-11 I’ • • In Nim 1 a t ur e
fr E have discoursed at some length ing to model cars. What follows recently about matters appertain may well be regarded by many readers as inadmissible, for it refers not to models, but to mere toys. However, those toy cars manufactured before the war by Meccano, Ltd. (” Dinky” toys) and by Line Bros., Ltd. (” Minic ” toys) will seem of some moment to people who cannot resist any aspect of motoring in miniature, and to those fanatical enthusiasts who will see in them an amusing form of decoration about their homes and workshops. So it is worth recalling that up to the outbreak of war Meccano, Ltd., actually listed 28 tiny replicas of actual cars, besides various public transport and commercial vehicles and other cars to no known prototype. Of these, eight were of racing type, comprising Gardner’s 200-m.p.h. M.G., M.G. Midget, MercedesBenz, Auto-Union, Eyston’s “Thunderbolt” and “Speed of the Wind,” R-type M.G. and the closed-cockpit Hotchkiss. Prices ranged from 4d. to 10d., with detachable rubber tyres. “Speed of the Wind” wasn’t very well proportioned, and the Mercedes was a bit stumpy, but the others were’ quite realistic. The standard models covered Peugeot, Fiat “500,” Austin Seven, Chrysler “Airflow,” Rolls-Royce, Daimler, Vauxhall 25, Armstrong-Siddeley, Bentley, Humber “Vogue,” Rover airline saloon, 2-seater and 4-seater British Salmsons, ‘I’-type M.G., Packard “Super Eight,” Oldsmobile Six, Lincoln “Zephyr,” Buick “Viceroy,” Chrysler “Royal ” and Studebaker “State Commander.” As with the racing cars, realism varied somewhat between makes, but generally was remarkably good, particularly in the case of the American cars. Prices ranged from 8d. to 10d., and there were divers items of equipment to the same scale. Lines Bros.’ cars were to a rather bigger scale (1/42 full size) and “real life” examples were Ford Eight, 4i-litre Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Daimler and Vauxhall, in varying body styles. These had clockwork motors
and some had electric lighting, although the average length was only about 5 in. Both firms hope soon to revive these toys and to add to the range.
While on the subject of commerciallyproduced “near-models “—as distinct from the finished products of Dagra and March Models, Ltd.—we recall those excellent P2 Alfa-Romeo racing cars ; the 7.5 and 11.4 Citroens and a constructional set of the Citroen Twelve by Citroen Cars ; tin models of the later Model T Fords and larger ones of “14/40” Delage saloon, 13.9 Renault saloon, and Hispano-Suiza tourer ; the clockwork “Golden Arrow ” ; the badly-proportinned but brisk Schko Mercedes and, of course, best of all, the small “nearmodels,” Scale Models’ replicas of E.R.A., Maserati and Alta. There were various small reproductions of different land-speed record cars. Can anyone add to this list ?