Inauthentic Spanish Character Cars Strike Again!


Baskingshark is a veteran model car collector and former hobbyDB team member. Today he revisits some whimsical history of Spain’s foray into character diecast vehicles.


 

Back in January, we took a look at some of Spain’s less-than-authentic diecast TV and movie “tie-in” cars. But as it turns out, we missed one… and it might be the coolest! So lets travel back to this subject and take a look at Pilen’s Back to the Future DeLorean time machine. Except it’s a DeTomaso Mangusta.

A diecast model of a silver DeTomaso Mangusta car that has been modified to look like the DeLorean time machine from the movie Back to the Future.

Maybe they figured that since both manufacturer names start with “De” that made it close enough..?

This one seems pretty rare. An example is currently for sale on eBay and seems to be the first one offered since 2013. With its one-piece plastic wheels, it dates from towards the end of Pilen’s production run – and was obviously produced post-1985 when the film came out. At that point copyright was becoming a bigger issue for studios so it’s possible the model got squashed by lawyers faster than, say, Baretta’s Fiat 130 coupe might have been a few years earlier…

A side view of a silver diecast model of a DeTomaso Mangusta car that has been modified to look like the DeLorean time machine from the movie Back to the Future.

Out of all the Pilen character models, this one really takes inauthenticity to a whole new level. It was made by modifying the casting for the regular  model of the Mangusta they had issued previously. Which is a direct copy of the model made by Dinky Toys in England.

A model of the DeTomaso Mangusta sports car in metallic copper color.

The Pilen DeTomaso Mangusta road car as it was first issued with opening doors, front decklid and rear engine covers.

The Dinky model featured opening front decklid and twin rear engine covers (very clumsily rendered). Pilen retained these and added opening doors to their version. They then simplified the casting, omitting the opening decklid, engine covers (and, er, rear windows…) and reissued this version with racing decals. Possibly, this was done to allow them to fit the time-travel gear to the rear of the car. The BTTF version also retains the opening doors.

While researching this a little further, it also appears that the story of these weird character models may not end here. According to legend, Pilen also gave several other models the Starsky and Hutch treatment including possibly their Ford Fiesta. Stay tuned as we see if we can find one of those…

A rear view of a silver diecast model of a DeTomaso Mangusta car that has been modified to look like the DeLorean time machine from the movie Back to the Future.

At least the flux capacitor is authentic-ish…

 

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Karl
Karl
1 month ago

Nice one – De.. or De… doesn’t matter! :-)

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