Category Archives: Opel

Atlas Dinky Deluxe – 1421 Opel GT 1900

By Maz Woolley

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

My latest delivery from Atlas is a replica of French Dinky #1421, an Opel GT 1900. The original model was in the Dinky range from 1969 to 1971. The earlier releases of the original came with a sheet with a choice of French and German number plates though the Atlas model just has German plates ready fitted. The box art is in the later unattributed style with a white background and showing the car in red, a colour it was never issued in. The Atlas model replicates the blue colour the model was produced in for its entire run.

The Opel GT debuted as a styling exercise in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows. The production vehicle used mechanical components from the contemporary Opel Kadett B and two-door hard top bodywork produced by French contractor Brissonneau & Lotz. More than one hundred thousand were sold by Opel from 1968 to 1973. The car was unitary bodied and powered by a choice of a 1.1 or 1.9 Litre engine. mounted longitudinally at the front driving the rear wheels. One unusual feature of the Opel GT is the operation of the pop-up headlights. They are manually operated, by way of a large lever along the centre console next to the gear lever. Designed by Opel stylist Erhard Schnell the GT is a fastback, that has neither an externally accessible boot nor a hatch. There is a parcel shelf behind the seats that can only be accessed through the main doors. Behind the parcel shelf is a fold-up panel that conceals a spare tire and jack. Hence the need for the luggage rack fitted to the Dinky!

This model features ‘super rapide speedwheels‘ which do not seem to be much lower friction than normal ones, perhaps that is just Atlas not replicating them properly? In any event they are over shiny and not particularly good replicas of the real wheels. The doors are fully framed and open, as does the bonnet. However, none of the opening parts is a tight fit and the gaps round them are large.

The GT badging is moulded into the front wings and the front bumper unit is a large moulding with yellow jewels fitted as fog lights and what appears to be a Munich registration plate. Unfortunately the sides of the bumpers are too small to fully fill the recess leaving a substantial gap there too. I am sure that these faults are all there on the original model too, certainly web pictures seem to bear that out.

[Editor: Since publishing this article Jim McLachan has pointed out that his original Dinky has close fitting parts and no problem with a gap round front bumper. This clearly suggests that the Atlas replica is poorer than the original]

The rear of the model is finished simply with the lights moulded in and picked out in red and orange paint. The bumpers are well modelled as is the luggage rack though this is fitted crookedly on the model that I have. As it is simply retained by a single plastic pin into the bodywork I can see that it would be impossible to correct. In fact a missing rack is very common on the original models that survive.

Viewed from the side the blandness of the wheels and the large gaps round the doors an bonnet are quite clear. The side view also highlights the fact that the Dinky model roof is too low. Photographs show the side door windows to be rather higher and the roof rounder in profile. I am also a bit unsure about the front end where I think the gradual curve is too gentle and perhaps the front end is little long. What do you think?

The interior is all in red and the front seat backs do not tip forward. A shiny inline motor sits beneath the bonnet. Underneath there is a minimal moulding showing the drive train and exhaust and stating that the model is to 1:43 scale.

As with many other late Dinky models from France there is a street sign included showing speed controls.

All in all I am not sure that the model does the original vehicle justice but there I think Atlas has just perpetuated the shortcomings of the original Dinky.


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

Atlas Deluxe Dinky #1420 Opel Commodore

By Maz Woolley

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

The latest issue in the Atlas Deluxe Dinky Toys series is the French Dinky Opel Commodore GS #1420 introduced in 1970 to 1:43 scale it lasted in production for just one year and was deleted in 1971. Painted in red with matte black bonnet and roof, and a single black side strip, rather than the twin shown on the box. The wheels were nicely engineered silvered castings which include the Opel badge in the centre, and which are fitted with rubber tyres. The box art is in the later French Dinky style, unsigned, and featuring the car against a white background. Unusually, in this case the car is shown in the same colour that the model is painted. It came with a ‘customs’sign in the box.

This model re-used the casting from #1405 Opel Rekord Coupe introduced in 1968 which was fitted with speedwheels and initially sold in a perspex box. In fact Dinky didn’t even bother to tidy up the chassis and the Rekord lettering remains on the base. Indeed the ‘splodge’ of ill defined cast-in letters on the boot and front wing look to me like Rekord badging too.

