SHOWROOM Fall 2007
Revving to Red Line
Minichamps now carries the upscale resin models from Red Line in 1:43 and 1:24 scales. Carrying the colors (Italys and Olive Gardens) in 1:43 is a nice 1999 Ferrari 333 SP that finished second in that seasons 24 Hours of Daytona. The detail is amazing: the seatbelt is a separate photo-etched piece with multicolored metal buckles, and just look at the wheels! Even better is the 1:24 2006 Ferrari 248 F1, winner of the European Grand Prix. As it is a winning car from Michael Schumachers final season, it has automatic collector appeal, augmented by a very limited productionjust 1,000 pieces. Notable on any modern F1 car is the dizzying array of aerodynamic devices, and Ferraris efforts make the science of air management quite beautiful. Red Line replicates all the airfoils, flaps and spoilers with admirable care, and tiny textural details such as metal exhaust outlets and wheel rims really top it off. These models are pricey, but they are exclusive, limited and as good as it gets in their respective scales.
Red Line, distributed by Minichamps North America (305) 971-1171; minichampsna.com
Can you dig it?
Perhaps, like us, youve never quite outgrown your fascination for construction equipment: those brightly colored beasts that dig holes, hoist rocks, haul dirt and do all of the things we loved to do as kids, only on a mammoth scale. In diecast you can bring that scale back down to manageable size without losing any of the fascination. Diecast Direct gives us a pair of 1:25 machines from SpecCast that participated in the postwar American construction boom. First is the Schield Bantam C-35 Backhoe adorned with the distinctive rooster logo and bright orange paint. Highlights include individually linked metal treads and fully functional scale rigging. Doors to the operator compartment and to the rigging winch both open, and with the winch you can pose the shovel at any realistic angle. The International Harvester TD-24 is even more impressive. Like the backhoe, it has individual metal treads, but here the winch actuates the pulley system and hook on the pipe layer attachment in perfectly scale fashionjust amazing!
SpecCast; distributed by Diecast Direct Inc. (800) 718-1866; diecastdirect.com
Remember a few years ago when the industry was abuzz with criticism of BMWs new styling direction? Abandoning the squared-off, formal contours that had so long been the Beemers signature look for sculpted, organic shapes ruffled more than a few feathers; but a few years refinement has produced some genuinely beautiful machines. Among the best is the new 3-series Coupe. The 3 sedan is BMWs bread and butter, so the platform was designed around the 4-door version, but the dimensions better suit the 2-door. The longer doors and gradual arc of the roofline seem to lengthen the car and give it a more flowing profile. Kyosho has a partnership with BMW to produce models for its dealerships, and that gives them exceptional access to BMWs design data. The scaled-down data allows them to produce highly accurate diecasts of new models almost as quickly as the cars appear on the street. The rich blue color shows off the highlights of the multifaceted exterior beautifully, and the interior with its extensive moldings and textures means these cars are as interesting inside as out.
Kyosho Die-cast; distributed by Minichamps North America (305) 971-1171; minichampsna.com; kyosho.com
More Mopar Magic
Supercar Collectibles has tooled up a new 1969 1/2 Plymouth Road Runner that was the first appearance of the burly 440 Six Pack engine. Supercars starts with Ertls 1:18 casting but has thoroughly reworked it for more accuracy, particularly around the rear wheel openings. The trunk now opens to reveal a proper spare and a trunk mat. The updated interior has a textured, black-flocked carpet, but the biggest news is under the hood. The 440 now has more accurate molding, paint, plug wires, battery cables and metal mesh around the air-cleaner element, all of which give the feel of a much more upscale model. And, of course, there are those three Holley 2-barrel carbs. In addition to this orange one, they come in black, green and yellow.
We also congratulate the guys at Supercar Collectibles for the Ronnie Sox Commemorative 67 Hemi Belvedere project we showed you a few issues ago. After selling out of the models, Supercars donated all the proceedsan amazing $65,900to Ronnies widow, Diane, to present to St. Judes Childrens Cancer Research Hospital as a fitting tribute to a great racing hero. Based on the success of the program, Supercars plans to produce more Ronnie Sox cars, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled here and also at supercar1.com for more.
Supercar Collectibles (763) 425-6020; supercarl.com