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Richard's picture
Richard
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--24v and 538 Buick Roadmaster (1954-1960)

I sent to David my top ten list ! This Buick is my number 2 !!

Kind regards
Richard

Fred7A
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Joined: Fri, 07/10/2015 - 19:33

I can see why this is so high on your list. It's a lovely item - are those all the colour variants which were made? I have one with very reasonable paintwork, but unfortunately one front pillar is damaged.

What's your number 1?

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Richard
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No, they are not.
On the photo there is missing one : Cream body with metallic blue roof.
The red one is a paint try.
It seems that there are some others "paint try" but I never had them in my hands:
Body and roof black
Body and roof yellow
Body and roof dark blue
Red body and cream roof
Ivory body and green roof.

My number one in my top ten is the Ford Vedette 24Q. I will open a post on that car.

Kind regards

Richard

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    I am surprised that there are not more comments or posts on this most wonderful model, and since I feel it is one of my all-time favorite Dinky Toys, herewith are my thoughts and notes:  This model was brought out by the French Dinky factory in January of 1954, and deleted in 1959, and it appears to have been modeled after the 1952 Buick Roadmaster.  The real car is very similar for 1952 and 1953, but several key points serve to differentiate between the two.  First and foremost are the prominent raised areas atop each rear fender or mudguard.  On the real car, these are bright chrome, while Dinky has left them painted.  For the 1953 Buick, these were deleted.  The hood ornament and front grill and bumper details are also from the 1952 model, whereas the silver colored side detail or sweepspears as they were called here in the states, appear to be more from the 1953 model....mainly at the lower rear area where it sweeps down.

    In reading all of the reference material available, it appears that this particular model was (1). always in a yellow separate box (no trade boxes) and (2). always came with white tires.  Early versions did come with a smooth inside roof area, which was later changed to the grilled type, and early models also came with unpainted Zamac wheels, which were later polished or chrome plated.  Another variation is the previously mentioned side trim;  on most Buick models, this has been very nicely painted silver (the real car used bright stainless steel), to a very good effect, as that detail adds considerably to the look of the car.  On some versions, however, this has been omitted, and the trim is simply painted the body color.  This change has been noted by some of the sellers, but I could not find any documentation or even discussion of it, so I do not know if it the non-silver was an early version, later changed, or just a lapse.....maybe the mask or special equipment used broke down?  Since I feel that it adds so much to the neat look of the car, I made sure and found my models with it.

    Another change I noticed, after my last purchase, was the yellow box.  At first, it looked just like other yellow boxes from the mid-1950's, but on close inspection I noticed that the illustration of the car, on both sides, had a "shadow" added to it.  And sure enough, one of my reference books on French Dinky's does mention that both types of box exist, but again, with no information on when that occurred.  In re-looking and comparing the boxes, I also noticed that the wording "miniatures" appears above the Dinky Toys name, both on the side of box and also on both end flaps.  I do not remember ever seeing this before, so maybe someone can comment on that.  My own thoughts are that this last Buick I bought, the mid-blue with dark blue roof, unpainted Zamac wheels, smooth inside roof, was a very early model, and that likely, this was also an early box.  There are photos below showing this.

   My very first experience with the Dinky Buick Roadmaster came in 1959, when another friend and I both had the grand idea of writing the French factory directly, to see is we could purchase items from them not available in the states.  My friends mother spoke and wrote French, so she composed a letter from us, and a few weeks later, we got our reply.....yes, they would agree to sell directly to us, and they enclosed a 1959 French catalog.  I promptly ordered one of the Buick Roadmaster's, as I had never seen one before.  I was very lucky....when it arrived, it turned out to be the hard to find, somewhat expensive salmon and black color.  Fortunately, I still have that model today, after buying it 56 years ago, and it is still almost mint with the box.  A few years ago, I decided to try and find the other colors offered, and within a year had acquired very nice examples of the yellow and dark green, the light blue and cream, and lastly, the mid blue and dark blue.  The remaining color version that I still need is the cream with metallic blue roof, which will be a challenge!

