Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled Samurai Sunday: Datsun Bluebird 1600SSS Coupe by Diapet

Tomica collectors will know the Bluebird 1600SSS as the “1-1" - the first Tomica ever made. This 1/43 model by Diapet is far less known. But it certainly was top of the line in its day.

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Illustration for article titled Samurai Sunday: Datsun Bluebird 1600SSS Coupe by Diapet

But for those not familiar with Diapet, let me explain briefly what they are. Diapet was and still is the model car line of Yonezawa toys, one of the Japan’s largest toy manufacturers. They became famous in the 1950s with tinplate toy cars and robots. In the 1960s, they bought the “Cherryca Phenix” line of diecast models in roughly 1/40 scale. They re-branded them as “Diapet” and also introduced a line of 1/60 models called “Diapet Cherica”.

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Illustration for article titled Samurai Sunday: Datsun Bluebird 1600SSS Coupe by Diapet

The Diapet line was always a cut above the respective Tomica models. If the Dandy had opening doors, the Diapet had opening everything. And the backrests of the seats could be tilted. Luxury! If you were a kid in the 70s, that’s the sort of thing you wanted.

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The 510 Bluebird is famous enough already, so I don’t need to tell you too much about it. But 1600cc, 100hp and a top speed of 165km/h were enough for a man to help a damsel in distress.

And the 510 was a lightweight. Which the Diapet isn’t - it is about the heaviest 1/43 diecast I have ever handled. It’s so heavy, AC/DC should write a song about it. And it’s another one of those Japanese diecast with a marvelous suspension. It simply runs sublime across the table.

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Illustration for article titled Samurai Sunday: Datsun Bluebird 1600SSS Coupe by Diapet

The hubcaps look like they might be modeled after the real thing, but are in fact standard items for Diapet models of the time. That’s all the JDM goodness for today - enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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