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Scamold British racing cars from the late 1940s


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#1 T54

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 16:51

I found this interesting Scamold Alta Grand Prix car, locked inside this cellophane bag, apparently a premium from the Autocar mag, circa 1951. I am aware of other Scamold 1/36 scale (?) Zamak die-cast models with torsion spring front suspension, such as the ERE and a Maserati. Are there others?

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#2 fivestar

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 01:52

Here's a couple of my model, with twin rear wheels as per Abecassis at Prescott or Shelsey Walsh in 1938, although I think the race # is incorrect.

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Edited by fivestar, 15 April 2012 - 01:55.


#3 D-Type

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 21:19

Did the model originally come with twin rear wheels or was it a conversion?

#4 fivestar

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 23:10

No idea got it a long time ago, but I have never touched it except to replace the tyres which keep splitting. I recall its from JUSTA in Spain.

Did the model originally come with twin rear wheels or was it a conversion?


Edited by fivestar, 15 April 2012 - 23:14.


#5 Peter Morley

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 15:58

They were made at Brooklands from 1939 stopped during the war and then continued until the early 1950s (T54s is presumably one of the last).
They only made 3 models:
101 = ERA
103 = Maserati
105 = Alta

Someone recast them in white metal around 1994 and Traffic Models cars did them in resin a few years ago.



#6 T54

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Posted 19 April 2012 - 00:51

Peter,
Thanks for the info. I had all three at one time but tin stole my heart and a good part of my wallet's contents, so I had to let go of most of my die-cast collection... :(
But I kept some. :)

#7 Peter Morley

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:46

Peter,
Thanks for the info. I had all three at one time but tin stole my heart and a good part of my wallet's contents, so I had to let go of most of my die-cast collection... :(
But I kept some. :)


Philippe
I love the condition of the Tootsietoys, they are usually horribly chipped.
I don't think it would break the bank to add a set of Scamold cars to the collection, but I guess a problem these days is spotting a new one unless it comes in great packaging like the Alta...
Peter

#8 D-Type

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 21:42

I doubt that the Alta packaging in a polythene bag is original as I don't think that polythene bags were in general use until the late fifties - I have seen 1957 quoted as the date when polythene bags were introduced in the USA.
Does anyone know what the Autocar connection was? Was it simply an advert or was there more of a tie-in than that?

Edited by D-Type, 25 April 2012 - 10:50.


#9 T54

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 13:51

Duncan,
Believe it. At one time I had all three of them with the same advert card, but the bags were partially open and falling apart so I sold them with most of my die-cast collection over 20 years ago. These bags are not polyethylene, they are extremely fragile and brittle material, more like super thin Mica. I think that as I said in the opening post, they are cellophane.
I am a purist and know the difference between bogus and the real thing... :)
I bet that if you look into old issues of the Autocar, you might find these items given as promos for something like a subscription to the magazine.

Edited by T54, 26 April 2012 - 13:53.


#10 aldo

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 21:23

In my collection I have the three models: Alta and Maserati are of the factoiry built version, both M condition, with working susopensions and wind-up motor and driver. I bought them many years ago from Dr. David Pressland. Unfortunately, no boxes. The ERA, also M, has been built from a kit: it's without the motor.
I can try to upload the photos, if someone is interested in them.

#11 D-Type

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:54

Duncan,
Believe it. At one time I had all three of them with the same advert card, but the bags were partially open and falling apart so I sold them with most of my die-cast collection over 20 years ago. These bags are not polyethylene, they are extremely fragile and brittle material, more like super thin Mica. I think that as I said in the opening post, they are cellophane.
I am a purist and know the difference between bogus and the real thing... :)
I bet that if you look into old issues of the Autocar, you might find these items given as promos for something like a subscription to the magazine.

Philippe,
I wasn't questioning what you've said. The bag simply looks too clear to be sixty years old. I missed the reference to cellophane in your first post and assumed polythene. Cellophane would fit the 1951 date. As you say, it is fragile and brittle.

I would still like to know what the connection with The Autocar was. I don't think producing these exclusively for a promotion would generate the volume to support a production run, but I know nothing about the publishing business. Taking an existing model and re-branding it for a promotion is more likely. Selling the models through The Autocar is also a possibility. Including an advert for The Autocar in the standard model sold in the shops could have happened, but is unlikely. Have you come across any models complete with instructions that do not include the advert for The Autocar?

Aldo,
I for one would be interested to see the photos.

#12 RCH

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:51

I doubt that it would have been an Autocar promotion as such. A subscription to The Autocar in those days would have been arranged through your newsagent, it would be many years on before the idea of giving an incentive to buy would arrive I would have thought. Possibly they were sold through an ad in The Autocar and the leaflet in the package was a bit of a quid pro quo for some promotion?

I have to query where these models were sold anyway? There would have been very few shops likely to sell such models at the time, I'm beginning to think maybe sports car dealers and "high end" department stores? It would be interesting to know whether outlets would have existed at race meetings to sell such things. I was told when the Goodwood revival started that there would be no trade stands because there would have been none back in the day. Was that true? Didn't take 'em long to change their minds anyway!However The Autocar would probably have had a stand and it is not inconceivable that these models may have been sold there.

#13 T54

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 00:39

I doubt that it would have been an Autocar promotion as such.

Why not? I had all three cars (the Maserati, ERA and this Alta), packaged the same way, with the same card.
It is good to be skeptical without evidence, but, think of it, I sold the other two cars WITHOUT the cards and kept them, just found them in my accumulation of worthless junk and here is your absolute proof that the cars were indeed packed as a promo of some sort for the Autocar:

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The picture above shows the three differently colored cards for the three different cars.
The second pictures shows the back of the card with the description of each car.

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If this is not proof enough, I give up the fight! :lol:



#14 David Lawson

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 10:14

This is the Traffic resin copy of the ERA mentioned above. I always wondered what the source of the original bodyshell was, thanks once again to TNF.

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David

#15 RCH

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:58

Why not? I had all three cars (the Maserati, ERA and this Alta), packaged the same way, with the same card.
It is good to be skeptical without evidence, but, think of it, I sold the other two cars WITHOUT the cards and kept them, just found them in my accumulation of worthless junk and here is your absolute proof that the cars were indeed packed as a promo of some sort for the Autocar:


I think we are at cross purposes, due to the way I expressed it. When I said it probably wasn't an Autocar promo I really meant that it wasn't a give away as an inducement to purchase a subscription because I doubt that sort of thing would have happened in the UK at that time. Maybe something along the lines of collecting vouchers from several weeks' copies of Tha Autocar to claim your free model? But yes definitely a promo!

#16 T54

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 15:54

Rod,
This is almost certainly what took place. I wonder how many have survived in the same condition as my Alta, packed in the cellophane...
David, "bingo!"
Indeed it looks like the Scamold model was the inspiration as one can see the articulation for the front suspension in the casting...

:)