|Volume VII, Number 5|
MINIATURE CARS FROM A-Z "H"
Originally founded in 1846 in the city of Hanover, Hanomag produced a large variety of vehicles over the years, including railway engines, farm tractors, construction equipment and trucks, all of which were of more importance than the passenger cars. The most famous Hanomag passenger car was the small 2/10 PS nicknamed "Kommissbrot", made from 1924 to 1928. Other popular models followed, but after WW II the decision was made not to continue passenger car production, although a promising prototype called Partner was developed almost to production maturity in 1951. The other branches continued, but during the 1960s the company was split into several parts which were then sold on to various other companies. The truck division was merged with Henschel and then swallowed by Daimler-Benz. The Hanomag name survives to this day only on construction equipment, produced by what is now a subsidiary of Komatsu.
Not surprisingly, the only Hanomag passenger car of which small-scale models can be found is the 2/10 PS. Several variations are handmade of pewter and brass in H0 scale by the German company Saller of Kaufbeuren.
These cars were produced by the Donald Healey Motor Co LTD in Warwick England. They were known for their speed and were produced in small quantities. In 1950 Healey partnered with Nash to produce the Nash- Healey sports car for US import. When Nash canceled distribution of this car, Healey manufacturing came to an end. Healey's last development, the type 100, was put into production by Austin instead of the Healey company itself, resulting in the separate marque Austin-Healey. Models of the Healey marque are rare. However we have discovered that a Silverstone model was made by Bellini of England in their Piccolino series over 10 years ago.
This company located in Speyer was one of the foremost aircraft producers in pre-war Germany. With aircraft production in Germany banned after WW II, other products had to be manufactured, and Heinkel survived producing engines for other companies' vehicles (e.g. Saab) and motor scooters. When sales of the latter declined, they introduced a microcar modeled after the successful Isetta from Italy. Due to competition from BMW's licensed Isetta, success in Germany was limited, but production continued at a factory in Dundalk, Ireland, and the same design survived even longer under the Trojan marque in the UK. The Heinkel company continued to produce motor scooters and aircraft parts until 1965, when it merged with other aircraft companies to become VFW.
Corgi made a 1:43 scale model of the Heinkel bubble car, which due to the small size of the real vehicle would fit well in a small-scale collection.
J (US) 1950-1954
This marque was produced on a compact wheelbase. It was named after the founder Henry Kaiser of the parent company, Kaiser-Frazer Corp. The Henry J was designed to capture the less expensive small car market. It was powered by a Willys 4 cylinder engine. The chassis was also used to support the fiberglass Kaiser- Darrin sports roadster and the Excalibur cars produced by Brooks Stevens. This car only appeared as a 2 door fastback model during its fairly short lifespan. It appears that part of the cause for its demise was due to the merger of Kaiser with the Willys- Overland Company . Willys already was producing a stylish compact Aero model at the time. It should also be noted that Henry J cars were also distributed by Sears - Roebuck Company during this time. The Sears cars carried the Allstate moniker and slight grille and chrome differences were evident. This car was also reported to have been assembled in The Netherlands, Japan and Israel. In 2003 Hot Wheels issued a very modified model of the Henry J called the "Jaded".
This marque was originally called the Hillman-Coatalen. The latter portion of the name was that of the original designer. The cars were small size products . In 1928 Rootes Motors took over ownership. The Minx model was mass produced beginning in 1932. It is noted that an underslung chassis design introduced in 1933 contributed to the beginning of the Talbot and Sunbeam Talbot cars when Rootes acquired the STD Group. In 1963 the small Imp model was introduced to compete with the Mini- compacts of that era. It is also noted that the Imp engine was used by specialty manufacturers including Bond, Ginetta, TVR, Clan and for the Greek Farmobil cross country vehicle. In 1964, Chrysler Corp purchased a majority interest in the Rootes Group. These cars were also produced in Iran under the moniker Peykan and in South America they had Peugeot engines. In 1970 the long-lasting Minx model was replaced by the Avenger. This car was sold as the US import Plymouth Cricket and as a Dodge in other countries. During the 1970s the Hillman name was gradually replaced by either Sunbeam or Chrysler on most export markets, and it continued only on the British domestic market until all European Chrysler factories were sold to Peugeot, which resulted in the replacement of all former Rootes brands (as well as Simca of France) by the newly re-introduced Talbot marque. The best known small-scale model of a Hillman is the late 1950s Minx by Matchbox.
