Norev is a French manufacturer of diecast metal model cars. traditionally based in Villeurbanne, a suburb of Lyon. It has normally produced modern and vintage European vehicles, especially those of French origin – though Italian, German, British, and American vehicles were also produced. Norev’s closest competition was Solido, but that company had more pan-European influence, while Norev was more national in orientation.
According to the official website, Norev was founded by the Véron brothers, in the suburb of Villeurbanne, near Lyon, France, in 1946.Norev is the family name spelled backwards. In 1953, after the first plastics toy fair in Oyonnax, Joseph Véron started using the new plastic ‘Rhodialite’ for a series of toys. The company’s first product was a small tin service garage with several plastic cars in about 1/87 scale. Other products at the company’s start were toy watches, miniature sewing machines, a doll’s feeding set and other plastic toys for infants.
Also in 1953, was the watershed of the first Norev vehicles to appear. These were in 1:43 scale and manufactured in plastic. The plastic series consisted of 12 vehicles up through 1956, but then expanded rapidly to more than 96 models in 1964. Force’s book shows that throughout the whole run of all Norev vehicles, without regard to scale or type, models were sequentially numbered from the first car as no. 1 in plastic (a Simca Aronde – 1953–1956) through no. 899 in zamac (a VW Golf Rally – 1984–1988) and beyond.
The early models had colorful unpainted bodies which was a main selling point. While earlier models tended to feature semi-realistic colors similar to what contemporary car manufacturers were offering, later models tended to stray away from realism and offered vibrant, less realistic colors, such as bright orange or lime green. In the mid-1960s, Norev toyed with the idea of adopting colorless plastic bodies which would then be spray-painted in metallic colors. The experiment seemed to have been fairly short-lived, with only 5 known models released: the Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe, the Lancia Flaminia, the Fiat 2300, the DAF Daffodil and the Morris Mini 850.