Automobilia

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OK, so there has been another long gap between posts but I shall explain why shortly. There has also not been much work done on my Datsuns in the last month but I still seem to keep accruing Datsun stuff regardless. I was particularly excited to find this old Datsun technical poster on eBay. This lovely transmission cutaway illustration is part of a set of large posters which detail various technical aspects, in this case of the 330 series Cedric. Presumably Nissan made these sets of posters featuring other models, although to date I have only ever see one other set and they were for a C30 Laurel. The reason why this was such a fantastic find is it was the only poster missing from a set which I have owned for a number of years!

Naturally, the artwork on these posters dates from an era before digital rendering and were done by hand with a combination of airbrush and painting making them real works of art created by very a talented technical artist. Eventually, I hope to be able to display these in my garage but I have a way to go yet before I have a garage worthy of them! I dug the rest of the set out and snapped some pictures of them so click through to have a look…

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t14matchbox

I acquired this interesting item earlier this week. It’s a tiny printed paper (35mm x 55mm) which has apparently been taken from an old box of matches… and judging by the illustration on it, it must have been a very old matchbox as that’s a Datsun Type 14 Phaeton from around 1935! Either that or it’s possibly a later commemorative but that seems unlikely as those sort of things usual feature the Datsun Type 11 which is regarded as the first Datsun. It’s unusual to see any commercial advertising relating to pre-war Datsuns. If anyone can shed any light on what the text says, I would be very interested to know!

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Surely this is the best Top Trumps version ever? I like how half the pack are Datsuns, such is their awesomeness. These were printed by a West German company Altenburg-Stralsunder in, I would guess, about 1974 or shortly after judging by the cars depicted, particularly the inclusion 0f both the Datsun 1200 (B110) and it’s successor, the 120Y (B210), which hit the European market in ‘74. A lot of the cars have German registrations, so it’s likely the set is based on models sold there. Does this mean the Mazda Chantez was sold in Germany? Really? Also, note the inclusion of the rare Toyota 10000 (sic). I bet that goes well. Check out the full set after the jump…

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I’m not really a collector of things in the true sense… just a hoarder. The value of the stuff I hoard isn’t monetary, it’s more in the nostalgia. I just like old stuff. Model cars, garage equipment, old stereos and electronic games, vintage cameras and books, car sales brochures and toy garages. Most of all I like car stuff. Like any avid buyer of other peoples junk, the natural domain for me is the car boot sale or flea market. I just love finding some cool piece of automotive tat and paying peanuts for it.

I swear one day, I’ll have a mini museum of my own to put all this stuff in. A big garage with a few nice cars surrounded by the mass of junk I’ve hoarded over the years. I guess I must have about three and a half thousand or so toy cars by now which alone would make a great display. Add to that the toy garages and accessories, slot cars and track, model kits, brochures, signs, posters, books and films and it’d add up to my little bit of old car heaven. Just to give an idea of the kind of stuff I’m talking about, here’s an example of the sort of junk that catches my eye at a car boot sale…

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I love Top Trump cards. They are like little colour snap shots of dubious motoring history with the techie bits whittled down to merely those about which small boys care, namely engine size, power and top speed. And occasionally value. Whenever I see an interesting old set I buy it.so I was pretty chuffed to find these diminutive Mini Trumps Fact Cards, Particularly as they seem to feature an assortment of sometimes slightly goofy home brewed British Hot Rods from the early 1970’s. Curious really, as the card set is made by a West German company. The cards are pretty small at just 57mm by 37mm so they aren’t easy to scan  and the images aren’t all that sharp but I’ve done them anyway as i figured they are kind of interesting. There’s a couple of these old Rods I recognise, namely the American built “Andy’s T” and the green Opus, but most of the rest are unknown to me. Check out the full set of cards after the jump..

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As I’ve previously mentioned, the swapmeet at the 22nd Salon Champenois du Véhicule de Collection in Reims was a little pricey but offered a staggering wealth of parts and memorabilia, much of which would be hard, if not impossible to find outside of France. Obviously the bulk of the parts on offer from both business and private traders catered for French and European marques. I saw very little on offer to suit Japanese cars but that’s hardly surprising really. I did see a nice metal “Datsun Concessionnaire” sign but it was Sadly way to large to fit in our car! The sheer quantity and variety of the automobilia on offer was awesome, from enamel signs to pedal cars, it was all to be found. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many pedal cars in my life! After the jump you can take a look at some of the wares on offer. I can thoroughly recommend this swapmeet but if you do attend, take plenty of Euros!

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I just came by this cute little promotional Datsun cup and saucer via the wonders of eBay (as usual). I was rather hoping there would be some indication on it as to what it was promoting exactly or even how old it was but alas there’s nothing. I figured I’d post it up in case anyone out there knows. It’s beautifully decorated but what’s particularly curious is it’s size. It’s tiny! This makes me think it may possibly be an espresso coffee cup. It being marked with both Datsun and Nissan logos on the base doesn’t really provide any clues to it’s era as in japan both of these logos were used right back, virtually from the start of Nissan Motor. If you know any more about this little cup and saucer  let me know! Some more pictures after the jump…

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Some time ago, I this unusual brass car badge came into my possession and I decided only recently to do some digging to see if I could ascertain it’s origins. After some fruitless searching using the conventional methods such as Google,  I resorted to using Japanese search engines with the help of the excellent translator at OCN. Finally, after much translating back and forth, Japanese search engine Goo brought forth the answer. Surprisingly it’s not from some kind of national Datsun enthusiasts club as the name would imply…

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Hoarders of Datsun and Nissan related merchandising and collectibles may already be familiar with with the large Gold cigarette cases, based on various models built by the company. They appear to date back to at least 1959 and it seems that virtually every model sold since then has been represented by one of these cases… well into the 1990’s it would appear. The earliest examples I have seen are modelled on the 310 series Bluebird and 30 model Cedric but cars as late as the Nissan Cima  are also represented and just about everything in between. It’s impossible to say whether every variant of every model series built is covered, but in many cases it seem that at least some variations such as saloon and coupe certainly are.

All feature the same basic design which consists of a very heavy, one piece cast metal body, usually around 1/18 scale, with a removable roof to allow access to the cigarette tray and match holder inside. Generally they are plated in a gold finish although a few appear with a silver finish.  Many even include a small clockwork music box which plays a tune when the roof is lifted off. It’s unclear exactly what purpose these served but it seem likely that they were issued to distributors and dealers of the companies products rather than to the general public as they certainly are not common.

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At over £180 (¥38,000) this KPGC10 Skyline GT-R miniature is definitely going to be one for the connoisseur with deep pockets, but those lucky enough to acquire one of these will not only be getting a very limited edition miniature but also something extremely high tech. Why? Well, unlike most metal miniatures with are usually die cast, the craftsmen at Iriso in Japan actually machine this one from a solid block of aluminium using sophisticated CNC machinery! The miniature is quite small, maybe a little smaller than a Matchbox car but the detail is incredible, right down to the badges. And even more amazing is that parts like the fender mirrors and rear wing are also hewn from the same chunk or aluminium as the rest of the body!

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