Category Archives: Studebaker

DeAgostini Italian Dinky Collection is complete.

By Fabrizio Panico

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

After seventy issues DeAgostini has brought it’s Dinky Collection issued in Italy to an end.

58 Peugeot 203 (3rd Type) grey (Dinky Toys France 533/24 R copy)
59 Studebaker Commander (project) blue/grey (Dinky Toys France 540/24 Y copy)
60 Fiat 600 D red (Dinky Toys France 520 copy)

61 Simca 8 Sport grey (Dinky Toys France 24 S copy)
62 Peugeot 402 taxi brown/cream (DT 24 L copy)
63 Aston Martin DB3S green (DT 110 copy)

64 Willys Jeep US Army green (Dinky Toys France 153 A copy)
65 Fiat 1800 station wagon (South Africa issue colours metallic green (Dinky Toys South Africa 548 copy)
66 Renault R8 police black/white (Dinky Toys France 25 BR prototype copy)

67 Citroen 2 CV model 61 yellow/brown (Dinky Toys France 558 copy)
68 Porsche 356A coupé purple red (Dinky Toys France182 copy)

69 Lincoln Premiere violet/white (DT 532 copy prototype colour)
70 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia green/cream (Dinky Toys UK 187 copy)


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Autocult Releases 4/5 2019

By Maz Woolley

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

This article looks at the last two releases of models by Autocult. These are cast in resin to 1:43 scale with photoetched details, and are made in China for Germany. As ever they represent rare of unusual vehicles from across a wide time frame.

Release 4


This release features:

  • Steyr 100 “Asien Stey – from the category ‘past brands
  • Benz 35/40 Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen – from the category ‘the early beginnings
  • Thompson House Car – from the category ‘camping vehicles’
  • Ferrari 330 GTC Zagato – from the category ‘prototypes
#02018 Steyr 100 ‘Asien-Steyr’  (Austria, 1934)

Max Reisch was born in Kufstein in the Austrian Tyrol in 1912 and made a name for his long distance motorcycle journeys. Using the reputation he had earned he approached Steyr-Daimler-Puch AG in 1934 for material and financial support for his next trip.

Instead of a motorbike they offered him the recently launched Steyr 100 so that the trip would be combined with a major promotional tour for the new car. Max Reisch accepted and the first step was to get the expedition car changed to his suggestion of a pick-up version.

The trip began in April 1935 and Max Reisch along with his partner Helmuth Hahmann left Vienna and travelled to Palestine, Syria and Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. From there they went via Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand and Laos to Vietnam and China. After 14 months they arrived at their final destination Shanghai.

When they arrived in Shanghai instead of finishing they decided to continue their journey and took a passage on a ship to Japan and to the USA. After a brief pause the men and their Steyr headed to Mexico from where they sailed back to Bremerhaven.

Circumnavigating the world would be an amazing feat now but in 1935 with minimal engineering and spares back up it was an incredible achievement.

#01001 Benz 35/40 Prinz-Heinrich-Wagen (Germany, 1906)

The Benz 35/40 was the pinnacle of the Benz company output early in 1900. It was powered by a 3,380cc four cylinder engine producing 35 to 40 horsepower which could power the car up to 55 MPH via a leather lined clutch and chain or cardan drive. It was one of the fastest vehicles on the public roads at the time.

This was an expensive chassis and was generally fitted with a luxurious bodywork.

Albert Wilhem Heinrich of Prussia; the brother of the German Emperor Wilhelm II, was an early motoring enthusiast and Benz owner. His Benz 35/40 double phaeton modelled here participated in the 1,700 kilometers long-distance race “Herkomer-Konkurrenz” on 6-12 of June 1906.

#09010 Thompson House Car (USA, 1934)

Little is known of Arthur Thompson, who was said to have been a watchmaker from Ontario in California, the creator of this vehicle.

This 1930s vehicle took seven years to develop and build. It was based upon a Studebaker chassis fitted with a six-cylinder engine. Onto the chassis he formed a car body, passenger and camper compartment, all made out of aluminium. Over the conventional, solid structure he fixed another almost identical structure, which could be lifted like the popup campers of today. It was connected to the body by a combination of rods and fold-able fabric parts and was driven by an ingenious series of gears. Once in place it was possible for an grown person to stand upright.

It is not clear how many of these campers were built some references quote four, others no definite figure. One still existed in a museum in Sacramento in 2007 as photographs on the web show.

#06032 Ferrari 330 GTC Zagato (Italy, 1974)

In 1968, the last year of production of the Ferrari 330 GTC, chassis number 10659 was shipped to the USA. The buyer was the US-American Ferrari importer and former race driver Luigi Chinetti.

