Autoart creates a stellar 1:18 scale “practical” supercar …
Hard as it is to imagine, the 1500-horsepower Koenigsegg Regera is not meant for the racetrack.
No, Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg (bless you!) intends the Regera as a grand touring luxury sports car. PR from Christian von Koenigsegg, the car maker’s founder, says Regera is a more practical luxury car than its predecessor the Agera, or the new Jesko.
Somehow its looks and $1.89 milllion price tag do not send a practical message.
Autoart, who created four stellar Agera models, now turns its attention to the Targa-topped Regera, which it offers in three colors, White, Candy Red and Horizon Blue. While not cheap, the $300 price tag seems paltry compared with the nearly $2 mil original.
Regera was introduced in 2016 and is still in production, but only 80 will ever be made, and all were pre-sold, so the Autoart versions are the most easily acquired.
Its name means to reign or rule and surely if you had the real thing it would rule any road it deigned to grace, and not just because of the price of entry, although that is sheik-worthy.
Regera touts a unique direct drive system in place of a tranny and links that with a plug-in hybrid system that combines a twin-turbo 5.0-liter V8 with three electric motors. Total output is 1,500 horsepower and 1,475 pound-feet of torque. The electric motors alone create 697 hp. Koenigsegg claims to have the most power-dense battery pack on the planet with an 800-volt liquid-cooled unit.
Naturally the Regera doesn’t weigh a lot, tipping the scales at just 3,500 lbs. and using 3D printed parts, carbon fiber, and Kevlar to ensure a feathery, but strong structure. Other goodies include active engine mounts, active rear and front wings, running lights known as constellation lights that resemble the night sky, and Regera rides on sticky Michelin Pilot Sport tires, 19-inch up front and 20-inch in back.
How fast is this practical luxury sports car?
Regera is the fastest car in the world from 0 to 249 mph, clipping it off in 31.49 seconds, which takes 1.8 seconds off its sister car, the Agera’s, previous record. Top speed is said to be limited to 251 mph. Right, any faster would be silly, right?
There is nothing silly about Autoart’s model , a gem from stem to stern with opening doors, hood and rear hatch, plus steerable wheels and a rear spoiler that can be deployed.
The white model features a black center stripe of imitation carbon fiber that is trimmed in red. Its nose features a carbon fiber-look chin spoiler and the targa top is easily removed to expose the cockpit. That top has a clear panel inset to the black carbon fiber area too.
Regera’s doors are fascinating, sliding outward first, then flipping up like scissor doors. Very clever and bravo to Autoart for mastering the mechanics. Side windows are fixed in the doors.
The Regera’s black interior features black bucket seats with cloth shoulder harnesses that stay behind the seats, but you can see a photo-etched clasp near the seat’s base. The center console is nicely detailed as is the center stack with buttons clearly visible and the silver oval air ducts atop the stack and off to the sides of the dash. All are hooded as is the main instrument panel in front of the driver’s racy flat-bottom steering wheel.
A giant single-armed wiper extends to cover the widespread wraparound windshield.
Under the rear hatch is that big twin-turbo V8 with carbon fiber cover and battery packs and motors at the tail. With the hatch up you see sharp detailing of the rear suspension system too, with spring-over coils with copper canisters.
Impressive too is the subtle Koenigsegg nameplate on the hatch’s rear lip.
The thick treaded tires include the proper Michelin branding and sizing info (matte black on black) and there are huge drilled disc brakes behind the sporty black wheels. Red Koenigsegg-branded calipers complete the racy look, or should I say Practical?
What is practical are the two big black mirrors that are packed separately for the buyer to slip into holes drilled atop the doors. That was easy, and you’re given two extra in case you break or lose one.
One other note, in case you think that front trunk (frunk) is useless, well the targa top will slide in there upside down for later use. Clever, both in real life and in this hyper-realistic model.
Practical or racy Regera is one gorgeous car and Autoart creates one gorgeous model.
Auto World Eldorado goes wild with Kustom Kartoon Kreation …
OK, I get it, Rat Fink is a cultural icon.
For some reason folks were drawn to the grotesque caricature of a rat with bulging bloodshot eyes ogling a 1950s hot rod or fondling a gear shift knob as he drooled in the bucket seat of a custom car. I didn’t get it.
But the 1950s and 1960s were strange times with a lot of drugs. I was just a kid.
Yet the Kustom Kulture movement got started on the West Coast as men home from World War II and the Korean War started jazzing up and customizing old 1930s car bodies and making fancy street rods, which just carried on into the 1960s.
Ed “Big Daddy” Roth started creating T-shirts with his crazy looking Rat Fink and selling them through Car Craft magazine with 1959 credited for the Fink slithering into the spotlight. So it’s appropriate in a way that Auto World’s funky new Rat Fink Hearse is a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. This 1:18 scale metal diecast model is an absolute eyeful that will immediately become the centerpiece of any large diecast car display.
I’ve touched on the history a bit, but for the uninitiated let’s dig a little deeper. Sales of Roth’s “Weirdo shirts” blew up in late 1959 and others soon were hopping on the custom band wagon. His monsters in hot rod shirts not only took off, but Roth designed the Outlaw, a fiberglass custom rod and the Beatnik Bandit along with some dune buggies that made the movies and kept the momentum going as custom car magazines were happy to have a media star.
Rat Fink itself got so popular that Revell made a plastic kit of the creepy creature, along with some of the other Roth characters, such as Brother Rat Fink, Mr. Gasser and Drag Nut. The rest, as the trite saying goes, is history.
Roth for his part kept making funky cars and motorcycles, had a band, and participated in all sorts of custom car exhibits and shows for the rest of his life. He died in 2001.
So what have we here? Well, Auto World has made a number of Cadillac and Chevy hearses and ambulances for collectors. Those include 1:64 and 1:18 scale models of the 1959 and 1966 Cadillac, plus a 1957 Chevy ambulance and hearse in 1:64 scale.