HISPANO-SUIZA (SP/ FR) 1904-1944
Although this marque is usually identified as a French car, it originated in Barcelona Spain. The cars were produced in both countries from 1911-1938. These cars were also produced by Skoda under license from 1924-1927 in Czechoslovakia. In 1930 the firm took over control of the Ballot Company in Paris where the H-S Junior model was then produced in 1932. About the same time, a new V-12 model was introduced in Paris. After the Paris operations closed in 1938, a few of these luxury cars were also built in Spain before that plant ceased production. After WWII a new prototype model was introduced which featured front wheel drive and a Ford V-8 engine. But production never commenced. The Spanish factory introduced the Pegaso brand of trucks, and under this new name a few more sports cars were produced in the 1950s. Models of this marque have been made by Guisval in 1:50 scale and Johnny Lightning for their James Bond series. The Hispano-Suiza makes a brief on-screen visit as transport for the villain Drax and Johnny Lightning has re-created the somewhat sober colors of the movie car.
This firm began operations as a car body producer of the imported Morris cars in the 1920s. General Motors Corp took over ownership in the 1930s and both US and British GM products were assembled for the Australian market. The Holden was conceived in the post WWII era as "Australia's own car". It was developed from a compact Buick prototype. Holdens were exported to New Zealand in 1954 as well as subsequent shipments to the Near East and parts of Africa and even to Greece. Some South African Chevrolet models were based on Holden designs. In the 1970s, Holden took styling leads from the English Vauxhall and German Opel. Production has continued successfully to the present. Now the new US Pontiac GTO is using a Holden Monaro body and components, and other Holden products are sold as Chevrolets in Brazil. Models of the Holden have been made by Matchbox and Hot Wheels and by Biante (Monaro - right) for the Australian market.
Located in Tokyo, this firm began as a world leading motorcycle manufacturer. The well known Civic model was introduced in 1973 and the Accord followed in 1976. In 1981 an arrangement with British Leyland introduced the Honda based Triumph Acclaim, which led to several Honda based Rover models. Honda then also opened its own plant in the UK. In addition a Joint Venture agreement was established with Mercedes-Benz to produce cars in South America using Honda engines, body dies and transmissions. In 1986 Honda introduced a new high end car under a separate marque. It was called the Acura in the US. Both of these marques are now recognized to be trustworthy and very dependable cars in their respective classes. For approximately the last 10 years , both the Civic and Accord models have also been assembled in the US. Models of these cars have been made by many including Tomica (NSX - right), Johnny Lightning, Maisto, Majorette, Hot Wheels, X Concepts and Revell.
HORCH (GE) 1900-1939
The Horch factory at Zwickau was founded by August Horch who left his own company after a few years to found another one nearby under the name of Audi. Beside trucks and military vehicles, Horch produced mainly large expensive cars which are regarded as true classics. In 1932 it became part of the Auto Union group and was established as the top premium marque within this group. After WW II the Auto Union was re-founded in West Germany but continued only the DKW brand while still retaining the rights to the Horch name. Deprived of its traditional name, the factory at Zwickau which was now located in the GDR adopted the name of Sachsenring for its later products. Passenger cars by this name were made until 1959. While Wiking produced several Horch models in its H0 scale plastic range, the only small-scale metal Horch model known to exist is a very tiny N scale model of the 1934 Horch 750 by Marks, another German company.
(FR) 1903-1954 (1966)
Founded by American immigrant Benjamin Berkley Hotchkiss at St-Denis in France in 1875, this company started out producing guns, pioneering the machine gun. As a car producer it concentrated on solid reliable mid-sized cars. Having taken over the sports car marque Amilcar in 1935, it survived WW II and went on to produce the Willys Jeep under license. In 1950 it presented the unusual front wheel drive Hotchkiss-Grégoire, but together with the conventional Anjou this was to be the last passenger car by Hotchkiss. After a merger with Delage and Delahaye production was restricted to Jeeps, other military vehicles and trucks. The last Hotchkiss Jeeps were made in 1966, and after a series of further mergers the marque finally disappeared altogether in 1970.
