SHORT HISTORY OF PILEN
This model was released many times with different reference numbers and decorations. From the Pilen catalogue, I guess it should be one of the most popular, because of its coupé design and pop-up headlamps (as a kid, I always thought this is what makes a car a sports car). There was even a black version, which intended to be Kitt, the Knight Rider, although that version was made many years after this one. Note that the tyres are made of plastic, while body, chassis are made of metal. It has practicable doors, bonnet and trunk.
Although the car has been played with, the jewel case is still the original one.
By the way, Indra is a model made by the italian car manufacturer Intermechanica in 1973. This company specializes in sport cars and replicas.
Pilen is another Spanish toy company from Ibi (Alicante) that was born in the late 60s. The founder was already a toy-maker, and had together with his three male brothers a very successful company, called Clim. Clim is the short form of the surname Climent, and the names of the brothers were José, Ramón, Rafael and Enrique.
Enrique was the one who chose to start this new business together with his wife Pilar. He sold all his interest to his brothers, and founded Pilen in 1967. The name of the company comes from the first letters of their names: PIL-EN.
Pilen (later also Auto-Pilen) would be one of the best scale cars manufacturers in Spain. Their production quickly oriented to 1:43 scale, a size in which the level of detail is much higher than in 1:64. Their cars are very similar to the ones made by Joal, Guiloy or Mira, and there is evidence, that in some cases, some of these companies shared casts to produce the same models. It is also said about Pilen, that they copied models from Corgi, Politoys and other international companies, which is very probable. I cannot confirm it, because I never had the chance to compare them.
Curious: most Pilen models have the date of their design in the chassis. This model: 4/75.
It is also said that Pilen purchased a license to produce Dinky models in Spain, although what really happened is that Dinky ceased its production in France in 1972, and the Pilen factory was selected to manufacture Dinky models for the French (and European) markets. Pilen made 26 models between 1976 and 1980, but without any reference to Pilen, except the “Made in Spain” on the chassis, or the “Fabriqué en Espagne” in the boxes.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Name: INDRA (Ref. M343)
- Scale: 1:43
- Year: 1975
- Company: Pilen (Spain)
- Size: approx. approx. 9-10 cm