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French Strombecker set

3040 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  dgersh
Hi,heres a Strombecker BMW motorcycle & sidecar racing set from France. I have 2 different sets,this is the later set. Ive also included a photo of the motorcycle as it was sold without the set. Don ive included a photo of the underside of the motorcycle just for you.
The last 4 photos are of 2 French Strombecker catalogs showing the sets. Thanks,Bernard
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Hi Bernard,
Thanks for posting this as it is not a common set! In fact, the set is not French but... Canadian, made in Ontario, Canada and exported to France with special packaging for Vuillerme, the Strombecker distributor of long date.
This sidecar set was issued in 1974, and shows on the box top, the picture of the top French team of 1972 on their BMW outfit, Michel Pourcelet and Claude Domin. The picture was likely taken at the French GP that year. On the catalog are shown the models of the Alpine A310 and the Citroen SM, both issued by Strombecker in 1973. These were the only "new" products since the canadian distributing company purchased Strombecker. All were still powered by Igarashi motors, albeit of much lesser quality than former TC32 or Hemi...

Why is that? Because, after a disastrous transaction with Sears & Roebuck in which several millions of dollars worth of unsold merchandise were returned for refund, the Strombecker Corporation of Chicago, IL., facing bankruptcy, was forced to sell the name "Strombecker" and all the remaining tooling to their former distributor in Canada in 1971 for cash and credit. The American corporation then regrouped under their former name and became again the Cosmo-Dowst Corporation as they were named before purchasing the assets of the Strombeck-Becker Corporation in March 1961, then renamed themselves "Tootsietoys Corporation" after other financial woes. It survives today under different ownership and purpose.

The new Canadian Strombecker company pursued the manufacturing of previously issued products and a few new ones, then also collapsed in 1980 after importing some Polistil models from Italy. It was saved by a regrouping move and new production was begun in Hong Kong, mostly of reworked old molds. It survives today, located in Oakville, Ontario, and has currently seven employees...
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Thanks Jose!
It is also interesting to note the errors in the catalog page showing the cars. The "McLaren" is in fact the McKee V8 twin turbo made for Ralph Salyer by his mechanic Gene Crowe, and the "Lola T70" is of course the Lola T162 introduced by Strombecker in 1968.
Small details, but always a bit amusing.
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