Finally a model of the Volvo Coupe that became Polestar 1 …
For much of its modern history Volvo has been the maker of boxy utilitarian vehicles known for their safety. Sexy was as foreign to its styling department as polkas are to Shakira.
But even a dowdy car company like Volvo can change and by 2013 it had committed to more elegant, and some might say, moderately sexy design. Hence the Volvo Concept Coupe, one of three show cars that set Volvo’s styling tone for the future.
Seems like just yesterday it was 1971 and I was about to turn 16 and snag my driver’s license. My Uncle Wink, a car nut like me, was happy to help me learn to drive a stick, and believe it or not, he taught me on his rocket-fast 1968 Camaro, a pale yellow with the black nose stripe. I’ve loved Camaros ever since.
We spent many evenings in the gravel, yep, gravel parking lot of Butler University’s Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Drop the clutch. Spin the tires. Throw some gravel. Uncle Wink would look a bit concerned, but ultimately laugh. I eventually got it right.
Now Autoart gets it very right with its latest 1/18 version of the newest rocket-like Camaro ZL1 and this time in a much brighter yellow than my uncle’s car. You can’t ignore this retina scorcher, and Autoart also rolls out a jazzy red, and bright blue model, along with more sedate white and black editions. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1→
Auto World steps back in time to create a real Duesy …
Growing up in Indianapolis, the early auto world’s hub and home to the Indy 500, I was aware that the Duesenberg name was a big deal.
Even though the company that brothers Augie and Fred Duesenberg had built to fame had already been gone for 20 years or so, the make remained famous in Indiana. As a youngster I saw Duesenbergs at local car shows and I was well aware Duesenberg racers had won the 1922, ’24, ’25 and ’27 Indy 500s.
But long-term it was the luxury and performance of the Duesy road cars that stuck with folks. These were the legitimate supercars of their day, and none more so than the SSJ Speedster that Auto World has turned its considerable skills to reproducing in a high-value 1/18-scale offering. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoworld 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster→
Subie’s small Baja pickup looks great in 1/18 scale …
Leading sometimes is a lonely game. Just ask Subaru.
Its Baja, a 4-door compact pickup based on a car platform was one of the first of its kind and can easily be seen in today’s multitude of such pickups. But it was not a sales success, selling just 30,000 units in three years.
But Baja was a leader, make no mistake about that, and DNA Collectibles loves oddball and original designs so has created a sharp 1/18 scale resin die-cast Baja that certainly is a looker.
Baja sprung from the ST-X concept vehicle with its more radical off-roading look, as if it were to run in the Baja 1000 cross-country race. Tamed down, but still sporty looking, Subaru made the Baja from 2002 to 2006 in its Lafayette, Ind., plant. Bajas were based on the popular Legacy/Outback platform and marketed as 2003 through 2006 models.
Baja followed the 2-door Brat that Subaru sold successfully from 1978 to 1994. Brat too was a compact pickup with some styling flair. But as we all know, Americans prefer more room for all their stuff. So Baja with its four doors, second row seat and handsomely lined pickup bed and functional roof rack seemed to fit that bill.
It featured Subaru’s trusted 2.5-liter Boxer 4-cylinder engine with a turbo version coming in year two. Plus Baja was made more useful for hauling with its Switchback system where the second row seat folded down and a panel behind it opened to the bed, allowing for longer items to be carried. To add more strength to the bed there also were two chrome handles or supports that extended from the roof to the bed’s sides. Knowing we love all things sporty, Subaru marketed those handles as “Sports Bars,” which now has a totally separate meaning.
The pickup also had four tie-downs, two bed lights, roof rails and crossbars, and a snazzy system that allowed the license plate holder to fold perpendicular to the tailgate so it could be seen if the truck was driving with the tailgate lowered. Clever!
DNA’s model replicates the original bicolor launch version which was bright yellow with silver stone metallic lower body cladding, all beautifully painted.
Other standout features include the black roof rails and small sunroof just in front of the rack’s forward bar. A tiny black antenna sits next to the rails and is in a retracted position. All windows appear slightly tinted and edged in black.
In front is a chrome-trimmed grille opening with photo-etched metal and black backing and the Subaru logo at the grille’s center. Headlights are wonderfully rendered showing four different lenses and lights while below the bumper are two giant running lights with slight grille work covering the lenses for protection.
