Tag Archives: die-cast

Die-cast: Auto World’s True 1:64 2020 Chevy Corvette and 1963 Chevy II Wagon

Mid-engine Vette and boxy 1963 Chevy II wagon are high-value DC

Two Chevys couldn’t be much more different than the mid-engine 2020 Corvette and the 1963 Chevy II Nova Wagon, but I love them both.

Different reasons of course, but here’s their appeal.

First, the new Corvette will be an icon for years, just like the original Vettes. Why? Because it shifts the engine to behind the driver and its looks are Ferrariesque, or maybe more McLarenesque. It’s swoopy but still with that pointed Corvette nose.

The Nova wagon? Well, as a kid my Uncle Mac and Aunt Vi each had a white Chevy II, before they became Novas. One was a sedan, one a convertible. I found them simple and useful, but somehow just a bit cute. They were the right size, back when compacts were compacts. So I’ve had an affinity for Chevy II models since about 1962.

For collectors, the good news is that Auto World allows us to enjoy both these models for next to nothing, just $7.99 a pop with its True 1:64 Sports Cars and Muscle Wagons series. Here’s my take, and these are both new castings from AW.

The Models

               This new C8 Corvette looks particularly sharp in white as the color accents its chiseled good looks from that piercing nose to its muscular flanks, plus a slightly flared rear spoiler. As with its front-engine 1:64 models, the mid-engine Vette’s rear deck easily pops open to reveal its V8. The nice part is that with a big rear window you can see the orange engine block whether the deck is raised or closed.

               Detail is what you’d expect at 1:64 scale, but the side trim under the deck is realistic in shape and includes the small trunk area just as in the real deal.

               I like that there are tiny molded-in mirrors at the A-pillars, the sculpted air vent openings behind the doors, accented with black paint, rear diffuser and chin spoiler, also both painted black, which sets them off on the white model. Head and taillights are painted, but properly shaped and there are two sets of dual exhausts protruding from the diffuser. The rear license is a Florida plate with C8 emblazoned on it, but you may need a magnifying glass to read it.

               Inside are red high-backed bucket racing seats and a black dash and steering wheel with enough definition on the dash top to look more realistic than you might expect at this scale. It’s not just a flat piece of plastic cut to fit.

               Wheels are a racy star five-spoke pattern in matte silver with rotors blended into the back of the wheels. Tires are treaded rubber. My only complaint is that one front wheel is misshapen so the sample doesn’t roll easily. That’s a problem if a kid is to play with it, but not for a collector putting it on display.

               The sample Azure Aqua Poly Chevy II Nova 400 Wagon has no wheel issues and rolls easily, plus it looks terrific in all its boxiness. Tires are rubber treaded whitewalls and the hub caps chrome for a little flash.

               Bumpers are a matte silver paint scheme and the same trims all the windows, the hood streak and of course the grille and wagon’s tailgate. The grille’s background also is painted black so the silver really pops. Headlights are painted white and the tiny stacked taillights are red over white.

               Side trim stripes are black and silver to just in line with the vent windows and then are silver all the way to the tail. There’s also a molded-in matte silver rocker panel. Door handles and the gas cap are accented in silver and there’s a Nova decal on the rear quarter panels and Chevrolet label on the tailgate.

               Under the hood, which easily poses in the open position, is an orange Chevy engine block with black round air filter. The rest of the underhood area is flat black plastic, including the radiator.

               Inside are blue-green seats to nearly match the body color, plus a dash with air duct work and a steering wheel.

               Both cars have undercarriage detailing too, although it’s more pronounced on the Nova wagon with its big driveshaft and suspension components, especially in back.

               Finally, there are blue and white license plates front and rear that read Nova 400 and may be Ohio plates, but even magnified that’s a tough read.

               Note too that the Vette also is available in black, although I think the white is better for distinguishing the body lines. While the Nova wagon also comes in Saddle Tan with an Ermine White roof.

               The History

In case you just woke up from a Van Winkle-type sleep you should be aware that Corvette no longer is a front-engine sports car.  The C8 moves the engine behind the driver and does away with the manual transmission, just offering an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Watch Mark’s review and video of the 1:1 Vette: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe | Savage On Wheels.

