In post-war U.S. open wheel racing the Blue Crown Spark Plug Specials were as dominant as the New York Yankees were in baseball for years. The Blue Crowns’ reign was shorter, but everyone knew their name, like Ruth, Guhrig or Dimaggio.
Replicarz recognizes that and ups its assault on historic Indianapolis 500 race winning cars with 1/18 scale models of the Blue Crowns, a nice complement to the beautiful 1/43 scale models it released last year.
As a refresher on the Blue Crowns’ history, consider that Lou Moore had been a successful Indy Car driver in the late 1920s and ‘30s, finishing second in the Memorial Day classic in 1928. His cars won Indy twice prior to World War II and during the war he hooked up with Leo Goosen to create front-drive cars with 270-horse Offenhauser engines that he was convinced would rule Indy. He was right.
They dominated the 1947, ’48 and ’49 races with Mauri Rose winning the first two years with teammate Bill Holland second, and in 1949 Holland turned the tables on Rose, a 3-time winner. Oh, and a third team car with George Connor driving finished third in 1949. Even today’s Roger Penske would be proud. Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s Blue Crown Specials→
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.
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→
1970-71 Al Unser cars coming soon, plus Blue Crown Specials
I recently got a chance to see some pre-production photos of Replicarz’s latest Indy 500 die-cast models, these in 1:43 scale. So thought I’d share them with my die-hard die-cast fans.
Replicarz, the Vermont-based die-cast model distributor has been cranking out beautiful 1:18 scale IndyCar models for several years now and more are on the way. But next out, by late fall to early winter, are the firm’s first 1:43 Indy racers.
Brian Fothergill of Replicarz says the company will offer the 1970 and 1971 Indianapolis 500 winners, both driven by Al Unser, available in 1:43 scale at $89.99. The cars are both PJ Colt designs, the PJ in this case standing for Parnelli Jones, one of the team owners for Unser’s first two Indy wins. Continue reading NEWS: Replicarz plans 1:43 Indy winners→
Phoenix Mint delivers high value 1937 Studebaker ambulance
Not every new diecast vehicle is a muscle car or modern model. The Phoenix Mint reaches back to World War II for its vintage 1937 Studebaker Army Ambulance in 1:43 scale.
Studebaker, an Indiana-based automaker that got its start by making wagons for farmers in the 1850s, was still a thriving company during the war. It had supplied wagons and vehicles to the military for years and its truck lineup was extremely popular in the day. So converting a Coupe Express, that was similar to today’s pickups, or just buying and converting a chassis, engine and cab into useful Army vehicles was easy. Studebaker also made many heavier duty trucks for the military over the years.
For the record, Studebaker merged with Packard in the mid-1950s and made its final car in 1966, at its Canadian plant.
Corgi’s 1:43 F1 Lotus E20 racer offers detail at value price
By Mark Savage
Lotus and its founder Colin Chapman are legendary, especially in Formula 1 racing circles. Chapman perfected the lightweight, fully stressed monocoque chassis and rear-engine design that revolutionized open wheel racing, both F1 and Indy Car, in the 1960s.
Under Chapman’s guidance Lotus won seven world constructors championships in F1 and six world driving championships with the likes of Jim Clark, Graham Hill, Jochen Rindt, Mario Andretti and Emerson Fittipaldi. But after Chapman’s death in 1982 the Lotus team slowly declined and exited F1 in 1994.
But the Lotus name returned to F1 in 2010 and in 2012 the Lotus Renault Team became Lotus F1 Team, carrying the former Team Lotus’ vintage black and gold racing colors that it ran in the 1970s and 1980s when it was backed by tobacco firm John Player. It’s no longer strictly a British team, being owned by Luxembourg-based Genii Capital, a venture capital group. This team started its life as Toleman Motorsports in 1981, with its headquarters in England, but has undergone several re-inventions of itself, along the way picking up backing, and engines, from Renault.
That’s a short history of what brings us to Corgi’s smartly executed 1:43 version of the Lotus E20, raced in 2012 by former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen of Finland. Corgi delivers a beautifully rendered Lotus, and also offers the team car driven by France’s Romain Grosjean in the 2012 season. Continue reading Die-cast: Corgi 2012 Lotus F1 E20→