E.R.A.. Maserati and Alta in miniature

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Scale Models, Ltd., are to be congratulated on achieving very successful sales of their little E.R.A., Maserati and Alta reproductions. The secret of the exceptionally brisk demand for these toy cars lies in the realistic appearance gained by building them carefully to scale after close study of the originals, and the clever simplicity of the mechanical aspects. At the moment three models, each about 6″ long, are available. There is the E.R.A., based on Ken Pollock’s car with the Italian independent front suspension. There is the six-cylinder 1½-litre Maserati which is a copy of the cars raced in this country by Aitken, Hanson, Wakefield, etc. And there is the 1½-litre Alta, obviously a copy of Abecassis’s car, but similar to Beadle’s 2-litre or the latest Alta supplied when war broke out to Lady Mary Grosvenor. These excellent and fascinating little models can be supplied in silver, white, black, pale green, dark green, pale blue, blue, red or yellow and, indeed, in any standard hue. Consequently they enable drivers to possess neat miniatures of their cars in the authentic colour scheme. Each model has all wheels properly sprung, those at the front independently, by torsion springs fitted to represent shock absorbers. Steering wheels, outside exhaust systems, ribbed brake drums and external details are correctly fitted and the wheels carry treaded, detachable tyres. The simple spring motor is wound by a detachable starting handle engaged with a realistic protruding crank. If desired, the motor can be removed and replaced by a plain rear axle which is supplied with each car, or—a touch of genius—by an independently sprung rear-axle assembly. A full list of spares is issued. The complete car costs a mere 8/6, or 2/6 without motor. One could not expect youthful enthusiasts, grown-up youngsters and camera-wielders—happy folk who enthuse over “Gulliver’s Travels” as now screened— to resist such models, and certainly Scale Models Ltd., has been coping with a tremendous demand since Christmas. C. P. Tappenden, G. J. D. Tilley, M. S. Sutcliffe and A. L. Sutcliffe started the venture at Brooklands, where they carefully studied the real cars they desired to model; now they operate from Malvern, Worcs. It was an ambitious venture and one deserving of success, which it has certainly achieved. Other models, probably of Austin, Bugatti and M.G., will follow.