The 6.2-liter V8 cranks 495 horsepower and will do 0 to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds or less, say the car magazines. And all this for just $60 grand, as opposed to most supercars running in the $150,000-$300,000 range, or more. Corvette remains a hot rod that at least some of us might afford, if not loaded with options.

The Nova wagon on the other hand did not offer a V8 in the 1963 models, but did have a fine 3.8-liter 230 cu.in. inline 6 cylinder. A V8 was optional in 1964. Nova was the top of the Chevy II lineup that also included a convertible and hardtop along with the sedan and wagon. Nova replaced the Chevy II name in 1968.

Both are fine 1:64 die-cast cars on gorgeous and informative hang cards. AW just keeps making fun and unusual models in this small scale to keep augmenting car lovers’ die-cast collections.

New to Auto World are 1:64 scale decals much as you’d find in a plastic model kit.

Note: AW also has introduced decals for you to use to soup up and customize your favorite muscle cars, etc. The sheet has a little of everything from Johnny Lightning and Mobil decals to numbers and decals that say Rat Fink, Rad Rod, etc. Yes, Mooneyes, STP and Chevy are also here among many others. Just $9.99 and you could do up a bunch of your 1:64 collection.

Vital Stats: 2020 Corvette/1963 Chevy II Nova wagon

Maker: Auto World
Scale: 1/64
Stock No.: AW64312
MSRP: $7.99 each

Link: Autoworldstore.com

Die-cast: WhiteBox 1962 VW Karmann Ghia

This Karmann Ghia is low cost too …

Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia was a looker, but inexpensive, making it a perfect collectible car, if not for its propensity to rust. But in the model car collecting world we don’t have to worry about such mundane matters.

So collecting a 1962 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia now is easy. Ghia’s were the cute rounded thing that so many of our buddies drove in their teens, or early 20s. They were, like the Beetle, reliable and inexpensive, but way sportier looking. Dare we say sexy? Continue reading Die-cast: WhiteBox 1962 VW Karmann Ghia

Die-cast: Autoart Lexus LC 500

Lexus LC 500 is a sexy beast in any scale …

Life can be kind of ironic sometimes.

A few weeks back I slid behind the wheel of a beautiful Lexus LC 500h, the hybrid model of this sexy sports car. Not many current cars knock you out when you first see them, styling overall being pretty bland these days.

But the LC 500 is a knockout with the punch of a heavyweight fighter. It’s graceful, sleek, some might even say sexy. Then Autoart’s new 1/18 scale Lexus LC500 arrived for review. Talk about timely. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Lexus LC 500

Die-cast: NEO’s 1981 AMC Eagle wagon

AMC Eagle wagon beat crossover trend by decades … NEO 1981 AMC Eagle wagon

History seems to show us that the innovators, the forward thinkers are not always rewarded with success.

Consider the move over the past 25 years to AWD vehicles and crossovers in particular. Then consider the American Motors Eagle wagon. It was an early crossover to be sure, based on the Concord sedan, but with AWD, a higher ride height and enough room in back for loads of luggage. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1981 AMC Eagle wagon

Die-cast: AutoWorld’s 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Plenty of muscle on display with Chevelle SS …1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Chevrolet’s 1967 Chevelle SS is a straightforward muscle car with equally straight, lean lines that reflect fine mid-‘60s styling.

AutoWorld has re-created a variety of Chevelles through the years, including a convertible version of the ’67 in 1/18 scale. Now comes the 1/24 scale model that easily fits into plastic modelers’ collections. Plus it takes up a little less shelf space than the larger scale.

High value is what this glossy tuxedo black die-cast model represents.1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

The History

Most car guys know Chevelles and GTOs of this era as well as they know their favorite baseball player’s career stats. First-gen Chevelles debuted in 1964 and by 1967 the mid-size Chevy was among the most popular cars in the bowtie brigade’s lineup. About 63,000 were built in 1967, and the SS was top-of-the-heap. Today an SS can go in the neighborhood of $40,000 to $60 grand at better vintage auto auctions. Continue reading Die-cast: AutoWorld’s 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS

Die-cast: Autoart 1:18 Aston Martin One-77

Autoart nails sexy Aston Martin One-77aston1

Fortunately not many cars cost nearly $2 million, but then the rarity of such cars makes them all the more curious and collectable.

