I found my first Solido cars in 2012 at the Ponte de Vanves fleamarket (marché aux puces) in Paris in April 2012.
This Renault Alpine A 310 cost me about 5 Euro. It is made in France, I didn’t discover the engine cover opened until I had the model a couple of months. I like discovering such surprises.
At the same market I also found this Renault Alpine Berlinette (1:43 scale), made in Portugal.
Solido were one of the European pioneers of Diecasts, established in 1930. Like other European diecast manufacturers they had economic difficulties in the seventies, they merged with the Jouet Francais Group which included Jouef, Delacoste & Heller. At the end of 1980 the company went into liquidation and was bought by Majorette.
The focus of Solido has always been on French vehicles, around half their models are of French cars (Renault, Peugeot, Citroen, Simca, Matra, etc).
The three I have are all French, all Renault even, the most recent addition being a Renault 17TS in Rallye du Maroc guise , which I was surprised to find locally in Drybridge Market. The Renault 17TS (#196) is made in France, today Solido continues to be produced but production has moved to China.
My Renault 17TS is not in pristine condition as you can see, the door is glued shut and the steering wheel is missing, but I do love the Renault sports cars of the seventies.
Like most Solido models the three I have are in 1:43 scale (they did have a larger 1:18 “Prestige” Scale, but the majority of models came out in 1:43). Solido was big on authenticity, copying the wheel styles from the actual vehicles rather than using generic wheels, also, whereas Corgi used flashy, but inauthentic “jewels” for head and tail lights Solido distinguished itself by prudently using clear plastics for enhanced realism.
I hope to find some more in the future, but don’t rate my chances of finding any here in Tbilisi highly. I might just have to visit Paris again, I’m sure my wife, won’t complain about such a trip 🙂