Here in the UK we had a hybrid version of this car sold by Dinky UK from 1971 in its own UK box. The car was the Commodore painted in blue with a matte black roof. It is missing the black bonnet and side stripe of the French release. The doors also appear to be different with the door card appearing in photographs on the web to be moulded into the metal door rather than being a separate plastic part. No effort has been made to make the car a UK spec car as the steering wheel remains on the left. It is fitted with a strange number plate GB5372MI in silver on black which is nothing like a 1971 UK number plate which would have been a white plate with three letters, three numbers and a J or K suffix.

The Opel Commodore A was introduced in 1967 as an upmarket version of the Rekord, with which it shared its body and mechanics. The GS version was top of the range and had a special paint job and a double carburettor version of the 2.5 Litre six cylinder engine. It was withdrawn in 1971 as the UK Dinky Toys model went on sale!

The Atlas model seems to be a very accurate replica of the original though Atlas has not reproduced the mould faults clearly visible on both French and British original models. The masking of the black painted roof is also done accurately unlike the variety of wobbly edges shown on original models.

This is another Atlas model with huge gaps at the front of the doors which are actually a good fit otherwise. In this case, looking carefully at original models on the Internet, Atlas seems to have introduced this fault. The original models do not seem to have this air scoop edge.

Another shortcoming in the upgrade to a Commodore is the rather bland chromed grille and lights which appear to be the grille from a Rekord and not a Commodore. The Commodore has two horizontal chrome strips top and bottom with a black background and a single set of small vertical bars. Unlike the Rekord which has a central horizontal strip with vertical bars above and below as shown on this model. The number plates are for the German City of Koblenz.

In summary a rather flawed original model from Dinky which has most of its faults reproduced by Atlas whilst with the doors they have introduced new faults.

According to my Atlas account the next model due is also an Opel, in this case the 1900GT.

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


Some Smaller Promotionals

By Fabrizio Panico

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

Whilst browsing the January posts on MAR Online I re-read the one about the 1:64 True-Scale models, and I realised that up to now I never posted anything about a huge part of my promotional models collection : the smallest ones and easiest to store, the c.1:64 scale models from Norev.

These are so easy to store that I have already more than nine hundred in my collection. About twenty years ago the main French car manufacturers started to have small promo models made for them by Norev : Renault, then Peugeot and Citroen and now DS are reproducing their whole range. There are also regular updates for the usual half-life facelifts. The models are produced in various original colours and with accurate details.

These models released later among the regular ‘public’ issues, usually with fewer printed details. They are usually called ‘three inch’ models or fit to the box, but with a few exceptions 1:64 scale is generally used. In contrast the early ones were often 1:55 or 1:57 scale. All of them are diecast in metal, the first ones with a metal baseplate, nowadays with a plastic one. While the ‘public’ models can be found in many toy shops, the promotional ones are usually sold by the firms car dealers in their service departments, and more recently on the internet in the manufacturers own ‘on-line shops’,

Price of these models seldom exceeds five Euros. Alongside the ‘dealer promotionals’ and ‘public’ releases there is a third category: promotional models produced for industrial companies (and also football teams) for their own use. Firms like Darty, Vanden Borre, and La Poste have commissioned these as well as various charities who use them for fund raising.

This provides scope for a very large collection and they are not limited to French Car Makers as many other car manufacturers have requested promotional models for their own use : Opel, Lancia, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Mini, for example.

A really comprehensive and useful web site is the one regularly maintained by Mike Branderhorst, also known as MjrttNrv, from the Netherlands (http://www.mjrttnrv.nl/ ). Here you can see many pictures and details about small Norev and Majorette models.


Photo 1 shows some recent issues by Citroen : C5 Aircross 2018, Berlingo Combi 2018, Berlingo Van 2018, 2 CV6 1975 and the famous Traction.


Photo 2 shows some of the the different colours available for the models in photo 1


Photo 3 shows a Mercedes M-Class, an AMG-Mercedes C-Class DTM 2006, and a Renault Electric Kangoo commisioned by La Poste with an opening side door


Photo 4 shows a Ligier Quadeo for La Poste, a Peugeot Partner Van by Vanden Borre for charity, and an Opel Corsa;


Photo 5 shows an early Renault Kangoo and a Renault Twizy by the FCRA (Fédération Francaise de Clubs Renault & Alpine);


Photo 6 shows a selection of Peugeot 107 and 1007 models with their dedicated promotional boxes.