That’s especially true with smooth, slinky, sexy hot rods like Aston Martin’s limited production One-77. Only 77 were made from 2011 through 2012. Now Autoart unveils its version in 1:18 scale as part of its Signature Series, and what a beauty it is.

The History

Talk about a “halo” car, the One-77 is an extremely limited production super car of sorts created by England’s Aston Martin. It was an exercise in art and automotive technology first teased at the Paris Auto Show of 2008 and fully revealed at the Geneva show the next year.

aston2Its highlights include a carbon fiber monocoque chassis with hand-made aluminum body to help it click the scales at just 3,594 lbs. That’s unusual, but Aston Martin, which won the 24 Hours of LeMans back in 1959 with Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori at the wheel, has always been a purveyor of power. So the One-77 drops a gutsy 7.3-liter, 750-horse naturally aspirated V12 under its long clean swept-back hood.

That’s one of the most powerful naturally aspirated engines ever and reportedly will push the One-77 to 220 mph and 0-60 mph in about 3.5 seconds. Quick indeed, but some super cars have bettered that mark already. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart 1:18 Aston Martin One-77

Die-cast: AutoArt Mustang GT show car

Small scale Mustang GT ponies up the value, detailMustang GT

Ford’s Mustang turns 50 this year and you’d likely have to be dead not to know that by now.

A new 2015 model is being previewed at all the major car shows now and the mainstream media has been agog over 50 years of Mustang since at least January.

But if not for the 2005 revision of the famous pony car, Mustang might not have been around for its 50th Anniversary. Back in 2004 a new Mustang GT show car toured the country’s auto shows to re-launch, in a way, the Mustang brand, whose sales had slipped. Just two years earlier Chevrolet had pulled the plug on its Camaro, long Mustang’s chief competitor. It returned to Chevy’s lineup in 2010, at least in part to the Mustang’s resurgence.

So when you look at the 2005 Mustang, you see the fastback styling of the iconic late 1960s models, the GT, Mach 1 and Boss. This was the re-design that re-established Mustang in the market and led to stellar models up through the present.

mustang GT1Autoart delivers this somewhat historic Mustang now in a high-value 1:43 scale version painted a “red fire,” sparkling metallic red, with black window trim. It’s modestly priced at just $35.90 MSRP. That’s a bargain in today’s diecast market. Continue reading Die-cast: AutoArt Mustang GT show car

Die-cast: Ford Country Squire, AMC Pacer

PremiumX models offer good detail at modest price

 In 1964 I was nine and car crazy, like a lot of other kids my age then, and now.

IXO's PremiumX line includes a variety of  U.S. models.
IXO’s PremiumX line includes a variety of U.S. models.

But in the ‘60s cars changed virtually every year, with some sort of styling update, from headlights, to taillights to trim and accessories to make them look slightly updated. Ah, the good ol’ days!I was part of the Baby Boom that made station wagons one of the hottest selling car styles, and one of the more popular ones was Ford’s Country Squire, with its fake wood trim down the full length of the car. Up top, usually a chrome roof rack, set to hold the family suitcases for that trip to Wally World, er Disneyland, or maybe a national park for camping.

Now IXO, long known for its excellent racing models from F1 to LeMans racers, plunges into the American car market with its PremiumX lineup that includes a 1964 Country Squire, along with a variety of other someone obscure models. For instance, I also received a yellow 1975 AMC Pacer X for review, and there are few cars as odd as the Pacer. Continue reading Die-cast: Ford Country Squire, AMC Pacer

Die-cast: Maisto 2013 SRT Vipers

New Vipers win on value in two scales

OK, enough with all the Corvette diecast models.viper1

I love Corvettes, but everyone likes seeing something new, and different. So Hello SRT Viper! For 2013 the snake returns as the muscle atop Chrysler Corp.’s various makes and models, and none too soon.

Viper was a hot commodity for Dodge when it launched back in 1991. But as Chrysler transitioned from being owned by Mercedes-Benz to bankruptcy to Fiat ownership, the high-profile Viper was put on hiatus. Saab should be so lucky!

But Viper is back, looking like a slightly more streamlined version of its muscular self. And from a model car collector’s perspective, it’s really about the outward appearance, if you’re buying something to put on your shelf or in a case. Continue reading Die-cast: Maisto 2013 SRT Vipers