The car was first sold to Robert V. Kennedy of Cambridge, Massachusetts who sold it on to an unknown owner before it was accident damaged and ended back the hands of the US importer in the early 1970s. Instead of simply reconditioning the car he gave it to Zagato for a completely new design. Elio Zagato and his team created a new body for the Italian sportscar in the new style, without any curves and with several extravagant design features, which were new on a Ferrari. The most prominent feature were the front lights behind plexiglass covers, but the rear to had special features. Beside the eye-catching body there were new safety features built in underneath that could not be seen.And the whole car was topped off by a removable targa top.

This unique car was exhibited by Zagato at the Geneva Motor Show in 1974 and was shown at the Concour d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 1996.


Release 5

This release features:

  • Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe Figoni & Falaschi – from the category ‘past brands’
  • BMW 340/1 Roadster – from the category ‘prototypes’
  • Bedford SB3 Mobile Cinema – from the category ‘buses’
  • Mercedes-Benz 150H Sport-Limousine from the category ‘racing cars’.
#02019 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupé (France, 1949)

In the years following the Second World War things were hard for most people and the pre-war days of outrageous spending and glamour were replaced by a more serious and less frivolous era. In such a market pre-war bodybuilders such as Figoni & Falaschi found a lot fewer takers for their extravagant designs.

The model made by Autocult is one of their last designs based on the chassis of a Talbot Lago T26 . The car was ordered by the ‘Zipper King’ Mister Fayolle and featured a zipper-like string of horizontal chrome strips on its front hood. The car then made its way to the United States, where Lindley Locke bought it in 1960. But Locke’s interest in the exclusive French car was passing and soon the car was garaged and forgotten.

47 years later the car saw the light of the day again. After its restoration it was presented for the first time at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach in 2018; exactly 70 years after its creation. The Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport Coupe was one of the highlights of the show.

#06029 BMW 340/1 Roadster (Germany, 1949)

In August 1946 the BMW plant in Eisenach was taken into the state owned AWTOWELO AG. In the spring of 1948 the first prototypes of a new car were finished, and in October 1949 series production of the new BMW 340 sedan began. After international legal battles between West and East German companies over the right to use the BMW name the East Germans changed the name of their cars to EMW, after their place of manufacture Eisenacht Motoren Werke.

Whilst the saloon version was being developed designer Hans Fleischer designed a sporty two-seater. The BMW 340/1 was a prototype based on the 340. It was a convertible with a sleeker body and lower bonnet line and greatly modified grille. The sports car was fitted with the 55 hp six-cylinder engine from the 340.

The project was taken seriously by the Soviet dominated German industry and it was publicly exhibited on the AWTOWELO stand at a trade fair in Leipzig in 1949. Long distance testing and some road racing were all undertaken to prove the car but it never went into series production. This is thought to be because there was little place for a sports car in the planned economy of a war ravaged country struggling to rebuild itself and which needed utilitarian vehicles much more.

#10004 Bedford SB3 Mobile Cinema (Great Britain, 1967)

In the early 1960s the then Prime Ministerof the UK, Harold Wilson, made a speech about the “White heat of Technology”, and the challenges that faced the UKs industries to adapt and exploit the new developments in science and engineering. A Ministry of Technology was created and its role was to inform manufacturing industry about new production techniques and opportunities.

Nowadays this outreach would be done by a team of consultants creating web sites, emails, and tweets and hoping that people round the country would interact with them. But in the 1960s the officials realised that they had to get out and visit Industry face to face round the country to spread the message. One way to do this was to take films and lecturing staff to visit key staff at industrial companies.

To allow this to take place the Ministry of Technology ordered seven trucks and trailers in 1967. The equipment was produced by Coventry Steel Caravans (CSC) a company based in Warwick which was famous for the trailers they had produced in the war, for the MInistry of Agriculture, and for industrial customers, as well as for making Caravans. CSC also built the bodywork for a cinema on wheels on a Bedford SB 3 coach chassis. With a capacity of up to 24 seats managers could watch the films on a cinema screen that was located at the rear end of the interior. The cinematic equipment was controlled from a Plexiglas dome above the driver’s cab. Inside the trailer displays were fitted to complement the films.

Seven Bedford trailer combinations were on the roads across the United Kingdom between 1967 and 1974 managed by the state and Industry sponsored Production Engineering Research Association (PERA).

#07015 Mercedes-Benz 150H Sport-Limousine (Germany, 1934)

The 1934 Mercedes-Benz Type 150 was unusual with its mid-engine. After the W30 the Type 150 was the second Mercedes-Benz which had its engine positioned as far as possible toward the centre of the vehicle. Never suited to mass production it was however very suitable for racing. The influences of Tatra and others are clear in the styling of this car.

