Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
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[FRENCH FRIDAY] Pair of Tomica Renaults

To begin contributing some "Diecasts of My Life" posts, I dug my three childhood storage cases from the garage. A 48-spot Matchbox case (full of mid-late-'80's Matchbox), a Hot Wheels Showcase designed to be wall-mounted (full of Tomica aka Tomy Pocket Cars), and a Kenner Fast111's 12-car case that you can open and flip over to create a drag strip (filled with Matchbox Days of Thunder, Poor Racing Champions Indycar casting, and other random racing stuff).

Anyway, for now, I pulled a pair of Tomica Renaults to share, as is the local custom. (This is a quick & dirty post, with pics quickly snapped with my phone.)

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Illustration for article titled [FRENCH FRIDAY] Pair of Tomica Renaults

On left, an Alpine Renault A442 Group 6 prototype, and a Renault 5 Turbo rally car on the right.

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Group 6 was the class that preceded Group C, with the Porsche 936 probably the best-known competitor. I believe the A442 & later A443 served as a testbed for Renault's turbo V6 before the F1 program began.

Going by racingsportscars.com, there was a #8 that was driven at Le Mans in '77 by Jacques Laffite and Patrick Depailler, qualifying 2nd, and a DNF with engine trouble.

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Illustration for article titled [FRENCH FRIDAY] Pair of Tomica Renaults

The long tail survived my childhood surprisingly well. Just a few chips off the airbox and wing endplates. I recall having this car for most of my childhood, so I'm sure it had many race miles on my parent's hearth. Also, back as an opinionated kid, I just knew this design aped the revised Porsche 936-81..ignoring that the A442 raced 6 years earlier. Not knowing when I developed that theory, I'll go ahead and blame getting a copy of Porsche Story for Christmas of 1986...

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Moving on, I believe the Renault 5 Turbo rally was from later in my childhood, when I wasn't quite as hard on my diecasts.

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Illustration for article titled [FRENCH FRIDAY] Pair of Tomica Renaults

Livery seems realistic enough, but my Google-Fu doesn't bring up any solid yellow factory cars, let alone a #22.

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Illustration for article titled [FRENCH FRIDAY] Pair of Tomica Renaults

All accurate sponsors printed on a label that I didn't rip off. The orange 4 presumably indicates Group 4, predecessor to Group B.

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I dig these Tomica/Tomy Pocket Cars. I have several other tin tops and prototypes to share, but I wish I snagged more of them back then!

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