Minimarque 1963 Grand Turismo Hawk

Mikansue 1953 Studebaker

Milton 1957 Golden Hawk

Mercury 1956 Golden Hawk

Shrock Brothers 1955 President Speedster

Jeff Sion from the United Kingdon sent pictures and information about his Studebaker toy car collection. Jeff is particularly interested in 1:43 scale models of 1953 to 1964 Studebaker hardtops and coupes. Thus far he has collected 31 different models including some very rare items.

Starting from the top, the Minimarque 1963 GT Hawk in what Minimarque calls "Metallic Silver Mist" is one of four color variations of this model. It is also available in Metallic Rose Mist, Metallic Green Mist, and Ermine White. MiniMarque models are cast in white metal and hand finished to a very high standard. A complete listing of available models can be found on the Illustra Models web site.

The Mikansue 1953 Studebaker was sold as a kit. As purchased, it needed to be assembled and painted. Although "Mikansue" sounds Japanese, these models were made in England and the company name is a combination of the first names of Mike and Sue Richardson. Mikansue models were manufactured until the late 1980's and are relatively hard to find today. Here is a picture of an unbuilt example from a recent ebay auction.

The Milton 1957 Golden Hawk is a licensed version of the Corgi 1957 Golden Hawk made in India. Milton versions of Corgi Toys are generally less well made than the English originals. The castings are rougher and the details appear less sharp. The best explanation I have seen for this is that the dies used in their production were already well worn when sent to India but I don't know that for a fact.

The Mercury 1956 Golden Hawk was made in Italy and is a rare model particularly in excellent condition such as the example in Jeff's collection. This model has been copied by Scottoy and is currently available but not in the original colors of orange and green. Scottoy was founded in 1993 in Genoa, Italy to reissue models that Mercury had produced in the 1960's.

The Shrock Brothers 1955 Studebaker President Speedster in Jeff's collection is a very rare model. Jeff indicates that it is Number 21 of 21 made in the "lemon and lime" color combination. Shrock Brothers of Pennsylvania manufactures and markets a line of Studebaker models in various scales and also reproduces selected Studebaker parts.

BoS 1953 Commander Starliner

Provence Moulage Starliner Race Car

The BoS 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner Hardtop is a newer model. BoS is a German company and its models are ready-made in resin. My understanding is that BoS stands for "Best of Show." They are highly detailed inside and out with accurate color schemes. The BoS 1953 Starliner has also been issued in dark blue over light blue. BoS also makes a 1:43 scale 1951 Champion Starlight Coupe, a 1951 Champion Convertible, and a 1963 Avanti. These models retail for around $40 in the U.S. if you can find them.

The Provence Moulage Starliner Race Car was built from a resin kit by a French model builder. This makes sense since Provence Moulage is a French Company that is no longer in business. The model has been built as a Carrera Panamericana Race Car. The Carrera Panamericana is a revival of the original race which was run from 1950 to 1954 just after the Mexican stretch of the Pan American Highway was opened. Studebaker Starliner Hardtops and Starlight Coupes have enjoyed considerable success over the years in this event.

Conquest 1955 Studebaker Speedster

Minimarque 1957 Silver Hawk Coupe

The Conquest 1955 Studebaker Speedster in black and white is one of several color variations of this model. Conquest/Madison models are hand-crafted in white metal from precision molds and individually finished. The models include chromed bright work, white wall tires as appropriate, and simulated glass windows. The Conquest/Madison line also includes a 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk and a 1947 Studebaker Champion Station Wagon Prototype. Conquest models sell for about $250 as indicated by various eBay listings.

The Minimarque white over blue 1957 Silver Hawk is also one of several color variations of this model. It has been made in a number of color combinations including green over turquoise, dark blue over light blue, black over grey, and white over red. My understanding is that the white over red version is a special issue sold only by Route 66 Models. MiniMarque models are cast in white metal and hand finished to a very high standard. A complete listing of available models can be found on the Illustra Models web site.

Motor City 1955 Studebaker Speedster

Conquest 1956 Golden Hawk

The Motor City 1955 Studebaker Speedster is one of several color variations of this model. In addition to the example above, it was issued in the famous "lemon and lime" color scheme and in red and white. Motor City USA models were hand made from white metal in the U.S. and were produced in relatively small numbers. Motor City USA last produced models in 2008. These are rare models and can cost upward of $300 each if you can find them. Various Motor City models appear on eBay from time to time.

The Conquest 1956 Golden Hawk in two-tone blue is also one of several color variations of this model. It has also appeared in Mocha and Doeskin, Tangerine and Snowcap White, and Ceramic Green and Snowcap White, all of which are correct 1956 Golden Hawk color combinations. As noted above, Conquest models are hand-crafted in white metal and individually finished. The Conquest 1956 Golden Hawk has been selling for $265 plus shipping in recent eBay listings.