Six such sports cars were built by Mercedes-Benz all built to compete in the class “V” in the second ‘2000 km durch Deutschland’ (2000 km of Germany). On July 21, 1934, at 5:35 am, all six were positioned on the starting line. All models were fitted with a 1.5 litre, water-cooled ohv four-stroke engine with a power rating of 55 hp. The engine closely related to that fitted to the Type 130. Four drivers finished their race with a gold medal. After the 2000 km of Germany the cars competed in another race in August 1934; the rally Liège-Rome-Liège. The driver Hans-Joachim Bernet led the field between Rome and Pisa and completed the section perfectly with the score of “zero penalty points”.

Despite this racing history Mercedes-Benz had no use for the six cars and in the end all the vehicles were destroyed. Several parts of the bodies and the chassis were reused for the development of a conventional front engined roadster which was launched in 1935.


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Esval new for 2018

By Maz Woolley

Photographs supplied by the Manufacturer

Esval have been subject to a lot of comment on bulletin boards. They made a small number of highly regarded models and announced many more of great interest but then production stopped flowing, and they seemed unable to say when the announced models would appear, to the frustration of collectors waiting for them.  However they seem to be back and have launched some of the models previously announced at Nuremberg. Ten new models are said to be available now and this post includes some small pictures provided by Esval. Some comment has been made about the fact that models are not made to allow them to be displayed with either top up or top down, instead each has to be purchased separately.

One area that Esval needs to take action quickly is their web site. The section on new releases does not show most of these models which are all shown low down on the Home Page. Hardly the best way to show them off.

All these models are resin cast in China for Esval.

Victress S-1

The Victress was a low volume sports car made in the USA and was an early used of a fiberglass body shell.  It was made by the Hellings Company of North Hollywood, California.  It was used as the lead car in the Tony Curtis/Piper Laurie movie “Johnny Dark,” which debuted in June 1954.  After that it was called the “Johnny Dark Victress S-1.”  About 30 Victress S-1’s were made, and 200 S-1As. . The Victress S-1A body was basically the same as the body of Victress S-1, with minor changes.  The Victress was fitted on a variety of chassis so each car was unique.

Esval Models make both Victress S-1 and S-1A designs:

EMUS43025A  1953 Victress S-1 sport roadster
EMUS43025B 1954 Victress S-1A sport roadster

1953 Studebaker Manta Ray

The 1953 Studebaker Manta Ray was a fiberglass bodied customised sports concept built by Glen Hire and Vernon Antoine of Whittier, California.  The concept car was created on a chassis of 1951 Studebaker Commander. The creators used the flowing lines of a jet fighter in the styling and used many jet-age styling elements.  At a Car Show show in Los Angeles in 1954, Glenn and Vernon received a special trophy for the car as well as an award from a local newspaper for “Outstanding Creativeness and Engineering.”  This car featured in a number of car magazines in 1953 and 1954.  Only one car was ever built. The Esval model shows the car after restoration and is available as:

EMUS43027B 1953 Studebaker Manta Ray top down
EMUS43027C 1954 Studebaker Manta Ray top up

Pegaso Z-102 Spider

Esval have chosen to model the 1956 and 1959 Pegaso Z-102 Spiders styled by Serra. This distinctive car was made in post-war Spain. Pegaso were largely commercial vehicle and Bus and Coach makers but they made a limited number of sports cars based on racing car principles with alloy bodies  Most cars sold on the Spanish market at the time were produced by SEAT based upon established FIAT designs but the production of some luxury vehicles was encouraged by the Fascist Government for national prestige.

Serra was a coachbuilding company founded by Pedro Serra in Barcelona that made bodies on the Pegaso Z-102 chassis. Just 86 Pegaso Z-102 cars were produced, and out of these, only 28 cabriolets were built.

Esval Models sell two versions of this car from 1956 and 1959:

EMEU43005A 1956 Pegaso Z-102 Spider Serra
EMEU43005C1959 Pegaso Z-102 Spider Serra

1928 Stutz Blackhawk

Stutz built cars in Indianapolis, Indiana from 1911 to 1935 and the company made its reputation at the Indianapolis 500, a major American race.  The 1928 Black Hawk speedster harked back to the legendary Stutz Bearcat.  The Stutz Black Hawk speedster won the Stevens Trophy Cup at Indianapolis 500 and the AAA Stock Car championships. It was America’s fastest production car of the time, and one with considerable style.

