PhillyMint 1:24 1970 Hemi Challenger R/T: Basic, Black, and Badass

Jul 22, 2011 No Comments by

One of the constants in the hobby these days is change, and we really can’t find fault in that – especially when the shifting tides bring along models like these PhillyMint 1970 Dodge Hemi Challengers. These are contract pieces – built by Diecast Promotions to specs sent along by PhillyMint – and they’re helping to pop the doors open a new segment in this scale: high detail, custom-spec sub-$100.00 models.

For around sixty bucks, you get good paint, a believable texture on the vinyl roof, and foil and hard chrome trim that’s been well placed and set into the body casting without so much as a stray line. The wheels and tires really sell the image; beneath foil trimmed wheel wells, they wear the right argent on the Rally rims. The wheels are centered with chrome caps and lugs and shod with factory-correct E60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GT tires.

Challengers were flexible cars; starting with the slant six, the engine choices ran the gamut of 318, 340, and 383 engines. A trip north of the 400 cube border left you with two displacement choices: the 440 or the 426 Hemi. That’s the motor this pair of R/Ts totes under the domed hoods, and it’s wired, piped, and painted neatly beneath an ovoid, twin-carb air cleaner. A trick metal grille rounds out the cars’ front ends, and a working suspension and overspray-detailed chassis keeps things together below. Inside are pistol grip shifters for the four-speed trannys (a Torqueflite auto was the only other option with the elephant motor) and well detailed dashboards, set before bucket seats with fabric belts and photoetched buckles.

And herein lies the rub: The standard release is the R/T with black seats and door panels; 354 made… if you want the far rarer (150 made) white gut car, you’ll need to pony the sixty clams for the triple black one first, then grab your chance at its fairer twin, for another $60.00.

Once in hand, you’ll want to watch those trim pieces – they’re set atop the finish, and a wrong move can yank them off the car. But in a segment where the usual tip-in is twice this pair’s asking amount, I’ve got no problem recommending either – or both.

www.phillymint.com

Gallery > Phillymint Challengers

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About the author

I was always crazy about toy cars and car-themed play sets, but I got hooked on car models when my cousin sent me a pair of built-up AMT kits - a '61 Continental and a '57 Thunderbird. I was six or seven years old when another cousin - Carl - showed me how to build and paint, and by the time I was nine, I had a pretty good collection and a great "spares box" on hand. The original Auto World catalogs were my dream books; my allowance was spent before it was ever earned, and I knew every hobby store and model retailer on Long Island. Then came slot cars, Cox .049-engined Baja Buggies and airplanes, and, ultimately, the real things. I still have some of those old models, and when time allows, I still build or detail scale cars. But it's the ready-to-display replicas and scale racing models that have really had me jazzed for the past fifteen years or so. The "mint" diecasts and the 1:18 American Muscle cars that I cut my serious collecting (and writing) teeth on back then led straight to the current crop of offerings from high-end makers and models in every scale. I also love scale model photography, and shooting, scoring, and producing videos of the models I love. I'm a proud member of the DiecastSpace Diecast Hall of Fame, as well as the Diecast Car Collectors' Club Diecast Scale Model Hall of Fame. I'm also proud to be a part of the Die Cast X Team, and as Editor-in-Chief, I'm looking forward to years of growing the publication and showing new collectors how much fun this hobby can be. And, yeah - I still have that spares box.
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