Tag Archives: AutoCult

Auto Cult August 2017

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Auto Cult.

Auto Cult’s latest announcements are as follows:

  • The “Early beginnings” series – Panhard et Levassor Type Q Double Phaeton
  • The ”Past brands” series – Tempo E400 Kombiwagen
  • The “Streamliner” series Kamm K3
  • The “Prototypes” series – Tatra JK 2500

These are all made in resin in China for Germany and the featured models are made to 1:43 scale. Auto Cult has informed us that their recent  1:18 scale Mercedes Benz SL-X has sold out.

E-01004 Panhard & Levassor Type Q Double Phaeton

Panhard et Levassor were in business from 1890 and were one of the major firms in early car production. The Q type was produced from 1905 to 1910; 108 cars were made. Each car was coachbuilt with a metal reinforced wooden chassis and was powered by a 10 litre four cylinder engine. The four seater car gave the rear seat passengers cover, doors and luxury seating but the front seat passengers were exposed to the elements.


E-02008 Tempo E400 Kombiwagen

By November 1930 one thousand Tempo three-wheelers had been made. The E400 type was introduced in 1936 with a 396cc engine and an all steel construction replacing the previous plywood and steel cabin and chassis. Tempo sold over 3,300 by 1938 when the E400 was withdrawn. The E400 was accompanied by an E200 and E600 to give a whole range of vehicles which sold well, though the E200 was the best seller. The E400 was also known as the “Athlet” and was fitted with a water cooled two stroke engine which produced 12.5hp. This was transferred to the front wheel by a three speed gearbox and chain final drive

E-04012 Kamm K3

This Kamm K3 still exists today. It shows how advanced streamlining was by the 1930s. It was designed by Wunnibald Kamm who was born in Basel 1893 and whose name lives on in the “Kamm Back” used to reduce drag and made famous by the 1960s sports racers and Le Mans cars in particular.

In the 1930s he designed and built four car bodies with this rear styling . The third vehicle, the K3, was based on the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz 170 V and has a modern faired in shape and smooth profile combined with the abrupt cut off rear.


 

E-06017 Tatra JK 2500

Another “might have been”. Engineer Julius Kubinski worked in the post war Czech motor industry. In 1951 he began working on a project with the company designation JK 009. His employer gave him scope to design a sporty two-seater car inspired by Italian styling. Later Julius Kubinski  went alone to develop the car himself working with limited resources and sixteen engineers the sports car reached prototype form in 1954. It proved to be disappointing to drive as the engine was not powerful enough to make the car as fast as it looked.

Shown in a Czech car magazine in 1956 the Heads of State were initially very keen on the car and instructed Tatra to look at full scale production. The car was worked on with an improved V8 engine and performance was markedly improved. Sadly the investment needed  for Tatra to produce these cars was so large that the State decided not to fund production of the car.  Julius Kubinski was given his car back and drove it for another 13 years before he sold it.


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AutoCult January 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest models from Autocult are shown below. These are all made in resin to 1:43 scale in China for Germany. As usual there are models from the multiple categories of their output.

 

Past Brands – TVR Tasmin Coupé

Designed by Oliver Winterbottom who had previously worked for Lotus Sportscars the Tasmin was launched in 1980. The influence of the designers work on the Lotus Elite were clear.  The wedge shaped design was a marked departure from the rounder cars that had preceded it.

Although the fibreglass body was made in house most components from the engines to the switch gear were bought in Ford parts.


Engineers Small Series – Mismaque Squal

Designed by a young French engineer Guy Mismaque it began life fitted with an engine from a Citroen 2CV in a fibreglass body but Citroen failed to supply engines they had promised so it was re-engineered to take the Simca 1000 engine though that arrangement also unravelled as the Chrysler takeover of Simca took place.  The first car was launched in 1959 and ready by Autumn 1960 but it never gathered enough interest for series production.

It is uncertain how many cars were but Guy’s son Franck thinks that seven or eight cars were made in total.


