Solido 44xx Citroen C4F Van - Un Demi Siecle - B. Azema/EPA

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This model is the Solido 44xx Citroen C4F Van in fawn and dark brown. This model was issued around 1982/83 to celebrate the half century (50 years) of Solido production and to coincide with the release of Bertrand Azema's book "Catalogue D'un Univers" published by EPA (Edition Presse Audiovisuel) in 1983. Azema is a world-acknowledged authority on the Solido brand and is responsible for covering the company's history, etc. from 1932-1957 and from 1957-1982 in his two volume work. He continues to update as much of the release data as he is able to, with the co-operation of the company.

This model represents a 1930s Citroen C4F Van with decoration associated with the brand and the book. The model has no opening parts other than the rear doors. At the front we have a chromed Radiator shell with black centre and two chromed headlights with clear plastic lenses. There are no bumpers on the model. The sides of the engine cover are molded to represent the air louvres and the top is cast to show the centre line hinge. The cab is cast metal but the van rear is cast in two pieces the lower in metal, the upper in plastic. On each front door is a gold on black image showing representations of the two volumes of Solido history. The rear upper half of the van body has another large gold on black label that reads "UN DEMI SIECLE" on the top line, " 1932   solido   1982" on the middle line, and "B. AZEMA         E.P.A." on the bottom line. The two rear plastic doors are plain without any markings or cast features.

The interior is black plastic with a left hand drive black plastic steering wheel. The glazing is clear.

All wheels have simulated 6 stud vintage hubs - solid, one piece plastic with tan centre and black "rubber" tyres.

The base plate is dark brown metal and is marked with "SOLIDO, Made in France" on two lines just behind the rear axle. The axles are held in place by a separate chromed plastic casting that does triple duty as an axle cover, basic replica of the under-structure; engine sump, gearbox, drive shaft and differential, and exhaust system, as well as providing the running boards for the vehicle. This chromed plastic carries "Citroen C4F 1930" at the centre top and "1/43 09-81" on the centre bottom. The chrome plastic casting and the metal mudguards/baseplate are held in place with two single self tapping screws, one through the engine sump and the other just forward of the differential.

This model was issued around 1982. I've always assumed Solido's practice of having numbers on the baseplate related to the month and year the model was either released or designed. I have recently learned that the practice of placing the month and year on the castings began in September 1962 (the first casting to be so marked was the Abarth 1000, catalogue No. 124), and that this represents the month and the year of the beginning of production of that model. That decision is now of great importance to collectors as Solido has re-released several models and it is through this practice that the collector can determine which casting has been used to produce the model, the 100 series castings being preferred, by some, to those of the 4xxx series.

Item: 1940