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The Norev story is primarily one of 1:43 scale plastic and diecast vehicles. The Norev Mini-Jets represent a small part of Norev production offered in 1:64-1:66 scale. It is the story of these small-scale Norev miniatures that is told here.

Norev began in 1953 and was founded by M. Veron, who simply spelled his name backwards to choose a name. Located in Villeurbane, France, near Lyon, Norev always focused on French vehicles. It was not until the late 1970's that the first small-scale cars appeared. According to Dr. Edward Force in his Classic Miniature Vehicles Made in France, 1991, "In the late seventies a number of 1:66 scale Schuco diecast models appeared in France under the Norev name, still bearing their 800 series Schuco numbers. By 1982, the survivors among them had been re-numbered as pare of a 400 series of "Matchbox-size" models." The box art for the Mini-Jets is represented in the four examples shown here (top-left, clockwise: Porsche 911S, Porsche 917, Alfa 6 and 1979 Ford Mustang). The early Norev boxes state that Norev "c'est le champion des voitures miniature."

There were 24 of the Schuco-based Norev models according to Dr. Force. Many were issued as 'fast-wheel' with a 301 prefix before the 800 number. These were:


Someone once said that 'cute' and 'fun' are two of the most popular words in American English. Built by Renault and modeled by Anson in 1:18 scale, the Twingo is a perfect defination of cute and fun. It is also another fine example of why Anson is quickly becoming one of the premier manufacturers in popular 1:18 scale.Anson's Twingo has all the detail that 1:18 scale collectors seek. It is well modeled and includes all the features that make the real car so appealing. The two-colored, round headlights, round door-handles, engine-detail, opening doors, working steering and an open, fabric top.


by TalesofToyCars

Story and photos by David Cook

Like Ferrari, the story of Lotus is about one man and his passion for motorsport and competition. Colin Chapman was trained as an engineer and his innovative racecar designs would often leapfrog his rivals, leaving them scrambling to catch up. Many times, however, his habit of making all parts of the car as light as possible led to disaster for his drivers.
The previous article on Ferrari Formula 1 in the August 1998 issue prompted me to write about another famous F1 race and road car constructor, Lotus. In its heyday, this marque was the subject of many small-scale models.

The first car pictured here is a Lotus 25, built in 1962. It's a Lesney Matchbox No. 19 in the very correct British Racing Green with yellow racing stripe and dark yellow wheels. This was the first "monocoque" chassis whose aerospace design offered greater stiffness and lighter weight over tube frame models. With the type 25, the great Scot Jim. Clark dominated this era, winning championships in 1963 and 1965. Another variation, the type 29, raced at Indianapolis with Ford power.

Historically, small-scale diecast manufacturers have not been kind to either of Sweden's two auto producers. Rather, they have largely ignored Volvo and almost completely forgotten SAAB. This seems odd: both companies have built some quite memorable vehicles over the years, both are still strong sellers throughout the world and both have rich histories that include a great number of successes in motor sport (SAAB even won the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally in 1963). Why then are there so few miniatures of these rugged, solid and sometimes sporty Swedes?



Three GT Racers for 1998

by TalesofToyCars

It has been a long time since we saw three modern GT race cars produced by 1:64 scale manufacturers in the same year. 1998 offers us three of the best. Matchbox, Hot Wheels and Maisto have all stepped up with fine examples of the winged warriors that battled the 1998 the 24 Hours of Daytona, 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Heures de Le Mans. All three are presented in white (just to make for a fine comparison I'm sure). The Panos is a welcome surprise from Hot Wheels, other than the unfortunate wire like wheels. Come on guys, GT cars have not run wire wheels in 30 years. Beyond the wheels, this is a fine representation of the car some call the 'Batmobile'. Don Panos has done what few dare attempt today. He offers both race and road cars in an age when the experts say it can no longer be done successfully.

Maisto produces both the street version of the Viper GT and the racing GTR. Presented in American racing colors of white with blue skunk stripes, this is an excellent addition to 1:64 scale racers. Like the Hot Wheel, Maisto's wheels leave something to be desired but are at least correctly scaled. The Porsche 911 GT1 won the Le Mans race and is an excellent addition to the many fine Porsche race cars in 1:64. As usual, Matchbox has done an excellent job presenting this car. The wheels are the best of the three cars. I am sure we will be seeing this model in many future colors.

Bleu, Blanc, Rouge - Voiture de la Patrie

by TalesofToyCars



Talbot Lago by Hot Wheels - Citroen-Maserati SM by Matchbox - Peugeot 604 Sedan by Majorette