Porsche perfectionThe Franklin Mints 1955 356 Speedster
> The 356 Speedsteressentially a stripped-down version of the Cabriolet that was specifically targeted at the U.S. West Coast marketwas introduced in 1954, and the 1955 version brought subtle styling tweaks and the A-model designation. For many, this model signified the arrival of Porsche in America. The Franklin Mints 1:24-scale Speedster is masterfully executed, and there are far too many features to itemize. Suffice it to say that although the original Speedster was a stripper model, The Franklin Mint version most certainly is not. It is a show-quality pieceas it should be, given that it was issued as a 2,500-model limited edition in connection with Antique Automobile Festivals. This one will no doubt end up as the focus of many Porschephiles collections.
Bahn-burners large and smallKyosho BMW 645Ci coupe and convertible
> It seems as if Kyosho has cornered the market on licensing for the new breed of German luxury performance cars. Every couple of weeks, we get a press release about another Beemer or Benz die-cast. The styles of the full-size cars are sometimes a little controversial, but one thing everyone agrees on is the accuracy with which Kyoshos models replicate them. And whether its topless or covered, one of the sexiest is the BMW 645Ci. The tin top is available in 1:18 and 1:43 scale in a number of colors. At the time we go to press, the drop top is available only in 1:43, but a 1:18 version should be out by the time you read this. Prices for the big boys are around $70; the little guys come in at around $25.