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1:43 Land Rover Series 1 HUE reviewed by Passion 43, Jean-Philippe GOURCEAUD

The Land Rover is a famous diecast miniature. Today, Century Dragon offers its own variation of the mythical car off-road. Proven success...

Do you know the common point between Henry ROYCE, Maurice WILKS and Norman WOODLAND? Maybe you never heard of them? Henry ROYCE, because of his surname, makes you think of ROLLS-ROYCE? You are right! These three great inventors have made the first sketch of their project that will become a global success, with the help of a simple stick on a sandy beach. At the edge of the 1930s, Henry ROYCE doodling in the sand drawing of the future MERLIN engine which will equip the legendary English aviation SPITFIRE fighter. In 1947, on the beach of the island of Anglesey, Wales, Maurice WILKS Technical Director at ROVER draws the outline of the mythical Land-Rover. Beginning of the 50s, Norman WOODLAND, an American student draws some parallel vertical lines on a Miami Beach. The barcode is born. The use of this invention will be effective until 1973

Maurice WILKS used a mini tank, the Bren Gun Carrier in its property. One day he exchanged against a U.S. Army Jeep. It's using the latter came the idea to design an equivalent vehicle. The first prototype of the Land Rover had a central steering wheel. The goal was to simplify production to avoid driving on the left and right hand drive versions. Quickly Maurice WILKS came to the conclusion that it was not practical. A few months later, born the first Land Rover Series 1. We are in 1948. The prototype is aluminum painted Army Green. These two features, so to speak, come as the fault of steel, Land Rover, resorted to aluminum. As for the Green tint, it is used for the Spitfire of the English army, only color available in the Islands British at the time.

The success is almost immediate. The British army bought thousands. It is the versatile by excellence, military vehicle all uses, fire department, ambulance, just as practical for farmers... It is also the means of virtually indestructible transport adopted by explorers and other adventurers to discover the world. The Land Rover becomes the first vehicle discovered by 60% of the world's population. The Land Rover is also a few impressive statistics. It is the first production vehicle to go 30,000 kilometers, from the British Isles to Singapore. At first "HUE" to the last released Defender of the production lines on 29 January 2016 of the plant in Solihull in the UK, more than 1.8 million Land Rover were manufactured for 68 years. Beyond these records, one that seems hard to believe is that it is estimated that about 65 percent see 70 percent of the Land-Rover made roll always!

In the 43rd, there are more manufacturers that have reduced the mythical Land-Rover. Of course, first able, Lesney, Matchbox, Corgi Toys and Dinky Toys started. All these reproductions assimilated toys faithfully the lines with details right but often brief. CENTURY DRAGON has chosen to reproduce the 43rd with the first copy of the lineage of the Land Rover, Series 1 "HUE". Passion 43ème already presented you models published by this Chinese manufacturer. Manufacturing quality, the attention and the fineness of the details associated with a serial production have rarely been achieved on this scale.

Eye of the collector notice that green color does not match the green of the Spitfire of the English army. It is not as an error. This miniature is the reproduction of the first Land Rover Series 1 ex factory on 11 March 1948. She is part of a British Museum and always rolls for exhibitions on the roads of Great Britain. Its registration plate is the original: "HUE 166. Unlike us French, the English can customize their registration plates. Thus, this Land Rover door registration "HUE 166". The happy owner at the time turned the affectionate nickname of the equipped Land-Rover prototype of the central wheel, HUEY, in HUE. HUEY is the diminutive of Hugh: Heart (heart). Spirit. Inspiration. Smart. He remained at posterity.

In the 43rd, the "HUE" is a success. Century Dragon outdid himself to reproduce this miniature. The resin casting perfectly renders the lines. The number of photo cutting piece is impressive. Doors, hinges, windshield, grille, turn signals, markets-feet, side backup... the list is long is everything is not visible! Just to make a small note, we will say that the Green rivets on the front cover are too big. After having enjoyed the overview, we return the beast. The tour continues and the eyes feast. We are always at the 43rd and one wonders what could be forgotten as there are details. Bars management, transmission, motor shaft and gearbox, drainage of bridge screws, nothing that the exhaust is worth a visit both he is faithful to the original. Suspension spring blades are supported by shock absorbers. In short! Nothing is missing.

Let's go back on side face to see inside. The steering wheel seems well reproduced, the spare wheel is not located on the hood but it is fixed on the central beam at the back of the seat backs. As the rest of the details, quite dark inside and a condom irremovable leave us hungry. We can imagine, and one remains in the blur and imagination...

But it's bad to know PASSION 43ème: ' Please, CENTURY DRAGON, couldn’t we have a special topless version to allow our readers to spend as a result of the visit?

All you had to do was ask... So, we take out the top. Eyes discover a great wheel, a pedal openwork photo cutting, as well as the central divider on which is fixed the spare wheel, the dashboard and door handles, motor wiper, rear-view mirror. Look at the backs of the seats media. Here also lacks nothing, or almost because of 3 Central meters decals not reproduced. Too bad! Also, we chose to add more so that the thumbnail is perfect. Ask yourself can be what could be the usefulness of the two black mirrors on part and sides of the windshield while there is already a on the wing straight forward. In fact they are the indicators which the arm rise as they existed in on the first Peugeot 203 at the same time to warn of the change of direction.

Finally the detail that makes the difference: the registration plates are riveted on the bodywork. Look good; all the rivets are reproduced to the 43rd.

CENTURY DRAGON... Great art, you say? We are not so far away!

Jean-Philippe GOURCEAUD

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