Happy collecting !


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

News from the Continent February 2019 – Wiking

Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

Here is a round up of the models expected from Wiking in February 2019.

New Items

1:32 Scale

0778 26 Krampe hook lift THL 30 L – roll off container with Big Body 750


1:87 Scale

0335 02 Tempo Matador low-side flatbed


0227 09 Mercedes-Benz E-Class estate S213 “Avantgarde”


0438 03 Magirus Sirius Flatbed Lorry with vehicle-mountable tank for BV ARAL heating oil


0636 07 MAN TGL Euro 6 ADAC breakdown service


0612 46 MAN TGM Euro 6 Rosenbauer AT LF fire engine


0864 42 Mercedes-Benz L408 flatbed lorry “German Police”


0457 02 Scania 111 drawbar with box bodies


0682 05 Magirus Deutz Transport concrete mixer


0389 13 Claas Lexion 770 TT combine harvester with Conspeed corn header


Model Upgrades

1:87 Scale

0879 43 Allgaier single axle trailer

0880 09 Lanz Bulldog tractor with roof


0658 06 HR 18 mini excavator


0660 08 O&K Crawler excavator


0796 04 Opel Commodore B saloon


0163 02 Porsche 904 GTS


0150 01 Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer saloon


0260 03 Mercedes-Benz O 319 Panorama Bus



0267 01 Mercedes-Benz 207D Camper van


0425 01 Magirus 100 D box truck


0534 03 Mercedes-Benz 1620 articulated chemical container truck


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

News from the Continent January 2019 – Wiking

By Hans-Georg Schmidt

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

Hans-Georg has sent us a roundup of the news received too late for his last dispatch. This allows these models to be given ‘their day in the sun’ as the next dispatch will be a busy one full of the first news of new models for 2019.

Amongst the final new and upgrade releases of December 2018 are some interesting models which were first issued in the 1960s. I have the original models are in my collection and so I took the opportunity to do a comparison between the original and the current release.

There are also some releases which have an interesting background history. All models are moulded in Europe for Germany in 1:87 scale.

0070 01 Opel Caravan 1957

The Caravan was issued first in 1959/1960 with catalogue number 7n, with silver painted headlights and radiator grille and red painted tail lights. Authentically detailed body had light tinted windows and no interior. Baseplate was detailed and fitted with rolling axles.

Now the model has been re-issued, moulded in bright blue and printed with white side sections. Mouldings and Opel emblems are silver printed. This time the model received an interior and a roof rack. The baseplate no longer has a hole for the hook of a breakdown lorry and the WM was changed into “WIKING”. Finally, it got special wheel rims and white wall tyres for an elegant appearance.


0184 03 Glas Goggomobile

The tiny Goggomobile was developed by the Hans Glas GmbH. at the early 1950s. It appeared in Autumn 1954 and production started in February 1955. It started life as a car for people with lower incomes, later it appealed mainly to people with only the old driver licence class IV for vehicles up to 250cc. Glas went into bankruptcy by developing bigger and bigger cars, culminating with the Glas V8 Coupe. After their take over, BMW closed all production in 1969.

Wiking modelled the tiny saloon in scale 1:87, Schuco in 1:43 and Revell in 1:18. This makes up the display shown above. The Revell model is now obsolete and only available second-hand. The difference between the three scales is impressive.


0335 01 Tempo Matador pick-up

The Matador was one of the first newly designed transporter launched in the early post-war years. It was developed by Tempo and appeared in 1949. It foreshadowed the layout of transporters of today, especially the front wheel drive and cab over design. Its engine came from Volkswagen and was placed under the seating bench. Production was cancelled in 1951, when Heinrich Nordhoff stopped supply of the engines, because by then Volkswagen had launched their own transporter.

The Matador with its typical ‘crumpled face’ entered Wiking production first in 1951, with wire-push-axles and in approximately 1:100 scale. Today it is are very rare bird and sells for very high prices. Also very rare is the promotion model shown with the new one above, which Wiking produced for Tempo in 1:48 scale. The Matador model of today is shaped authentically and is highly detailed for its scale. The ‘crumpled face’ front panel is a separately inserted part so its successor will appear later.


