GreenLight Dan Wheldon | Tribute | 1:18 | $60
Dan Wheldon’s abbreviated life has been celebrated in many ways since his untimely departure in October of 2011, and GreenLight is joining the movement with this Wheldon family approved model of the #98 Bryan Herta Autosport car he drove to his second Indy 500 victory in 2011. This livery runs contrary to the simple white and red cruciform deco posted in GL’s announcement of a few weeks ago, and it honors a great, if uncertain moment in the talented Briton’s life (Wheldon’s Indy win came at a time when he was without a sponsor or ride for the upcoming season). GreenLight’s done a creditable job on the castings, and the car looks just right. The matte neon orange and gloss white paint are decorated with exacting replicas of all the sponsor decals; everything is tampo-printed on, and the tires have pinpoint-perfect “Firestone Firehawk” lettering and the Indy logo. Pull off the rear cover and there’s a moderately detailed Honda V8 and transaxle; they may not be as finessed as some we’ve seen, but the suspension arms and ground effects look realistic. So does the most haunting part of the car: the figure of a helmeted Wheldon at the wheel, eyes on the horizon. —Joe Kelly Jr.
Brooklin’s | Hudson Hornet 4-Door | 1:43 | $125
Hudson extensively re-designed its “stepdown” body for 1954, giving it a modern rectangular look. It wasn’t enough to save the company, though, and the ’54 models are considered to be the last “real” Hudsons. Brooklin’s fine ‘54 Hornet convertible (BRK-140) is several years old, so this handsome fastback 4-Door sedan is very welcome. While the baseplate and trim are shared with the convertible, this body is all-new, as is part of the interior. They’ve also replaced the convertible’s sporty wire wheels with more fitting steel wheels and full covers. The 4-Door’s fastback lines are accurate, and only the window moldings and vent window frames have been painted over; all other trim is done with separate plated parts. The relief-cast “Hornet” scripts have been left off the fenders on this model. Inside, Brooklin has removed the rear seat top bow housings, widened the seat, and added detail to the rear side panels. Relief-cast dash details are accurate, but painted over. The smooth, glossy two-tone paint has crisp separation lines and just traces of surface ripples. This one really looks right—and measures that way, too. —Wayne Moyer
One Three Two Oh Wow
Hot Wheels Racing 1:64 | $5 each
Hot Wheels continues to deliver cutting edge specialty collector series that keep their line fresh and in the forefront of the industry, and this quarter-mile themed series is proof. With the enormous success of their “Drag Strip Demons” and “Vintage Racing” lines, it was a no-brainer that another racing series would be equally appreciated. Enter the NHRA, a solid licensing deal, and the desire on both parties to sire a line up of quarter mile terrors, and you get the all-new NHRA Championship Drag Racing Series. Complete with Real Riders, and dressed in drag (racing livery, of course), these detailed racers will look great in your display case, or racing down your favorite gravity track.—Andy Goodman
America n Muscle | 1978 Dodge Warlock | 1:18 | $70
As the 1970s were nearing an end, the big three started catering to a developing performance truck enthusiast market. Trucks were being seen as more than just workhorses, and because they flew under the insurance nannys’ radar, they could be equipped and sold as fairly aggressive performance machines with lowered stances, big block motors, and eye-catching paint jobs—all the better to cruise the boulevards of downtown America on any given night. The ’78 Dodge Warlock was the follow-up to the Dodge “Lil’ Red Express,” and though a 225-cube slant six was the standard mill, the trucks frequently rolled with everything from a 318 up to the impressive 440 V8. Auto World works a little modern-model voodoo on this older Ertl mold and captures this iconic pickup in all its glory, sporting an original Sunfire Orange paint job, highly detailed gold pinstriping, and matching gold spoke wheels. The opening hood, doors and tailgate all align impeccably, and a quick peek under the hood reveals a well-detailed, accurate mid-line 360 V8. Behind the opening doors lies a well-replicated interior, with correct black bucket seats and a good level of detail. Limited to only 1,000 pieces, this is a hauler you won’t want to miss.—Andy Goodman
Rich Boy’s Toy
Spark Reventlow Scarabs 1:43 | $60
