The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker:Dinky Toys

Car It Represents:Citroën 2CV

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This:Nice detail for a small toy, extra props for accurate representation of the interconnected suspension setup.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Kinsmart

Car It Represents: Volkswagen Beetle

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: This one is a great example of accurate pieces in the wrong places. The designer did a good job of getting the Beetle's frame fork and transaxle– but flipped it and put it on the front, making the only rear-engine, front-drive car I can think of other than the Dymaxion.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Ferrero

Car It Represents: Mercedes-Benz '50s 300 SLR Racecar

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This:This was a toy inside a Kinder Surprise Egg, and is wonderfully detailed for the size. I'm not sure about the accuracy of the bottom, but it seems plausible for a very aerodynamic racer. Very simplified, of course.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Chevron

Car It Represents: Volkswagen Beetle

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: From Chevron's series of commercials, for a caricatured car, this one has a decently accurate underside, considering. Oil pan is in the right place, as is the transaxle, suspension is pretty abstracted, but still, not bad.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Welly

Car It Represents: Fiat 126

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: This one definitely seems like the designer was going for accuracy. There's a clear exhaust system, gas tank, oil pan, suspension arms, chassis stamping. Very nice!

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Unkown

Car It Represents: BMW Isetta

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: This one's incredible, accuracy-wise. Suspension parts, use of multiple colors of plastics for muffler, engine, detailed leaf springs– this one even goes deeper, with several levels, as the little engine is above the suspension below it. Not just a simple stamping. A real treat!

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Tootsie Toy

Car It Represents: International Scout

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: Aw, come on, Tootsie Toy. No bottom at all! Jeez.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker:Justb-Byou

Car It Represents:Hypothetical Vehicle

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: This one may be my favorite. The car is clearly a cartoon, without being based on anything real. But look at the bottom! There's a real plan here. Based on this, I can tell the designer was imagining a rear-engined (it looks a lot like an old Porsche 356 engine, with the dual side mufflers and finned oil pan), with a transverse-leaf spring front suspension. There even seems to be a robust front bumper mounting setup, and possibly a thick fuel line from a front-mounted tank? I'm not totally certain, but I love that the designer had a clear, technical plan in mind for these silly cars.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Matchbox

Car It Represents: Volkswagen Thing

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: Decent detail and accuracy for size. Excellent portrayal of corrugated stampings on center tunnel.

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Tomy

Car It Represents: Toyota Crown

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: This one's remarkable because this car is tiny, 1/150th scale. Under an inch long, and they worked in a transmission, driveshaft, exhaust system, gas tank, leaf spring suspension. Good work, anonymous designer!

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Sunnyside Guangzhou

Car It Represents: Trabant Estate

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: This one is a good example of a designer who barely cared about the bottom, but cared a little. There's a strange, pebbly texture over everything (maybe just reflecting the grit and grime most Trabis probably had) and the barest suggestion of driveshaft (Trabis didn't have one) and exhaust system. And some weird, corrugated panel under the passenger's seat. Smuggling compartment?

The Dark Underworld of Toy CarsS

Toy Maker: Welly
Car It Represents: Warszawa

Let's Get To The Bottom Of This: A friend of mine brought me this one from Poland, and it seems to have a pretty well-considered bottom. Suspension, propshaft, gas tank, exhaust, all there, and fairly well done.