GPA Hardtop Model

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jag
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GPA Hardtop Model

Post by jag » Mon Sep 14, 2009 6:26 pm

Folks, I have just discovered this part of the 503 Board. I have a model of the Ford GPA that is about 40 years old. It was made in Hong Kong if I recall and is about 1/18th scale. The unusual thing is that it is in Army camo pattern and has a hardtop that was never produced by Ford. I believe it must be modelled on the Jeep that crossed the Atlantic ( the adventurer is covered in the book "Half Safe"). I have not seen another and was wondering if anyine else has seen such a model. It has a 2 C cell battery compartment and originally powered itself along including in the water with an operating propeller and rudder. I can send pics to someone to post if someone volunteers.

thanks,
John

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g.keating
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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by g.keating » Mon Sep 14, 2009 8:42 pm

I have one in the original box. Its called the Battery operated AQUA-CAR. Made by a co. in hong kong. No co. name printed on box. The company symbol is a H with an I in the Middle and a S over the I, Model # 3309.
Box also states forward and backward motion. Will turn round left or right in water when rudder set accordingly. FUN WITH CAR-FUN WITH BOAT. Life buoy acts as the switch. Lift middle section of cover to insert new batteries. A Toy Car to play with on land and in water. THE ONLY ONE OF ITS KIND EVER MADE. REGN. APPD. FOR No.909479

Thats about it. Gary

jag
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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by jag » Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:41 pm

Gary, thanks for your note. Great to see there is another out there! Mine also is in its original box. Sounds like we are talking of the same model though yours may be a re issue of a previous model. Mine has the same forward & reverse controlled by the life preserver on the roof. There is nothing about an "Aqua Car" on my box only "Military Amphibious Jeep". Mine is made by a well known Company Louis Marx and Co in the British Colony of Hong Kong. From what I recall, it dates to C 1968. Mine is also right hand drive and has 2 tone army camo pattern finish. Is yours about 1/18th scale? Would appreciate a pic if you can post. thanks, John

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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by Steven Malikoff » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:43 pm

I have one too, I acquired it off eBay and is missing a number parts and no box. I seem to recall there were two different colour schemes for this model - the other one could have been blue and red from memory? - but mine is the camouflage OD/dark green version. Yes I agree this toy seems to have been made to capitalise on the fame of Half-Safe.
Here's a picture of the model and box someone sent to me years ago:
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jag
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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by jag » Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:29 am

Steven, yes that is exactly the one! Mine still has its box and is missing only one headlight, the rudder and the propeller. This is the first one I have seen of the military or the civilian "aqua car type" in many years. As kid (I remember putting it in the water and it worked a treat. I searched for 30 plus years to gfind the real one only to discover it didnt exist as an army vehicle!
regards,
John


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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by g.keating » Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:04 pm

pictures of my different version

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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by jag » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Folks, after reading some books on Aussie Ben Carlin's adventures with half-safe, an looking at an Aussie replica of this famous vehicle, I came to the conclusion this is not based on half-safe. In one of the references were pictures of a jeep called "La Tortuga" the Tortise. This was owned by a couple in the USA Frank and Helen Schreider if I recall who travelled from North to South America in 1957. It appears to be the one our model is based on. Check it out.

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Re: GPA Hardtop Model

Post by deanguy » Thu May 23, 2019 8:45 am

Back in the 1950s, a couple from the US named Frank and Helen Schreider traveled around the world, writing stories for National Geographic magazine reporting their adventures in places like South America and India.
Apparently Ford Motor Company built a few special hardtop versions of their WWII GPA Amphibious Jeep and the Schreiders were able to find one. The couple named their Jeep the Tortuga.
I of course, wasn’t aware of any of this when I stumbled upon a strange item at a model car swap meet around 25 years ago. Sitting on someone’s table was a 1/25th scale, hard plastic, extremely well detailed toy of an amphibious Duck. I had never seen one before (and I’ve never seen one since), the price was right and of course I grabbed it, with plans to detail it out someday.
Fast forward a few years and lo and behold, as I’m reading an old National Geographic (which I frequently do) from 1960, here’s a long article with color pictures of the Schreider’s adventures traveling through India in their “Tortuga”. I never knew exactly what this vehicle was, and now I had the whole story.
I decided my project would be to duplicate the Tortuga as best I could. And since the toy is so well detailed, it shouldn’t be much of a task, even though I wish I had the white plastic version. It'll be mainly a matter of painting white over the military camouflage colors and adding a few details.
So now I’m on my way, building another oddball model for my collection. And for me, that’s what it’s all about.

Wish I could insert some pics here, but I'm not sure how to do that.

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