Saturday, July 21, 2012

60s suburban status symbol

Status symbols are as normally suburban as mowing the lawn, and for a lot of suburbanites instant status doesn't get much better than a brand new car. This Australian man has just brought his new car home and already his pretty young neighbours have been lured outside to check out his new car. The little boy? Hasn't noticed the car yet, because he's riding his new kid-size suburban status symbol, a shiny new trike.

That snazzy blue new car he is leaning on is a 1962 Chrysler Valiant R Series.
Parked behind it is a Ford Falcon XK, which had its model run around the same
time, from 1960-62. Both model cars are in 1:43 scale, and both are made by
the Australian model manufacturer, Trax.

All through the 1950s, the General Motors company, Holden, ruled the roost in the Australian car market, but the early 60s saw the introduction of the American-designed and locally built Falcons and Valiants to spice up the market, especially for family-sized cars with straight six engines. Holden remained the top-selling brand for many more years to come (until Toyota knocked them off that perch much later on, but that's another story) but Falcons and Valiants quickly earned respect as well-made cars able to handle tough Australian conditions, and won many loyal fans as a result.

This Trax model of the Valiant is a lot nicer than the Trax model of the
Falcon, simply because it's a more recent production, and their
standards of manufacturing have improved over the years.

I was pleased, however, to get this plain green Ford Falcon model, as I do
remember having a large (probably 1:24 scale) plastic toy model of this
car, in this colour, as a kid, given to me by a neighbour who worked for Ford.
Of course, being a kid I played with it endlessly, probably broke bits off it,
grew tired of it, tossed it into a box somewhere, forgot about it and Mum
probably gave it the coup de grace many years later, in a rubbish clean-up day.


  1. Another excellent diorama. So easy to look at that and think that Australia has seen better days but then we always seem to think it was better back in the day. I like that R series. I dont have one of those. I think I may have had the Falcon at some stage but parted with it. Shame you no longer have the plastic model given to you as a youngster as it might have been some sort of promotional item given to employees of Ford perhaps?

  2. Thanks for that, Doogie. And you're right, the plastic model was a promotional item back then.