Toy Car Racing Rivals
Doug Breithaupt

I enjoy challenging my collection to provide the necessary models for a theme story like this. For this story I wanted two rival manufacturer's models of the same vintage in the national racing colors of Germany, Italy, France, Great Britain, Japan and the United States. I also wanted racing cars that could have competed against each other in their day. It was impossible to resist using the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe I recently found so I compromised a bit on U.S. racing colors which should be white with blue stripes rather than the reverse. The French entries are rally cars and the British are club racers but that seems appropriate. The selections span from the early 1960's to the late 1990's. The racing/rally venues noted are not all verified but could easily have happened, even if they did not in reality.

Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR vs. Porsche 911 GT1
1999 Le Mans

The rivalry between Porsche and Mercedes-Benz for the claim to Germany's finest sports racers is an old one. In the late 1990's, both built cars to win Le Mans. Porsche succeeded with their 911 GT1 while Mercedes-Benz only proved that their CLK GTR could fly.

Majorette provided the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR #232 while the Porsche 911 GT1 is from Matchbox. Shown in German racing silver, both cars still carry the profile of lesser production models.

Ferrari 308GTB vs. Lancia Stratos
1977 Nurburgring 1000K

In the mid-1970's, Ferrari and Lancia had both moved into the mid-engine arena for their production cars and these same models were often seen on the tracks of Europe. The Stratos was best known for rally success but was an excellent GT race car too. The Ferrari 308GTB was also a track winner as well as a showroom star.

Matchbox has offered the 308GTB in many colors including this correct Pioneer racing livery. Zylmex did a nice racing Stratos #D56.

Alpine-Renault A310 vs. Matra Simca Bagheera
1980 Monte Carlo Rally

French auto manufacturers have long participated in international rallying. The Alpine-Renault models were designed to be great rally cars and the A310 carried on the success of the A110. Matra-Simca is better known for their Le Mans prototypes but the mid-engine, 3-seat Bagheera did see some competition.

Tomica's Alpine Renault A310 #F58 is ready to rally with a bank of rally lights and engine detail. Majorette's Matra-Simca Bagheera #219 has an opening rear hatch.

Jaguar 'E' type 2+2 vs. Lotus Europa Special
1967 Silverstone Club Race Day

Jaguar and Lotus have long carried the torch for British sports car racing. While neither the 'E' type nor Europe were a great success in major races, they were popular choices for club racing in the 1960's.

Yat Ming produced the 'E' type shown here #1010. Tomica did the lovely Lotus Europa Special #15. The Europe features an opening engine cover.

Mazda RX7 vs. Nissan 300ZX
1986 SCCA Watkins Glen

In the 1980's, Japanese manufacturers were pleased to see their cars active in sport/GT racing. Success on the track lead to showroom sales and competition was fierce.

Matchbox offered a nice Rotary-engined RX7 in 1982 #56, with opening doors and racing graphics. Road Champs did the Nissan 300ZX in red and white (Japanese) racing colors too.

Shelby Cobra Daytona vs. Chevy Corvette Grand Sport
1963 12 Hours of Sebring

The Ford vs. Chevy battle is long-standing and in the early 1960's, both produced special GT models designed to win. The Grand Sports were not given factory support necessary for success but Ford gave Carroll Shelby's Cobra Daytona effort full aid,resulting in a Le Mans victory.

Hot Wheels has done a striking Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe in their collector series. Matchbox first offered their excellent Corvette Grand Sport in 1989.