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Precision Miniatures preserves history – 3

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Precision lives up to its name with the detail on all four of these Altereds’ engines. Pure Heaven’s blower is naturally more angelic than that of its rival, Pure Hell.


If there were any questions about the drivers’ sanity, they could be quickly answered by looking the the Mondello & Matsubara Fiat’s driver’s seat.


All go and no show is the theme of Pure Hell. The Hemi-powered unguided missile was a wild ride that thrilled so many drag-racing fans that the car became an icon of the 1960s.

The engines Four cars and two types of engine: 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 of the cars, you’ll see that PM has done an amazing job of getting all of the right details—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 is that way, too. The injector hats or scoops have been made as a single pieces, giving them a really authentic look. The fuel system plumbing goes to the injectors with all the little tubes, hoses and valves and is one of the most accurate accounts seen in diecast. And the blower drives and exhausts look good enough to work.
Bodies & paint This series has one Ford Model T, a Fiat Topolino and two Bantams. When Leon Fitzgerald spoke about his Bantam-body “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 that didn’t use the rear fenders. But Precision retooled the body so that Leon could have his tiny fenders, and the car is much better for it. Each body captures the car with beautiful accuracy. The paint and the tampos are unbelievable in their faithfulness to the full-scale cars. You can take a magnifying glass and read names and phone numbers off tiny decals that were small on the actual car. Precision really sweats the details; it took months to send prototypes back and forth to China to get the gorgeous gold-leaf lettering on Pure Heaven II just right. All the grain of the metal-flake paint is a perfect scale presentation. Another example of this dedication to excellence are the perfect fish scales on the Mondello & Matsubara cars.
Suspensions & chassis The four cars’ chassis are all different. Each model’s front suspension has to support the weight of the diecast car—so much for having spindly pieces. Precision had 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 slightly 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 among the best seen in scale, as each features realistic detail such as the rears being scuffed to look totally believable and race-ready.
Interiors Altereds have working interiors. No frills—just the components to get the job done: seat with belts, rollbar, steering wheel, gas pedal, clutch, brake handle, parachute-release cable and a few gauges. All look great, and the restraint systems are standout features.
Packaging Each car comes in a two-piece foam cocoon that is inside a box with illustrations, pictures and the history of the car. This makes ownership more enjoyable because it gives a reference point to compare the model with pictures of the real car in action. The history helps us better 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 vintage days of drag racing. These cars may not have the worldwide appeal of Porsches and Ferraris, but on those who have seen these cars race, each left a lasting impression of what racing was like when it was done for the passion for speed, not the size of the purse, and without a huge budget or corporate sponsorships. These were the cars driven by guys that seemingly thumbed their noses at death every time they made a pass down the strip. And the fans recognized and appreciated it. Precision invested time and attention in doing these cars right. Whether you enjoy them because they bring back fond memories or you just appreciate their incredible execution, they are joys to own.

Precision Miniatures (818) 503-4835; motorcityusa.com


SPECS

Scale: 1:18
Length: 8.5 in.
Wheelbase: 5.13 in.
Width: 3.5 in.
Height: 3.75 to 3.86 in.
Weight: 11 to 12 oz.
Price: $129


FEATURES
» Posable suspensions with rolling wheels mounted with scuffed tires
» Beautifully executed finishes and graphics
Highly detailed fuel systems


RATINGS (scale of 1-5)
Body, paint 4.5

Wheels, tires 4.5

Engine 4.5

Chassis, suspension, undercarriage 4

Presentation, proportion, stance 4.75

Collectibility 4

Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:28 AM

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