At Ran When Parked our passion encompasses both real cars and model cars. This page is dedicated to the latter and we do our best to update it on a regular basis.
Please note that the model cars we feature on this page come from our own collection. We do not personally sell any of the cars, nor do we have an agreement with anyone to do so.
PP is one of the more obscure model companies out there. Little is known about them, but they apparently specialized in making plastic 1/48-scale replicas of European cars. We purchased their orange and red BMW 2002 at a garage sale for a couple of euros. It is a terrible model by most accounts but the novelty of owning a model made in Monaco earns it a spot in our display case.
Corgi’s Ford Sierra is a great example of the models that were coming out of the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Reproduced 32 times smaller than the real thing, the Sierra features realistic detailing on both ends, opening doors and an opening rear hatch. The parcel shelf can be moved up and down, which should please detail-conscious collectors.
Alfa Romeo Spider
The only 1/18 replica of a fourth-generation Alfa Romeo Spider is the one launched by Universal Hobbies in the early 1990s. The detailing is chunky at best, but UH gets good marks for its effort: The doors, trunk and hood open, and the sun visors can be moved up or down. Much like the 2002 above, this is a nice addition to a collection because it is fairly cheap and it’s the only way to display a 1/18 S4.
It should be mentioned that UH drastically improved its quality over the 1990s and made some excellent models about ten years ago, including a Renault Clio V6 and several variants of the Land Rover Defender.
Volkswagen Golf (mk2)
Norev’s 1/18-scale replica of the second generation Volkswagen Golf earns points in our books because it is a base-model hatchback and not a GTI. Unfortunately, it feel more fragile than many of the company’s other models and some of the details – including the tail lamps – look a little off. It’s still nice addition to a model collection, especially because all other variants of the Golf (except for the latest seventh-gen model) are available in 1/18 scale from miscellaneous manufacturers.
One of the rarest pieces of our collection, this Citroën 2CV was built in the early 1950s and briefly distributed with the purchase of a pack of Gitanes cigarettes in France. It’s barely an inch long and made entirely out of metal. It was once painted gray, the only color that 2CV were available in at the time, but most of it has flaked off over the years. It was given to us several years ago by a family member who got it new with his pack of smokes and told us that Gitanes also handed out DS19.
This roughly 1/64-scale Volkswagen Bus is built by Tomica, a company whose products have sadly gone downhill over the past couple of years. Purchased new in 1995, it is surprisingly realistic for such a small model and it even features a plastic sliding door. The company also made several air-cooled Volkswagens, including non-camper variants of the Bus and several versions of the Beetle.
Anson’s 1/18 replica of a Saab 900 Turbo Cabriolet is remarkably well-executed for an older model. Everything opens and the details are mostly accurate – the engine could be mistaken for a real one and even the fuses and relays are painted, a rare sight on a model. The trade-off is that interior’s build quality leaves a little something to be desired. Still, it’s good addition to a collection because the only other 1/18 900 replica is a resin model crafted by Neo that comes with a jaw-dropping price tag.
A brand new 1/43-scale Panhard 24C built by Dinky Toys, that’s worth a fortune!
Not so fast – this is not the original Dinky that was released in 1964 but a replica manufactured in China by Norev for Mattel. The connection is a little sketchy, but website PlanetDiecast explains Mattel sold a license to reproduce Dinky models from the 1950s and the 1960s to Éditions Atlas, a French publisher, who sells the cars as part of a monthly collection sent straight to your door. Save for a “Made in China” stamp underneath, the cars are exact replicas of the original Dinkys (down to the opening front windows, a novelty even today on a 1/43 model) and each one comes with an accurate reprint of the original box and a leaflet that gives a short overview of the model and the real car. Purists will undoubtedly scoff at the replicas, but at twenty-something Euros a piece they’re a good way to add Dinky models to your collection without spending a small fortune on an original example – clean ones can go for over €150! Will they last as long as the original Dinkys? Only time will tell.
Corgi’s British-built 1/32 Matra Rancho replica was launched at about the same time as the real car in the late 1970s. Pictured here in Orange, the Rancho was available in a wide palette of colors including red, white, yellow and green, and some examples were sold with a motorcycle on a trailer. Like the Ford Sierra above, the detailing accurately represents 30-year old Corgi products – the replica is accurate from a distance but the individual details are chunky up close. The doors and the rear trunk open, and the rear seats can fold down thanks to a little lever on the bottom of the car.
