Tag Archives: Auto World

1962 Pontiac Grand Prix (Fireball Roberts edition)

Auto World’s Ponty celebrates NASCAR’s legendary Fireball ….

There are perfect names and nicknames for race drivers, no doubt adding to their mystique and popularity.

As a kid I had two early favorites, Jim “Herk” (as in Hercules) Hurtubise and Edward Glenn “Fireball” Roberts. Herk was famous at the Indy 500 and Fireball was a legend in stock cars. Sadly, both were badly burned in racing accidents in 1964. Herk survived, Fireball did not.

I was in the stands at the 1963 Yankee 300 at Indianapolis Raceway Park cheering on Fireball, No. 22 in a Holman-Moody Ford, but unfortunately he didn’t finish. A.J. Foyt won in a Plymouth.

So I was stunned the following May when Fireball died a few days after an accident in Charlotte’s World 600 where he spun to miss two other wrecking cars, hit an inside wall and the car erupted into flames. Fire did a lot of damage, but Roberts also was asthmatic and that apparently had weakened his lungs. Still, he seemed such a tough character, it was hard to understand the loss.

The History

Here though Auto World celebrates 1962 when Fireball won the Daytona 500 in a black and gold Pontiac prepared by Smokey Yunick. This is a 1/18 scale version of a ’62 Grand Prix reflecting the same color scheme as Roberts’ car and was one of only about 30 created by Jim Stephens Pontiac of Daytona Beach, one of Fireball’s sponsors.

1962 was Fireball’s year, although he had started racing stock cars in the late 1940s. He always was a winner. How great was he? In a 15-year career he raced in 206 stock car races, and won 33. He finished top 5 in more than half and top 10 in roughly 60%. He won the Daytona pole three times, 1961-63 and was NASCAR’s most popular driver in 1957. Later he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990.

 If you read my DC reviews you may recall Auto World released a snazzy 1961 Pontiac Catalina not long ago, and this 1962 Grand Prix is a looker too, just a bit less sleek than the Catalina. The Grand Prix has a thick, solid C pillar vs. the thin sloping one for the Catalina. Also, the chrome fender trim protrudes out to the edges of the fender over the lights here, whereas on the Catalina they are smaller and less pointed.

There are other differences too.

The Model

               For instance, the side trim on the Grand Prix consists of a gold streak indented in the body’s side, whereas on the Catalina this was a raised chrome strip.

               The nose is more interesting here with the dual chrome-trimmed headlights extending out into the body side panels that feature a more rounded, some might say sexier, look up. Plus the center of the hood’s nose is more pointed with chrome trim and the extended portions below the hood feature the gold trim used on the rest of the car, reflecting the look of the Roberts Daytona winner.

               Taillights are totally different on the ’62, being sort of crescent moon shaped and tucked inside wide chrome trim with extensions that frame the horizontal tail trim, again accented with gold lines.

               Engine detail is sharp as one expects on any Auto World car, with twin chrome carbs and headers, plus proper plumbing and hoses and a big battery too. Nifty too that the underside of the car is well detailed so you can see the bottom of the engine and all suspension and exhaust systems, consisting of twin matte silver pipes and mufflers here. Naturally the wheels are steerable.

          Inside the interior is less flashy than the Catalina, with black seats and chrome trim and side hinges, and yes, the front seats will fold forward and the steering wheel turns the front wheels. That wheel has a matte silver hub and horn ring with black grips on the sides, but gold trim top and bottom.

               While the dash is black with matte chrome trim everywhere, including all buttons, there also is Grand Prix spelled out in gold trim on the passenger’s side dash glove box. There’s a white cue ball shifter on the center console with chrome button on top and a giant gauge (looks like a spotlight) at the console’s front, which could be a tach or race speedometer.

               Windows are chrome trimmed, including the vent windows, as are the wiper arms and blade holders. Headlights are clear but etched and taillights are red, naturally. Door handles, bumpers, rocker panel trim and a large driver’s side fender mirror also are chrome.

     Hubcaps are the same design as on the Catalina, but with gold trim around the chrome hubs that have Pontiac Motor Division printed in a ring around the hubs.

               There’s a fun orange and blue license up front that says GR-RRR!, with Royal printed below, while in back the green on white Michigan plate says simply, Fireball.

               One note of warning if you handle your models much before displaying them. Wear a glove here because this black paint scheme is prone to showing finger smudges.

               Pontiac enthusiasts should note too that AW has made both a 1961 and 1962 Pontiac Catalina and they are available through the AW online store, autoworldstore.com. Note too that this was an early release model for review and it’s not available on the AW site just yet, but will be shortly.

               One final note on Fireball. His nickname didn’t come from his racing feats, but from his days as a minor league baseball pitcher. You guessed it, he had a mighty fastball, so was dubbed Fireball.

Vital Stats: 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix (Fireball Roberts edition)

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AM1291/06


MSRP: $119.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

James Bond’s Lotus Esprit S1

Nobody does it better than Auto World for a submarine/car …

Rare, or should I say never, that I have seen a die-cast car that was also a submarine. But now I have.

If you’re hearing a James Bond soundtrack playing in your head right now then you’re ahead of me. The car/sub in question is the Lotus Esprit S1 as seen in the 1977 Bond thriller, The Spy Who Loved Me, with Roger Moore as Bond and Barbara Bach portraying Soviet agent Anya Amasova as they attempted to stop a megalomaniac trying to destroy the world and start a new civilization under the sea. Naturally!

If you saw it, you’ll remember both Bach (Ringo Starr’s wife) and the Lotus, the later shooting into the ocean while being chased by a helicopter (which the car’s rockets shot down). Then the Lotus’s wheels fold up and four props on the back are deployed to instantly turn the Esprit into a sub, not an easy task.

Nor was creating the Bond car in 1/18 scale, but credit Auto World for doing just that and cradling it in a beautifully crafted and designed display box complete with blue plastic packaging to make the Lotus look like it’s diving into the sea.