0314 01 Volkswagen Transporter T2a Pick up with crew cab

0293 07 Volkswagen T3 Pick up with crew cab

Modelling the Volkswagen transporters with crew cabs is usual for Wiking, the Transporter T1b appeared in 1961 and was re-issued several times later, including one moulded in green and equipped with ladder and workmen tools shown above.

The TransporterT3 has now been issued in the design of THW (Technical Rescue Work). A Transporter T2 with crew cab was long overdue. So this has now been launched with a well detailed body moulded in lemon green with a realistic beige interior.


0730 02 Setra S8 Coach

In Autumn 1950 Otto Kässbohrer and Georg Wahl started building their first frameless coach with rear mounted engine. The unit construction body was revolutionary at this time. Six men could pick up and carry the raw stud work frame. The coach was fitted with 8 rows of seats, and provided space for 35 passengers. So it was called Setra S8. Its engine developed 95 hp, good for a top speed of 90 kph. It was launched at the 1951 Frankfurt Motor Show and production started in 1952.

In 1956 the Setra appeared in the Wiking model range. An accurate and well detailed body with a separately inserted interior. The detailed baseplate and clear upper part all added up to an excellent miniature.

In the early years of production Friedrich Peltzer produced a batch as promotion models for Setra, these are very rare birds today. Over the years, the coach was re-issued several times , sometimes with a driver figurine. It has now been re-issued in two tone green, but with a new – a bit strangely placed – separate steering wheel. The upper part is printed now and is fitted with a roof rack for luggage. The baseplate has been changed to allow faster fitting of the axles.


0990 94 The Swedish Haulage Company ASG

Founded by a shipping company and then taken over by the state-owned Swedish railway company, the role of ASG trucks initially appeared to be limited to distribution and feeder services. In Sweden the distances to the customers were often larger than in other European Countries as railway connections did not reach many areas. In addition, there was an increasing volume of goods, and a need greater speed and flexibility.
The development in favour of truck traffic is also reflected in the individual ASG stations, which now cover the country nationwide. First, there were open spaces next to the freight sheds of the railway. With a further increase in freight volume, loads were increasingly merged into freight centres, where they were picked and shipped on. Accordingly, the forwarding companies’ buildings changed from a “rustic” office in a goods shed to a logistics center.

The prefabricated house made by Wiking, was a quicly erected and efficient industrial building which were widely used during the rapid growth of the ASG in the 1970s. Here in the office, the flood of paper can be handled trouble-free. The option of stationary refuelling of the vehicle fleet was often provided. An in-house forklift facilitates loading and unloading. For special cases, a humped Volvo PV544 with trailer as courier and service vehicle is ready [Not in set].

In 1998, ASG was one of the leading companies in the field of transport and logistics in Northern Europe. It employed 5,700 people and generated sales of SEK 12 billion (€ 1.35 billion). The Swiss company Danzas, which has been working with ASG since 1993, took over ASG in 1999 and was then bought by Deutsche Post AG. In 2002, Deutsche Post buys the logistics company DHL, under whose name the entire logistics division of Deutsche Post has been operating since autumn 2003. Since then the vehicles of the ASG, Danzas and the German post drive with the livery of the DHL.

For this set in memory of the Swedish haulier Wiking reactivated a number of historic original moulds in scale 1:87 including a Volvo P444 pulling a trailer. The trucks shown represent some of the ASG vehciles made by Wiking over the years.


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

News from the Continent December 2018 – Wiking

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs are supplied by the Manufacturer and the Author.

Wiking has announced new releases for December 2018. As usual these are a mixture of new or largely new models and a set of upgrades to existing models. Wiking models are moulded in plastic in Europe for Germany.

New Items in 1:87 Scale

0335 01 Tempo Matador high-side flatbed


0314 01 Volkswagen T2 pick up with crew cab


0861 45 Volkswagen 1600 saloon “Fire brigade”


0311 48 Volkswagen Amarok GP Comfortline


0293 07 Volkswagen T3 pick up with crew cab “THW”


