Thanks God stuff like this doesn't seem to happen with professional Russian mailorder businesses. I also had a few dealings for rare obsolete tat with private sellers in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. People from those parts also bought things I had listed on Ebay. Never had an issue dealing with Easterners, which can't be said about Italians, btw.
Hmmm...Mehari. Basically it was a Dyane chassis with a bit of scaffolding and an Ami 6 engine:
This was then clad with body panels moulded from ABS plastic, except for some export markets, e.g. Germany, who didn't allow body panels made from ABS due to ABS not being fire retardent. For those markets, the body panels were made from fiberglass. Anyway, the ABS pieces were coloured. No paint was used on Meharis. This effect will be difficult to replicate. Even difficulterer to replicate will be, that the pigments weren't UV resistant, hence older Meharis always looked faded. Altogether almost 145,000 were built and a surprisingly high number was indeed exported to the USA, mainly to Hawaii. Meharis exported to the USA had a different front panel/hood to accomodate the fed spec sealed beams:
Budget Rent-A-Car operated a fleet of them in Hawaii. They were classed as trucks and hence didn't have to undergo stringent safety and emissions tests. In the 1971 film The Omega Man, Charlton Heston drives a green Méhari. In Hawaii, Brian Keith drives a Méhari in The Brian Keith Show, which ran from 1972 to 1974. In 1973's Aloha From Hawaii with Elvis Presley, a yellow Méhari can be seen prominently (at the 18 minute mark) during the Early Morning Rain song. Bill Murray also drove a Méhari in 2004's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. There was a 4X4 version:
which was distinguishable externally by having a spare wheel recess in the hood:
Due to the low weight of less than 1,200 lbs, the Meharis were livlier than most people would expect from a flat twin with 602 cc. They also were surprisingly capable off roaders even in non 4X4 flavour, thanks to high ground clearance, soft long travel suspension, and big 15" wheels. And if everything else failed, six men could carry it out of a sand dune. Guess how I know... About 7,000 of them were bought by the French Army predominantly for parachuting them from aeroplanes. A dozen of them were also in use with the Irish (Republic) defense forces, which still operate one of them. The car was also built in Uruguay throughout the 1970s to serve the South American market. Those were also fiberglass bodied.
I like promo based kits so much, that they are meanwhile pretty much the only vintage kits I'm after. Thanks to being underrated, they are more affordable than comparable annuals. It's also highly unlikely that they ever get reissued, IMO a big mistake the manufacturers make.
Yes, all MCS kits are curbside, despite some have the hoods moulded separately. I do own the Monte Carlo, so after this frenzy, I'm now only missing the LTD to have the entire series. Onced this is achieved, I'll do a public slagging in the review section.
My parents bought it in 1962, so it was two years old when I was born. Much later they told me the story of buying it, which I found both - funny and typical for my parents (who even by the demanding standards set by British intellectuals can be classed as being outstandingly eccentric). My mother saw the car in the shop window of a Citroen dealer in Munich, when she passed it on her way to work. She told my father about that "nice car" she's seen there. So my father went to have a look, came back home, and said yes, it's indeed a nice car. So after they agreed to buy "it", they went to the dealership together for the first time, only to find out, that they were talking about entirely different cars. Whereas my mother liked the 2CV, it was the Ami 6 that caught my father's admiration. They then agreed on the 2CV, because my mother found the Ami looking "like a French living room". We had it until 1966, when my father bought a Renault 16. It was dark red and the first car we had I can remember. I have no recollection of the 2CV, despite we went holidaying in Yugoslavia with it, a not inconsiderable trip to do with little children in the early 60s.