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- Collecting used model diecast vehicles
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- Diecast Restoration
- Tri-ang, Spot-On, fiat Multipla restoration
- Budgie Bedford TK’s
- Matchbox Lotus Europa born again
- Merlin A100, diecast jeep restoration
- Audi Quattro
- Commer ice cream van restoration
- Quick Fix #1
- Aston Martin DB7 refurbishment
- Corgi, Mercedes Pullman 600 renovation
- Removing Corgi diecast wheels
- Quick fix #2
- Removing Chrome from plastic parts
- Saico BMW repair
- Quick Fix #3
- Replacing, Matchbox Superfast axles
- Matchbox MG 1100 restoration
- Budgie, Motorway coach restoration
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- Corgi Rover SD1, restoration
- Matchbox Daimlar ambulance restored
- Majorette Renault 4 restoration
- Matchbox K6 pick-up truck repair
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- Quick fix #4
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- Quick Fix #5
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- Tanzara Pickup
- VW trailer project
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- Matchbox Faun Crane to Pickfords heavy mover conversion
- Husky, Ford F-series custom conversion
- Corgi Commer Karrier, with a twist
- Salvaged from scrap
- Corgi, Chevrolet Astro 1
- Corgi Ford Thames pick-up project
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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
EFSI is a diecast maker I only have a few of, mainly more obscure vehicles, this coach came from a batch of coaches and buses I bought some time ago.
Scaled at 1:87 and came in many liveries, mine is the British ‘Green Line’ bus and coach livery.
Even at this scale the side lockers open and of a good standard of detailing, based on the Volvo B10M.
The real coaches
Designed as a successor to the Volvo B58, a large portion of B10M chassis were built in Sweden, but some were built in other countries.
The B10M was one of the best-selling chassis in the United Kingdom throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Having originally been produced only as a coach chassis, the B10M was made available as a bus, in which form it was also very popular.
For more information on the Volvo B10M coaches Click Here
Today, we have the Dutch diecast maker EFSI and a brand new addition to my collection.
This Mercedes truck is reminiscent of the Matchbox trucks from the late sixties and the later Superfast in the 1970′s although a different configuration to the cab and a twin rear axle.
The orange plastic canopy is much the same as the Matchbox versions
The canopy is easily removed (and lost no doubt) as was the Matchbox Mercedes, this model, however has one major difference.
It’s also a tipper body although simple and no ram as Matchbox did so the body does not remain in tip position, I’ve actually set the tipper for the picture by using plasticine to hold it up.
This particular model is still available for £1.99 in large numbers on Ebay Here
On trying to research this model and find an issue date and model number, I came across another body version of this truck so have bought it on Ebay, this one has an Esso tanker body.
Out of the packing you can see it is the same chassis, the body is plastic with simple Esso decal stickers.
Both EFSI Mercedes trucks seen below together.
This cab/chassis unit is used a lot by EFSI also as a tractor unit for a range of artic trucks too.
The cab style is more like the later Matchbox Mercedes container truck from 1976, No42
The real trucks
Both the trucks above are likely to be based on the The ‘New Generation’ series of trucks (NG) by Daimler-Benz built from 1973 to 1988.
It was then replaced by the Mercedes-Benz SK series (Schwere Klasse, “heavy series”). With the “New Generation”, Daimler-Benz expanded its market position in the medium and heavy truck segments. The vehicles sold extremely well and spread all over the world.
For more on models of these trucks Click Here
Many of the articles I have done recently have neglected the main part of my collection, Matchbox, so today we are going to look at one of the classics, the Matchbox Volkswagen 1600TL Fastback.
This is number 67 in the 1-75 series and the first picture shows an early example with the red paintwork and the silver wheels with separate tyres, this has been seen by me in blue with this wheel type although very very rare.
This one has probably been in my collection from near the beginning, certainly one of the first 50 I bought.
Released in 1967 in the red, it was later re-issued with Superfast wheels, the first of the two below, the purple one was from around 1971 and has the thin Superfast wheels, the pink one is from 1972 and has the wider Superfast wheels.
All are the same casting although later altered to fit the Superfast wheels, all had opening doors.
The yellow one below is in fact a restoration and made from two scrap cars.
Here they all are together, the restoration of the yellow one can be seen by Clicking Here
The Dutch diecast maker EFSI also made a VW 1500/1600 Fastback of about the same size although hard to get hold of as they are snapped up by VW toy collectors and VW collectors in general, but here is a picture of one that sold on Ebay recently.
The real cars
The Volkswagen Type 3 (sold as the Volkswagen 1500 and later the Volkswagen 1600) was a compact car manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen (VW), introduced at the 1961 Frankfurt Motor Show, Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) and ultimately available in two-door notchback, fastback and station wagon variants.
The Type 3 diversified Volkswagen’s product range beyond the existing models — the Type 1 (Beetle), Type 14 Karmann Ghia, Type 2 (Bus) — while retaining their engineering principles, notably the air-cooled engine and the rear-engine, rear-wheel drive layout.
For more on the VW 1600TL and other Type 3 cars Click Here
The Commer Walk-thru vans was once a common sight in the UK used from everything to service vans to parcel delivery, nowadays one will rarely be spotted on the roads at all.
Still a popular design in the US and used by companies like UPS they thrive and multiply.
Husky made a version of the Commer walk-thru and although this one was a recent addition to my collection (by recent I mean in the last year) this is the last upgrade as this one is in great condition.
It has red plastic sliding doors both sides and a glass roof panel, the driver has the only seat in the cab, quite usual for this vans.
Husky gave this the number 17 and released in 1965 withdrawn in 1969.
I often wondered why it had red doors and after some research found the answer, the original casting was painted red with a diecast base and driver, the more common yellow one has a grey plastic base and driver, I have never seen a red version although there is reference to it on various model sites, so no doubt the red plastic doors remained red during the life of this model.
Another one I have is an EFSI model this is No302 with a slightly different grill, this one shows opening doors on the back rather than the roller shutter on the Husky version.
This particular one has the bumpers missing although this is how I remember a lot of the real one’s in their later years, as camper vans etc, the second picture down shows how little metal was holding the bumpers on, making them vulnerable to breakage.
Efsi was a Dutch company making diecast cars and trucks starting in 1959 as Bestbox. The company was based in Heerlen, the Netherlands, which is located in southern Limburg province.
The Bestbox name was discontinued in 1971, perhaps because of the similarity to the name (and competition) of Matchbox toys. At this time, the name was changed to Efsi which a few sources say was apparently an acronym for European Federation for Social Integration. Though similar to Matchbox, and popular locally, Efsi toys do not seem to have been too well known outside the Netherlands, I have seen one of the Commer vans listed as a Lion Cars model also from the Netherlands but not aware of any connection with Efsi
The Efsi model is about 1:64 scale and shown with the Husky van below, the Husky would work at about 1:76.
Another Efsi Commer, also numbered 302 in Fire livery complete with fitted ladder and complete with it’s bumpers.
The real vans
The only thing I know about the real vans is they were produced somewhere between 1960 and 1970 by the Rootes Group, research shows it was brought out after looking at similar type vans in the US, why it didn’t last here I don’t know, the later one’s were branded as Dodge on the bonnet.
This picture shows the Commer van type that the Husky model is based on, with the extended bonnet and grill.
And this Commer what Efsi may of used, with the flatter front end.
An original advert for the Commer walk-thru