This ’59 Eldo is a dark metallic red (not your usual hearse color), with a blacked out windshield and printed dark green curtains lining the long vehicle’s side windows, looking to caricature drapes in old hearses and fitting neatly with the Rat Fink theme.
Of course there are Rat Fink touches everywhere, but dominated by the monster Fink himself on the Caddy’s expansive roof. Here the Fink is a slimy green with a black R.F. shirt and top hat, appropriate for his undertaking duties here. Of course there are the hairy ears, bulging eyes and slim sharp pointy rat teeth too, and his warty feet and tail providing him support. A few flies circle his stinky head.
The Rat Fink logo in black, looking like a devilish Mickey Mouse (that’s who Roth was supposedly pimping originally) graces the hood. Beneath the logo are the words “Rat Poison!” near the hood’s front edge. The Cadillac logo is silvered out so again cartoon-like.
Right behind the headlights on the side panel are flying bloodshot eyeballs and the hearse’s sides feature red and silvery gray Rat Fink profile logos (again reflecting Mickey Mouse, but with teeth) in a pattern like wallpaper. Lime green accents scroll along the top of that side decoration and the green and gold (Green Bay Packer colors?) jagged letters along the side spell out Rat Fink. What else?
The blacked out rear three-quarter windows and hearse hatch include a stylized white top hat in one, green and white Haulin’ Hearse in back and then white script of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in the other rear window. The black tail features red and white words reading “Rat Fink Rod.”
From the car standpoint the hood, doors and rear hearse door open and the wheels are steerable.
As with any ’59 Caddy there is chrome everywhere from the huge front grille and bumpers to the rear with its jet-like lower taillight trim to the rocket like tail fins and light surrounds. Head and taillights look realistic and the hearse features chrome mirrors, strakes on the hood, wipers and trim just under that blacked-out windshield. Side windows are trimmed in silver paint.
The black dash is nicely detailed and the bench seat in front is black and lime green to complement the car’s exterior markings and those green drapes. There’s a divider window behind the front seat and an empty body-color cargo area where presumably a hideous Kustom Kreature would be creeping out of a Kustom Kasket in “real” life.
Tires are wide white sidewalls with no branding and the undercarriage is detailed with twin exhausts.
This one is just for fun, and certainly recreates the caricature-rich look of Rat Fink on a custom hearse of all things. It’s irreverent, silly, creepy and wacky, just like the original demands and a fitting tribute to Roth’s imagination.
Vital Stats: 1959 Cadillac Rat Fink Hearse
Maker: Auto World Scale: 1/18 Stock No.: AW303 MSRP: $131.99
Auto World launches its first Barbie Bel Air in 1:18 scale …
Turquoise and pink certainly team up to shout 1950s car fashion, but in this case they also scream Barbie dream car.
I’m no Barbie expert (no sisters), but I do know that the bosomy blonde doll has been partial to brightly colored cars through the years, from Corvettes to Campers. And although the iconic toy doll debuted in 1959, it took until 1988 before maker Mattel slipped her behind the wheel of a 1950s American classic, a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible.
Well, that classic was plastic, and not very detailed. Now comes an eye-popping die-cast metal version from Auto World, which makes dozens of 1950s-1970s muscle cars and other vintage automotive icons. The same quality and attention to detail as in its other cars and trucks is present in this Barbie special, being marketed under its Silver Screen Machines category as the “Coolest car in town!”
Indeed, Barbie has driven a lot of cars from an Austin Healey early on to Ferraris and the ’57 Chevy. All have been various shades of pink, with other bright colors mixed in. But mostly Barbie is seems a girly girl, so pink drives her world.
Auto World knows that, so it will offer two 1:18 Bel Air convertibles, the first out being a turquoise and chrome stunner with a Pepto pink interior. Trust me, this one will stand out in any die-cast collection. Later (as if this isn’t eye-melting enough) Auto World plans to release a bright pink version. I’d stick with turquoise, which was a popular Chevy color back in the day.
Here’s what you get.
Like all Auto World die-cast models there is plenty of functionality here, with opening doors, hood and steerable front wheels. The trunk here is sealed.
In addition to the stunning paint scheme, there’s enough chrome to create a worldwide chrome shortage. That’s a good thing, right?
The massive front and rear bumpers are chrome, as are the head and taillight surrounds, the rocker panel trim, the side accent line trim and fins, plus door handles, wiper arms and windshield frame. Plus the two hood sights and vent window frames are chrome too.
Hub caps are chrome with chrome center wheel nuts with red centers and tiny Chevy bowtie logos. I might have gone with pink centers, to go full-on Barbie here.
Those big protruding bumper guards on the front that look like, well, you know. Those are black-tipped, as they would have been on an original ’57 Chevy.
On the lower fin trim in back is Bel Air in copper script while just in front of the doors are the patented crossed Chevy flag logos with Fuel Injection printed beneath.
Under the hood is the Chevy red engine block with silver air filter and fuel injection system, a black battery and radiator with black horn on the front left. Big hood hinges allow the hood to be easily posed in the up position.
The Barbie car’s interior is what you’ll likely notice first, and if you’re a Barbie fan and collector this is what will light your fuse. The seats are bright pink with white (or is that pale pink) inserts with Barbie in cursive on the driver’s seat back. The pink tonneau includes a white silhouette of a pony-tailed young woman at its center and tiny painted silver snap heads all about the tonneau’s edge, ostensibly to keep the tonneau in place.
Door handles and window cranks are chrome or painted silver and there’s a pink dash with chrome trim on its face, plus three nicely detailed instrument panel dials. A radio face graces that chrome dash trim and Barbie is again in script on the passenger’s side dash top. Overhead? Pink sun visors, of course. Heck, even the steering wheels is pink, with a chromed horn ring.
As with other Auto World cars there’s a detailed undercarriage with dual exhausts.
Finally, under the trunk’s golden chevron and Chevy script is the 1957 California license plate you may already expect. It reads … Barbie.
