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

"Dear Doug,

I've been meaning to write to you for some time to thank you for the information and enjoyment I've gleaned from ' Tales of Toy Cars ' - far more than several years subscriptions of so-called expert magazines. After reading your recent article on Norev MiniJets I thought I would respond to your request for images missing from your collection. So I retrieved my Dyane from the Citroen cupboard and have scanned it (enc) but rather than it being number 408 as expected, it carries the number 301885 which seems more like a Schuco number. Can you shed any light on this? The car is light metallic gold with orange windows and a half open roof Thanks again for your excellent website Regards,"

Graham West Bristol England

Editor's Reply: Thanks for the image Graham. I'm not sure if the Dyane was also offered as a Schuco model.

"Hello, Doug Breithaupt.

I like small scale cars of Summer, Yatming, Zee, Playart... I have the pages of Yatming #800 and Summer on my website. You may be able to find the images that you don't have. However, my website is Japanese only. Please click the following lhome page link: Thank you."

Isao Kato / Japan

Editor's Reply: Navigation is a bit tricky for non-Japanese readers but there are some interesting cars. I saw two 1:64 scale Ferrari Dino models I was not aware of.

"Dear Doug

I read the recent article on Vauxhalls and it jogged my memory..... The Matchbox Guildsman was a competition winner. The competition was organised by the Vauxhall Craftsman's Guild which was sponsored by Vauxhall/GM

This was set up in the mid to late 60s. I think its aim was to foster a new generation of car designers but I'm not sure if any of the members ended up as designers. Members got regular news letters. I think these were perhaps quarterly. It featured current Vauxhalls, modelling tips, design and motoring articles and features on members and their designs.

Every year there was a modelling competition. Members were asked to design a car and then make a model. This, on completion was to be sent to Vauxhall for judging. The models were to 1/12 scale. Vauxhall provided entrants with a set of four rubber wheels in one of two or three sizes.

There were a set of rules and I think a rule/suggestion book. The cars did not need to have an interior and indeed many were solid. There were different classes on entry depending on age. The prizes included money, tools, tours round the Vauxhall plant in Luton and trips to GM plants in Germany and the US.

The Guild was featured in Meccano Magazine which must be where I heard about it. The entrants for one year were featured on Blue Peter a long running BBC TV children's programme. I remember the studio being filled with model cars and a winner being interviewed. Motoring magazines also featured the finalists.

The Guildsman was a winner one year although it did not have that name. Most entrants were futuristic and somewhat impractical. As I remember it the model is a good likeness of the original model. There was never a full size one. I sent off for a set of wheels that must be somewhere in my house or my parents but never got further than drawing up plans.

I'm not quite sure how or when it ended but looking back its demise must have been in the early 70s. I thought that I still had some newsletters in the loft but I can't find any. Unfortunately I have not got any Guildsmen to take photos of.

Other related notes

The Calibra this was sold in Europe as an Opel but in the UK as a Vauxhall. This was modelled by Real toy and Matchbox. I can supply pictures of these. The CA van - which was one of the first car derived vans. Mechanically it was very close to the Velox and the later Victor. Would you like me to write a brief article about these? and other later Vauxhall vans The original Renault Trafic van - as modelled by corgi in the Juniors range was sold, towards the end of its life as a Vauxhall Arena. Only the badges differed. The Bedford name has long since gone. To bring the story up to date the new Renault Trafic van - as modelled by Norev is also sold in the UK as a Vauxhall and as a Nissan."

Chris Pryor, U.K.

Editor's Reply: Thanks Chris, this is all very interesting. Too bad automakers today don't do more to interest kids. Any articles you wish to provide would be welcome.