Volume VIII, Number 1

Found in the Letterbox
The following are responses to 'Tales of Toy Cars'. Your letters are welcome and may be submitted via e-mail

"Many thanks again - your efforts are appreciated! Let me make a few comments on the Ferrari F1 article, and specifically the Matchbox models: It is not quite true that the 1970 Ferrari was not issued in red, for there was a red variation made in Brazil (picture by Silton Goto): Of course, very few of us have ever seen an example like this in the flesh! The model specified as a 1984 Ferrari is more likely to be from the 1983 season, simply because the model was already issued in 1984.

The "Grand Prix Racing Car" casting first issued in 1988 was actually based on a 1987 Williams, and first offered in Ferrari livery in 1990.

Finally, I am a bit surprised that you have not included the later F1 models by Matchbox, which include variations in 1993 and 1994 Ferrari liveries (although this later casting is also based on a Williams). I can provide pictures if you want.

Christian Falkensteiner - Linz, Austria

Editor's Response: Christian, Thanks for the information on the Matchbox Ferrari F1 models. I was not aware of the red version from Brazil. It would be tempting to re-paint one of the yellow regular issue versions in red with Ferrari markings but my skills in this line are lacking. I was aware of but alas do not have the '93 and '94 Ferrari models (right) from Matchbox. These were not sold in the U.S. and I have yet to add them to my collection.

Nice article and an excellent collection of cars

However I do believe that the Majorette is a 1976 312T2 as it is car #1 (for reigning champ Lauda). The T3 did not debut until the 3rd race (I think it was Long Beach) of 1978. It was the Tomica version which is the 1978 312T3. The 1979 312T4, on the other hand, was done by Polistil but the car was using #1 so since it does look very similar to the 312T5 of the following year, I guess we have to classify it as a 312T5.

I also agree that the Matchbox with #3 is the 1984 126C4. There was a plan for 1984 to use the present-day F1 numbering system and if it pushed through, Ferrari would have had cars #3 and #4 that year being the reigning Constructor's champion (Brabham-BMW had #1 & #2 by virtue of the reigning WDC). However it did not so Ferrari stayed with 27/28.

The 2000 F1-2000 by Siku appears more like the F310/2 used in the 2nd half of 1996. The rounded raised nose, bulky driver head protection and most especially the sidepod intakes appear closer to the F310/2.

In addition, Champion did some very nice F1 cars of the late 60s... I have a 1968 312B (Jacky Ickx). I also once saw on ebay a 312B (Chris Amon) with tower wings..."

Jerome Antaran - Manila, Philippines

Many thanks again for this new issue of ToTC. The F1 Ferrari article is my favorite, with the one on Japanese models. The pink Bandai 2CV is a '55 model at the latest : the real Citroen got it's definitive rear window (a wide rectangle) in July 1956."

Francis Levant - Amiens, France