Tag Archives: 1:18 scale die-cast

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible

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.

This was the original plastic Mattel Barbie Bel Air.

 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.

The Model

               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.

Final Word  

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!

How about this hot rod (Collete’s Z car) in 1:18 scale?

Vital Stats: 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AWSS135
MSRP: $131.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

Diecast: 1956 Ford F-100 pickup

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 History

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.

A hooded instrument panel was new to trucks in 1956.

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.

The Model

               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 tailgate notches in place or will fold straight down.

               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

Link: Autoworldstore.com

Diecast: Bugatti Chiron Sport

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!

The History

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!

Doors open and the carbon-fiber-look engine cover is easily removed.

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.

The Model

               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.

These tiny velises, with Chiron logos, easily fit in the frunk.

               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.

The wing can be deployed and check out the quad exhausts and cool lights too!

               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.

Love that you can see the blue header covers even with the engine cover in place.

               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.

Vital Stats: Bugatti Chiron Sport

Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: 70997
MSRP: $260

Link: Autoartmodels.com

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1966 Indy 500 winning Lola T90

Replicarz creates sharp 1/18 scale Hill ’66 Indy winner …

Graham Hill, a Formula 1 world champion, was the surprise winner of the 1966 Indianapolis 500, just a year after Jim Clark, with the same credentials, had won.

But it was Clark and his STP crew that were surprised by Hill’s win, thinking they had won.

Now Replicarz expands its 1/18 scale Indy winning car lineup with Hill’s beautiful and surprising Lola T90. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1966 Indy 500 winning Lola T90

Die-cast: CMC’s 1952 Jaguar C-Type

CMC’s detail is drop-dead gorgeous on Jag C-Type …CMC 1952 Jaguar C-Type

Jaguar was dominant at Le Mans in the 1950s as a series of its sports cars were developed into racers. The XK120 started it all after World War II and the long-hooded sleek sports car set the styling and performance standards.

What grew from that was the C-Type racing Jaguar and now CMC produces the 1952 variant in several paint schemes and race trims. Our review sample was the unmarked British Racing Green model in 1/18 scale. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1952 Jaguar C-Type

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1966 Chevrolet Biscayne Coupe

Chevrolet Biscayne was a go-to car for yearsAMM1053_66Biscayne_1stPrepro-9

While Auto World’s new 1/18 scale Chevrolet Biscayne Coupe is a lot snazzier looking in its Aztec Bronze paint scheme, it reminds me of some of the Plain Jane Chevy’s my great uncle  and other relatives used on their Indiana farms.

Those were usually white, tan or black, but no matter the color, the Biscayne was the go-to car for utility, size and comfort back in the mid-1960s, especially in rural areas where value was, and is, highly, well, valued.

Naturally, Auto World delivers a decidedly spruced up version for collectors, who generally prefer a little pizzazz even on mainstream makes and models.AMM1053_66Biscayne_1stPrepro-1

The History

Biscayne came into Chevy’s lineup in 1958 as its entry-level full-size car and lasted until 1972, so the ’66 model was roughly halfway in its shelf life, and was the car’s third generation. Biscayne replaced the Chevy 210 and featured little chrome trim inside or out, while the Bel Air was a step up and Impala was next up the totem. Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World’s 1966 Chevrolet Biscayne Coupe

Die-cast: Auto World 1967 Chevelle SS Convertible

Auto World flexes its muscle with drop-top Chevelle SS AMM1048_67Chevelle_1stPrepro-9

Chevrolet was in the sales driver’s seat in the 1960s as it churned out hit after hit as we were all busy seeing the U.S.A. in our Chevrolet.

But even then its cars were growing in size and stature so quickly that by 1964 Chevy realized it needed a more moderate sized model to compete with Ford’s Fairlane. Chevelle was Chevy’s answer, and it too was a resounding success.

Not only was Chevelle more modest in dimensions, it handled better and when Chevy started souping it up, quickly became one of the earliest muscle cars.

AMM1048_67Chevelle_1stPrepro-12The past few years Auto World has created a variety of Chevelles due to their popularity, but now goes back to the first generation, built for model years 1964-’68. Again, Auto World creates a well-detailed 1:18 scale model at an attractive price, making this offering especially appealing to a wide audience of muscle car fans.

The Model: Auto World’s review model is the Tuxedo Black convertible version of the 1967 Chevelle SS, honoring the 50th anniversary of the first 396 Chevy V8. Can it really be that long? Continue reading Die-cast: Auto World 1967 Chevelle SS Convertible

Die-cast: Autoart Lamborghini Countach

WOW … Autoart’s Countach an eyeful of detaillambo1

It’s hard not to be wowed by most Autoart Signature Series models, this is diecast near its peak. And there’s a lot of wow factor with a bright orange Lamborghini Countach LP400. You may need sunglasses to examine it up close.

Countach was the first Lambo to go full bore with the wedge shape and sharp angles front to rear. It was launched at the 1971 Geneva Auto Show and praised for breaking through the styling envelope and taking the wedge shape to an extreme.

lambo6Some folks consider Countach the first true supercar and it’s hard to argue that, at least from a styling standpoint. This broke all the rules and norms.

Performance was no slouch either. The real car got its power from a monster mid-engine V-12 that made 375 horses, considerable for the time and with all the body panels made of aluminum this had a great power to weight ratio. Under that lightweight body was a space-frame made from curved 40mm tubular steel for strength too. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Lamborghini Countach

Die-cast: AutoArt’s McQueen Porsche Speedster

AutoArt nails McQueen’s racy Porsche 356 Speedster

If you’re old enough to remember the chase scene in “Bullitt” you’ll likely appreciate AutoArt’s fastidious recreation of any of Steve McQueen’s cars, including his 356 Porsche Speedster.

Love the taped up headlights!
Love the taped up headlights!

McQueen was a movie star first, then a racer of some note in the sports car world. Two of his movies, “Bullitt” and “LeMans” particularly highlighted his car handling abilities. Autoart already recreated that Bullitt Mustang and McQueen’s rare Jaguars XK-SS. Now it delivers a glossy black Porsche 356 Speedster, with a white No. 71 on the doors and hood, just as McQueen raced it (see photo below, right).
The car’s shape and simplicity are well modeled with perfect proportions and fine detail. For instance the headlights are taped as the car was raced, plus there are chromed screens by the tiny bulbous running lights up front. Autoart also did a superb job with the chrome work on the Porsche, including chrome-ringed taillights and thin dual exhausts, along with chrome trim along the Speedster’s sides, top and bottom. Even the chrome door handles are realistic as are the wipers and a tiny round windshield-mounted mirror. Continue reading Die-cast: AutoArt’s McQueen Porsche Speedster