REVIEW: Norev Bartoletti Race Transporter •

REVIEW: Norev Bartoletti Race Transporter

Words and photos courtesy of Karsten Weiss


The Bartoletti Race Transporter needs no introduction since CMC released its superb and super-expensive model a couple of years ago. So you might be wondering whether the Norev version for “merely” 300 Euros can be any good.

The Norev Race Transporter comes in two versions, the JCB Ferrari Team Transporter and the Alan Mann Ford/Cobra Racing Team transporter. Historically, they are one and the same vehicle, repainted for the respective teams, so small wonder there is hardly any difference. They significantly differ from what CMC depicted in that they had a second axle added to the rear, which is not wrong, but a historical fact, and, because both were English Teams, converted to right-hand drive. I went for the Ford version for two reasons. #1 I was fully aware that this cannot hold a candle to the CMC version. #2 I consider the Ford version more meaningful, objectively because Alan Mann Racing was there with its own GT40s at Ford´s legendary 1966 Le Mans victory, subjectively because I drive a Ford myself.

The model itself is a bit of a budget solution, funny as it sounds at 300 €. Yet it is something of a bargain as you´ll realize when it´s delivered: It´s huge and heavy and packing it generously into an even bigger box made me wonder whether I had ordered a new fridge. After peeling away all the protective packaging you will find a model whose weakest point aesthetically are the grille and the toyish wheels and rims, there is no denying that. It does look cheap, I am afraid. It´s the weakest point structurally are the mirrors. They´re only plastic and will break off easily beyond repair if you are not careful.  Fortunately, that has not happened to me (yet). But did happen right away, though, was that the white plastic top rail snapped off the driver´s cabin, but could be bent back into position. Bad?

Well, not all of it. The metallic blue paint job on the truck is really good, with some of the script painted on, others just a sticker.  I actually do not mind that you cannot open the doors as there is so much glass that you will be given enough insight into the spartan cabin with its bunk beds and simple driver controls. The truck wasn´t exactly rocket science/witchcraft. What is more important is that you can operate the back of the truck. You can lower and unfold the rear ramp planks by way of unhooking the two plastic hooks and open the two plastic supports at the plank´s hinging points. The same is true for the carrier´s upper deck, albeit much less realistically. A metal cross beam holds it up and can be fiddled to the lower deck and further plastic parts can be flipped down to bridge the gap between this second ramp and the front parking space on the upper deck. The planks themselves are all plastic, but the wood replication on it is superb. I have seen worse on upmarket models in attempts to recreate interior veneer. The American flag on the rear convinces by being made of cloth.

Unlike CMC´s version, Norev´s car carrier is not the best model in itself or worth being added to your collection in its own right. You might argue, that putting Ferraris onto CMC´s carrier shamefully distracts from the excellence of CMC´s Bartoletti. What the Norev does well, though, provides a stage, a nice way to display your Ford or Cobra car models without stealing too much attention from them. Especially, of course, the Alan Mann Racing cars, like the Escort in my pictures can be presented on it and for proud owners of Exoto Gt40s in Alan Mann Racing livery, I´d consider this is a must.

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17 Responses to "REVIEW: Norev Bartoletti Race Transporter"

  1. DS Team says:

    Thanks for sharing sir. Seems like a good alternative to those that do not want to hand over the big bucks for the CMC version. Brave release from Norev on the other hand, you know the criticism was to follow. We still believe Norev is the best bang for the dollar in the scale model arena.

  2. Glenn says:

    I have the Ferrari version, I feel the price paid for the quality of the model was fine, I do not have high end models but what i consider average, my transporter also had minor railing damage, that was repairable. I will agree with “best bang for the dollar” and I am very satisfied with it and looks great when displayed. If you would like to see this model – look at this site’s review’s –

      • Glenn says:

        Thanks, and yes that is my collection in the picture, I have entered (Diecast Collector Of The Month) my collection back in July 2016 (Glenn E. rose), if any body would like to see it.

        • Glenn says:

          I would also like to mention that the wheels and grille are not great but they do not look toyish as you say when but it into a display with a diarama of a sort, it takes away from them and they fit in well. My mirrors on the Ferrari version are supported top and bottom and are probable stronger then the Alan Man version. The ramps on my are fine and support the models OK, wood veneer was good also. If a collector is not OK with certain parts they can usually modify them to what makes them happy, as what I did, I added cabling to the back pulleys ( picture frame wiring) also a switch box to the rear beam and control levers at the rear, like I found in pictures on the real truck through research. Just one collectors thought on a model he purchased and is very pleased with.

  3. MLB says:

    Good review. Thank you.