Could there be more Barbie cars in the future? Well, a quick look around the internet found there are others to choose from to be sure, including racer Collete Davis’ version of a Nissan Z car. Hmmmm!
Vital Stats: 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible
Maker: Auto World Scale: 1/18 Stock No.: AWSS135 MSRP: $131.99
Johnny Lightning creates a racy tribute with new Mazda RX-7 …
Mazda has been a favorite car maker of mine since I was fresh out of college and bought a GLC hatchback. Remember the Great Little Car?
Well, it wasn’t great, but it was good and low-priced, which fit a newly minted college graduate’s budget. Plus it was crazy reliable, with a manual choke, so it ALWAYS started.
Just as I was dipping my toes into the car market Mazda was expanding its lineup to include the racy Wankel rotary engine-powered RX-7. You might say it was Mazda’s prescription for speed, helping solidify its sporty image for years to come. Mazda even raced the RX-7, challenging Nissan’s 240Z.
This Johnny Lightning beauty at just 1:64 scale is a tribute to Mazda’s first racer, featuring its markings, but the body work of the 1981-‘85 RX-7s. It’s sharp and moves JL up another notch in fit and finish for the small die-cast market where it leads in realism, especially in the muscle car realm. This is muscle of a different sort though.
Mazda introduced the RX-7 as a 1979 model, replacing the RX-3, which was decidedly less sporty looking. The Wankel rotary engine and the car’s low-slung long-hood design were the big news. The RX-7 was small and light enough to avoid some Japanese road taxes too, making it a popular model from an economic standpoint too. Plus the new engine packed more power.
Mazda, who had raced the RX-3, was quick to get the RX-7 into racing and in 1979 finished first and second in the GTU class at the Daytona 24 Hours, and were fifth and sixth overall, a pretty impressive start. Later in the year the Mazda also won the 24 Hours of Spa in Belgium, although those cars had been tweaked and tuned by the Tom Walkinshaw (TWR) racing team.
In fact, RX-7s won the GTU championship in IMSA eight straight years, from 1980 to 1987, often taking the top two or three spots. Ultimately it won more IMSA races than any other car.
Those racers also had rear a rear spoiler and wide over fenders along with a chin spoiler. The Johnny Lightning car is based on the FB version of the RX-7, which came a bit after the original. This is a street version, which means they have no spoilers, but the 1981 FB models now had integrated plastic-covered bumpers, wide black rubber body side moldings, and wraparound taillights. Engine controls also were upgraded.
This new casting, which retails for just $12.99, uses the two-tone green markings over a creamy white that the original RX-7 sported in the Daytona endurance race. There are big black No. 7s enclosed in black circles on the hood and doors, plus Mazda is printed big on the nose and in a blue bar across the top of the windshield.
On the rear hatch’s lid is a “Powered by Rotary” decal and there are Union 76 and Bridgestone logos on the rear quarter panels. Another Mazda decal is on the fenders just before the doors, and a circular orange NGK spark plugs decal on each door.
The FB’s large black side moldings are here, just above the two-tone green stripes along the car’s lower edges.
Details that make the car look particularly realistic even in this small scale are black door handles, dual black side mirrors with silver faces and black hinges on the rear windscreen, plus a large black wiper at its lower edge. The rollaway headlights are shut to give the car a racier and smoother look, plus the hood opens forward, as on the original.
Under the hood is a black engine block, but it is flat as was the rotary in the RX-7s, just a blue air filter on top for a little color. The rest of the cast-in details are white under the hood, which does take a bit of effort to pry open the first time. I scratched a tiny bit of paint off, but then this is a race car, so what’s a little race wear? The hood fits beautifully when closed.
Of course the undercarriage is cast in great detail, as on all JL and Auto World models. Plus the black radiator air intake panel under the nose is nicely detailed.
But the final bit of fun here are the wheels, which are four twin-spokes each with the spokes being a copper-gold, similar to some models sold in the U.S. that featured gold-anodized wheels. Plus the tires are rubber on JL cars. Bravo!
A quick note here to call out our Auto World friend, Chad Reid, as the graphic artist on this model, along with a new red Motorcraft Ranger parts truck. The truck uses a Motorcraft logo on each door with a two white and one black stripe down each side as accents. It looks sharp and you can imagine one of these pulling into your repair shop’s parking lot, circa 1983.
Reid says he chose Motorcraft red for the truck as it seemed perfect for a parts truck, and he also drew on a old Nylint Ford Ranger’s markings for inspiration. Both the Motorcraft Ranger (also $12.99) and RX-7 are limited editions, with just 2,496 being made of each.
The Ranger is a pre-order with shipments expected soon, but the RX-7 is in stock now.
Vital Stats: 1981 Mazda RX-7 (racer tribute)
Maker: Johnny Lightning Scale: 1/64 Stock No.: SCM099 MSRP: $12.99
Latest Lightning 6-packs loaded with color, detail …
I find it sort of amazing that muscle cars from the 1960s through the ‘80s remain so incredibly popular with collectors, both of 1:1 cars and those of us who love smaller diecast models, which are infinitely more affordable.
Johnny Lighting is well aware, which is why it has been cranking out 1:64 scale diecast cars and trucks for years, and its parent company Auto World the same, plus larger scale 1:18 muscle cars too.
One of Johnny Lightning’s mainstays has been its Muscle Cars and other themed 6-packs, made with A and B releases, each in authentic manufacturer colors. The current is Release 3 for 2021 (supply chain deliveries still catching up), featuring a 1968 Shelby GT-500 KR, 1965 Chevy Chevelle Wagon, 1986Buick Grand National, 1977 Pontiac Firebird T/A, 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, and 1970 Plymouth GTX.
All are sharply cast and feature the usual opening hoods with detailed engine bays, or at least as detailed as a 1:64 model likely needs to be. All the cars also feature rubber tires, some branded, a few simply blackwalls.
Let’s get right to the six models.
