Tag Archives: 1:43 die-cast

Die-cast: GP Replicas Ferrari 312 B3

Lauda’s 1974 F1 car a spectacular 1:43 model …

Ferrari’s Formula 1 cars of the 1960s and 1970s were beautiful and less complex looking than today’s multi-winged wonders that seem to have stretched to limousine proportions.

Niki Lauda’s sassy Ferrari 312 B3 of 1974 is a standout example of this with a simple solid nose wing and another on the tail. The fact both were chromed to go with the blazing red bodywork made them all the more attractive and exciting.

I landed a GP Replicas 1:43 scale version and was pleasantly surprised at the detail for basically $70. Also, this was the best packed die-cast car I’ve ever received with a multi-layer box within a box. See the photos below!

The History

Lauda, the three-time World Champ from Austria, needs no introduction. He was an F1 master that took Ferrari to new heights in the 1970s, was almost killed in a 1976 crash, and continued on for years after his miraculous recovery. Winning an F1 title with Ferrari (his second) and later for McLaren.

Sharp case and label on the black base here.

But in 1974 he and Clay Regazzoni, a talented Swiss driver, scored three wins with the B3 version of the stout 312 racer, Lauda winning twice. In fact, the duo set fastest qualifying laps in 10 of the F1 races that season, outpacing their Lotus and McLaren counterparts. Ultimately Lauda finished fourth in the standings and Regazzoni second due to more consistent finishes and fewer DNFs.

Yet the B3-74 and its 490-horsepower flat 12-cylinder engine were not as dependable as Ferrari had hoped, allowing Ferrari to finish only second in the F1 constructors championship. So the B3 was reworked as Ferrari mastered the aerodynamics of the time and morphed into the stellar 312T that won the F1 title with Lauda at the wheel in 1975. The 312T debuted in the third race that season.

The Model

               I like everything about this model starting with that stout packaging to ensure it arrives in one piece, a real plus as sometimes wings, wheels or windscreens are knocked loose in transit.

               The B3’s body shape and Ferrari Red paint job are stellar. Its wings are well-shaped and the chrome finish is fine as are all the decals/logos, mainly Goodyear and Agip at the time as cars weren’t rolling billboards just yet.

Check out the yellow air ducts for the front brakes!

               Front and rear suspensions look realistic and there are yellow brake air ducts in front of the front axles, a particularly nice touch. Goodyear slicks are well labeled and the racing wheels are matte gold.

               Beyond the suspension detail is the snazzy looking engine bay with battery, low tailpipes and again brake air ducts in the exposed engine area beyond the car’s body. The Ferrari’s white wing strut looks substantial too and there’s a rear red light embedded in that, used during rainy races and on warmup laps to alert drivers of the car ahead. There’s even some wiring on the engine, pretty rare in this scale.

               Cool too are the silver screens over the rear radiator ducts, the tall air intake behind the cockpit and a delicate windscreen that blends smoothly into the cockpit’s sides. Niki Lauda’s name is in white script below the cockpit, which is black and includes a steering wheel and realistic looking blue shoulder and lap belts.

               For the record, the numbers are black on white rounded-corner squares and of course the No. 12 that Lauda carried.

               The car rests in a nice acrylic case that features a black base with a nameplate featuring the car’s make and Lauda’s name. This is a limited edition, just 500 being made.      

And this just in. I’ve heard from a large retailer that the Ferrari models from GP Replicas were not licensed properly with Ferrari for the U.S. market and that is costing some retailers money for having sold them. So, it appears these may appear mostly on the overseas digital market sites. Too bad, as this is one of the finest 1:43 scale F1 cars I’ve seen.

My advice, stick with Spark and Ixo brands for good quality 1:43 scale racing models. Or Replicarz is strong on vintage Indycars and Greenlight for current year Indycars.

Blue belts are the highlight of the cockpit.

Vital Stats: 1974 Ferrari 312 B3-74 (Niki Lauda)

Maker: GP Replicas
Scale: 1/43
Stock No.: GP-43-01A
MSRP: $70-110 (various websites)

Check out the boxes the car is packed in for protection. Pretty impressive!

Die-cast: NEO 1970 Pontiac GTO, The Judge

The Judge was Pontiac’s ultimate torque master …

By 1970 the muscle car craze had reached its peak and the Big 3 were mining niches in the muscle car vain with special models to maximize revenue These niche muscle machines were aimed directly at the most extreme torque-loving buyers.

Into this world came Pontiac’s 1970 GTO Judge for the 1970 model year offering a choice of two 400-cid V8s ready to grind the tires off this performance-based Pontiac. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO 1970 Pontiac GTO, The Judge

NEO’s 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Hardtop

Oldsmobile 98 was a land yacht, but in 1:43 scale it’s just right …NEO's 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Hardtop, Cadillac, 1:43 scale

Cars used to be boats, as in they were so long that some folks called them land yachts.

