You may recall the dramatic story of my blue Politoys Alfa Romeo 2600 Sprint Coupe, and how I first found it on eBay and lost it, then found it again and won it and how I was so ecstatic because it was the only one in the world...
Well now there's another one. It popped up on eBay on Saturday with a Buy-It-Now. So I bought it then. And now, I have two of them.
A package I have been waiting for with baited breath arrived this morning - it contained my new Politoys-M 521 Opel Diplomat V8 Sedan. This example is silver, so it complements my green version nicely...
However, there's another hugely important difference. This silver example, which was old shop stock and has never been played with, is a very, very early issue, with red velvet flocked interior. Or, as it was called in the Italian catalogues, con interni in vellluto.
Almost a year ago, on January 18th 2008, the Chevrolet Corvette Rondine sold at Barrett-Jackson for $1.76 million.
Created in 1963 by the renowned Carozzeria Pininfarina for Chevrolet on the chassis of the then-new C2 second-generation Corvette, the Rondine actually had a little more American in it than just the chassis and engine. The actual design was penned by American Tom Tjaarda, who was working for the legendary styling house at the time. As originally built and displayed at the 1963 Paris Auto Show, the car had a rather severe reverse-slope rear window rather like that Ford UK's Anglia. However, in 1964, the Rondine was modified to give it a larger, sloping back window, creating more of a fastback profile. This is the form the car still exists in, and how it was sold at Barrett-Jackson.
While Pininfarina built just the one example of the Rondine, two contemporary Italian model makers built far more of them, as both Politoys and their fiercest competitor Mebetoys included the car in their 1/43 Ranges.
The 1/18 scale model car marketplace has become very crowded in recent years. One of the newer players in this market is Norev, the veteran French modelmaker.
I don't buy a lot of 1/18 scale cars - they tend to be expensive, they take up a LOT of space and a lot of manufacturers show a distinct lack of imagination (There are countless 1/18 Beetles, New Beetles, New Mini Coopers etc, etc. All very nice cars, but do you really NEED 20 virtually-identical 1/18 New Beetles taking up shelfspace just because they're from 20 different manufacturers?). However, in this respect, Norev has managed to make their range really stand out from the pack. True, they have a bunch of generic seen-it-all-before tuners based on Mustangs, Merecedes and the like, but they even manage to shake that up a bit by modelling tuner versions of Peugeots and Renaults that nobody else do - and they also have some fabulous models of really unusual and stylish French cars that have never been done before in this scale, or to this level of detail.
Now, I've always had a thing for Renault Caravelles. Where we lived in the Mediterranean when I was a kid, cars tended to last a long time, so even though the last Caravelle was made about ten years before I was born, there were still a few running round and I just thought it was the most stylish thing I'd ever seen. Adding to the mystery was the fact that I had no idea who made it. All the badges just said "Caravelle" - and it wasn't until years later that I actually found out it was a Renault.
For everyone who's thought that surely all the fabulous boot-sale finds have been found by now, here's proof they haven't! And proof that (shameless but 100% true plug alert) the Toy Collector Want Ads work!
I was recently contacted by another member who saw my "Politoys Wanted" ad and who had noted that on the list of models I was especially looking for was the Fiat 500 Giardiniera. He had one for sale - and he'd found it at a car boot sale in Wales, where he'd bought a collection of Corgi, Dinky and others.
The Giardiniera is one of the five hardest-to-find Politoys, and is considered humungously desirable because so few contemporary models were made of the vehicle (the only other one I'm aware of was the plastic Norev version) that the Fiat fans hunt it down too. It's rare enough in mainland Europe (Politoys' biggest market), and finding one at a boot sale in the UK is unheard of.
Is this the toy car of the future? It's Hot Wheels' model of the notorious all-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster.