For today, let’s just imagine ourselves on a European tour sometime in the sixties. I’ll say the sixties or we’ll be here all day, as there’s a fair bit of newer stuff. This era is a manageable size. We’re not doing museum classics (they’re for another post), or hunting exotics (ditto), just walking around the streets. What might we have seen?
Models of regular European cars are rather thin on the ground. Famous ones, no problem. It seems everyone has had a go at the Beetle. Heller has done plenty of French cars in a variety of scales, but strangely neither Esci nor Italeri seem to have done many older Italian cars, which is somewhat disappointing. No thirties Topolino (Guys? Really?) Fortunately, we have Tamiya -and Gunze, once upon a time- to fill the gap, somewhat. And although this is post-Brexit, I’ll include British cars, as they’re pretty widely represented, but not common enough to warrant a post on their own.
Let’s start with Germany. There are plenty of these little guys, of course. This Split from Tamiya is a wartime KdF-wagen, in the military scale of 1/48;
Revell-Germany has a lovely 1951 Split in 1/16 scale, but I haven’t built it.
This Oval from Gunze is supposed to be a 1956, but it has some challenging proportions;
So does this sixty-four-year-old one from Pyro. This is its best angle. I’ve never seen another one of these built. I think it’s meant to be a ’58, as it has the big rear window, but an earlier style dash? Hmm. Maybe they updated some parts but not others, and just aimed for a ‘typical Volkswagen’. That must be it;
This later one from Polar Lights isn’t too bad. It came out as the ‘Herbie’ car, but I thought the movie car was an earlier one;
Tamiya does the best though. We’ve seen enough Beetles, so here’s Tamiya’s Karmann-Ghia;
That’s pretty much it as far as German cars go. No Benzes, Bimmers or Borgwards. No German Fords, no Opels, not in this (arbitrary) time period. Unless we go hunting Porsches. This one’s a fifties kit from Revell, and took a lot of cutting and filling; it sure isn’t like this out of the box. But the kit’s almost as old as I am;
Fujimi did some lovely Porsche 356 models, but I don’t seem to have one.
Moving on to Italy, there are some small Fiats. Both Tamiya and Gunze have done the 500; this is the Tamiya kit;
Here’s a 600, as I remember them as a boy. Gunze did some super-accurate Hi-tech kits with metal and rubber parts; this wasn’t one of them. The colour might not be accurate, I was working from memory. Pre-Internet days…
And we’d better look at the engine, since it has a nice one;
No larger Fiats though, that’s a shame. A Millecento would have been nice.
I’ll slip in a fifties/early sixties Alfa Spider at this point;
Ignore those moderns in the background. They’ll have their day.
Time to visit France. I gather Heller is very proud of their country’s automotive heritage, and has been for a long time. They made an astonishing variety of French cars in the seventies, including some obscure pre-Traction Citroens and thirties Renaults. Another day.
What could be more French than a Traction Avant?
The Peugeot, Renaults and Citroen at the top of the page are in 1/43 scale – but here’s a Renault in 1/24;
Love these little beasties, so I made another.
And a little Peugeot 403, in 1/43;
It wouldn’t be France without a 2CV, would it? I think this might be a seventies one, but we’ll sneak it in (They didn’t change much, says he, firmly resisting the urge to go hunt for his 2CV book…)
Other French cars? There are recent kits of Renault 4s and Citroen DSs, but they’re hard to find since COVID. No Simcas either. Shame, that. A Vedette would be cool.
So, across the Channel we go.
Plenty of cool cars here:
Um… this, not so much. Oh, it’s a great kit, don’t get me wrong, just not a very good car*. (*In Australian conditions. And sending them to the US was cruel and unusual punishment. For both the car and you.) We had two A30s in the wider family – ‘nuff said. The larger A40 was done by Revell – but only as a drag car.
The A30 is a 3D print – new technology makes its way to the workbench! A Morris Minor is available, but only as an aftermarket kit in resin, and I don’t have it. Can’t have everything!
Ah, now that’s better! Terrible kit of an awesome car, dating back to when the Cloud II was the latest Royce;
This one’s more affordable;
And we’d have to have one of these! This is an Aoshima kit of the rubber-bumper B that I backdated with the earlier parts – but forgot to lower the suspension;
Next time we might look at some that aren’t so shiny. See you next fortnight.