26 July 2023
Solido 1968 Volkswagen T2 Pick-up Custom - green
Solido's first version of the marvellous Volkswagen Pick-up arrived in the original 'Splitty' form, in late 2021. Initially available in two colourways, one with a 'tilt' rear cover, both versions were reviewed by Stephen Paul Hardy in the December 2021 issue and came in for plenty of (totally justified) praise.
Given how popular these T1 releases proved to be for Solido, it was only going to be a matter of time before we saw the T2 'Bay Window' in large-scale diecast from the prolific French manufacturer. It comes in both the customised form you see here and also as a classic version, No S1809402, finished in grey on the lower half with a white upper. The classic one also features a vintage roof rack above the cab. But more about this in a future issue, as Stephen has it lined up for review.
Solido gives us the perfect introduction to this model on its website: "The Volkswagen T2, little brother of the T1, is an iconic van. Like many iconic and popular vehicles, it has had many customisations. Here, a garage had fun giving the T2 a low-rider look. With this apple green, this pickup certainly doesn’t go unnoticed!" But before we get stuck into the details of the model, a little history behind these wonderful, oh-so-iconic beauties.
The original T1 Camper, Transporter and Pick-up were, confusingly, initially designated as Volkswagen's "Type 2" when it was introduced in 1949, with the 'Beetle' deemed to be the Type 1. The "Type 2" design, with its wonderful split-screen front, hence "Splitty" in the popular vernacular, 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). Are you confused yet?
Solido's newly-tooled T2 is exquisite, based on a 1968 vehicle. The diecast body is a marvellous piece of model engineering and it even features opening parts - both cab doors open, revealing a neatly-detailed interior, and the rear tailgate hinges down by way of simply lifting a pair of catches atop the rear flanks, one on either side - just reversing the procedure to put the tailgate back up, of course.
Attention to detail is excellent, especially at this larger scale 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. As mentioned in Solido's website 'blurb', the customisation has included giving the vehicle a lowered stance and it will be interesting to compare this version with the standard release that Stephen is going to review, if only just to see how much lower this one is. It does look great though.
The slightly metallic Apple Green paintwork is really eye-catching and suits the vehicle very well. Bearing allegiance to "Rooster Speed Motorcycle Custom Performance" (established in 1980, apparently) on both cab doors, the T2's job here was probably originally as a support and delivery vehicle, but now its job could be at shows, albeit again as a delivery/transport mule.
Interestingly, the number plate declares this to be a "Streetfighter". It certainly has plenty of street presence and it deserves to also be present in your VW collection.