Baja’s tail features a well detailed flat black lined cargo bed, the two chrome Sport Bars and dual overhead cargo lamp. Taillights are sharply detailed too and the license area is nicely shaped indicating it indeed could have been repositioned when the tailgate was down. Would be cool if the model allowed that tailgate to drop, or the doors to open.
Subaru, Baja and AWD labels are here in photo-etched form too.
Underneath you see the Baja labeled rear wheel mud flaps and a chrome muffler and tailpipe that look a little too shiny for my taste. I think a matte silver finish would have looked more realistic.
Tires are black sidewall and treaded, but with no branding and the wheels are matte gray five-spokers with large plain discs behind them with calipers.
Inside, well, that’s not extremely easy to see because all the windows are posed in the up position. Seats and dash are bicolor gray and black, which looks sporty and is best viewed through the windshield and from overhead. There you’ll see the gated shifter on the console, the gray and black steering wheel and gauge faces on the instrument cluster and the dash’s stack.
Hard to see much else, but DNA says there are seat belts and radio buttons there too. I wish the side windows at least could have been clear or the driver’s window removed so the interior could be viewed more easily.
As is though the Baja looks great and would stand out in any model display. And it now comes in a fully windowed box that would make it easy to display as purchased.
Coming up, DNA has just added the Volvo P1800 in red and a Saab 9-4x. It’s just starting to take pre-orders for its Saab 9-5 NG Aero.
Vital Stats: Subaru Baja
Maker: DNA Collectibles Scale: 1/18 Stock No.: DNA000050 MSRP: $139.99
Mercedes AMG GT3 in 1/18 scale; be still my beating heart …
Mercedes-Benz and motorsports have a long partnership, mostly stellar, with oodles of success. Take Team Mercedes’ six straight Formula 1 titles as the most recent mark of excellence.
Yet its sports cars have been champions too through the years, a prime example was Sterling Moss’s win of Italy’s famous Mille Miglia in 1955 in a record time that will never be broken. OK, they don’t run the race anymore for safety reasons, but still! Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s 2019 Mercedes AMG GT3→
If you’ve never heard of a Vector M12, or Vector, or maybe remember hearing of Vector but suspected it was long gone, well, you’re sort of right. Let’s just say Vector, like many supercar manufacturers through the years, has had an interesting history.
But god love ‘em, BoS (Best of Show Models) took on the project of creating a 1/18 scale Vector M12 from the late 1990s. And honestly, it’s a stunner! Think longer Lamborghini! This is one of 300 models of this limited edition Vector in a handsome gold. A red version also is available. Both are sealed body models.
About 6 months ago we introduced you to DNA Collectibles, a new Swiss company that had just released its first batch of 1/18 scale sealed body resin cars. That one was a sexy Audi R8 LMX, but its latest is this handsome dark blue 2001 Volkswagen Passat W8, something you might actually have seen in a suburban driveway sometime.
As a refresher, DNA was started by four friends who worked at another firm creating die-cast models, but when that firm closed they struck out on their own to make the cars they loved into die-cast models. Their goal was to release a couple cars a month, the first in mid-2018. Now more than 20 are available, with emphasis on VW, Volvo, Saab and Subaru. All the cars are cast in China. Continue reading Die-cast: DNA Collectibles’ VW Passat W8→
Britain’s Aston Martin brand stirs images of James Bond deploying a bulletproof screen behind his DB5, spraying bullets from the machine guns in its running lights, squirting oil on the road to wreck the evildoers following him or ejecting said henchmen through the passenger’s side roof.
It also stirs thoughts of high speed and equally high prices. Well, Autoart’s new Aston Martin Vulcan lives up to those later images, as would any original Aston. This one is 1/18 scale though and oozing with detail that helps justify its $220 price tag. But that’s nothing compared with the 1/1 scale’s $2.3 million suggested retail sticker. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Aston Martin Vulcan→
Auto World’s pretty Shelby celebrates the BOSS 302 …
Auto World continues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BOSS engine that was launched in 1969, this time with a 1/18 scale die-cast model of the muscular 1969 Shelby GT-350.
This one comes in a medium metallic blue (Acapulco blue) with black side and hood racing stripes, and like all of Auto World’s American Muscle and similar releases, the doors and hood open while the front wheels also are steerable. Of course, there’s a replica Boss 302 under the hood in this one. Continue reading Auto World’s 1969 Shelby GT-350 pilot car→