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The Latest & Greatest Diecast Motorcycles & Cars & where to find them Page 3

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Hot Wheels on the cutting edge

> There’s no hotter news on the domestic auto front than the imminent release of the sixth-generation Chevy Corvette. So, of course, Hot Wheels® has been on top of it for a year. It was the first out of the box with an 1:18 die-cast of the C6. In fact, the first images of the ’05 Vette had barely been made public when Mattel offered its scale version. And considering that its designers could not have had production Vettes to work from, the model is pretty sharp. The contours and character lines are authentic, and the stance is low, wide and athletic. The model is a little soft on details—particularly around the engine bay—but overall, the car does what it is supposed to: celebrate the latest evolution of America’s iconic sports car.


Fleet of vintage Ford sedans

> Diecast Direct has rolled back the clock and produced an entire fleet of 1:43 1941 Ford two-door sedans in eight authentic factory colors. They are exclusive through Diecast Direct (model no. FL1941-XX) for $15 apiece and $100 for the entire set. Colors include black (01), Mayfair Maroon (02), Harbor Gray (03), Cayuga Blue (04), Cotswold Gray Metallic (05), Palisade Gray (06), Capri Blue Metallic (07) and Lockhaven Green (08). The paint and trim are nice—right down to the authentic period license-plate colors. If you’re a blue oval fan, check them out!

Bugs, minis & a not-so-tall
cold one …

> Model Power is best known for its HO train sets, but it offers an impressive array of die-cast cars as well. Not surprisingly, they, too, are HO scale (1:87), and although they’re among the smallest die-cast cars out there, they’re impressively detailed. There are a number of makes and models in the series including the too-cute-for-words Mini Cooper and the classic VW Bug you see here. Both are barely 11¼2 inches long, but they include soft-rubber tires on separately molded wheels, inlaid clear headlight lenses, painted trim and detailed undercarriages and exhausts. Model Power also offers a number of commercial vehicles in HO scale. We couldn’t resist this little Pabst Blue Ribbon beer truck—microbrew, anyone?

Remembering the great one

> Even today, as fans watch Formula 1 records get crushed one after another under the accelerator foot of Michael Schumacher, one legendary name still looms over Grand Prix racing: Senna. To many, Ayrton Senna is known simply as “the Maestro.” To commemorate his extraordinary driving talent and to recognize what might have been had he not been lost too soon, MiniChamps (through exclusive distributor Replicarz) has released its Senna Collection. The series features a number of significant vehicles—everything from the Go-Cart (with which Senna perfected his superhuman car control) to the 1994 Williams FW 16 Renault (the last vehicle he ever drove)—but without Rothmans cigarette livery. For the F1 faithful, these are more than just models; they are religious artifacts.

Pontiac hatches the most famous Firebird—Danbury Mint’s 1969 Trans Am

> In the early days, Pontiac’s Firebird had an image problem. It was severely overshadowed by its sister F-body, the Chevy Camaro. Possibly in an attempt to steal back a little of the spotlight, Pontiac introduced a new option package for 1969—the Trans Am—but though it was given a fair bit of exposure, few buyers opted for it. That was a shame because its mix of cosmetic upgrades and performance options made for one sweet machine and a worthy combatant in the muscle-car wars of the late ’60s. Danbury Mint’s ’69 Trans Am is the perfect reminder of what made this car special—everything from the distinctive blue-on-white paint scheme to the super-detailed Poncho 400 Ram Air IV engine. The trim work is quite extensive, and the engine detail is mind-blowing! One close look at this 1:24-scale beauty, and you’ll be convinced—everybody loves a little T/A!

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Updated: June 30, 2011 — 11:22 AM

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