This Shelby GT-500 is sweet, and in Calypso Coral (a bright orange) it’ll stand out in any collection. Johnny Lightning models the KR version of the 1968 Mustang/Shelby. That originally stood for King of the Road, which this certainly was with its Cobra Jet 428 V8, which was listed at 335 horses, but was said to be much closer to 400.
At the time this was the most powerful Mustang and would do 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, impressive in the day.
JL tells us that the King of the Road phrase was being considered for trademarking by Chevrolet at the time, but clever Carroll Shelby quickly worked to secure the name and KR trademark before the slow-moving Chevy could get the job done. Shelby was always aggressive and knew how to get things done!
This model has a black engine bay with blue V8 block, a tan interior with good detailing molded into its face. Along the rocker panels is a white racing stripe with the GT-500 KR name included and Shelby is spelled out in silver on the nose and tail. Little details can add some spiff and here there are not only silver door handles, but two silver dots on the hood to represent hood pins, and Shelby’s coiled Cobra logo on the front quarter panels. The license proudly announces KR 428 to signify the GT’s engine and the tires are labeled Goodyear.
A fun addition to this set is the 1965 Chevelle Wagon, a rare beast in that it was only made for two years, 1964 and ’65. Making this one even more interesting is the Turtle Power logo on the doors, one that was used by Turtle Wax in the 1960s. Somehow it seems even more appropriate as the model comes in Turtle Wax Metallic Green.
Other highlights include the slight bulge in the wagon’s rear roof that somehow makes it look faster, silver Malibu script on the rear quarter panels, Chevy’s twin flag logos tucked between the front wheel wells and nose, a blue and red Chevy logo on the grille and Firestone-labeled tires. Wheels are chrome mags.
Under the hood the engine block is orange with a black air filter and the interior is black. Oh, and there’s a Turtle decal inside both rear side windows.
If black indicates Intimidator-style power on a 1980s muscle car, then the 1986 Buick Grand National may be your favorite among this six-pack. It’s boxy, big and black, with a gray and black interior featuring high-back seats.
In the day the 1986 model was the best-selling of the three-year run of Grand National’s, although a Regal had a Grand National package in 1982. More than 5,500 Grand Nationals were built in 1986, more than double the first two years of production, combined.
Improvements had been made for ’86 too, with its 3.8-liter V6 turbo gaining an intercooler and seeing its horsepower jump from 200 to 235, making it capable of doing 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and a quarter mile on the dragstrip in 13.9 seconds. That made it the fastest production car in the U.S., beating Corvette, Camaro and Firebird, its GM stable mates. Car and Driver magazine tested the Buick and found it faster too than a Lamborghini Countach. Amazing!
This one features the bulge at the rear of the hood with 3.8L Turbo logo, the Grand National logo on the front quarter panel just in front of the doors, another on the trunk sill and a license plate with GM on it. I particularly like the blacked out grille (as most vehicles now offer) but with its fine silver outline and the twin rectangle headlights framing it. Sharp!
Pontiac, now long-gone, was a major player in the muscle car wars, its Firebird always fast and its roll in the 1977 movie, Smokey and the Bandit, with Burt Reynolds, assured its fame. That Firebird with its Screaming Eagle on the hood was black, while this ‘77 Pontiac Firebird T/A is a handsome Brentwood Brown Poly. I think of it as metallic bronze.
This one features the “Bandit” package that cost 1,141 with the Hurst Hatches (T-top), while a $556 version omitted the hatches, but put that eagle on the hood. This eagle is black and gold, the wings wrapping around the hood’s power bulge that protrudes through the hood. Under it was a 200-horse V8.
Other feature here include a tan interior with black steering wheel, Trans Am label on the nose, tail, and front quarter panels, a 77 Bird license, and gold-spoked wheels tucked inside BF Goodrich-labeled tires.
Muscle came in all shapes and sizes, proven by the 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, a restyle that year to give it a split grille in front and taillights embedded in the rear bumper (not a great idea). But the Dart had been muscled up over the years and while other models in the Chrysler-Plymouth lineup would outshine the Dart, this one was quick.
First, it started with the 340-cu.-in. V8 (thus the Swinger 340) that created an impressive 275 horsepower in a 3,170-pound car. And all this for just $2,808. Heck, that’s a modest option package price on today’s cars.
Both hood and trunk were long and the rear window sloped to give the squarish car a somewhat fastback look. The bumble bee rear wraparound stripe remained from earlier versions, and while it looked best as a black stripe on a yellow car, this white version with blue stripe is sharp. Up front were dual fake hood scoops and the model includes silver Swinger script behind the doors and under the C-pillar.
Tires are unbranded here and wheels white with a modes chrome cap at their center. Windows are trimmed in silver as are the door handles and gas cap.
Plymouth was known for its muscle and funky colors in the late 1960s and early 1970s. So it’s no surprise that Johnny Lightning created a Moulin Rouge (dark pink) 1970 Plymouth GTX for this set. Known as the Gentleman’s Muscle Car, the GTX got a new grille and taillights for 1970 and of course the Power Bulge hood returned with a single Air Grabber scoop on top.
A 440 Super Commando V8 with four-barrel carburetor was standard, generating 375 horsepower, while a 426 HEMI V8 was optional. It made 425 horsepower, major muscle.
This pink beauty features the GTX’s clean lines, that snazzy hood and black racing stripes on the sides along with GTX decals just behind the fake rear brake air scoops. GTX is emblazoned on the grille and Plymouth is spelled out on the tail. Window trim is silver, as are door handles, wipers and like the Shelby, two dots on the hood to represent hood pins. There are 440 decals next to the Air Grabber scoop too, and tires are labeled as Goodyears.
The B release
This second set offers its own unique colors with a few other visual differences from the A release.