The History

Let’s start with the movie. This was the tenth Bond thriller and third with Roger Moore portraying secret agent 007. It was a winner at the box office ($185 million in sales) and later Moore called it his favorite. Some consider The Spy Who Loved Me among the best Bond films after Sean Connery departed, and before the current batch.

In any case, the car played a small role, but was memorable because of its high-tech transformation. Beyond Bond’s classic Aston Martin DB5 of earlier movies, this is the car most Bond aficionados recall most often. Its nickname on set was Wet Willie and the car used in the movie’s underwater scenes ultimately was purchased by Elon Musk in 2014.

Lotus is known for creating cars of speed, style, and athletic performance and this one reminds of a Lamborghini Countach, which debuted a year earlier in 1974. And indeed, its designer was Italian, Giorgetto Giugiaro who penned the design after meeting Lotus chief Colin Chapman at a European car show.

The fiberglass-bodied Esprit debuted at the fall 1975 Paris Auto Show and featured a new 160-horsepower I4, which sounds pretty mild now. But the car was famously Lotus light, just about 2,000 pounds, so would do 0-60 mph in 6.8 seconds, no rocket, but lithe and lively. Plus it looks undeniably fast. Top speed was 138 mph.

Just 718 Lotus Esprit S1 models were made from 1976 to 1978, but other versions were produced up until 2004. Esprit replaced the Lotus Europa model.

The Model

               This is a fun one, but is best displayed in its original box in submarine form, as that’s what makes this one special. Besides, it requires patience and nimble fingers to fully convert it into the car, although Auto World provides all the parts. Here’s how that’s accomplished.

               First, you must take off the fins, rear prop structure, and roof hardware, a relatively easy task. However, to dislodge and fold down the four wheels and tires is awkward. It’s ingenious how they are installed, but they are quite stiff to unfold, especially the front wheels. I could only get two to deploy and appear straight upright. The other two folded down, but canted slightly inward making it hard to install the two white plastic pieces meant to complete the car’s bottom for display.

               Three round white stickers are included to cover the holes in the roof that accommodate the chrome roof accessories to replicate the sub’s features. More stickers are available to use for either the sub, or car’s dash gauges and others for front and rear windshield louvers to replicate the sub’s appearance.

The Lotus engine is nicely detailed and easy to see.

               A gray cap snaps on over the matte silver-gray engine under the rear hatch, again to mimic the submarine’s look. Like the real Lotus engine this one is canted to the left, maybe not exactly 45 degrees as in the original car, but there’s a visible lean to it. Detailing is sharp too and I’m leaving off the cover to display the sub as it’s more interesting that way.

               I particularly like the black plastic tail fins and prop covers that hide the chrome props and their black rudders. All props spin too.

               Those side fins look great and are easy to pop out from underneath, if you want to go the car display route. The front and rear twin fins each pop out as a unit with just a little pressure.

               While the headlights don’t rotate up in front the hood can be lifted from the rear to expose a spare tire and the steering housing. Also, a tiny switch under the car/sub can be pressed to release the row of gun barrels on the nose. However, they tend to close quickly once the car/sub is on level ground.

               Everything else looks realistic outside, from amber lower nose lights to red taillights along with proper licensing front and rear. The nose and tail include Lotus badging and Esprit logos are on each of the rear roof pillars beneath the gas caps.

               Doors open to reveal gray bucket seats with red plaid butt pockets and red flocking for carpet. The dash is gray too with black steering wheel and shifter on the console. Naturally this is right-hand drive.

               I like that the chrome door releases are replicated at the bottom of each door and the side windows are open so it’s easy to see inside. Under water you’d want these closed though, right? Windows are all trimmed in black.

               It was fun taking the car/sub apart and configuring it both ways, but I’m sticking with the sub look, as that’s what sets this apart.

So, with apologies to Marvin Hamlisch the theme song’s composer, Carole Bayer Sager its lyricist, and wonderful Carly Simon, its singer, Nobody Does it Better, not in 1/18 scale.

Vital Stats: Lotus Esprit S1, James Bond 007, The Spy Who Loved Me

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AWSS132
MSRP: $149.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

1979 Dodge Warlock II D100 Utiline

Auto World’s latest Warlock not as spooky as its name …

Today it is hard to imagine any vehicle being named Warlock without an entire marketing department being fired and the automaker’s PR staff committed to a mental institution in the aftermath.

But Dodge played loosey-goosey with names and color descriptions throughout the 1970s. Remember Dodge’s purple being labeled Plum Crazy? So when Dodge decided to make factory-custom pickups beginning in late 1976 the Warlock name was chosen.

Auto World bravely jumped into the die-cast pickup market itself a couple years back and the 1977 Warlock was a hit, so now comes a 1:18 scale Warlock II, a 1979 model of the fancified D100 Utiline.

The History

Styling was tweaked for ’79 with a new nose and hood. And inside it was loaded with goodies not standard at the time, like air conditioning, cruise control, a radio and a clock. The Utiline bed with real oak sideboards was an option, as were the wide tires and custom wheels. This model has all of the above.

Originally Warlock was a limited release, sort of a test by Dodge to see if the factory-custom truck idea would fly. That original had gold wheels, gold pin-striping, bucket seats, wide Goodyear tires and oak sideboards and bed flooring.

By 1977 Dodge had moved the Warlock into full production and began offering it in more than just black. As in the earlier AW model, there was dark green now. Other colors were blue, red, and of course, black. All Warlock interiors were black, to keep costs down and builds as simple as possible.

For 1979 the standard engine was a 145-horsepower, two-barrel 318 cu.in. V8. Also available was a four-barrel 360 cu.in. V8 that that made 160 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque. Warlock II was available in 2- or 4-wheel drive and sold through the end of the 1979 model year.

One could argue Dodge started fueling America’s love with fancy pickups, which the Ram continues today.

The Model

               What’s new and different on the 1979 model vs. the earlier 1977? All the changes are up front.