     Below are several images of this very nice model.  The level of detail that the French Dinky factory bestowed on this car is amazing....the front grill is very intricate, and the accent/detail silver painting is superb....even the tiny rear trunk or boot handle is painted silver.  The model is also very well proportioned and an very accurate rendition of the real car.

                  Regards,  Terry

 

 

 

 

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Richard
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Very complete study Terry ! congratulation.

And the "UNIC" is the late version with the front concave wheels !

Friendly yours

Richard

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janwerner
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Thank you, Terry, for helping the revival of our fine DTCA website forum with contributions like this! Kind regards, Jan

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Jan & Richard---Thank you both for your nice comments regarding the Buick Roadmaster; I find it a very interesting model, and I have always been partial to Buicks, so it was natural to really like that model.  Here are a few more detailed photos of the Buick, showing a little better the wonderful casting details on the front and rear of the car, as well as the silver painted side trim.  There is also a side by side photo showing the difference between the plain, unpainted Zamac wheel and a later polished one.  Until now, I did not know that Dinky had made them both ways, although I feel it must have been for a short time.

                 Regards,  Terry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard's picture
Richard
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And the very hard to find :

Richard's picture
Richard
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And now a paint try :

 

Cheers

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dinkyfan
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Richard--Nice color combo....looks very nice. I would have liked Meccano to paint one with the body in metallic blue and a cream roof.....sort of the opposite that they produced.

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janwerner
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A peculiar and nice colour experiment, Richard. Also from your father's 'heritage'?

Remarkable that even a colour trial was packed in an official box ...

Kind regards, Jan

Richard's picture
Richard
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Here are the two versions of the yellow and green Buick.

Inside roof and hubs.

Richard

dinkyfan's picture
dinkyfan
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Richard----Yes, those early ones do not have the chromed wheels, or with grids under the roof. It also appears your early one has less silver trim.....that lower piece under the doors, and the small piece at the rear. I have also seen some without any of the side trim painted, which to me, detracts from this wonderful model.
Best regards, Terry

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johnnyangel
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I received this Roadmaster recently from an eBay seller; it was supplied with what I believe was a reproduction box, but that did not bother me unduly since I purchased the model for a very keen price.

What had not been obvious before is that -- while the model is more presentable than these pictures make it look -- there is wear all around, and what appears to be the color of the yellow version is showing through from underneath. It would be easy to conclude that someone had a battered yellow sample and repainted it. However, when I compare this with my white-over-blue Roadmaster, the detailing all looks pretty original.

(It is the version with the grid under the roof.)

So the question is, is this some sort of clever repaint, or was it overpainted at the factory? And if the latter, why? Has anyone encountered a Dinky where this had been done before?

 

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Jonathan—-First of all, congratulations on getting a Dinky Toys Buick Roadmaster. As I have mentioned before, I personally feel this is one of the finest examples of a diecast model through the 1950’s. The execution of the design, and the attention to detail.... both diecast and paint, is second to none.....
Now, on to this example: at first glance, it appears to be a very nice example of the light blue body, with dark blue roof. But, as you mentioned, the appearance of the yellow finish under the chipped areas is most curious, and no, I do not happen to remember seeing an example of another model with this characteristic. A couple of things do stand out to me: 1. There is a lot of light chipping in many places, while the overall model is in quite nice condition. It kind of suggests that the blue paint is a bit fragile, and also a thick coat, and prone to chipping. 2. The view looking down at the top of the hood or bonnet....there is a cast detail line running from the front toward the windshield, at an angle. In your picture, this line does not appear real crisp or distinct, but rather like it was heavily painted over, leaving a “soft” rather than sharp line. I compared this detail feature with all 4 of my examples.....and all of mine have a sharp, distinct line, with no sign of a heavy or second coat of paint. From the photos you supplied, this is the single most troubling find; I don’t know how to explain it away!
I also would like to see some good closeup photos of the sides and also the rear.
The other, obvious thought is, just why would anyone at the factory re-paint a model to a new color? Did they have lots of yellow ones, that were not popular, and did not sell, so they decided to re-paint a whole batch of them? If so, that would account for the otherwise excellent finish, and also the thicker paint. Maybe someone else can offer an opinion or enhance our Dinky knowledge.....
Best regards,
Terry

