XCO 1:64 Lexus GS450h: One From Out of “Dabox”

Mar 18, 2012 No Comments by

Back when the Internal Combustion Engine was first making its presence known, folks would put money on impromptu horse vs. automobile races. The horses, who needed nothing more than a bale of hay and a shot of spur to get them motivated, would usually be at the finish line happily chomping oats while the home-tuned cars (which needed substantially more in the way of coddling just to start and run) would get sidelined with mechanical maladies.

Now, the car’s the horse, and new technologies that emerge compete not against the automobile, but for a place under its hood. Hybrid power, Hydrogen fuel cells, and electric drive are all vying for a spot onboard the next generation of cars. And there’s no place better to prove a concept’s mettle than on the race track.

That’s what makes this wee Lexus GS450h from XCO Models (distributed through Daboxtoys.com) so interesting. The little image replicates the first Hybrid-drive car to be entered into the Macau Grand Prix, in 2010. Though the GS didn’t come across the finish line with the laurels, its 3.5 liter V6/electric motor driveline, as spurred by Chacky Ip (Chief Editor of Cars Plus magazine) had it munching its oats in a respectable 17th place, while much of the remainder of the gas-only field was still out on the road course.

The replica is a pretty high-tech piece in and of itself, and this maker claims that the neat little resincast body represents the first of its kind in regular 1:64 production. As a result, it’s lightweight in hand – but it’s also fairly heavy in its detailing. The model’s been finished in white and tattooed nicely with high-quality decals, and six-spoke wheels and clearly marked Yokohama Advan race rubber is tucked into the wheel wells. Between those wheels is a well-detailed relief cast chassis, also of resin, and finished in black, and terminating in sweet little hollow-point exhaust tips.

New 1:64 collectors, take note: at around $25.00US, this isn’t a Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning, or a Matchbox-type collectible, and though the steel axles allow for the tires and wheels to spin, it doesn’t roll like one, either. No biggie; this one’s made to look cool standing still, and that it does. Individual lenses have been detailed and fitted into the front and rear of the casting, and the closed-windows glazing is clear – a good thing to note, because the race-gutted interior is fairly eye-popping, with a full-on roll cage, a detailed dash, a safety net behind the glass, and  – get this – a race harness with a  photoetched hasp on the lone driver’s seat. There are insects that weigh more than that single element, and its inclusion, particularly in a spot where it can easily be missed, makes the model all the more intriguing.

It looks like XCO has an eye for detail in unexpected places; the good news is that thanks to Daboxtoys, equally unexpected pleasures, like this relatively exotic, out-of-left-field piece, are available worldwide.

daboxtoys.com

Gallery > XCO 1:64 Lexus GS450h

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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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