Sunday, December 31, 2017

1965 Volkswagen Type 2 T1c - Compact 2-Door Single / Regular Cab Utility Pickup Truck - Light Commercial Vehicle 2002 Volkswagen - Unlike Anything Else On The Road! Series 1/6 Diecast Scale 1:64 by Johnny Lightning


Estoy bastante seguro que nadie vio venir el enorme auge que las camionetas pickup tendrían desde finales de los 50s hasta nuestros días, cuando los primeros vehículos de esta tipología aparecieron tímidamente, por allá en la primera década del siglo pasado... 

En los albores de la producción del automóvil, las camionetas pickup eran vehículos personalizados; sí, literalmente hechos a medida, porque no podías conseguir uno de ellos de fábrica, eran construidos sobre un chasis casi desnudo y las carrocerías eran fabricadas por compañías de terceros... 

Estas compañías eran conocidas como carroceros y había varias especializadas en automóviles, pero no necesitas todos los dedos de una mano para contar aquellas dedicadas a construir platones de acarreo y cajas de volteo. 

Estos últimos términos son reliquia de una era remota, pero estos platones de acarreo y cajas de volteo, que eran transportes tirados por caballos, más tarde derivaron en las camionetas y volquetas modernas, y Galion Godwin Truck Body Company está acreditada como la primera creadora de esta clase de vehículos. 

Entonces, un poco más de 40 años fueron necesarios para que las camionetas pickup recibieran algo de aprecio por parte del público en general y mucho de este entusiasmo fue impulsado por la introducción de modelos con un diseño diferente de platón y cabina, que quitó los guardafangos abombados usuales para crear una apariencia más lisa y ofrecía las comodidades reservadas para un automóvil. 

Mientras en los Estados Unidos el estándar eran las camionetas pickup de tamaño completo (3/4 a 1 tonelada), con capós largos, sedientas de combustible, en Europa (y Japón) las camionetas pickup compactas o subcompactas eran preferidas por lejos, pero con una configuración de cabina adelantada, una especie de COE (Cabina Sobre el Motor por sus siglas en inglés), excepto que el motor estaba situado en el extremo trasero. 

Probablemente el ejemplo más emblemático de la tipología de cabina adelantada, es también la invitada para esta publicación: la Camioneta Pickup Utilitaria Compacta 2 Puertas de Cabina Sencilla / Regular - Volkswagen Tipo 2 T1c de 1965, un vehículo comercial liviano derivado de la vagoneta panel original, también conocida sencillamente como Comercial e introducida en Agosto de 1952. 

Este modelo tiene un estilo tan único y llamativo, que incluso en los Estados Unidos fueron creados al menos tres vehículos que replicaban el concepto general: la Chevrolet Greenbrier, Dodge A100 y Ford Econoline. 

Si no fuera por el infame Gravamen a los Pollos, impuesto en el mercado americano a las camionetas livianas, entre otros productos de Europa, la Volkswagen Tipo 2 T1 en todas sus variantes, hubiera sido un éxito rotundo en ventas a mediados de los 60s, con su enorme popularidad, en gran parte debida a su diseño singular y economía de combustible. 

Por eso es que es extremadamente raro ver una Tipo 2 T1, especialmente en su versión de camioneta pickup de cabina sencilla (o cabina doble, para tal caso) en los Estados Unidos y en consecuencia, estos vehículos alcanzan precios muy altos, si resultas encontrar una de ellas en condiciones pristinas, original, con documentación completa y el dueño está dispuesto a vender este modelo tan amado !!!... 

Con la reintroducción de Johnny Lightning al mercado del diecast, de la mano de Thomas Lowe y Round 2 Corporation, he visto algunos cambios sensatos en la política de negocios para esta marca, que serán benéficos no solo para la marca en sí, sino también para nosotros, los coleccionistas... 

