Lamley Daily: Payá International SEAT 124

A short but sweet one for you all today, one I’ve really been looking forward to get on Lamley, as it’s one of my favourite finds of recent times.

Obvious in this image is the badly seated chassis, leaning toward the left

Let’s get this out of the way first: It’s a rather crude model, so to harp on about wheel choice, features etc would be a bit pointless. There are burrs, paint bubbles, a remarkably badly molded window piece and a wonky chassis that means the car won’t sit level. It’s on the hallowed pages of Lamley however for its rarity and obscurity, and despite the flaws it is a rather well proportioned and faithful representation of the real car.

The SEAT 124 was, as the name may suggest, a license built version of Fiat’s 124. Production began in 1968 and continued until 1980 with over 890,000 sold. Like the 124 and it’s VAZ counterpart, the SEAT proved to have decent performance and reliability, and saw use as taxis, Police and Fire cars. Motorsport versions were successful in rallying, and a 124 piloted by Salvador Cañellas placed 3rd in the 1977 Monte Carlo Rally.

The Paya car came to my collection via a Spanish marketplace site, and with a little help from Google Translate it landed with me a week later. They’re not particularly easy to find so when my line caught one, I was very happy.

Paya was a toy maker from the town of Ibi in Alicante, Spain. Mostly known for their tin toys, the 124 was part of their “International” line of 3 inch cars produced in the 1960s and 70s, with most of them being direct copies of Lesney castings. The slightly poor finish and manufacturing methods means over time many cars have simply broken apart and been lost to metal fatigue, softening plastics etc. Mine has thankfully avoided the worst of the ravages of Zamac rot and sun damage, and even with its faults it has quickly won a place in my heart, and a place on Lamley as a result. I am hoping one day to snag the Guisval model of the 124 but for now the Paya will more than make up for it.

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(Find Paya International on Ebay)

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