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Johnny Lightning Volkswagen Samba Van Collection

I was pleasantly surprised when Johnny Lightning came out with this new VW Samba Van casting back in 2002.  Because it was a new model, it was really hard to find on the shelves.  I remember finding the first issue, only to realize that it came on a generic Canadian card, and not the regular issue card found in the U.S.

Here is the generic Canadian card that says Classic Car instead of Volkswagen.   Luckily it still came with the collector card identifying the vehicle as a 1965 23 Window Samba bus.

The van itself comes in a two tone paint job, white w/dark red.  The wheels are one piece molded plastic wheel and rim.  It has a tan coloured tonneau cover over the roof.

Around this item, there was an on-line retailer that sold Johnny Lightnings called  I ended up buying quite a few Johnny Lightning die-cast from them and remember getting this special edition version made expressly for them.  

The VW bus was the exact same casting as the regular one, except that it had redline wheels instead of the blackwalls.  Not sure if you can see the difference in the close-up shots between this model and the top one.

The second release of the Volkswagen series featured the 1966 version of the VW bus in green and white, again with collector card.  As you can see, I splurged on this model when I found it at a local die-cast shop.

This model looks particularly sharp with the whitewall wheels.

This blue and white model was featured in Volkswagen release 3.  

 This 1966 model reverted back to the blackwall wheels but sported a blue roof cover.

For the series 4, this VW bus was painted white and tan.

Instead of the one piece wheels featured in the three previous releases, this model sported two piece wheels with chrome rim inserts.  Definitely gives a sportier appearance.

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