Delivery Vehicles – Tempo Wiking Series 1

Tempo three-wheelers were very popular delivery vehicles in the immediate post-war years when demand was high and only a very limited supply of vehicles was available. By the early 1950’s people wanted more conventional vehicles and in 1953 the Wiking was presented at the motor show with a load capacity of 850 kilograms powered by a small Heinkel two stroke engine driving the front wheels. The small van was an immediate success and 12,590 were made by 1955 when the Wiking was replaced.


Emergency Vehicles – Pegaso Z-203 Fire Engine

 

After World War II the Hispano-Suiza type 66 truck was sold under the Pegaso brand name. The type 66 G evolved into the Pegaso Z-202 and Z-203. The cab design gave it the Spanish nickname Mofletes.  Translated into English that is “chubby cheeks”.

The Z-Series was a strong seller to hauliers and the construction industry and when Fire Brigades needed to modernise their fleets a conversion with specialist bodywork sold well to them too. Carrying up to eight firemen and their equipment plus fire hoses to attach to hydrants.

The fire appliance conversion had different bumpers and fittings to the truck which were coloured in gold to contrast with the red colour of the Fire Brigade livery.


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AutoCult November 2016

By Maz Woolley

 

Thomas Roschmann of Autocult has sent us news of the latest models to be launched. Again all are made in China in resin to 1:43 scale for Germany. They are the  usual mix of obscure and workaday subjects.

03007-triver-rana

03007 Triver Rana

This microcar was launched in 1955 and was built in Bilbao in Spain until 1960. It was an attempt to provide basic transportation along the lines of the Italian Isetta with entry via a single front mounted door and space for two adults in the front and two children in the rear. All powered by a 399cc 15 HP boxer engine located between the rear wheels.

The poor sales were hardly surprising as in 1957 the SEAT 600 was launched offering the Spanish family more comfort and speed. Microcars like the Triver and Biscuter quickly became sidelined by a “proper” up to date small car.

03007-triver-rana-2


05014-gatso-2

05014 Gatso 4000 Aero Coupe

This car was produced in the Netherlands from 1948 in Heemstede and the owner of the factory was Maurice  Gatsonides. Its distinctive appearance came from the third central light. The production numbers are not firmly established and between 4 and 11 cars may have been made some as coupes and some as convertibles, and a four seater touring car was also proposed. The car was based on a Matford Chassis (French Ford which later became Simca) and a four litre V8 Mercury engine.

The name Gatso will be more familiar to UK readers as a brand of speed camera developed by Maurice in the 1950s when he was a rally driver as a timing device. It was widely used by UK police forces in the 1980s and 1990s

05014-gatso-1


06011-audi-asso-2

06011 Audi Asso di Picche

This was one of series of three cars produced by Giorgio Giugiaro of Ital Design in the early 1970s. Asso di Picche means “ace of spades”.

The body was built on the Audi 80 and shown at Motor Shows in 1973 but it was never taken up by Audi though some may say that the shape had some influence upon the first generation Quattro.

06011-audi-asso-1


07005-ford-thames-race-truck-1

07005 Ford Thames 400E Racing Truck

The 400E has already appeared in the Autocult range and here it is presented as a basic racing transporter as used by Team Lotus in its early days. A similar model with a trailer has also been produced by SMTS in the UK.

The flat bed rear would have been added to a standard Chassis/Cab unit shipped by Ford and customised to allow one car to be strapped on.

07005-ford-thames-race-truck-2


08004-goliath-express-1

08004 Goliath Express 1100 flatbed truck

Introduced in 1953  with a two stroke engine of 688cc and 29 HP this lightweight truck replaced the slow selling GV800. The engine was quickly uprated to 886cc in 1955 as the vehicle was struggling against the faster moving traffic of the mid 1950s. In mid-1957 Goliath introduced a 1093cc four stroke engine to power the 1100 but even this was not enough and production ceased in 1961.

08004-goliath-express-2


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AutoCult News – September

By Maz Woolley

Autocult continue their steady release of 1:43 scale resin models moulded in China for Germany. Again the models released cover a wide range of prototypes. In one case below the model is to 1:18 scale.

09002 Commer Dormobile Coaster 1972

09002-commer-1

Campers always make impressive models especially when shown with their roof elevated. Here is a Commer Van converted by Martin Walter the owners of the “Dormoblie” trade mark. Campers based upon the Commer P series forward control were less common than those based on the much cheaper and more economical Bedford CA range.

