By Maz Woolley
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
I recently acquired some plastic models. All approximately three inches (7.5cm) in length. The upper portion is moulded in a soft plastic whilst the lower section is in a harder grey plastic. The upper part has four small lugs moulded in that fit through holes in the chassis and the lug is then moulded into a cap to retain it. The wheels are plastic mouldings and they attach to four lugs extending out of the chassis which are again moulded into a cap shape to retain them. The name of the vehicle is moulded into the base, in some cases it is part of the mould and in others the lettering has been pressed in by a hot tool. There is no manufacturer’s markings of any kind that I can see.
I have no idea who made these toys and having exhausted my reference works I am asking you, our readers, to identify the maker and tell me when they were made, and where if you can!
Rather a caricature here with the front end being pretty inaccurate it obviously represents and earlier series Alpine with the larger rear fins and split window top. The Series One Alpine was made from 1959 to 1960.
Again not very accurate as a model, lacking the characteristic front air intake. And sadly it has lost the ends of the front bumper as well. But apart from Spot On who else made a Bristol model.? The 406 was introduced in 1958.
May 1959 the MGA 1600 was introduced to replace the previous 1500cc version. Here there has been a little more effort at capturing features of the real car with quite a good representation of the MGA Grille moulded in. The wrap around rear screen of the coupe is also included although being unglazed it looks a little strange.
Recognisably an XK 150 Coupe even with the hugely over high side windows. Another vehicle introduced in the late 1950s, 1957 to be precise. Like the MG there is some detail captured such as the 150s chrome strip to the number plate area on the boot and a moulded in Jaguar radiator on the front.
I am sure someone must know who made these. I suspect they would have been produced at the start of the 1960s reflecting vehicles current when the model maker made the master for the moulds. They look too large and finished for cereal premiums and rather smaller than many of the cheap plastic models of the time. Were they sold as a set or with some other model? I will be fascinated to hear from readers.