[last update: 06.09.2002]

The (new) Cadillac Database

Cadillac & LaSalle Toys
The wood replicas of Ren� Daffaure, France

Return to The (New) Cadillac Database� Index Page
or pick a toy page from the table, below


Pick the preferred years  - Choisissez vos ann�es pr�f�r�es
1902 - 1931 1930/31 Solido 1932 - 1942 1946 - 1953
1954 - 1958 1959 only 1960-1969 1970-2001


...or pick one of the following model builders or collectors
...ou choisissez l'un des mod�listes ou collectionneurs suivants
The author's former Cadillac toy collection
The bespoke "Elegance" models of Claude Thibivilliers
The rare "RD-Marmande" Cadillac models of Ren� Daffaure
Jo-Han kits and Promotionals, USA
The Kits of TKM, USA
The Paper and Card Cadillacs of Emmanuel de Horne
The Custom Limousines of Philippe Emami
The Wooden Models of Otto Vallastro


FRFLAG.JPG (773 bytes)
(le r�sum� en fran�ais se trouve en bas de page)


I was first introduced to the so-called RD-Marmande models in the early seventies by Dr. Michel Sordet of Geneva, Switzerland. He, like me, was a member of the Geneva Miniature Automobile Collectors Club.  At that time, Michel was still pursuing his medical studies; today, he is one of Geneva's leading dermatologists.

The RD-Marmande toys are the brain-child(ren) of Ren� Daffaure ("RD"), a resident of Marmande, in the south-west of France (Bordeaux region). The bulk of this nimble French craftsman's many thousand hand-made, circa 1:43 scale cars consists of Le Mans race models. 

I became interested in these models when Michel showed me a 1:43 scale rendering of a sleek, Cadillac-powered Allard J2X roadster. He said that Ren� had built also in 1:43 scale the near stock Cadillac  Series 61 coupe and the Cadillac-powered Cunningham barquette, Le Monstre, that both had participated in the 1950 edition of the world-famous race. 

As a collector (at that time) of Cadillac toys, scale-models and replicas, I wanted to add these Le Mans race cars to my then growing collection.  It was around this time, in fact, that I earned the nickname, Mr. Cadillac, owing to my long-time interest in the marque's products. It always amused the other members of the club when I told them I had in my closet, at home, as many shirts, coats, ties and shoes as I had real Cadillacs!  At that time we had TWO Cadillacs and little else (a 1964 Sedan de Ville and a 1960 Eldorado Seville).

My RD-Marmande collection was begun with the three models mentioned above; at that time they cost around $10-12 a piece (in recent years, I have seen them for sale around $100-120 each).  I asked Michel to inquire if Ren� might agree to try his hand at a different kind of car.  I was thinking of a whole bunch of photos I had of custom-bodied Cadillacs of which I would have liked to have some scale-models.

Ren� rose to the challenge and I became one of his regular customers.  I bought them at the rate of about 1-2 units a month, which was all I could afford while keeping two thirsty Cadillacs on the road, in Switzerland. By the time I sold my collection, in the summer of 1989, I had acquired about 100 of them. 

Interestingly, the majority of RD replicas are unique and carry Serial numbers "00", "0" or "1". In some cases, you may even encounter two different models of the same year with the same reference number!  Indeed, the Daffaure numbering system is at best unreliable, which makes these replicas even more desirable.  For example, you might see Ref. #8 or #9 on a couple of different replicas for a given year; this does not necessarily mean that seven or eight identical replicas preceded each of them; in fact, Ren� sometimes gave consecutive reference numbers to models of a given year, even though each of them was different.  Scores of 1949 Allard J2X sports cars and 1950 Le Mans racing barquettes were made; these are numbered consecutively and might total 100 or more  ...even though each one of them was still whittled by hand, with the most basic tools and (I was told) on the family kitchen table in Marmande!

The RD-Marmande replicas are made from bits of balsa and other woods, then fitted with clear PVC windows and windshields and button wheels, before being trimmed and painted in a color of the customer's choice.

