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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tomica Toyota 2000GT, 1975 Chevy Stepside pickup, and 1974 Lincoln (Ford) Continental Mark IV



As you may have seen a few times here before I will be profiling a bunch of Tomica cars, with more to come.  Most of these have been bought online because unless you live in east Asia or maybe visited Disney World's EPCOT center in the Asian gift store area, you cannot find Tomica's in the U.S. anymore.  The last time was in 2011 when Tomica tried to make an entry in the U.S. with their sets, but failed because Toys-R-Us placed them in the wooden train isle instead of the diecast isle.  Then add the double the price of the vehicles compared to other diecast and it was a big loss; discount stores ended up selling the rest of the products.  There was a brief entry with RC2 and Johnny Lightning, but both met with no success.  Tomica did bring their cars to the U.S. properly at one point in the 1970's, interestingly enough called Pocket Cars with the pattern of denim jeans on the blistercard.  These three shown here were likely from that era even though I found these at a flea market.







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Toyota 2000GT

The Toyota 2000GT was Toyota's first sports car, one that match up to the Jaguar E-type and had famed success with films and JDM car culture.  Hot Wheels makes an incredible coupe and convertible recently, yet there are plenty of others out there as well including Tomica.  The 2.0L DOHC I-6 was tuned by Yamaha and produced 150 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission.  As with other 2000GT models tested this Tomica exhibited the expense of a long hood with some rear-end push out of corners, with this Tomica version showing more body roll and flexibility thanks to a working suspension and narrow width.  Painted in silver it looks like a gorgeous car despite a few shortcomings of the casting.  The front is the starting point where the chrome grille and foglights are small and rather square instead of round at the corners, yet the classy shape of the long hood with the concealed headlights, vents, and curved fenders still remain.  The car looks good on Tomica's narrow wheels and tires even if the opening doors have too much gap showing (in fact, the passenger door tends to stick out more).







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At the rear the side marker lights are nicely done in oval trim, while the flat rear has round taillights and reverse lamps and as a nice touch the dual exhaust in the center also supports the base to the body.  That base is also metal and features the driveline and exhaust line details.  The doors open up to an interiot that lacks the dashboard in typical Tomica fashion, has a 3-spoke steering wheel, shifter, and ribbed front seats.  Even the doors have detailed handles for the door release and window crank.  May not be the best of the bunch anymore in details, this classy Tomica 2000GT coupe still looks good today.







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Lincoln Continental Mark IV

Lincoln has been making the Continental name for years ever since the original arrived in 1939.  Since then to separate each model Lincoln used the generation model number as Roman numerals for each generation, so instead of Mark 4 you get Mark IV.  This 1974 example showcases the big luxury coupes of the 1970's.  At that point the Thunderbird and Cougar were now sharing the same platform with the Continental coupe (although the Thunderbird has always been there since the Mark II generation).  For 1974 the Continental has to forgo to Feds by adding impact bumpers to the front and rear that ruins the otherwise classy Continental shape.  That bump in the rear where the spare tire would be is a Continental hallmark even if the spare tire has moved elsewhere in the trunk.  The engine is a 460 CID V8 that produces an estimated 200 horespower through a 3-speed automatic transmission.  Problem with this generation is that when the Thunderbird and Cougar started to share styling cues with the Lincoln it was hard to tell the three of them apart.







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This blue version with white roof has been through some rough times, yet still looks good and in my opinion better than the Matchbox version.  The front has a tall center grille that is part of the base with headlights concealed behind doors and fender-end signal lights also part of the metal base.  Note the FORD plate that tells you that other countries still do not recognize the Lincoln nameplate so Ford was used instead.  On the sides it's typical big American coupe with oval opera windows on the C-pillars and a few bading details.  The small Tomica wheels look great strangely for such a big car.  The rear has that famed Continental spare tire notch with Continental letters though they really don't spell anything here.  Taillights are just above the rear bumper and wrap around the rear fenders.  The metal base does a great job showcasing the details of the engine, drivetrain, and exhaust system.  As usual the doors open to an interior that lacks a dashboard, yet it does have the two-spoke steering wheel and padded seat pattern.  Tomica is known for making Japan-based castings, but there are times when they can even excel at some American vehicles, too.







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1975 Chevy Stepside pickup

Now here's a truck that was a rather common sight in the diecast world in the 1970's: the Chevy C/K pickups.  Especially as a stepside it was all too common with little to no differences between them.  Here Tomica joins the fray as I guess they feel their Japan-based pickups were not macho enough yet to obtain the bulky look of the Chevy trucks.  Each one has a few variations with the most interesting being this brown stepside with the camper shell.  The shell has integrated driving lights on the roof and yet it still has visible access to the bed, though the bed is not as deep as it should be.  The rollbar on some other models still stays inside the camper top.  Not to be outdone is the rest of the truck and how excellent it looks.






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The front has that metal eggcrate grille with the bowtie logo and round headlights in square housings.  The grille then attaches to the bumper that is part of the metal base.  The stance of the truck is high and proper for this 4x4 model while wearing 5-spoke wheels with wider tires for a proer look than the other skinnier Tomica tires.  The side profile shows lots of excellent details from the trim on the roof to the door handles, then there's the stepside fenders with gas cap, and 4x4 sticker found on the roof.  The rear has dual taillights, the camper door drapes over the tailgate, and even a trailer hitch for towing.  The interior only features details on the bench seat, steering wheel, and door panels on doors that open.  The base shows off excellent detailing of the 350 CID V8, 3-speed automatic transmission, two-speed transfer case, dual exhausts, and live front and rear axles on leaf springs.  Despite being a common truck in diecast Tomica did a great job with the detailing on this one and shows the proper look of a Chevy Stepside 4x4 pickup.



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