7305 TT Nissan Patrol “Panasonic”
Anyone familiar with the TT range will know these cars; they were listed but not illustrated in the recent 5th edition of Gillham's book. Introduced in the 1992 catalogue, they are mainly blue with a white area including the bonnet and front of the roof (photo). Since the major colour is blue, it is perhaps a little surprising that the colour of the plastic is white and the larger blue area was sprayed on. Recently it has emerged that the first (test) batch of (about 50) bodies were produced in blue plastic and sprayed with white paint. After trying it this way, Exin decided to reverse the colouring. Perhaps it was easier to mask the smaller white area but more likely it was not possible to achieve a good finished colour with the lighter white paint on the darker blue plastic.
Soon after this first test batch was produced, the Exin factory closed and pretty much everything there had to be sold in as short a time as possible. No one realised there was anything different about these bodies and a well-known Spanish retailer bought them along with many other items. As was often the case, this was a private speculation and the bodies never appeared in his shop. After a few years, he sold them to another dealer, Joachim Moriscot.
Joachim realised that these were not the normal issue bodies. Over time he has spoken to former employees of Exin, some of whom I met when I visited Joachim last year. They confirmed that Exin did produce these bodies as the first test batch. They were also very surprised to see them! They were quite clear that the whole batch should have been destroyed and always supposed that they had been.
So now there is another Spanish rarity for collectors to target.
As you can see, the blue bodies are very similar to the normal white. (Photograph of white & blue bodies) The major difference is that the white plastic on the normal body is brighter and cleaner than on the blue. This is easier to see when comparing actual examples than it is to see in a photograph.
The most obvious differences are visible to the underside of the bodies. (Photo of undersides) When you compare the two together, the bodies made of blue plastic are clearly much bluer. However, for both types, the amount of paint sprayed and the spray patterns mean that if you are only looking at one, it might not be obvious beyond doubt which type it is. The way to tell with certainty is to check for the colour of the heated plastic that welds the driver platform to the body. This clearly shows the colour of the plastic used. Also, white “shadowing” around the front grill will only be present on bodies made from white plastic.
As mentioned above, these blue bodies were the first test batch and Exin decided to change to white plastic painted blue for the general issue. Looking at two examples of bodies made from blue plastic painted white might give us an indication of why this decision was made. If you look closely at this photo comparing the white finish on two blue bodies you will see significant imperfections in the finish of the example on the right. I imagine this would have been sufficient to alert Exin to the problems that could arise with this method so the change was decided on.