In terms of "quality for the price", there is obviously no comparison between these toys and, say, the mass-produced, high-precision, die-cast, 1:43 scale toys of the world's leading toy manufacturers. On the other hand, the unique, very low volume, hand-crafted RD replicas are worth gold today! Few of Ren� Daffaure's clients commissioned miniature Cadillacs as I did; I know of only one other Cadillac collector and his replicas [about twenty of them] all have been sold and are currently in a private collection in Zurich.  Apart from those I ordered directly, in thirty years I only ever encountered two other RD Cadillac replicas for sale on the open market ...and promptly added them to my collection!  These were a 1957 Coupe de Ville with Zurich license tags, and a 1958 Series 60 Special sedan.

Below, grouped by Cadillac model year,  is a broad selection of images of RD toys from my own former collection. If I find any more, I shall add them to the list.


[ Skip to Post-WW2 ]



trd26tcf.jpg (5493 bytes)    trd26tcr.jpg (7014 bytes)
Ref. #00: this replicates a custom creation on the 1921-22 Cadillac chassis by Don Lee, coach builder
to the stars [unfortunately, I don't remember where I got the original document used to model the car]



Dr22dlee.jpg (12164 bytes)

trd22maf.jpg (5214 bytes)    trd22mar.jpg (5642 bytes)
Ref. #00: Built on the Type 61 chassis for a Miss Ann May, the original car (top photo) appeared in the Don Lee
catalog already in 1920; this 6-fender touring car is in the scaphandrier style favored by Lee in the twenties



dr21leef.JPG (7903 bytes)

trd22lef.jpg (6194 bytes)    trd22ler.jpg (6369 bytes)
Ref. #1: This unique creation by Don Lee for one Sussman Mitchell of Visalia, CA featured a
padded top, roof-mounted luggage rack, 6 fenders, wire wheels and a broad, wicker belt molding;
the photo used to create the replica (B&W photo, top) appeared in the Don Lee catalog for 1920





trd27f.jpg (5955 bytes)    trd27r.jpg (6025 bytes)
Ref. #01: 1923 limousine; a drawing of this car appeared in a Swiss book that I acquired in the seventies





28hibdar.jpg (8268 bytes)    28hibda2.jpg (7499 bytes)

trd28hdf.jpg (6038 bytes)    trd28hdr.jpg (5909 bytes)
Ref. #1: Hibbard & Darrin custom convertible sedan, modeled after photos in the author's collection





dr30pfc.JPG (14808 bytes)

trd30pff.jpg (5986 bytes)    trd30pfr.jpg (5649 bytes)
Ref. #1:  tiger-hunt V-16  boat-tail roadster  by Giovanni Pinin Farina, built on the Series 452-452A sixteen-cylinder
chassis for the Maharajah of Orccha, in the province of Bhopal, India; the replica was modeled from a factory photo
and others that I got from Cadillac dealer Dave Towell of Akron, OH,  who owned the car in the early seventies





trd3216f.jpg (6009 bytes)    trd3216r.jpg (6144 bytes)
Ref. #3: special Madame X limousine on   the V-16 chassis, Fleetwood style #5131, built for R.S. McLaughlin,
then President of GM Canada;  the replica was molded from photos kindly supplied by my friend,
the late Gene Babow, shortly after the original car had been fully ("over") restored by Maxwell Sapp




trd33vif.jpg (6082 bytes)    trd33vir.jpg (6664 bytes)
Ref. #1: Fleetwood style #5585 convertible Victoria on the V-16 chassis for screen star Robert Montgomery;
the photos used to create the replica were supplied, once again, by my friend Gene Babow



trd33aef.jpg (6047 bytes)    trd33aer.jpg (5912 bytes)
Ref.: #1: this unique special aerodynamic coupe for five passengers, Fleetwood style #5599
was built for the Chicago World's Fair entitled  A Century of Progress; the replica
was modeled after the many photos in my collection





