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- Tri-ang, Spot-On, fiat Multipla restoration
- Budgie Bedford TK’s
- Matchbox Lotus Europa born again
- Merlin A100, diecast jeep restoration
- Audi Quattro
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- 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
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- Matchbox Daimlar ambulance restored
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- Quick fix #4
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- Husky, Ford F-series custom conversion
- Corgi Commer Karrier, with a twist
- Salvaged from scrap
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- Corgi Ford Thames pick-up project
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Essex Models and Miniatures archive
This article was inspired by a 10 year old boy, who after asking me if I had any BMW’s was one of the first youngters, that wasn’t one of mine, allowed in the model room and we sorted out all the BMW’s I had so it only seems right that while they are all together that I should photograph them.
So a tour around my BMW collection starting with the smaller scales.
The oldest is this Matchbox 3.0 CSL, released in 1976 and an original British made Matchbox No45, would of likely once had a decal/sticker on the bonnet with the BMW logo.
Only ever released in orange but have seen a light blue and emerald green version, issued in Bulgaria and silver version on a Hungrian website and a police car, again I don’t believe this to be part of worldwide release.
Next from Matchbox, the BMW M1, made in 1981 and numbered 52 and marked on the base, Lesney England.
Next another Matchbox from 1985, the BMW 323i cabriolet, made in Macau, No39.
The red was the most popular issue but was also produced in metallic blue and dark blue, later it was produced in white with Laser wheels, scale marked on base as 1:58.
The next one is also Matchbox and a much later model issued in 1992, this one came with a job lot and only knew I had it last night while sorting out the BMW collection.
This one is the BMW 850i and released in 1992 and as far as my records go was still being produced in 2005, made in China and have found these in many colour variations.
The number is possibly MB54, has also been made in Thailand and no doubt numbered differently.
Realtoy and Welly have been a favourite of mine for about 4 years and are cheap to pick up, have great detail and produce many of the modern saloon cars most other makers neglect.
The first picture is of the Realtoy BMW X3 (green) and the Welly BMW X5 (silver).
Both are about the same scale, the Realtoy one is marked as 1:61.
Another X5, this time in 1:72 scale, this one is made by Joy City.
Next the BMW M3, again by Realtoy
BMW 5 series and 6 series, again by Realtoy, both marked as 1:59 scale.
BMW Z8 coupe, by Realtoy, scaled at 1:59
Matchbox also made bigger scale cars known as Superkings, this BMW 750iL is a later one released in 1988 and made in China, I have seen this listed as 1:43 scale.
Also released as a police car in white and green with ‘Polizei’ decals
The following picture shows two BMW 850i models, both of these were bootsale finds and cost me a £1 each
The smaller one has the scale on the base as 1:42 and marked MC Toys, the larger one has no markings except ‘Made in China’ is does have a flat area on the base that may of had a sticker, would say this is about 1:18 scale and has lots of detail, opening doors and boot and tilting seats.
Another less known maker, Saico, produced the one below, this is the BMW M3 GTR and is scaled at 1:32, and one of my favourites, again made in China.
This BMW M3 GTR came my way broken and have since repaired it (see article) it has now gone to a new home, the 10 year old boy who loves BMW’s now owns it, although it’s worth very little the look on his face when I gave it to him made it priceless to me.
The real cars
This article is about one of the most famous rally cars and a popular road car, the Subaru Impreza and today we have another comparison.
Firstly the Majorette Subaru Imprezza WRX, this is one of the later models released in 2001 and still going, Majorette’s are now made in Thailand like many of our well loved makers that are still left, but unlike the earlier Majorette diecast these have sucumbed like many other to the plastic bases blacked out windows and lack of interior.
But saying that it is still a nice diecast copy of the Subaru, this has been seen listed as 1:64 scale but in fact the base plate tells me it’s actually 1:57 scale, Numbered 275a by Majorette.
Fantastic colour blue with gold wheels and have also seen this in white and silver paint.
I was after the WRC Rally livery version and later found this one sealed on the card, so has remained sealed for now, it is exactly the same as the one above with the addition of the rally decals.
To see more on the modern majorette range Click Here
For the Majorette history on Toypedia Click Here
Next we have a relatively unknown maker called Carisma Models and marketed as AutoRozza, Carisma is a Hong Kong based company which produced a small range of models in 1:64 scale. They were made in China and sold almost exclusively to the Japanese market, therefore are difficult to source elsewhere, but they do turn up in places like Ebay, This is number 64012.
But the car is impressive.
The detail is amazing for a small model, and this is 1:64 scale so slightly smaller than the Majorette version, it has a detailed interior, correctly styled wheels, all the lights are plastic rather than painted on and is in the WRC rally livery, or to be more precise, WRC from 2003 in Australia, No8 Makinen.
I’ve said it before but the far east makers really have got the detail down to a fine art and will certainly be looking out for more and would put this model on par with Oxford Diecast 1:72 range
To see the two together see the pictures below.
1:64 scale versus 1:57 scale
The Realtoy version below is based on the 2006 model Subaru Impreza WRX and also scales at 1:57.
Also, I have one other Subaru, not diecast this time but my favourite Scalextic car, also an Impreza and now a rare colour and model, the later addition was in blue.