Creo que el más importante es con respecto a las cifras de producción por cada modelo y/o serie disponible en su catálogo; en el pasado, Johnny Lightning solía manejar cifras en el orden de 10.000, 15.000 o casi 20.000 unidades por modelo para la mayoría de series y excepcionalmente, habían series manejando 5.000 o menos unidades por modelo. 

En las primeras etapas de esta marca, sus dueños tuvieron la loca idea de ser rivales de Hot Wheels, no solo en términos del tipo de productos que ellos vendían, sino en términos de cifras de producción; tomó algún tiempo para ellos darse cuenta que debían crear su propio nicho de mercado y estar enfocados en ese punto, con el fin de mantener unas finanzas saludables. 

De 1995 en adelante, bajo la dirección de Playing Mantis, Johnny Lightning fue reorientada al coleccionista adulto y los moldes, así como la selección de modelos fueron mejoradas sustancialmente, pero las cifras de producción eran demasiado altas para mantener el inventario y red de distribución en movimiento así que, la marca enfrentó la hecatombe financiera que ya conocemos y que la llevó a su extinción en 2015. 

La nueva Johnny Lightning maneja una producción mucho más limitada para todos sus modelos y series, apenas por encima de 3.500 unidades en el modelo con la cifra de producción más alta y luego están el resto de series con entre 1.000 y 2.000 unidades en promedio para cada uno de sus modelos. 

Esa fue una decisión muy sabia y algo que mejorará la reputación de esta marca entre los coleccionistas serios, porque una buena dosis de exclusividad nunca perjudicará una marca, al contrario y el inventario tendrá mucho más movimiento !!!... 

Si bien estoy hablando de la nueva Johnny Lightning, esto no me impide reseñar un modelo hecho durante la era Playing Mantis, la vieja Johnny Lightning si quieres, simplemente porque me encanta esta marca y no perdí ninguna oportunidad de conseguir uno de sus fabulosos productos... 

Lo conseguí, como es usual, con la ayuda de un amigo, colega coleccionista e importador, hace más de 4 años y es una de las mejores interpretaciones disponible de este modelo, en realidad no hay muchas réplicas de la Tipo 2 T1 de cabina sencilla, en esta escala y con este nivel de calidad. 

Pertenece a la Serie Volkswagen - Unlike Anything Else On The Road! de 2002, consistente en seis modelos; ofrece construcción completa en diecast, agradablemente detallada como siempre. 

La carrocería recibió un trabajo de pintura en burgundi oscuro con acabado brillante para una apariencia muy clásica y es complementado por una decoración con tampos y/o calcomanías para el emblema frontal VW, las luces frontales y de señal, manijas de las puertas, luces de cola y el logotipo de Volkswagen en la parte de atrás, perfectamente aplicados, también los bómperes delantero y trasero, parte del chasis, recibieron pintura blanca con acabado semibrillante. 

Tiene ventanas transparentes, los interiores curiosamente fueron trabajados en burgundi oscuro también (pintados), las ruedas plásticas son multiparte, presentando un hermoso diseño de rimes 5 Spoke en cromado, que se ajusta a este modelo como un guante, el bonus para esta edición es una pulcra tarjeta de colección, impresa al frente con la fotografía de vehículo real y fue hecha en China !!!... 

Sal 15:1-5 "JEHOVÁ, ¿quién habitará en tu tabernáculo? ¿Quién morará en tu monte santo? El que anda en integridad y hace justicia, y habla verdad en su corazón. El que no calumnia con su lengua, ni hace mal a su prójimo, ni admite reproche alguno contra su vecino. Aquel a cuyos ojos el vil es menospreciado, pero honra a los que temen a JEHOVÁ. El que aún jurando en daño suyo, no por eso cambia; quien su dinero no dio a usura, ni contra el inocente admitió cohecho. El que hace estas cosas, no resbalará jamás."

ENGLISH 
I’m pretty sure nobody saw coming the huge boom that pickup trucks would have from the late 50s to the present day, when the first vehicles of this typology appeared timidly, back in the first decade of the last century... 


