Small French Cars from Universal Hobbies Part Two

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

This article is the second in a short series looking back at models UH made to 1:87 scale which were included in a French partwork: The Golden Age of French Cars which was produced in about 2009. The first part featured the Citroën Traction and can be found hereThis partwork had a case holding two 1:87 models of different versions of the same car.  These models were all diecast in metal in China for France and are fitted with a nice turning key type fixing that allows them to be easily removed from the case for display. The models from this series that I will look at in this article are Peugeot 204s.

Peugeot 204 1965

The first is a plain car from 1965 when the car was launched. Over one and a half million were produced by the time production stopped in 1976. From 1969 to 1971 it was the best selling car on the French market. The design by Pininfarina was a scaled down version of the larger 304. The end result is slightly “dumpy” which is not helped in the case of the model by fact the casting is lacking in crispness and the ride height is too high.

The chrome window surrounds accentuate the fact that the casting is quite deep and windows are not flush. A complaint often made on some of Oxford Diecast‘s models even today. The side trim is printed on in a slightly heavy manner and the white paint “splits” on the panel lines.

The front grille and the printed 204 are neat and the separate lenses for the lights is nice, but the lights are not always mounted straight as can be seen above.

The rather plain rear is well caught and the rear lights are nice little separate units.

The wheels are pretty good with rubber tyres and overall it is a good model that captures the original well but far from the best in the series.

Peugeot 204 1967 Esso

Here we have the same casting as an Esso Press Car in “tiger” livery.  Unlike the Citroëns featured in the last article both cars use identical castings this time.

The side view shows the printed markings and Press Marking.

The same front but straight headlights this time.

At the rear the printed badging is different reflecting minor changes between 1965 and 1967.

Somehow the disruptive visual effect caused by the striping makes this look a larger car than the plain one but it is an optical illusion.

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