0797 22 Volkswgen T1 Samba Bus


0570 02 Mercedes-Benz L 3500 beverages truck


0523 04 MAN articulated Container truck


0440 01 Hanomag Henschel refrigerated with draw bar trailer


0990 94 “ASG” Set

Upgraded Models

1:160 Scale

0949 05 Magirus box truck


1:87 Scale

0805 09 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Coupe


0184 03 Glas Goggomobil saloon


0070 01 Opel Rekord Caravan 1957


0656 07 Site trailer


0650 05 ABG Road roller


0832 04 Mercedes-Benz 260D saloon


0388 15 Beet trailer


0386 02 Deutz-Fahr DX 4.70 tractor


0730 02 Setra S8 tour bus


0389 14 Claas Lexion 760 combine harvester with V 1050 forager headers


1:32 Scale Range Additions

0778 45 Stertil Koni mobile column lift (contents two pieces)


0778 41 AGRIbumper Claas design


0778 42 AGRIbumper Fendt design


0778 43 AGRIbumper John Deere design


0778 44 AGRIbumper black

New and Original – Some thoughts

Amongst the upgrade releases in October 2018 were some interesting models first issued in the 1960s. As I have these models in my collection I took the opportunity to compare the original with the current release. In many cases there is an interesting background history to be told. All models shown below are made to 1:87 scale.

0183 05 BMW 2002 saloon “Bavarian Police

The BMW 2002 was manufactured beween 1966 and 1971. It was in widespread use with the city police of Munich. Under the bonnet was fitted a powerful 100 hp, 2.0 litre petrol engine, and its top speed was 170 km/h. The BMW 501 in the background, its predecessor, was also made by Wiking. These cars were typical sights in the daily traffic in Munich. The BMW 501 patrol cars got the code name “Isar” and a legendary TV serial, named Isar 12, told the life of two policemen, their families and their car.


0206 01 Alfa Romeo Spyder

This is the first Alfa Romeo miniature ever modelled by Wiking. The chosen subject is the version of the Spyder made from 1966 to 1969. The body is very authentically shaped, it is moulded in bright red plastic, and the bumpers and windscreen frame are silver painted, as is the radiator grille. Head and tail lights are made from clear plastic. The interior is moulded in black with considerable detail moulded in. The baseplate is well detailed for a small model.


0620 02 Magirus S 3500 Fire Brigade turntable ladder truck 1958-1967

The “round bonnet” Magirus is one of the great classics of German fire engines of the post war era. The impressive, rounded Alligator bonnet is impressive and full of character. The the radiator grill surround encircles the contours of the cathedral of Ulm, where the vehicles were assembled.

The Magirus ladder was introduced into the Wiking model program very soon after the launch of the original vehicle. The legendary modelmaking master Alfred Kedzierski designed the first version with closed windows. Later it emerged with pierced windows and now it has been re-issued from reworked original moulds with a new baseplate.


0071 49 Opel Rekord P2 Caravan 1961 – red

The P2 Caravan is a typical early 1960s Wiking model accurate and well detailed moulding fitted windows but still with generic wheels and simple printing. Now the model has been given a ‘makeover’. The body is moulded in read and a white roof section has been printed on. Silver printing of coachwork lines, grilles and emblems is to current standards. In addition white wall tyres and replica wheels are fitted. What a contrast to the original models shown besides it!


0521 02 Articulated Box truck with Chevrolet tractor unit “Mayflower” 1955-1956

This model set could have been chosen by the late Friedrich Pelzer the founder of Wiking. A Chevrolet tractor from the 1950s pulls a contemporary trailer, which embodies a piece of Wiking history, as it appeared as one of the earliest commercial models. To the pleasure of Wiking collectors, the truck load is the furniture for a well known bungalow model. The model may enlarge the international appeal of the Wiking model range and perhaps open new export chances to the US where 1:87 scale railways are popular.

Wiking Magazine for 2018

The photographs below show a few of the interesting articles printed in this magazine. No other producer of models in 1:87 scale has such an interesting background and can tell so much stories.

it is no wonder that the publisher always surprises the reader with new subjects. In this year, the highlights are the development of the new Tempo Matador, and the classic Henschel cab of the 1950s, All of this illustrating new models from these new moulds.

There are also articles on an impressive diorama at the Sieper museum at SIKU/WIKING world. More topics are the history of the Swiss food dealer Migros and the 50th anniversary of the German Furniture Forwarder “Deutsche Möbelspedition”.

Finally their is a feature on the model ranges of 25 and 50 years ago.

0006 25 WIKING Magazine 2018


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

News from the Continent September 2018 – Wiking

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

Text and some photos by, and copyright of the Author. Other Photographs are from the Manufacturer.

