JL’s latest Chevy storage tin assortment offers unique models …
You may be a Ford guy or a MOPAR maniac, but there’s no denying that Chevrolet is, and has been, the top-selling domestic brand for decades.
And while Johnny Lightning is an equal-opportunity die-cast car maker, it makes sense for the maker of 1/64 scale cars and trucks to go heavy on Chevy (and its kissin’ cousin GMC) once in a while. Indeed JL does just that with its latest releases of the 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo SS, 1972 Chevy Vega Panel Express and GMC’s muscular 1992 Typhoon.
There are two versions, A and B, so you could snag two of each, but in different colors, or just collect the A or B models. Plus these latest releases are part of its series that include a cool storage tin with a picture of the model on each side and the Lightning logo on the top and each end too. Continue reading Die-cast: Johnny Lightning Chevy assortment→
I’m a sucker for 1/64 scale die-cast cars because I grew up garaging Matchbox and Hot Wheels in shoe boxes and plastic carrying cases. Just entering my teens when Johnny Lightning debuted 50 years ago, I was impressed with its castings’ quality and realism compared with the other brands.
Now Johnny Lightning is celebrating its 50th anniversary and its parent, Round2, is creating a series of Themed 2-Packs that are worthy of being in any modeler or collector’s display case. The latest is release 1 of its Barn Finds and Nickey Chevrolet castings. As always, the display cards are stellar and challenge you to keep these 2-packs intact, and clean, or open them and enjoy the feel of die-cast model cars. Tough choice as I’ve said before.
Round2’s small scale cars deliver bang for the buck! …
As I mentioned in my introduction to this issue, Round2’s Johnny Lightning brand celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year and while various special releases are eminent, its Racing Champions brand continues to make similarly excellent 1/64 die-cast cars that are available right now. Continue reading Die-cast: Racing Champions’ Mint, Release 3A→
One of my favorite race cars, and that of many other youngsters in the 1970s was the PJ Colt that Al Unser drove to back-to-back Indianapolis 500 wins in 1970 and ’71.
It was colorful and with its lightning bolts on the nose and tail the car looked fast and, well, cool!
Replicarz knows that and created beautiful versions of both the 1970 and ’71 cars in 1/43 scale a couple years back. Now it turns its considerable attention to the more detailed 1/18 scale model of the original 1970 racer. This takes the detailing on the Colt to a much finer level and creates a stunning desktop display car.
Al Unser teamed up with former racer Parnelli Jones’ race team for 1970, driving its Ford V8-powered PJ Colt chassis to win the national driving title and the Indy 500 that year. Sponsorship, and the beautiful car livery, came courtesy of sponsor Johnny Lightning, a toy die-cast car maker (Topper Toys) competing with the likes of Matchbox and Mattel’s Hot Wheels brands.
By 1971 Al Unser was no longer just Bobby Unser’s younger brother, he was a 2-time Indianapolis 500 winner, while Bobby had won just once.
The decidedly quieter, more humble Al had wisely hooked up with Parnelli Jones’ team and had the dominant PJ Colt chassis and a Ford V8 engine behind him. That helped Al lead 190 of the 200 laps after winning the pole position as fastest qualifier in 1970. He would not only win Indy that and the following year, but the Indy Car National Championship in 1970.
Unser and the team also were lucky to have the colorful sponsorship of Johnny Lightning, a then new die-cast toy car maker that was challenging the likes of Hot Wheels and Matchbox. The result was a colorful bright blue racer with yellow lightning bolts in 1970 and a darker blue version with those same electric bolts for 1971. Every kid in America knew this car and its color scheme.
Replicarz announces Tom Sneva Indy 500 pole car from 1984
I know I’m prejudiced, but I love Indy cars. Born in Indy, have been going to races since 1962 … yikes I’m old!
I mean real race cars don’t have roofs, right?
Well, the folks at Replicarz in Vermont understand that and just keep the cool new Indy die-cast racers coming. I know I’ve gone on and on about the Marmon Wasp, but it’s almost here. Replicarz assures me it’ll be out in MAY, appropriately. AND, look for another batch of modern-era rear-engine racers then too.First, the Wasp itself looks to be spectacular. The highly detailed replica of the 1911 Indy 500 winner, says Brian Fothergill of Replicarz, has been tweaked even further to ensure authenticity and create a show stopper. He notes that the engine will be wired and that the end of the Wasp’s stinger tail will be painted flat black to add depth.But next up in May is the 1984 Indy pole winner’s car, the Texaco Star driven by the Gas Man, Tom Sneva.