Volume VI, Number 12

by Dave Weber and Christian Falkensteiner . Images by Doug Breithaupt

This survey seems to be progressing fairly well. The largest dilemma that faces us is how to differentiate between a full-size marque mainstream model and a sub- make of the same car. As a basic guide we are using the listings from our main sources but have taken a writers prerogative to add additional sub-makes as deemed appropriate. Basically we are including separate writeups when the car is styled differently or has a different chassis size. We recognize this problem is debatable since no specific differentiation has ever been established. So we ask your forbearance and we will assuredly reach the letter "Z"!

CADILLAC (US) 1902- Present

This firm was created by Henry Leland who later founded Lincoln Motor Car Co. Coincidentally, he had previously been associated with Henry Ford. The first Cadillac was almost a twin in design to the Ford. Cadillac was one of the first companies to become part of General Motors Corp when it was formed in 1909. The company is now the flagship division for GM. Some of the representative models in miniature have been made by Yat Ming, Tomica, Siku, Racing Champions, Guisval, Maisto, Mini- Dinky, Ertl, Jada, Summer, Matchbox, Hot Wheels and more.

1975 Cadillac Fleetwood - Tomica


This "sub-make" originated from the GM Motorama concept design rage in the early 1950s . The first car was a specially designed convertible which featured a wrap around windshield and cut down door panels to differentiate it from the other models in the line. By the time it was discontinued the distinguishing styling features had disappeared. Probably the most memorable car was the Brougham that was produced in 1957-1958. Hot Wheels has produced a model of this car. Some other representative Eldorados have been made by Topper, Johnny Lightning, Goodee, Tootsietoy, MUKY, Hot Wheels, Jada, Yat Ming, Racing Champions Impy, Husky, Corgi Jr and Mini-Lindberg.

1967 Cadillac Eldorado - Impy


This 2 seater sports coupe featured an Italian made body. Although the classical design was attractive, the car was not successful in sales. Models of this car were produced by Johnny Lightning, Matchbox and Majorette.

1987 Cadillac Allante - Majorette

CHECKER CAB ( US) 1923-1982

This firm specialized in producing only taxi cabs until 1958. They then attempted to produce a civilian car for the consumer to compete against the established manufacturers at that time. Their attempt was unsuccessful. Although the car was large and well constructed, the firm did not update their styling. Models of this car have been made by Summer, Golden Wheel and Albert Elovitz ( 1/87) which is believed to be associated with Kerico. Matchbox recently announced a model for their 2004 1-75 line.

Checker Cab - Golden Wheel

CHEETAH (US) 1963-1969

Partners Bill Thomas and Don Edwards developed this limited production sports car. It served as both a road car and a racer. It was constructed with many new Chevrolet Corvette parts. Most of the bodies were constructed of fiberglass . The few cars designated for racing received aluminum bodies. A total of 16 cars were reportedly produced. Models of this unusual styled car with a long hood and small rear were made by Johnny Lightning. The Hot Wheels Cat-A Pult is also recognized by collectors to be a Cheetah.

Cheetah - Johnny Lightning

CHEVROLET (US) 1912- Present

This firm was founded by W C Durant and Louis Chevrolet , a race car driver. The marque originally for a very short time was called the Little. It was purchased by GM in 1917. Now this division is the best selling and established low end part of the Corporation.This make has also been used on the Nascar race track for many decades. This marque has also been produced in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, Japan, S Africa and even Russia. Some models of these cars have been made by Tootsietoy, Accucast, Summer, Racing Champions, Valvoline, Johnny Lightning, Carlectables, Benbros, Winners Circle, Action, Kidco, Pole Position, Road Champs, Racing Collectibles ( RCI), Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Corgi Jr and Summer.

1977 Chevrolet Vega - Zylmex


This sub-make was only produced as a hardtop coupe and convertible . Many people thought this car would compete with sales of the Corvette sports car. But the Camaro found its niche as a lower priced "sporty" vehicle during its existence. But with the lack of new sales in the last few years, the line was discontinued recently. Models of this car have been made by made by many companies including Johnny Lightning, Topper ( prepro), Matchbox, Siku, Tiger Wheels, Hot Wheels and Tai Cheong to name a few.

1970 Chevrolet Camaro - Mega Speed


This car is the only rear engined air-cooled propelled car to have ever been produced by Chevrolet. It was available in both 2 door HT and 4 door sedan models plus as a convertible. Since the engine was in the rear there was no front grille opening. The first style was boxier but was replaced in 1965 with a more curvaceous model that was designed to appeal to the consumer. But a large influence to cancel production came from "Safety Guru" Ralph Nader who declared the car to be unsafe since there was no engine protection in the front to guard against head on collisions! Models of this car have been made by Mini-Dinky, Mego Jet Wheels, Racing Champions, Hubley Real Toys and Real Types and Hot Wheels.

1960 Chevrolet Corvair - Racing Champions


This car for years was recognized to be the only US Sports Car. It originated out of a concept design in the GM Motorama display. It has only been available as a 2 door HT coupe and fastback and soft-top roadster. It is designed to seat only 2 occupants comfortably and is known for its high power performance. The 6th style change ( C6 ) is scheduled to arrive within a year . Models representing this car have been made by GMP, Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Kidco, Yat Ming, Motor Max, Faie, High Speed, Ertl and many others . Refer to the article series on Corvette models in ToTC.

