Saturday, July 20, 2013

#305 GUISVAL – MINI COOPER RALLYE 1:23 (Ref 525) (1971)

The holy grail of Guisval collectors in Spain is the ultra rare 1:23 scale series. It was only available during 4 consecutive years, and I guess it had to be quite expensive at the time. Therefore, it sold quite badly and today the few that make their way to online shops or auctions change hands for amounts that can reach up to 500 Euros, if the car is complete and boxed.

Back in the year 1971, there were very few adult toy collectors, I guess this line was more intended to young people that were already too old to play with cars, but loved cars and were still interested in technical aspects. The reproduction in 1:23 scale is not perfect, but it is quite near to the best possible reproduction considering the early date and the country of origin.

During the years 1971 to 1974, there were 8 cars made. These were:

  • Ref. 524 - Seat-Fiat 124 Sport 1600
  • Ref. 525 - Mini Rallye
  • Ref. 526 - Seat-Fiat 124
  • Ref. 527 - Renault R-12 S
  • Ref. 528 - Seat-Fiat 1430
  • Ref. 529 - Mini Sky
  • Ref. 530 - Seat-Fiat 1430 Policia
  • Ref. 531 - Renault 12 S Rallye

Some of the previous references wer made in several colours. For example, this Mini Cooper could be found in red, white or light orange. The Sky version (same with different decals and skies and poles on a roofrack) had, however, only one decoration (red).
In the catalogue from 1974 appeared two new models that, to my knowledge, were never made.

  • Ref. 522 - Renault R-5 Rallye
  • Ref. 523 - Renault R-5 Piraguas

The car in the pictures belonged to my uncle, and it's the Mini Rallye (Ref. 525) in red. Note the beatiful decals depicting sponsors like BP, Marchal or STP. The car is not 100% complete, but still in a great condition. It is one of the best toy cars I own.

You can see more catalogue images, or pictures from the other cars here:

As you may notice in the link above, these series were sold in two different types of boxes. On one side, a “classic” cardboard box with window, where the car was finished. A second box included the car screwed to a plastic base, with a sticker with the name of the car.

I'll try now to describe one by one the features of the car, helping myself with the many pictures I have taken. Hope you like it.

1) The car has opening bonnet, doors and trunk, in this picture I am showing the chromed motor under the bonnet. Also interesting in thsi picture is the presence o other chromed parts, like the bumbers, the frame of the windshield (including windshield wipers) and the realistic headlights. The roof of the car is made of black plastic, like many real Mini models.

As in many models from Guisval, the car has license plates starting with A (Alicante). That number (if it was real) would have been sold and registered in 1971, so it is a nice detail. From that year on (starting in June), new license plates were available for the whole country, starting with A-0000-A

2) The chassis of the car include the logos, names and scale, as usual, but has superdetailed exhaust pipes coming from the motor to the rear part of the car. Wheels can be removed revealing the brake disc. This can be done by means of a special key which was included on every packet, but that it my model is missing. Note in the following pictures that the wheels have a triangular central part. This cap fits in the axle, and keeps the wheel attached to it.

3) Opening Trunk with operating handle. Note also that every window and windshield has "glasses" and frames. The left rearlight is sadly missing.

4) The interior is probably the weakest point of the vehicle, that steering wheel is too big for the car and especially for that tiny interior. However the cockpit is well done.

5) Even the doors have "interiors"  and windows. Note that this window is half-open.

6) Front seats can be reclined to access the rear seats.

  • Name: MINI COOPER RALLYE (Ref. 525) (Serie Rallye, 1:23 scale)
  • Scale: 1:23
  • Year: 1971 (discontinued 1974)
  • Company: Guisval (Spain)
  • Size: Around 17 cm

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