Intercars - manufactured in NZ by Tonka

Manufactured Under License in N.Z.
by Tonka Manufacturing Ltd., Auckland.

I am not sure of the years they were manufactured in New Zealand, nor when I purchased them for my collection because in those early days I never recorded the dates I made my purchases. I did record the prices I paid and the date of purchase would have been, I think, in the late 60's or early 70's.

Each model came in its own plastic display case with a cardboard mount on the inside. The models were in 1:43 scale and were held onto the cardboard base by rubber bands. The cardboard mounting base had the words "MANUFACTURED UNDER LICENCE IN N.Z. BY TONKA MANUFACTURING LTD. AUCKLAND" and also lists a total of 11 models.

There were two types of packaging used and larger photos are available... to see larger photos click on the photos. A full gallery of the models is at the bottom of this page. [Webmaster]

The models are not good quality by today's standards but are very much a part of the history of New Zealand made models. The base of the models have the following cast into the base "INTERCARS THUNDERBIRD, E1/43 REF 105. FABRICOR ESPANA". The models had opening doors and full chrome plated motors.

The following is the list of what I have in my collection:


Vehicle Make




No 6

Lamborghini Marzal

Purple and white interior

Paid $2.50


No 101

Chevrolet Corvette


Paid $2.60

No 102

Ford Mustang


Paid $2.60


No 103

Chevrolet Camaro

Pale Blue

2 of paid $2.60 & $2.50

No 104

AMX Javelin

Lime Green

Paid $2.50

No 105

Ford Thunderbird


Paid $2.50


No 106

de Tomaso Mangusta


Paid $2.50


No 107

Ferrari P4


Paid $2.60. Also has on base 'NARCORAL S.A.'

No 109

Lamborghini Espada


Paid $2.50


No 109

Lamborghini Espada


Paid $2.50. Also has on base 'NARCORAL S.A.'


Fiat Ballila

Dark Green

Paid $2.50. No writing on base at all.


Fiat Ballila Buggy


Paid $2.50. No writing on base.

The Fiat Ballila Buggy that has a roll cage on it is not listed on the cardboard mounting base.

Listed on the mounting base is a Mercedes C111 that I do not have in my collection.

Maybe some other members can fill in some more details as to what other models may have been made in New Zealand, and if so please write to the editor to update this article.

Eric Brockie

Can any other members help with either the missing models from the range or even some more history on the production of these models in New Zealand. It seems from the writing on the bases and the responses to a web search using the term Intercars that these were originally manufactured by the Spanish(?) company Narcoral.

Also interesting is the very different number for the Marzal and the lack of info on the Fiats. Were these perhaps from a different source than the rest of the range? Any info on these gratefully accepted. As is information on any other New Zealand produced models.

During his time as Editor, Ron Ford covered Fun Ho! And Micro very well but what about the many other ranges produced here? [Magazine Editor]

Ron's Ramblings

In MA 203, Eric wrote about Tonka Intercars. I have no knowledge about the actual production history, and like Eric, I can't recall the exact dates of availability, but I can add some comments.

The models did indeed originate in Spain by Narcoral, and like many Spanish companies, they 'borrowed' or copied models from existing ranges. Tekno, Solido, Matchbox and Dinky were favourites.

Lee Tracey [Editor of MA] wondered why the Lamborghini Marzal had a different number outside the 100-109 of the others. This is because it was originally a Sablon model from Belgium. The two Fiats originate from Mercury in Italy and the American cars bear a strong resemblance to the AMT 1/43 plastic kits. I have not been able to match up the Lamborghini Espada, Ferrari P4 and Mercedes C111 (yes, it was issued), but the Espada may be related to the Politoys one.

The models were actually cast in Spain and shipped here CKD* (like real cars were at the time) and painted and assembled here. At first they were sold in the boxes as described by Eric, but later they came in simpler window fronted boxes. Very late in the issue, they were sold through McKenzies' chain stores for a mere 99 cents. Incidentally, Eric lists the Mustang as being black, but it was really a very deep blue with a violet tinge.

It is worth mentioning that, at the time of release, they were up to the current standard with opening parts, glazing, suspension, plated parts and fully fitted interior. Unfortunately, the standard of paint work was poor and many in my collection have needed repainting.

Eric may be pleased to hear that I have a spare Mercedes C111, so if he would like to contact me and send a wedge of dosh (just kidding Eric - it will actually be 'cheap as chips' because it is missing a set of wheels), he can have it.


*CKD - although I can never remember the exact words used this abbreviation means "Consigned Knocked Down" - in other words the item is manufactured outside of New Zealand and shipped here ready for assembly - it was a way around New Zealand's excessive tariffs and duties that applied at the time. [Webmaster]




Eric Brockie, Ron Ford