Here’s that new grille and single headlight look for 1979, plus a detailed V8.

By 1979 Dodge had moved to large single headlights and a more streamlined hood with its two panels slightly raised, and of course outlined on the Warlock II with gold pin striping and filigree, which also decorates the front fenders and cab, plus the cab’s roof and the big bulging rear fenders. Even the tailgate features the gold trim along with a gold and black Warlock II nameplate in the tailgate’s center.

Face it, Dodge had figured out how to customize its pickups at the factory and this model reflects that with the sparkling Canyon Red paint scheme that looks deep with a touch of cinnamon tossed it for a bronze tint to this metallic finish.

Yes, the tailgate lowers on the snazzy Auto World Warlock II.

               Warlock’s grille is a massive chrome number, beautifully recreated, plus chrome front and rear bumpers, large side mirrors, wipers, door handles and side steps on this Stepside model. The racy custom Mag wheels also are chromed and there’s a silver gas cap by the step on the driver’s side. A short chrome antenna protrudes from the top of the passenger’s side front fender.

               Just like the earlier 1977 model, this ’79 touts a blue block Mopar V8 under the huge hood that is supported by solid hinges so is easily posed open. There’s a black air filter cover along with big black hose running to the radiator. A white coolant container also is visible along with a white top just over the radiator and a power steering unit protrudes from the firewall.

As with the previous model the bed features textured wood-look plastic panels with red metal seams in the floor and the same wood-look railing on each side of the bed to mimic that of the original truck. This is a little lighter shade (a tinge of yellow) than I’d like, but still features a wood-grained texture. In back that tailgate also can be lowered.

Sharp looking cab here with reflective face gauges for added realism.

Inside, the cab is mostly black, but the door panels include more of that gold pin striping at the top to add some glam while also boxing out the lower portions of the doors to add color in what otherwise would be a dark interior. Just a bench seat as there was no Crew Cab at the time, and the dash looks great with a detailed instrument panel that includes reflective gauge faces to add realism. In addition, the steering wheel features three silver spokes while there are no seatbelts on those black seats.

Rubber tires are treaded and branded as Goodyears and freely roll, plus the front wheels are steerable for posing purposes. As with other AW models, the undercarriage is nicely detailed too, including a spare tire under the bed, a full exhaust system, differential, and detailed front suspension.

I really liked the 1977 Warlock, but this color is so striking and the single headlight grille seems a bit more handsome too. Hey, plus it’s a Warlock!

Vital Stats: 1979 Dodge Warlock II

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AW298
MSRP: $119.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

#Dodge

#Dodge Warlock

#Auto World

1932 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton

Auto World’s 1932 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton

I’m no authority on pre-war classic cars, but most car crazies like me recognize the Cadillac V16 or Sixteen as it was often called.

This was Cadillac’s most powerful and expensive car to date when introduced at the New York Auto Show in January of 1930. Talk about bad timing, the Depression had just begun.

Yet the wealthy and famous still had cash and more than 2,000 V-16 models were ordered in the first six months of production with 2,500 selling that first year. That was an amazing number and even more so in that just 4,076 of the cars were ever made during an 11-year run from 1930 to 1940 when GM stopped production as it ramped up for World War II military production.

Auto World expands its 1:18 scale classic car lineup with a new dark green 1932 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton and it’s an eye-pleaser.

The History

Just 300 of the 1932 models were made as sales began to rapidly fade. Cadillac made only 50 V-16 models a couple of years in the late 1930s.

Originally the bodies were made mostly by Fleetwood Metal Body, but by 1932 Fischer Body had taken over that function for the Harley J. Earl-designed Cadillacs. Earl would later become GM’s design chief and was known for his use of concept cars to introduce radical designs including tail fins. He also was involved in design of the original Corvette.

All orders were custom for the V16 and research says 70 styling codes were used during the car’s production life. The Sport Phaeton was one of those and its styling was sportier as it employed a longer hood and lower roofline, here with a tan top over the green body. Fenders also were more curved and the headlamp shells were streamlined too.

The Phaeton also used a second windshield just in front of the rear seats to distinguish it, this version being the fold-down style known as a dual-cowl design.

For the record, V16s were made in 2- and 4-door convertibles, 2-door coupes and 4-door sedans, town cars and even limousines. Power came from a narrow 45-degree V16 creating what now seems a paltry 165 horsepower, but reportedly the cars could hit at least 116 mph, incredibly fast at the time. Power was smooth from the V16 and said to run so quietly they were hard to hear.

These were massive cars, unsurprisingly, riding on 149 to 154-inch wheelbases, so a couple feet longer than today’s giant pickups and SUVs. Lead sleds too. They weighed between 5,300 and 6,600 pounds.

One 1930 Town Brougham model was listed at $9,200 new. That would be about $149,000 in today’s dollars, probably a bit much for the Depression era and before any silicon chip boom.

The Model

               A beautiful car beautifully reproduced with real rubber tires and a sharp-looking tan plastic roof that looks like canvas and easily snaps off to pose as a convertible.

Big folding hood, long V16 engine under the cowl.

               The body shape and functionality are excellent as always, with both front doors opening and the dual sided hood folding up independently. Under the hood the massive V16 fills the engine bay and features silver headers and exhaust pipes, plus V-shaped chrome bracing to stiffen the car’s front end. There’s also a fan behind the radiator, the front of which is chromed with a handsome V16 logo on its face.

Sharp heron hood ornament on the ’32 Caddy.

Atop the radiator is a chrome Cadillac heron hood ornament to class up the Caddy. That heron was swapped for a goddess style ornament the following year.

               Up front is a banded chrome bumper with two running lights atop that, then the streamlined sealed beam chrome headlights and horns atop the gently rounded front fenders. Turn signal lamps, also chromed rest atop each fender.

A large trunk rests on the luggage rack in back, while two silver exhausts exit below.

               Out back are dual slim but wide chrome exhausts, the chrome banded bumper and chrome trunk holder along with chrome taillights and a chrome trunk handle. A green trunk rests atop the chrome stand.