trd34cpf.jpg (5616 bytes)    trd34cpr.jpg (5933 bytes)
Ref. #1: Fisher bodied V-8 coupe; this was modeled from a color photo published
in Maurice Hendry's definitive history of Cadillac and La Salle cars



trd34tcf.jpg (5960 bytes)    trd34tcr.jpg (6348 bytes)
Ref. #1:  This town car on the V-16 chassis depicts Fleetwood style #5825 [sometimes shown as #5725];
the original was featured in a colorful magazine advertisement of the time ( supposedly body #27)





trd35v6f.jpg (6135 bytes)    trd35v6r.jpg (6066 bytes)
Ref. #2:  This replica is supposed to depict the 1935 limousine on the V-16 chassis, Fleetwood style #5875 [or #5775];
unfortunately, at the time I commissioned the model, I did not have any photo of the rear so the latter is incorrect





trd36sdf.jpg (5652 bytes)    trd36sdr.jpg (6399 bytes)
Ref. #1:  Standard Series 60   sedan for 7 passengers [from factory photos]



trd35cpf.jpg (5980 bytes)    trd35cpr.jpg (5312 bytes)
Ref. #4: Standard Series 60 coupe [from factory photos]





trd3712f.jpg (6146 bytes)    trd3712r.jpg (6575 bytes)
Ref. #1:  V-8 town car, with body by Fleetwood; at the time the replica was built,
the original car was owned by enthusiast William Montigel who provided the photos



trd37hmf.jpg (6250 bytes)    trd37hmr.jpg (5740 bytes)
Ref. #1: In my opinion, the most outrageous sixteen-cylinder Cadillac ever built is this monstrous roadster
created by Willy Hartmann of Lausanne, Switzerland on the V-16 chassis for 1937; it was modeled
from photos in my collection; you should read the full, unexpurgated story of this car by clicking here





trd38sf.jpg (5932 bytes)    trd38sr.jpg (6157 bytes)
Ref. #1: Standard Series 60 Special sedan, modeled from my own photos
of a car belonging to Arnold Bolliger, a Swiss enthusiast from Zurich



trd38knf.jpg (6152 bytes)    trd38knr.JPG (6263 bytes)
Ref.  #1: Here is a replica of  a unique fastback sedan built on the V-16 chassis [Fleetwood job #9002]
for GM's then President, William Bunkie Knudsen; the latter is reported to have kept the real car
until his death, in 1948; the car has survived and has been fully restored



trd38cvf.jpg (6268 bytes)    trd38cvr.jpg (5544 bytes)
Ref. #2: Standard Series 60 convertible; modeled from photos kindly supplied
by Ron Van Gelderen, twice President of the CLC, who once owned this lovely car



trd38frf.jpg (6091 bytes)    trd38frr.jpg (6452 bytes)
Ref. #4:  Franay-bodied sedan on Series 60 chassis; it is believed that the original car spent
the latter part of its existence in Geneva, Switzerland, where it was operated by a taxi company!





[ missing photos ]

Ref. #1:  V-8 Series 75 sedan, style 7519



trd40ft.jpg (5924 bytes)    trd40r.jpg (6117 bytes)
Ref. #1: V-8 Series 75 sedan, style 7533



trd39cpf.jpg (5560 bytes)    trd39cpr.jpg (5637 bytes)
Ref. #1:  The original of this scaled-down V-16 coupe, Series 90, Fleetwood style #9057-B
was formerly owned by my friend Ron Van Gelderen who kindly supplied photos of   it



trd40drf.jpg (6963 bytes)    trd40drr.jpg (6541 bytes)
Ref. #1: [erroneously labeled a 1940 model] this Series 90 custom town car was designed and built by Derham
on the V-16 chassis for a Mrs. David Haas who, at the time, resided in NY's Waldorf Astoria hotel





trd38inf.jpg (5746 bytes)    trd38inr.jpg (6123 bytes)
Ref. #00: Erroneously dated 1938, this custom town car by Inskip, NY, was built on the 1940 chassis for Cadillac dealer
Inglis Uppercu; it is not easy
to recognize it as a Cadillac; features include a custom hood grille with Packard-styled
hood emblem, double "S" curved molding on the hood sides, extending into the front doors, triangular front door glass,
and a small, oval rear window a la Derham; only the headlights, tail-lights side-lights and fenders appear to be
stock Cadillac issue; the photos used to model the replica were supplied kindly by the late Gene Babow

trd40cvf.jpg (6342 bytes)    trd40cvr.jpg (5949 bytes)
Ref. #1: Standard Series 62 convertible with (rare) sidemounts (for 1940)



