Lamley faithful will have seen this before: in my 2022 best of. The little SEAT rightly earned a mention and I’ve finally got round to looking at it properly.
Styled by Guigiaro Italdesign and based on the earlier SEAT Ronda, the Ibiza Mk1 was introduced at the 1984 Paris Motor Show and went on sale in April of the same year. Engine choices were petrol 4-cylinders of various capacities with one 1.7 litre diesel available. SEAT enlisted Porsche to help with the design of the engine and gearbox under the banner “System Porsche”, but had to pay the German firm 7 marks per car for the rights to display the logo across the engine cover! Three and five-door body styles were available and the model was facelifted in 1989 and again in 1991. Total sales were over 1.3 million before production ended in 1993. The Mk1 lived on however… The design was purchased by China’s Nanjing Automobile Group who made barely any changes and named it the Soyat. That meant the Mk1 design lived on until 2008!
The diecast version was made for Salvat for a trial issue of a magazine in Spain featuring 1/64 scale models of some well known domestic and European cars. Availability was limited to certain towns and cities and finding one proved hard. However through a contact I was able to track down and obtain a copy. Immediate subscribers to the magazine were also able to postal order 3 other issues with models in 1/64 as a promotion but we will have to wait to see if the trial was a success. It’s been all quiet from Salvat but I’m told the new monthly publications tend to hit news stands in Spain in September. And I really have my fingers crossed. Apart from the SEAT the magazine promised to bring never before seen cars to true 1/64 scale. The 3 car postal order set comprised of a Ford Fiesta Mk1, Renault 11 and an Opel Kadett GSi (the Kadett mould I suspect is the same one that will be used by Tarmac for their upcoming version). Listed for future issues were the Simca 1200, SEAT 131 and Citroën Dyane as well as a crowd of small Fiats and Renaults. There’s even a Ford Orion II on the list. Even if they are nowhere near as good as this, bring them all on!
Salvat’s version as stated earlier is true 1/64, and is very nicely detailed. Clear plastic is utilised for the lights and it rolls on very accurately replicated wheels clad with rubber tyres with tread. A nicely detailed interior is visible through the windows too.
The decals are sharp and clear enough to show the model replicates a top spec 1.5 GLX model. Sure there’s a few smudges and blemishes here and there but this literally ground zero; an entirely new casting never before seen and one which may never be seen again. What else can one expect?
I’m really impressed with this little miniature and I’m constantly searching for the other 3 cars I mentioned earlier but I fear they’ll be even harder to obtain than this was! If I ever get hold of any you’ll be sure to find them here.
(The Salvat 1/64 SEAT Ibiza is at present unobtainable on Ebay, but browse the diecast listings for the SEAT Ibiza 1/64 here just incase…)