Category Archives: Die-cast Cars

Automodello’s 1970 Lincoln Continental Mk. III

Lincoln Continental even better second time … Automodello 1970 Lincoln Continental Mk. III

Is it fair to say the second time’s the charm?

Well, Automodello is rolling out its latest 1/24 scale model, a brilliant 1970 Lincoln Continental Mark III, which follows its 1971 version released several years back. That one was sharp, but I like this model even better.

Why? Continue reading Automodello’s 1970 Lincoln Continental Mk. III

Minichamps’ 1972 Porsche 917/10

Donohue-driven Porsche 917/10 a winner …  Minichamps Porsche, Mark Donohue

Porsche, Penske Racing, and Mark Donohue combined efforts in 1972 to take on the all-conquering McLarens in the Can-Am Challenge. No one should have doubted the results this trio would achieve.

McLaren was coming off its fifth straight Can-Am title when this tough trio got together and developed the Porsche 917/10, a spinoff of Porsche’s mighty 917 that raced and won at Le Mans. This version was roofless and featured a turbocharged flat-12 engine capable of making 900 horsepower. Donohue, who won the Indianapolis 500 that same year, helped develop the car, working closely with Porsche engineers. Continue reading Minichamps’ 1972 Porsche 917/10

Die-cast: Ixo’s 1958, 1960 Ferrari 250, Le Mans winners

Racy Ferrari 250s, when Ferrari was dominant … Ferrari 250 Le Mans winners

Part of the fun of any die-cast or model car collection is in comparing the differences of similar cars made a couple years apart.

Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s 1958, 1960 Ferrari 250, Le Mans winners

Die-cast: Ixo’s 1970 Saviem JM 21/240 Michelin truck

Michelin tire truck a big win for Bib … Ixo Michelin truck

Who doesn’t recognize, and like, the Michelin Man? He’s probably even more famous than the Pillsbury Dough Boy, although I’ve never heard Bibendum (Bib for short) giggle.

Well, IXO loves him too and has come up with an unusual Michelin tire truck, especially for the North American market. This is a French Saviem truck from 1970, something you’d see delivering tires to the local Michelin tire store, or maybe backed up to the garage area at a European racetrack.

In 1/43 scale it’s a showcase stopper in its yellow and blue trim and runs roughly 7.5 inches long. Our review copy was provided by American-Excellence, which handles IXO, BOS Models and NEO, among other brands.

The History

Saviem’s history is interesting, and to be honest, it’s a truck maker I had never heard of until the sample arrived. Turns out that Saviem  existed from 1955 to 1978 in France and the name is a mash-up of its original truck firms that were all merged at that point, by Renault after it has abandoned the commercial truck and bus business following World War II.Ixo Michelin truck

Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s 1970 Saviem JM 21/240 Michelin truck

Die-cast: Ixo’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57G Le Mans winner

Bugatti was racy from the get-go at Le Mans … 1937 Bugatti Le Mans winner

In the early years, a lot of competitors, and winners, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race were from France. Many of those makes are legendary, but many also are gone.

One that remains is Bugatti, now known as a super car maker of impeccable quality, speed and styling. Its pedigree is long and distinguished. That pedigree includes two Le Mans wins, one of only 11 car makers to score more than one win and one of just 24 brands to win at Le Mans. Porsche and Audi have each won more than a dozen times, but who’s counting?

Ixo now delivers a sharp 1/43 scale die-cast model of Bugatti’s 1937 Le Mans-winning Type 57G. Bugatti won with a similar car in 1939.

The History

This car, and its drivers, make for a unique tale. Only three Type 57G Tanks were built and this one won Le Mans in 1937. It was driven by Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist (more on them in a moment) and completed 243 laps, 7 more than the second place Delahaye 135CS. The Bugatti ran a 3.3-liter straight 8 while the Delahaye was powered by a 3.6-liter straight 6.1937 Bugatti Le Mans winner


The team was owned by Roger Labric, making this an all French team. In fact, the top four finishers were all French, with a British Aston Martin coming home fifth to be the top finisher among non-French entries. Only 17 of the 48 entries were running at the end of 24 hours. Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57G Le Mans winner

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1959 Scarab Mk. II racer

Purple Nickey Nouse Scarab a slick winner …Replicarz 1959 Scarab Mk. II

A few years back at Road America, the Midwest’s finest road racing facility, I ran into racer Augie Pabst and his beautiful metallic blue Scarab Mk. II racer.

Pabst, an heir to the brewing fortune, had been a succesful sports car racer in the late 1950s and early 1960s and was running his Meister Brauser Scarab in vintage races.

I’m a racing nut, but I’d never seen a Scarab before, so I was intrigued by the long-nosed front-engine car that looks part futuristic racer and part late 1950s roadster. Now, Replicarz has gone and produced a superb 1/18-scale resin die-cast of one of three Scarab Mk. IIs that were made and raced. This one was driven by another Midwestern sports car expert, Jim Jeffords, and features Nickey Nouse, the Chicago-based Nickey Chevrolet mascot.


The History

Lance Reventlow, son of Woolworth heiress Betty Hutton, was a California-based racer who owned Reventlow Automobiles Inc. He had cash! But had seen how the European automakers only sold year-old racers to outsiders, so decided to have the Scarabs designed and specially built for his team. He was looking for an advantage.Replicarz 1959 Scarab Mk. II

Scarab’s designers were Tom Barnes and Dick Troutman, both well-known race car builders. They created a space-frame chassis weighing 127 lbs. and plopped in a special-built Chevrolet 283 V8 built by Traco Engineering. Its 365 horsepower made the Scarab a beast that was hard to catch. Its first victory came at the 1958 Riverside International Grand Prix in California with noted sports car driver Chuck Daigh at the wheel. Reventlow also raced his Scarab. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1959 Scarab Mk. II racer

Die-cast: CMC’s 1954-55 Lancia D50

CMC’s latest F1 car a stunning Lancia D50 … CMC Lancia D50

Lancia was a late-comer to Formula 1 racing after World War II, but it had the genius of engineer  Vitorrio Jano as its secret weapon. He had created the successful Alfa Romeo 8C pre-war.

So in late 1954 Lancia’s beautiful and unusual D50 joined the F1 circuit for the last race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix where 2-time world driving champ Alberto Ascari put it on the pole with the fastest time.

While setting a fast pace with a record lap, it wasn’t reliable and lasted only 9 laps. But what had captured the racing public’s interest and other designers’ attention was its design with two outrigged pannier gas tanks, its off-center engine mount and low seating position to better distribute weight.

Now CMC nails the design in 1/18 scale with another hand-built metal die-cast model consisting of 1,598 parts, and no, I didn’t count them all.

The History

Gianni Lancia wanted to be a part of the F1 racing world so had Vano design the radical D50. Unfortunately it basically bankrupted his car manufacturing company by mid-1955 and he handed over the team to Enzo Ferrari. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1954-55 Lancia D50