The Shelby comes in Highland Green, one of the most popular Mustang colors and is simply a sharp looker, without being as flashy as the orange A version. While the Chevelle Wagon shows its lines much better in the Silver Pearl Poly Turtle Wax paint job than the dark green on the A model. I prefer the black Buick Grand National to this Rosewood Poly (copper) version in the B collection, as it seems to me most Grand Nationals were black, and certainly look more racy in that color.
Version B’s Firebird is Cameo White and it accentuates the car’s lines better than the Brentwood Brown Poly in Version A. Again there’s the Screaming Eagle on the hood, and I like the black trim around the T-top openings.
The biggest differences seem to be the Dart Swinger and PlymouthGTX in the B release. The Swinger is Light Blue Poly with a black stripe around the tail, but also a matte black roof and trim on the hood scoops that give this one a racier look. On the GTX the color is Burnt Orange Poly that is a fine copper finish like a shiny penny. But with white racing stripes on the sides, a matte black roof and matte black center portion of the hood, including the air scoop. It’s sharp!
New Display Case
Auto World now is offering a snazzy 3-in-1 Showcase that satisfies a number of display needs. First, it’ll hold a 1:24 scale model, so for plastic car builders it’ll protect one of their project cars, of which dust is the primary enemy.
But it also will hold three 1:43 scale cars or nine 1:64 scale vehicles, which is what I did with it immediately, using a few Johnny Lightning cars I had sitting on a dresser, plus the six that came the above reviewed six-pack. Naturally JL, Racing Champions Mint, Playing Mantis, Matchbox and Hot Wheels all will fit in the case.
Naturally the top is clear acrylic and rounded on the edges for a more sophisticated display. And instead of the top popping off for car placement it’s hinged, which makes for easier opening and makes the case less likely to be shaken and possibly damaging its contents. That can happen as sometimes a case’s tight-fitting top can jam on the bottoms and be hard to remove.
The bottom here is black and there’s a removable 2-tier platform that would allow a 1:24 model to be placed flat on the bottom. I like the 3-tiered look with the platform in place though as now more cars can be positioned on three levels for easy viewing.
Auto World creates a simple, iconinc Ford pickup …
Ford’s pickup hasn’t always been the best-selling vehicle in North America, it just seems that way. But in the 1950s Ford redesigned its F-1 pickup and renamed it the F-100 (now the F-150), all in an effort to overtake Chevrolet.
By 1956 the second generation Ford pickup had been restyled several times in just four years, the grille, logo and windshield getting new touches each time, yet the ’56 model is iconic in its look and started driving Ford toward its pickup dominance.
Auto World marks that moment in time with the release of its 1:18 scale 1956 Ford F-100 Pickup in Diamond Blue, the factory color that so many pickups were bathed in before leaving one of the dozen factories, including one each in Canada and Brazil, that made them.
Again AW’s model delivers high value as the pickup features opening hood, doors and in this case, a tailgate that will drop flat if unhooked. Front wheels also are steerable.
The ’56 Ford had a nose-heavy look created by its set-back front-axle, low profile and prominent front fenders. The grille was new for this year with the V8 emblem at its middle, the A-pillars were vertical now, and the snazzy Ford truck logo featuring a gear with a lightning bolt through it, the background being a red and black shield.
Ford also used a wraparound windshield this year and added an energy-absorbing steering wheel and double-grip door latches for safety. Inside, there also was a hooded instrument panel, much like cars were then offering.
Pricing was $1,580 and the F-100 was offered with eight engine choices from a 100-horse base Straight-6 or Flathead V8 up to a powerful 300-horse Y-Block V8. That made this the most powerful Ford pickup to date. Of course that battle for best pulling power and hot rod performance continues with Ford’s Raptor models.
Ironically, despite the redesign, power, and safety improvements, sales still slumped in 1956, with Ford selling just 137,581 pickups. By comparison, Ford sold 363,032 F-150 pickups in 2021.
Simplicity reigns in this nostalgic 1956 Ford pickup, even the soft light blue color feels homey and vintage.
The opening doors are basically vertical rectangles, the A-pillar being straight-up and the silver-trimmed vent windows being tall rectangles inside a horizontal rectangle-shaped window. Fenders are big rounded metal coverings to keep all that mud and muck stirred up in the farm field from flipping up on the wide black running boards as the farmer or construction worker went about their daily duties.
The bed in back is a simple box stuck inside those rear fenders with a black bed liner and a tailgate that notches in place. Pull up on that and it unhooks to lay flat down behind the vehicle, no hinges here, as there were none on a pickup in 1956.
The nose features a white grille with the V8 logo and single round lights also housed in that white metal trim. The Ford truck logo is dead center on the raised hood’s center bulge and the bumpers, front and rear are straight flat metal bars that have been chromed. Fancy this ain’t!
But I like the truck’s basic nature.
Naturally that big hood will open via large hinges and beneath is the yellowish-orange V8 block with Ford-labeled headers and a round black air filter. There’s a radiator and a few other under-hood bits and pieces, plus molded in firewall and hood features that give this a simple air of realism. Probably could use some oil splattered about or mud under the hood to show it has been used, but maybe that model will be another version from AW.
Wipers are chrome trimmed as are the big side mirrors, door handles and round dog dish style hub caps with Ford simply engraves across their center. Wheels are blue to match the truck’s body and there are thin whitewalls for the unbranded, but treaded tires.
A chrome and red Ford F-100 logo sticks on the side of the hood for branding purposes and to add a little bling to a truck that was definitely for work, not play, as they are today.
AW also delivers a nicely detailed underbody here with exhaust and suspension pieces, so something to see if you display in a mirror-bottom display case.
But as with all other models from Auto World, this comes in a sharply decorated window-box container that could easily serve as your display box. There’s even a panel in the box bottom so you can see some of that undercarriage.
Super paint quality on a real metal die-cast model that looks and feels authentic. Auto World’s latest home run, and this pre-production sample was perfect. You can pre-order now.
