical of wire wheels. Before the tires were attached to the wheels, whole wheel assemblies were spray painted with aluminium colour paint.
The toy rubber tires, the number “7’ stickers, and the screws are the only commercially purchased items used in this model car.

The metalwork, such as the dashboard, suspension arms, radiator grille frame, steering wheel centre, arm protector (with drilled perforation), windscreen frame, gas filler cap, tie and steering
rods, and hub caps, were either cut from aluminium sheets, made from aluminium wire, or turned from round aluminium rod and polished as needed. The exhaust was made from aluminium circular
tubing and painted flat black. All small parts were adapted from anything which could serve the purpose.

The cockpit; the cockpit detail is minimal, gauge bezels were turned from aluminium round rod and then the gauge faces were hand drawn in. The rear view mirrors were turned from hardwood dowel and then the silver mirrors were painted in. The two-part seat was hand-made from thin leather which was stretched over the seat shape made from balsa wood, stuffed with cotton balls and shaped into a seat. The circular steering wheel rim was hand-made and shaped from hardwood, painted black, and attached to the steering column by a metal three-spoke central part. The windscreen was made from clear plastic and glued into an aluminium windscreen frame.

A black/white photo of this 1948 Maserati 4CLT model was featured in December 1964 issue of the Auto World Newsletter. I expect that some of you might remember Auto World which was a model car mail-order business founded by Oscar Koveleski. Throughout my entire life I have been interested in model and full size racing cars. I have built and raced the slot cars, written articles for Car Model magazine, worked for Auto World, designed model cars and accessories for Auto World, Twin-K, Tonka, to name just a few. I have been involved with CAN-AM race cars and, of course, Formula One.

Since my retirement, I have remained active in Formula One, and am subscribing to F1 magazines, following F1 on TV and on computer and collecting the F1 memorabilia and various types of F1 model cars and kits. I have also took upon a new hobby, collecting and building customised and concept Volkswagen Old & New Beetles and Volkswagen Transporter T1 Trucks, Vans and Minibus models and kits.

A view of the front and left (exhaust) side of the completed car.

A front view of the completed model showing the radiator
frame with a wire simulated grille, and the front wheels
suspension arms as well as the oil lines.

A rear view of the completed model showing rear-view
mirrors, steering wheel, windscreen frame and clear
plastic windscreen,a part of the perforated arm protector,
and the dashboard with hand-drawn gauges.

A detail of the hood and body louvres and hand-laced
wire wheels.

A rear view of the completed model showing gas filler cap, rear exhaust holder, and full arm protector.

Underside view of the Maserati 4CLT model. The piece
of a 1.5ccm model gas engine was left in as a part of the
rear axle after realising that I was to build a curbside model rather
than tethered, model gas engine powered car which
would have required a completely different design of wheels,
tires, and attachment of the front wheels to the body.

 

Editor: We hope to show some more of Jerry’s adapted and hand-made models in future posts to this site.


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Neo and BoS September/October 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by, and copyright of, ModelCarWorld.

Market Positioning

Over the last year we have seen prices steadily rising from many suppliers. ModelCarWorld who own Neo, MCG, BoS and other ranges appear to be trying to contain their price rises in the same way that Oxford Diecast are. For example Neo models are now about 25% cheaper than Matrix models and MCG 1:18 scale models are about the same price as a 1:43 MaxiChamp. In contrast their BoS 1:87 scale models have crept up in price and now look rather expensive though their only competition is German made and is quite expensive too.

Many of the models shown are re-colours of previously released castings.

1:18 Scale

ModelCarWorld have models made for them in China to 1:18 scale. BoS models are resin cast and Model Car Group are diecast. Neither range has opening parts.

BoS-Models.

 

213751 Oldsmobile Rocket 88, Black 1949

 

213725 Triumph TR 7 DHC, Metallic Beige, RHD 1976

 

215128 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 75, Black 1967

 

214628 Jaguar XJ 4.2C, Yellow/Black, RHD 1974

 

214633 Maserati 5000 GT Allemano, Red 1960

 

Model Car Group (MCG)

 

220257 Barkas B 1000 Halbbus, Volkspolizei 1970

 

209979 Tatra 87, Silver and Dark Red 1937

 

220256 Wolga M24-10, Red 1985

1:43 Scale

Neo

All these models are moulded in resin in China for Germany.

There have been few 1:43 BoS releases lately and some recent Neo models have been regarded as BoS finish for Neo prices. Comments have been made suggesting the red shade shown in the pictures of the second issue of the Humber Sceptre is too bright and is also incorrectly sprayed at the rear where the red colour should go into the “V” round the rear lights and does not.

ModelCarWorld are certainly getting the most out of their S & S 1966 Ambulance moulding producing it in a variety of colours and equipment. The Buick Flxible Premier has recently been seen modelled by Ixo in the German Atlas series of Ambulances which may limit the sales of the Neo.

 

186011 Humber Sceptre MK I, Red and White, RHD 1963

 

186015 Morgan Plus 4 Plus, Red, RHD

 

180791 Cadillac S&S Ambulance Fire Rescue

 

156253 Cadillac S&S Ambulance, White 1966

 

215306 Dodge Sportsman, Metallic Green and White 1973

 

213737 Mercedes C111-IID, Metallic dark Orange 1976

 

156314 Cadillac S & S Ambulance, Red/White 1966

 

167757 Cadillac S&S Landau Hearse, Black

 

215577 Buick Flxible Premier,Red/White 1960 Ambulance

 

192388 Maybach SW35 Stromlinie Spohn, Black and Brown  1935

1:87 Scale

BoS Models

These resin models made in China for Germany replaced the previous Neo 1:87 range which was expensive and sold slowly with ModelCarWorld still having some available for bargain prices long after the range was stopped. The BoS 1:87 Range was supposed to offer similar interesting subjects but with less expensive finishing. Even so some models still feature p-e parts and some fine details.

For me the most interesting of this months releases are the tractor units from Pegaso and Bernard, though these are quite a bit more expensive than the cars. They certainly add options for 1:87 collectors and if they stick to cab units that the mainstream 1:87 producers are unlikely to release they could sell well.

215516 Mercedes AMG G 63 6×6, Metallic-Beige 2013

 

215124 Pegaso Comet, Beige and Brown 1964

 

218690 Horch 853 Special Coupe, Black 1937

 

214786 Studebaker Commander Starliner, red/white 1953

215122 Bernard TD 150, Light Blue 1955


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