Jump to content


Photo

Auto Models Ltd Lotus 18 and 22


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Simon Thomas

Simon Thomas
  • Member

  • 117 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 01 December 2011 - 08:36

In Autosport dated 13 July 1962 there is an advertisement with photo of these two models. I was too young at the time to buy them and nearly 50 years later I still have not found either. Can someone confirm they were produced in numbers? A Lotus 23 was to follow these two but again I have never found one.
Simon Thomas

Advertisement

#2 Barry Boor

Barry Boor
  • Member

  • 10,872 posts
  • Joined: October 00

Posted 01 December 2011 - 09:46

I regret to have to tell you, Simon, but it's very, very unlikely you will ever find anything that was produced that long ago.

Model manufacturers who were not Dinky or Corgi etc, produced their models in relatively small numbers and once they were all sold that was it.

Keep looking at Ebay but don't hold your breath.

You don't say what scale these models were but I can tell you that the French company Solido made a Lotus 18 and models do appear on Ebay France occasionally.

Good luck with your search.

#3 Derwent Motorsport

Derwent Motorsport
  • Member

  • 455 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:06

They were quite large scale models and came as a kit or built. They were beyond my pocket at the time. I think there was quite a range of perhaps about 20 models in the end. I did see soem in model shops but were they not sold by a book shop in London?

#4 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,729 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 01 December 2011 - 10:32

Gemerally, I think Auto Model kits were approx 1/24th and in white metal, such as this Delage which is on ebay at the moment. With a bit of skill they made up into fine models and they produced an interesting range.
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item336ea35fb4
I have a feeling that they made some 1/43 models, and later became Wills Finecast. They seem to have been revived by a company called South Eastern Finecast http://www.sefinecas...2... Page 1.htm Sadly, no sign of the Lotus 18, 22 or 23

#5 Simon Thomas

Simon Thomas
  • Member

  • 117 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 01 December 2011 - 11:50

They were quite large scale models and came as a kit or built. They were beyond my pocket at the time. I think there was quite a range of perhaps about 20 models in the end. I did see soem in model shops but were they not sold by a book shop in London?

I think the kits were way beyond pocket money in the early 1960s at nearly £1 when Merit ones were only a couple of shillings. When I made the Delage, E.R.A. and sharknose Ferrari in the 1970s they needed a lot of work.
Simon Thomas

#6 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,729 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 01 December 2011 - 13:30

I think the kits were way beyond pocket money in the early 1960s at nearly £1 when Merit ones were only a couple of shillings.

Beyond my budget at the time, too, Simon. Were Merit really only a couple of shillings? I used to think of them as being at the top end of the range of plastic kits back then, probably because no-one else was making GP or sports-racing cars. They were an odd scale, though.

#7 bill p

bill p
  • Member

  • 382 posts
  • Joined: December 08

Posted 01 December 2011 - 14:23

Beyond my budget at the time, too, Simon. Were Merit really only a couple of shillings? I used to think of them as being at the top end of the range of plastic kits back then, probably because no-one else was making GP or sports-racing cars. They were an odd scale, though.


I have in my mind that Merit Kits were 6/9d (about 33p)when Airfix were 1/9d or 2/= (about 9p to 10p)


#8 Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews
  • Member

  • 17,499 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 01 December 2011 - 15:47

Gemerally, I think Auto Model kits were approx 1/24th and in white metal, such as this Delage which is on ebay at the moment. With a bit of skill they made up into fine models and they produced an interesting range.

I have an unfinished (surprise!) Auto Models E.R.A, and it was given to me by my then employer, James Allington, who had bought himself an Alfa P3 model. He built his as a polished, bare metal model, and I was sufficiently impressed to use the same treatment on my E.R.A. This requires a lot more work, as every surface has to be meticulously fettled and polished, the louvres re-cut, etc, and you need needle files and fine Wet and Dry paper or Crocus Cloth, then Duraglit or Brasso. They look good though, and the nicest thing is the weight of a diecast model...

#9 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,729 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 01 December 2011 - 16:27

I have in my mind that Merit Kits were 6/9d (about 33p)when Airfix were 1/9d or 2/= (about 9p to 10p)

I certainly recall bagged Airfix kits being 2/- in Woolies. I thought that Merit were considerably more expensive (3 times the price, as you suggest, sounds about right)

#10 Simon Thomas

Simon Thomas
  • Member

  • 117 posts
  • Joined: May 09

Posted 01 December 2011 - 16:41

I certainly recall bagged Airfix kits being 2/- in Woolies. I thought that Merit were considerably more expensive (3 times the price, as you suggest, sounds about right)

Looks like a night trawling through Autosport for the price. I may have bought mine @ 2/ as old stock.
Simon Thomas

#11 D-Type

D-Type
  • Member

  • 8,087 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 01 December 2011 - 22:34

I've had a quick look at Motor Sport for June 1958, it has Merit kits available from Motor Books for 8/7d post paid. So you could probably buy them in a shop for 8/- If I remember correctly, Airfix kits in bags were 2/6d from Woolworths and a Dinky D-Type Jaguar was 3/6d at that time.

#12 David Lawson

David Lawson
  • Member

  • 872 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:10

Gemerally, I think Auto Model kits were approx 1/24th and in white metal, such as this Delage which is on ebay at the moment. With a bit of skill they made up into fine models and they produced an interesting range.
http://www.ebay.co.u...=item336ea35fb4
I have a feeling that they made some 1/43 models, and later became Wills Finecast. They seem to have been revived by a company called South Eastern Finecast http://www.sefinecas...2... Page 1.htm Sadly, no sign of the Lotus 18, 22 or 23


Posted Image

This is a 1/24th scale South Eastern Finecast Lotus 33 that I never quite finished, like so many of my models... I bought it in 1992 and it has sat gathering dust since.

As Alan says they are from the moulds of the original Auto-Kits models. They are nice models but obviously are fairly basic in comparison to current resin kits, I like them though as they are a substantial weight and have a charm about them. Somewhere in my cluttered model-making room I have a 25 and 38 still unbuilt.


I've had a quick look at Motor Sport for June 1958, it has Merit kits available from Motor Books for 8/7d post paid. So you could probably buy them in a shop for 8/- If I remember correctly, Airfix kits in bags were 2/6d from Woolworths and a Dinky D-Type Jaguar was 3/6d at that time.


Posted Image

I picked up this 1/24th scale Merit Lotus 11 last week at a toyfair for £15.00

Back in 1958 eight shillings was a lot of money to this young model-maker, it would have taken me two months to save up that amount from my pocket money.

After I have stripped the paint and vacformed a new windscreen it will make a nice bodyshell for a slot car project I have in mind.

David

#13 Alan Cox

Alan Cox
  • Member

  • 7,729 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 03 December 2011 - 10:50

Back in 1958 eight shillings was a lot of money to this young model-maker, it would have taken me two months to save up that amount from my pocket money.

Sounds like you were given a shilling a week pocket money, just as I was! Nice photos, David. The Lotus 33 capture the character and shape pretty well, doesn't it? I see it is running a very early form of Dunlop slick  ;)

#14 David Lawson

David Lawson
  • Member

  • 872 posts
  • Joined: November 03

Posted 03 December 2011 - 17:39

I wonder if the original Auto Kits version had treaded tyres but the moulds didn't survive into the Fine Cast era?

On the subject of pocket money, I remember after seeing the film at the local pictures struggling for more than two months to save about 10 shillings towards an LP of GI Blues before my parents took pity and put in the balance towards the price of 21/6

David