Two Flawed-but-Cool Models from the Seventies

by Frank Koh

  • Japan’s Take on an Italian Sports Car
    • 1/43 scale K.K. Sakura Maserati Bora, late seventies.
  • Italy’s Take on a Japanese Sports Car
    • 1/43 scale Polistil Datsun 240Z/ Nissan Fairlady Z, dated 2/1976.

The K.K. Sakura Maserati Bora is a poorly-styled miniature, but it was brilliantly executed with opening doors and rear canopy, working concealed headlights that pop up with the flick of a lever, metal chassis plate and beautifully-cast albeit totally inaccurate wheels with gigantic hubs. The long single windshield wiper is also an unforgivable error, but who’s complaining?

It looks more like an obese chipmunk than a Maserati Bora, but let’s admit, it’s one interesting ride! Besides, how many of these rare models exist today?

The Polistil Datsun 240Z is not one of the company’s best efforts, but the fact that it’s a genuine Italian Market model with a Milan license plate and the it has the popular ducktail spoiler certainly make up for its shortcomings.

Not the nicest Polistil model, but any first generation Datsun Z is a blue-chip automotive investment!

Seventies model car packaging at its finest. Four decades later, we can truly appreciate how the old school toy companies made their wares catch the eyes of young collectors. Coincidentally, both models here are referred to as “Super Cars”. Despite the divergent provenance of the two cars, we can therefore consider them a controversially-matched pair.

Opening doors and rear canopy plus pop-up headlights are on the Maserati, and opening doors on the Datsun Z.

Could these two have been neighbors in Italy? Check out that Milan license plate on the Datsun Z. I call it Sports Car Immigration on a Small Scale.

Not the best renditions of these two classic sports cars, but let’s admit, they are kinda cute.  This pair of well-traveled vintage sports car miniatures also reached my house by way of Sydney, Australia!


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