If you come across an unusual looking model that you don’t recognise then take a closer look at it.
Chances are there will be a manufacturer you have never heard of on the bottom or no markings at all, but doing a bit of research may prove interesting.
It is often the case that these have not just been imagined by the toy company but are models of forgotten prototype or concept cars and I’m looking at three now.
They sometimes have big clues to their real identity like their name on the side but spelled differently enough to keep the solicitors at bay!
The green car has no makers name underneath but does have the legend ‘Dome-O’ on the side and it is in fact a 1978 concept car the Dome Zero from a Japanese company that was displayed at that years Geneva show but it sadly never made full production. It did however find some fame on a couple of computer driving games and was also apparently the inspiration for ‘Hot Rod’ in the original Transformers.
The yellow car makes things even easier for us by correctly identifying itself as the Lamborghini Cheetah but again the toy manufacturer is anonymous. The real Cheetah was Lambo’s 1977 attempt to build a go anywhere military vehicle with a rear mounted Chrysler V8. It was shown to the US military but they did not take it any further. It was not completely forgotten though as a decade or so later and now sporting their own V12 up front and some doors (always popular) the LM002 was launched and promptly stole the title of most bonkers Lamborghini from the Countach.
Finally the most recognisable car here even if you don’t know what it’s called only has the markings DC530 on it. This car is the 1955 Lincoln Futura which unusually for a concept car was a fully functional vehicle and one of the first cars to feature pearlescent paintwork. It achieved stardom 11 years later when George Barris got his hands on it and turned it into the original TV Batmobile. The model here is faithful to the original Futura except that for some reason it has a flat top roof in place of the original double bubble aircraft style canopy. It’s a plastic model and looks like it was self-assembled and like the other two it was made in Hong Kong.
Another thing they have in common is that they are odd scales, the Cheetah is 1:48, the Dome Zero is 1:39 and the Futura is somewhere between 1:18 and 1:24.
So next time you find something you don’t recognise do a bit of research and you might have something rare and interesting.
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