One day, Lance Reventlow, the young son of the world’s richest woman, decided to go sports car racing. Not content to pilot the European racers of the day, he assembled SoCal’s finest post-war hot rodders and built his own front-engined sports cars, naming them Scarabs, after the sacred Egyptian dung beetle. Driven by some of the greatest names in auto racing in the ’50’s & ’60s, they dominated West Coast sports car events, then retired into museums and private collections, and now they’re worth megamillions. Spark’s Scarabs—Reventlow’s #16 Mk I and Jim Jeffords’ #10 Mk II “Nickey Nouse”—are cast in resin, painted in metallic blue and metallic purple, respectively, and accented with white scallops. The finish and livery on the two models is exceptional. Beautifully molded Halibrand wheels, realistic rubber tires and a full dash are highlights, as are a photo-etched steering wheel and a vacuum-formed windshield, above realistically weathered side pipes. Egyptians considered the scarab a mystical creature; collectors are sure to feel the same way about these replicas. —Bill Bennett
GreenLight Collectibles | Hollywood Series 3 | 1:64 | $5 each
“Lights! Camera! Roll take 3!” shouts GreenLight Collectibles, as this third sequel of its popular Hollywood series reaches collectors. Ask any screenwriter: it’s difficult for any sequel to outperform its predecessor. But this Hollywood 3 series stands out, with an intriguing cast, including the Animal House 1959 Chevrolet Corvette, Apollo 13 1970 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Bullitt 1968 Dodge Charger, Bullitt 1968 Ford Mustang, Two-Lane Blacktop 1970 Pontiac GTO, and a car that will possibly emerge as the shining star and the most sought after vehicle from the release—The Fast and the Furious 1970 Dodge Charger with a screamin’ blown engine. All of the vehicles include opening hoods, well-detailed interiors, realistic wheels and rubber tires. Like movie cars? Here’s the latest ticket to cool.—Andy Goodman
American Excellence 1957 Imperial Crown | 1:43 | $90
Chrysler’s top-line Imperial, with Virgil Exner’s all-new “Forward Look” body and equallynew torsion-bar chassis, became a separate line for 1957. It consisted of the base Imperial, Imperial Crown and Imperial LeBaron, with 2 and 4-door sedans and a convertible. The Crown Imperial limo was a totally different car. American Excellence has just released this gorgeous resincast model of the midlevel Imperial Crown Southampton, an upgraded-interior, 4-door sedan that was the best-selling 1957 Imperial. Its high-gloss two-tone paint is as good as that on three-figure models, and although the pink is a shade more lavender than the original 1957 paint, the separation lines are perfect. The name badges and gas cap trim are silver decals, but everything else on this detailed beauty, including the Vshaped “basket handle” is either plated plastic or a carefully fitted photo-etched piece. The basket handle fits perfectly in spite of the compound curves, and the overall shape and details match photos perfectly, though the etched outer rims of the “gunsight” taillights should be a circle instead of an oval. Side windows have been left open, which makes it easier to see the plush upholstery, accurate dash, and detailed speedometer. Dimensions are accurate, too. What a beauty. —Wayne Moyer
Autoart 1987 “Texaco” Sierra Cosworth RS 500 1:43 | $50
Ford created the Sierra Cosworth RS500 for one purpose: winning the Group A World Touring Car Championship. To accomplish that, they built a production turbo-charged twin-cam Sierra-Cosworth for homologation, then added the RS500’s unique double-decker rear spoiler, front brake scoops, racing suspension, and a few more turbo-fed ponies. The Eggenberger Motorsports Texaco team duly captured the championship, with lead driver Klaus Ludwig second in the driver standings. AUTOart’s beautifully done 1:43 scale diecast has all the RS500 features exactly right, and its paint and graphics are excellent. Lift the hood to check out the twin-cam four with its turbo, side-draft carbs, plumbing, and big cowl brace; look inside for a stripped interior with a roll cage, a racing seat with detailed belts, a fire extinguisher, and a nicely detailed instrument panel. There’s more chassis detail than in most 1:43 models, too, with a crisply painted, relief-molded engine sump, drive shaft, and fuel pumps, plus a separate exhaust, transaxle, and big sway bar parts. The overall shape and race-specific details are perfectly replicated and dimensions are right on. There’s one nit; the Texaco cars carried race number 6 and 7 in 1987. The WTCC lasted only one year, and Ludwig’s car carried the number 1 in the 1988 European Touring Car Championship. —Wayne Moyer
