Tomica time is here again, back on the regular Land of the Rising Sun-day cadence. The featured vehicle, however, is anything but regular. Today we examine Tomica 55-1, the Honda Vamos. This casting entered the range in September 1972, remaining until February 1977, and is something you don’t see every day:

The Honda Vamos is an unusual thing. Introduced in 1970, apparently intended to play on the huge market segment occupied by hot sellers like the Citroen Mehari, Mini Moke, and Fiat Jolly, this was intended to be a beach vehicle or lower speed utility vehicle or recreational toy. With the same engine as a Honda 360, and lacking 4WD, it wouldn’t play on fast roads or get itself unstuck, but it would be fine in other situations. The Tomica casting is more than fine. Proportion appears to be spot-on, and there is ample fine line casting detail, the “Vamos” badges on the sides being a nice touch. No snappy door action here, but this does have springy suspension and crisp glazing, along with a detailed interior. Scale is claimed to be 1:54, likely accurate - a little larger than normal small scale, but the real vehicle is anything but large, and this casting has a slightly chunky feel. From all angles, it is a quality item:

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Front and rear have similar quality detail, with the Honda badge and Vamos script being nice touches. This machine definitely has a face:

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The base is plastic, perhaps one of the earlier plastic base models, and contains ample technical and identifying detail:

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This example is lucky enough to live in its nice original black box. This casting has been re-issued, but I believe the originals are all this color with “old” wheels:

I am definitely happy to have this casting in my collection. I had seen examples around now and then, but never at prices I wanted to pay - as it isn’t a normal car, I expect it to be less expensive, and it usually is. I lurked and waited for a bargain on ebay, and I got this for around $15, which seemed like a deal. This is still a relatively inexpensive casting compared to most cars of the era, and can be found if one wants it for their own collection:

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A few 1:1 images from favcars.com, ninjagarage.blogspot.com, and barnfinds.com, along with some period promo material from barnfinds, flickr, and autoneuroticfixation.com:

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