Dr40drh2.jpg (12828 bytes)

trd40msf.jpg (6164 bytes)    trd40msr.jpg (5735 bytes)
Ref. #1: Custom convertible Victoria on the Series 62 chassis, designed and built  by Bohman & Schwartz of
Pasadena, CA, for William Doheny, President of Sinclair Oil; currently (top photo) it is restored and much admired



trddrhb.jpg (8257 bytes)    trddrha.jpg (9060 bytes)
Ref. #2: custom convertible coupe by Bohman & Schwartz;
formerly in my own collection, this duplicate was sold to my friend Bob Blake of Arizona
[ Photo: � 2002, Yann Saunders ]



trd40dhf.jpg (5985 bytes)    trd40dhr.jpg (6072 bytes)
Ref. #3: this unique custom coupe, Series 90,   was designed and built also by Derham on the V-16 chassis
[it is rumored that it may even have been a conversion of a regular Fleetwood Style #9057-B coupe];
the car has survived and is currently (2000) a part of the Merle Norman collection of  J.B. Nethercutt



trd4060f.jpg (6130 bytes)    trd4060r.jpg (6349 bytes)
Ref. #4: Ten custom Series 60 Special sedans were built  for GM executives from 1938 to 1941; this one has
from 1940,  has a padded top, false landau bars as well as horizontal fender spears, reminiscent of the V-16 cars;
a photo in Roy Schneider's book Cadillacs of the Forties was used to help make up the replica



40tc.jpg (7769 bytes)

trd40tcf.jpg (6310 bytes)    trd40tcr.jpg (6205 bytes)
Ref. #5: Special town car, Fleetwood style #6053-MB; only nine full-size versions
were built, plus another six with the more formal, leather top (style #6053-LB);
again, the replica was modeled after a photo in Roy Schneider's book



Trd40brf.jpg (6420 bytes)    trd40brr.jpg (6398 bytes)
Ref.: #6:  Special town car by Brunn & Co. of Buffalo, NY; this one was built
on the Series 75 chassis for steel executive, E.J. Kulas; later acquired by collector, Charles Coleman,
the real car was restored and then seen  regularly at meets of the Classic Car Club of America





trd4160f.jpg (6020 bytes)    trd4160r.jpg (5449 bytes)
Ref. #1: Standard Series 60 Special sedan



dr41loew.JPG (9310 bytes)

trd41lof.jpg (5279 bytes)    trd41lor.jpg (5409 bytes) 
Ref. #1: Custom convertible coupe by U.S. designer, Raymond Loewy for his own personal use



trd41puf.jpg (5969 bytes)    trd41pur.jpg (5722 bytes)
Ref. #1: Custom pick-up on Series 62 chassis, modeled from a photo taken at a car meet



dr41ccft.JPG (8165 bytes)

trd41ccf.jpg (6557 bytes)    trd41ccr.jpg (6857 bytes)
Ref. #1: Slope-backed, 2-door custom Woodie on Cadillac Series 61 chassis by Coachcraft of Hollywood for western
movie star Charles Starrett; the original car has survived; it was owned for many years by CLC member Hollis Weihe



trd41cf.jpg (5676 bytes)    trd41cr.jpg (5679 bytes)
Ref. #1: Sensational custom convertible coupe by Coachcraft of Hollywood with tapering, fade-away front fenders:
the replica was modeled after a photo in Roy Schneider's book Cadillacs of the Forties



