Miniature Curbside Classic: Porsche 912 By Mebetoys

Today’s mini CC is for early Porsche fans. How many scale models have been made of the Porsche 911? Who knows for sure, but ‘a lot’ would be a good guess. This is not a 911, however, but its four-cylinder sibling, the 912.

Not to get too deep into Porsche history, but the 912 was essentially a 911 with the 356SC’s four cylinder engine and a slightly less luxurious interior. It also came with a smaller price tag. While 912s sold well initially, more and more buyers went with the 911, and except for the 914-powered 1976 912E, the model was done after the 1969 model year. For more info, read the full CC here.

Our featured car was made in the Sixties by Mebetoys, an Italian company. I really do not know too much about them, as I was more focused on vintage Corgis back when I was building my collection in the late Nineties and early Oughts. As I recall, this 912 came in an auction lot of vintage diecast that included a Corgi Imperial convertible – the one I really wanted! This 912 was just a happy bonus.

Mebetoys’s specialty was accurately scaled 1/43 models, and they offered quite the diverse range of makes. Other models included an NSU Ro80, Alfa Duetto with removable hardtop, and a Lancia Fulvia coupe. I wish I had paid more attention back then, as the price on these cool little models has gone up a bit in the last dozen years.

The detail on this little 912 is very good, with opening doors, hood and trunk (with a molded-in suitcase!) and front seats that fold forward. It is in nice shape too, only missing one of the rhinestone headlights. I painted the headlight bucket silver to make it a little less noticeable. Since my Dad is such an early Porsche nut, I gave the 912 to him, and he had it in his office for several years. Nowadays it has a place of honor over his tool chest in the garage. I borrowed it just long enough to take these pictures.

As for Mebetoys, they were purchased by Mattel in 1969, and gradually the line was turned into a sort of larger Hot Wheels line, though many of the original Mebetoys models continued in production. This 912 was just a bonus when I was trying to get something else, but it’s definitely a keeper.