The Ford Transit is Europe's version of the domestic E-Series/Econoline line here in the US. They are full-sized, RWD vans (not the compact FWD Transit Connect which is sold here), and from what I hear will eventually replace the now 20-year-old Ford van design.
Esci did an early '80's model of the van first introduced in 1983. This is the Paris Dakar version, but other than molded body colors and decals, all the kits were the same otherwise. I've found four versions so far- this, the molded-in-yellow Hertz version, and two plain versions, molded in red and burgundy.
It is 'just' a curbside kit, but it does feature opening front doors and an opening rear cargo door. Interior and chassis detail are pretty good too- I'm reminded of similar-vintage Fujimi and Aoshima kits in those areas. The only parts that might not be quite up to snuff are the head and taillamp lenses, which have mounting tabs and pins (respectively) which remain visible after assembly. And I can't say this is universal, but every Esci Transit I've seen has had the decal sheet stuck to the instruction sheet at this point. That being said, the decals are well-printed.
It's a simple kit, apparently they're pretty rare, though, and they aren't easy to track down for a decent price. Still, they're nicely done, and many different variants can be built. I've seen Transits of this body style with sliding side doors (as in the driver's and front passenger door), and I've seen cutaway versions built as wreckers. It would be a cool kit to have if you are into light commercial kits, Ford trucks, or European vehicles- or any combination of the three. This is one of the few ESCI tools that wasn't reissued by another manufacturer such as AMT/Ertl (Ertl owned ESCI toward the end of their existence) or Italeri, who ended up with some of the former ESCI kits.
Edited by Chuck Most, 11 December 2014 - 07:20 PM.