Die-Cast Deora

Culture

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Few enthusiasts of late sixties pop-culture wouldn’t get all het up by the Deora. Suitably psychedelic in its Mattel Hot Wheels rendering, the tricked out Kustom surf wagon was penned by legendary designer Harry Bentley Bradley, and first came to life as an adaptation of a real life concept truck commissioned by Dodge, based on the perennial favourite the A100 pickup.

There has of course always been a dialogue between the imaginings of car designers and those that find life in miniature. And the Deora is one of the most appealing of all model cars that (almost) achieved a lasting full-size life of its own.

The design was a crystallisation of the surf boom time crossed with a tripped out design aesthetic. GM probably correctly made the judgment that the time wasn’t quite right for an off-the-peg surf wagon. Surfers would have to wait until the Honda Element for that, the lifestyle wagon launched for the US market four decades later.

The obsession with model Kustoms in general is brilliantly illustrated by the lovingly detailed Redlines Online site.

Redlines is a really active forum for all interested in model Kustoms, and features interviews and profiles of leading designers, as well as collectors and other types of devotees of die-cast.

Watch this space for more focuses on great Kustoms toys that made it to the streets in various forms.

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