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Maserati Mystery

2067 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  tifosi
Okay, so a month or two ago, I get this Maserati 151 body in the mail, and I'm a little disappointed, you know? Doesn't look too great, sloppy painting, and molding isn't really the best, even wondered if it was a recent repro. So I toss it in a box and don't think about it much. But turns out that the Bordo theme next year is Le Mans, and I've always really liked the 151, a real man's car, that handles like carp and falls apart after an hour, but is really fast, so we're doing that as a team with Yves - maybe even the Franco-American team, because there was one, with Lucky Casner and some French guy, Tringtignant or another real Frenchy.

So I takes the body out of the box, and since I learned a little more in the meantime, realized that it wasn't the usual Cunningham model from 62, white with blue stripes, but the one run by that Trintignant guy in 63, red like a Maser should be, with a big hump on the hood, or the boot, or whatever you call that thing over the motor... And it really doesn't look so bad, the bod, so I bring it over for cocktail hour with Yves and Pierre-Yves, our body man, and his eyes kind of bug out of his head...

Now, why's that, I ask him, but in French of course, cause I'm polite, and anyway his kids are sitting around being obnoxious teenagers.

Well, take a gander at that he says, only he don't know how to say gander in Frog, so he says "Zut Alors", just like in our 6th grade French dialogues, really, I swear. And he shows me this...

That little Aston Martin DB3 (Pierre Yves, PYL, is a big Aston fan) is a Lancer, as shown by the label, and what's more it seems to be a factory painted model - and it has a very rough paint job and that funny yellow pin-striping, just like my Maserati 151 - which also has the model and number stamped on the inside, on the paint, like a factory-painted DuBro.

You may also notice a hard plastic toy Aston Martin next to the vac body - that's a Minialux, a 1/32 French friction drive model, and it turns out the Lancer body was molded right over it - just like that Gordini next to it!

Bizarre, non?

So, what exactly do we have here? I haven't had time to do a document search yet, but did Lancer do a Maserati 151, factory painted and stamped in this particular model? And where is Colonel Mustard?

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Hi Tony,

Actually, I was channeling Damon Runyon last night, which I guess is pretty much the US equivalent of English rhyming slang... spoken by NYers and Cockneys in the showbiz and gangster trades - at least in old Peter Sellers movies...

According to Philippe over on SlotBlog, this was in fact part of the early run of Lancer bodies, but before they made their own, which would jibe with the evidence from the Aston Martin. Not sure if Dubro was making bodies that early - will have to go into the Bat-Library and study a bit...

What I find incredible Ron, is that Lancer (or anybody) would be copying a Minialuxe body! I know the manufacturers "shared" molds a lot, but that seems a long way to go, even for an Aston Martin - or did an American serviceman in France happen to pick up a Minialuxe toy at NATO HQ in Paris and bring it back home to LA, where his friend happened to own Lancer? (or Shark, or DuBro...?)

We'll try to uphold the "red-hot" reputation of the Masers Tony!

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