EMUS43005A 1928 Stutz Blackhawk roadster top up
EMUS43005B 1928 Stutz Blackhawk roadster top down

1948 Tucker Torpedo

This model is based upon the one-of-a-kind 1948 Tucker Torpedo. This two door convertible was a prototype based on the Tucker sedan created by Preston Tucker.  Today Tucker is most remembered for his attempt to challenge the Big Three American auto makers by starting his own innovative car company.  The Tucker 48 was conceived by Tucker and briefly produced in Chicago in 1948.  The 1988 movie: “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” is based on the saga surrounding the car’s production.

It is said that Tucker himself gave the orders to start work on the two-door convertible project, but the car that was not finished before his empire crashed.  The Tucker convertible started life as a Tucker 48 sedan.  Only 51 Tucker cars were made before the company ceased operations on March 3, 1949.

The Esval Models versions are based upon a post-restoration version of this unique car with top-up and top-down:

EMUS43056A 1948 Tucker Torpedo convertible top down
EMUS43056B 1948 Tucker Torpedo convertible top up


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More on Mikansue

By Terry Rodell

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Ed: Terry responded to John Quilters recent article on building a Mikansue Americana La Salle. He has provided us with some pictures of his Mikansue Americana kits.

1953 Studebaker Coupe

Number 17 in the range and bought finished.

And the kit and instructions instructions for the Studebaker

 

Studebaker Avanti

Again purchased built.

Other Unbuilt kits

A Studebaker Starlighter Coupe still wrapped in polythene cover.

Cord Beverley on display

A pile of MIkansue boxes.

The boxes have an address in Eton printed on them. The unbuilt models look like they would be REALLY hard work to get a decent representative model.

Ed Note: Thanks to Terry for sharing these pictures and comments with us via our Facebook page. Mikansue were Mike and Sue Richardson who wrote some definitive books as well as being a major force in early white metal model production. The Americana range was started in 1975 by John Day and subsequently taken over by the Richardsons. All these models were from the early days of models for collectors when expectations were not as high as they are today.


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GFCC Toys – 1955 Studebaker Speedster Coupe

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of the Author.

The GFCC Pontiac Bonneville has already been reviewed by Graeme Ogg in a previous article in MAR Online. I have now received the next model available on eBay from this range; a 1955 Studebaker Speedster Coupé. This was rather dearer than the Pontiac, but including delivery to the UK it cost about the same price as a Corgi or Oxford 1:43 scale model.

Again the model comes in a slightly curious box. But the box quality and the plastic inner and tissue packing is very like that used for Atlas models. There is continued speculation that these models may have been developed for a partwork or subscription series that was not launched.

The Studebaker Speedster Coupé was sold in the 1955 model year only. It used a name previously used by Studebaker in the 1920s. It formed part of the President series and was based upon the President Hardtop Coupé. The 1955 model year cars were characterised by the introduction of massive grilles and bumpers. The Speedster was fitted with a large number of options as standard and was considerably dearer than the hardtop it was based on. After showing the Speedster at car shows it went into production in the middle of the 1955 model year. It was replaced in the 1956 model year by the Hawk series modelled by Dinky, Corgi and many others since.

It is difficult to know what to judge the model against. In many ways, although a diecast, it is like an early Brooklin but it has more Tampo printing. It has no separate inserted parts  and lights are all painted on. In other respects, like the exposed axle ends, it is more like an old Dinky Toy but unlike a Dinky the interior has door cards, a detailed dashboard and steering wheel as well as the seats which represent the  “Shoemaker-stitched” diamond-quilted genuine top-grain leather seating fitted to the original. So I suppose that it is closest in feel to a Dinky that has been given extra detailing.

My model has a dashboard that has dropped to the floor. Normally I would quickly refit this myself but this model is fitted together with spun-over rivets so is not going to be easy to open. I hope other buyers find their dashboard properly fitted.

The model has many of the features of the Speedster replicated in a simplified manner. The wheel hub shape attempts to capture the original but omits the false wire wheel sections making them toy like. At the rear the lights are painted in a simplified way and the reversing lights on the original are just bumps on the boot. The badging is also rather simplified.

From the side the model looks nicely shaped though the heavy silver printed chrome is rather dull and the black roof and the printed window surround do not match properly leaving an incorrect strip of green between the chrome and the black paint.

The massive front with its unblacked grille really reminds me of a French Dinky from the 1950s. The massive extra lights are incorrectly painted red pictures of the real car seem to show them in an orange colour.

The rear too has a really Dinky like quality with the moulded in detail and no separate parts. It is a nice shape though capturing the car well.

The model is available in three colour combinations:

  • Black and ochre with a cream roof
  • Yellow with black lower and roof
  • Green with black lower part and roof

All these colour combinations can be seen in selections of photographs of the real cars.

The only source for these models seems to be from the company ‘s direct sales on eBay.


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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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