My Vintage Chinese Tin Toy Collection. Part One

Christmas resulted in a lot of toys under a lot of trees. That’s good. If they are Chinese, I will buy them a generation from now. If you keep them in their original box, I will pay you more. I am a fanatic collector of Chinese tin toys. I will show you around in my collection. Today, part 1.

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In This Chinese Killing Machine Beats An American Heart

Christmas is over so we go back to war. This is the newest kill-machine of the Chinese army. It is a 4×4 armored vehicle based on the Dongfeng EQ2050 ( thank you America!). The new car seems designed as a hit-and-run fast attack vehicle with a big turret on the roof for a big fat machine gun or rocket-propelled grenade launcher.

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Top Gear Shoots In China

Chinese media are going wild because BBC’s Top Gear has landed in China. Jeremy Clarkson and James May arrived in Beijing for filming a new Top Gear episode which will be on TV in next year’s season. Judging from the pictures take on-scene, the shoot seems to center on two topics, and both may make the Chinese car industry lose the ever so important face.

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Tycho's Illustrated History Of Chinese Cars: How Chrysler Helped To Arm The Chinese Army

Earlier on, I had written an article at my website about how AM General had helped China develop its Humvee-clone, the Dongfeng EQ 2050. AM General was not the only American company that hand a hand in arming the Chinese army. There was another one: Chrysler.

Beijing-Jeep was a Chinese-American joint venture with Beijing Auto Works (BAW) and Chrysler. The Chrysler-based Beijing-Jeep 2022 shown above later changed its name to Beijing 2022. It now is the most widely used 4×4 in the Chinese army.

How did all this happen?

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Why Chinese Sub-brands Are Doomed

In China, a “sub-brand” is a brand under a foreign-Chinese joint venture. Examples: Venucia under Dongfeng-Nissan, or Everus under Guangzhou-Honda. ( Bertel insists that “sub-brand” is a misnomer, but TIC, This Is China, and he better get used to it.)

The Chinese central government ordered the joint ventures to start the sub-brands. “Order” is maybe too harsh a word, let’s call it strong recommendation. Resistance by the foreign partner is futile. If the foreign partner would ignore the wishes of the Chinese government, life would suddenly become very difficult. Applications for new factories, new cars, new permits, new visa for employees, etc etc, would suddenly be delayed or outright refused.

Why does the Chinese government want the sub-brands? Two words:

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Alfa Romeo Comes To China, But Will It Sell?

Alfa Romeo debuted as a brand on the Guangzhou Auto Show and they brought… only two cars, and a concept car. Those were the MiTo, the Giulietta and the 4C. Sales are said to begin sometime in 2012. Fiat doesn’t have a working joint venture in China, production at the new Guangzhou-Fiat JV is still at least two years away, so all Alfa’s will be imported and therefore expensive. Will the Chinese buy them?

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  • MaintenanceCosts This looks really surprisingly different from the Blazer EV. It's more boring, but it's also more Honda, and for that reason alone it will be taken a lot more seriously in US markets.
  • ToolGuy I found this interesting; you might too: https://youtu.be/asb4jLWWTbQ
  • SCE to AUX Q: "How do you fix automotive media?A: The same way you fix the auto show.That is to say: Don't live in the past, believing every story is original with you. Offer something insightful and useful to your audience that they can't get anywhere else.The auto show allows consumers to sit inside many vehicles under one roof, without sales pressure - something unavailable anywhere else. That's it. The media should accept that the auto show offers nothing new for them anymore, and the auto show should stop pretending that it does.Good examples:[list][*]I've flamed Posky many times, but his long background stories can be thought-provoking and informative. I may not always agree with some of the posturing, but at least they dig deeper than someone's press release.[/*][*]Alex on Autos has some of the best video reviews. He wastes absolutely no time getting to the substance, and his formula is reliable. He packs a lot into 25 minutes.[/*][*]Everyday Reviews: This likeable couple/family covers the daily life aspects of new cars they test - child car seats, user interface, fuel economy, and so on. No hype - just useful.[/*][/list]Bad examples:[list][*]DragTimes: In a 20-minute video, you get 1 minute of racing and 19 minutes of bromance talk. I keep hoping it will improve, but it doesn't.[/*][*]Road and Track's web page is heavily tilted toward unaffordable niche sports cars and racing, with a few feature articles on daily drivers. I visit, but it feels like I'm in a Porsche dealership.[/*][/list]
  • BSttac Honestly automotive journalism is all but dead. Its mostly bloggers with a left based agenda. Cnet and the Drive especially had some really horrible bloggers. Road and Track also has some terrible bloggers so it would not surprise me if they are next. Just look at most bloggers complain about going to an automotive show when they dont realize its not even for them. Very spoiled and out of touch individuals
  • Jkross22 I forgot to include Bring a Trailer. It's so enjoyable to revisit cars from different eras and to read what the most knowlegable have to say about those types of cars.