Does anyone know if the Ford Fiesta and AMC Javelin are in any way connected to the Auto-Pilen castings?
Nacoral also had plastic 1:43 car line under the Chiqui name. I have a nice Porsche with opening doors.
Also see the listing for Sablon for some related information.
As an update, I thank Ian Cousins for some very interesing information regarding Intercars in New Zealand. For an excellent background along with pictures, check out an article on the site for the New Zeland Motor Vehicle Club.
Apparently Tonka Manufacturing in Aukland painted and assembled models from Nacoral in Spain for sale in New Zealand. It seems the model bases still said that the models were made in Spain.
New Clover (South Korea)
Norev (France, Portugal?, China?)
There is an interesting history on modelcollector.co.uk, chronicling the start of the company in Lyon. According to this history, Norev was based near Lyon beginning in 1946, with 1:43 plastic model production starting in 1955. Diecast model production commenced in 1971 but, as the article points out, offered the same models in both diecast and plastic.
Smaller scale (1:66) models certainly got around. They were produced by REI in Brazil, and Norev also took possession of some of these molds in the late 70s. The article says that the products were "marked in France under the Norev name," intimating they were made in Germany but marked as Norevs, but I was under the impression that the molds were used by Norev and produced in France. Anyone know for sure?
Unfortunately, the 80s were as unkind to Norev as they were to most model makers. This article states that Norevs were made for a time in the Far East, and tried a "manufacturing arrangement with the Vitesse Group in Portugal." Does anyone have any information on these endeavors? Did they simply move molds to the Far East and Portugal, or were new models made?
I was also unaware that Norev reissued models with "higher specifications" (it's unclear whether that means better quality in fit and finish, or more features like opening doors, etc.), and that Eligor used Norev molds. Later, in the late 1980s, Norev decided to appeal more to collectors, often re-issuing past products, but with higher specifications.
Many of the Norev models have subsequently been presented as Eligor. However, not all, and today the brand name of Norev is still in use, producing, among other items, some fine diorama accessories such as shop fronts., and has now expanded into 1/87th scale.
As is often the case in business, another well-known firm (Majorette) was started by a relative of Joseph Norev -- his brother Emile.
Norev still exists. There is a Web site (in French, with no translation); Norev is apparently offering cars in both 1:43 and 1:64 again. I don't know for sure, but I think these newer models are (of course) being made in China.
Anyway, it appears that Novacar, whenever it started, became a part of Majorette in the 80s (see short mention by Doug Breithaupt. But not other sources such as this site state that it was 1993). The cars are not particularly beautiful, but are still worth adding to a collection.
Novacars (with, it seems one exception) have plastic bodies and metal bases. You might have to look closely to realize that, however. I had no idea for a long time that my Mercedes was, indeed, plastic.
It's unclear whether Majorette is still using the Novacar name.
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