One good thing about this hobby is that I am always learning, and it’s especially interesting for me when I discover a new brand. And that is exactly what happened to me recently when sorting through a rather huge diecast hoard. Meet Novacar.
Novacar were produced by Portugese company Minia Porto-Jogos E Brinquedos LDA. Majorette took control of the company in the late 1980s and continued to produce models under the Novacar brand in the “100 series”. Novacar branded models had metal chassis and plastic bodies, sharing wheels from the Majorette parts bin. As you can see from the above catalogue pictures, a variety of models were available. I managed to find the Mercedes SL (No.105) and Renault Espace (No.110) cars in great condition, and typically being from an obscure European maker, they’re right up my street.
They are incredibly simple little things, and infact there’s barely any detail to write about. Even the bases are devoid of any significant feature other than the manufacturer name.
There’s not even a steering wheel in either car, even in the open topped SL500. A sort of rounded protusion in the interior molding is all that is present. The plastic bodies are coloured rather than painted, and graced with the bare minimum of features, though panel lines are present and on the SL the Mercedes badge is visible on a textured grille. But that’s pretty much it.
The decals on the Espace are a bit lopsided and poorly printed, and a rear wheel of my SL looks like it’s been hit against a kerb but…. I find the simplicity sort of oddly refreshing. And the SL500 inparticular I’m a big fan of. They were never made to be range topping premium line models, more just easy to recognise, cheap yet effective toys. And they nail that. And in my humble opinion they’re very cool. They have a real charm and add a little bit of variety to even my mixed up collection.
A cool pair of very unique finds and a piece of Majorette history, what more could I ask for?
(Find Novacar on Ebay)
6 Replies to “Majorette? Not quite. A brief look at Novacar.”
Here in Brazil I’ve had some Novacars too! The wheels were different than those on the pics here, probably from another era… Maybe it was early 90’s and they were kinda 3-spoke wheels.
I had a blue Ferrari Testarossa, a pink Nissan 300ZX (both still here in the collection), a gray Chevrolet D-20 pick-up and a yellow Chevrolet Lumina van… They were simple and very plastic-y, but for a kid, it was good because they didn’t get any scratches. Miss those times…
Those sound amazing! Will look the Brazillian cars up!
I have few of these too. The nissan suv is a ni e basic model. I have tbe f1 racer as well. Thanks for sharing!!
Portuguese, not Spanish is the language spoken in Portugal. They’re similar and related but different, therefore the name of the company would be Minia Porto-Jogos E Brinquedos, not Juegos e Bringuedos. Sorry to be pedantic.
Changed accordingly 🙂 thanks for correcting it, I am always careful not to be ignorant of language!
I’ve got quite a few of these. They were good for the time. I’m not sure how they did the tampo print but it is impossible to remove. The Honda/Acura NSX is great. The plastic body let them catch all the fine details better than metal would have.