Albert Driessen on the left.
Richard Wadsworth on the right 2nd from left side, with F-1 drivers James Hunt and Jean Pierre Beltoise
The story behind the only Die-Cast Aurora F-1 Indy Car.
During the 1983 Neurenberg Toy Fair, Albert and Richard met senior management of Mattel Italy. Mattel wanted to expand their Hot Wheels line up with the F-1 bodies that Aurora already had and wanted to add a die-cast metal chassis to them. The original production request was for 2 million cars.
Aurora presented to Mattel a dozen different AFX F-1 model bodies with die-cast metal chassis. Mattel backed out of the deal due to Aurora's Singapore plant taking too much production away from the Hot Wheels plant in Malaysia.
After the disappointing news Albert Driessen took the 12 die-cast models home and let his grandchildren play with them.
This black Indy F-1 is the last surviving AFX car with a die-cast metal chassis.
The story behind the 8 Brands Hatch F-1 Mock-Ups (with help from Rob Heaton)
Albert and Richard asked for a volunteer to make models of the top 8 positioned cars that were in the Aurora AFX F-1 Championship.
They were made by Stuart Dent of Autosport Magazine using regular Aurora AFX bodies (Lola T330 and Ferrari F1) plasticard and modeling putty. They were hand brush painted to finish with the details, no stickers or decals.
These 8 F-1's were used for a promotional race in the Padock Suite at Brands Hatch racing circuit. The cars were raced by the drivers of the real F-1 cars.
Aurora promoters along with Richard and Albert built an exact replica of the Brands Hatch track for the drivers to race on. As far as I know the race winner was Emilio De Vilotta and he kept the Madom Lotus that Stuart made.
Richard kept 3 of the cars, Albert had 4.
4 cars are now in my collection and Rob Heaton has 3.
The Story Behind the Aurora AFX Military Set
The AFX Big Ryder Military Set was very close to production when Aurora ran into financial problems. A 1-page brochure was produced using these hand painted tractors and tanker / flatbed trailers. The helicopter pictured on the brochure was a last minute addition by Richard Wadsworth. As Albert told me Richard ran a last minute run to a local hobby store and bought a Triang flatbed train car with the yellow copter included. The copter was a perfect fit on the AFX flatbed trailer.
The Story Behind the VW Nite Lite Buggys
During the partnership era between Faller and Aurora, Faller requested a Police car with a roof light. Aurora chose the VW Baja Bug, or as Albert called it the "Buggy". Faller wanted no roof window, No Jerry Cans on the doors and the color had to be dark green with "Polizei" on the hood. These were the first mock ups made for Faller before the mold changes were to have begun. The project was postponed for a year and then bankruptcy stopped any production. The 2 lime green cars came to me from Richard Wadsworth and the orange Buggy from Albert Driessen. The tissue paper these cars were wrapped in with "VW Nite Lite" was written by Richard Wadsworth.
The Story Behind the Aurora Blue Track
During the development of the Lazer 2000 concept, it was decided to add color and excitement to the set with blue track.
The silk screening process at the Singapore plant was very expensive, so a limited number of "Aurora" blue molded 9 inch straights and curves were produced. This is the same color plastic used in a limited number of Euro slot car cubes and the LED lap counter.
When the plant found ways to implement cost reductions on silk screening the blue track idea was rejected. This is the only time Aurora produced blue track.
BMW Shaved Chin Stripe Model Back story
According to Albert Driessen, Richard and Philip Tan in Singapore were constantly looking to save $$ by manipulating small details of AFX cars without affecting the quality.
This BMW is an example. By shaving off the front spoiler it was 1 less mask they had to set up for and paint.