Category Archives: Die-cast Cars

Die-cast: 1970 Plymouth Superbird

AutoWorld delivers detailed Superbird

The nearly fluorescent candy colors that Plymouth and Dodge bathed their late 1960s and early ’70s cars in still grab you when you catch a glimpse today. Heck, this bright neon green AutoWorld 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird stirs memories of psychedelic pinwheels on TV’s then popular “Laugh-In.”Superbird-02

I’m dating myself and the collectors who’ll really appreciate this nicely detailed Superbird, complete with the cartoon Road Runner logo on its magnificent towering rear wing and another on the flat black headlight door on the car’s streamlined nose.

The Superbird was created to race in NASCAR and followed on the heels of Dodge’s Charger Daytona, which debuted in 1969. Both had a big rear wing to create down force and a wedge-shaped nose to aid aerodynamics and allow the car to slip through the air more quickly.

But at the time, to race a car, the automakers had to sell the same body style to the public, whereas now NASCAR’s racers are everything, but stock. So in 1970 Plymouth introduced the Road Runner-based Superbird for the racetrack and made 1,920 of the high-winged birds for the street. But it was one and done, the Superbird only flew out the showroom doors in 1970.

The details:

AutoWorld has mastered making U.S. muscle cars at very competitive prices so you can collect as many of your favorite makes as you want. Continue reading Die-cast: 1970 Plymouth Superbird

Die-cast: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner (NASCAR)

AutoWorld’s Richard Petty Daytona 500 winner marks 120th Petty win

There was only one Elvis and there is only one Richard Petty. Both are Kings.mod2

With Petty, NASCAR, or better yet, stock car racing, was his kingdom and he rules it still, behind dark glasses and under a crowning cowboy hat with a feather cluster and medallion, sort of the racing version of a heavyweight boxing championship belt.

All racing fans know Petty and they know that any Plymouth in Petty blue with a giant white No. 43 on the roof, doors and trunk is a racing icon. That’s what AutoWorld’s newest 1:18 is, and a welcome addition to the diecast stock car market.

There’s no mistaking this 1971 Plymouth Road Runner for anything other than Richard Petty’s Daytona 500 winner from that year. It’s also the car he captured his third NASCAR title in, and his 120th win. Not surprisingly, AutoWorld does a fine job delivering an authentic looking die-cast stock car champion model. Continue reading Die-cast: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner (NASCAR)

Die-cast: Replicarz plans more Indy racers

Replicarz announces Tom Sneva Indy 500 pole car from 1984

I know I’m prejudiced, but I love Indy cars. Born in Indy, have been going to races since 1962 … yikes I’m old!

I mean real race cars don’t have roofs, right?

Tom Sneva's 1984 Indy 500 Pole winner, the Texaco Star will be available soon.
Tom Sneva’s 1984 Indy 500 Pole winner, the Texaco Star will be available soon.

Well, the folks at Replicarz in Vermont understand that and just keep the cool new Indy die-cast racers coming. I know I’ve gone on and on about the Marmon Wasp, but it’s almost here. Replicarz assures me it’ll be out in MAY, appropriately. AND, look for another batch of modern-era rear-engine racers then too.First, the Wasp itself looks to be spectacular. The highly detailed replica of the 1911 Indy 500 winner, says Brian Fothergill of Replicarz, has been tweaked even further to ensure authenticity and create a show stopper. He notes that the engine will be wired and that the end of the Wasp’s stinger tail will be painted flat black to add depth.But next up in May is the 1984 Indy pole winner’s car, the Texaco Star driven by the Gas Man, Tom Sneva.

Sneva set a new track record at the time of 210.029 mph in the March chassis and continued his personal attack on the record books. Sneva was the first to hit 200 mph too, in 1978. Replicarz plans to build 600 of this model. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz plans more Indy racers

Die-cast: Autoart VW Beetle impressive

Volkswagen Beetle’s popularity continues, in die-cast now

vw1Everybody loves the Beetle. I mean more than 21 million Beetles were made and sold since going into production in 1938, the final original style Beetle rolling off a Mexican assembly line in 2003.

That makes Volkswagen’s Beetle the most produced car ever, at least using one basic design.

So it’s no surprise that a diecast car maker, Autoart, has taken up the Beetle’s cause for 1:18 scale collectors.

Autoart nailed it.

Most folks, especially us Boomers, know the story of Hitler demanding a “people’s car” (Volkswagen) for Germany in the 1930s and car maker/designer Ferdinand Porsche coming up with the bug-like design. Only a few were made before WWII, but vehicles based off the design, known as Type 82 Kubelwagens, were built for the German war effort. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart VW Beetle impressive

Die-cast: Maisto 2013 SRT Vipers

New Vipers win on value in two scales

OK, enough with all the Corvette diecast models.viper1

I love Corvettes, but everyone likes seeing something new, and different. So Hello SRT Viper! For 2013 the snake returns as the muscle atop Chrysler Corp.’s various makes and models, and none too soon.

Viper was a hot commodity for Dodge when it launched back in 1991. But as Chrysler transitioned from being owned by Mercedes-Benz to bankruptcy to Fiat ownership, the high-profile Viper was put on hiatus. Saab should be so lucky!

But Viper is back, looking like a slightly more streamlined version of its muscular self. And from a model car collector’s perspective, it’s really about the outward appearance, if you’re buying something to put on your shelf or in a case. Continue reading Die-cast: Maisto 2013 SRT Vipers

Die-Cast: Auto World Funny Cars

L.A. Hooker, Don Garlits dragsters flat out racy

The L.A. Hooker flopper's body features a stunning paint job.
The L.A. Hooker flopper’s body features a stunning paint job.

Everything in the racing world just seemed better in the 1970s, and in the drag racing world Funny Cars were the rage. They looked, well, funny, sort of like souped up street cars with a LOT longer hoods and a giant air scoop sticking out of the windshield.

For race fans, these were full-sized Hot Wheels cars with monster nitro-powered engines that made them fly (sometimes, literally) down drag strips. Like any racing series, the NHRA Funny Cars had its legends, including machines like the Hawaiian, L.A. Hooker, Bounty Hunter and Big Daddy Don Garlits, who made a name for himself in a variety of dragsters through the years.

Here, Round 2’s Auto World brand comes with a new series, Legends of the Quarter Mile, including all of the aforementioned. Our review floppers (a common nickname) were the L.A. Hooker and Garlits machines. Back in the day these dragsters had fiberglass bodies fashioned to at least somewhat reflect the street models’ appearance. The L.A. Hooker machine was made to resemble a 1971 Mustang and the Garlits machine a ’71 Dodge Charger. Continue reading Die-Cast: Auto World Funny Cars

Die-cast: 1956 Maserati 300S

CMC nails sporty ’56 Maserati racer

Filename: MOD-DC0213_Maserati03.psdMaserati is just slightly below Ferrari on the ooh and aah list of exotic Italian cars that car lovers and race car collectors recognize.

So when CMC, the premier 1:18 die-cast car modeler, rolls out a stunning red Maserati 300S, serious collectors will take note. Back in the 1950s Maserati racers were primo and highly competitive with the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar in sports car competition, and the 300S generally was a success. But equally important, it had, and has, a beautiful shape.

The 1956 model that CMC recently unveiled featured a twin-plug inline 6-cylinder engine with 3 Weber carbs and a hearty 245 horsepower that could propel it from 0-60 in about five seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. THAT was moving in the mid-’50s. Continue reading Die-cast: 1956 Maserati 300S