               A silver trim line runs from the nose around the top of the tail and then around to the other side’s nose and there are chrome door handles and windshield trim, on both shields. I like that the side vent windows move so you can pose them in or out and these too are trimmed in silver paint.

A long engine block and headers are visible beneath the hood.

               Need more flash? Well, there are tall white sidewall tires tucked into the fenders on each side, plus a chrome ring holding them each in place while chrome mirrors are molded into their tops.

               Along each side are black running boards trimmed in silver paint.

               Tires are wide white-sidewalls, treated but not branded and they wrap around spiffy chrome wire wheels with a red V16 logo at the center of each hub. Likewise, the spares showcase the same wire wheels.

Like the V16 logo on the steering wheel hub, while the dash is simply presented.

               AW creates black textured seats to reflect a leathery look in both passenger compartments while the front door trim features the same look, plus chrome door releases.

               The dash is simple with seven round gauges printed on its black face, plus a series of buttons arranged vertically mid-dash. Pedals are far beneath the dash and a tall chrome shift lever rises to next of the gloss black steering wheel, which also features that red Caddy V16 logo.

Adjustable wing windows add a nice touch of detail.

               The undercarriage is complete too with black chassis, suspension parts and differential, plus dual silver exhaust systems.

               Cars were both simpler mechanically, yet more ornate in the 1930s, Depression or not. This 1:18 model is a sterling representation of that chrome-laden era and the elegance of its luxury cars.        

Vital Stats: 1932 Cadillac V16 Sport Phaeton

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AW314
MSRP: $119.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

#Cadillac

#Auto World

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible

Say Yes to Auto World’s latest, a ’57 Chevy from “Dr. No” …

Evil usually is depicted in black, and Dr. No was no exception. The James Bond villain’s car which was intended to carry Bond to his certain death was a black 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible, although with a spiffy red and silver interior.

Spoiler alert: It didn’t happen, Bond prevailed!

Hard as it is to imagine, 60 years have passed since “Dr. No”, the first Bond thriller, hit the movie theaters and Sean Connery would forever be James Bond. Now Auto World marks the anniversary with a handsome 1:18 scale model replicating the first cool car that Bond wheeled in the lengthy cinematic series.

This swanky black ’57 Chevy with its entertainingly decorated box featuring a “Dr. No” movie poster comes just a few months after AW turned out a much perkier Barbie version of the Bel Air convertible. That one was baby blue with pink interior and a twin that was just the opposite, pink with blue interior.

This one may fit less shockingly into your 1950s car collection of which more than a few are likely AW releases from the past as the firm specializes in 1950s-1970s muscle cars along with other vintage automotive icons. The same quality and attention to detail is here and this version, like the Barbie edition, is being marketed under AW’s Silver Screen Machines category.

Here’s what you get.

The Model

               There is plenty of functionality with opening doors, hood and steerable front wheels, while the trunk is sealed. Like other AW models, the undercarriage is nicely detailed (including dual exhausts), so posing it on a mirrored base would make sense.

               As you’d expect with a 1957 car there’s enough chrome to make a medieval knight envious. That starts with the massive front and rear bumpers, plus the head and taillight surrounds, rocker panel trim, the side accent line trim and fins, plus door handles, wiper arms and windshield frame. Even the two hood sights are chromed, as are the vent window frames.

               Hub caps are chrome with chrome center wheel nuts featuring red centers and tiny Chevy bowtie logos. Then there are those giant protruding bumper guards on the front that look like, well, you know. These are black-tipped (that’s tip my friends), as they were on the original ’57 Chevys.

               Both the hood and trunk feature copper-colored chevrons (a long-time Chevy emblem) and the Bel-Air script on the fins’ side trim also is copper. While the top of the fins are chromed, naturally.

The front fenders display three copper bars as trim and just in front of the doors are the patented Chevy crossed-flags logos with the term, Fuel Injection, printed beneath.

               Pop open the hood and there’s the red Chevy 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 car’s hood to be easily posed in the raised position.

               The red and silver seats in the interior look nice too, not glossy, but more like a matte vinyl, which matches some 1950s Chevy seating. These include two red buttons on the silver background of each seat back. Likewise the tonneau cover is a matching matte red with silver snap heads neatly arranged around the edges.

               Chevy’s dash top is red with red-ringed instrument panel gauges and a chromed trim across its face and surrounding the radio and its dials. The dash and red steering wheel definitely look like plastic. Too bad they aren’t the same matte finish as the seats. Naturally the wheel’s center horn ring is chrome.          

               The model’s door handles and window cranks are chrome and Bel Air appears in script on the passenger’s side dash facing. Sun visors are a matte silver to match the color of the seat centers.

               Tires are wide white sidewalls and treaded, but not branded. A generic black license plate rides on the trunk face. It reads CC over J 7715. Not sure what that means, but it may be what the movie’s car featured back in 1962. Hard to remember that much detail that far back, even for us Boomers.

               This model is a double win for Bond fans and ’57 Chevy aficionados!

Vital Stats: 1957 Chevy Bel Air Convertible, “Dr. No” version

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AWSS134
MSRP: $149.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

#57 Chevy

#James Bond

#Dr. No

#Auto World

1935 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster

Auto World’s latest 1:18 pre-war model a striking beauty …

Car nuts know the Duesenberg name, but its cars were often rare, built in small quantities, while others were raced successfully, winning the Indianapolis 500 three times in the 1920s.

Duesenberg was launched in 1920 in Indy, but only lasted until 1937, a short run for such a famous name. Me being an Indianapolis native I’ve always been fond of Duesenbergs, both the racers and their high-end luxury cars known for their power.

But did you know that just two 1935 SSJ Speedsters were ever made? Yet the car is famous for its styling, speed and celebrity.

Now Auto World introduces the SSJ in a cream and tan color scheme that was the original choice of Duesenberg designers, yet none exist in this trim. The 1/18 model is another in Auto World’s vintage pre-WWII collection of die-cast metal models with opening hood, doors and steerable wheels.