41tc.jpg (9861 bytes)

trd41lif.jpg (5624 bytes)    trd41lir.jpg (5642 bytes)
Ref. #7: Unique custom town car on Series 60 Special chassis, Fleetwood style #6053-LB, built for that year's auto salon
in NY; it is the last town car to carry the Fleetwood badge; a survivor, it is still seen regularly in collector car circles



duchess.jpg (10693 bytes)

[ missing front view image of replica ]

trd41dur.jpg (6043 bytes)
Ref. #8: Custom "C"-bodied Cadillac, by Fleetwood, with Series 60 Special window treatment and special, flow-through front fenders; it was commissioned by England's Duke of Windsor, who gave up his country's royal throne to marry an American divorcee by the name of Wallis Simpson.  Nicknamed The Duchess, the Windsors paid $14,000 for the car which is reported to have remained in their ownership until 1952; the car may have survived but has not been seen in any collector circles



trd41fbf.JPG (6243 bytes)    trd41fbr.jpg (5961 bytes)
Ref. #9: This car began its useful life as a regular Series 61 fastback coupe; it was later modified by Brunn & Co
of Buffalo, NY; the scale replica was modeled from a photo in Roy Schneider's excellent  book



41der4.jpg (6778 bytes)

trd41tlf.jpg (6226 bytes)    trd41tlr.jpg (6243 bytes)
Ref. #10: Custom town car by Derham on the Series 75 chassis; this car is reported
to have cost $10,000 in 1941, when the most expensive "75" of that year cost a tad over $4,000:
Cadillacs of the Forties was again the source of the image used to produce the replica



trd41cuf.jpg (5922 bytes)    trd41cur.jpg (5609 bytes)
Ref. #11: Custom limousine by Rollson [successor to Rollston], NY,  on the  Series75 chassis;
this was a typical Rollson modification of the regular Cadillac six window sedan;
a photo of the original car was found, once again, in Roy Schneider's book





trd42f.jpg (5792 bytes)     trd42r.jpg (5694 bytes)
Ref. #1:  Pre-production prototype of the Series 60 Special sedan;
modeled from a photo in Roy Schneider's book, Cadillacs of the Forties

trd4175f.jpg (5950 bytes)    trd4175r.jpg (6065 bytes)
Ref. #3: V-8 Series 75 limousine, style #7519-F ...modeled long before the author acquired a similar car in 1996; this one 
is a replica of that owned by movie producer David O. Selznick; there were a couple of photos of it in Roy Schneider's book

trd42fbf.jpg (5837 bytes)    trd42fbr.jpg (5797 bytes)
Ref. #9: Series 62 coupe, style #6207-D; it replicates a car pictured
in Cadillacs of the Forties, authored by my friend Roy Schneider



Skip to Post-WW2



FRFLAG.JPG (773 bytes)
(r�sum� en fran�ais)

C'est un vieil ami, le Dr. Michel Sordet de Gen�ve, qui m'a fait d�couvrir les cr�ations � l'�chelle 1:43e de Ren� Daffaure, un fabricant (artisanal) de mod�les r�duits habitant Marmande dans la r�gion bordelaise.  Le gros de cette production "� l'unit�" est r�serv� aux voitures ayant couru au Mans; parmi celles-ci se trouvent n�anmoins une Cadillac de la Serie 61, une barquette baptis�e Le Monstre, mue par un moteur Cadillac, ainsi qu'un spider Allard J2X � moteur Cadillac �galement. Il me les fallait imp�rativement!

Je vous parle d'une �poque ou on m'avait gratifi� du surnom de Mr Cadillac en raison de mon amour immod�r� pour les autos de la marque. Cela amusait les autres membres de notre club genevois de collectionneurs d'autos miniatures lorsque j'affirmais en toute sinc�rit� que je poss�dais autant de chemises, de vestes de cravates et de chaussures que de vraies Cadillac, c'est � dire deux de chaque! A l'�poque en question nous avions �ffectivement DEUX Cadillac et pas grand chose d'autre (une Sedan de Ville, ann�e 1964 et un coup� Eldorado Seville, ann�e 1960).

