1960 Thunderbird convertible still stylish after all these years …
Long before Ford’s Thunderbird grew into a full-size luxury coupe with long hood and monstrous dimensions, it was a cool sportster, first a two-seater, then a four-seater.
From its launch as a 1955 through the end of its second generation model, 1960, the T-bird was a styling home run. That’s why I’m happy to see NEO’s fine 1/43 scale model of the 1960 model in convertible trim. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1960 Ford Thunderbird
Pink DeSoto Firedome will light up a display case …
Pink was a hot color in the 1950s. Think Florida, think flamingos, think the Latin influence of Cuba and Desi and Lucy. Two-tone cars also were all the rage as the nation climbed out of the gloomy war years into the bustling 1950s.
So, a two-tone pink and metallic rosy dark pink 1956 DeSoto Firedome 4-door Seville seems to perfectly reflect the mid-1950s’ look and feel in the automotive world. To that end, NEO has cranked out a beautifully finished and detailed 1/43 model of the DeSoto, aglitter with chrome trim. Continue reading Diecast: NEO’s 1956 DeSoto Firedome
Plymouth Valiant Wagon sharp in 1/43 scale …
Wagons are ho-hum these days, and nearly extinct, unless you count crossovers as wagons.
But in the 1960s they were a big deal as families tried to make room for the Baby Boom generation that was rapidly filling up their sedans. At the same time, a sizeable portion of auto buyers was looking for smaller, more economical cars. Hey, all those kids needed food and sneakers too! Continue reading Neo’s 1960 Plymouth Valiant Wagon
Willys Jeepster the first crossover? …
Everyone likes Jeeps and they were the real deal in leading the way to today’s SUVs and AWD vehicles. But did you know Jeep made a crossover, sort of?
In 1948 the Jeepster debuted as a car that looked much like a Jeep/car/truck combo, with a convertible top. What the heck more could folks have wanted? Probably power! Continue reading NEO’s 1948 Willys Jeepster
Michelin tire truck a big win for Bib …
Who doesn’t recognize, and like, the Michelin Man? He’s probably even more famous than the Pillsbury Dough Boy, although I’ve never heard Bibendum (Bib for short) giggle.
Well, IXO loves him too and has come up with an unusual Michelin tire truck, especially for the North American market. This is a French Saviem truck from 1970, something you’d see delivering tires to the local Michelin tire store, or maybe backed up to the garage area at a European racetrack.
In 1/43 scale it’s a showcase stopper in its yellow and blue trim and runs roughly 7.5 inches long. Our review copy was provided by American-Excellence, which handles IXO, BOS Models and NEO, among other brands.
Saviem’s history is interesting, and to be honest, it’s a truck maker I had never heard of until the sample arrived. Turns out that Saviem existed from 1955 to 1978 in France and the name is a mash-up of its original truck firms that were all merged at that point, by Renault after it has abandoned the commercial truck and bus business following World War II.
Continue reading Die-cast: Ixo’s 1970 Saviem JM 21/240 Michelin truck
Buick’s 1956 concept car really did have futuristic features …
GM’s concept cars of the 1950s were showcased in traveling shows called Motorama and actually looked futuristic and in some cases included features that would show up on future cars, sometimes way into the future.
One was the bright red over white Buick Centurion XP-301 that was displayed in 1956 Motorama shows. NEO now offers a stellar example of the show car in 1:43 scale, and the resin model may surprise you.
The Centurion, a name later used in the 1970s by Buick, was a Harley Earl design reflecting the aircraft and rocket styling touches that were so popular in the 1950s as the U.S. was rushing toward the space race.
Its pincher like nose design with headlights in rocketlike pods would grab everyone’s attention at the time, along with the tapered tail that looks like a jet engine with overhanging flat fins. Oh, and then there’s the bubble top, completely clear except for the metal support structure and window frames. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1956 Buick Centurion XP-301
1935 Stout Scarab, the first minivan …
I’ve seen two Stout Scarabs in my life, one up close and personal, one in a museum. Both were amazing.
The Scarab was a minivan before anyone even thought of minivans. It’s a rounded aerodynamic bug of a car, before the world was aware of the VW Beetle, although it may have already been on Ferdinand Porsche’s drawing board in the 1930s. It’s light before automakers were thinking of weight reduction.
Now NEO creates a beautiful 1/43 scale 1935 Stout Scarab in silver and it’s an eye-catcher that’s smartly executed.
The Scarab came from Stout Engineering Laboratories, later Stout Motor Car Co. in Detroit and was designed in 1932 by William Bushnell Stout, an aviation and car engineer. He believed in strong lightweight bodies, so created a unitized body structure from aluminum aircraft metal with the help of designer John Tjarrda. The result was a car that would seat at least six and weighed less than 3,000 lbs.
In back they dropped a Ford V8 and with that rear-end placement, eliminated the weighty driveshaft found in other cars. Unlike most cars in the 1930s, the Scarab had no running boards and used coil springs and independent suspension at all four corners for a better ride. Seating inside could be reconfigured too to face backward or forward. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1935 Stout Scarab