Vital Stats: 1956 Ford F-100 Pickup
Maker: Auto World Scale: 1/18 Stock No.: AW290 MSRP: $115.99
Jimny (JB64) is a cute, well-detailed Jeep wanna-be …
Suzuki’s Jimny is a fun little runabout, and even cuter as a 1/18 scale diecast model from the hot shot designers at Autoart.
There’s no doubt this Jeep-like two-door sport-utility is useful and nimble. It has sold like Pocky sticks in its home market, Japan and has been a hit for Suzuki all around the world, with the exception of the United States where Suzuki stopped selling vehicles at the end of 2012.
But Suzuki’s low-cost small vehicles could well be considered something akin to the Beetle of Japan, economical and fun. And lest you think Suzuki is a small-time carmaker, well, it’s the fourth best-selling brand in Japan, behind the giants Toyota, Honda and Nissan, not bad company.
Suzuki launched the Jimny in 1970, so it has had a long run and according to Wikipedia, Suzuki had sold 2.85 million of the little gems across 194 countries as of the fall of 2018. There’s an interesting history behind Jimny too.
It started as the HopeStar ON360. Say what?
Yes, it was originally designed by the Hope Motor Co., a small Japanese manufacturer that Suzuki bought in 1968. So, Suzuki re-introduced the vehicle as its LJ10 (Light Jeep) in 1970 with an air-cooled, two-stroke, two-cylinder engine. It had nowhere to go but up.
From there the engine grew and grew, becoming liquid-cooled as the vehicle began gaining popularity and was shipped off to Australia and then was Suzuki’s first vehicle sold in the U.S. market as a Samurai in 1986. Along the way the Jimny name became its moniker in Japan, and Jimny Sierra elsewhere.
Lest you think it incapable off-road, in 2007 a modified version set the high-altitude record for a 4-wheel-drive vehicle on a mountain at the Chile-Argentina border. It climbed to 21,942 feet, beating a Jeep Wrangler’s mark at the time.
This JB64 version is the fourth generation Jimny, launched in 2018 and the model reflects the styling of Japanese-market models, with no added plastic fender flares, whereas in other markets the black flares are much more pronounced. Jimny remains a body-on-frame vehicle, like a Jeep Wrangler and most of today’s trucks.
The engine is a turbo 3-cylinder that makes about 100 horsepower, rides on a short 88.6-inch wheelbase and weighs less than 2,300 pounds. So it may be appropriate to still consider it a Light Jeep, as it was originally.
I’ve grown to love many boxy Jeep-like vehicles over the past 50 years of driving and testing new vehicles. So this Jimny strikes me as a fun, cheap Jeep wanna-be. It’ll certainly stand out in your collection and being an Autoart model you can be sure the design and build quality is high.
Autoart offers several color combos, but the sample was an earthy Chiffon Ivory Metallic (shiny tan) with a black roof. It appears ready to wander off down a dirt road to bang some ditches.
The doors fit nice and flat to the body, those wheel wells just showing a slight bulge and the front and rear bumpers are a sturdy black. The nose features running lights in the bumper, black mesh grille work there and in the upper grille featuring what looks like a Superman (Suzuki) logo at its center. Headlights, as with Jeeps and now Ford Broncos, are round, these adding an amber turn signal just above the light and toward each side’s fenders.
Mirrors are black with white turn signal lamps embedded and the windows are all trimmed in gloss black with a couple black wipers extending from the cowling just behind the hood.
A small black antenna extends from the rear driver’s side (right drive) roof and a big spare tire hangs on the tail, just as with a Jeep. The tailgate opens out like a door and includes a high-mount brake light atop its frame, black hinge covers and the words Suzuki and Jimny in silver low on the gate. The three-lens red and clear taillights sunk into the black rear bumper look sharp too. Below is a Jimny license plate too.
Tires are all branded Bridgestone in black, so hard to read, but typical of the real vehicle. Wheels are sort of a matte silver/gray with black Suzuki-logoed caps.
Naturally the hood, doors and hatch open on this Autoart model, with a nicely detailed engine compartment and fine metal hinges to hold that hood up for display. There’s a tiny hood rod there too, but don’t try to use it, it’s just for decoration.
Engine wiring and plumbing look appropriate with a sharp-looking battery including labels on top. There’s also a white washer-fluid reservoir, a steering master cylinder with white fluid container and other appropriate hoses and filters. The hood’s underside detailing is handsomely molded too.
Not much to see inside the rear tailgate, except seatbacks and headrests, but the front cockpit looks realistically detailed, and with the wide-opening doors this interior is simple to see. Black interior here with bucket seats, a center console-mounted shift lever, 3-spoke steering wheel with Suzuki logo, and nicely detailed gauges across the dash, including a reflective screen in the dash’s center. Air vents are trimmed in silver.
U.S. collectors have a rare opportunity with the Jimny to add a popular world vehicle to their collections, and it’s so darned cute they may want a couple in varying colors.
For the record Autoart offers Jimnys in Pure White, Jungle Green, Bluish Black, Brisk Blue, Kinetic Yellow, most, except the white models, with black or body-colored. Also, the world market models, known as Jimny Sierras (JB74), are available in the same colors, but with the bulging black fender flares that give Jimny a slightly more muscular look.
Auto World’s Chevelle a 1/18 scale supercar of the 1960s …
Chevrolet’s 1969 Chevelle may have been the epitome of styling from GM’s lead division, and an icon of the muscle car parade that wound its way through U.S. streets into the early 1970s.
But as muscular as Chevelle was, there were a lot of high-performance shops and firms trying to up the testosterone level of its gutty V8 and its already sport exterior. Baldwin Chevrolet, along with Yenko, was a major player on Long Island, just outside New York City. So when it linked with Motion Performance Group in 1967, big things were about to happen.
Here Auto World’s American Muscle series goes full-on performance oriented with another stellar 1/18 scale diecast metal version of the 1969 Baldwin Motion Chevelle Phase III in Tuxedo Black. This is the latest in its American Muscle 30th Anniversary Series and can be preordered now with full release coming soon.