    I have this model and the CMC Ferrari transporter. I agree that the Norev piece is a lot of value, but would have preferred if it had a little better and more detail in the areas Karsten pointed out. I would have been willing to pay a little more for a somewhat better model, but I’m still happy to have this piece.

    Other problems I had with mine…..
    The plastic Front bumper broke off when getting the model out of styrofoam shell. I fixed with adding new brass mounting posts.
    The wood veneer on the ramps is really nice, but was coming unglued on mine, had to reattach with better adhesive.
    One of the worst things about this mode is that ALL of the ramps are made of very thin, weak, cheap plastic. So they all bend under the weight of almost ANY diecast or resin model placed on them. As a temporary “fix” for the top front ramps, I stuck a wood block under as a support to keep them from bending under the weight of an Exoto Cobra Daytona Coupe.

    • Karsten says:

      It´s true, the ramps do bend slightly under the weight of any model, I noticed that, too. Not too badly, though, even under the weight of the Minichamps diecast Escort, as you can see As I thought, that I was critical enough about the model as it is, I only placed the implicit hint that the ramps are plastic without mentioning the bending consequence of it. So thanks for adding this point. I guess the only permanent fix would be to replace the ramps with metal ramps or add metal to stiffen the existing ones. Another “issue” is that the wheels often don´t reach the wood, but that the undercarriage sits on the blue rims of the ramps, thus suspending the wheels in midair.

  4. Tomcatters says:

    Sorry, but for that price I simply expect better grille and wheel details. They look like taken from a 20$ plastic toy which really hurts the otherwise good appearance

  5. Craig says:

    There’s also a third one coming – the Piper Racing Team version in green with yellow wheels – due in late May/early June

  6. Philip Kirkman-Page says:

    Err. They differ “significantly” from the CMC “version” because it is a totally different vehicle, it is a FIAT 642rn2, whereas the Norev vehicle is a rebuild with a second rear axle of the Scarab commisioned 306/2, it was used by Team Lotus at one time before the second axle was added. Here it is in it’s original configuration complete with Scarabs:

    • Karsten says:

      I never said CMC and Norev were the same, the Norevs (JCB and Cobra) are the same according to That´s why they differ from the CMC. Apologies if that was misunderstandably worded above.

      • Philip Kirkman-Page says:

        Yes you did, read what you wrote – “The Norev Race Transporter comes in two versions, the JCB Ferrari Team Transporter and the Alan Mann Ford/Cobra Racing Team transporter. Historically, they are one and the same vehicle, repainted for the respective teams, so small wonder there is hardly any difference. They significantly differ from what CMC depicted in that they had a second axle added to the rear”. The implication here is that they would be the same without the addition of the second axle, that is simply not the case – they are different designs made for different customers – look at them!.
        The CMC model is of a totally different vehicle, why mention it at all? It’s like (pointlessly) randomly adding comments about a FIAT Punto to a Panda review.
        All of the various repaints of the Bartolotti 306/2 are obviuosly the same vehicle (see the Exoto collection), but that does not make it a 642 as used by Ferrari & Maserati and depicted by CMC, Old Cars & Exoto If perhaps you had given the history of the original single rear axled version, that would have filled your space up with something relevant and interesting, from your answer you still appear to be confused in saying the Norev “version” differs from the CMC one, as if there is some connection between them, there is none aside from being from the same manufacturer, unless you see, say a Focus and a Fiesta as the same cars because they are both made by Ford.

        • Karsten says:

          Again, apologies if anything could be misunderstood in what I wrote. As a professional English teacher responsible for teaching Camebridge ESOL Advanced English Courses in which students reach the level of a native speaker, I need to lecture you on grammar, though: You quoted me correctly in saying “Historically, THEY (!) are the same” with “they” referring back to the Norev JCB and Cobra transporters mentioned in the previous sentence, which is a very common use of personal pronouns. IT/THEY once had a single axle like the CMC, that it was meant to say. I did not mean to express that the Norev once was the same vehicle as the CMC. May I most humbly ask you for the courtesy to accept my most politely offered apologies for what may well have been imperfectly worded instead of venting all this anger upon a fellow collector who volunteers to share his thoughts on a model with this community. Be assured, I will let the matter rest at this and not reply any further, whatever the response. Let it suffice to say that the tone in which criticism is uttered on this platform greatly discourages me from sharing any further reviews with DS.

  7. Peter says:

    I’am still waithing for the versione off the movie Le Mans.
    Black wheels and red bumper and red grille, decals on side off the sponsers off 1970.

  8. Daniel says:

    When CMC released their Bartoletti it was £500! It wasn’t THAT long ago either. To consider this is good value in comparrison must mean WOW, models have gone up since!

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