Thursday 10 November 2022

Corgi Model Club: The Etrönic DS19 Monte Carlo


The latest issue from the Corgi Model Club is another Monte Carlo Rally model, this time the 323 Citröen DS19, except that for some quite unfathomable reason, it has to be called a DS19, not a Citröen DS19. Just what does this weird French company, or, rather, the weird French directors of this weird French company, think they're going to achieve by this nonsense? It's a model of a Citröen, for Heaven's sake. It was when it was issued by Corgi in 1965 and this is a model of that model so it can hardly be anything else. You would have thought that the company would have been proud to be associated with one of the most iconic designs in all motoring history. Oh well, never mind. Let's move on and look at the model.

As we now expect, this is a superb copy of the original casting, absolutely right in all dimensions and as near an exact colour match as anyone could ask for.

This was one of the last uses of the Citröen casting which they'd first used  way back in 1957 for the 210 model. In 1960 it gets an interior and suspension as 210S and then this version in 1965. Castings with holes for the jewels remained after 1965 and were painted red and the holes filled with mazak to resemble fog-lamps for the final appearance sometime in 1965 or 1966. I suppose it did re-appear, heavily modified, as the Race Manager's car in the Tour de France 510 issue and, even further modified, as Dougal and Magic Roundabout friends' car. Not a happy end, really, and this Monte Carlo edition is the one we love to remember.

Once again, I have to criticise the choice of 'jewels' by the Club, this time for the fog lamps. They are not good enough and look more like plastic than glass. I regularly buy replacement jewels for models and they're really inexpensive. I am sure that a bulk purchase of 30 or 40 thousand would not cost more than a few hundred pounds, a drop in the ocean of the budget, surely? This has let down a number of models so far and I do hope they do something about this in future.

That is, though, all that I can find fault with. The model is a super-looking car and will no doubt be welcomed by many collectors who don't have this - or who need one with an aerial! I can see this being included in Monte Carlo Gift Sets too in due course as no-one will see the base when it's on display and the box will be a reproduction of the Gift Set 38 box and tray so no reference to being made in China there.

Indeed, one does have to wonder how long it will be before we see the Rover and Mini-Cooper appear and a reproduction of the whole set, box, tray and all? With original sets selling for £1500 or more (that's about £1200 for the box and tray, by the way!) then there is a certain market for a good number of sales which I am sure would be profitable.

The model comes with two pieces of white foam and some thin foam cloth in the box, with the familiar certificate (which does, interestingly, refer to Citröen!) The box itself is the usual close match and the font styles appear better than in earlier models.

Thursday 3 November 2022

Things Corgis could tow

 A Rambler Marlin arrived this morning and made me think about this topic. Whilst Gift Set 10 featured the same model in blue and white plus a roof-rack and a kayak, pulling a revised version of the Pennyburn Workmen's Trailer, what is the red and black one designed to pull, I wondered.

Perhaps Corgi thought people might like to swap the two Ramblers - but then I realised that the Rambler appeared in June 1966 and it would be two years before it gets the kayak treatment. Maybe the Rambler could tow the Dolphin boat and give the Buick a rest. 

So just which Corgi cars did get a tow hook and what was available for them to be attached to?

Renault 16TS (202 and 260)

Buick Riviera (245 and in Gift Set 31)

Rambler Marlin (263 and in Gift Set 10)

Oldsmobile Toronado (264 in Gift Set 36 only and 276)

GP Beach Buggy (381 in Gift Set 26 only)

The list is a lot shorter than I had expected. All but the Renault had Gift Sets issued later with something for the models to pull, although the first Oldsmobile Toronado (264) was not issued in the box with a tow hook and the second (276) always did have a tow hook but was not used in the Gift Set. The Renault did appear in Gift Set 13 but without the hook.

In the commercial sector, almost all the Land Rovers had a variety of hooks, as did most of the Jeep F-150 models in various issues, as well as the VW Breakdown Truck and, of course, tractors, many trucks and lorries too. I don't think there were any other cars, though.

For the cars to tow there is little that Corgi had to offer.

Pony trailer (102)
Double horsebox (112)
Dolphin Boat on a trailer (104)
Pennyburn Workmen's Trailer (109)

That's it. I suppose you could add the Glastron Speedboat on a trailer which was included in Gift Set 36 but it was not sold individually. I hardly think Corgi were expecting us to hitch up a plough or farm trailer to any of these cars and the two early trailers - the platform and drop-side trailers 100 and 101 - are not likely partners either.

Late editions of the 102 Pony Trailer and all the Double Horsebox trailers would not have fitted over the button-type hook towing device that they had either. Early Buicks had a clutch type mechanism which may have worked but I doubt it was supposed to. So we're left with precious little left.

I am sure we may one day learn of plans for Caravans or small trailers one day which never got past the planning team meetings.

Maybe someone out there knows. Write to me if you have any information as none of the hooks really make much sense.

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Corgi Toys @ 60: Car Transporter gets suspension


Just one new addition at the shops in November 1962, the revised Car Transporter. A Bedford TK cab now pulls the transporter section which gets suspension too.

I only know this issue with a red cab pulling the blue and very pale bluish-white trailer.

The cab is the same as that issued in the previous month and which will be added to several different trailers in years to come. The wing mirrors should have small reflective pieces attached to the vertical faces at each end. With this issue the interior should always be lemon.

The wheels are the normal shaped type but in the larger size for the Major model and fitted with a fat round profile tyre. Very late cabs might have been fitted with the cast type of wheel which have been seen on the Machinery Carrier and so it is feasible that someone might swap a cab from another issue to this 1105 model. As far as I can tell, however, only shaped wheels were fitted with production ending in 1966 and a totally different Ford Cab and Trailer were introduced.