Baldwin Chevy, located in Baldwin, N.Y., had been in business since the early 1920s so had a strong reputation before linking with Motion, which started its high-performance business in a Brooklyn Sunoco station. But by the early 1960s Joel Rosen had pumped up the firm’s performance equipment and moved to Baldwin, where it sold its souped up Chevys from 1967 through 1974.
The firm’s Phase III package on big-block Chevelles, Camaros and Novas guaranteed the cars’ dragstrip performance offering a money-back deal. Of course, with the V8s pumping out up to 500 horsepower one would think speed wouldn’t be a problem.
Here’s what the guarantee said:
“We think so much of our Phase III Supercars that we guaranty they will turn at least 120 mph in 11.50 seconds or better.”
Reportedly no one ever returned a Baldwin Motion car.
Besides that pumped-up power plant, some Phase III models included the Corvette-style Stinger hood (as we see in this model) and Motion center caps on American Racing Torque Thrust wheels. These were monster street rods that could tear up the dragstrip too!
Our early release sample proves Auto World continues to deliver more functionality than most other 1/18 scale DC manufacturers with opening hood, doors and trunk, plus steerable front wheels – at a high-value price of $115.99.
But all that would be for naught if AW wasn’t cranking out sharp vintage muscle cars with perfect body shapes and impressive under-hood details.
This black beauty of a Chevelle delivers beauty and muscle from the chrome bumpers front and rear to the gorgeous grille and chrome bevels around the quad headlights, and of course the SS logo mid-grille.
Let’s start though with the monster Phase III 427 V8 under the cool Corvette Stinger hood, which was fiberglass on the original. First, there are Motion chrome headers and a round textured air filter that make this 427cc V8 stand out from others. The block is orange, naturally, and there’s proper wiring and plumbing, plus a well-labeled radiator, battery with cables and the huge matte silver power steering unit up against the firewall. A white washer fluid bottom sits just inside the hood’s front edge next to the radiator.
That pointed Stinger hood scoop includes SS 427 logos on each side and there are round Motion decals inside the rear side windows and at the lower edge of the back window.
All windows are trimmed in matte silver paint and there are chrome door handles, driver’s side mirror and short antenna on the passenger’s side fender. Lights and taillights look realistic and I love the fine painted chrome trim over each wheel well.
Racing wheels hang at each corner with Mickey Thompson S/S Indy Profile tires front and rear. The rear-drive car’s back tires are bulging wide racing slicks that give this Chevelle the appearance of way more muscle than most.
Inside, the interior is black with ribbed bucket seats featuring silver trim down their sides and along the floorboards, where you can mostly make out the Body by Fischer logo.
There’s a two-spoke steering wheel with SS logo on its hub, and big round gauges galore on the instrument panel, just as in the original. You’d expect a serious shifter here and this straight stick comes with a gloss black ball knob at its top. Naturally the windows have chrome cranks on the door panels.
Underneath, as in all Auto World cars, the chassis is well detailed from the front suspension and steerable front wheels to the silver dual exhausts. If you like to pose your cars on mirrored display stands this one has plenty of underside goodies to impress your buddies!
Auto World never fails to impress with its Muscle Car series and this Baldwin Motion effort is among its strongest to date. Plus in black it looks as menacing as the original.
Vital Stats: 1969 Baldwin Motion Chevelle Phase III
Maker: Auto World Scale: 1/18 Stock No.: AMM1269 MSRP: $115.99
Autoart’s 1:18 hypercar looks crazy fast even at rest …
What happens in the auto world when the term “supercar” isn’t descriptive enough? Naturally we seek a new term, and for now that has become hypercar. But is that enough to describe a car with 1,479 horsepower and a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.4 seconds?
The thesaurus says appropriate synonyms for hyper include aggressive, intense, bold, dynamic, spritely, and frisky. Super synonyms aren’t much better – terrific, great, marvelous, outstanding, topnotch, sensational. All seem too tame to describe Bugatti’s Chiron Sport.
Most adjectives also fall flat in describing Autoart’s latest 1:18 diecast version of the Chiron, a beautiful Bugatti blue with black carbon fiber-look hind end. Incroyable!
Many are aware that Bugatti, now owned by Volkswagen, has a blended European background. Started by Ettore Bugatti, an Italian-born French designer in 1909, the firm was based in what was then Germany, but is now Alsace, France.
The Bugatti brand was extremely successful racing in the early years, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans and many other high-profile contests. One of its most successful and famous drivers was Louis Chiron, who raced from 1926 all the way to 1958. Bugatti honored him by naming this model after him when it was introduced in 2016.
The Sport is a lightened, faster version of the original Chiron, which followed the Veyron supercar and was first shown at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2018. The Sport is about 35 pounds lighter than that first Chiron, featuring a firmer chassis and suspension. Its wheels are even lighter and the interior packages Alcantara, leather, and carbon fiber for seats and trim, emphasizing luxury along with vein-popping acceleration.
Power? The 8.0-liter V16 quad-turbo engine has a governed (really?) top speed of 261 mph. Car and Driver magazine says the Chiron Sport will race from 0 to 100 mph in 4.4 seconds and to 200 in just 15.7 seconds. Keep both hands on the wheel!
The tranny is a 7-speed double-clutch Ricardo model and the carbon fiber body is impregnated with color so as to avoid an entirely black model. Just 250 Chirons had been made as of 2020, but at a cost of $3.3 million each one supposes Bugatti doesn’t need to crank out too many more to assure a profit.
The only question that remains, it seems, is what those 250+ people do for a living! We know they have fun driving their exotic cars.
Oh my, this Chiron model is fabulous, starting with the carbon fiber look of all black portions of the body, including mirrors, engine cover, rear wing and front/rear/side ground effects all the way to the trim around the windshield well.
The car’s eggshell-thin hood opens to reveal a couple black valises featuring realistic handles and blue Chiron logos. One imagines crisp monogramed shirts and private label Italian ties gently strapped inside.