Chevrolet Corvette C5R - GMP
CHRYSLER ( US ) 1924- Present

This firm under the leadership of Walter Chrysler began when the preexisting Maxwell- Chalmers Co was acquired in 1923. Mr Chrysler had previous management experience from both Buick and Willys Motors. Until recently, the top model name in the line was called the Imperial. Similar designed cars in the mid 1950s used letter designations following the number 300. After purchasing AMC in the late 1980s, this corporation recently merged with Daimler-Benz of Germany to become DaimlerChrysler Corp. Cars carrying the Chrysler marque have also been made in Australia, France, Great Britain, Brazil, Austria, and Spain. Models representative of the US cars have been made by Road Champs, Ertl, Johnny Lightning and Racing Champions. The European 180 model was also replicated by Guisval and Guiloy in Spain and Majorette in France. The Voyager by Matchbox issued in Belgium represents the European Chrysler Minivan from Austria.

Chrysler Atlantic concept - Matchbox
CITROEN ( FR) 1919- Present

Having worked as an engineer with the Mors Company , Andre Citroen began producing cog wheels in 1913. In 1919 he began manufacturing mass-produced inexpensive cars, having copied Henry Ford. His products became popular and were accepted by the consumers. In the 1930s Citroen pioneered the use of front wheel drive in his cars. But the development costs put the company in financial difficulty. It was taken over by tire producer Michelin. The famous 2CV model was introduced in 1949. The equally famous DS appeared in 1955. This car featured a futuristic interior and exterior design . It had many advanced technical innovations which included the hydropneumatic suspension. During the 1960s this firm took over the French manufacturers Berliet and Panhard. Also they absorbed Maserati for a while and cooperated with NSU in the development of the Wankel Rotary engine. Due to the lack of a midsize model, they again experienced financial difficulties. This resulted in a merger with Peugeot in 1974. The firm continues to produce slightly individualistic technically advanced cars. They have remained popular in Europe and elsewhere. But they did drop out of the US import market in the early 1975 . The cars are also produced in Cologne Germany prior to World War II and in Great Britain at their factory in Slough from 1926-1966, in addition to Belgium, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Romania, Argentina, Chile and China. Models representing this marque have been made by almost all the large toy manufacturers except Hot Wheels. They are as follows: Aguti, AHI, Best Box, Buby, Corgi Jr, Efsi, Gisima, Gitanes, Guiloy, Guisval, Husky, Johnny Lightning, Lone Star Tuf-Tots, Maisto, Majorette, Matchbox, Midget Toys, Mira, Mokes, Norev, Playart, Polfi, Polistil, Schuco Piccolo, Siku, Solido Mosquito, Tak Wo, Tintoys, Tomica, Yat Ming, and Zylmex.

Citroen SM - Siku (Hungary)

COMMER (UK) 1905-1976

This firm , although specifically recognized as a commercial truck manufacturer did produce sedan delivery and pickup trucks and is as a result, included in our review. These vehicles were even assembled in the US in their early days. They experienced financial receivership in 1922 but continued to survive. In 1926 they were purchased by Humber which then became part of Rootes Motors. In 1973 Commer became a wholly owned subsidiary of Chrysler when Rootes was taken over by Chrysler Corp. But the Commer name was dropped and the vehicles in production were renamed as Dodges to aid in their international marketing strategy.Probably the best known model of a small Commer is by Matchbox.

Commer Pick-up - Matchbox

CONTINENTAL (US) 1956- 1999 (?)

This car was originally introduced by Ford Motor Company as a separate flagship division from Lincoln. The design was a new but classical application. It was desired to represent what the post WW II Lincoln Continental would look like if it had remained in production. It even had remnants in the shape of the rear trunk lid to show the shape of the famous rear tire mount from the earlier car. All the cars, identified as Mark IIs were 2 door HT models. Later on this series dropped the name Continental and became known as Mark III- VIII models within the parent Lincoln Division. Models of this specialty car were produced by Hot Wheels, MUKY, Matchbox, Siku, Yat Ming , Zeetoy, Topper, Johnny Lightning , EKO ( plastic 1/87) and Mini- Lindy ( plastic) .

1946 Continental Mk. I - L.J.N.

CORD ( US) 1929-1932, 1935-1936

This car was the brainstorm of the leader of the Auburn Motor Car Company. His first model was the L29 with front wheel drive. It fit in the lineup midway between the flagship Duesenberg and the Auburn until the company declared bankruptcy. The later series of Cords were also front wheel drive high powered cars . They were known for the unusual engine hood design referred to as a coffin nose. Both 2 door coupes and a lengthened 4 door sedan were produced in addition to the sporty convertible/ roadster. The supercharged models featured a chrome manifold extending out of the side of the engine hood . There are no replicas in small scale of the earlier L29. Models of the later car have been made by Racing Champions, Ertl and Hot Wheels.

1937 Cord 810 - Racing Champions

CUNNINGHAM (US) 1950-1955

This firm was founded by racing magnate Briggs Cunningham. Most of his products were produced for racing purposes. But he did manufacture a small amount of 2 seater sports cars for street use. Unfortunately the only model available is of the C4R race car by Hot Wheels .

Cunningham C4 - Hot Wheels

This completes our third segment of the A-Z summary. We have discovered that there are no specific guidelines on where to differentiate what should and should not be included. No doubt more small scale model manufacturers will come to mind. We welcome all additions and critiques.

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