Volume VII, Number 4

By Doug Breithaupt, additional images courtesy of Christian Falkensteiner, Mark Foster, Remco Natrop, Kimmo Sahakangas, Graham West

Editor's Note: The following is an update of the Norev Mini-Jet story. Additional text and images have been added.

The Norev story begins in 1945 and it takes 30 years for the Mini Jet line of 1:64 cars to be introduced. It appears that Norev had an opportunity to use 1:66 scale Schuco castings in 1975 and selected an assortment of models from the Schuco line that they thought would continue to sell under the Mini-Jet name. In addition, Norev created their own original castings to introduce with the ex-Schuco models. In 1976, Norev selected additional Schuco castings to add to the Mini-Jet line. By 1978 Norev was only producing new castings of Mini-Jet models. New castings continued on a periodic basis through 1984 after which, no new models were produced in the Mini-Jet line. Mini-Jet models were sold by Norev until 1994 when it seems that all production of small-scale Norev models ceased. Fortunately, the story does not end there as new Norev models are now being produced in 1:55 scale. In the last several years the Norev name has re-appeared on small-scale vehicles and even the Mini Jet name has re-appeared. These models are of Peugeot, Renault, Citroen, Lancia, Fiat, Audi, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz vehicles and are sold through auto dealerships and other retail locations. The scale is 1:55 and detail is excellent. A story on new Norev models will be offered in future.

Mini-Jet models are simple diecast vehicles but with realistic colors and shapes and include cars seldom if ever done in small-scale. Early models are much like the ex-Schuco castings that Norev was able to use. On some models, the base and interior are one casting. The earlier models have opening features but on some models, these were not continued into the 1980's. For example, doors on later versions of the Ligier JS2 are cast shut. Since Mini-Jet doors were never spring loaded and tended to swing open on their own, this may not be considered a loss. Early models continued Schuco-style wheels but Norev's own wheels were used later on all models. Dates below reflect when Norev first produced the model and not model years. The source for the model list was 'Classic Miniature Vehicles made in France' by Dr. Edward Force (1991).

Special thanks are due to Jeff Koch who provided the table-top display (right) that would look right at home in any French hobby store of the 1980's. Best of all, it came with many of the models used in this story and when combined with my existing collection, allowed for the representative selection seen here.

(ex Schuco 800 numbers)

1975 BMW 2002 #809

1975 Porsche 911S #813
1975 Ford Capri 1700GT #816
1975 Opel Manta #839

1975 Porsche 917 #854

1975 Renault 17 Coupe #861

1975 Renault 5 #871

1975 Citroën DS21 #883
1975 Porsche 914 #unknown


1984 Citroën BX #400

1975 Ligier JS2 #401

1975 Matra Bagheera #402

1975 Citroën GS #404

1975 Peugeot 504 #405

1975 Citroën CX #406

1975 Renault 12 #407

1976 Citroën Dyane #408

1976 Renault 4L #409

1976 Mercedes-Benz Ambulance #410

1976 Maserati Boomerang #411

1976 (NSU) Bertone Trapeze #412

1976 Renault 30TS #413

1976 Peugeot 604 #414

1978 Simca 1308GT/Talbot 1510SX

1978 BMW 633 CSI #416

1978 Fiat 131S #417
1978 Porsche Turbo #418

1978 Renault 14 #419

1978 Peugeot 305SR #420

1978 Simca Talbot Horizon #421

1982 Renault 18GTS #422

1982 Volvo 264 #423

1982 Ford Mustang #424

1982 Mercedes-Benz 280SE #425

1982 Citroën Visa #428

1982 VW Golf #429

1982 Alfa Romeo 6 #430

1982 Peugeot 505 #431

1982 Fiat Ritmo #432
assorted Volvo trucks #433-436

1982 Renault Fuego #437

1982 Ford Escort #438

1982 Talbot Solara #439
assorted Volvo trucks #440-443
assorted Renault trucks #445-449

1982 Renault 9 #450
assorted trucks and motorcycle #452-468

My Mini-Jet collect is clearly not complete but I do have color duplicates as shown. If you have one of my missing models and need a color duplicate I have, I would be happy to trade. I also have an extra Peugeot 504 box to trade. If you have images of missing models, please send them and they can be included in a later issue. To contact me (click here).