The real car
In the late 1980s, Subaru created the Subaru Tecnica International (STI) division to coordinate development for the FIA World Rally Championship and other motorsports activities. After the company had grown, the division was used to create high-performance consumer versions of the Subaru Impreza WRX, an all-wheel drive car with a turbocharged boxer engine, leading to the development of the Impreza WRX STi. The Subaru World Rally Team has used a race-prepared version of the WRX STI as its rally platform since the model trim’s creation.
The later 2006 Impreza
For more on the Subaru Click Here
As soon as you mention the VW Beetle everyone knows what car you mean, nearly everyone has probably at some point in their life been in one or owned one, I did actually own one many years ago.
The first of our Volkswagen Beetles is from Matchbox, Number 25 and named the 1200 and was released in 1960 and had tinted glass and an opening bonnet at the rear showing a detailed engine, my one below has grey plastic wheels but also other examples have black plastic wheels and silver plastic wheels, this model was discontinued in 1964.
In 1968 Matchbox released a new version and re-numbered 15, the one below has early Superfast wheels, that is thinner than the later versions, this was available in metalic red or white and should have numbers on the sides, the front bumper now sports a rally plaque and a tow hook and seats have been added, again this should have the decal on the rally plaque but has long since gone.
As the Superfast range took a turn towards faster cars the Beetle also took on a custom theme with two very different Beetles added to the Matchbox range.
The first was number 31 Volks Dragon, released in 1971.
This was classed as a dragster and has been fitted with a chrome V8 engine at the rear and roof mounted air scoop, (wonders if it has ever been done).
The second Matchbox Volkswagen Beetle hot rod is Dragon wheels, number 43
This one was in fact a ‘funny car’ dragster such as the one’s you see at Santa Pod raceway where the whole body lifts to show the single seat and massive engine.
Matchbox released another in 1998 and now under the managment of Mattel and made in China the model numbers are no longer printed on the base, this could be MB21, but it did seem that everytime they changed the colour or manufacture year the numbers changed, I can’t actually find this one listed so can’t confirm the number, it ‘feels’ more like a Hotwheels car than a Matchbox but still a nice car, lots of detail and still has the tow hook.
This is the 2002 release by Matchbox/Mattel and is in fact a taxi, this one below is the 2004 release in metallic red and ‘Hero City’ tampo on the sides.
Another Beetle by Mattel/Matchbox is the Beetle 4×4, casting number MB582.
Produced from 2000 the two above are, MB54 issued in 2004 in metallic green and from the Hero City series and made in China and MB64, issued in 2006 from the MBX Metal series and made in Thailand.
While we are talking about Mattel, I had better include the Hotwheels Beetle next, released in 1988 and made in Malaysia, this one has ‘Hotwheels road zoo’ on the tampo on the sides, and to add here , the only one so far with the older oval back window.
Corgi also released a Volkswagen beetle 1300 under the Corgi juniors name and numbered 17, this was release back in 1970 and discontinued in 1977.
Another late Corgi/Mattel offering released around 1992 and parts of the ‘classic motors’ series packaged and offered by Fina petrol service stations in the UK, these are nice little additions to my collection.
The one below is from the diecast maker Realtoy, most of their cars and trucks have fantastic detail, this one is of no exception.
Once you get up in scale the detail gets far better, this Welly diecast version is 1:32 scale and comes in many colours, including the blue below, white and black.
It has opening doors but the downside to this model is the pullback motor fitted in the back seats, great detail though and are subject to a future code 3 custom project with a difference.
For further articles on this blog relating to Volkswagens see the links below;
The real car
The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle and Volkswagen Bug, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen (VW) from 1938 until 2003. With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured automobile of a single design platform anywhere in the world.
For more information on the Beetle and further links Click Here
Today we are looking at the popular Ford Galaxy.
I have been playing with the camera and taking different types of pictures, this one was one of my favourites of the Ford Galaxy made by RealToy a Chinese diecast maker, these are small highly detailed cars of which I now have many in my collection, two different colour versions of the same casting.
The real car
It’s not the first Ford car called a Galaxy, the Amercian car giant Ford had a Galaxie model in the 60′s
The first British Ford Galaxy, the Mk1, was designed as a joint venture product between Ford and the Volkswagen Group. Produced at the joint-venture AutoEuropa plant in Palmela, Portugal, the vehicle was badge-engineered to create three vehicles: the Ford Galaxy; by Volkswagen Passenger Cars as the Volkswagen Sharan; and by SEAT as the Alhambra.
The Galaxy used predominantly Volkswagen Group mechanicals, most notably the 2.8 litre VR6 petrol engine from the top versions of the Volkswagen Golf, as well as Volkswagen Group’s 1.9 litre Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) turbodiesel unit. Initially only the 2.0 litre inline-four petrol version used a Ford powerplant – this derived from the Ford I4 DOHC engine. In later years this unit was supplemented by a 2.3 litre 16-valve version first seen in the facelifted Ford Scorpio. This engine was transversially mounted (as with the MKV Escort RS2000) as opposed to longitudinal mounting like in the Ford Scorpio.
For more on the history of this car Click Here