Move to the rear and the black carbon-fiber-look engine cover easily pops off to expose the body-colored blue headers atop the V16 quad-turbo engine. Bugatti blue logos enhance the black engine block’s top while major turbo pipes wrap around the engine. A white liquids container sits above a silver heat shield at the far end of the enclosure.
Cool though that you can still see the blue headers once the engine cover is in pace, as this is how most of us will pose the Bugatti in its display case.
A button under the car’s tail easily releases the big carbon fiber rear wing, which can be angled slightly with the light touch of a finger.
I love the front view that shows off the black wire mesh of the Bugatti horseshoe grille with its red, silver and white Bugatti badge and a blue No. 16 imprinted on the grille. That touts the 16-cylinder engine powering all Chirons. There’s black mesh in the air duct slits in the sleek nose too, plus beautifully executed four-element projector beam lights.
In back is more silvery black mesh below the light bar that extends the car’s width. There’s also a Chiron Sport logo, the EB Bugatti emblem and down low a unique four-pipe exhaust system with deflector. Naturally a multi-element diffuser rides below the tail.
Behind the special lightweight black wheels are humungous drilled discs and blue Bugatti-labeled calipers. Tires are the low-profile Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s that are standard on the Sport. Labeling here is matte black on the sidewalls, but just showing the Michelin logo. Tires feature an aggressive tread pattern.
Inside is another fine Autoart interior, all black except the blue accent line down the dash’s center spine and extending the console’s length, plus blue seat belt latch receptacles and belts.
There are racing style bucket seats, a flat-bottomed race wheel, and a sharply detailed driver’s gauge pod. The Bugatti console includes four protruding buttons and a small gear shift knob while the three foot pedals below are silver-faced to represent a metal finish. Door trim is accurate and finely detailed with carbon-fiber-look door panels.
The sum is visually fantastic, almost as fantastical as the 1:1 car’s performance! The Chiron Sport isn’t a muscle car, it’s a missile.
Skyline 2000 GT-R (KPGC110) a rare, racy hatchback …
Just as the oil crisis was putting the kibosh on performance cars in the U.S. in 1973 it also was squishing a newly revised Nissan offering in Japan.
The cool Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R, the second generation GT-R, was a performance oriented fastback that for all its styling looked like a surefire winner in both Japan and the U.S. market where it was likely headed. Think sportier Datsun B210 if you must, but it also looked like a kissin’ cousin to the sporty Toyota Celica fastbacks of the time.
The GT-R was code named KPGC110 and just 197 were made as the oil and emission restrictions of the time put a quick end to its production. That makes this GT-R among the rarest Nissans.
Leave it to Autoart to create a stellar 1:18 scale diecast reproduction of the Skyline so you can round out your 1970s performance car collection, or Datsun/Nissan cache. My sample was the snazzy silver version, going for $230, but chock full of amazing details.
Skyline models were originally made by Prince Motor Co. The Japanese firm had made aircraft during World War II but transitioned to cars afterward, even making an electric car originally. Yet its Skyline model, launched in 1957 was a success and by the 1960s was being raced. Nissan bought up Prince in 1966 and the boxy Skyline GT-R model of the day, coded KPGC10 ended up winning 52 races in three years into the early 1970s.
The second generation Skyline 2000 GT-R kept the same engine, but became the first Japanese car with four-wheel disc brakes, aimed at improving its racing ability. The rear-drive car used the S20 engine a 2.0-liter inline 6-cylinder that made about 158 horsepower. A five-speed manual was standard.
GT-R also carried a rear spoiler, black fender cladding, a mesh grille and independent suspension all around. Styling included quad taillights, which remain a GT-R feature still. Ultimately production of the car lasted just four months.
On the folklore side of things, the short-run Skyline was nicknamed the Kenmeri Skyline, the name taken from a popular TV commercial for it at the time which featured Ken and Mary, an American-looking couple.
One more thing. At auction last year a 1973 Skyline went for $455,000. Impressive!
I like the bare bones look of performance in this rich silver fastback from the bolted-on style black fender flare cladding to the black open-face steel wheels with four bolts showing and blackwall tires. No fancy chrome hub caps or rally wheels here!
Atop the front fenders and lining up with the front edge of the wheel wells are large twin black mirrors to help assure a driver gets a wide view of what’s on either side. This has the feel of an early rally car, but with all the features required for street driving.
Open the large hood and that inline 6-cylinder with Nissan and 2000 atop its block looks massive for such a compact car. All the wiring and plumbing are here along with a master cylinder for those disc brakes, and massive red air cleaner along with battery, hood dampers atop the suspension towers and of course a fan and radiator with cap.
A fine black mesh acts as the grille with quad headlights framing it and a black Skyline 2000 GT-R license plate below. Front wheels are steerable and the trunk also opens to reveal a full-size spare (remember those?) neatly sunken into the floor and a jack molded alongside.
Taillights are an authentic clear red with chrome trim on the outer and inner rings, and the Skyline features a GT-R logo on the blacked out tail along with the keyhole and a Skyline logo too. The rear bumper, like the front, is chrome with imbedded turn signal lamps and two thin exhaust tips jut out below the bumper. On the trunk’s lip is a body-colored spoiler.
Tires are labeled as Bridgestone Radials with sizing number, all in a flat black on the tires, so you’ll need a lighted magnifying glass to properly read those, if you care to.
Chrome trims all the windows and door releases, which are flat on the doors, and the door trim along the rocker panels also feature a chrome strip.
Inside is a black interior with deeply ribbed bucket seats up front and a bench in back while the dash is silver-faced with accurately detailed gauges. The steering wheel is a black three-spoke sport model with silver spokes. A park brake handle is found on the console just behind the tall shift lever with what looks like a wooden ball shift knob.
The door panels are somewhat shiny black with a textured panel midlevel, plus a chrome trim strip, door release and window crank.
Again, a sumptuously detailed, and rare, model from Autoart.