Solido 1953 Studebaker Commander Hardtop

This beautifully restored Solido 1953 Studebaker Commander Hardtop was restored from an example in poor condition that was purchased on eBay France. When purchased the plastic top was warped and cracked, the chassis was rusted, and the tires were rotted. Here is a picture of the model before restoration. Jeff cleaned the chassis, repainted the interior, and installed new tires. A new roof, metal finishing, and outstanding repaint were done by a professional model maker. The metallic blue over blue is a very attractive color scheme for this model and the solid white tires are correct.

This model is catalogued in both Studebaker Toy Treasures by Jim Geary and in the Solido Toys Variation and Price Guide by Dr Edward Force. Jim Geary gives the scale as 1:43 and Ed Force gives the scale as 1:40. It was produced in a number of body colors including yellow, metallic blue, light green, light blue, red, orange, light tan, and black. The plastic roof which incorporates the windows could be either black or white depending upon the body color. The interior had only a front seat as shown in this picture of an example with the roof removed from an auction on eBay France. This model was available both as an assembled toy and as a boxed kit to be assembled.

The Solido brand of diecast toy cars has changed hands a number of times over the years. It is currently part of the Simba Dicke Group. Solido issued a 1951 Studebaker Starlight Coupe in several colors. The 1951 Starlight Coupe was Number 115 in the Junior series and the 1953 Studebaker Hardtop was Number 115 in the Junior Series. However, Solido is perhaps best known to U.S. collectors for its 1:43 scale 1957 Silver Hawk which has appeared in many variations both as a coupe and as a hardtop.

AMB Marchesini 1953 Studebaker Commander

This 1:43 scale tin AMB Marchesini Studebaker Commander was recently acquired by Jeff for his Studebaker toy car collection. It is near impossible to find one of these in pristine condition so Jeff scored a great find with this one. Here is a picture of the base of this model that shows it was made in Italy. This model was also issued as a fire chief's car. A smiliar 1953 Studebaker Hardtop was issued as a police car and a fire chief's car.

AMB Marchesini was established in 1908 in Bologna, Italy. The company made tin models of cars as well as other items. It expanded and moved to a new factory in 1929. The company made its last toys in the late 1950's. A particularly nice late AMB Marchesini model is this plastic body battery powered 1956 Studebaker Hawk. AMB Marchesini models are hard to find items but they do appear from time to time on the Italian eBay site.

Solido Clockwork 1951 Studebaker Starlight Coupe

This rare diecast Solido Junior Series 1951 Studebaker Starlight Coupe with clockwork motor was recently acquired by Jeff for his Studebaker toy car collection. He found this example on the U.S. eBay site. It appears to be in excellent original condition with no signs of being repainted or restored. The clockwork motor is in perfect working order and runs strongly and the tires appear as new. Jeff was able to acquire the correct key to wind the motor on the French eBay site. Jeff took the pictures against a dark background to better show the detail on the car.

According to Jim Geary's Studebaker Toy Treasures book, this model was made in several colors and in chrome, usually with a red interior and white rubber tires. As with other models in the Junior Series, the 1951 Studebaker Starlight was produced both with the clockwork motor and without the motor. A motor hole cover was used on at least some models without a motor. Here is a picture of the bottom of the Jeff's model that shows the clockwork motor spring and gears.

Solido 1947 Studebaker Coupe

Jeff sent some pictures of this rare Solido Studebaker Coupe that he has added to his collection. When he purchased this Solido it was "a disaster" so he set about to completely restore it. Jeff did the chassis and interior and a model maker friend of his did the paint job. The car has new tires and the original windup motor works well. This view from underneath shows the spring driven motor and gears. Jim Geary's book Studebaker Toy Treasures has this model cataloged as a 1947 Studebaker Coupe. Dr. Edward Force's Solido Toys variation and Price Guide lists it as a 2-Door Coupe with windows in a Studebaker style. To me it looks like an early postwar Studebaker coupe with a sedan style split rear window.

Autocult 1:43 Scale Manta Ray

Jeff also sent pictures of an Autocult 1:43 Manta Ray Concept Car in gold metallic that he recently acquired. Autocult is a relatively new German company founded in 2015. The company offers a wide range of resin models with each issue limited to 333 pieces. The original Manta Ray Concept Car was built by Glenn Hire and Vernon Antoine of Whittier, California using a 1951 Studebaker Commander chassis. The Commander body was removed and a replaced with a custom fiberglass roadster body. The 1951 Studebaker V8 engine and drivetrain were retained. A plan to put the Manta Ray into limited production fell through and only one example was built. The car still exists and was shown at Amelia Island in 2016.

Thanks to Jeff for sending the pictures and information about his great Studebaker toy collection. Jeff indicates that he is always looking for 1:43 scale models of Studebaker hardtops and coupes and would enjoy hearing from other collectors with similar interests. He can be contacted by e-mail at jeff@magnifeyes.co.uk.

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