Miniatures news, August 1961

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Some very fine motor miniatures have been released recently. Lesney have brought out a really fine 1913 Mercer Raceabout (No. 7 in their “Models of Yesteryear” series, price 3s. 11d.), which is a fitting companion to their earlier 1908 G.P. Mercedes miniature. There is plenty of “brass work” about this very sporting Mercer and examination of it renews appreciation of the very high quality of Lesney products. This one will surely be in enormous demand in America, where the Mercer originated, as well as at home. More Lesney “Yesteryear” models are on the way, including a G.P. Bugatti scheduled for October, and we hope one day they will include a Foden steam lorry (to match their Super Sentinel) and perhaps a First World War F.W.D. lorry and R.A.F. Crossley tender.

Two fine new models have also arrived from Meccano Ltd., a very detailed and true-to-life Ford Anglia (No. 155 in the Dinky Toys series, costing 3s. 9d. inclusive of p.t.) and a most attractive replica of the Chevrolet “El Camino” pick-up truck (No. 449, price 5s.). The latter is quite a rare vehicle, being a very handsome modern American car with truck body; we are debating whether to substitute it for the Lesney “Matchbox” Series (No. 3) Bedford 7-1/2-ton tipper truck that does duty on the desk for holding pins and paperclips.

Even now the range of recently-introduced miniatures is not exhausted, for Dinky, not content with their handsome Chevrolet, also have a fine Rambler cross-country station-wagon (No. 193, 6s. 3d.), very well finished and with a roof rack in black plastic, heavily plated bumpers and grille, and cross-country tyres, etc., while Corgi have brought out a model of the controversial Chevrolet Corvair (No. 229, 4s. 8d.), the rear boot-lid of which opens to reveal the air-cooled flat-six engine with that long belt driving the cooling fan. These miniatures all have sprung wheels, steering wheels, seats, etc., the Dinkys have a form of steering and the Corgi Corvair even has a venetian blind for the rear window. Yet another good Dinky is a replica of the Opel Kapitan saloon (No. 177); a car rare in England but gaining many friends abroad.

What fun are all these conscientiously-accurate and well-finished models! – W. B.

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The fifth map in the well-known Daily Mail Series is now ready. It covers Wales, and eastwards to Birmingham and Merseyside in the North, to Exmoor and Salisbury Plain in the South, to a scale of 4 miles to the inch. Primarily this is a mainroads map, with very clear motorways markings, but all roads except narrow country tracks are included, together with A.A. and R.A.C. boxes, main railways, canals, civil airports, golf courses, car ferries, etc. This is the sort of map for motorists who cover long distances and want a clear, sturdy map, printed on both sides, that can be spread out in the car. It is available from booksellers, for 5s.

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The Shell Touring Service has issued Sheet No. 6 of its useful road maps, this one devoted to Central London and its approaches. The main area is to a scale of 5 in. = 1 mile, the approaches being at 3/4 in. = 1 mile. Not every street is included but this is a very good quick reference for getting about or through the Metropolis, and, with a streets index, and with parks, woods, rivers, railways, etc. shown, is good value at 1s.

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Dunlop brake fluid

Dunlop have introduced a fluid specially developed by themselves and Castrol for use with Dunlop disc brakes. Pale amber in colour, this Dunlop fluid, which conforms both to S.A.E. 70R1 and 70R3 specifications, costs 15s. 7d. per quart tin.

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French driving shoes

Smart people these days are frequently seen to be wearing lightweight, specially-designed driving shoes they have bought during their Continental travels. Now it is possible to obtain a pair of very practical, well made, high-grade French shoes without going across the Channel. These “Carshoes,” chic and hard-wearing, have a specially-engineered roller heel support and slip on and off easily with the aid of a finger loop at the back of the heel. These “Carshoes” are obtainable in light brown suede, brown or black leather, in half-sizes from 4 to 9-1/2. Miss Rosemary Elliott and Miss Sally Anne Milner of the B.R.S.C.C. and Stan Collier of U.D.T. wear these shoes, and I consider them a good investment at £4 4s. a pair. Try your favourite shoe-shop for “Carshoes.” – W.B.