First, a welcome to DNA Collectibles, a Swiss company, new to the 1/18-scale die-cast car market. If its beautiful sample of the Audi R8 LMX is indicative of its quality, the market has another fine competitor. Continue reading Die-cast: DNA’s Audi R8 LMX
The times, and location of car columns, is a changin’ ….
There comes a time to say goodbye to parts of our lives.
Since 1984 my byline has appeared in the Milwaukee Sentinel, and later the Journal Sentinel, first on feature stories, then business stories and since at least 1989 on a car review column, Savage on wheels. On Jan. 21 my last column appeared in the Sunday Cars section.
We had a lot of fun in those early Sentinel years. Just for grins I tested a military version of the Hummer during the Gulf War, drove the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, tested a watercraft on Lac La Belle, a Duck at the Wisconsin Dells, and drove a one-horse open sleigh at Old World Wisconsin. I even got to fulfill a childhood dream by taking a 3-day Skip Barber racing class at Road America, and while the Andretti clan didn’t have anything to worry about, I had a blast, and got faster each day.
By my estimate I’ve driven more than 1,500 cars and trucks for my reviews, although never a Ferrari or Lamborghini. Yet I did get to drive a Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Lotus, along with numerous Jaguars, Audis, Mercedes, Lexus, and Jeeps, even off road. Heck, some brands I tested in that stretch are long gone — Plymouth, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Saturn, Scion, Suzuki. Looks like brands starting with P and S are doomed!
Don’t ask which car was my favorite, I can’t pick just one.
I left the paper 18+ years ago for a magazine career at Kalmbach Media and there was no reason the Journal Sentinel had to let me keep writing the column. But the editors did, and I’m eternally grateful.
So this is just an online thank you note to everyone who has supported me at the newspaper, and all my faithful readers for 30+ years who have been critiquing (mentally and via email) my reviews, my annual Zoomie awards, and stories from the Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee auto shows. It was a great ride. Thanks so much.
But wait, there’s more … While bidding goodbye to my newspaper home of 35 years, this is not goodbye for Savage on wheels. There’s still my website, AND, some good news will be coming shortly from another trusted Milwaukee media outlet that plans to carry my weekly car and truck reviews. So stay tuned!
1937 Delage a near perfect one-off …
Today, rich folks will plunk out a half a million bucks for a new Ferrari or Lamborghini and think they have something special, unique. Yet hundreds are made of such models.
Consider the rich folks of the 1930s who selected a fine chassis and drivetrain from a high-end manufacturer, like France’s Delage, and then commissioned a coachmaker to build a one-off body, just for their chassis. Ah, now that’s exclusivity.
That’s exactly what happened in 1937 when a Delage D8-120 S chassis was built and delivered to coachbuilder Pourtout that created a hand-formed aluminum body for the car. And what a body it was!
Now Automodello recreates a 1/24 scale cast resin version of this streamlined beauty. It’s a knockout!
The Delage D8-120 S Aerodynamic Coupe is fantastic is a true one-off designed by famed stylist Georges Paulin. Records show the body alone cost $18,000 to build, roughly $300,000 in today’s coin.
The car was first shown at the Paris Auto Show in 1937 and Louis Delage, the carmaker’s owner, drove the car for three years before it was sold. Delage had always believed in proving his car’s mettle by racing them, one even winning the 1914 Indianapolis 500. So performance was important to him. Continue reading Die-cast: Automodello’s 1937 Delage D8-120 S
The Noble M600 may be the fastest car you’ve never heard of, and no wonder in the U.S. market because it’s not readily available here.
Nope, Noble is a British supercar made outside Leiscester, England, where it sells for 200,000 pounds. How much that translates into U.S. dollars after the Brexit vote may require a phone call to your local banker .
But Automodello’s new 1/43 scale version is a modest, considering the original’s price tag, $119.95. And we shouldn’t be surprised that Automodello takes on the Noble for a model as it has been mining models of some of the lesser known makes and rare vintage cars and racers that other die-cast and resin model maker have steered clear of. For the record, this is Automodello’s first model of a currently produced car and away from its vintage lineup.
Ferraris are fine, but Lamborghinis have been pressing the styling envelope more during the past 20 years or so. The new Huracan, Spanish for hurricane, continues the Italian car maker’s design dominance.
Long, low and sleek with little slits of headlights and taillights and an engine just behind the supercar’s two bucket seats give the Huracan both an elegant and bullet-like appearance.
The Huracan replaces Lamborghini’s popular and swoopy Gallardo model, the Huracan hitting the streets in late 2014. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4
Bugatti’s existence is best characterized by a rollercoaster. Its ups have been spectacular, and its downs, well, also were outs.
But in September of 1991 its new owner introduced the new mid-engine EB110 GT, the 110 signifying the 110th anniversary of company founder Ettore Bugatti’s birth. The EB110 was a supercar ahead of its times in several ways. Sadly, sales results weren’t one of its successes.
Bugatti, an Italian who built his successful company in France, created beautiful high-performance cars for years, its heyday being the 1920 and 30s. But the company floundered after World War II and ceased production in 1963, only to be revived in 1986 by Romano Artiolli. When it appeared in 1991, the 110 GT was Bugatti’s first car in roughly 40 years and it was spectacular.
The supercar featured the low lean look that Ferrari and Lamborghini had been taking to the bank for years, but added scissor-style doors and a 3.6-liter quad-turbo V12 and all-wheel-drive to make it both racy looking and giving it top-shelf performance. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart’s Bugatti EB110 GT
Autoart’s Pagani Huayra is a super supercar, but pricey like the real deal
Italy is the home of supercars, but I remember when Ferrari was pretty much the only super car that folks recognized by name. In fact, there weren’t all that many super cars out there.
Then came Lamborghini (also from Italy), then McLaren (from England) and now Pagani, another Italian firm. These boutique supercar builders create small batches of $1+ million road warriors that could be raced, but that mostly sit around in rare car collections and occasionally show up at high-profile car shows, now known as concours.
One such beautiful beast is Pagani’s Huayra, which Autoart now creates in 1:18 scale. The Huayra is named after Wayra Tata, which I’m told means “God of the Winds.” That is in Quechau, the official language of the Inca empire. I’ll have to brush up on my Quechau to confirm that.
In any case, Pagani started making supercars in 1999, first launching the Zonda. The Huayra, only the second Pagani model, debuted in 2011 and went into production in 2012 under the watchful eye of designer Horacio Pagani. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart 1:18 Pagani Huayra