Unexpected vintage racing Rx7 metal models.

When I was a boy, not that long ago, I used to play with toy cars made by Matchbox, Corgi and of course Hot Wheels.  It’s good to know that small children still play with toy cars and that these brands still exist, although they are now all owned by Mattel

These days, I’m used to seeing scale models of the first generation Rx7 as expensive collectables bought by adults.  So I was surprised to learn quite by accident that in the 1980s, the Italian toy company, Bburago, actually marketed a number of historically famous racing Rx7s in 1:43 scale.  Even more surprising, one of those Rx7’s was none other than the famed #98 Kent Racing Rx7 of the 1981 IMSA race season. 

Bburago1
A pair of vintage Bburago #4118 Rx7s from the 1980s in original boxes. However the car was never painted yellow, only red.

 

Bburago2
As with all Bburago products, the car bodies are accurately replicated but the placement and choice of race sponsors’ stickers are nonsense.

 

Bburago3
                                        Certainly one must keep in mind that these were manufactured for children, and not today’s adult collectors.

 

bburago98b
The cars were certainly well manufactured and well able to withstand the abuses of small children.  I had great difficulty removing 40 year old stickers and ended up having to repaint the model before applying new decals to assuage my adult sensibilities.

 

Bburago92
                                        A modern Biante 1:18 scale 1980s Group C Rx7 as campaigned by Allan Moffat in the Australian Touring Car Championship of 1982  but now detailed as #92 Kent Racing Rx7.

Unfortunately, Bburago declared bankruptcy in 2005 because it continued to keep all manufacturing in Italy and was no longer able to compete with cheaper manufacturing in Thailand and China.   The company was bought by Hong Kong based Maisto and the brand continues to this day.

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