09002-commer-2


05013 Denzil WD 1300 Super 1954

autocult-05013-denzel

The Denzil WD 1300 Super was made in Austria and was based on Volkswagen Beetle components. The engines were totally rebuilt with high quality components allowing the engines to be tuned to produce much, much more power than the standard Volkswagen unit.

A total of around 65 cars were produced in this series with a variety of specifications and states of tune. Production ended in around 1959.

autocult-05013-denzel-2


1102 Mercedes Benz L312 Buhne Melisana

autocult-11002-melisana

This was a custom built truck for Klosterfrau. It was designed to show off their goods and initially toured Germany selling their Melisenngeist products.  It was then repainted in the livery shown   for a tour of Spain where the product was sold as Melisana. No trace of the vehicle can be found after the tour of Spain.

autocult-11002-melisana-2


12003 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ56F Fire Appliance 1976

autocult12003-toyota-2

Produced between 1975 and 1980 these vehicles with their open sides and canvas roof were designed to allow quick entry and exit with scant regard for the comfort of the crew. They were powered by a 4.2 Litre six cylinder engine. The prefecture of Fukai was one that operated trucks like this.

autocult-12003-toyota


03006 Maico 400/4 1955

autocult-maico-400-4-b

This another in Autocult’s microcar series. This German built car used the Heinkel 396cc engine with 15BHP. The /4 referred to the fact that this was a four seater. Demand was weak because it was wider known that a 500/4 based on the uprated 18BHP Heinkel engine would be released in the near future.  Only 21 of the 400/4 were sold.


80003 Brandpowder 911DS

autocult-80003-1-18-brandpowder-911ds

This 1:18 scale model is of a curiosity from the USA in 2013. In fact it is an advertising stunt that never existed in reality. A Porsche 911  front end has been combined with the Citroed DS rear end to make and attractive combination of the two cars.

autocult-80003-1-18-brandpowder-911ds-2


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Autocult July 2016

By Maz Woolley

 

Autocult’s latest releases bring us the usual mix of the every day and the completely obscure. These models are made in resin to 1:43 scale in China for Autocult.

#02005 Lightburn Zeta Sports Roadste#02005 Lightburn Zeta Sports Roadster

This small car was made in Australia. It used the same 500cc engine as the Messerschmidt Tiger and was inspired by the Meadows Frisky. Sadly it sold poorly and ended its days as a curiosity rather than a success.


#03005 Volugrafo Bimbo#03005 Volugrafo Bimbo

This tiny car launched after the second World War in Italy used wheelbarrow wheels it was so small and looks more like a pedal car than a real one. Its eccentric layout meant that the steering wheel was in the middle and the gear lever on the left a real challenge to drive if there were two people sitting in it! It was powered by a 125cc engine giving it just enough speed to keep up with City traffic. Unsurprisingly it did not sell well even at a time when people were desperate for new cars.


#06002 VW T3 Convertible bus #06002 VW T3 Convertible bus 2
#06002 VW T3 Convertible bus

Used today for Factory tours this curiosity was never approved for road use due to concerns over the safety of the passengers.


#06006 MB 300D Test Car#06006 MB 300D Test Car

Another curiosity. Used to transport heavy testing equipment it spent its life at the Mercedes-Benz test track. Although based upon the 300D extensive changes were made to the vehicle to suit it to its role.


#11006 Kaelble Z632ZB#11006 Kaelble Z632ZB

And now for the sensible item! Kaeble had a long relationship with the German Railways, whose livery this model appears in. This tractor unit was powered by a strong diesel unit of 11.9 litres. It could pull a trailer with a heavy locomotive or heavy railway equipment.


 

A look at the latest Autocult models

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Autocult.

Again Auto Cult’s releases mix the obscure with the every day. Auto Cult’s models are resin cast to 1:43 scale in China for Germany.