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dinkycollect
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Joined: Fri, 06/26/2015 - 22:49

Johnny,

Other models are known to have been overpainted at the factory. Some # 32a dark blue Panhard articulated lorries S.N.C.F. have been respraid in red for the # 32c Esso tanker version.

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Jacques—-Thanks for adding your comment. I would still like to see some other, better closeup photos, but it does not appear to have been done by a hobbyist. But, if it was done by the French factory, why? Maybe a batch were painted and the result did not turn out quite right? But re-painting would appear to be a hassle too; the model would need to be taken apart, the parts set aside, then the body run through the paint process, then all re-assembled. But by re-painting, the model then has too thick of paint, making it more susceptible to chipping as Jonathan’s example seems to show.
Most interesting!
Best regards, Terry

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Thanks for your comments, gentlemen! Here are some additional photos comparing the model with another Roadmaster. I'm (cautiously) convinced this was done at the factory, based on the similarity in various details. (The silver trim on the sides appears to have been applied with a sponge, for example.) Though indeed, I'm hard put to see why this would have happened.

As Terry notes, the layered paint is too thick, obscuring details, and obviously the top coat did not adhere well. I assume the repainting would have been done after the initial yellow coat, but before the model had been assembled.

Apologies -- these are just quick iPhone shots, but hopefully revealing enough.

 

 

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dinkyfan
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Jonathan--Thanks for posting additional photos.....I am now also quite certain that it is original and done, for some reason, by the factory.  And I also think you are right, that they caught whatever was wrong, before assembly.  I am now guessing that something did not turn out right with the paint...maybe the color was off, or more likely, the application just did not look right.  I have a few French models that had a terrible paint finish....,kind of a frosted appearance, and not real smooth, and I was surprised they passed inspection.

   In any event, I think you have a very unusual example, and it has brought to light a little known occurance for many of us.  Thanks again for sharing wiht us!

       Best regards,  Terry

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dinkyfan
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As most of you know, I retired from active collecting a couple of years ago.....but I recently made a brief, one-time return, to make a final, long sought acquisition.......the 24v Buick Roadmaster in the rare and hard to find ivory and metallic blue version.  I have little actual information on this color combination, but from all appearances, it was the last color variation issued, and apparently only for a short time around 1959.  The Buick Roadmaster made its final French catalog appearance in 1959, and is the only catalog showing this particular color. So I now have all five color variations of this most wonderful model....to me and many others, it represents the pinnacle of Dinky diecasting and paint detailing up through 1959.

         Best regards,  Terry

 

 

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Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:47

Terry congratulations on this special purchase. Very nice that you still complete your collection. I think the Buick Roadmaster is one of the nicest cars that Dinky Toys France has made. When I bought this Buick Roadmaster a few years ago, I received a concertina leaflet with advertisement for the French Meccano Magazine dated Avril 1954 with the model in the box. I had never seen this before. These seem to be included in the box with the model at the time. Best regards Jan O.

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dinkycollect
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Hello Jan 0,

I do not know this document. It must be very rare. Roulet does not seem to know it either as it does not apear in his last book. It is not included in Claude Wagner's future book about all the French Dinky documents.

I would very much apreciate if you could provide scans of this interesting sheet as well as it's dimensions.

Kind regards.

Jacques

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Jan Oldenhuis
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Joined: Thu, 07/30/2015 - 22:47

Ok Jacques. Added to this. You can download them now. The size is 8 x 12 cm.

Kind regards, Jan O.

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dinkycollect
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Many Thanks Jan for this document.