Mini CCs: 1963 VW And A Friend

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An Official CC Theme Week would not be complete without at least one Mini CC post. But today you get a bonus: Both a VW and a Porsche. And why not? Both cars sprung from the same mind–that of Professor Ferdinand Porsche!

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The ’63 VW is by Johnny Lighning, who are better known for their 1/64-scale models of pony cars, muscle cars and ’50s classics. But about ten years ago they dipped their toe into the 1/18-scale scene with this well-done VW.

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Detail and proportions are quite good. This is the only release of a stock version. The first one was the classic #53 Herbie version, and a “California custom” variant also was made. But all I wanted was the stock one, which looks quite nice in maroon with a white interior.

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Even the little chrome VW hubcaps are spot-on, and if you look to the right, you will see that the model also has the correct hinges. Very nice.

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Shortly after the VWs were released, JL got absorbed by Ertl, and no further JL-developed 1/18-scale models were released. Ertl played it cheap by releasing JL-branded versions of their American Muscle series, with different colors.

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And that was that. If this Volkswagen is any indication, other models would have likely been just as well-done. But we’ll never know. Even Ertl today is out of the diecast business, selling–believe it or not–baby accessories, car seats, barf bags and strollers. Don’t ask me why; I haven’t a clue.

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Guess I was right to snag one when I could, as they are seldom seen on ebay. The Herbie version, however, is quite plentiful–if you want to pay five times what they retailed for new…

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Next we have this nice 356A Carrera. Produced by Sun Star (who also make the ’58 Continental Mark III in their fancier Platinum series), it was released in red with tan interior, silver with red interior, and cream with brown interior, as my example sports.

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Though this is from Sun Star’s less-expensive series ($30-$50 or so), the proportions and detail are quite nice. Even the mini “teardrop” taillights are just right.

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Inside we have the classic “banjo” steering wheel, detailed gauges, and seatbacks that fold forward.

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And under the trunk lid, we have a spare, complete with baby moon hubcap and the fuel tank.

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I always liked those baby moon hubcaps. This one also has the original silver-painted wheels, which are not frequently seen on the real deal these days. Most 356ers have gone for the chrome reproduction wheels. Also note the miniature Reutter coach builders badge. My dad’s own ’60 356B Roadster has a Drauz badge instead, as the ’59 Convertible D and ’60-’62 Roadster were not built by Reutter.

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356s have been around me all my life; Dad has had at least one since I was born, and he bought his first one in ’73, before he was even married. So all through my childhood I got a myriad of mini 356 toys and models.

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Resulting in all these examples in my dining room. I will have to do a post on those Studebakers some time too. Hey, we need to do a Studebaker Week! JP will back me up on this, I’m sure.

VWs and Porsches just go together–like pizza and beer! Or bratwurst and beer, if you’re in a more Germanic frame of mind…

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