I am not exaggerating when I say that the Johan Trophy Series kits were the best kits any model company ever produced and the Turbine Car is the best of the best!
The kit was released sometime in 1964 or 1965 in what I call the "Brown Box".
This box measured 10.5" X 6.75" X 2" and looked like this.
A few years later the Johan company released the same kit but this time they made the part of the box that was brown in the original - blue. It was still the same size - 10.5" X 6.75" X 2"
I justify the fact that the Brown Box was first by the fact that on the end panels, the kit number was CG300:149 while on the Blue Box kits it was CG300:200. Now the number after the colon was the suggested price $1.49 for the Brown and $2.00 for the Blue. Oh if those prices were good today!
For some reason - they also added the "Include in this kit, Chrome Trim" - - - This had me puzzled - then I got this information from Pete Wisniewski about that special feature. Pete tells me it was a small piece of mirror finish, self-adhesive foil. It was for the lower part of the body. I have two of the blue kits and never noticed the piece of paper, but those were purchased on eBay and had been opened. I have one that is still sealed with the original tape - I would guess that has it, but I don't want to open it to find out. Thanks Pete for the information, makes complete sense as the blue box was an up-grade to the brown box and maybe that was the big improvement.
When the brown and the blue box kits were all gone from the dealer's inventory, the demand must have still been there. Johan decided to make many more runs of the kit in the 70's and 80's. These and the all later kits came in what I call the "White Box" and this box was made to the new standard size box that Johan used - 11.5" X 8" X 2".
You can tell it is the 70's - the all important "Chrome Trim" has been replaced by "The Clean Burning - Ecology Engine"! It appears they had the dies ready and ran a few kits off whenever they felt the urge. I say that because a friend had collected over 200 of the kits and the plastic the parts are made from can be almost any color, white was the most common but he has sickly green, yellow, black, red, blue, just about any color and some even look like they were made from the plastic that fell on the floor - kind of many colors or no color really at all.
Sometime in the 80's or 90's Seville Industries took over the dies and other assets of the old Johan company. The kits were produced or maybe just distribute with a sticker under the Johan logo in the upper right that said Seville Industries. Most of these kits are very rough, the flash on the parts and the detail is all gone. If you want a nice kit, find the oldest one you can.
The kit was unique in the way it was packed - they used what they called "Frame Pack"
This is an older odd color kit. It all fit together, they had to make an insert for the new bigger boxes - later runs of the kit left the insert out as a cost saving feature.
Compare how there is less flash and everything looks better in this older third run kit. They even made the cardboard insert out of what looked like re-cycled paper before they left it out all-together.
Above are the ends and side panels of the two original boxes.
You can still purchase these kits on eBay and other collector meets they are collected in the un-assembled orignal condition and can sell for a lot of money.
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Page last updated on 3-22-2006