When Corgi chose to invest in new tooling to model the Renault Magnum in the 1:76 scale Roadscene range, it was quite a bold decision. The Magnum has been around for a long time, albeit with a few changes along the way, but in the UK has mainly been the choice of owner-drivers. Unlike its stable-mate, the Renault Premium, it has never really featured in any great numbers in the larger fleets. When it has, it has usually been something of a flagship vehicle.
When it first appeared, the Magnum cab was significantly bigger than the competition but over the years, cabs such as the Volvo Globetrotter, Scania Topline, DAF Super Space and Mercedes-Benz Megaspace, have all come to match it.
Pollock Scotrans Ltd., formerly of Musselburgh and now based in Bathgate, operate all forms of the models mentioned above, some of them in significant numbers. So against the background of the Magnum not being regarded as a fleet vehicle, it was something of a surprise when Scott Pollock rang to say that the first of a number of Magnums was now to join the Pollock fleet.
In keeping up with a longstanding tradition, the vehicles would be given individual fleet names and tartans and Scott asked for some appropriate suggestions. This wasn't too difficult a task, as Pollock had operated a handful of Renaults, some badged as Berliets, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Scott's father Ian had similarly asked me for suggestions at that time. The most obvious choice for the first vehicle, both then and more recently was ‘Fleur d'Ecosse' and on both occasions, the suggestion was accepted.
In due course, S88 PSL was painted, sign-written, complete with its Flower of Scotland tartan and made ready for the road. In keeping with another longstanding tradition, Scott rang to tell me when it would be heading south so I could arrange to photograph it on its first day on the road. I duly arranged the rendezvous at Washington Services on the A1(M), not far from my home. As usual, I took a lot of photographs, including a number of close-up detail shots, which I've always done with Pollock vehicles over many years. The Pollock livery, in my opinion, is one of the finest in the land and the Magnum looks terrific in the turquoise and red colours, with gold-leaf lettering. The only drawback was that, at the time, it was coupled to one of the oldest trailers in the fleet - a little unfortunate but that was to prove more significant later on.
Now at this stage, there was no prospect of the Magnum becoming the subject of new Corgi tooling, but I did let my Corgi contact at that time - Adrienne Fuller - see the photographs of the vehicle in Pollock livery. It was some time later that Corgi made the decision to go ahead with the new tooling and to feature the Pollock version as the first release as CC18301. At that point, I sent all the detailed photographs to the model livery designers so they could produce the master model. The only deviation was that I selected photographs of a new trailer than the one originally coupled to the Magnum. In due course, the master model was produced and sent to me for approval. As usual, the designers had done a super job and there were only a few minor changes.
At around the same time, the new Corgi catalogue was being pulled together but there was not enough time to photograph the master model. As a result, I was asked urgently for a suitable photograph of the real vehicle to illustrate the forthcoming release. The catalogue in question was the January-June 2008. Page 40, for reference.
The tractor unit was no problem because it looked superb but that old trailer really let it down and, in any event, it wasn't the trailer being modelled. I searched through photographs to find a suitable, side-skirted trailer of the type matching the Corgi model and, of course, taken at a similar angle. By merging the two images, a suitable photograph was produced for inclusion in the catalogue - and you can't see the join! Prior to receiving my own specimen from Corgi, I had three separate phone calls from collector friends, each enthusing about the quality of the model, so I couldn't wait for mine to arrive. When it did, I had to agree with them - it's a magnificent Magnum!