By Maz Woolley
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
The Atlas Deluxe Dinky Collection continues here in the UK despite the liquidation of Atlas UK. As it has been almost exclusively based upon the French Dinkies from the continental “ones with openings” series I expect that it will continue whilst there are sufficient subscribers and stock left over from the French collection. The latest model delivered to me is Dinky 1407 Simca 1100.
First shown at the Sardinia and Paris Car Shows in 1967 the Simca 1100 brought SImca up to date with a front wheel drive power train and a five door hatchback body , as well as folding rear seats, disk brakes, rack and pinion steering, and independent suspension. This was a strong package and the car sold over two million units in all its variations, Hatchback, Estate Car, and Van. It even formed the underpinnings of the Matra Rancho crossover in later years.
The model is painted in grey/silver metallic paint as it was issued in France. When production went to Spain it was painted in metallic green. Like much Dinky box art of the time the artist painted it in a colour, red, that was never used. The Dinky model was in production from 1968 until 1971 in France then from 1974 to 1978 in Spain. A police car version appeared in 1977 as #1450 and was made under licence by Pilen in Spain with a black and white livery with light bar and Police decals.
The reproduction from Norev for Atlas is a good one. A nice silver grey paint has been used and given a lacquer finish. The shape of the car and its “perched” stance has been well captured.
Lights are given a cursory silver paint at the front and red at the rear. the bumpers are nicely formed and the car is marked ‘1/43’. This makes the Dinkies from France of this period appealing as most are to this scale.
The opening parts that make this a Deluxe Dinky are the bonnet and hatchback. The hatch opens to show a neatly moulded tan coloured interior with a gear lever moulded in even if the dashboard is bare of all features.
One curiosity is that the engine compartment is painted green. One doubts if the real cars were. Maybe it is to provide a contrast to the silver bodywork as a silver engine would have not stood out at all.
The base is in plastic and the car has suspension fitted and has a slot to the rear to allow it to tow tabbed accessories.
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