Tag Archives: Jaguar E-Type

Die-cast: CMC’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

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CMC creates Ferrari’s most beautiful, the 250 GTO

The term “icon” is bandied about nearly as much as politicians promise tax cuts, but if you’re a Ferrari lover of a certain age, the 1962 250 GTO is likely the first car you think of when you hear “Ferrari” mentioned.

I know, I raced an HO version on my old Aurora slot car track as a kid and fell in love with Ferrari’s long, lean, muscular GTO immediately. Models and more slots followed, but now CMC does us GTO lovers the favor of re-creating the 1962 model in museum quality die-cast and perfectly sized in 1/18 scale. Oh, Baby!

The History

GTO’s backstory is that Enzo Ferrari was worried in 1961 that Jaguar’s sleek new E-Type was going to eat Ferrari’s lunch. So he set Giotto Bizzarrini to designing the 250 GTO, based on the 250 SWB Competizione’s chassis and using its solid Columbo V12.

But this one would have larger valves and create about 300 horsepower, use a 5-speed gearbox, add a new rear axle and thin aluminum body panels. Plus Bizzarrini would work with the University of Milan’s wind tunnel to improve aerodynamics. It worked, as top speed was 170 mph with a 5.0-second 0-to-60 mph mark.

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CMC creates a stunning interior.

The emotional Ferrari fired Bizzarrini later in 1961 in one of his many firing binges, yet the car proved a success. Top-notch drivers Phil Hill and Oliver Gendebien finished first in class at Sebring and second overall in the car’s first race. The 250 GTO won the GT manufacturer’s title 1962-’64. Overall, just 39 were made. Continue reading Die-cast: CMC’s 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO

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Die-cast: Automodello 1964 Marcos 1800

Automodello’s 1964 Marcos 1800

The Marcos nose looks a lot like the Jaguar E-Type.
The Marcos nose looks a lot like the Jaguar E-Type.

Unless you’re of the age where the name Marcos reminds you of a former Philippine strong man/president, you may be a bit puzzled by the Marcos automobile name.

But in the 1960s Marcos was a racer, one that looked somewhat Italian, but with a long nose more shaped like that of the famous Jaguar E-Type.

Certainly Automodello knows Marcos, and loves its cars’ looks. So the Illinois-based model maker has added a 1:43 lineup of 1964 Marcos sports coupes to its offerings of some of the most unusual classic cars available to us collectors. Like its other cars, these are cast in resin with photo-etched bright work.

Just out are red and royal blue models of the 1964 Marcos 1800 two-seater, both in limited quantities. In fact, Automodello is making only 499 of the red Marcos and just 64 of the Tribute Edition royal blue model. Its Tribute Editions are always exceedingly rare in quantity and these are hand-signed by Jem Marsh, who recently died.

The History:

Jem Marsh and Frank Costin (MarCos, get it?) teamed up in 1959 to build lightweight sports cars with wooden monocoque frames. Cost was low and performance high as they dropped Volvo P1800 4-cylinder engines into their 1964 Marcos 1800 that featured a fiberglass-reinforced plastic body.marcos red1

Early models weren’t as sleek and exciting looking as the 1800, but by 1964 the duo had ironed out the bugs, including styling that made the 1800 stand out among sports coupes of the era. These had 4-speed gearboxes with MGB-sourced overdrive units and Triumph-sourced hood latches to allow the car’s front section to flip forward providing access to the engine compartment.

With 114 horsepower, an aerodynamic body and overall light weight, the Marcos would do 0-60 mph in about 9 seconds with a top speed of 115 mph. The cars also handled extremely well with tightly sprung suspensions, making it a favorite among racers, especially in England where they were built. The car company was successful through the early 1970s but after building a modern factory hit on a tough times, went out of business and then reformed. Ultimately Marcos ceased car production in 2007.

The Model:

Automodello’s review models were both crisply executed with glossy paint jobs and fine detail that make these stand out from many 1:43 brands. For instance, the red model is left-hand drive with the photo-etched chrome windshield wipers posed to sweep right to left. The blue Tribute model is right-hand drive with the wipers posed the opposite way.

The rarer Tribute Edition is a gorgeous royal blue.
The rarer Tribute Edition is a gorgeous royal blue.

In addition the Tribute model features classy wire-spoke wheels as opposed to solid wheels on the red model.

In any case, detailing is strong with photo-etch chrome trim around all windows, the big lens-covered dual headlights, front and rear bumpers, a gas cap atop the trunk and latch below the Marcos nameplate on the trunk’s rear lip. Door handles are scoops in the doors’ edges and there’s a highlighted key hole on each door and Marcos logo on the hood.

The small running lights below the split front bumper (again, very much like the Jag E-Type) almost look to glow and the trio of taillights are well executed too.

Interiors are tan in the red model and black in the blue car, with the tan being more interesting because you can see more detail on the lighter color. The review model has a black 3-spoke wheel, shifter and dash face and you can see the instrumentation on that model. You also can see the silver door releases and assist handles in both models’ interiors.

You’ll notice there are no mirrors on either model. That’s not a mistake, it’s because mirrors were optional on the original cars.

Tires are treaded, but with no branding, and the single exhausts are black and well detailed. Both cars are mounted on black bases with the car’s name printed mid-base and the acrylic tops fit snugly and are cleanly molded. The red model reflects the car displayed in the 1964 Racing Car Show display and the blue model represents a model shown in 1964 sales brochures.

A black model with tan interior is planned too as an Homage Edition, with only 24 to be made. Talk about rare!

FAST Stats: 1964 Marcos 1800 red/royal blue

Maker: Automodello

Scale: 1/43

Stock No.: AM43-MAR-180-LS (red), AM43-MAR-180-TE (blue)

MSRP: $119.95/$149.95

2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible

Jag’s F-Type V8 roars to new heightsjag1

Jaguar still carries some mystique from its racing days of the 1950s and ‘60s, but it has been devoid of a two-seat sports car for ages.

While many of its newer sedans have been sexy beasts, they have not satisfied that hot rod Jaguar need for a Porsche 911 fighter … until now. The F-Type convertible’s debut delivers the most enticing roadster design since Jaguar’s E-Type wowed auto enthusiasts in the 1960s.

This model has a long nose, big engine and svelte tail too, along with a price tag to match your expectations once you’ve spied an F-Type. This week’s test car was the ultimate S V8 version with a starting price at a simple $92,000. Add an $895 delivery fee and that should about do it, well, almost.

The gorgeous Italian Racing Red (medium metallic red and $1,500 extra) test racer, er car, added a bevy of goodies packages to push this rear-drive beauty to $103,820. Pricey, but easily not the priciest sports car around.

Beyond its stellar looks, and they are stellar, the Jag delivers first-rate performance delivered with the best exhaust tone of any car I’ve driven in at least five years. Plus the Performance Pack that adds $2,950 to the bottom line includes Selective Active Exhaust that allows you to improve its sound with the touch of a console button.

jag3The Jag’s deep throaty V8 bellow coupled with its crackling exhaust note when you gun the engine and then let off suddenly is a thing of audible beauty. People look. People are envious. People wish they were you.

OK, so maybe that’s childish of me, or any buyer, to enjoy. But it IS enjoyable, as is virtually every other bit of the F-Type’s performance. Continue reading 2014 Jaguar F-Type V8 S Convertible