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Monday, September 24, 2018

#910 BEST BOX and EFSI - FORD TAUNUS 17M and OPEL REKORD (2511/401 and 405) (Around 1969 and 1972)

There is something I haven´t shown yet in this blog: a real Best-Box car model. So far I had only models marked Efsi on their base, but thanks to Pablo from I got my first Best-Box. It is not in its best shape, but still it is intereting to have it in my collection, mostly since I am capable of comparing it with the same toy car marked Efsi.

The model is the Ford Taunus 17M. The Best-Box reference number is 2511, while Efsi´s is 401. Beside the obvious differences (color and markings in the base) both models are identical.

In previous entries about Efsi, I wrote the story of the company using several sources, but since the last entry, I received a comment from Ron Kolk, I responded, but he didn´t write back. I wonder if he is an ex-employee of the company, if he is the writter of the dutch wikipedia entry for me or if he just translated it for me, because he corrects the information displayed in entry #175. In any case, thank you so much Ron!

Ron Kolk November 3, 2017 at 4:09 PM
In the late 60's, the mines were closed in Limburg. DSM (The State Mine) tries to provide the miners with new jobs. Among other things, DAF comes to Born.

The state mines had workshops where invalidly affected miners could carry out work, so as to have a decent day-to-day spending. These "WIM Workshops" were transformed into Social Workplaces after the mining ceremony and housed by the Social Services Fund (FSI), which her social workplaces resumed at the Foundation for Companies of FSI, abbreviated as SFB . One of those activities was the continuation of the model car production of Best-box. Initially still under the name Best box, one goes to Efsi, a phonetic pronunciation of FSI in the seventies.

The company was moved to De Beitel in Heerlen. Initially, it was produced with the available molds. Later the molds were made by a company in Portugal. After making these dies ready-made, an alloy of zinc and aluminum (Zamak) was used to pour cars, lorries and buses. One had separate molds for the plastic parts, where the wheels, interiors, windows, bumpers were cast. The plastic came from DSM in the form of grains in various colors that Efsi mixed himself. The passenger cars were phased out in the late 1970s.

The maintenance of the dies and the machine park was carried out by EFSI engineers.

At the end of her life, Efsi was renamed in Holland-Oto. In 1986, after the closure of the FSI, the Holland-Oto molds were taken over by an entrepreneur from Weert. Efsi models can be found in Holland-Oto packaging. The former Efsi factory is still located on the Sourethweg in Heerlen, at the Beitel industrial site, opposite the former midwifery school (now called Imstenrade). The building is owned by the Employment Office Oostelijk Zuid-Limburg (WOZL).

Ron gives some interesting key that may explain why are there in proportion many more truck and van models than car modesl by Efsi. The passenger cars were phased out in the late 70s, and no new casts were produced. Trucks and vans usually take longer to be replaced in the market for new models... Also interesting that mention to a portuguese company... which company is it? There are not many die-cast manufacturers in Portugal.

The exact address to which Ron refers is Sourethweg 2, Heerlen. I captured some pictures from Google Maps.


  • Name: FORD TAUNUS 17M and OPEL REKORD (2511/401 and 405)
  • Scale: Around 1:64
  • Year: Around 1969 and 1972
  • Company: Best Box / Efsi (Netherlands)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm

Friday, September 7, 2018

#909 POLISTIL - BRM P 201, FERRARI 312 T2, WILLIAMS FW07, FERRARI 126 C3 and MCLAREN MP4 (RJ7, RJ55, RJ70, RN24 and RN25) (1976, 1978, 1980, 1983)

Something I enjoy while writing about Polistil F1s is browsing the wikipedia for the years in which they ran, who were their pilots and how well they did that year. It is very interesting and informative, reading what happened in the F1 seasons from the 70s and the 80s.

I collected 5 more race cars ranging from 1976 to 1983.

We will go from older to newer. And precisely the first one is the most interesting of the lot. From the 1976’s season, the BRM P 201 is a rare model. Except Polistil, I do not know any reproduction of the car in this scale. This is probably due to the fact that the car was not very good (the golden era of BRM was long gone) and this car did not achieve any points in the championships. This model was reproduced by other manufacturers too. As a reader of this blog pointed out, there are BRM P201s made by Yatming, Playart, Tintoys, Summer and TimmyToys... maybe even more.

Driven by Ian Ashley (with RN14) in 1976, it was also used the next season with the same number by driver Larry Perkins. The BRM team (Stanley BRM) ran its last season in 1977 and disappeared as such.

BRM P 201 (RJ7) – 1976, Ian Ashley RN14
FERRARI 312 T2 (RJ55) – 1978, Gilles Villeneuve RN12

The car is not in excellent shape but it is rare to find. I guess it did not sell as well as Ferraris and other faster cars back in the days. It has reference RJ7

The car near the BRM is, of course a Ferrari. Most accurately, the 312 T2 from 1978. This model represents the car driven by Gilles Villeneuve with RN12. He didn’t do a great season, ending 9th, but winning the last GP of the season in Canada. The figure in the cockpit is not original.

The William FW07 with Saudia stickers is one of the iconic cars of the 1979 and 1980 seasons. It was a great car, making a third place in 1979 (and winning 4 races) and winning in 1980. I am talking, of course, about the Australian Alan Jones. Both years he carried RN27. In 1980, Williams-Ford won the constructor’s championship with a huge difference to the second team.

MCLAREN MP4 (RN25) – Niki Lauda 1983, RN8
WILLIAMS FW07 (RJ70) – 1979 and 1980, Alan Jones RN27

The next car is a McLaren MP4 with RN8. This car was driven by Niki Lauda in the 1983 season. This was not a very successful one for the Austrian pilot: he got only 12 points in 11 races, making two podiums in the first two races, and then two 6th places. He would win his third championship the following season.

And finally, we see another Ferrari, this time the model that ran the 1983 season. The RN28 belonged to René Arnoux, who did a great season, ending 3rd, right in front of his colleague and countryman Patrick Tambay (RN27), what gave Ferrari the constructor’s trophy.

FERRARI 126 C3 (RN24) – 1983 René Arnoux RN8

  • Name: BRM P 201, FERRARI 312 T2, WILLIAMS FW07, FERRARI 126 C3 and MCLAREN MP4 (RJ7, RJ55, RJ70, RN24 and RN25)
  • Scale: 1:55
  • Year: 1976, 1978, 1983, 1980 and 1983 (respectively)
  • Company: Polistil (Italy)
  • Size: approx. 7 cm
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