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Saturday, November 9, 2013

#346 BBURAGO – FERRARI 308 GTB RALLY and OTHER 1:43 SCALE MODELS (40xx and 41xx SERIES) (From 1984 on)

Preliminary note: this article does not consider the early 1:43 scale models (mostly trucks) that were manufactured during the 70s, they belong to another category.

The series made in 1:43 scale by Bburago are some kind of exception in the history of the company. Bburago had many other series in bigger scales that were intended for adult collectors and car lovers. Due to their size and their detail level, those other miniatures were not cheap.

That all changed in the 1:43 series. Bburago wanted to make a series of cars that were closer to toys than any other miniature made by Bburago in those years. The scale was not so strange for the Besana family, since Mebetoys had produced 20 years before beautiful models with great detail level. The new 1:43 models, however, are completely different: fewer details, fewer parts, it had to be cheap to sell as many units as possible, and they also needed to be attractive. These small cars had very nice colours and stickers that made the cars look really nice. Something that clearly indicates this, is that all models can be hand assembled, there is no rivets to fix the chassis to the body, and there are also no axles, the wheels are directly attached to the chassis (and though no suspension of any kind).

Chassis without rivets and axles

After their launch, this was one of the most profitable lines of the company. The cars were available at every toy store and even newsagents. It has also been one of the most durable lines in the history of Bburago, since these models were available since the very end of the company in 2005 and beyond, since May Cheong still sell 1:43 cars under the Bburago brand. At some point around the year 2000, the line was renamed “Street Fire” (references 41xxx), but it can be considered as a continuation of the original 1/43 line. “Street Fire” was actually identical (many models were the same old ones with new decorations or even with identical decorations).

The land rover in this picture has a very distinctive hubcap model, that tell us that it belongs to the Street Fire collection, although it is identical to the models sold in the late 80s, just with minor diferences in the stickers and the colours.

Additionally to the 40xx, 41xx and 41xxx references, which were available boxed, this type of cars were also available in two packs (42xx), five packs (43xx) and later also in three packs (47xx), single blister packs (48xx) and kits (49xx).

If you zoom on this picture, you'll be able to read some of the first references available 41xx
The most amazing thing about this scale is the huge number of different references and models made. I include as a “bonus” the pages of an old catalogue I own since 1990 showing the cars in this scale from that year.

If you’re interested in this particular brand or this scale, please take a look at this book and visit also this website, where almost every single Bburago reference in 1:43 scale is pictured:

  • Name: FERRARI 308 GTB RALLY (4148), FIAT PANDA 45 (4025) and LAND ROVER AZIZA
  • Scale: 1:43 (approx.)
  • Year: Around 1988
  • Company: Bburago (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 9 cm
BONUS: 1990 Bburago catalogue


  1. Super! Great info.
    I am curator for Hobby and Toy Museum and am researching Bburago Ferraris.

    1. Hi, thanks. You can find more information about Bburago in my other entries, or in the book recommended at the end of this article (if you understand Spanish).

  2. This German man found one using a metal detector.

    1. Indeed! This is a very crazy video... Thanks for sharing.


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