At the dawn of automobile production, pickup trucks were custom vehicles; yeah, literally custom-made, because you couldn’t get one of them from factory, they were built on almost bare chassis and bodies were manufactured by third party companies... 

These companies were known as coachbuilders and there were several specialized in automobiles, but you don’t need all the fingers of one hand to count those dedicated to build hauling beds and dump boxes. 

The latter terms are relic of a remote era, but these hauling beds and dump boxes, that were horse-drawn transportation, later derived into the modern pickup and dump trucks, and Galion Godwin Truck Body Company is credited to be the first creator of this kind of vehicles. 

Then, a bit more than 40 years were necessary so that the pickup trucks got some appreciation by the general public and much of this new enthusiasm was driven by the introduction of models with a different bed and cab design, which removed the usual flared fenders to create a smoother appearance and offered the amenities reserved for an automobile. 

While in United States the standard was the full size pickup trucks (3/4 to 1 ton), with long hoods, thirsty for fuel, in Europe (and Japan) the compact or subcompact pickup trucks were preferred by far, but with an advanced cabin configuration, a sort of COE (Cab Over Engine), except that the engine was placed at the rear end. 

Probably the most emblematic example of the advanced cabin typology, is also the guest for this publication: the 1965 Volkswagen Type 2 T1c - Compact 2-Door Single / Regular Cab Utility Pickup Truck, a light commercial vehicle derived from the original panel van, also known simply as Commercial and introduced in August 1952. 

This model has a style so unique and striking, that even in United States were created at least three vehicles which replicated the overall concept: the Chevrolet Greenbrier, Dodge A100 and Ford Econoline. 

If not for the infamous Chicken Tax, imposed in the american market to light trucks, among other products from Europe, the Volkswagen Type 2 T1 in all its variants, would have been a smashing success in sales in the mid 60s, with its huge popularity, largely due to its singular design and fuel economy. 

That’s why it’s exceedingly rare to see a Type 2 T1, specially in its single cab (or double/crew cab for that matter) pickup truck version in the United States territory and accordingly, these vehicles command very high prices, if you happen to find one of them in pristine conditions, original, with complete documentation and the owner is willing to sell this much beloved model !!!... 

With the reintroduction of Johnny Lightning to the diecast market, by the hand of Thomas Lowe and Round 2 Corporation, I have seen some sensible changes in the business policy for this brand, that will be beneficial not only for the brand itself, but also for us, the collectors... 

I think that the most important is regarding the figures of production for each model and/or series available in its catalog; in the past, Johnny Lightning used to manage figures in the order of 10,000, 15,000 or nearly 20,000 units per model for most series and exceptionally, there were series managing 5,000 or less units per model. 

In the first stages of this brand, its owners had the crazy idea of being a rival of Hot Wheels, not only in terms of the kind of products they sold, but also in terms of figures of production; it took some time for them to realize that they should create their own market niche and being focused in that point, in order to keep healthy finances. 

From 1995 onwards, under the direction of Playing Mantis, Johnny Lightning was reoriented to the adult collector and the molds, as well as the selection of models were substantially improved, but the figures of production were too high to keep the inventory and distribution network moving so, the brand faced the financial hecatomb we already know and that let it to its extinction in 2015. 

The new Johnny Lightning manages a much more limited production for all its models and series, just above 3,500 units in the model with the highest figure of production and then there are the rest of series with between 1,000 and 2,000 units in average for each one of its models. 

That was a very wise decision and something that will improve the reputation of this brand among serious collectors, because a good dose of exclusivity will never hurt a brand, conversely and the inventory will have move much more movement !!!... 

While I’m talking about the new Johnny Lightning, this doesn’t prevent me from reviewing a model made during the Playing Mantis era, the old Johnny Lightning if you will, just because I love this brand and I didn’t miss any good chance to get one of its fabulous products... 