The History

Here’s the skinny on the two SSJs, which were made for movie stars Gary Cooper and Clark Gable.

None of the cream and tan models remain because both celebrities had their roadsters repainted from the original Duesenberg color scheme. Cooper’s became a gray-on-gray beauty and Gable’s a red and metallic green Speedster.

What makes the SSJ so special, beyond its rarity, is that it was a shortened version of the popular and widely respected Model J, made from 1928 until Duesenberg closed. The Model J came in two lengths, the long 153.5-inch wheelbase model and a shorter 141.7 model. Yet the SSJ was shorter still, featuring a 125-inch wheelbase, making it lighter. Both were known for their power.

The SJ, a supercharged J, reportedly had a top speed of nearly 140 mph back when cars were considered exceptional if they crested 100 mph. Zero to 60 mph was said to be reached in 8 seconds, and this from a car with an unsynchronized transmission, which was the norm at the time. A special speed record version, known as the Mormon Meteor, used a 750-horsepower V12 Curtiss Conqueror aircraft engine and set various speed records approaching 160 mph.

That’s a big Straight 8 under the hood!

Well, the SSJ was quick too, reportedly doing 0-60 in less than 8 seconds as it was smaller and lighter than the J models. The Straight 8 Duesenberg motor cranked 400 horsepower and the car featured 4-wheel hydraulic brakes, a Duesenberg creation.

How special is the SSJ now? Well, some consider it the most important American car ever made and it’s certainly the most expensive as Cooper’s model sold for $22 million in 2018. Auto World’s is much more reasonable at $129.99 MSRP. Many 1:18 scale models now top $175 and are made of composites.

The Model

               There’s a lot to like here, besides the car’s heritage and importance as the fastest pre-war car made. Oh, and the styling. The SSJ is beautiful.

               Auto World doesn’t scrimp on details while maintaining an affordable price point.

Nice interior and easy-opening doors.

               The model’s door hinges are metal and well blended into the brown scallops on each side of the car, the hood likewise has a bright metal hinge that allows the hood to be raised on either side to see the sharply detailed Straight 8. Wiring and plumbing are present, but most notable are the four impressive chrome articulated exhausts coming out the passenger’s side of the hood and completely visible with the hood raised.

Sharp detail under the Duesy’s hood!

               There are the air cleaner, radiator and brake fluid containers here and then on the driver’s side the raised hood reveals the full length of that massive engine and the chromed exhaust ports leading to the four big pipes on the opposite side. Cool!

               Naturally, for the time period, there’s a massive chrome grille and lights along with two big horns under those lights. Atop the grille is the art deco style arrow-sharp Duesy hood ornament. Both front and rear bumpers also are chrome.

Great looking grille and an accurate Duesenberg hood ornament.

               Likewise the large step plates on the running boards, slim door handles and windshield frame are chrome, as is the wheel cover on the trunk-mounted spare. Hub caps on the cream-colored spoked wheels are chrome with red centers.

               That windshield in front of the two-person cockpit also includes dainty wing windows to deflect air from the passengers so as not to disturb their hair or chapeaus.

Good looking dash and gauges, plus small wing windows.

               The cream tonneau cover features painted silver snaps and the interior is matte brown, similar in shade to the side scallops.

               Duesenberg featured a chrome-faced dash with a bazillion gauges and dials, all nicely reproduced here by Auto World. There’s also a “holy Jesus” handle on the passenger’s side dash, just like in today’s Jeeps and other vehicles meant for off-roading. This one was to comfort a passenger at 100+ mph.

The Duesy’s steering wheel is black as is the floor-mounted gear shift lever while a rearview mirror rests atop the dash’s center.

               For folks with mirror-bottom display cases, Auto World continues to create realistic looking undercarriages that allow you to see the engine, suspension and exhaust system, here feeding into twin chrome-tipped pipes.

               The SSJ is another well-executed historic pre-war car model from Auto World at a price point that makes it a good fit in many collections. Snazzy!

Vital Stats: 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AW305
MSRP: $129.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

1957 Chevrolet 3100 Stepside

Auto World’s newest 1:18 pickup fuels truck nostalgia …

If you’ve ever doubted that trucks, pickups in particular, are the kings of today’s roads, consider this. The three top-selling vehicles in 2021 were the Ford F-150, RAM 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado, in that order

Each sold more than 500,000 units last year, the Ford a runaway leader at 726,000 trucks sold.

Well, this isn’t Auto World’s first rodeo, so unsurprisingly it is jumping into the truck parade. But as befits the brand, the Indiana-based die-cast firm is offering 1:18 scale vintage pickups.

Recently I reviewed AW’s sharp 1956 Ford F-100 Diecast: 1956 Ford F-100 pickup | Savage On Wheels . Now comes an equally impressive 1957 Chevrolet 3100 Stepside in a very 1950s Ocean Green.

The History

Part of the fun and uniqueness of Auto World die-cast metal models is that many are based on an actual vehicle that you may have seen at a car show or in a Hemmings Motor News magazine. This one is the later, appearing on the April 2016 Hemmings cover featuring Chevy trucks, and the cover is prominently featured on the model’s wonderfully illustrated box.

This gorgeous green model is based on the 1957 Chevy 3100 Stepside owned by Pennsylvania’s Doug Yoder who found it in Idaho via the internet. A total renovation followed, including a body sandblasting, dent repairs and finally coating it all in epoxy primer and four coats of urethane-based paint. That should keep this iconic pickup looking sharp for years.

Yoder also added a four-speed automatic tranny to replace the original three-speed, along with a new front suspension.

A little background on Stepsides, which were first offered in 1955. They were highly practical farm and work trucks as they were easy to load from the side due to their built-in step. Pretty sure some of my Hoosier relatives had these on their farms when I was a wee one as there was a then family-wide hate on for Fords.