Case in point, the 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Hardtop … size, etc. and riding on a monster 126.3-inch wheelbase. That’s just a bit shy of today’s Chevrolet Suburban. No wonder the 5 kids fit so well in the back seat and the trunk carried luggage for a family of seven or eight.

NEO recreates the lengthy Ninety-Eight in all its chrome-trimmed glory in 1/43 scale and for a modest price, considering the inflation in small collector car prices the last couple years.

The History1959 Olds, Oldsmobile, 98, Ninety Eight, Buick, Cadillac

The Ninety-Eight was Oldsmobile’s largest, and finest car, sharing its looks with the next model down, the Eighty Eight. Olds had four models in its Ninety Eight line-up, but the hardtop (meaning no B-pillar) was the looker of the bunch. All were related to other top GM models, the Cadillac Eldorado, Sixty Special, Deville and Series 62, plus Buick’s big boy, the Electra.

The Olds models featured power air scoop brakes, Jetaway Hydramatic transmission, power steering, a Safety spectrum speedometer, rocker panel moldings, and clock. Power came from a 394 cu.in. 6.5-liter, Rocket V8. You gotta love any engine called a Rocket V8! Continue reading NEO’s 1959 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Hardtop

Die-cast: BoS-Models’ Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept

Corvette Corvair Concept sharp car at low costDSCF0143

Early Corvettes were stylish sports cars, not the big fire-breathing muscle rods they became by the 1970s and that they continue as today.

So a fastback model in 1954 would have been cooler than even Ford’s Thunderbird and shows General Motors had the right idea, if only in concept form. Funny too, they named it the Corvette Corvair, joining two names that Chevrolet would ultimately use.

Now BoS-Models has created a high-value 1:43 of this unusual concept as it first appeared in a bright Ruby Red paint scheme. And while I don’t usually dwell on price here, I’ve got to mention it’s just $38.95 and looks fabulous in its acrylic case.

The History

First, an explanation of the concept car that made its debut at the 1954 GM Motorama, a show in New York City. Chevrolet used the front-end of its new Corvette, but made it into a fastback coupe by grafting a sloping roof onto the sporty Vette. The tail here reflects the popular aircraft styling of the mid- to late-1950s. Continue reading Die-cast: BoS-Models’ Chevrolet Corvette Corvair Concept

Die-cast: 1959 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Convertible

NEO’s ‘Forward Look’ Dodge Lancer is Fin-tasticDSCF0133

I admit to having a soft spot in my car styling heart for the “Forward Look” Chrysler and Dodge models created by Virgil Exner in the late 1950s and early ‘60s.

These big-finned beauties featured dramatic taillights and oodles of chrome trim on their fronts, sides and backs. My Uncle Paul had a white 1959 Chrysler 300 that barely fit in his garage with fins taller than me.

So I’m a big fan of NEO’s 1:43 scale Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Convertible and its beautiful red and white paint scheme.

The History

Dodge offered the Royal and Custom Royal from 1955-59 and the NEO model depicts the top-level Custom Royal in its heyday and final year, featuring dual jet exhaust taillights under each chrome-laden fin. The convertible featured a “Wedge” big-block V8 that used a wedge-shaped combustion chamber along with 383 cubic inches of displacement. The serious performance buyers snagged Dodge’s Super D-500 V8 overhead valve engine, a $415 option, with a massive 345 horsepower.DSCF0135

Royals and Custom Royals were available in hardtop, sedan, convertible and station wagon body styles and a base four-door listed at $2,934 in 1959. The premium Custom Royal convertible sold for $3,422 and 984 were sold that model year. Chrysler touted the use of front torsion bars and its mighty engines, plus push-button automatic transmissions. For 1959 there was an elliptical steering wheel and swivel front bucket seats too. Continue reading Die-cast: 1959 Dodge Custom Royal Lancer Convertible

Die-cast: Autoart Lamborghini Aventador J

Small roofless Aventador looks greatlambo1

Proving that good things come in small packages I present the Lamborghini Aventador J in 1/43 scale by Autoart. This is one beautiful model, and comes at well less than you might expect to pay for a fine diecast car in this scale.

The History

The edgy Aventador coupe was unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show and just a year later Lamborghini revealed the J, a roofless model with no windshield, just tiny windscreens as you’d expect on a racer.lambo3

Reportedly Lambo’s CEO Stephan Winkelmann asked his design crew to create “something special” for the Geneva show, but just 6 weeks before the prestigious car show. Talk about deadlines!

The racer wanna-be uses Aventador’s 6.5-liter V12 engine that creates 700 horsepower and links that to a 7-speed tranny. The car, which rides on a carbon fiber monocoque, shuns goodies like a radio and air conditioning to save weight and is said to tip the scales at just 3,472 lbs.

