The Phantom Menace: Automodello’s Corsair is on deck

Nov 19, 2011 No Comments by

Those 57 Varieties must have been running pretty well when Rusty Heinz contracted Maurice Schwartz (of Bohman & Schwartz coach builders) to help design and build a special car, atop an already special machine. Thus the dashing coachwork of the Phantom Corsair, of which only one would ever be made, was built onto a Cord 810 chassis. With front wheel drive and 4.7 liter V8 power, the Cord frame and drive train were a match made in heaven for the incredible Heinz/Schwartz design, which eschewed fenders and running boards, and did away with frilly external ornamentation in favor of a streamlined, extremely low (for the time) profile and skirted wheel wells.

Heinz spent $24,000 on the prototype car – enough scratch for a couple of plush homes in 1938 – and intended to sell more at around $12,500.00 a copy. Unfortunately, Rusty Heinz died before production could be set up, and all that remained of the man’s dream was that original car.

Automodello will be fielding a 1:24 resin-bodied replica of the Corsair this December, and if it’s up to the par of the recent 1:43 this company’s been rolling out (and we’ve no reason to believe it won’t be), it’s going to be a stunner. Like most of Automodello’s chosen subjects, it’s a rare bird – and an even rarer subject in scale. Look for a tidy casting, as evidenced by these factory pre-production images, done in the deep, hand-rubbed paint finish that this maker is becoming known for.

Expect the model to be extremely limited in its production, as well – only 299 will be made.


Gallery > Automodello Phantom Corsair

Tags: 2006 JULY


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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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