One of my favorite early toys was a Jaguar XKE, a metallic red Matchbox car. I loved it for its shape, that long lean hood and its rounded tail. It was exotic.
I’m not alone in my love for the early 1960’s E-Type, it was a landmark design that stirred the automotive world, and still does. The E-Type was unveiled at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show to rave reviews and the early Series 1 Jags, made from 1961-’68, are noted collector cars, even if their electronics were a bit sketchy.
Now comes Autoart’s long-awaited version in 1:18 scale, and while it will be available in a variety of colors, the review model is a glorious Carmen Red – perfect!
For the record, the rear-drive E-Type featured a 3.8-liter DOHC 6-cylinder engine with aluminum head and twin cams and three SU carbs. While it might not seem like much today, the Jag punched out 265 horses and delivered a top speed of 150 mph – exotic indeed. Continue reading Die-cast: Autoart E-Type Jaguar→
AutoArt nails McQueen’s racy Porsche 356 Speedster
If you’re old enough to remember the chase scene in “Bullitt” you’ll likely appreciate AutoArt’s fastidious recreation of any of Steve McQueen’s cars, including his 356 Porsche Speedster.
McQueen was a movie star first, then a racer of some note in the sports car world. Two of his movies, “Bullitt” and “LeMans” particularly highlighted his car handling abilities. Autoart already recreated that Bullitt Mustang and McQueen’s rare Jaguars XK-SS. Now it delivers a glossy black Porsche 356 Speedster, with a white No. 71 on the doors and hood, just as McQueen raced it (see photo below, right).
The car’s shape and simplicity are well modeled with perfect proportions and fine detail. For instance the headlights are taped as the car was raced, plus there are chromed screens by the tiny bulbous running lights up front. Autoart also did a superb job with the chrome work on the Porsche, including chrome-ringed taillights and thin dual exhausts, along with chrome trim along the Speedster’s sides, top and bottom. Even the chrome door handles are realistic as are the wipers and a tiny round windshield-mounted mirror. Continue reading Die-cast: AutoArt’s McQueen Porsche Speedster→
Ixo’s Ford GT40 models offer good detail, value in 1:43 scale
Ford’s GT40 is the most beautiful enclosed race car ever made, and one of the most successful too. That’s my design bias, but the GT40’s success can’t be argued.
Funny thing, it was created to settle a score at the highest levels of the automotive world. In the early 1960s Henry Ford II was rebuked in efforts to buy Ferrari and declared war on the Italian sports car maker and race team. The GT40, originally with a Lola chassis and various Ford V8 engines, was his weapon. By 1964 the first GT40 was raced at the Nurburgring 1000km endurance race and then the 24 Hours of LeMans, where three were entered and one led. All failed to finish. Yet ultimately the GT40 would win four straight LeMans 24-hour endurance races from 1966 through 1969, a remarkable run that ended Ferrari’s reign as the LeMans champ. Ferarri has not won LeMans since.With the annual endurance race being run in late June, this is a good time to look at what the diecast world offers regarding the only successful U.S. manufacturer’s race efforts. Continue reading Die-cast: LeMans-winning Ford GT40s→
Slot car racers who prefer to run something different and value fine body detail, along with performance will love this crisp white Porsche 911 GT1 EVO98 from Slot.it.
Slot.it is known for its strong lineup of LeMans and GT racers and this one is from the 1998 Oschersleben 500, the opening round of the FIA GT Championship season, in Germany. This white and red beauty run by the Zakspeed team finished fourth overall with German drivers Alexander Grau and Andreas Scheld at the wheel.
The car was all new in 1998 to take on the likes of the uber successful Mercedes-Benz CLK GTRs on their better Bridgestone tires. Zakspeed was running less competitive Pirelli tires that season. But none of that will matter with the Slot.it version. Continue reading Slot.it Porsche 911 GT1 EVO98→
Special Audi LeMans racer looks great, fast on track!
I first ran into Slot.it racers in while walking the exhibits at Toy Fair in Nuremberg, Germany, 10 years ago and was impressed with the firm’s detailed car bodies. But I have to admit, at the time I thought, “Good luck. Hope you make a go of it.”
There’s plenty of competition in the slot world, with well-established players. … BUT Slot.it DID make a go of it, and now celebrates its 10th anniversary with the reissuing of its original Audi R8C LeMans racer. When first launched it was rare for a slot car maker to have such a new model, as the car had raced at LeMans in 1999.
But that’s just the start of how Slot.it has pushed the envelope for 1:32 scale slot cars. Its chassis and wheels are light, some models using hollow aluminum wheels, and its motors are tightly wound for power. Most enthusiasts consider these to be the top-level cars on the market, in looks, and performance. Continue reading Slot car: Slot.it 10th Anniversary Audi R8C→