Styling was new for 1955 with a wrap-around windshield standard and a wrap-around rear window optional for Deluxe models. Likewise power steering and brakes made their debut, the first time GM had offered them on trucks. There also was a flatter hood and the egg crate grille hung on until the 1957 model year, the one AW models.

That year the grille opened up more with a big oval in its midst. But for 1958 the grille would change again. There also was a Chevy emblem mounted within a chrome horizontal line on both front fenders.

In 1957 the average US household income was $4,450 and a Chevy 3100 ran between $1,430 and $2,435, depending on engine choices and trims. The base powerplant was an inline 6 with 140 horsepower while two V8s were offered, the most popular being the 265 cu.in. version making 155 horses.

The Model

               The color is Ocean Green, the interior featuring matching green seats and steering column, but Bombay Ivory trim on the doors and dash, plus an ivory-colored steering wheel.

Love the classic windshield visor!

               To me, the coolest features are the droppable tailgate and the cool windshield sunvisor that makes this Chevy look like it should be hauling feed out to a Midwestern stock pen, or hay to a stable.

               Naturally there’s chrome everywhere as all 1950s vehicles were loaded with it. Window trim, mirrors, gas cap, wiper stalks, door handles, headlight hood facings, grille, and front and rear bumpers are sparkling chrome. So is the hood’s lower nose that carries the gold, red and blue Chevy bowtie logo and trim.

The tailgate flips down and neatly latches in place so it can be posed either way.

               In addition to the textured opaque headlights the truck includes small clear blinkers below and tiny red taillights that are housed in chrome frames. There’s also a chrome and red styling streak on both front fenders, starting about mid-wheel well and extending nearly to the door.

               The truck’s bed is black but textured like wood and Chevrolet is spelled out in white across the tailgate, which folds straight down.

               This being the Stepside model there are indented steps just behind the cab and in front of the well-shaped rear fenders. Hub caps are chrome with a green ring matching the truck’s color and white-sidewall tires that are treaded, but carry no branding. Much of the undercarriage also is detailed, so you see the suspension, transmission and exhaust system.

               The opening doors not only include large mirrors, but feature chrome-outlined vent windows and chrome cranks inside on the door panels, plus ivory door trim. More ivory accents are trimmed by chrome on the cab’s B-pillar.

Dashes were as simple as could be in the 1950s.  This one has the big triangle chrome-trimmed instrument panel and speedometer and five other chrome knobs for heat and radio tuning. Two tubes under the dash could direct heat to the riders. There’s also a black center hub/horn button on the wheel with a bowtie logo at its center.

Under the hood is a big orange engine block, round black air filter atop it and a black hose leading to the radiator. The battery is mounted under the hood on the passenger’s side firewall. On that side too, you can see the matte silver exhaust pipe leading off the side of the engine.

Here’s the Chevy engine with air filter, plus the batter on the firewall.

I love cars, but AW’s latest truck is a dandy that brings back memories of childhood for us Boomer types. Can’t wait to see what’s next in this Hemmings-featured truck collection.

Vital Stats: 1957 Chevrolet 3100 Stepside

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AW293
MSRP: $115.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

1959 Cadillac Rat Fink hearse

Auto World Eldorado goes wild with Kustom Kartoon Kreation …

OK, I get it, Rat Fink is a cultural icon.

For some reason folks were drawn to the grotesque caricature of a rat with bulging bloodshot eyes ogling a 1950s hot rod or fondling a gear shift knob as he drooled in the bucket seat of a custom car. I didn’t get it.

But the 1950s and 1960s were strange times with a lot of drugs. I was just a kid.

Yet the Kustom Kulture movement got started on the West Coast as men home from World War II and the Korean War started jazzing up and customizing old 1930s car bodies and making fancy street rods, which just carried on into the 1960s.

Ed “Big Daddy” Roth started creating T-shirts with his crazy looking Rat Fink and selling them through Car Craft magazine with 1959 credited for the Fink slithering into the spotlight. So it’s appropriate in a way that Auto World’s funky new Rat Fink Hearse is a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. This 1:18 scale metal diecast model is an absolute eyeful that will immediately become the centerpiece of any large diecast car display.

The History

I’ve touched on the history a bit, but for the uninitiated let’s dig a little deeper. Sales of Roth’s “Weirdo shirts” blew up in late 1959 and others soon were hopping on the custom band wagon. His monsters in hot rod shirts not only took off, but Roth designed the Outlaw, a fiberglass custom rod and the Beatnik Bandit along with some dune buggies that made the movies and kept the momentum going as custom car magazines were happy to have a media star.

Rat Fink itself got so popular that Revell made a plastic kit of the creepy creature, along with some of the other Roth characters, such as Brother Rat Fink, Mr. Gasser and Drag Nut. The rest, as the trite saying goes, is history.

Roth for his part kept making funky cars and motorcycles, had a band, and participated in all sorts of custom car exhibits and shows for the rest of his life. He died in 2001.

The Model

               So what have we here? Well, Auto World has made a number of Cadillac and Chevy hearses and ambulances for collectors.  Those include 1:64 and 1:18 scale models of the 1959 and 1966 Cadillac, plus a 1957 Chevy ambulance and hearse in 1:64 scale.

               This ’59 Eldo is a dark metallic red (not your usual hearse color), with a blacked out windshield and printed dark green curtains lining the long vehicle’s side windows, looking to caricature drapes in old hearses and fitting neatly with the Rat Fink theme.

               Of course there are Rat Fink touches everywhere, but dominated by the monster Fink himself on the Caddy’s expansive roof. Here the Fink is a slimy green with a black R.F. shirt and top hat, appropriate for his undertaking duties here. Of course there are the hairy ears, bulging eyes and slim sharp pointy rat teeth too, and his warty feet and tail providing him support. A few flies circle his stinky head.

               The Rat Fink logo in black, looking like a devilish Mickey Mouse (that’s who Roth was supposedly pimping originally) graces the hood. Beneath the logo are the words “Rat Poison!” near the hood’s front edge. The Cadillac logo is silvered out so again cartoon-like.

