When Mert drove this thing onto the lot we both started laughing our tiny asses off. Been a long time since we’d seen a Pacer! Both of us grew up in the midst of the Pacer/Gremlin era of American motoring. Japanese auto makers were looking to … what’s that word that means to completely suck out the innards and life blood from a living beast, leaving only a dessicated shell? Whatever that word is, that’s what Toyota and Honda were in the process of doing at the time. It was a time before American auto makers could be assured of one bailout after another, gas prices were going wild, and they were in a panic. Their panic was a generally good consequence of the oil shock of the early 70s. At least they had to reevaluate, which they’re not doing much of now. But Gremlins and Pacers and a whole list of ill-advised and frankly hilarious chaos came out of North American factories (US, Canada and Mexico) in response.
This little Hot Wheels Packin’ Pacer, like a time machine from the late 1970s with its excellently preserved decals and paint, forces observers to wonder just what is being packed here. But then you look in the back, and there’s like a drag racing motor back there. Isn’t that dangerous? Looks dangerous! But they probably know what they’re doing. Mert says no problem. Take it for a test drive today!
The latest chapter in my ongoing descent to the musty depths of old manness involved the interception of several vintage Solido metal 1/43 kits, and the unavoidable completion of one of em, a ’71 Ferrari Daytona, which I painted orange with black wheels in complete defiance of the 3 sets of included race decals just because I thought it would be cool. Update: It is!
The Solido kits, made in France, come together a lot more, mmm, solidly, than the FDS kits or Hubley kits I’ve built. The bodies are made with better metal, parts are machined with greater precision, and almost everything snaps into place with righteous finality, which no doubt makes them a lot better for kids or novices. Decals are superbe with an e on the end. When finished, they could even serve admirably as toys, with suspension and working doors. (A cool project would be to build one of these and give it to a kid like any other toy. Think about building it as tough as can be so the kid can really go to town on it, epoxy, clearcoat, etc.) Despite all the positives, the Solido kits are not as sought after as the older clunkier kits. Just not as sexy to collectors for some reason. But I’ve got 2 more for sale right now, a Citroen (!) rallye car and a Pugeot rallye car. Get at em before I do.
This saga is just going to get weirder too. Stay tuned.
Quite a haul. Nice stuff. A small bit of paint damage – most in what we call Excellent Condition (see the explanation of terms over on your right). No super rare ones as far as I know, but I don’t know that far. Experienced collectors could do themselves some favors by sorting through my inventory and checking for whatever jewels might be laying on the ground over there, ready to be plucked. No doubt I’ve sold some highly sought-after pieces for the proverbial penny, simply because I am a stupid, stupid man. My ignorance is your opportunity. Maybe we will paint that on the water tower.
We’ve been so busy over here with the tiny vehicles we haven’t been able to keep up with our highly informative postings. We’ve had several huge (to us) shipments come in and we’ve been shipping them out at a good pace. Mert has been working dawn til dusk with no breaks as stipulated in our verbal contract. We’re stocked with Matchbox regular wheels from the 60s as usual, but also Superfast from the 1970s. Currently having a huge super-sale on Matchbox Superfast on ebay. GO THERE.
Here’s a small sampling of what we’ve been buying and selling over the past few weeks. Expert collectors will notice right away a few interesting items among those below:
We also made room on the lot for a bunch of high quality vintage Japanese mini-cars by Tomica. These date from the early 1970s to early 1980s and include almost all near mint or mint-condition stuff. Included are some with the highly sought after “early wheels” from the early 70s. The cars have names like Sunny Excellent 1400GX and Cherry F-II and almost all have opening doors. The market for these Tomica mini cars is different. Most of the energy is in Asia where millions of kids grew up with these. (Tomicas were marketed in the US as “Pocket Cars,” and they did fairly well but ultimately couldn’t hang with Hot Wheels and the rest, being more expensive and initially featuring many obscure Japan-only cars.) It’s also a more hoppin’ market than the vintage Matchbox market these days. It’s not hard to find reasons why when you hold TOMY Tomica mini-cars in your hand.
TOMICA FUSO PANEL VAN
HINO DUMP CAR
TOMICA HINO CEMENT TRUCK
ISUZU BONNET BUS RARE EDITION
TOMICA ISUZU BONNET BUS RARE EDTION
TOMICA HITACHI DUMP
MAZDA SAVANNA GT
TOMICA LOTUS EUROPA JOHN PLAYER SPECIAL
DATSUN SUNNY EXCELLENT 1400 GX
NISSAN BLUEBIRD WAGON
And that’s not all. We received a 60-pound box from Ed, a former hobby shop owner and diecast collector back east who has accumulated a large amount of Corgi Classics, Models of Yesteryear, big Solido models and the like over the decades. New Old Stock, as they say. I’m having a great time going through it, trying to learn as much as I can on the way as this has not been my forte, and we’ll put em up for sale as soon as we can. The market for these things is not exactly hot but we’ll see what we can do for him. No more room in Ed’s basement. EVERYTHING MUST GO.
“What’s that truck for? I don’t get it.” Mert was confused. He was an old fella and had seen plenty of newspaper trucks in his day, but I guess it had been so long he had forgotten what they were for. “Do they put the I-Pads in there?”
“No, that’s a tiny newspaper truck, Mert. Newspapers in there.”
He sounded it out. “Newssspapers.”
“I don’t get it. Is it like a mobile wifi hotspot?”
This vintage Tomica Daily News Truck, a Nissan Caball (No. 107-1 in the series), is in just about factory mint condition, with the slightest storage wear visible, but only to those who are extremely careful in their examination of tiny vintage vehicles. Made in Japan. A rare model in extremely rare very very near mint condition.
Comes with a load of tiny newspapers. Just kidding, no tiny newspapers.
TOMICA NO. 87, 88 NISSAN CABALL DAILY NEWS TRUCK VERY NEAR MINT •EBAY SOLD, I’M GOING TO MISS THIS ONE
Eye candy. Or I candy. I for Italian.Mert and I would be driving this nearly near-mint 12-cylinder 1969 speedster right now but frankly we’re scared.
Twelve cylinders is ridiculous, isn’t it? You can see em all through the clear back window there. Putting all that weight toward the back of the car will have some interesting effects on the overall handling.
I was suddenly awakened from my afternoon nap by a roaring noise and the overwhelming smell of diesel smoke. There was a tiny massive silver 1960s vintage Greyhound bus gleaming in the sun outside the office.
I went out to tell the driver that this was not in fact the bus station, but the driver was Tiny Mert.
“How’d you get your hands on a Greyhound bus?” I asked.
“A super clean, like new tiny Greyhound bus you mean.”
Tiny Mert—right as usual. This bus didn’t have many signs of use. I couldn’t recall ever seeing one this clean. It was so nice I had to let out one of those long whistles. “This thing looks brand new! But you didn’t answer my question.”
“No I did not. Now if you’ll excuse me I gotta find a place to park these buses.”
This was all part of Mert’s plan to start a shuttle service for tiny gamblers.
One of the buses has a little sticker anomaly on one side, that’s about it. Both of these have the later squared-off stickers; the earlier edition of the bus had an angled sticker.
MATCHBOX LESNEY No. 66 GREYHOUND COACH • NEAR MINT •$12.50 SOLD
MATCHBOX LESNEY No. 66 GREYHOUND COACH • NEAR MINT •$12.50