Speedvagen is so Portland and I don’t mean that in the Portlandia, ironic, hip sense. When I think of Portland brands – those of which who have made it to international credibility anyway – I think of people who obsess over the details. The Vanilla / Speedvagen family is one such brand.
Friday afternoon, I received a package from the great V. Inside was this meticulously-wrapped package, with coasters on the back and a little brown box with a twine bow. Inside, a hand-painted Speedvagen racer was tied to a padded backing.
The history of these figurines date back to the 1950’s in France from a small foundry where they were cast in batches. From there, they were each hand-painted by women who lived in the village. Popularity for these figurines spiked in the mid-1960’s when hundreds of thousands were sold in cycling’s holy lands: France, Italy and Belgium. Go figure.
As things tend to go, the small foundry had its ups and downs, until around the 1990’s, when the figures made a resurgence, once again capturing the eyes of cyclists. Now, two some twenty odd years later, they’re making another sprint to the forefront of companies, both large and small, including Speedvagen.
The Speedvagen Family Racing Figurines are at 1:32 scale. Each of the 50 produced figurines were hand painted, in-house by Jenn and Evan of The Vanilla Workshop.
Pick one up now at Speedvagen for $50.