Planned Releases

Here are the Wiking Releases for October 2018. As ever this is a mix of new items and re-colours and upgrades which will be shown separately. Wiking models are made in plastic and in the EU for Germany unless otherwise stated.

New Releases

All photographs in this section provided by Wiking.

Latest Wiking Publication

0006 25 Wiking magazine 2018

1:87 Scale

0433 07 Mercedes-Benz LP 2223 high-sided flatbed truck with loading crane

 

0661 49 Krupp Ardelt crawler crane

 

0206 01 Alfa Romeo Spider

 

0183 05 BMW 2002 Police car

 

0227 08 Mercedes-Benz E-class S213 estate “Taxi”

 

0601 31 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U20 with loading crane “Fire Brigade”

 

0645 03 Magirus dump truck

 

0620 02 Magirus S 3500 turntable ladder “fire brigade”

 

0672 05 MAN TGX Euro 6c Meiller roll on-roll off dump truck

1:160 Scale

 

0949 04 Magirus flat bed truck “German Red Cross”

Model Upgrades

1:160 Scale

 

0953 04 Hanomag R16 with trailer

 

1:87 Scale

 

0877 05 Fahr tractor

 

0844 37 Hanomag K55 crawler tractor

 

0802 08 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

 

0071 49 Opel Rekord P2 1961 Caravan estate car

 

0149 25 Mercedes-Benz 250 T-model (estate) “Taxi”

 

0789 05 Volkswagen Transporter T1b pick up with crew cab

 

0521 02 Chevrolet articulated Box truck loaded with furniture

 

0382 38 Joskin vacuum barrel trailer

 

0806 98 Henschel HS 14/16 articulated Tanker

 

0518 45 Mercedes-Benz 1620 articulated Stanchion trailer truck

Then and Now

All photographs in this section by the Author.

In the last set of upgraded models there were some interesting ones which were first issued in the 1960s.  I have the original models in my collection and so I took the opportunity to do a comparison between the original release and the current one. It also unearthed some interesting background history. All models are to 1:87 scale.

0797 33 Volkswagen T1c 1963

Camping vans were an early use of the Microbus.  Westfalia was the most popular manufacturer, and they converted the buses into “campmobiles”, many of which were exported to the United States of America. The latest release shows up to the minute details like printed curtains and a roof rack. The accurate model has the US specification vehicle with the second bumper at the front. It is a 1963 model with a widened tailgate.

Also shown are older Microbus models released by Wiking.


 

0368 02 Mercedes-Benz Unimog U401

A former Daimler-Benz aero-engine engineer developed this vehicle after the end of the Second World War. He named it “Universalmotorgerät”, in short UNIMOG. In 1948 the U 411 was shown to the public. Limited production capacity led to production being moved from the Boehringer company to Mercedes-Benz in Gaggenau.

From Autumn 1953 onwards the Unimog was available with a closed driver’s cabin, which was made by Westfalia during the earlier years. The first miniature of this type was launched by Wiking in 1956 when their range was still not glazed.

The new model is based upon the same real vehicle and the difference between the models shows the huge progress in quality and detail mould making has undergone in the last 60 or so years. The new miniature is highly detailed, some parts are moulded separately and then inserted like the radiator grille. Looking through the windows on the new model the interior can be seen. The wheels are fitted with realistic tyres with different rims front and rear. Finally the printed “UNIMOG” badging is clearly readable.


0513 22 Saviem artic. Box truck “Kronenbourg Beer”

Created when MAN and Saviem cooperated in the 1960s, when a common cabin was used for both manufacturers tractor units. It was quite easy for Wiking to create a Saviem tractor for this articulated French beer truck. Kronenbourg SAS is the biggest French brewery. It was formerly located in the Cronenbourg area of Strasbourg. In 2001 they moved to Obernai, a small Alsatian town. In a rural area there was much more space for economic expansion.  Kronenbourg has a beer market share in France of 30 %. The consolidation of the brewing industry means that today Kronenbourg is a subsidiary company of Carlsberg.

In the 1950s and 1960s different model trucks were issued in Kronenbourg like the JRD truck with a Berliet tractor shown in the photograph above.


