by Alberto Spano (Trans. and Ed. Karl Schnelle)
Dugu produced two series of model cars. Part III of these articles concentrates on the second range, called the Serie Museo (Museum Series). At time of production, all the cars belonged to Museo Carlo Biscaretti di Ruffia (in Turin, Italy), now called the Museo Nazionale dell’ Automobile.
This series was meant to be at a cheaper price point and thus had less detail and less extra parts. However, some of the Serie Museo are just as beautiful and collectible as the original series. The box and all 14 models are described and pictured below.
MUSEUM SERIES – THE BOXES
The boxes of the Museum Series are made of yellow and blue cardboard, without windows. It was economical but customized for each model. On the two larger yellow faces, the name of the model and a simplified drawing are given.
MUSEUM SERIES – THE MODELS
1 BENZ VICTORIA 1893
The red plastic wheels make the model look cheaper but this is the economy series after all. The Victoria (actually “Viktoria”) was the first four-wheeled vehicle produced by Karl Benz. One color was offered, in dark green only. Introduced 1964.
2 PEUGEOT MOD. 2½ HP 1894
Same type of cheap plastic wheels, but white this time. Maroon was the only body color offered. Introduced 1964.
3 BENZ 8 HP BREAK 1899
In dark green only. Introduced 1964.
4 DARRACQ 9½ HP 1902
Red with white accents only. Introduced 1964.
5 DE DION & BOUTON 8 HP “POPULAIRE” 1903
Ivory with green seats, running boards. Introduced 1964.
6 LEGNANO Mod. A 6/8 HP COPERTA 1908
The Legnano Mod. A was produced by FIAL (Italian Automobile Factory Legnano) from 1906 to 1909. In fact, the Mod. A was also the one and only product that they made. Red only with closed roof. Introduced 1965.
7 LEGNANO Mod. A 6/8 HP SCOPERTA 1908
Open version of the #6 model. same color. Introduced 1965.
8 FIAT 500A “TOPOLINO” 1936
Very well done, with less extra parts than the previous models. But less parts were needed for this ‘simple’ car. Topolino is Mickey Mouse in Italian, because the prominent headlamps resemble the ears of a mouse! Came in many color choices including: burgundy, beige , dark green, light gray, sand and orange. Introduced 1966.
9 BRIXIA ZÜST MOD. 10 HP 1908
The founder of the brand, Roberto Züst, was Italian and his car factory opened its doors in 1906 in Brescia. Remained in operation until 1912. The Dugu came in red and black only. Introduced 1967.
10 CISITALIA MOD. 202 PININFARINA 1948
Cisitalia was founded by Piero Dusio and Piero Taruffi in 1946 and lasted until 1963. The elegance of the Pinin Farina bodywork, very innovative for its time, attracted the likes of MOMA (Museum of Modern Art in New York City), where one resides today. MOMA describes it as “one of the world’s six most beautiful cars”. The 202 is also one of the most famous Dugu models, because the 202 had not yet been reproduced by any other manufacturers.
The model is very simple in its construction. The second photo shows the zamak body, with the open bonnet, minimalist interior (lacking even the steering wheel), the one-piece window, the wheel axles with spoked wheels, and the grooved tires. The front hood has no hinges: it is held in the closed position by one of the two screws that secure the baseplate. Red only. Introduced 1968.
11 LANCIA THETA – 1914
This Lancia was made from 1913 to 1918: it was the first European car to have a 6v electrical system inside the body with an electric starter motor (with foot control). The traditional “crank”, provided in the car’s tool kit, was for emergencies only. Brick red only. Introduced 1968.
12 ANSALDO 4A – 1920
Ansaldo Cars derived from it’s parent company’s aeronautical division. They produced vehicles in Turin for about 13 years, from 1919 to 1932. Lemon yellow only. Introduced 1970.
13 FIAT 500A “TOPOLINO” (SCOPERTA) 1936
Open version of #8. The grill was improved on the open version, so that the body color does not show through. The baseplate still shows #8 though. Same colors. Introduced 1969.
14 FIAT 519 S – 1923
The 519 S was equipped with hydraulic brakes on all four wheels, a real novelty at the time. Came in red and the more rare black. With black or white seats. Introduced 1971.
The original article appeared online in 2015 in Italian. The author kindly gave his permission for these English translations. Part I covered background and history, and Part II covered the MiniautoToys Series. Finally, Part IV will cover Sispla, catalogs, and other topics.
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