NEO is one of the companies that helped jump-start 1:43 in America, and it’s models like this outrageous-looking Dodge Custom Royal coupe that have garnered them a big chunk of the market. It’s a great-looking thing, with a nearly perfect casting that’s been decorated with all kinds of chrome and applied trim — some of it incredibly small, like the scripts affixed to the front fenders (so small, we couldn’t make out what they said) and some of it, like the chrome spears, “Dodge” badging, and “Custom Royal” trim, large enough to appreciate — even if we’ve never seen a Custom Royal used for police duty. Yes, the cops used coupes, but they would have been Coronets; more specifically, the D-500-engined “Pursuit” models, a variant that in 1959 made up the largest single vehicle order in California’s history — 450 units. Lux-level trim aside, this is a neat piece, with great paint and a cool set of added-on antennae, searchlights, and bullet-shaped roof light; the interior is sharply cast and decorated, and complete to the mic and coiled cord for the radio. The grillework, in particular, grabbed us, with its photo-etched elements, as did the headlights and perfectly placed butyrate glazing. More photo-etch is used for the wipers, door handles, and faux vents on the rear fenders, and the whole thing rides on steelies with blackwalls and dog dish hub caps. If the sight of this little beauty conjures up TV and movie memories, you’re not alone. Call in the black ‘n’ whites. – Joe Kelly, Jr.
1:43 | $82.95