 

0526 02 Volvo F89 articulated container truck 20´ “ASG”

In 1935 AB Svenska Godsbilcentraler was founded as a transport company. In 1978 it was re-named ASG. In 1999 the Swiss company DANZAS bought ASG and was itself bought by the German Post/DHL. ASG model trucks have long featured in the Wiking model range. So the new model of the Volvo F89 tractor with an articulated trailer carrying a 20′ container is a ‘new pearl in the string of pearls’. The model is shown above with a Scania 110 drawbar which would have operated in the ASG fleet at the same time.


 

0794 34 Volkswagen Beetle 1200 “Herbie”

In the small scale of 1:87 there was no model of Herbie available. Wiking has now released the movie star on four wheels with authentic decoration and open sun roof. However, they have made the same mistake that Tekno did many years ago Tekno in their 1:43 model. The original movie-Herbie was fitted with double-bumpers, which were developed especially for the USA, but it could be ordered as option also in Europe. Mattel/Elite fitted their models of Herbie in both scales 1:43 and 1:18 with the correct bumpers and with correct decorations but Wiking and Tekno did not.


 

0861 44 Mercedes-Benz 180 saloon “Fire Chief”

The 180 saloon is a re-issue of an old mould, which has been changed over the years. The latest release now looks like a mixture of different versions.  The front doors have no vent windows like the first 180, which was manufactured between 1953 and 1957 and the rear bumper is also fitted with overriders from this time. The front end is closer to version 180b, which was manufactured between 1959 and 1962, with a widened radiator grille and bumper without overriders


 

0100 04 Land Rover

In 1962 the Land Rover 99 appeared in a civilian version, most were moulded in green and came with or without a driver, and with canvas cover or without. A few years ago, it was issued in a range of Army vehicles, which were used in Berlin. Now it has been released moulded in the dark blue livery of the Royal Air Force, authentic logo has been printed with the blue-white-red national emblem. It also now has the spare wheel at the bonnet.


 

0279 01 Borgward mobile shop “MIGROS”

The mobile shop with movable blinds revealing a fully equipped sales room first appeared in the Wiking range in 1963. It was  moulded in white or light blue. The cab front showed a moulded radiator grille, but lacked the Borgward emblem, indeed the company was already bankrupt at this time. Now it has been re-issued with same features, but the old radiator grille was removed and the flat surface printed with a radiator grille with the Borgward emblem, the rhombus. The new model was is moulded in the colour of the Swiss company MIGROS and carries their livery on this mobile shop.


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

Atlas Dinky Deluxe #542 Opel Rekord

By Maz Woolley

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

Atlas are now issuing the Dinky Deluxe models at twice the previous rate. With no more new or competing ranges, and warehouse space costing money, they clearly have an incentive to get the collection finished as soon as possible. The latest new model is French Dinky #542 Opel Rekord which Atlas have had reproduced by Norev in metallic grey. This is an original colour and the original model was also made in blue and gold.

This model replaced #554 which was an earlier P2 Opel Rekord which was modelled as a four door saloon and reproduced by Atlas in the original Continental Dinky series, though it didn’t make it into the UK Dinky series as far as my records show. #542 was introduced in 1964 and was in production until 1969 when it was replaced by #1405 Opel Rekord Coupe which was also advertised as forming part of this Dinky Deluxe Series.

The box is again a lovely replica of the original with its Jean Massé painting of a couple in the car gazing at a Chateaux in the middle distance. Were their way to stay there or were they just sight seeing? Who knows? It makes a nice scene though.

The collectors card supplied by Atlas to accompany this model states that this is a model of the 1700 Coupé but the coupe had a sloped rear section of roof and windows curving at top and bottom to a point. All the artwork and the model itself actually show a an Opel Rekord A two door with its standard rear window and less sloped roof. This was launched in 1963 with a 1488cc engine, though by the end of its run the 2605cc six cylinder engine had been ‘shoe-horned’ in.  The car was available as a two or four door saloon, a two door estate car, a two door delivery van and a two door coupé.

The Dinky model was a little short of play features as opening doors and tipping seats were fairly basic when other vehicles had opening bonnets and, or boots. The interior is a simple plastic affair but the opening doors do have door furniture and card details cast in but no upper frame or glazing. To the rear the Opel badge and name are nicely cast in and the rear lights are nicely cast and painted. For once Dinky actually painted the amber section as well as red and even left the  reversing lamp area clear. As usual no colour is applied to the front number plate but the rear one is painted yellow.

