Volume VIII, Number 2

by Dave Weber and Christian Falkensteiner, Images by Doug Breithaupt

It is interesting to note how many different marques have been replicated in small scale. Although we were unable to locate any models beginning with the letter "Q" , we have compensated with the letter "S". We have found it necessary to split this section into 2 parts due to the abundance of marques in this category.


The Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget was founded in 1937 as a producer of airplanes. When the demand for airplanes decreased after the end of WW II, the company diversified into car production. The first Saabs, made in the town of Trollhättan, were small front-wheel drive cars powered by DKW-based two-stroke engines. Gradually the cars became larger, and in 1966 a four-stroke version using a German Ford engine was introduced. The even larger model 99, powered by an engine developed by Triumph and made from 1968 onward, enabled Saab to enter the US market and continue to grow, including the takeover of the truck company Scania and the opening of a further factory in Finland. However, the company could not survive on its own eventually, and the car division of Saab was swallowed by General Motors in 2000. Nowadays Saab-branded cars are made in various GM-controlled factories all over the world, whereas the Swedish and Finnish Saab factories also make Opel and Vauxhall cars.

Saab models are represented in small-scale diecast relatively sparsely. The most popular examples were made by Majorette and Matchbox, while models of more recent Saabs are available from Hongwell.

900 Turbo - Majorette


The former Horch factory at Zwickau was socialized after WW II and produced only trucks initially. The Horch name could not be used any longer, as it belonged to the Auto Union which was resurrected in West Germany. So the new prestige car made by this factory appeared under the new name of Sachsenring P240. It was not available to the general public but only used by government officials. Production was hindered by shortage of raw materials and was eventually discontinued in favor of the much smaller Trabant. East German government officials had to settle for Chaikas and Tatras.

H0 scale white metal models of the Sachsenring are available from the Czech manufacturer V&V.


Saleen Inc is in Troy MI. It was organized in 1983 by Steve Saleen , a former racecar driver. His firm began by modifying and rebuilding Ford Mustangs. The finished products were developed into high performance cars for both street and track applications. The S7 supercar was introduced in 2001 as a companion to the modified Mustangs. It was completely styled and manufactured by Saleen. For 2005, Saleen has been contracted by Ford Motor Co to produce the new Ford GT performance car. Models in small scale of the S7 have been made by Motor Max and Hot Wheels. Also a 1996 Saleen Mustang Racer was issued by Johnny Lightning.

S7 by Motor Max


This marque was developed a a wholly owned subsidiary by General Motors Corp. The concept was to produce a small car to compete in quality and design with the Japanese counterparts! The organization began in 1982 and the Saturn Corp was introduced in 1985. The sales slogan was advertised as a "different kind of company, a different kind of car". In addition the marketing motto of "no hassle/ no haggle" was put in practice. In addition, the dealership names never included the identity of the individual owners. Only the towns or cities were identified in the dealership franchise name. Hot Wheels issued a promotional model of the "Ion" about 2 years ago and Maisto has produced models of concept vehicles.

Sky Concept by Maisto


This marque was introduced by Toyota to be marketed as their low end brand in their hierarchy. The styling of their mini-van vehicle is a very squared off boxtype design. Models of this new brand have been made by Jada, Bandai, Hot Wheels (HIN), Tomica and an unidentified promotional producer for Toyota. Matchbox is also expected to issue a replica of this car in 2005.

Scion bB by Tomica (Mark Foster)


The Sociedad Española de Automóviles de Turismo was the first Spanish company to mass-produce passenger cars. It was founded in Barcelona with the help of the Spanish government and Fiat of Italy. Consequently its products were based on Fiat models, but with some unique variations included. During the 1980s Seat ran into financial difficulties due to increased competition on the Spanish market. Seat then discontinued its relationship with Fiat, as the Italians were not willing to take over the company as a whole. New models no longer based on Fiat cars were developed with the help of VW, which eventually became the new owner of Seat in 1990. Seat continues to exist as one of several brands in the VW group, resulting in Seat production being partly carried out in other European countries such as Portugal and even Germany.

Small-scale diecast models of Seat cars have been made mainly by the Spanish diecast producers such as Gisima, Guiloy, Guisval, Mira, Pilen and Paya. In addition certain Fiat models made by other companies can also be regarded as Seat models. Sadly the most recent Seat products made since the mid-1990s are not represented in small-scale diecast at all.

131 Familiar by Pilen

SHELBY COBRA (US) 1962-1968

Carroll Shelby, a noted race car driver and speed enthusiast founded Shelby - American inc in Santa Fe Springs, CA. He had previously been involved with the production of the Ford GT40 and other super race cars over the years. He then introduced his Cobra which used a modified AC Roadster body from England. It was powered by a Ford V-8 engine. Production of this stylish sports car ceased after Shelby switched to producing a greatly modified Ford Mustang GT car. Models of the Cobra have been made by Hot Wheels, Matchbox, Zeetoy, Johnny Lightning and Aurora. Shelby also produced a very limited amount of Daytona Coupes during this period. These cars did not use the AC body design. Small scale models of the Daytona have been made by Hot Wheels and Johnny Lightning.