Its only carryovers from the Aventador are the hood, front and rear fenders and headlights. Reportedly this one-off concept car was sold for $2.8 million before it even hit the Geneva show floor. For reference, the standard (as if) goes for roughly $400 grand. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Lamborghini Aventador J

Die-cast: Automodello 1930 Duesenberg J Murphy Torpedo

Duesenberg J Murphy Torpedo was fast, beautifulduesy4

Growing up in Indiana I learned that Duesenbergs were fast and beautiful, and there wasn’t much more to learn.

That was, until I found out there were many varieties due to various coachbuilders creating the bodywork on the 1920s and 30s models. Now Automodello goes and creates one of the all-time most beautiful Duesys ever, the J with Murphy-bodied Torpedo styling. This one is in 1:43 scale, which makes it all that more remarkable for its exterior detail.

The History

The first Model J was unveiled at the 1928 New York Auto Show, just a year before the Great Depression. That alone tells you what the likelihood of success was for the model. Duesenberg, run by two brothers in Indianapolis, had gained worldwide acclaim for mechanical excellence by winning the Indianapolis 500 several times and the 1921 French Grand Prix. Duesenberg was the first American car to win a GP, the second being Dan Gurney’s Eagle in 1967. They are still the only two.

Looks even better with the roof off!
Looks even better with the roof off!

But E.L. Cord bought Duesenberg in 1926 and demanded large luxury cars that he could sell to the nation’s elite, folks like Clark Gable, Greta Garbo and James Cagney. Fred Duesenberg responded with exquisite cars with ladder frames and six cross members to restrict vibration, plus an automatically lubricating chassis. Its heart was a 32-valve, double overhead cam, 6.9-liter straight-eight engine creating 265 horsepower and a world-beating 120 mph top speed. Continue reading Die-cast: Automodello 1930 Duesenberg J Murphy Torpedo

Die-cast: Automodello 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria

This gorgeous dark blue model is the rarer Tribute Edition.
This gorgeous dark blue model is the rarer Tribute Edition from Automodello.

Automodello creates stunning 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible

Packard was a big deal prior to World War II, a player, one of the top makes in this country and recognized overseas for its quality and luxury.

Even in 1934 when the Depression was at full song, Packard was turning out fancy machines for the upper crust and its Twelve, named after its impressive 12-cylinder engines, was top-shelf.

Automodello likes Packards, this being its second Twelve release in the last two years. The former 1:43 model was the 1938 Twelve Victoria convertible, while this is the stately ’34 Twelve Victoria, with body designed by Raymond Dietrich. As with many Automodello models, there are three versions.

The History

Dietrich worked for many car companies over his career, including Lincoln, Studebaker, Franklin and Erskine. He co-founded LeBaron and was Chrysler’s first design director. Side note, he also designed the famous Gibson Firebird guitar in the 1960s. Continue reading Die-cast: Automodello 1934 Packard Twelve Convertible Victoria

Die-cast: TSM 1:43 1967 Chevrolet Impala Coupe

TSM nails Chevrolet Impala with crisply executed body

Growing up in Indianapolis our neighbors across the street bought a new Chevy every two years, and yes, there was a bit of “bowtie” envy on our side of the street.impala

We had a green 1955 Chevy 210, a plain Jane Chevy. The neighbors always had Impalas, including a white 1967 with its sloping rear window that blended beautifully into the long trunk, sort of a fastback look. The car had excellent lines, especially for a big car, but in subsequent years Chevy ruined its looks.

A lot of other folks liked the Impala Coupe’s looks at the time, and now TSM mines that market with its crisply executed Impala Coupe, this one in “Marina Blue,” a medium metallic blue, and 1:43 scale, so a perfect fit for your display shelf.

The History

Chevy redesigned its long lean Impala for 1967 to enhance what was then called Coke-bottle styling. I never saw it that way, but there was a certain streamlining to the sport coupe’s profile, something that made it more than just another big car, and not as boxy as the Fords of the era. Continue reading Die-cast: TSM 1:43 1967 Chevrolet Impala Coupe

Die-cast: 1958 Ford Edsel Citation

 

Spark recreates iconic 1958 Edsel in 1:43 scale

Edsel got a bad rap as far as I’m concerned. Heck, I wish they still made them.edsel

As a kid I thought Edsels were cool. I loved the big horse collar grille, the pair of twin headlights and those slim cat-eye taillights. This was styling extreme to the max in an age of styling extreme. It was an age where giant tail fins and portholes in the sides of cars were welcome.
Who wouldn’t like this in your face design from Ford?

Well, apparently nearly everyone, as the Edsel lineup fell flat on its crankcase and was discontinued just a few years later. But styling fashionistas, those of us who appreciate styling daring do, can still get our fix via Spark’s new 1:43 scale Edsel Citation Hard Top Coupe.

Spark recreates the 1958 model in black with a white roof, and the two-tone paint job just makes this all the more attractive because it reflects the fun and style trends of 1950s autos.

The model:

Spark is no newcomer to 1:43 cars, it offers a variety from standard street cars to race cars of all ilk. Here’s what I like about this one. Continue reading Die-cast: 1958 Ford Edsel Citation