Long-nosed Corvette XP-700 concept a mixed bag of styling …
General Motors was big into concept cars in the 1950s, many having fighter jet and missile styling, be it the nose, tail or just the model and engine names, such as the Oldsmobile’s Rocket 88 in Pontiac’s Starfire.
So, naming an experimental or concept car the XP-700 seems natural enough, and that’s what Chevrolet did with its body styling experiment for Corvette on the 1959 auto show circuit. The XP featured a wide-mouthed, low-slung Ferrari-style nose protruding from the already recognizable quad headlights in rounded fenders that Corvette introduced in its 1958 model. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1959 Chevrolet Corvette XP-700
Ferrari’s Lancia spinoff a beauty of its own redesign …
If you’re a connoisseur of vintage Formula 1 cars you may be synched with the differences between the Lancia D50 and Ferrari D50 and how they are linked.
CMC knows its stuff when it comes to F1 cars and so once it produced the Lancia D50 it wasn’t a huge stretch that it would create the Ferrari model. Now it has, again in 1/18 scale, and again a museum-quality build.
Our review model was the first offering in this line, the unmarked Ferrari D50, model No. M-180. Naturally it’s a bright shiny Ferrari red with prancing horse logos on either side of the cowl, just in front of the cockpit. Continue reading CMC’s 1956 Ferrari D50
CMC’s latest F1 car a stunning Lancia D50 …
Lancia was a late-comer to Formula 1 racing after World War II, but it had the genius of engineer Vitorrio Jano as its secret weapon. He had created the successful Alfa Romeo 8C pre-war.
So in late 1954 Lancia’s beautiful and unusual D50 joined the F1 circuit for the last race of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix where 2-time world driving champ Alberto Ascari put it on the pole with the fastest time.
While setting a fast pace with a record lap, it wasn’t reliable and lasted only 9 laps. But what had captured the racing public’s interest and other designers’ attention was its design with two outrigged pannier gas tanks, its off-center engine mount and low seating position to better distribute weight.
Now CMC nails the design in 1/18 scale with another hand-built metal die-cast model consisting of 1,598 parts, and no, I didn’t count them all.
Gianni Lancia wanted to be a part of the F1 racing world so had Vano design the radical D50. Unfortunately it basically bankrupted his car manufacturing company by mid-1955 and he handed over the team to Enzo Ferrari. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1954-55 Lancia D50
Autoart crafts delicate 1965 Honda F1 beauty …
In the glory days of Formula 1 racing new teams joined the ranks of the old standbys, Ferrari, BRM and Lotus to prove they too could build fast open-wheel racers with strong engines. For the fans it was exciting, not the least of which was because all the cars looked different and featured their country’s racing colors, not corporate sponsors.
Into this racing environment came Honda in 1964. The Japanese car maker had only been building road cars for four years and already was set to challenge the established F1 teams, plus it built its own chassis and engine. Few race teams did both at the time.
Autoart has created the Honda RA272, Honda’s second F1 racer as it competed in 1965, its first full season on the F1 trail, which was conducted mostly in Europe with European race teams. This 1/18 scale model of the car American Richie Ginther drove to Honda’s first F1 win is a delicate beauty befitting the simplicity of mid-1960s racers. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart Honda RA272 1965 Mexico GP winner
CMC nails sporty ’56 Maserati racer
Maserati is just slightly below Ferrari on the ooh and aah list of exotic Italian cars that car lovers and race car collectors recognize.
So when CMC, the premier 1:18 die-cast car modeler, rolls out a stunning red Maserati 300S, serious collectors will take note. Back in the 1950s Maserati racers were primo and highly competitive with the likes of Ferrari and Jaguar in sports car competition, and the 300S generally was a success. But equally important, it had, and has, a beautiful shape.
The 1956 model that CMC recently unveiled featured a twin-plug inline 6-cylinder engine with 3 Weber carbs and a hearty 245 horsepower that could propel it from 0-60 in about five seconds with a top speed of 180 mph. THAT was moving in the mid-’50s. Continue reading Die-cast: 1956 Maserati 300S