Model: Outspan Orange
Release: Oxford Diecast
eBay link: Oxford Diecast Outspan Orange
Why I am featuring it: It’s cool, isn’t it? I came across this when going through a box of models I hadn’t looked at in a while. I honestly can’t remember where I bought it, probably at a toy show in the 1990s.
Six full-size Outspan Orange cars were built in the UK as promotional tools in the early-1970s. Based on Mini running gear, the cars were reportedly used by Outspan in the UK, France, Germany and South Africa. I bought the model because I saw the real thing in the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu as a kid (and again as an adult!). It’s still there – read more about it here and be sure to visit this fabulous museum if you get a chance.
I’m unsure when the model was produced but it must have been in the early-1990s. Oxford was founded in 1993, using the former Corgi factory in Swansea, Wales, which is where this model was made – note the late-style Corgi Juniors wheels. Its Oxford product code is 004, suggesting it was one of the company’s very first designs.
As diecast replicas go, it’s a lot of fun, but not an especially accurate reproduction of the real Outspan vehicles. No matter. There’s also an Outspan Grapefruit version, although to my knowledge this had no real-life counterpart.