The only small-scale diecast model of a Hotchkiss passenger car we are aware of is an Anjou which was included in the Mosquito range by Solido of France - very seldom seen nowadays. A Hotchkiss Jeep was featured in Majorette's early Rail Route series.
HUDSON (US) 1909- 1957
Roy Chapin founded this company. It had been financed by J L Hudson, the head of the Chicago department store by the same name. In 1919, the Essex, a low end companion marque was introduced. The attempt to capture additional sales was successful. The Hudson 6 cylinder engine was also used to power the Railton and Brough Superior cars in England. In 1948 the revolutionary "stepdown " chassis design was introduced. This car featured fastback aerodynamic styling and was successful on the Nascar tracks in the early 1950s. In 1953, the firm again attempted to enter the small car ( compact) market with their Jet model. This venture was unsuccessful and probably influenced the merger with Nash Motor Co in 1954. The new corporation became American Motors (AMC) . The final style for the Hudsons was taken from the existing Nash motif . Badges were shared between the 2 marques on the previous Nash Ramblers and Metropolitans until the marque name was dropped after 1957. Models of small scale Hudsons are scarce. Only Benbros, High Speed, RCErtl (Hornet - right) and Team Caliber have produced replicas.
Thomas Humber founded a bicycle factory at Coventry in 1868 which moved on to motor vehicle production during the 1890s. After initial three-wheelers and small cars known as "Humberettes", the company later concentrated on more upmarket products and became known for sturdy and reliable luxury cars. Mergers with Commer in 1926 and Hillman in 1928 led to the foundation of the Rootes group in 1932. Humber remained the top marque within this group which eventually also included the Sunbeam, Talbot and Singer brands. During the 1960s Chrysler took over the Rootes group, which led to the decline and eventual demise of the Humber marque.
Surprisingly none of the traditional British diecast producers ever made a small-scale model of a Humber. The best known example is a 1930s Super Snipe released recently by Hot Wheels exclusively in Japan in its Charawheels range, in connection with the movie "Lupin the Third". A brass-era Humber was produced by Summer (left - image from Mark Foster)
This megasized SUV vehicle was first introduced only for military use. It was identified as the"HUMMVEE", prior to the end of the Cold War . It was designed to outdo and replace the usefulness of the long serving Jeep. Following the downfall of Communism and the USSR, it was introduced for civilian use as the Hummer ( H1). Initially it was produced by LTV Corp , AM General Division. This firm had won the government contract in 1979 to enter production. In 1999 General Motors Corp purchased the marque name and rights to market and distribute this vehicle. In 2001 a smaller and less expensive H2 model was introduced which uses a GMC truck chassis. Models of this vehicle have been made by Johnny Lightning, Kinsmart, Yat Ming, Hot Wheels, Matchbox (right) and others.
The Hupp Motor Corp of Detroit was founded by the Hupp Brothers Robert and Louis. Their first car was a 2 speed runabout. The firm remained successful in the medium price field. In 1929 they purchased the Chandler Plant in Cleveland Ohio. But the unforeseen "Great Depression" caused great financial damage to the firm due to lack of sales. Their last attempt to remain in business in 1940 involved the use of the former Cord 810/ 812 body dies. The cars were actually built in the Graham factory alongside this marque and used the same basic body stampings. But this venture was unsuccessful and Hupp soon ceased operations. The only known model is by High Speed of a 1914 "32" Touring Car that was offered as a premium by Readers Digest about 3 years ago.
Located in Seoul, this firm began operations in 1968 to assemble British Ford cars. The first cars issued with this marque carried the Pony model name. Mitsubishi provided the engines and various mechanical components and the cars were assembled under license from Japan. The first cars to be imported to the US were the Excel models in 1986. This model had replaced the Pony in 1985. These first production cars were low cost and paved the way for more recent higher priced models. Replicas in small scale have been made by Hot Wheels (right). ?