By Maz Woolley
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
De Agostini French Dinky Toys #24 X
Ford Vedette 54
Although we are not following the DeAgostini Dinky collection in detail as we recorded the very similar collection from Atlas there have been a couple of models released by DeAgostini in the UK that were not part of the UK Atlas Dinky Collection and these are worth looking out for. All originally appeared in the Atlas French Dinky Collection series but were not issued in the UK series.
The Ford Vedette was a large family saloon car made by Ford SAF in Poissy in France from 1948 to 1954 when the French operations of Ford were bought up by Simca. It was powered by a side valve Ford V8 of 2.2 Litres derived from the unit used in pre-war Matford cars. The car was designed in Detroit and resembled early post-war Mercury models, a style that quickly dated when the three box style pioneered by Ford from about 1950 took hold.
After SImca took over the company a new version of the Vedette was launched which had been developed under Ford’s ownership and which gave the car an up to date American style similar to that used for the Taunus in Germany and Mark II Fords in the UK. Thsi was mostly sold as a Simca Vedette, but was badge as a Ford fro a few years in some overseas markets like Sweden, Netherlands, and Germany.
DeAgostini have replicated this model in blue as is shown on one side of the box. This model replaced the earlier Dinky Vedette 24 Q with the rear end well updated to the 1954 model but other parts of the model still showing 1953 features.
The 1954 update was issued in the blue shown and in grey and they were sold from 1954, the last year that the real vehicle was produced, until 1956. From 1956 to 1959 the casting was re-issued as a taxi.
The DeAgostini replica is made for them by Norev in China and the finish of the paint is so good that no original Dinky ever shone like that, and the silver work was never so neatly applied on the original either. However the model does capture the original car and model well.
The nice white tyres as fitted by Dinky France at the time of the original being made look model look very jaunty.
Although it has not been highlighted in silver the Ford V8 badge on the bonnet has been moulded neatly into the mould.
The original model captured the Vedette well and the replica does not disappoint. It is unglazed as the originals would have been and is a nice contrast to the contemporary UK Dinky models like the Standard Vanguard or Triumph Renown. Like the UK models this model has no scale marked on its base though it looks to be around 1:43 scale.