Auto Cult Intermechanicca Murena 429GT

#05006 Intermeccanica Murena 429 GT

Two Americans, Joseph “Joe” Vos and Charles Scwendler partnered the Italian company Intermeccanica to produce a luxury two door estate car similar in some ways to the Reliant Scimitar from the UK. The long bonnet concealed a Ford 7 Litre V8. The car had premium leather seats for all four passengers, a stereo sound system, air-conditioning, electrically operated windows, and high quality carpets in the floor area. Shown for the first time at the New York Auto Show in 1969 at the booth of the Murena Motor Corporation. The car cost over 14.000 US$, and despite its style and exclusivity  between 1969 and 1970 just ten cars were sold before Joe Vos and Charles Scwendler called it a day.

Auto Cult Mercedes C111 study Bruno Sacco

#06008 Mercedes-Benz C111 Sacco-Studie

The Classic uncompromisingly angular C111 with its gull wing doors often in vivid orange is a well known Classic which trialled the Wankel rotary engine which promised much but never made it into routine production vehicles at Daimler Benz.
This version was a car styled by Bruno Sacco and used as a test car in the C111 programme. This neat car has shades of Opel Junior and Ferrari Dino styling and although pretty lacks the presence of the better known C111 cars.

Auto Cult Otto Mathe Fetzenflieger

#07002 Otto Mathé Fetzenflieger

Otto Mathé was well-known in Austria in 1950s car racing circles. His “do-it-yourself” car made from VW components and a 130 bhp  Porsche engine created a “beast” which upset even significantly better financed factory teams from time to time.
In 1952 he had created one of the first mid-engined sports cars. The car was skillfully covered by an aluminum skin with open access to plugs and carburettors.

Today the car is on exhibition at the Automuseum PROTOTYP in Hamburg

Auto Cult Citroen 350 Belphegor Guinard

#12002 Citroén 350 Belphégor Guinard

Here is a rather more prosaic vehicle, but a rather attractive one. In 1965, the French manufacturer Citroen produced its first truck and production of trucks under the Citroen name continued until the 1970s. This truck was nicknamed Belphegor, though officiall, it was simply called the type 350.

The truck had idiosyncratic styling which was not to everyone’s taste but which I find distinctive in an era when everything was becoming box shaped. Like a BMC FG small windows at the height of the feet to enabled the driver a better visibility on the street and allowed easier parking.The type 350 was the smallest version in the modular system with a four cylinder petrol or diesel engine.

Many fire services used this model where the driver´s cab was integrated in the body which had a second row of seats fitted leaving storage space for equipment behind.  A large roof track allowed further tools to be carried. This vehicle started in service in the fire department “D´incendie et de secours du haut-rhin” which later became Departement SDIS 68, of the city Colmar.


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Autocult Ford 400E

By Maz Woolley

08001-Ford-Thames-400E_rv_5

Autocult are well know for their 1:43 scale resin models made for them in China. They specialise in rare vehicles which have generally never been modelled before so I was rather taken aback to see a Ford 400E truck in their latest set of releases. Whilst the Van and Minibus versions are freely available in 1:43 scale from Oxford Diecast this is the first 1:43 scale model of the cab and chassis combination.

When I asked why AutoCult had chosen to model what I thought a rather ordinary vehicle Thomas Roschman of Auto Cult said

“I think that with its story the Ford Thames is not an ‘ordinary’ vehicle.  AutoCult chooses models after studying their history and takes no consideration of the numbers built. We only avoid those which have already been made before.  We want to show the world wide development of vehicles and particularly those whose development was important for the local car industry. I think the story of the British-Danish co production of this vehicle  was important and that the Ford Thames is a sympathetic vehicle as well.

An example of our approach was the Steyr truck already made. This is also an ‘ordinary’ truck but it was the most important for the Austrian Truck industry. A story worth  telling…. That is the AutoCult philosophy.”
08001-Ford-Thames-400E_lvo_

 

In 1957 Ford replaced the very outdated Fordson E83W with the Thames 400E. The small truck series was mainly produced at Dagenham by the Thames but it was also produced in the Danish Ford plant in Copenhagen.

The Ford Thames 400E was launched as a Van and this was followed by a Minibus and from 1961 as a cab and chassis. The vehicle modelled is a dropside truck where the planked sides could be folded down.

The Thames 400E was powered by a 1,703 cc four-stroke engine from the Ford Consul and production in the UK and Denmark reached 187.000.

08001-Ford-Thames-400E_hr_5


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