               Right behind the headlights on the side panel are flying bloodshot eyeballs and the hearse’s sides feature red and silvery gray Rat Fink profile logos (again reflecting Mickey Mouse, but with teeth) in a pattern like wallpaper. Lime green accents scroll along the top of that side decoration and the green and gold (Green Bay Packer colors?) jagged letters along the side spell out Rat Fink. What else?

               The blacked out rear three-quarter windows and hearse hatch include a stylized white top hat in one, green and white Haulin’ Hearse in back and then white script of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in the other rear window. The black tail features red and white words reading “Rat Fink Rod.”

               From the car standpoint the hood, doors and rear hearse door open and the wheels are steerable.

               As with any ’59 Caddy there is chrome everywhere from the huge front grille and bumpers to the rear with its jet-like lower taillight trim to the rocket like tail fins and light surrounds. Head and taillights look realistic and the hearse features chrome mirrors, strakes on the hood, wipers and trim just under that blacked-out windshield. Side windows are trimmed in silver paint.

               The black dash is nicely detailed and the bench seat in front is black and lime green to complement the car’s exterior markings and those green drapes. There’s a divider window behind the front seat and an empty body-color cargo area where presumably a hideous Kustom Kreature would be creeping out of a Kustom Kasket in “real” life.

               Tires are wide white sidewalls with no branding and the undercarriage is detailed with twin exhausts.

               This one is just for fun, and certainly recreates the caricature-rich look of Rat Fink on a custom hearse of all things. It’s irreverent, silly, creepy and wacky, just like the original demands and a fitting tribute to Roth’s imagination.             

Vital Stats: 1959 Cadillac Rat Fink Hearse

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/18
Stock No.: AW303
MSRP: $131.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

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

Johnny Lightning 1:64 Muscle Cars & Showcase

Latest Lightning 6-packs loaded with color, detail …

The recent Muscle Cars release and a few older JLs in the new Auto World case.

I find it sort of amazing that muscle cars from the 1960s through the ‘80s remain so incredibly popular with collectors, both of 1:1 cars and those of us who love smaller diecast models, which are infinitely more affordable.

Johnny Lighting is well aware, which is why it has been cranking out 1:64 scale diecast cars and trucks for years, and its parent company Auto World the same, plus larger scale 1:18 muscle cars too.

The 2021 Muscle Cars release 3, version A.

One of Johnny Lightning’s mainstays has been its Muscle Cars and other themed 6-packs, made with A and B releases, each in authentic manufacturer colors. The current is Release 3 for 2021 (supply chain deliveries still catching up), featuring a 1968 Shelby GT-500 KR, 1965 Chevy Chevelle Wagon, 1986 Buick Grand National, 1977 Pontiac Firebird T/A, 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, and 1970 Plymouth GTX.

The 2021 Muscle Cars release 3, version B.

All are sharply cast and feature the usual opening hoods with detailed engine bays, or at least as detailed as a 1:64 model likely needs to be. All the cars also feature rubber tires, some branded, a few simply blackwalls.

Let’s get right to the six models.

The Models

               This Shelby GT-500 is sweet, and in Calypso Coral (a bright orange) it’ll stand out in any collection. Johnny Lightning models the KR version of the 1968 Mustang/Shelby. That originally stood for King of the Road, which this certainly was with its Cobra Jet 428 V8, which was listed at 335 horses, but was said to be much closer to 400.

               At the time this was the most powerful Mustang and would do 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds, impressive in the day.

JL tells us that the King of the Road phrase was being considered for trademarking by Chevrolet at the time, but clever Carroll Shelby quickly worked to secure the name and KR trademark before the slow-moving Chevy could get the job done. Shelby was always aggressive and knew how to get things done!

This model has a black engine bay with blue V8 block, a tan interior with good detailing molded into its face. Along the rocker panels is a white racing stripe with the GT-500 KR name included and Shelby is spelled out in silver on the nose and tail. Little details can add some spiff and here there are not only silver door handles, but two silver dots on the hood to represent hood pins, and Shelby’s coiled Cobra logo on the front quarter panels. The license proudly announces KR 428 to signify the GT’s engine and the tires are labeled Goodyear.

A fun addition to this set is the 1965 Chevelle Wagon, a rare beast in that it was only made for two years, 1964 and ’65. Making this one even more interesting is the Turtle Power logo on the doors, one that was used by Turtle Wax in the 1960s. Somehow it seems even more appropriate as the model comes in Turtle Wax Metallic Green.

Other highlights include the slight bulge in the wagon’s rear roof that somehow makes it look faster, silver Malibu script on the rear quarter panels, Chevy’s twin flag logos tucked between the front wheel wells and nose, a blue and red Chevy logo on the grille and Firestone-labeled tires. Wheels are chrome mags.

Under the hood the engine block is orange with a black air filter and the interior is black. Oh, and there’s a Turtle decal inside both rear side windows.

The Buick Grand National looks intimidating in a black paint job.

If black indicates Intimidator-style power on a 1980s muscle car, then the 1986 Buick Grand National may be your favorite among this six-pack. It’s boxy, big and black, with a gray and black interior featuring high-back seats.

In the day the 1986 model was the best-selling of the three-year run of Grand National’s, although a Regal had a Grand National package in 1982. More than 5,500 Grand Nationals were built in 1986, more than double the first two years of production, combined.

Improvements had been made for ’86 too, with its 3.8-liter V6 turbo gaining an intercooler and seeing its horsepower jump from 200 to 235, making it capable of doing 0-60 mph in 4.9 seconds and a quarter mile on the dragstrip in 13.9 seconds. That made it the fastest production car in the U.S., beating Corvette, Camaro and Firebird, its GM stable mates. Car and Driver magazine tested the Buick and found it faster too than a Lamborghini Countach. Amazing!

