Volume IX, Number 3

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

"AHC Models was a Dutch manufacturer of miniature cars in idfferent scales. It's succesor was Doorkey. AHC was founded by Johannes van Rijn in Epe (in the middle of the Netherlands). Production was at Pilen from Spain. AHC models were also sold under the Artec brand.

I send you a picture of the 1:64 ANWB set. The ANWB is a sister organisation of the German ADAC and the British RAC. Beside these 1:64 cars it made predominantly 1:43 cars, trucks and busses

Cars 1:64

* (101) Volkswagen Golf (Mk 1)

* (102) Renault 4

* (103) Motorcycle and sidecar (Triumph? engine is a V2)

* (104) Citroën 4CV 400 (4cv is the actual name, according to my 2CV collector, 400 is the space inside...)

Cars 1:41

* Volvo 440, Volvo 460, Volvo 480ES


* DAF 600 (not to be confused with the car)

* DAF 800

* DAF 45

* Leyland DAF 45


* Den Oudsten Alliance 220 DAF

* Den Oudsten Alliance 230 DAF

* Den Oudsten Alliance 310 DAF

(The number is Horsepower from the DAF powerplant)

Doorkey was founded by Johannes van Rijn as a succesor of AHC. It was actually founded, so his son, Richard, could take it over. The companies name was Ar-gee, The Ar for the initial R of Richard and the Gee for the initial G of business partner Gerrit. They distributed their cars under the name Doorkey. The models were (again) made by the Spanish Pilen. Probably Pilen was chosen as it was strugling to survive and could use any money. Unfortunately, the company went bust. Although efforts were made to continue in a new company, it was in vain. The molds went to other SPanish firm Guiloy.

I have a Doorkey Volvo 480ES, unfortunately, that is in Holland and I am in Ireland. Picturing it will be difficult.

Models of Doorkey:

* Opel Combo (Opel Kadett/Vauxhall Astra/Pontiac Lemans based) , Opel Manta

* Nissan Maxima, Nissan Serena, Nissan Micra (5 doors)

* SEAT Ibiza, SEAT 600, SEAT 850 Spider, SEAT 127, SEAT Toledo

* Volvo 440, Volvo 850 GLT

* Toyota Celica, Toyota Land Cruiser

* Suzuki Samurai

* Mercedes-Benz 250C. Mercedes-Benz 100, Mercedes-Benz 500

* Mini Cooper

* Porsche Carrera 6

* VW Buggy

* Indra

* Ford Courier

* BMW 2000, BMW 507

* Lexus SC 400

Jan Clevering

Editor's Response: Jan, thanks for the images and list. That ANWB set looks very nice indeed.

Following the article on Alfa Romeo, a number of individuals submitted the following images of models not in my collection. Thank you for the further contributions. Now I need to find all these!

Alfa Romeo GT 1300 Junior - Polistil (Rob Gros)

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT - Polistil (Rob Gros)

Alfa Romeo Carabo - SZE Toy (Mark Foster)

Alfa Romeo Guilietta - Tin Toys (Dave from Australia)

Alfa Romeo GT - Welly (Mark Foster)

Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT - Playart (Dave from Australia)

Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint racing - Summer (Mark Foster)
There is some debate on this model being an Alfa or BMW.

"Jeff Koch's article hit home for me, as well I'm sure for other collectors like us. Again and again I look at pieces in my collection and realize that I really don't know why I bought it. Why I do I buy cars with unrealistic paint jobs - like some themed Johnny Lightnings (the Las Vegas Poker cars come to mind) and some mid '90s Matchbox. I have a few mid '90s Matchbox 300zx's with absolutely appalling and utterly unrealistic paint jobs - I don't know why I bought them, let alone why I keep them...

Unlike Jeff, I haven't yet been able to get rid of cars in the collection - the collection never shrinks, it just grows. My best bet is to be careful with what I buy, taking one last look before I go to the cashier and asking myself if I really want them, and hoping the collection doesn't grow to big or too fast...

And I can't explain why I for a few all time favorite cars (for example, the early '70s Red Matchbox Superfast Ford Pickup), I feel compelled to pick up multiple examples. If I like one, will I like 3 of the same one?

Anyway, as always I enjoy the articles. Keep up the good work."

John Carrol

Editor's response: Few of us have the will power to reduce our collections. Perhaps Jeff will inspire some of us to try harder.

I saw your article about the Nurenberg Toy fFir. Recently I bought a few cars at Walmart from High Speed. I really loved them. At 1.67 they are unbeteable. I want more models however the only place I can find them is Walmart. Are there any other places that I can buy them from? Hope you can help. Thanks.

Jose Hernandez

Editor's response: I wish I could find these at Wal-Mart. My few examples were sent from Europe.

"Hi, my name is Rodrigo Palacio we are collectors and Ebay sellers from Argentina (I guess we have some transactions some years ago). Until know it was almost a detective task knowing the Muky history, we knew that this brand produced a series of diecast models made with Hotwheels Redline molds featured under several series. The company first called "Esdeco" and then called "Induguay" produced this brand "Muky". we came across some models with the brand "Grand Prix Regal" on their bases, and that could be the first name used by the Esdeco Company for their models and them turned into "Muky" (we'll send photos of this later), this mail is to bring you a little discovery that we have made almost by coincidence with one of its models.

In the last years of Induguay, the models were produced with plastic bases instead of the more complex (and expensive) metal bases, according to one interview, they made two new molds (the only two non-Redline models): The Ferrari 308 and a Volkswagen Beetle. We came across a lot of Zilmex diecast models a couple of days ago, this brand featured some 80's models, but to our surprise the Ferrari 308 was EXACTLY the same model, shape, size, to the Muky one. It's cut by its half (seen by its side) as the Muky version. We have attached to this mail every possible photo comparing them, you'll discovery that Muky used other companies molds, we have to discover the Beetle yet! Thanks for your site, it's a great reference for all the collector community, hope it helps to unveil some Muky history."

Rodrigo Palacio

Editor's response: Rodrigo, Thank you for the information on Muky. I will share it with readers in the next issue. My collection of Muky models does not include the Ferrari 308 but I do have the Zylmex version. Your comparison images show that these are indeed the same casting. I do have the '40 Ford sedan by Muky which appears to be based on the later, non-redline '40 Ford sedan by Hot Wheels. The Muky VW Beetle is actually based on a Zylmex casting as well. After reading your e-mail, I wondered if there was a connection and when I checked, found them to be the same. The bases are different but the body is the same. The Zylmex version is still in production, now from Motor Max.

"Hi Doug, Thank you very much for your reply, that's a curious fact indeed, we didn't have a VW Beetle to compare them. About the "Grand Prix Regal" Deora we believe it was the first name used by Esdeco before using "Muky" as they main brand. it's called "Transporter" as the later Muky Deoras, and it doesn't have interiors but a blue cristal as all the models in this brand. One curious fact: it seems to use the very same base of its Hotwheels counterpart, it has the two holes on the base as a guide for it, it seems they used not only the Redline body castings but also their bases, since later Muky Deoras used a different custom bases. We have attached photos of this model. Thanks again for your reply, our best wishes to your site,"

Rodrigo Palacio