Overall the lines of the car are captured well. Opel were certainly heavily influenced by the new Chevrolets emerging in the early 1960s such as the Nova.  The Rekord badges are neatly moulded into the front wings and the grille is nice too.

The front end is slightly disappointing, as on the original as there is no Opel insignia on the bonnet which appears on the real cars that I have found on the internet. Though perhaps some early versions did come without the badge on the bonnet? It does have the nice period jewelled headlights in an appropriate size. Like the original Dinky the front indicators are moulded in but are not painted.

The next model that I am scheduled to receive is the Renault R6F which is a nice model and which I, like many others,  have already bought from a China-based supplier some time ago.


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

Autopioneer September 2018

By Maz Woolley

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

Thorsten Sabrautzky the owner of the Autopioneer model range has sent us details of his latest release. The model is made in resin to 1:43 scale in Europe and is limited to 50 pieces. A programme of six models is planned per year.

Borgward “Windspiel” 1937

 

Borgward was a traditional German car manufacturer based in Bremen making vehicles from 1929 to 1961. Four brands were
produced: the “Lloyd” small car, the “Hansa” mid-range cars and the “Goliath” delivery van, as well as high end cars under the Borgward name including land speed record and racing sports cars.  For most of their existence they were the fourth largest car producer in Germany.  Borgward also made trucks and buses as well as tractors, tanks and helicopters.

The “Windspiel” four-door sedan was developed in
1936 by Borgward’s chief designer Herbert Scarisbrick and their factory manager Friedich Kynast at the Bremen “Hastedter” plant. It first shown in 1937 at the German International Motor Show. With its streamlined bodywork and the patent four-piece windshield, the Borgward “Windspiel” attracted considerable attention.

The “Windspiel” had a top speed of around 130 km/h. It was powered by a four cylinder petrol engine with rear wheel drive and an output of 40hp.

Streamliners were making an intellectual claim to be the future of design in Germany at this time as the new Autobahns allowed people to drive faster, for longer, imposing new demands upon cars which now needed to run at high speeds for hours on end. Aerodynamic experts Paul Jaray and Reinhard Koenig-Fachsenfeld were amongst those trying to persuade the market that streamlining was the way forward. Sadly Borgward did not put this car into production as the conservative market place preferred the older upright styles so popular in the 1930s, an attempt to re-use the engineering for a car under the Hansa badge failed too.

Ahead of its time, elements of this design finally made their way into the 1938 Hansa 2000 and it was influential on the shapes of the post war Borgward and Hansa cars by which time the public had started to catch up with the desirability of streamlining.

Thorsten tells us the next model car to be released will be the Opel Regent of 1928, officially the Opel 24/110. No trace of this car exists today as after GM took over a majority of the shares in Opel they realised that this eight cylinder model from Opel was a huge sales threat to the Cadillacs and Buicks that they hoped to sell in Germany. They stopped production of this car and bought back and destroyed every car already sold to clear the market for their US built models which ironically failed to sell in significant quantities as the economic crisis hit Germany in the early 1930s which was to be followed by nationalistic buying habits encouraged by the Nazi Party.

The photograph above shows a pre-production test model.


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

News from the Continent July 2018 – Herpa

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

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

This article looks at a selection of the models released during the second quarter of 2018 and the re-issue of an older moulding too. All the Herpa models shown in this article are moulded in plastic in Europe for Herpa of Germany to 1:87 scale.

 

028820 Skoda 110L 4-door saloon 1969-1976

The rear mounted engine of 1108 cc gave a top speed of 138 km/h.

 

308601 Scania CS HD heavy-duty four axle articulated tractor unit – red

 

308816 Scania CR 20 HD 6×2 articulated tractor unit – light beige

 

746298 Volkswagen T6 bus “Feldjäger” – From the Military Range

Liveried for the military police of the German Army. The body is moulded in white and then over printed in olive and yellow.

 

028998/038997 Opel Senator saloon 1978-1982

This model is released in white or gold metallic as shown here.

This model was originally issued by Herpa in 1979. Now they have released it again as a special edition using today’s techniques to include improved wheel rims and a higher level of printed details.

 

308922 MAN TGX XLX Euro 6c Tandem trailer drawbar “Forwarder Wandt”

Tandem trailer trucks are operated on a daily basis by the Brunswick-based forwarder Wandt. Herpa  releases the MAN TGX XLX with replaceable bodies in the forwarder´s familiar design.


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