Saturday, 19 September 2015

On Safari with a St. Bernard dog.

I finally found a decent Alpine Rescue version of the good old Citroen Safari that had been around for years. This is, in fact, pretty much spotless in that I can't see any faults other than some fading to the bonnet sticker. It needs another ski, the rescue chap and a St. Bernard dog and will then be complete. Yes, a St. Bernard dog. At least he doesn't have to go on the skis. Whether the rescue man comes with hands ready to grip the poles and holes in his feet for the skis I have yet to discover but I'll let you know when Mr Flowers delivers the bits.

These are making as much as £300 when with an original box and £200 like this which is considerably more than other models with shorter life spans. I am not entirely sure why. It was, admittedly, only around from late 1970 for a year and would have looked dated beside all the Whizzwheel models in the shop at the time but I would have expected that to result in a fair supply from old shop stock being available and not significantly higher prices than other models now.

It may be people wanting all the pieces and thus being able to display them interestingly, especially if this forms the last of a set they're collecting. The red roof suits the car nicely. The blue interior looks like a carry-on from #499 and it inherits its toboggan too and, of course, the skis and poles are the same as for several models before.

The side stickers are shiny, quite reasonable 'stick-on' types but the bonnet looks like cheap paper. This is a clear money-saving element. The previous transfers were much nicer.

This edition gets the cast spoke-effect wheels which are lovely and almost shiny on this example.

I have seen examples with red roof racks as well as others with yellow but so far they all seem to have the opposite colour for skis and pole so it looks like these are pretty much interchangeable and no combination is scarcer than another. That's just as well, bearing in mind how much you'll have to pay for this anyway.

So that completes the Citroen Safari collection, 1963-70.

499 Grenoble 1968 Winter Olympics

475 Corgi Ski Club

475 1964 Winter Olympics

436 East African Safari 

In my next article I'll look at what remains to be found.

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