Sunday, July 20, 2014

Building my holy grail car, a Panhard Dynavia

Most model collectors have a 'holy grail' car that they long to own. When I started collecting, the car I call my 'holy grail', the Panhard Dynavia, was no such thing. It was just another Panhard that I eventually wanted to get. But then it turned out that 1/43 scale models of Panhard Dynavias didn't seem to exist, and so that's when getting one became my 'holy grail' ambition. Here's the (very odd looking) holy grail in question...

It certainly is unusual! The Dynavia was a concept car produced for the 1948 London Car Show. Two were made. One survives, in the French National Car Museum in Mulhouse. The other was driven by its owner, a Swiss gentleman, until it was written off in a crash many years ago. If the Dynavia had been a readily available model it would probably have never become my 'holy grail' but it is an interesting car.

For its time it was advanced. Thanks to its super-slippery Cd of 0.26, its little 605cc flat twin engine got it up to 130km/h and delivered 4.2l/100km fuel consumption. With an ultra-light Duralium body it weighed just 810kg. And it looked very strange indeed, and never went into production.

Recently, I went through the highs and lows and highs of diecast collecting, all in one day. First up, I finally found a 1/43 Dynavia model, made by IDEM, for sale on eBay. Woo hoo! I put in my bid, knowing it might get pricey later on, and then watched the early bidding – even on Day One! – get out of my price range. That was the low...

Then I discovered that my saved eBay search for "1/43 Panhard Dynavia" actually had another listing, but this time for a Panhard Dynavia kit. It was expensive (60 Euros) but I decided I had to get it. Here's a link to another kit for sale at the moment from the company who makes them, CCC Models.

This turned out to be my wise buy of the year, and the Dynavia model being auctioned eventually sold for 360 Euros, which is way out of my price bracket.

Here's the kit, a mixture of resin (the body), plastic (windows),
metal (seats, wheels, fenders etc) and rubber (tyres).
My job is to apply the glue and paint very carefully.

Very helpfully, all the instructions are in French,
but thanks to Google Translate I think I know
what to do.
My first challenge is to find the right murky metallic green colour for the body, and that's proving difficult at the moment. I'll track something down. Somehow!

In the meantime I have been trawling the net looking for reference photos to help me with the building of the model. I found some fab pix at, and here they are (pinched without permission of course, but it's a great website!).

During my long lay-off from diecast blogging and creating my photoshopped dioramas, I have been teaching myself the very enjoyable pastime of building models. I've mostly been building plastic kits of planes and ships, but as this is the first time this 60-year-old child has done any model-building, I have been learning a lot.

Now I know why I took up model-building last year. Even though I didn't know it then, I was preparing myself for the important challenge of building my holy grail this year.

Wish me luck!


  1. Gran trabajo, increíble los bellos colores de la pintura.

  2. It's my holy grail's just come up on eBay again, but I'm not counting on winning the auction. Andrew (