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CLE – French Plastic Toy Manufacturer

Here is another old manufacturer I’ve never heard of before, Cle’.

This little green all plastic 1:43 scale Renault Estafette van came to me recently and it seems to be a remarkable survivor with no damage at all.

The plastic it is made from is quite thin compared to the slightly bigger Norev version shown in the picture, but it hasn’t suffered from the warping that affects some old plastic models. This particular Cle’ is a more basic model that does without windows or separate parts like lights or a grill, but I have seen other examples with windows and painted lights which may be later versions as they have more modern looking wheels.

Cle was a French plastics manufacturer and from 1958 through to some point in the 1970s they made a range of cars, buses and lorries which were not just based on French cars. There are images on the net of a Ford GT40, Mercer Raceabout, Mercedes 300 SL and a Hispano-Suiza.
I have also seen pictures of a 1:32 scale Panhard Dyna with more detail and a friction motor which looks very smart but these seem to be very rare indeed.

Are you a plastic toy collector? Let us know about your collection- how many? When you started collecting? Any collecting tips?  We’d love to hear from you – leave your comments in the box at the bottom of the page.

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