The Little Things
M2 Mac hines Detroit Muscle Release 17 1:64 | $5 each
M2 Machines has raised the bar and expectations for 1:64 scale collectors. With opening doors, detailed interiors, and well-manicured engine bays, it’s no wonder that collectors are stockpiling these mini masterpieces. The latest series of “Detroit Muscle” brings a few new twists into the mix; there are some very rare, yet authentic combinations in the set, including a newly tooled 1968 Pontiac Firebird with a front bench seat, a Dodge Super Bee in an ultra-rare color combination of white with a Ledger Blue stripe and an unforgettable Cinnamon Metallic 1970 Mach 1 with an equally scarce saddle tan interior. A 1966 Chevy Corvette, 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona 440, and another new first release, a 1967 Acadian Canso Sport Deluxe (Canada’s version of the Chevy Nova) finish off the series. Available in both window box and blister packs; keep an eye out for these mini works of art. —Andy Goodman
Luxury Collectibles 2011 Cadillac SRX | 1:43 | $75
Among upper-crust CUVs, few have the sheer presence of the Cadillac SRX. It’s got Caddy DNA in its spadeshaped face and finny tail lamps, and its V6 power and humbler proportions call to those who want Caddy luxury in a smaller size. Fittingly enough, it’s Luxury—as in Luxury Collectibles—who have tooled up this 2011-vintage SRX in resincast 1:43. It’s a tidy little beastie; so finely cast and finished is the thing that the wee parking assist sensors in the bumpers are still crisply visible under the “Platinum Ice” paint. All of the lensing and add-on detail bits are convincing, and the badging is mind-boggling—it’s all done in photo-etch or foil; you can even read the “Cadillac” script engraved in the trim above the New Jersey (go figure) license plate. There’s a full leather-look interior behind tinted butyrate windows, and it sports wood-tone trim and seat belts with buckles; the shiny (maybe too) chrome wheels have steel brake discs behind, and a hair-thin antenna on top rounds out the piece nicely. This still-new company is making some attractive, premium grade model cars. —Joe Kelly Jr.
Jada LoPro | 1:64 | $5 each
Leave it to Jada to capture the latest movements from the modern automotive scene. Influenced by the streets of modern day Southern California cruise-ins, the all-new “LoPro” Series 1 has 12 vehicles on tap, based on six different castings—a 2009 Corvette Stingray Concept, a 2005 Ford GT, a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640 Roadster, a 2012 Camaro SS, a 2012 Mustang GT and a 2009 Chevy Corvette ZR-l, available in a very trendy white finish or various, far livelier paint schemes. They sit low—real low, thanks to the custom plus-sized wheels and low-profile (hence the name) rubber tire combo. They come individually packaged in attractive window boxes, but whether purchased as a set or by the piece, these are going to make a great addition to any modern automotive performance enthusiast’s collection. Go low. —Andy Goodman
Hot Wheels El ite Ferrari FF 1:18 | $100
There’s just no telling what Enzo Ferrari would have had to say about the recently unveiled Ferrari FF, but the car’s four-seat “shooting brake” architecture and four-wheeldrive technology —the “F and F”—are making the tifosi take notice. Hot Wheels Elite has a hand-in-glove relationship with Maranello, and models like this one are sure to keep things cozy. It’s a beauty, with a sharp casting and piano-smooth paint, and it’s been deco’d with foil badging, and a smattering of photo-etch, for the Ferrari horses front and rear and the windshield wiper arms. The model’s got a great balance of sturdiness and delicacy; heavy in hand, but possessed of perfect shut lines for the doors, hood, and deck, it rolls (and well) on outstanding fivespoke rims that front highly detailed, but static, brake discs and calipers. Interior detail, including the boot, is very good, accented by nicely textured seats and photo-etched pedals; under the hood, the V12 is stuffed under a peek-a-boo cover that reveals foil-based airbox decorations and high-end plumbing done in soft vinyl. Once again, this maker pulls a rabbit out of its cappello. We think Enzo would approve. —Joe Kelly Jr.
