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Altered States – 3

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Interiors.Altereds have working interiors…. no frills, just the components to get the job done: seat with belts, roll bar, steering wheel, gas pedal, clutch, brake handle, parachute release cable and a few gauges. All look great and their restraint systems are the nicest I’ve seen.

Packaging.These cars come packaged in a two-piece foam cocoon that is inside a box with illustrations, pictures and the history of the car. I enjoy this because it gives me reference points so that I can compare the model with pictures of the real car in action. The history helps the purchaser understand the importance and context of the particular car.

In Summary.This is really a wonderful series of cars! Precision Miniatures has done a fantastic job of creating beautiful replicas of some of the most iconic cars from the “Golden Days of Drag Racing”. These cars may not have the worldwide appeal that Porsches and Ferraris might have, but for those of us who have seen these cars race, they left a lasting impression of what racing was like when it was done with passion and without the huge budgets and corporate sponsorships we see today. These cars were driven by guys that defied death every time they made a pass down the strip and the fans recognized and appreciated it. PM invested the time and attention to do these cars right. Whether you enjoy them because they bring back fond memories or you just appreciate PM’s incredible execution, they are a joy to own.

Precision Miniatures (818) 503-4835
http://motorcityusa.com/index.php
Models available from Precision Miniatures or your local diecast retailer

Pure Heaven II.Leon Fitzgerald, with his partners Richard Rockman and R.T. Reed built this car in Orange County, California. Its name was a take-off on Rich Guasco’s “Pure Hell” car and they had occasions to race….. “between Heaven and Hell”. The car was powered by a 6-71 blown big-block Chevy “Rat Motor”. Fitzgerald was the primary driver and Rockman took some turns at the wheel, as well. Leon still owns this car and it is seen at the annual NHRA “Cacklefest” at Bakersfield’s Famoso drag strip. The rest of the time, the car is kept at the NHRA Museum at the Pomona Fairplex. The car’s best performance was in the low 200’s with 7.30 e.t.’s.

The Engines.Four cars and two types of engines: Two Blown Chrysler “Hemis” and two Blown Chevy big block “Rat Motors”. The engines on these cars are extremely convincing. If you look closely and compare the engines with the pictures on the boxes, you’ll see that PM’s done an amazing job of getting all of the details right. Not just the pieces, but the finishes. If the car had a polished blower case so does the model; if the case was sandblasted, then the model’s that way too! The injector hats or scoops have been made as a single piece giving them a really authentic look. The plumbing of the fuel system going to the injectors is the most accurate I’ve seen….. it’s just remarkable all the little tubes, hoses and valves! And the blower drives and exhausts look good enough to work!

The Bodies and PaintThis series has one Ford Model T, a Fiat Topolino and two Bantams. When I spoke with Leon Fitzgerald about his Bantam-bodied “Pure Heaven II”, he said several times, “Make sure they put the rear fenders on the Bantam!” This would have been an easy detail to overlook. By the time they got to “Pure Heaven II”, Precision Miniatures had already done “Pure Hell” a Bantam which didn’t use the rear fenders. But the folks at PM re-tooled the body so Leon could have his tiny fenders and the car is much better for it. Each body captures the car at a time in its life with beautiful accuracy. The paint and the tampos are unbelievable in their faithfulness to the 1:1 cars. You can take a magnifying glass and read names and phone numbers off of tiny decals that were even tiny on the full-size car. Just amazing! PM really sweats the details! I know they lost months sending prototypes back and forth to China trying to get the gold-leaf lettering on “Pure Heaven II” just right…….. they did and it’s gorgeous! All the grain of the metalflake paint is a perfect scale presentation. Look at the fish scales on the Mondello and Matsubara car…… perfect.

Suspension and Chassis.Each one of the chassis of the four cars is different. And the model front suspensions have to support the weight of the diecast car……. so much for having spindly pieces. But PM has been able to create the look of the chassis and suspension while still having components that are robust enough to survive shipping and the day-to-day life of a diecast model. The front suspensions may be a little modified, but they get the job done and you won’t end-up with a box full of broken parts. The tires and wheels are the best I’ve seen, as always! They’re scuffed and look totally believable.

SPECS

Scale: 1:18
Overall length: 8.5 in.
Wheelbase: 5.125 in.
Width: 3.5 in.
Height: 3.75 – 3.875 in
Weight: 11 – 12 oz.
Price: $129


FEATURES
» Posable suspension with rolling wheels mounting scuffed tires
» Beautifully executed finishes and graphics
» Highly detailed fuel system


RATINGS (scal
e of 1-5)

Body, paint 4.5

Wheels, tires 5

Engine 4.5

Chassis, suspension, undercarriage 4

Interior 3.5

Presentation, proportion, stance 4.75

Collectibility 4

Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:24 AM

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