LAST year Corgi introduced a miniature of the General Motors’ Chevrolet Astro 1, thus bringing into the Mettoy Playcraft range of car miniatures a much-publicised dream car which cannot be bought in full size. The model, No. 347 in the Corgi series, is 4 1/8 in. long, reproduces the unusual features of the original such as aircraft-type steering control, the rear-located vee-six air-cooled engine, etc., and costs 8s. 11d. retail in the UK. Serious collectors may not approve of the lady passenger in gold lame evening gown and the driver in white tuxedo with a rose in his buttonhole, who are revealed when the top is raised, but they are unpeggable.
Farming folk will like the Corgi model of an R. J. Fleming ditcher on a Ford 5000 Super Major tractor. The ditcher’s movements are correctly reproduced, the Ford’s steering works, and this addition to the Corgi agricultural series, 3.5 in. long, is priced at 13s. 6d. The reference No. is 74.
Latest from Lesney are three significant models. The first is another in the “Models of Yesteryear” series, always an event. This one, Y-15, is of a 1930 Packard Victoria, a rare classic with custom-built body by Frederick Dietrich, this side valve straight-eight Packard being owned in real life by Hellmuth Holze, who has a private collection in Elgin, USA. The Lesney miniature is to a scale of 46:1, which makes it 4 1/4 in. in length. It is detailed in respect of American-style tubular front bumpers, those headlamps mounted on the special Packhard radiator, wire wheels, bonnet doors and hinges, hood, facia instruments, twin spare wheels mounted in the front mudguards, divided windscreen, trunk, the elaborate back bumper, seats, steering wheel, leaf road springs, etc. The finish is in brown and bronze, with maroon detachable hood and upholstery. A splendid vintage replica, this, but a pity that it comes with rear number plate and lamps cluster but no front number plate. It sells here for 8s. 11d. and will clearly be in enormous demand, in this country and America especially.
Then, in the “Matchbox” series, Lesney have a King-Size Lamborghini Miura, with the correct magnesium road wheels, an opening boot to reveal the transverse V12 engine, the whole finished in Italian red with cream interior. This 43:1-scale, 4 in. long miniature has true-guide steering and suspension on all wheels. It is K-24 by reference number and costs 6s. 11d. retail.
Finally, for this month, Lesney have added a tiny “Matchbox” version of the Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow convertible to their “Superfast” free-rolling models. This one is intended for fast running and stunt work on “Superfast tracks and so perhaps its unrealistic wheels and lack of instruments can be overlooked. It comes in metallic Kingfisher blue with orange upholstery. The R-R mascot is missing and we are not sure how many Silver Shadow owners Would appreciate the towing hook which this model, with openable boot, has. But it is fun, at the modest price of 2s. 4d. The reference number is 69; the scale is 67:1, which makes the Rolls-Royce a mere three inches long.—W.B.