I think it is safe to say that it’s been common knowledge that in Japan, the love of speed has been around for quite several years. With Japan pumping out serious cult speed machines since the 80s through to the early 2000s, midnight street racers shooting down the wangan expressways maketh the dreams of all hashiriyas who live to go fast and the stuff of nightmares for those tasked to stop them. What I’m pretty sure many didn’t know is that this cat and mouse game was already happening way back in the 60s.
In 1967, four Porsche 912s were selected to help the Keisatsu patrol the four main arteries of the Japanese highways. Compared to the standard cars, these black and white livery police vehicles implemented a new electrical system that allowed the use of a loudspeaker and emergency lights, new fog lights, new rear-view mirrors placed beside to the front hood, new belts and new reinforced seats.
The example we have here with us today is Tomica’s 1/64th replica of one of those four special vehicles. This one belonging to the police force in Aichi Prefecture. As you can see, the loudspeaker attachments have been faithfully reproduced but unfortunately, the fender mirrors were not.
While the recent surge in popularity for 1/64 scale models have meant an increase in beautifully made miniature auto reproductions, it wasn’t that long ago when Tomica’s limited vintage line was the de facto manufacturer to turn to when it came to well crafted and highly detailed toy-scale cars.
This 912 Police car is no exception, I have had this car displayed on an open shelf for I think, over 3 years and after a simple clean up, still looks pretty good with paint that has held up rather well.
It might not be as detailed as the current crop of 1/64 models from Ignition Models, Tarmac or even Kyosho but it also does not carry with it as high a price tag. Or rather, it didn’t use it when I first picked it up in the Tomica shop in Tokyo Station. If you come across one at a good price, I think this makes for a rather interesting piece due to its interesting subject matter.
On the other end of the police car spectrum, we have with us a Nissan Bluebird Wagon in full Osaka Police regalia.
This Bluebird also has its siren light and loudspeaker replicated sans side mirrors and interestingly, wears the same hubcaps as its more illustrious sister car from Aichi.
Details on the Bluebird is pretty good as well but being a slightly more mundane vehicle in real life next to the Porsche, does mean it is also a slightly more mundane model. This interestingly has affected its current value as it has not risen much against its initial purchase price, unlike the 912 which has pretty much doubled.
Nonetheless, I do think these two look rather good when paired together and I applaud Tomica for taking the time and effort to make models of “everyday” cars and not just restricting themselves to flashy sports cars.