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Badd Ride Equals Good News

It isn’t every day that we get to witness the birth of a new die-cast company, but that’s what we’ve got with 1 Badd Ride. In fact, we have the very first production-spec samples of what looks to be one of the big news items of 2006 in our hot little hands. Here’s what we know: the theme is souped-up modern American performance cars with a focus on realistic modifications, quality casting and tons of detail. The line is geared toward the knowledgeable-car-guy audience, so tasteful and realistic tuner tricks are the rule, and we definitely appreciate the authenticity.

The first two 1:24 cars will be the C6 Vette and ’05 Mustang. Preliminary inspection reveals levels of detail well beyond what we’ve come to expect of an entry-level mass-market car; the manufacturer says 70 to 80 parts, and you can see that when you peek under the hood. These cars feature fully three-dimensional multipiece engine moldings, articulated suspensions and detailed interiors. This is technology we expect in midmarket models, but these babies will be available in your local Wal-Mart and other big-box stores right around the first of the year (just as you’re probably reading this) for less than $15!

Also arriving at about the same time is a companion line of sport trucks carrying the Truckin’ magazine name. The trucks come in two styles—big suspension off-roaders and lowered street-cruisers. Both feature elaborate, high-quality paintwork and display a level of detail comparable with that of the Badd Rides. And the Truckin’ and Badd Rides lines have a full complement of 1:64 little brothers.

With superior detail, excellent prices and nationwide retail availability, these cars are poised to make a splash. Just remember where you heard it first!
1 Badd Ride; distributed by ProMarkCo Ltd.
(479) 271-7205; 1baddride.com

Going Out in Style

Here’s another niche within the die-cast collectors market that we’re examining for the first time: hearses. Specifically, Precision Miniatures’ 1:18 1938 Cadillac Town Car Custom Carved Hearse. Typically, we prefer machines that make a grand entrance (rather than the exit this car specializes in), but the amazing wood grain, chrome work and, of course, the spectacular carved coachwork demand an exception be made. Granted, it is a bit strange for a vehicle this immense to carry only one passenger, but the accommodations are excellent. And although it isn’t exactly a potter’s-field-like sum, the $89 asking price is excellent for the level of detail. In fact, one might say this model’s to die for!
Precision Miniatures; distributed by Motor City USA (818) 503-4835; motorcityusa.com

Kings of the Highway

Highway 61 has a knack for unearthing unique die-cast subjects that remind us of the cars we forgot we knew and loved. Case in point is this pair: the 1964 Buick Riviera and the 1953 Kaiser Manhattan. In ’64, the big Riv was just hitting its stride as the preferred conveyance of the executive who wanted the status of a big, stylish coupe yet wanted to preserve the quality driving experience that so many luxo-barges smothered out of existence. The newly introduced Wildcat 425ci V-8 churned up 340hp and 465 lb.-ft. of torque—enough to push the 4,200-pound Buick to the front of the pack—and the handling was among the best in class. With details such as a revolving driveshaft, folding seats and realistic, sprung hood hinges, Highway 61’s detail continues to be among the best in class as well.

The Kaiser Manhattan filled the luxury niche a decade earlier by concentrating on style, comfort and safety rather than performance. The Manhattan was cavernous inside, a fact evident in Highway 61’s version. Acres of textured pile carpeting are visible in the model, and the car seems to sprout chrome at every conceivable point. The two-tone paint looks very sophisticated, and even on this prototype, the trim is impressive.

Highway 61 (877) 874-5467; ffertl3.com
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Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:22 AM

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