Tag Archives: 1/43 scale

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1970s Indy Eagles

Indy 500 Eagles continue to fly, multiply at Replicarz  …Replicarz 1975 Indy 500 Eagle

Dan Gurney remains one of the biggest names in open-wheel racing. His Eagle race cars dominated the Indianapolis 500 and Indycar circuit in the late 1960s through much of the 1970s, but really set the establishment on its ear starting in 1972.

That’s when Bobby Unser debuted the new Eagle with its giant rear spoiler and upped the speed ante to nearly 200 mph by putting his Olsonite Eagle on the pole at 195.8 mph, 3 mph faster than Peter Revson’s McLaren.

Replicarz, which previously released the 1973 STP Team’s Eagles of winner Gordon Johncock and teammate Swede Savage in 1/18 scale, now delivers three new Eagles in 1/43 scale. Back is the Johncock car, with just 200 being made, along with limited runs of 300 for both Unser’s white 1972 pole car and  1975 Indy winner, the blue Jorgensen Eagle..

The History

Bobby Unser won Indy in 1968 in a Gurney Eagle, while Gurney himself was second. Gurney would place second and third the next two years, then retire. Yet his Eagles, made by All-American Racers in Santa Ana, Calif., soared. They won 51 Indycar races.Replicarz 1972 Indy 500 Eagle

The Olsonite Eagle that Bobby Unser put on the pole in 1972 was the tipping point toward Eagles being the top Indycar of the time. That year it led the first 30 laps of the race before an ignition rotor failed sidelining Unser. He finished 30th. But by the next May, 21 of Indy’s 33 starters drove Eagles, including the winner, Johncock.

A McLaren, the other major player at the time, won the following year when 19 Eagles made the field, but Unser was back in the winner’s circle in 1975 with his blue No. 48. Eagles made up roughly half the Indy field. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1970s Indy Eagles

Die-cast: NEO’s Willys Jeep Station Wagon

Willys Jeep Wagon looks sharp in Michigan State Police  trim … NEO's Willys Jeep Station Wagon

Everyone likes the old Jeeps, the original Willys models that looked like World War II era army Jeeps, all boxy and plain and ready to take on any rugged terrain that muddied their way.

Now NEO delivers a handsome 1/43 scale navy blue Michigan State Police version of the Willys Jeep Station Wagon. It’s fun and just peculiar enough to be a real conversation starter on any model shelf.

The History

After World War II the Jeep moniker landed with Willys-Overland in Toledo, Ohio. It enlisted Milwaukee industrial designer Brooks Stevens to design a Jeep Station Wagon. This was the first all-steel station wagon made for the mass market and it was a hit, with more than 300,000 being made from 1946 through 1965. When the wagon went into production many other automakers’ station wagon bodies were still made of wood.

Since Willys didn’t have the means to make its own bodies, the Jeep wagon’s bodies were created by steel fabricating companies and attached to the chassis. Many of these same companies were making large metal household appliances when not stamping out Jeep bodies. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s Willys Jeep Station Wagon

Die-cast: NEO 1966 Pontiac GTO Convertible

Pontiac GTO Convertible = crisp, muscular model …

1966 Pontiac GTO
Great color scheme for a GTO!

Those of us of a certain age used to worship (or close to it) muscle cars in the 1960s, and many credit Pontiac with launching the idea of a muscular mid-size car that the masses could afford.

Pontiac’s first was the 1964 Tempest with the GTO package ($295) that added a 389 cu.in. V8 that delivered 325 horsepower with a 4-barrel carb.  Otherwise the hardtop and convertible Tempests were typical family cars.

Certainly there are a fair number of die-cast models of GTOs these days, but NEO has added the 1966 Convertible version to its growing America car collection in 1/43 scale. Our review model came from the good folks at American-Excellence. As with other NEO models in this scale, this one is expertly executed.

The History

In the mid-1960s there were a lot of hardtops and convertibles, not so much these days. But in 1966 Pontiac wisely made the GTO a separate model from the Tempest and was restyled to include a kicked-up rear fender line.1966 Pontiac GTO1966 Pontiac GTO

The car rode on a 115-inch wheelbase and was just over 206 inches long. Its lines accentuated its length to give it a lean yet muscular look that matched its performance persona.  It still packed the powerful V8 engine and a Ram Air package was available too. The hood scoop helped emphasize the car’s power. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO 1966 Pontiac GTO Convertible

Die-cast: NEO’s 1948 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan

1948 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan a slick family sedan . . .1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

Cars that bridged the gap between pre-war America and post-World War II are an interesting lot, often dowdy and pedestrian of styling. Most consider the 1930s and 1950s as primo styling eras.

But Chevrolet’s hot-selling Fleetline series, starting in 1941 is an exception, particularly its sleek streamlined looking Aerosedan, a two-door family car with a fastback design that looks slick still today.

That’s the 1948 Chevrolet that NEO has produced in 1/43 scale, a somewhat sporty full-size car that GM began cranking out for the 1941 model year, just before converting its car plants to war machinery. And for the 1946-48 model years they cranked up the assembly lines again using the satisfying 1941 design.

 

The History1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

Look at a four-door Fleetline and you’ll quickly see why the two-door Aerosedan and its smooth curves was such a hit. Blah describes the former, but Chevy knew it had a winner with the Aerosedan. In 1948 it sold 211,861 of the cars vs. just 64,217 of the four-door. Of course the baby boom hadn’t quite caught on just yet either.