               This one features the bulge at the rear of the hood with 3.8L Turbo logo, the Grand National logo on the front quarter panel just in front of the doors, another on the trunk sill and a license plate with GM on it. I particularly like the blacked out grille (as most vehicles now offer) but with its fine silver outline and the twin rectangle headlights framing it. Sharp!

The Pontiac Firebird and Buick Grand National both look racy!

               Pontiac, now long-gone, was a major player in the muscle car wars, its Firebird always fast and its roll in the 1977 movie, Smokey and the Bandit, with Burt Reynolds, assured its fame. That Firebird with its Screaming Eagle on the hood was black, while this ‘77 Pontiac Firebird T/A is a handsome Brentwood Brown Poly. I think of it as metallic bronze.

               This one features the “Bandit” package that cost 1,141 with the Hurst Hatches (T-top), while a $556 version omitted the hatches, but put that eagle on the hood. This eagle is black and gold, the wings wrapping around the hood’s power bulge that protrudes through the hood. Under it was a 200-horse V8.

               Other feature here include a tan interior with black steering wheel, Trans Am label on the nose, tail, and front quarter panels, a 77 Bird license, and gold-spoked wheels tucked inside BF Goodrich-labeled tires.

               Muscle came in all shapes and sizes, proven by the 1970 Dodge Dart Swinger 340, a restyle that year to give it a split grille in front and taillights embedded in the rear bumper (not a great idea). But the Dart had been muscled up over the years and while other models in the Chrysler-Plymouth lineup would outshine the Dart, this one was quick.

The little Dart Swinger packed a major punch in a lightweight platform.

               First, it started with the 340-cu.-in. V8 (thus the Swinger 340) that created an impressive 275 horsepower in a 3,170-pound car. And all this for just $2,808. Heck, that’s a modest option package price on today’s cars.

               Both hood and trunk were long and the rear window sloped to give the squarish car a somewhat fastback look. The bumble bee rear wraparound stripe remained from earlier versions, and while it looked best as a black stripe on a yellow car, this white version with blue stripe is sharp. Up front were dual fake hood scoops and the model includes silver Swinger script behind the doors and under the C-pillar.

A lot of Mopar power represented here with the Dart and GTX.

               Tires are unbranded here and wheels white with a modes chrome cap at their center. Windows are trimmed in silver as are the door handles and gas cap.

               Plymouth was known for its muscle and funky colors in the late 1960s and early 1970s. So it’s no surprise that Johnny Lightning created a Moulin Rouge (dark pink) 1970 Plymouth GTX for this set. Known as the Gentleman’s Muscle Car, the GTX got a new grille and taillights for 1970 and of course the Power Bulge hood returned with a single Air Grabber scoop on top.

A muscular V8 was under that GTX hood.

               A 440 Super Commando V8 with four-barrel carburetor was standard, generating 375 horsepower, while a 426 HEMI V8 was optional. It made 425 horsepower, major muscle.

               This pink beauty features the GTX’s clean lines, that snazzy hood and black racing stripes on the sides along with GTX decals just behind the fake rear brake air scoops. GTX is emblazoned on the grille and Plymouth is spelled out on the tail. Window trim is silver, as are door handles, wipers and like the Shelby, two dots on the hood to represent hood pins. There are 440 decals next to the Air Grabber scoop too, and tires are labeled as Goodyears.

Here’s the whole A version collection from the latest Johnny Lightning release.

               The B release

               This second set offers its own unique colors with a few other visual differences from the A release.

               The Shelby comes in Highland Green, one of the most popular Mustang colors and is simply a sharp looker, without being as flashy as the orange A version. While the Chevelle Wagon shows its lines much better in the Silver Pearl Poly Turtle Wax paint job than the dark green on the A model. I prefer the black Buick Grand National to this Rosewood Poly (copper) version in the B collection, as it seems to me most Grand Nationals were black, and certainly look more racy in that color.

               Version B’s Firebird is Cameo White and it accentuates the car’s lines better than the Brentwood Brown Poly in Version A. Again there’s the Screaming Eagle on the hood, and I like the black trim around the T-top openings.

               The biggest differences seem to be the Dart Swinger and Plymouth GTX in the B release. The Swinger is Light Blue Poly with a black stripe around the tail, but also a matte black roof and trim on the hood scoops that give this one a racier look. On the GTX the color is Burnt Orange Poly that is a fine copper finish like a shiny penny. But with white racing stripes on the sides, a matte black roof and matte black center portion of the hood, including the air scoop. It’s sharp!

               New Display Case

               Auto World now is offering a snazzy 3-in-1 Showcase that satisfies a number of display needs. First, it’ll hold a 1:24 scale model, so for plastic car builders it’ll protect one of their project cars, of which dust is the primary enemy.

But it also will hold three 1:43 scale cars or nine 1:64 scale vehicles, which is what I did with it immediately, using a few Johnny Lightning cars I had sitting on a dresser, plus the six that came the above reviewed six-pack. Naturally JL, Racing Champions Mint, Playing Mantis, Matchbox and Hot Wheels all will fit in the case.

Naturally the top is clear acrylic and rounded on the edges for a more sophisticated display. And instead of the top popping off for car placement it’s hinged, which makes for easier opening and makes the case less likely to be shaken and possibly damaging its contents. That can happen as sometimes a case’s tight-fitting top can jam on the bottoms and be hard to remove.

Here we see the removable 2-tier platform. Take it out and a 1:24 model fits!

The bottom here is black and there’s a removable 2-tier platform that would allow a 1:24 model to be placed flat on the bottom. I like the 3-tiered look with the platform in place though as now more cars can be positioned on three levels for easy viewing.

Excellent!

Vital Stats: Muscle Cars 6-packs

Maker: Auto World/Johnny Lightning
Scale: 1:64
Stock No.: JLMC027/06 A&B
MSRP: $51.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

Vital Stats: 3-in1 Showcase

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1:24 to 1:64
Stock No.: AWDC004
MSRP: $19.99

Link: Autoworldstore.com

#Johnny Lightning

#Pontiac Firebird

#Plymouth GTX