Volume VIII, Number 5

O F F - T H E - S H E L F

The following editorial reflects the personal thoughts of Doug Breithaupt relating to our common hobby of miniature cars. It is intended to generate discussion
relating to 'Tales of Toy Cars'. Your letters are welcome and may be submitted via e-mail.

Still Missing After All These Years

Each year it seems, a few toy car companies finally offer toy versions of cars long missing in small-scale diecast. For 2005, we have an Alfa Romeo Spider from High Speed/Schuco, a 1963 Buick Riviera from Johnny Lightning and even one of the B.A.T. Alfa Romeo concept cars from Hot Wheels to finally add to our collections. Johnny Lightning has been especially observant in adding models like the Nash Metropolitan, VW Karmann Ghia and Tucker over the last several years, models long sought by collectors.

My thoughts on missing models have been included here before. I have shared my 'top 10 wanted' list. I have also identified the most desired car still missing from each automotive marque. Let me try another angle on this topic, one to which you are welcome to contribute. First, I want to make it simple for toy car manufacturers by keeping the list as short as possible. Second, I want to make sure that the cars suggested are from a broad, international cross-section of automotive manufacturers. Here then is my list of the models that would be most welcome by collectors, based on my less than objective 20 years in the hobby. I have limited myself to one car per country of manufacture.

Sweden - Saab 96
(could be offered in civilian and competition versions including Eric Carlsson's rally car)
Russia - GAZ Volga M.24
(Don't you want one?)
Germany - BMW 507
(Simply stunning - shown right)
Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic - Tatra Type 77/87/97
(a pioneer in streamlining and rear-engine V8 power)
Italy - Maserati Ghibli
(supercar with a beautiful body)
Spain - Pegaso Z102
(a Spanish Ferrari)
France - Facel-Vega HK500
(French grand routier style and American power)
The Netherlands - DAF 55 Marathon
(the London-Sydney Marathon inspired this sporty model)
England - Bentley R type Continental
(Everything a classic British motorcar should be with drop-dead looks)
United States - Studebaker Avanti
(Decades ahead of it's time, a 150 mph, supercharged supercar for the 1960's)
Australia - original Holden Ute
(an Aussie icon)
Japan - Subaru SVX
(Japanese cars are some of the best represented so I've picked a personal favorite)
Korea - Hyundai Pony
(the original car of 1974 was a milestone for Korean automobiles)

My apologies to the countries of Brazil and Argentina where I simply do not know the cars of these countries well enough to make selections. I have also decided that the market for toy cars representing automakers from Poland, former E. Germany, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, Israel, Egypt, India, Malaysia, China and other countries, is still too small to merit serious consideration although that might change in the future.

Do I really expect to see a Hyundai Pony or GAZ Volga M.24? No, perhaps not but it would be fun and who ever expected to see a Trabant (Maisto) or a TVR (Matchbox)? Other models like the BMW, Bentley and Maserati selections are long overdue and would be instant hits. I'm sure your list might differ from mine but in a more complete survey of toy car lovers, many of these names would rise to the top. Please, before we are offered yet another '57 Chevy, new Mini Cooper or VW Van, give us a few more of the great cars, still missing after all these years.