A couple of days ago, I came by the toy section of a great department store in my city. I was very surprised when I saw that Darda cars are still being sold. I didn’t know much about this brand until I found a couple of cars by this company in a flea market. At this moment I own three different models, and this are two of them.
Both cars are legends in the world of rallies, and have been reproduced many times as a toy. Darda cars are not specially detailed, since all cars are slightly deformed to make them look nicer. Darda’s biggest selling proposition/argument is not the accuracy of the model, but a rather powerful pullback motor, that was invented in 1970 by Helmut Darda. In addition to the pullback motor, special tracks could be bought with many curves, loopings, jumps and so on in which the cars could be played.
These cars were made between 1971 and 1992 in (West-)Germany, and since then in China. It is unclear if the company was sold by its original founder to an American company called Life-Like in 1984 or later, around 1990. This model belong to the first epoch of the toy company, 1971-1984, although I haven’t found exactly in which year it was built. In any case, the body of the car is made of plastic, while the models made before the 80s are often made in metal.
With the Renault 5 cast are over 20 different known versions and variations (different colours and decorations), all of them with the reference 1665 plus three numbers or two numbers and letter ‘w’ if it’s a promotional car made expressly to be given as a gift (w is for ‘Werbung’, german for publicity), but I’m not sure if this code has some “scientific” base (e.g. chronological order of release) or are just numbers given by collector websites for documentation purposes.
FACTS AND FIGURES:
- Name: R 5 TURBO (Ref. 1665-001) and LANCIA DELTA S4 (Ref. 1664-071)
- Scale: (estimated) 1:64
- Year: Around 1983
- Company: Darda (West-Germany)
- Size: approx. approx. 6 cm