BMW 325i Cabriolet
Ottomobile is a French model company that specializes in 1/18 resin models with no opening parts. They seem to have gotten over a majority of the quality issues that plagued them in their early days and their models are generally well-detailed.
They recently introduced a replica of the BMW 325i as a follow up to their successful 325is. The interior is realistic down to the instrument cluster and the paint is beautiful, but there are disappointing glue stains around the windshield.
We found this roughly 1/32-scale Beechcraft in a relative’s garage about twenty years ago. Built in the 1960s by a French company called Joustra, it is made out of tin and equipped with a wind-up motor that has never worked. A little sleuthing online reveals that it’s not particularly rare or valuable, but we have never seen another one in the flesh.
Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint
This 1/43-scale Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint was manufactured by France’s Norev in the late 1950s. Finished in an odd shade of pink, the model was designed more as a toy than as a collector piece and it is crafted entirely out of plastic with very approximate details. It is not worth a whole lot but it serves as an interesting reminder of what the model car industry was churning out five decades ago.
1/43-scale cars are common, but trucks and trailers are a little less so. This 50-year old Solido-built replica of a 1960s Willeme tractor makes a neat addition to a collection of 1/43-scale cars as it stands out from other models and helps turn a mundane shelf into a vintage parking lot. Its scale is a little fuzzy (it’s too small to for 1/43) but it features accurate details, a functional suspension and it was sold new with a matching trailer.
As we mentioned above, France’s Ottomobile went through its fair share of quality problems in its early days. Its models are still not perfectly glued together but the new 1/18-scale Simca 1100TI is an unmistakable sign the company is taking quality seriously. We were pleasantly surprised when we opened the box:Everything fits as its should, there are no stray glue marks and the details are accurate. We’ve been following this company since their first year of existence and we feel this is their best model yet – let’s hope it will set the bar for upcoming models.
Mercedes-Benz 450SE (w116)
Majorette made a 1/60-scale replica of the Mercedes-Benz 450SE (w116) in the late 1970s. Commonly found in green, orange or silver, it features opening front doors and a trailer hitch, a feature common on Majorettes from the 1970s and 1980s.
Older Majorettes are easy to find for cheap at garage sales or antique stores, but they are generally very worn from three decades of play and abuse. We were lucky to find a new-in-box 450 that had been been stored in an attic by a man who received it as a gift when he was a kid but never played with it because he had no interest in cars.
Unlike the Panhard pictured above, this 1/43-scale Renault 4L is a true Dinky Toy manufactured in France by Meccano in the early 1960s. It’s certainly not the most detailed replica of a Renault 4 out there, but there is an undeniable novelty about owning a model that is older than the majority of the 4s still in daily service around the world.
This model was purchased new by a relative and has been part of our collection for over twenty years. Although Dinky values are going through the roof, the Renault 4 is not a particularly sought-after model and a moderately worn example like the one pictured below is worth about $50.
Saab 900 Turbo
Old Majorettes are a great addition to a model collection because they are generally affordable and do not take up much space. The firm has produced a diverse selection of cars over the years including several variants of the Saab 900 Turbo. The example pictured below was built in the 1980s and, like all of Majorette’s 900s, features a hitch (!) and opening front doors.
Fiat Panda 30
The Fiat Panda is still a relatively unpopular car so model manufacturers aren’t rushing to offer add one to their catalog. Thankfully, Italian magazine Quattroruote commissioned Fabbri to manufacture a highly-detailed 1/24-scale Panda 30 as part of a monthly collection that showcases cars that had a big influence on the Italian auto industry. The replica is amazingly accurate and everything opens, but as far as we know it was only distributed in Italy so it might be a little difficult to find.
Peugeot 505 STI
German company Siku made a 1/64-esque replica of the Peugeot 505 STI in the 1980s. It’s not as detailed as Matchbox and Majorette models from the same era but it’s still respectable considering it’s designed as a toy, not as a collector piece for adults. Both front doors open.
It is interesting to note that the car’s basic specs are stamped into the chassis: Anyone who turns the car over can learn the 505 STI was powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that made 110 horsepower at 5,250 rpms, enabling it to reach a top speed of 108 mph (175 km/h).