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1970s Corgi Toys Formula 1 Cars

Submitted by on July 7, 2009

They don’t make ‘em like they used to, that’s for sure. I still have my original collection of 1970s Corgi F1 cars, that are now being raced across the floor by my 3 year old son.

They are race worn, unlike the ones in these pics, as they have done plenty of  imaginary Grand Prix, yet they are still completely in tact.

Made in Great Britain from steel, with a minimum of plastic parts, they are indestructible. The axles have never bent, the wheels have never fallen off and the stickers are still on most of them. The worst damage is to Jackie Stewarts Tyrrell 006 which is suffering from a loose rear oil cooler! They are clearly solid enough to play with and yet they would look right at home in a display cabinet.

The Mettoy Playcraft company was founded in 1933 by German emigré Philip Ullmann. Corgi Toys branded die cast models were first released in England in 1956 and enjoyed huge success in the 60s and early 70s before the arrival of the video game and changing tastes led to the company closing 1983. The story did not end there however, with management buy outs, Chinese joint ventures, ownership by Mattel and another management buy out, until finally in March 2008  the company was sold to giant toy company Hornby. The company is still producing die cast toys and trading under the Corgi name.

The full range of Corgi 1:36 scale Formula 1 cars and year of release are as follows

Released 1972 – The Rob Walker Team Surtees TS9 driven by John Surtees in 1971

Released 1973 – Yardley Team McLaren M19A driven by Denny Hulme, Peter Revson and Brian Redman in 1972

Released 1973 – Scuderia Ferrari 312 B2 driven Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti, Clay Regazzoni and Arturo Merzario in 1972

Released 1973 – Ceramica Pagnossin Surtees TS9B driven by Andrea de Adamich in 1972

Released 1973 – John Player Special Lotus 72D driven by Ronnie Peterson and Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972 (World Champion)

Released 1973 – UOP Shadow Racing Team, Shadow DN1 driven by Jackie Oliver in 1973

Released 1973 – Embassy Racing Shadow DN1 driven by Graham Hill in 1973

Released 1974 – Elf Team Tyrrell 006 driven by Jackie Stewart in 1973 (World Champion)

Released 1975 – Hesketh Racing, Hesketh 308 driven by James Hunt in 1975

Released 1976 – Elf Team Tyrrell P34 driven by Patrick Depailler in 1976

There are a few inaccuracies in the range like the Setwart car wearing the number 1 instead of number 5, but lets not forget they were intended as kids toys rather than display type models.

It’s still possible to find some of these treasures if you hunt around on eBay.

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