12 October 2021
Solido 1950 VW T1 Pick-up - orange and white
Officially designated as Volkswagen's "Type 2" when it was introduced in 1949, the concept for it is credited to Dutch Volkswagen importer, Ben Pon. He visited Wolfsburg in 1946, intending to purchase Type 1s for import to the Netherlands, where he saw a Plattenwagen, an improvised parts-mover based on the Type 1 chassis, and realised something special was possible using the stock Type 1 pan. Production would have to wait, however, as the factory was at capacity producing the Type 1 'Beetle'.
The Transporter evolved, and was completely revised periodically with variations retrospectively referred to as versions "T1" to "T5" (a nomenclature only invented after the introduction of the front-wheel-drive T4 that replaced the T3). However, only generations T1 to T3 can be seen as directly related to the Beetle.
Solido's newly-tooled T1 is exquisite and has been released alongside a version, in blue, that comes with a rear 'tilt' cover. This version replicates a later, restored version (the blue version is of an original when it was new) and comes complete with a surfboard in moulded plastic.
The diecast body is a marvellous piece of modelling and it even features opening parts - both cabin doors open and the rear tailgate hinges down. Finished in a very evocative orange and white scheme, the subtle pinstriping that separates the two colours is marvellously consistent.
Attention to detail is excellent, especially at this size and for this price, and the standard of finish is similarly impressive. The wheels and tyres look incredibly accurate too, helping the whole model to sit 'just right' for display.
So time to get your surf gear on and get down to your preferred retailer to jump on the bandwagon, or should I say "Volkswagen"?