Tag Archives: die-cast car reviews

Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1940 & ’41 Indy 500 Maseratis

Replicarz Maserati

Latest 1/43 scale Maserati racers are a colorful duo …

The late 1930s and early 1940s saw race cars developing quickly into what we would consider modern racers and Wilbur Shaw and his Boyle Special, a Maserati 8CTF, led the way at the Indianapolis 500, but others followed quickly.

In 1939 Shaw won the 500 in his Maserati with its 365-horsepower 3.0-liter straight-8 supercharged engine, and to put an exclamation point on it, repeated the win in 1940 and darned near did it again in 1941, the last 500 before WWII. But it didn’t take his competitors long to figure out Italy’s horsey Maserati grand prix cars with their lightweight aluminum bodies could conquer Indy.

Continue reading Die-cast: Replicarz’s 1940 & ’41 Indy 500 Maseratis

Die-cast: Bburago LaFerrari

Bburago delivers high-value matte black LaFerrari18-16901blk_sm

I can’t explain it, but the youngsters these days are going crazy over matte finishes on cars, motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs. It is different, but looks like primer paint to me.

Still, Bburago gives them what they want with its new matte, or flat, black LaFerrari in 1:18 scale. The model is tucked inside a Styrofoam shell inside a racy red box with foil-like silver lettering on it. This is part of Bburago’s move to more upscale models, somewhat beyond the toy market, but still high in value.

The History

Speed and sexy looks sum up Ferrari’s essence. LaFerrari is the latest mid-engine package that plays off that iconic theme.

LaFerrari was launched at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show and is a hybrid super car with a 6.3-liter V12 and a 161-hp electric motor. This is the first production car with the hybrid HY-KERS, a system that stores and delivers electricity for added power. KERS was developed in F1 racing. Combined, the car has 949 horsepower and 663 ft.-lbs. of torque. Continue reading Die-cast: Bburago LaFerrari

Jeep Wagoneer: The first SUV

SUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep CorporationI love Jeeps!!

There, now I feel better, it’s out there. I’ve gone road hunting in CJ’s that still hurt my back, but it was still fun! I have owned a 1986 four-door Wagoneer (XJ), then a 1996 Grand Cherokee (ZJ), a Liberty (KJ). Designed by DSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporationiamler at the time and not my favorite because it was way to top-heavy as you can see here after an Illinois driver on his cell phone clipped me. I walked away.

It’s the only vehicle I have exited through the sun roof. We currently area about to purchase our 2011 Wrangler Unlimited (JK) off our lease and I can’t wait to start making it more our Jeep. First thing I’m going to do is put a cold air intake to give it some zip. I have been to Camp Jeeps at both the Chicago and Milwaukee auto shows. Milwaukee was the better ride. Check out the videos from my rides. Yup, all in.

It was when American Motors, where my dad worked, bought Kaiser’s money-losing Jeep operations in 1970 that I started to dig into the history of the Jeep brand. AMC was hurting at the time and this was a big gamble for them but the Jeep utility vehicles complemented AMC’s passenger car business. Actually it saved the company. AMC was able to share components, achieving volume efficiencies, as well as capitalizing on Jeep’s international and government markets.

It created the Sport Utility market

SUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporation
grandwagoneer.com

The four-door Jeep Wagoneer (SJ) set the pace as it was the first luxury 4×4 sold and produced from 1963 to 1991, nearly 30 years before the term SUV was in vogue. Compared to what GM, International Harvester, and Land Rover were offering at the time, it was the Wagoneer’s luxury that set the bar. Adding to success of the Wagoneer, and it’s two-door version Cherokee AMC introduced in 1973 was the Quadra-Trac full-time four-wheel-drive system which attracted even more people to Jeep products who wanted four-wheel-drive traction without the inconvenience of a manual-shift transfer case and manual locking hubs.

The Wagoneer Limited you see in these images which later morphed into the Grand Wagoneer, had the whole deal, deepSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep CorporationSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep CorporationSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep CorporationSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporation pile carpeting, advanced overhead cam inline six and then later a monster AMC 401 V8 engine, auto transmission, power windows, a/c, power steering, power brakes, an independent front suspension and yes, real wood outlining the fake vinyl wood as you can see in this example which I think is a 1981. It’s a little on the rough side but there are lots of places that specialize in full restorations like GrandWagoneer.com. The vehicle still has a following even though the last Grand Wagoneer rolled off Chrysler’s Toledo assembly plant on June 21, 1991. Now that Fiat owns Jeep there were images floating around showing a modern version of the Grand Wagoneer which I have heard won’t come on the market for another couple of years.

SUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporation
Hemmings

I would love to have a Grand Wagoneer to show off to the people I know who drive Cadillac Escalades or Range Rovers. Sure buddy, one on one! I made a trip to one of my favorite sites, Hemmings, and found Grand Wagoneers from the mid-20’s to all the way up to 50 grand like this one. Have you looked at the current prices of the Caddy or Rover?

So what if you don’t have the cash?

Surprisingly with such a long run, you’d thing there would have been a promo model made but it never happened, however this Grand Wagoneer produced by AutoArt is a great alternative. I picked up this 1/18th scale diecast about five years ago for around $100. Even though AutoArt has stopped producing them, they pop up on eBay except for the white one which is nearly impossible to find. Check out the details on this. All the doors open, along with the hood and rear lift gate. The interior has real carpeting and upholstery. Check out the engine bay. I love looking at this. I keep hoping that someday there will be a way to take it and scale it up into the real deal.

SUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep CorporationSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporation SUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporationdiecast-tailgateSUV, Jeep, Jeep Grand Wagoneer, Jeep Wrangler, Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Liberty, AMC Jeep, Jeep Corporation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Die-Cast: Replicarz 1911 Indy 500 Winner, Marmon Wasp

New Replicarz Marmon Wasp creates buzz!wasp

After all the buzz created by early preview photos, the new Replicarz 1911 Indianapolis 500-winning Marmon Wasp, proves worth the wait.

I know I’ve been telling you for a while, and showing you photos, that teased at how special this 1:18 scale diecast would be, but now I’ve got the final product sitting on my desk to prove it. All it needs do is belch a little smoke and it’d be ready to head out onto the bricks at Indy.

A little background, if you’re not a die-hard Indy fan.

Check out the engine crank handle below the radiator and prominent rearview mirror in front of the cockpit.
Check out the engine crank handle below the radiator and prominent rearview mirror in front of the cockpit.

First, the inaugural Indianapolis 500 was run in 1911 on the 2 ½-mile brick covered oval and all the cars, save one, featured a riding mechanic. The lone wolf in the pack was Ray Harroun, a successful racer at the time for Marmon, a car company located in Indianapolis, a thriving car building area in the early 1900s. Harroun had won a preliminary race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a year prior to the first 500 and retired after becoming national driving champ. Continue reading Die-Cast: Replicarz 1911 Indy 500 Winner, Marmon Wasp

Die-cast: AutoArt’s McQueen Porsche Speedster

AutoArt nails McQueen’s racy Porsche 356 Speedster

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

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

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

Die-cast: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner (NASCAR)

AutoWorld’s Richard Petty Daytona 500 winner marks 120th Petty win

There was only one Elvis and there is only one Richard Petty. Both are Kings.mod2

With Petty, NASCAR, or better yet, stock car racing, was his kingdom and he rules it still, behind dark glasses and under a crowning cowboy hat with a feather cluster and medallion, sort of the racing version of a heavyweight boxing championship belt.

All racing fans know Petty and they know that any Plymouth in Petty blue with a giant white No. 43 on the roof, doors and trunk is a racing icon. That’s what AutoWorld’s newest 1:18 is, and a welcome addition to the diecast stock car market.

There’s no mistaking this 1971 Plymouth Road Runner for anything other than Richard Petty’s Daytona 500 winner from that year. It’s also the car he captured his third NASCAR title in, and his 120th win. Not surprisingly, AutoWorld does a fine job delivering an authentic looking die-cast stock car champion model. Continue reading Die-cast: 1971 Plymouth Road Runner (NASCAR)

Die-cast: Autoart Mercedes-Benz 190 SL

SL epitomizes elegant roadsters of 1950s, ’60s

Mercedes-Benz 190 SLMazda’s Miata wasn’t the first small drop-top to gain popularity in the U.S. market. Way back in the 1950s and early ’60s Mercedes-Benz created an iconic roadster, the 190 SL.

This wasn’t the first famous roadster either, but it was a big hit for Mercedes, and set the styling trend for upscale two-seat convertibles for the better part of a decade. Autoart’s 1:18 version is bathed in a creamy white finish that accentuates its smooth elegant lines, lines that captured well-off driver’s attention, and cash, during those heady classic sports car years.

Like Miata today, the 190 SL had a removable hardtop ($4,295), but also was available with a soft top, that model going for just $3,998. Remember, in 1953 a new Corvette started at $3,490. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Mercedes-Benz 190 SL