1965 Cobra 427 by Matchbox


As noted above Shelby - American is recognized to have produced modified Mustangs under their own name. The first cars were modified fastback coupes. Major modifications to the original body consisted of the addition of an airscoop behind the doors and the rear quarter panel windows were altered. In later years these quarter windows were blanked out. The models used the identification of GT350 or GT500 depending on the size of the power plant that was installed. Later Mustang convertibles were also modified and produced. In 1968, Ford took over production. Although production stopped in 1969, leftover cars were sold as 1970 models. A total of 14,810 GT cars were reportedly produced. Models in small scale have been made by Johnny Lightning, Maisto, Hot Wheels, Tiger Wheels and Matchbox.

1969 GT500 Convertible by Johnny Lightning


Shelby- American again attempted to independently enter the sports car production scene with an entirely new design for their limited production roadster. Unfortunately, the venture was not successful and only a small amount of cars were ever produced. Hot Wheels has produced a model of this car in their enhanced 100 % set.

2001 Series 1 by Hot Wheels

SIMCA (FR) 1935-1979

The Societé Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile was founded in Nanterre by Henri Theodore Pigozzi to produce Fiat cars under license for the French market. In 1951 a modern mid-sized sedan called Aronde was introduced. This was the first Simca not based on a Fiat and became very successful around the world. It was even sold in the USA and manufactured in Australia as well. Simca continued to grow by taking over the truck producer Unic in 1951, the French Ford factory in 1954 and Talbot in 1958 and opening a Brazilian factory in 1961. During the 1960s, however, Simca was gradually swallowed by Chrysler. Together with the British Rootes group brands, the Simca brand then became overshadowed by the Chrysler name. In the late 1970s Chrysler ran into big trouble and sold off all its European factories to Peugeot in 1978. Thereafter the former Chrysler products were renamed Talbot and were eventually merged into the Peugeot range by 1985.

Small-scale Simca models were mainly made by the French manufacturers Majorette and Norev in diecast and various others in plastic.

1308 by Norev

S + M SIMPLEX (US) 1904-1907

Smith & Mabley Manufacturing Co of New York City introduced their first car which was a 2 seater and had an 18 hp engine. In 1905 the horsepower was increased to 30 and the car featured an 8' 10" wheelbase. Bodies were made by special order. After falling into bankruptcy, the assets were absorbed into the Simplex Automobile Co. A small scale model of this car was produced by High Speed for a special subscription promotional for Readers Digest about 4 years ago.

SIMPLEX (US) 1907-1919

The Simplex Automobile Co was located in New Brunswick NJ. Herman Broesel had taken over the bankrupt firm of Smith & Mabley that had formerly produced the S+M Simplex. The new cars featured 50 hp engines. The chassis and bodies were made under contract by assorted companies including Brewster. The cars featured chain drive. In 1914 the Crane Motor Car Co was acquired. The company was reorganized in 1915 and the new Simplex Crane model 5 was introduced as a high quality vehicle with appealing coachwork. During WW1 aircraft engines were produced for the war effort. In 1917 the company was purchased by Wright-Martin and although manufacturing of automobiles ceased, bodies were reported to be fitted onto Crane chassis for another 2 years . In 1920 this firm was acquired by Hare's Motors who had also assumed ownership of Mercer and Locomobile. But in 1922 Henry Crane purchased the Simplex assets of the company that carried his name. He produced the Crane-Simplex until 1924. High Speed produced a model of the Simplex in small scale which has been a longtime promotional for Readers Digest.

Model 5 by High Speed

SINGER (GB) 1905-1970

George Singer formed his company in 1874 at Coventry and built bicycles, tricycles and motorcycles before venturing into the production of light cars. During the 1920s Singer was among the most successful mass-producers of cars in the UK and took over its rival company Calcott. Later on, however, the company could not keep up the pace of its competition and began to lose ground, in spite of its successful Le Mans sports roadster. For a while Singer continued as an independent operation, but then it became a part of the Rootes group in 1954. Later Singer cars were merely badge-engineered Hillman models. After Chrysler had taken control of the Rootes group, the Singer name was discontinued.

The only small-scale Singer model we are aware of is a 1950s SM Roadster which was part of the Dinky Dublo range.

SIVA (GB) 1969-1976

Founded by car designer Neville Trickett, the Siva Motor Car Co. of Aylesbury produced various kit cars in small quantities, including a veteran car replica called Edwardian, a small off-road vehicle called Llama and a sports car called S160 or Spyder, which was based on a VW Beetle platform but was often fitted with V8 engines of US origin. Several attempts to find other companies willing to produce Siva cars in larger quantities under license remained unsuccessful.

Matchbox issued a model of the Siva S160, which was been copied by Wheeler and Aguti but is otherwise the only small-scale Siva model in existence.

Spyder by Aguti (Kimmo Sahakangas)


?koda of Plzen was already a well-established producer of various industrial goods when it branched out into car production. In 1925 it merged with the car and truck company Laurin & Klement of Mlada Boleslav and began making all of its cars in that town. Skoda cars were mostly cheap mass-produced mid-sized vehicles, and they remained popular even in the communist post-war era. In 1964 a new range of rear-engined cars was introduced, which was to become the sole range of Skoda passenger cars available for a long time. The company suffered from severe economical restrictions under the communist government, which prevented it from developing its products to keep up with progress achieved in other countries. Finally in 1987 a new generation of Skoda cars appeared, this time with front-mounted engines and front wheel drive. In 1991 VW purchased Skoda, and since then all new Skoda models have been based on VW designs.

Some Czech companies including Igra and V&V have made small-scale models of Skoda cars, mostly in plastic or white metal, but a few diecast versions exist as well. Beside those the best-known small-scale Skoda is the 1980s 130 LR rally car by Matchbox.

130LR Rally by Matchbox