Labatt’s 1952 Ford F1 Van | 1:43 | $170
In a very rare move, Brooklin has released limited numbers (40 each in red and gold) of “Code 2” authorized conversions, done by someone outside the factory, of their 1952 Ford F1 8-Door Panel Van. These models have new paint and carefully applied “Labatt’s” decal logos and lettering. In this case it also appears that the models are being distributed through Brooklin dealers, since they’ve been given a factory number. The paint on both is quite good, with gold and black decals on the red model and blue and black decorations on the gold one. The gold model has been given a glossy clear top coat, so the clear film surrounding its decals is much less noticeable. The only other change from the original version is neatly painted door handles. As on the originals, the vent window frames, “Ford” logos, and the hood badge are painted over, while all the other trim is done with separate, plated parts. The interior shows a correct single driver’s seat, but there’s no interior behind it. While F1s came from the factory with painted grilles, chromed grilles were a popular dealer-installed accessory, and the chromed taillight bezels are consistent with an early 1952 model. Overall lines look great, and the dimensions are right on 1:43 scale. —Wayne Moyer
Danbury Mint | 1956 Ford Sunliner |1:24 | $150
Danbury’s 1956 Ford Sunliner convertible is one of those models that’ll gobsmack you right out of the box. The pink and black paint scheme is about as fifties as it gets, and the build quality is stellar. That solid feel won’t surprise anyone who has any of the earlier variants this mold set has yielded, but the new-age foil decos and truckload of added detailing surely will. Those badges are fabulous, and they ride the car’s nose, front fenders, and doors, calling out the car’s Fairlane roots, Thunderbird V8 and Sunliner trim. That 312cid V8 is completely believable, and it’s wired and piped, right down to the steel fuel lines and battery cables. The open-air cabin sports a dash with deep, 3D gauges, and the trunk’s been matted and stocked with a pull-out spare tire. A black plastic up-top is included, as is a snap-on boot; both are nicely textured and look great on the car. Parking the model next to an older example—say, the ’55 Crown Victoria DM put out, circa 1993—will prove how far this company has come, and how good they’ve always been. Highly recommended. —Joe Kelly Jr.
M2 Machines 1965 Shelby Mustang GT350 | 1:24 | $30
The Carroll Shelby School of High Performance Driving (Carroll Shelby, proprietor), gave anyone with a few bucks and the need for speed the chance to hammer real race cars around a track, all in the name of enhancing driving skills—or proving a lack thereof. The cars were Shelbyprepped, of course, and this M2 Machines model of a ’65 GT350 is decorated to appear dusty and splattered after a good go. The castings below the après-race deco are nicely done, with decent shut lines on the opening doors, hood, and trunk; the wheels are authentic gray “steelies,” and the front end steers. The car’s got a surprising level of detail (and a good parts count); there’s a wired and piped black and silver Hi-Po 289, replete with hi-rise oil vents and a cross-brace above; go beneath, and the metal belly has a detailed suspension and side-exit exhaust. Though the rear quarter windows seem to be incorrect for a ’65, if you add in the rear seat delete interior and roll cage, the fuel cell and trunk-mounted battery, and the spare bolted in under the rear window, you have a very decent piece for a comparative pittance. —JoeKelly Jr.
Die Cast X Magazine
Die Cast X, the #1 magazine in its category, takes an insider’s look at diecast collecting. With award-winning journalists and well-known industry pros contributing expertly written editorial it goes far beyond the typical price and buying guide. Die Cast X brings the diecast world to life by reviewing the latest and greatest vehicles. Each issue features the hottest news from manufacturers, the latest prototypes, and insider industry gossip. From muscle, sports and race cars, to trucks, big rigs, choppers, and boats, Die Cast X covers the entire spectrum of diecast.