Je d�butai donc la collection avec les trois versions Le Mans, ci-dessus, au prix de FS35 pi�ce (aujourd'hui ces r�pliques se n�gocient entre $100-120 chacune). Je demandai � Michel si Ren� pouvait fabriquer, sur commande, quelques Cadillac � carrosserie sp�ciale, d'apr�s des photos en ma possession. Il accepta et j'en commandai donc quelques dizaines � raison de 1-2 exemplaires par mois (je n'avais par les moyens d'en commander plus � la fois car nous avions les deux "grosses" Cadillac assoiff�es � nourrir!)

Lorsque je vendis ma collection en 1989 les Marmande �taient au nombre d'une centaine.  La plupart d'elles portent un num�ro de s�rie tr�s bas ("00", "0" ou "1"). D'autres Marmande furent fabriqu�es parfois � un vingtaine d'exemplaires [comme par exemple le spider Allard J2X  de 1949 et la barquette baptis�e Le Monstre], bien que chacune soit faite enti�rement � la main. Parfois on rencontre deux r�pliques d'une m�me ann�e portant le m�me num�ro de s�rie; en effet le syst�me de num�rotation utilis� par M. Daffaure est tr�s peu fiable pour ce qui concerne les petites Cadillac, ce qui rend ces mod�les encore plus rares et plus d�sirables. Vous pouvez aussi rencontrer des num�ros de s�rie tels que "8'' ou "9" sur des mod�les diff�rents d'une seule et m�me ann�e; cela ne veut pas dire que sept ou huit autres mod�les identiques les ont pr�c�d� car Ren� utilisait parfois une num�rotation cons�cutive pour des mod�les diff�rents d'une m�me ann�e. En revanche, des vingtaines de petites Allard J2x de 1949 et de Cadillac Le Monstre qui particip�rent au 24 Heures du Mans en 1950 furent fabriqu�es (une � une) et num�rot�es dans un ordre cons�cutif; leur total peut d�passer la centaine. 

Ces miniatures Marmande sont taill�es � la main dans diff�rents morceaux de bois, dont le balsa, puis equip�es de parebrise et de vitres en PVC ainsi que de petites roues (fixes) avant de passer � la finition et � la peinture au choix du client.

Pour ce qui est du rapport qualit� prix on ne peut pas comparer ces cr�ations artisanales pour le moins "rustiques" avec les miniatures en Zamac de certains grands fabricants connus. En revanche les petites Marmande valent aujourd'hui de l'or! Mises � part celles que je commandai moi-m�me dans les ann�es soixante-dix, en trente ans de collection je n'en ai vu que deux autres � vendre, en tout et pour tout (...et dont  je me rendis acqu�reur sur le champ!) Il s'agissait d'un Coupe de Ville, ann�e 1958 arborant une immatriculation zurichoise et une berline 60 Special de 1958 �galement!

Vous aurez trouv� ci-dessus une importante s�lection de ces Cadillac Marmande parmi celles que comptait jadis ma collection.  Si j'en retrouve d'autres, je les ajoutereais a cette page.



Pick the preferred years  - Choisissez vos ann�es pr�f�r�es
1902 - 1931 1930/31 Solido 1932 - 1942 1946 - 1953
1954 - 1958 1959 only 1960-1969 1970-2001


...or pick one of the following model builders or collectors
...ou choisissez l'un des mod�listes ou collectionneurs suivants
The author's former Cadillac toy collection
The bespoke "Elegance" models of Claude Thibivilliers
The rare "RD-Marmande" Cadillac models of Ren� Daffaure
Jo-Han kits and Promotionals, USA
The Kits of TKM, USA
The Paper and Card Cadillacs of Emmanuel de Horne
The Custom Limousines of Philippe Emami
The Wooden Models of Otto Vallastro


Return to The (New) Cadillac Database� Index Page
or pick a toy page from the table, above

© 1996-2012, Yann Saunders [aka MrCadillac]
[Background image:  misc. toys from author's former collection]