Monthly Archives: December 2012

Scalex Cars by Minimodels – Maserati & Ferrari

Minimodels of Havant were forerunners in the idea and manufacturer of tinplate racing cars, launching a small range of metal bodied clockwork racing cars in 1952 under the SCALEX name, for play use on bare uncarpeted floors. During this time the leading toy company Tri-ang were seeing diminishing demand for their tinplate Minic range of 1950s styled cars & commercials so developed a range of lighter and cheaper plastic friction models named the Push N Go series and so looked upon Minimodels idea as rather dated. In 1956 Minimodels introduced a tin racing car version to run on a track and which contained an electric motor. Adding TRIC at the end of SCALEX  (shortened from electric) they registered the SCALEXTRIC trade mark. This new toy invention quickly caught the eye of Tri-ang, who saw the potential of much lighter moulded plastic bodied cars which could offer higher speed and more versatility around track corners so subsequently purchased the Minimodels and the Scalextric brand in 1958.

The picture shows early Maserati & Ferrari models by Minimodels.

Our 132 page book is the only publication providing values on the world’s one time largest toy company, Tri-ang.

Matchbox 52a Maserati 4CLT Racing Car

In 1958 Matchbox issued the 52a Maserati  4CLT racing car, firstly in red without race numbers which was followed later in the year by a lemon yellow version. The red version was the first of the 1-75 Series to be issued with solid black plastic wheels, which were short lived as they were quickly replaced by spoked wire wheels to give a more realistic appearance. As a result these early solid black plastic wheel versions without race numbers are harder to find.

For more information see our Matchbox Toys price guide.