Tag Archives: Renault

Die-cast: Ixo’s 1970 Saviem JM 21/240 Michelin truck

Michelin tire truck a big win for Bib … Ixo Michelin truck

Who doesn’t recognize, and like, the Michelin Man? He’s probably even more famous than the Pillsbury Dough Boy, although I’ve never heard Bibendum (Bib for short) giggle.

Well, IXO loves him too and has come up with an unusual Michelin tire truck, especially for the North American market. This is a French Saviem truck from 1970, something you’d see delivering tires to the local Michelin tire store, or maybe backed up to the garage area at a European racetrack.

In 1/43 scale it’s a showcase stopper in its yellow and blue trim and runs roughly 7.5 inches long. Our review copy was provided by American-Excellence, which handles IXO, BOS Models and NEO, among other brands.

The History

Saviem’s history is interesting, and to be honest, it’s a truck maker I had never heard of until the sample arrived. Turns out that Saviem  existed from 1955 to 1978 in France and the name is a mash-up of its original truck firms that were all merged at that point, by Renault after it has abandoned the commercial truck and bus business following World War II.Ixo Michelin truck

Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s 1970 Saviem JM 21/240 Michelin truck

Advertisements

2017 Toyota Corolla XSE

Toyota Corolla still running strong 50 years on …2017 Toyota Corolla

Like Energizer’s bunny, Toyota’s Corolla just keeps on running through the generations and has succeeded like no other car model. It’s now 50-year run has resulted in more than 40 million Corollas being sold, most of any model.

That’s more than the VW Beetle, the other long-term, low-cost people’s car. Corolla really owns that title now. Everyone has either owned one, or had a kid that owned one, or an aunt, uncle, step-child or, well, a family member that has owned one.

Full disclosure, our family bought a new Corolla in 1983 when we had a 2-year-old and a second child on the way. It was reliable (we wisely decided against a Chrysler K car and Renault Alliance), economical, came with a stick-shift to help us save fuel and had a big enough trunk to hold a highchair and loads of diapers for trips to the grandparents.

Today’s new Corolla furthers that high value statement while remaining highly reliable and actually a bit more stylish than in years past. Toyota has put some effort into styling the last few years and so the 2017 Corolla is more than just an econobox. It looks good and drives well while remaining affordable and economical to run.2017 Toyota Corolla

Let’s start with price. That’s what most of us think of as relating to value.

A base Corolla L starts at $19,365 and the tested top-level XSE lists at $22,680, plus $865 delivery. A few other brands have similarly priced models that drive a bit sportier, but Corolla comes with most everything a buyer would want, plus is laden with the latest safety equipment. Continue reading 2017 Toyota Corolla XSE

Renault Dauphine

I have never been a fan of French engineering

From my collection
Ad from my collection

I have first-hand experience with my mother owning a Renault Alliance and then me owning an Encore. This was the big deal about the partnership with American Motors and Renault. The cars were a hit out of the gate with the Alliance named Motor Trend Car of the Year but it all went down after that. Mom had the 1.4L engine in her car and I thought it sounded like a sewing machine. I opted for the 1.7L in my Encore and the car could still only barley get out of its own way. I did like the manual shift. The cars had a bunch of issues but it basically came down to cheap materials and bad engineering. Did you know that the Continue reading Renault Dauphine

Die-cast: Corgi 2012 Lotus F1 E20

Corgi’s 1:43 F1 Lotus E20 racer offers detail at value price

By Mark Savage

Lotus and its founder Colin Chapman are legendary, especially in Formula 1 racing circles. Chapman perfected the lightweight, fully stressed monocoque chassis and rear-engine design that revolutionized open wheel racing, both F1 and Indy Car, in the 1960s.Corgi-Lotus-F1-Team-E20

Under Chapman’s guidance Lotus won seven world constructors championships in F1 and six world driving championships with the likes of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi. But after Chapman’s death in 1982 the Lotus team slowly declined and exited F1 in 1994.

But the Lotus name returned to F1 in 2010 and in 2012 the Lotus Renault Team became Lotus F1 Team, carrying the former Team Lotus’ vintage black and gold racing colors that it ran in the 1970s and 1980s when it was backed by tobacco firm John Player. It’s no longer strictly a British team, being owned by Luxembourg-based Genii Capital, a venture capital group. This team started its life as Toleman Motorsports in 1981, with its headquarters in England, but has undergone several re-inventions of itself, along the way picking up backing, and engines, from Renault.

That’s a short history of what brings us to Corgi’s smartly executed 1:43 version of the Lotus E20, raced in 2012 by former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Finland. Corgi delivers a beautifully rendered Lotus, and also offers the team car driven by France’s Romain Grosjean in the 2012 season. Continue reading Die-cast: Corgi 2012 Lotus F1 E20