Two-seat muscle car a rarity, but ready to race
AMC’s AMX was an automotive rarity, a two-seat muscle car on a short wheelbase that most folks at the time agreed handled more like a sports car.
American Motors’ Javelin had just come out a few months earlier when AMC unveiled the AMX for 1968 ½ in February of that year. Auto World’s 1:18 version is a “frost” white 1969 AMX Hurst SS version, the rarest of the rare.
Only 52 AMX models were made, all starting out white as they rolled off the assembly line headed to Hurst Performance for tuning, the aim being drag racing. Continue reading Diecast: Auto World 1969 AMC AMX Hurst SS
SL epitomizes elegant roadsters of 1950s, ’60s
Mazda’s Miata wasn’t the first small drop-top to gain popularity in the U.S. market. Way back in the 1950s and early ’60s Mercedes-Benz created an iconic roadster, the 190 SL.
This wasn’t the first famous roadster either, but it was a big hit for Mercedes, and set the styling trend for upscale two-seat convertibles for the better part of a decade. Autoart’s 1:18 version is bathed in a creamy white finish that accentuates its smooth elegant lines, lines that captured well-off driver’s attention, and cash, during those heady classic sports car years.
Like Miata today, the 190 SL had a removable hardtop ($4,295), but also was available with a soft top, that model going for just $3,998. Remember, in 1953 a new Corvette started at $3,490. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Mercedes-Benz 190 SL
Iconic split-window Vette a beauty
Come on now, this is the Vette of all Corvettes. Autoart has kicked out a gorgeous rendition of the 1963 Corvette Sting Ray coupe, and in Daytona Blue no less.
This was an iconic year for Corvette as 1963 was the first year of the second generation Vette, known as the C2. Its sleek and pointed shape made it seem futuristic and both the convertible and coupe models sold like, well like down parkas in Alaska. Famed Corvette designer Larry Shinoda was responsible for melding designs based off GM design chief Bill Mitchell’s 1959 Stingray race car and the 1961 concept Mako Shark.
In addition, this was the first year for a coupe, which made it especially popular right off the assembly line. Overall 10,594 coupes and 10,919 convertibles were made and only 3,475 Vettes were painted Daytona Blue like this one. Autoart is making just 6,000 of this model, ironically nearly double the original. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray
Newcomer Automodello scores with Griffith
I know cars, but beyond the Griffith sports car name, this Series 200 race car was new to me. That’s how rare they are in the car world (only 192 were made), and in the die-cast car world.
But rare is good when you’re collecting. The review car is a stunning 1:43 metallic blue Griffith Series 200 from Automodello, a newer specialty die-cast car maker from Buffalo Grove, Ill. To make this one even more special, it’s one of just 85 Tribute Editions that were made to mark Jack Griffith’s 85th birthday. He founded the car company. The car’s license even reads “85 Jack.” Plus this model is autographed by Griffith and Bill Warner, who puts on the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance each year and which recently honored Griffith. Continue reading Die-cast Car: Automodello Griffith Series 200
Triple threat: Parnelli, Saleen and Mustang = winner
Parnelli Jones, Steve Saleen and Mustangs, now there’s a recipe for success.
Saleen is known for his customized high-performance Mustangs, while Parnelli is known for his success racing pony cars in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The fact that Ford’s venerable muscle car has been restyled beautifully in the last 5 years makes it perfect timing for the three forces to come together, both in the real automotive and die-cast car worlds.
Autoart has been cranking out near perfect versions of the Mustang now for several years and its new 1:18 version of the 2007 Saleen Mustang Parnelli Jones edition is yet another winner. Continue reading Die-cast car: Autoart’s Parnelli Jones Saleen Mustang
CMC recreates a legend with 1931 Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes SSKL
Legends have made auto racing though the years and Germany’s CMC delivers three-in-one with its latest die-cast model, the 1931 Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes-Benz SSKL. The Mille Miglia, a 1,000-mile race up and down Italy’s country roads from 1927-57 was the ultimate endurance race of the day. Mercedes itself began building its racing reputation at that same time. Couple those facts with that of legendary Rudolf Caracciola (Real first name was Otto; he was German) driving the SSKL (the White Elephant) to victory in the 1931 race, and you have the triple wammy of fame, an iconic brand and racing history. Continue reading Die-cast car: CMC 1931 Mercedes-Benz SSKL
Dario Franchitti’s Indy winner a nice model at a moderate price
Greenlight Collectibles’ 1:18 casting of the 2010 Indianapolis 500 race winner’s bright red Target Chip Ganassi racer is a great display model, if Indy cars are your thing.
IndyCar racing has regained much of its popularity the last few years as a new star has emerged, Dario Franchitti. The Scotsman with an Italian name is well spoken, friendly and married to movie actress Ashley Judd. He’s a marketing bonanza. Continue reading Die-cast car: Greenlight 2010 Indy winner