Dream collaboration: Schuco x Tarmac Works

We’ve seen what these two brands are capable of when they collaborate before, with last year’s brilliant Volkswagen T3 van resplendent in Audi Sport livery. And they’ve combined again to create two fantastic diecasts in the shape of these vintage VWs: Meet the T1 panel van lowrider edition “Jagermeister” and the totally new Beetle lowrider wearing a very familiar livery.

The T1 lowrider hasn’t been around long, indeed there’s only been one previous release: the awesome “I still play with cars” variant I covered in April. The casting has a bit of a flat nose but I’ve been able to easily get past that with the standard T1 versions due to a number of effortlessly cool retro liveries (VW Service, Porsche Diesel and Martini amongst others) and the quality and finish of Schuco diecast. They’re very well built; heavy, with sharp detailing and great paintwork. The lowrider variant adds suitably low ride height and some very cool steel wheels. It adds another element to an already neat model. And with this collaboration with Asian diecast masters Tarmac Works, the cool level goes up another notch.

First of all that livery! The Jagermeister livery is one long tied into Porsche and BMW folklore due to the ranks of orange clad race cars, but to see it on a Volkswagen isn’t as odd as you may think. Jagermeister did use T1 panel vans as delivery vehicles in the 1950s and 1960s. And the livery on the scale version is incredibly accurate. And incredibly cool. It brings to mind the rows of customised T1s I’ve seen over the years at Volkswagen shows, and it’d fit right in at any of them. The paintwork is brilliantly done and the decals sharp and crisp and the construction is solid. The roofrack is a cool new addition to the lowrider casting, however on my example it sits a little wonky on the roof, something I hope doesn’t affect others. But this isn’t a serious blemish, and easily looked past.

The next collaboration model is the debut of another Volkswagen “lowrider” casting: the Beetle. Schuco’s 2021 catalogue teased at the car in a rather more muted scheme but this release wears a very divisive livery in the colours of the Gulf Oil company. I’m of the opinion that there are far too many diecasts these days using the iconic blue and orange, many that have little or nothing to do with the company. And with this Beetle I’m having to look under the colour to appreciate the coolness, but I’ve got to say it’s not nearly as offensive or erroneous as the myriad of other Gulf shod models coming from other manufacturers. And to be fair, the livery doesn’t actually use the Gulf logo or script anywhere, it’s more an “inspired by” scheme, which is much easier to swallow. And besides, it’s a very cool model under the paint.

As with the T1, the standard Schuco Beetle casting is a fab thing. The combination of the lowered ride height and Fuchs wheels look great, and it’s even been “de-badged” with the removal of the rear “VW 1500” script from the standard car. The Fuchs look fantastic, and I can’t wait to see them without the black paint somewhat hiding their lines.

This is definitely another casting I’m sure will have a long life with different colours and liveries, and I’m excited to get my hands on a more subdued but equally as cool colourway that I’m sure is on the way.

And there’s something super cool about the packaging of both models even beyond the shipping container style collectors box. Both are in clam shell packs that make it easy to get in and out and display your model in whatever way you want, without causing damage to card or blister. I love collector focused touches like that!

With more collaborations set for the future, the relationship between Schuco and Tarmac is flourishing and set to yield some very cool results. I’m certainly more than impressed so far.

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(Find the Schuco x Tarmac cars at the Tarmac store and on Ebay. The Schuco store has their T1 lowrider in stock also)

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