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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
This is my first Schuco model and now part of my ‘Cars I have owned’ collection in 1:43 scale, this one is the Vauxhall Vectra B estate and although part of my collection the real car I still have too.
The detail is fantastic and given the choice would collect more of these.
This Vauxhall, although made by Schuco was packaged in a Vauxhall box and was sold by the Vauxhall dealerships when the real car was released, this is also the righthand drive model, most are lefthand and badged as Opel’s.
The real car
The Vectra B, was introduced in 1995, and the model range included an estate version for the first time. This model replaced the Vauxhall Cavalier in the UK, and the Holden Apollo in Australia. In 1998, Holden began assembly of the Vectra for export to other right-hand drive markets in the region, although this was aversely affected by the Asian economic crisis, and ended in 2001.
Engines started from the 71PS (52kW) 1.6L, Family 1 but eventually the 8-valve engines were all replaced by 16-valve powerplants. The 2.0L Family II engine, with 136PS (100kW) was developed as a basis for touring car racing (later in Australia, 2.2 L 108kW), but the top of the line was a 2.5L V6 with 170PS (125kW). Diesel power came once again from Isuzu, but now featured direct injection and a 16-valve head.
In 1999 the Vectra was updated, receiving a mildly modified body (that can be identified by the single piece headlight units and body-coloured bumpers) together with somewhat improved handling characteristics and better equipment.
Sporting limited edition models included the touring car championship inspired i500, Super Touring and GSi. The first model was developed in Germany by Opel Motorsport, with the V6 engine’s power increased to 195PS (143kW), and the other two were created in Milton Keynes by Motor Sport Developments, the team that run the Vectras in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC). Only 3900 GSi models were ever produced, mostly in saloon and hatchback guise. With only 317 estate versions produced during this time, they became one of the rarest production Vauxhalls ever.
My one above is the Vauxhall Vectra SRI 120 and a 1998 model.
A related model sold in the United States was the Saturn L-Series, introduced in 2000 but dropped from the lineup in 2005. It was replaced by the 2007 Saturn Aura, which was built around GM’s Epsilon architecture, as the Vectra C is.
In Egypt, the production of the Opel Vectra B continued in mid-1996 with two models, initially a 1.6l 8v GLS trim with manual transmission and a 2.0l 8v CD trim with automatic transmission. Later in 2000 the revised model was produced with three models 1.6 16v GLS trim with automatic transmission, 2.0 16v CD trim with automatic transmission, and a 2.0 CDX trim automatic transmission and all with saloon body style. In 2002 local production of the Opel Vectra ceased in favour of the Opel Corsa Sedan and Opel Astra Sedan.
I do like to make a connection between the model and it’s real counterpart, with concept cars sometimes there is no real car to compare it to.
This article is inspired by a concept car, one that was designed but never built as a full size car, but the story behind it is really interesting, so today we will be looking at the Matchbox Vauxhall Guildsman and the inspiration behind it.
My own models are both Matchbox although different colours both are quite common versions but other colours have been produced, again many were made in Bulgaria and they seemed to release loads of different colours on all the models they produced, these were Matchbox castings although made and assembled in Bulgaria after a deal was done with Matchbox.
This was No 40 in the Matchbox 1-75 Superfast range and released in 1972, the glass is green and has been seen with yellow and even clear glass.
This was a concept car designed way back in 1969 by Phil Gannon who entered a design competition and came third, Matchbox approached Vauxhall to produce a model from one of the thousands of designs submitted over the five year period and Phil Gannon was the only one chosen.
To put things into perspective, in 1969 the average Vauxhall looked like this.
But even though the real Vauxhall Guildsman was never made, what a honour to still to this day see your design all over the internet as a model produced in their thousands, would love to know what he went on to design.