Monday, June 3, 2013

#288 SCHUCO MODELL – BMW 2002, OPEL MANTA SR and RENAULT 17 COUPÉ TS (Nr. 301808, 301839 and 301861) (1969, 1971 and 1973)




The “Schuco Modell” series was completely built in 1:66 scale between the years 1969 and 1976. They are quite rare: not only because they were only produced during 6 or 7 years, but also because they didn’t sell well and the production was scarce. That lack of success of this line and the declining sales of rest of the catalogue were responsible for the bankruptcy of the company in 1976. In that year, the company would be purchased by the British company DCM (Dunbee-Combex-Marx). With new owners and a new direction board, the production of 1:66 scale cars was stopped. The reasons are unknown to me… maybe they didn’t want this line to compete against a similar one, or maybe they were too expensive to produce (1:64 scale is often regarded as a toy, while 1:43 or bigger are often oriented for adult collectors).



Schuco Modells were sold in a clear hard plastic box (“jewel case”). The boxes have roughly the size of the car and can be placed in piles. They can also be opened and close as many times as the owner wants. The lower part of the box includes technical data of the real car: horsepower, top speed, length and width, number of cylinders…


This information (which is also common for Siku models) is also (partly) casted in the chassis of the car. In this case, we find only the horsepower and the top speed. For the models in the picture, these values are:
- BMW 2002: 100 PS – 170 km/h
- Opel Manta SR: 90 PS – 170 km/h
- Renault 17 Coupé TS: 108 PS – 180 km/h

Because the chassis of the Renault was shared with another version of the car (the TS, both there’s a small table with the values of that variant too. Model TL: 90 PS – 170 km/h). The same happens with the BMW, whose chassis is shared with the BMW 1600 (85 PS – 160 km/h).

Back to the boxes, all cars were placed over a sponge layer that “pushed” the car to the upper part of the box, sometimes producing some scratches in the model’s roof. In later years, models were also available in blister cards, with a small sheet of paper indicating the data referred above.



Almost every car model has practicable doors. These are very well casted and fit perfectly in the body of the car leaving no gaps at all.
The most remarkable aspect of these models are the two part wheels. The tyre is made of black plastic, while the hubcaps are chromed plastic. The are perfectly recognisable, but it is also not rare is some of the hubcaps are missing in play worn toys. 

Something I noticed only after I read it in a message board is that the wheels have a strange form: they are not cylindric, but somehow "conical". This improves the endurance of the axis (preventing them to bend), and reduces the friction with the ground, so the car is faster.


Note the "conical" wheels.


FACTS AND FIGURES:
  • Name: BMW 2002, OPEL MANTA SR and RENAULT 17 COUPÉ (Nr. 301809, 301839 and 301853/61)
  • Scale: 1:66
  • Year: 1969, 1971 and 1973
  • Company: Schuco (Germany)
  • Size: approx. 6,5 cm

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