I got it, as usual, with the help of a friend of mine, fellow collector and importer, more than 4 years ago, and it’s one of the best renditions available of this model, actually there are not many replicas of the single cab Type 2 T1, in this scale and with this level of quality. 

It belongs to the 2002 Volkswagen - Unlike Anything Else On The Road! Series, consisting of six models; it offers full diecast construction, nicely detailed as always. 

The body received a paint job in dark burgundy with glossy finishing for a very classic appearance and it’s complemented by a decoration with tampos and/or decals for the front VW emblem, front and signal lights, door handles, tail lights and Volkswagen logotype at the rear, perfectly applied, also the front and rear bumpers, part of the chassis, received white paint with semigloss finishing. 

It has clear windows, the interiors curiously were worked in dark burgundy too (painted), the plastic wheels are multipart, featuring a beautiful 5 Spoke rims design in chrome, that fits this model like a glove, the bonus for this edition is a neat trading card, printed in front with a picture of the actual vehicle and it was made in China !!!... 

Psa 15:1-5 "A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved."

6 comments:

LEon said...

Tomica also have a version of this model too. You should get one to compare. :)

Dennis aka Katsuden said...

One of a kind and uniquely Volks design like a van and pick-up fusion. You can't miss the Volks logo even if the person is not aware of the classic design. My continuous compliments to JL die-cast though they are not around. The details (especially the rims), the amount of die-cast and the complimentary trading card.

chrismandesign said...

To LEon:

The last year pal, I saw in person one of those Volkswagen Type 2 T1c Samba and perhaps the Pickup Crew Cab (I don’t remember very well the latter) by Tomica Premium... While the models are very good in general terms, the rendition by Johnny Lightning is superior in several aspects, specially the full diecast construction (those by Tomica feature plastic top, that include the windows), also the level of detail is even better and the smoked windows (a bit too much) in the Tomica models don’t let you see the interiors, which are clearly seen in the model by Johnny Lightning...

Besides, from this year onwards, I’m moving away from acquiring more diecast models, considering several reasons so, while the diecast publications will continue for sure, the focus for my collection in the future will change, to return to my "first love": action figures, designer toys, gashapons, model kits, mechas and other stuff... gradually, of course, it’s a habit hard to brake LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL !!!... =D

chrismandesign said...

To Dennis:

I still find kind of weird the overall design of the VW Type 2 T1 pickup, probably I’m too used to the american pickup trucks, but I’m open minded, you know pal !!!... Your compliments on Johnny Lightning are fully justified, that was my impression when I got my first set by this brand and it has not changed at all, specially in those items produced from 1995 onwards...

When they began to focus on serious adult collectors and stopped trying to compete with more popular brands, they found the market niche in which they needed to be... Now it’s in us, the collectors, to support this brand and others that have a full commitment to create quality products for a rather reasonable price, we need more of these companies around !!!... =OOOOO

David John Shewsbury said...

I really love this maroon colored Volks Pick Up Truck... I think it's really cute... if this were available in our country, I would love to grab this and use it in my manggo farm, maybe change the engine, take out those (expensive and hard to find spare parts) Volks engine and put the (easier to find and cheaper) Nissan Vanette engine into it. I think the crews of Pablo Escobar wouldn't mind to use this for stock distribution in the urban housing areas LOL LOL LOL....

chrismandesign said...

I’m not pretty sure, but I think a color like this could be available for the actual vehicle back in 1965, it’s part of the palette usual in the 60s anyway and it suits perfectly the overall feeling of the VW Type 2 T1... Top notch paint job and the cast is lovely, that’s why I love this brand, albeit is not available in the local market, at least not through the regular channels of distribution, only in the secondary market...

I have heard about engine swaps in VW vehicles and the Subaru powertrains are also a suitable option due to their similar architecture, but the Volkswagen Type 2 T1 definitely wouldn’t be the option to consider for drug distribution, not even in city locations, they are too fancy for those tasks and lack of the 4x4 capabilities =P !!!... =D