This has to be one of the most unique models I own. A mishmash of two long forgotten British saloons, license built by a former maker of bread making machines in Argentina. It’s the sort of model that really gets me going and thanks to the fast advancing world of 3D printing and the passion of hobbyists to share their art, this sort of thing is becoming more attainable by the minute. One of those hobbyists is Dario Coffaro who readers may recognise as the creator behind the wonderful IKA Torino that I covered back in April. And this is one of his most recent creations: the very cool Siam Di Tella 1500.
Siam Di Tella was founded in Buenos Aires in 1911 by an Italian immigrant named Torcuato di Tella. The company were initially a maker of bread making machines but branched out into making home appliances, industrial machinery and fuel dispensers for state oil company YPF. A license deal was signed with Italian company Lambretta in 1948 to produce scooters and by 1959 Siam were taking their first steps into the car industry thanks to a license agreement with the British Motor Corporation. The first product of this agreement was the Di Tella 1500. It utilised a the BMC “Farina Series” platform but retained a unique look, mating the front end of the Riley 4 model to a rear end more reminiscent of the Austin Cambridge. It utilised a low compression version of the omnipresent Austin B-Series 1489cc engine and was available in both saloon and “Traveler” station wagon guises. Nearly 50,000 examples were sold between 1959 and 1966.
The Di Tella became a popular taxi across Argentina, especially in the capital Buenos Aires so it’s no surprise the Coffaro version sports the tell tale two-tone yellow and black livery.
It’s such a unique miniature and a joy to have in my collection. Dario has done a great job with this.
The taxi livery works brilliantly and the wheels are spot on. And for a hand made and hand painted model the details are incredible.
Finding Coffaro miniatures set me off on a deep dive searching for all manner of South American miniatures and has added another dimension to my already colourful and varied journey in 1:64 scale. I’ll be sure to share my finds with you all here, including hopefully more Coffaro!