The Fascinating History of Small Majorette Cars

The fascinating story of the little Majorette cars

MISE À DAY

Majorette miniature cars have been popular with children since the 1960s. They were first designed and marketed as toys, but the old models were then prized by collectors. This is the case of Nadi Mobarak, a collector for many years and who has accumulated several thousand units today.

On the show Le Guide de l'auto ,on QUB radio, Germain Goyer and Frédéric Mercier spoke with him.

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What are Majorettes?< /strong>

Before diving into the heart of the matter, Mr. Mobarak clarified the nature of a Majorette car. “Majorettes are a bit like Hot Wheels or Matchboxes. The only difference is that it is a French brand. They are 1:64 scale cars, which means the car is 64 times smaller than a real car.”

He then goes back to the founding of this company at the turn of the 1960s. “It was Émile Véron, a French entrepreneur, who was at the origin of this brand. He had experience in the toy business since he was co-owner, with his brother, of Norev, which is also a small car company. He then went into business on his own, founding Rail-Route in 1961. Rail-Route made a few trains, a few cars, in short, a bit of everything.”

He says the company has been forward-thinking and bold in encouraging paid work for women in the home and employing prisoners. In 1987, French production was relocated to Thailand.

The Holy Grail

While new Majorettes generally sell for a few dollars, there are otherwise old models that have been meticulously preserved, especially when still in their original packaging. 

Nevertheless, some very specific models are particularly rare and they are highly coveted by collectors. “There is a model that is extremely rare called the Etalmobil. It is a Citroën vehicle which is a bit like a food truck. There were only 300,000 copies produced, which is very few. Majorette was producing 400,000 units a day in the 1980s,” says Mr. Mobarak, who owns two of them.

This is also the case of a Citroën DS which is highly sought after by collectors. “On the roof there is a logo that says 'Taxi' and there is another version whose logo says 'Driving school'. Their production was very limited. At auction, they are exchanged for around 2000 euros”, he specifies.

An affinity with Quebec

Although Majorette being above all a French company, it has developed, over time, a special link with our Belle Province.

“As early as 1967, Majorette moved to Canada via a subsidiary based in St-Hubert. We also see the mention on Canadian packaging which, by the way, is extremely rare. In my collection, I only have four Canadian packaging from the time,” says Mr. Mobarak. 

In addition, he revealed that the box of one editions of the Plymouth Fury de police, the inscription “Police de Montréal”. However, the scale model was never produced with this inscription.

News of the week

During this show, there was also talk about the sale of a Plymouth Superbird at the Barrett-Jackson auction and rumors about the 2023 Ford Ranger. 

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Answers to Audience Questions

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The Car Guide, it's every Saturday at 10 a.m. on QUB radio, repeat on Sunday at 6 p.m.