The car, which was a sub-series of Chevy’s Fleetmaster, featured a Chevy Blue Flame 216 cu.in., inline six engine that created 90 horsepower. That meant the car was no slouch. It could hit nearly 80 mph. The Fleetline rode on a 115-inch wheelbase, about three inches longer than the current Chevy Impala, and was 197 inches long, about four inches shorter than today’s Impala.

Bottom line, it was nothing fancy, but looked good, with good power and was reliable. If you’re a Chevy guy, it also wasn’t a Ford!1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

The Model

NEO’s resin bodied Aerosedan is beautifully shaped and perfectly reflects the smooth lines of the sedan, plus hood, trunk and door seams are all stellar. This tiny Chevy also includes all the chrome trim as seen on the original.

That includes three thin chrome styling strips flaring back from the front wheel well and along the rear fender to the taillights. Bumpers are chrome too and include dual raised guards front and rear. There’s a chrome Chevy hood ornament along with all window trim, including vents and the flat split windshield. Door handles, gas filler cap, headlight bezels, wipers, trunk release and grille are chrome.1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

I like the fine detail of the photo-etched Fleetline logos along the hood’s sides, the script name on the trunk and winged Chevy logo on the nose. Head and taillights are fine too and there’s a yellow Ohio license plate front and rear. Broad whitewall tires treaded tires with large chrome hubcaps put the car on the road. Those caps are the fancy Chevy models with painted red swooshes (sorry Nike, Chevy beat you) and Chevrolet in blue too. Cool!

Inside is a reddish brown dash and door trim that really sets off the gray bench seats in the interior. The dash top doesn’t look as metallic as it might, but the color is nicely mated to the car and the dash face looks authentic, including a giant clock in the glove box door. This was a wind-up clock that would run for a week on one full wind. The speedometer is similarly large and visible, of course the side windows are all up, which does slightly limit your taking a peek inside.1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

NEO creates a fine two-spoke cream steering wheel with horn ring, and the steering column and hub match that reddish brown dash color. Sharp!

A cool addition to the model would be a green translucent sun visor like so many of these have worn over the years to keep the sun from reflecting from what was a metal dash. Maybe on a future model!

The Model: 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

Maker: NEO

Scale: 1/43

Stock No.: 45830

MSRP: $99.95

Link: American-Excellence.com

Die-cast: NEO 1956 Chrysler 300B

NEO creates a sharp Chrysler 300B1956 Chrysler 300B

My uncle had a late 1950s Chrysler 300, a creamy thing that took up his entire garage and sported giant fins. I thought it was wonderfully exotic.

But I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of earlier 300s, which were launched in 1955 as Letter Series cars, beginning with the 300C that was even raced on the NASCAR circuit. Its paint scheme proclaimed it the “world’s fastest stock car.”

NEO moves forward a year from that premier model to create the 1956 Chrysler 300B, yes they went backward in the lettering phase for one year before the ’57 300C appeared with its big yawning front grille. But back to the ’56, which NEO so beautifully produces in 1/43 scale and in a creamy white; this is a handsome car.1956 Chrysler 300B

 

The History

While the ’55 may be the most famous because it kicked off the Letter Series 300s, the 1956 300B seems more stately and elegant to me. Its fins are modest in size and blend well with the car’s profile while the taillights are remeniscent of upscale Lincolns of the day. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO 1956 Chrysler 300B

Automodello’s 2011-2016 Noble M600

Noble M600 supercar looks good in 1/43 scaleAutomodello Noble M600

The Noble M600 may be the fastest car you’ve never heard of, and no wonder in the U.S. market because it’s not readily available here.

Nope, Noble is a British supercar made outside Leiscester, England, where it sells for 200,000 pounds. How much that translates into U.S. dollars after the Brexit vote may require a phone call to your local banker .

But Automodello’s new 1/43 scale version is a modest, considering the original’s price tag, $119.95. And we shouldn’t be surprised that Automodello takes on the Noble for a model as it has been mining models of some of the lesser known makes and rare vintage cars and racers that other die-cast and resin model maker have steered clear of. For the record, this is Automodello’s first model of a currently produced car and away from its vintage lineup.

The History

Noble Automotive was founded in 1999 by Lee Noble who wanted to build his own high-performance mid-engine, rear-drive car. What many of us call a driver’s car.Automodello Noble M600

Continue reading Automodello’s 2011-2016 Noble M600

Die-cast: NEO’s 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Wagon

NEO delivers a humdinger of a Woodie … wagon that is!NEO 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Wagon

World War II was coming fast and the 1941 model year cars would be the last sold to civilians before the U.S. car factories were switched over to assembling airplanes, tanks and other war machines.

So the 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Station Wagon was special in more than just name, it was a reliable people hauler and a spiffy one at that. Chevrolet made roughly a million cars for 1941 and the Special Deluxe was the cream of its wagon crop and made in limited quantities.

Now it’s among NEO’s newest batch of top-flight resin models featuring vintage U.S. autos, several of which we’ve reviewed here. The latest is a black and wood 1941Chevy wagon, the prototypical Woodie of mid-century cars. This one featured white ash and mahogany body work, something that’s a bit hard to fathom for us living in a plastic and composites world today.

The HistoryNEO 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Wagon

The 1941 Chevys were the first Chevys without running boards and also featured headlights built directly into their fenders, increasing their stylishness.

The Deluxe was Chevy’s main trim line from this year until 1952 when the 210 model debuted. The 1941 model had a new grille and updated suspension and rode on a 116-inch wheelbase that was 3 inches longer than the 1940 model, aiding the car’s ride. Power came from Chevy’s “Blue Flame” inline 6 engine that delivered 85 horsepower.  Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1941 Chevrolet Special Deluxe Wagon