Philippe de Lespinay started with Heller, the French model kit company in the 1960s as a designer and project engineer. He also also worked for Cox, who are now known for their remote control and gas powered vehicles, but also created many kits over the years. More recently, he was the curator of the Los Angeles Slot Car Museum. And he’s on the hobbyDB Advisory Board, so yeah, he’s our kind of guy.
hobbyDB will be regularly sharing his insights on particular models he has worked on including production kits, never-produced projects, and his own custom builds. We hope you enjoy the journey through his career as well.
Read more about his history in the toy and model business here.
Heller Matra MS80
In 1969, I decided to make four kits of Formula One cars, but only three were produced. Unfortunately and for reasons I do not know, the tooling for Matra MS80 was never built. It is so sad, that this kit for the was never issued. The car was the Formula One world champion in 1969.
Heller Matra 650
I think what might be my best drawing and kit concept was that of this MATRA MS650. Drawn in 1968, this model was never issued for an unknown reason.
It would have made the most detailed, most fantastic kit ever issued in the 1/24 scale.
The MATRA 650 was shown in the 1971 catalog. Why was it not produced remains a mystery to this day. Also shown are the Porsche 908, a revamped (and inaccurate) Porsche 907, and the Ferrari 512M that was issued that year.
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