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Esci Ford Transit- Paris Dakar & Hertz versions

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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.

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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

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I found one of these van kits at last years NNL east. Maybe I will have it done for this years show, for their van theme.

I tried to research the van that was actually in the Paris-Dakar race. I could not find much but I did find a photo of one similar.

The vans were heavily modified for that race, including a 4x4 set up.

Im not sure about the rims in the kit, it seems like they need lug nut detail.

Still a neat kit. All of the Esci kits I am familiar with have nice tires with lots of detail on them.

Also it has left and right hand drive options.

Edited by Greg L.

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The differences between the two versions I have (P-D Canon and Hertz) shown here. As you can see, only real differences are the color of the body and the decal sheet.

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Sorry for the low quality and small size of these pics- I took them about five years ago, before I knew how to snap halfway decent photographs. -_-

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Im not sure about the rims in the kit, it seems like they need lug nut detail.

I believe the rims are meant to represent those cheesy plastic wheelcovers popular at the time.

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The wheel covers (the rotary telephone-dial looking things) are separate. The wheel faces do lack the bolt detail, though the general shape and surface detail look about right compared to the real thing.

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Interesting subject Chuck. I don't think I have ever even seen a pictures of either of these kits.

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Remember buying this fictious CANON version back in 1986, expecting a real "Off road HD desert racer", unfortunatly the kit was the factory stock Transit: no HD rally equipement at all: roll bars, cleated tyres, front bumper guard, top carrying rack, fog lights, racing seats, spare tires!, etc. etc, needed to compete in the epic & extremly tortuous Paris Dakar rally...equipped like this kit a real Transit Van would have lasted about 5 miles in the Sahara desert!!!

Boxart plastic telephone dial hubs should have given me a hint!

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I got the black box with red car on that was sold at Ford dealerships (box contains no Esci markings, onlu Fords blue oval) and yes it looks like a decent kit and I could have wanted more of them.

Same contents in the red box as the others except the decals.

I did make a sugestion on the Share your dream Revell site:

http://ideas.revell.de/ideas/item/5257/ in case Revell has the rights to the molds.

The kit depicts a 1984 model, don't remember exactly what was special but I think that there where some differences between the years and this one is 84 only.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Transit

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I have the Canon version and my plan (still after 20+ yrs. :P) is to make a Canon sponsored motorcycle team van.

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I used to drive these when they were new !

The wheels on the green van are the standard steel wheels. The 'telephone dial' wheel covers only came on the higher spec models (Custom from bad memory) & would usually fly off at any random moment & leave you trying to explain to your Manager why you had lost one.

They came in various wheel bases & roof heights ect

I covered thousands of miles in one that used to go like hell before it was replaced with the newer version that used to blow the over drive gearbox every six months !

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Gents, google Ford Transit Supervan 2. . . . . .

It'll blow ya G D doors off !

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I used to drive these when they were new !

The wheels on the green van are the standard steel wheels. The 'telephone dial' wheel covers only came on the higher spec models (Custom from bad memory) & would usually fly off at any random moment & leave you trying to explain to your Manager why you had lost one.

They came in various wheel bases & roof heights ect

I covered thousands of miles in one that used to go like hell before it was replaced with the newer version that used to blow the over drive gearbox every six months !

The model but prior to the facelift, was all over the place, this one wasn't, at least in my neck of the woods.

post-187-1283280508.jpg

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Interesting that you put up a picture of a Transit registered in Norway. You got any personal connection to it?

That one there is a 1978 (possibly 79 model year as it is first registered on November 16. 1978) with a 2,4L Diesel engine (producing 62 HP) and has a load capacity of 1600kg (maybe downgraded so it can be driven on normal car licence as the permissable totalwheigt is exactly 3500kg).

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I wish that there will be a Transit MK1 version.

This is our club van called "Achmed". Norev did a 1/43 scale version

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Edited by carsntrucks4you

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Somebody should release the Mk 4 Smiley face transit . It was a much more popular van .With so many variants possible from long wheel base high roof to pick up truck

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I'm a Yank, so I know next to nothing about the 1:1, and I've never even seen one in person, much less had the chance to examine one at length. I just like the kit. :D

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