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.

7 Comments

  1. Hi! I am the former wife and partner of Dave Kent. I would like to find the models of Lulu and Linda. My and Dave’s youngest daughter has four children who are interested in their grandpas history. And his sons are also interested in Dave’s talented history
    Thanks
    Linda St John

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    1. Hi Linda, so nice to hear from you. The only way to acquire these vintage toys is likely on eBay. I believe that Bburago only made a “Linda” #98 version and did not make a “Lulu” #92. I would try using a search term like “Bburago Rx7”.

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      1. I note you used my decals from Patto’s for the #92 car (I know because my early version, the Goodyear logos have the wrong font – since corrected)
        some of my other burago conversions are here –
        https://dcrdiecast.wordpress.com/gallery/
        (not up to date – many more IMSA RX7s – #92 “Lulu”, #98 “Linda”, 1983 Firestone version of #92 in red, #38 Yellow, #66 Yellow, #47 Yellow, #47 Blue, #60 “Wilma”, #63 Grundig, #57 Red Roof, #7 Akai Racing Beat, plus some Aussie RX7s – #4 Bryant Moffat , #77 JLC Moffat Sandown) I can email pics of these

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    2. Linda – I have models of #98, #92 (white), and #92 Firestone (red) and can do a set of 3 for you, given supply of the base model Buragos. I have several bodies in need of painting, but they are missing windows and I can’t find someone who can make replacements, so would need 3 complete cars. I currently have a pristine red car that I am going to go the whole hog on and not only put in the usual steering wheel and gearstick, but the centre console, pedals, rollcage, and seat belts, and if I can find a close match, Hayashi look-alike wheels – this will be my personal collection #98 Moffat car, replacing the current one

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