Norev was founded by the Veron family in 1946 not very far from Lyon (France). This family has already appeared in this blog (#10) because they are the same that later founded Majorette.
In 1946, the production started with a small garage with a few 1:87 plastic cars, as well as other plastic toys. Joseph Veron worked at that time for the plastic industry (firm Rhône Poulenc/ Rhodia). This company had developed a plastic composition called Rhodialite, ideal to produce cheap toys in the post-war days.
The scale car production starts much later, in 1954 and after the great commercial success that Dinky Cars were having, Norev manufactures the first 1:43 scale cars, made all of them of plastic. The first model was a Simca Aronde. This first model had a plastic chassis and a sticker informing about the Rhodialite. Plastic was a great advantage, as it was very cheap to produce, much cheaper than Dinky models. Norev tried to point out the pros of plastic compared to metal: the car is not painted, so it will remain always that colour and good looking. This was not true, since the plastic could decolorate if it was left if contact with plastic of other colour. It is a coincidence that these two cars are light blue, there were more colours available.
Those first models were mostly French cars that were very common those years, and all of them could be found with friction motor, or without it. From 1957 onwards, a collection in 1:87 scale (“500 series”) was included in the catalogue
In 1961, the Veron family created Majorette, to compete in the 1:64 scale market with other brands like Matchbox or Siku.
The models shown in this entry were made around 1963. The range had scalated quickly (from 12 models in 1956 to 96 in 1964), and Norev was now able to offer almost any French car in the market, plus a wide variety of foreign cars. The cars with red hubs are a few years older (from the early to mid 50s) than the one with black or silver hubs. Those more modern cars were also equipped with windows. Gradually the colour of the tyres changed from white (older models) to black.
The production of plastic cars would still continue a few years. In 1971, Norev launched a new series of die-cast cars known as Jet-car, although in the first years of existence of this series, some plastic models were still being produced. The history of this new die-cast series will be told in another entry sometime.
Also interesting to mention, is that the numbering of Norev cars in 1:43 scale was never stopped, from the first Simca Aronde (Nr. 1) to the Volkswagen Golf Rally (Nr. 899), regardless of the scale or type. These two are numbered Nr. 63 (Volkswagen 1500) and Nr. 67 (Ford Anglia). Note in the following picture, that not every model was numbered in the chassis (Ford Anglia is not numbered)
FACTS AND FIGURES
- Name: VOLKSWAGEN 1500 and FORD ANGLIA (Ref. Nrs. 63 and 67)
- Scale: 1:43
- Year: Around 1963
- Company: Norev (France)
- Size: approx. approx. 9-10 cm