Few would argue that the 1936-37 Cord is
one of the most beautiful cars ever designed. The lines are timeless and
at the same time, so evocative of the late 1930's and the Art Deco period.
With the pontoon fenders, covered headlights and coffin-nose, the Cord 810-812,
was a true automotive masterpiece.
Why has the 1936-37 Cord been so neglected in small-scale diecast? Up
until 1999, only two models had been done. One was a cartoon version for
Ertl's Batman series, a stylized Cord offered as 'Bruce Wayne's Car.' The
other is pictured on the left and was offered in the early 1970's be Hot
Wheels as a mild custom. The example in my collection is far from mint but
even so, I am pleased to have it. The Custom Cord by Hot Wheels is one of
the most collectible of the early red-line cars. The one pictured is missing
the convertible top and the wind-shield has been chopped, no doubt to remedy
what was already broken. The blower poking through the hood and the side-pipes
are the 'custom' part although, some Cord models were supercharged.
What do the 12 cars shown below have in common? I'll give you a clue.
Right, the title is the clue. All of these 1:64 scale cars represent the
first and only time these particular models have ever been done in small-scale,
perhaps any scale. I'm not going to tell you what cars they represent just
yet, that comes next month. You see, this is a contest.
Contest you say, it sure is. Here's how it works. You tell me the make
and model of each car represented, or as many as you can, and the most complete
entry wins. If you are really good, tell me the diecast manufacturer too
and we will use that for a tie-breaker. The prize is (of course) a toy car,
in fact one of the toy cars pictured below. Actually, you will get your
choice from four duplicates I have. They are #3, #7, #10 or #12.
How do you play. It's easy. Decide on your answers, you can identify
the cars by number and color. Send me your response using the guest
book (just click on 'guest book'), and tell me your choices. I'll announce
the winner in the April issue and give you your choice of cars for a prize.
Now, do you really know your diecast?
Are you tired of the lame five-packs recently
coming from major small-scale diecast companies? Perhaps the five-packs
are targeted primarily at children because most serious collectors could
do without the wild tampos and crazy custom cars.
There is a solution. Forget what's on the shelves of Toys-R-Us or Target.
Take a look at you own shelves and join me in creating our own 'fantasy'
five packs. The rules are simple. I've limited my selections to Matchbox
for this round and tried to select models that have been in recent production,
during the past decade or so. No regular wheel cars are included. The idea
is what they could do with what is actually available.
Beginning top left, Here is an easy one, American Muscle. Put the '70
Pontiac GTO with the '71 Camaro, '69 Camaro, 68, Mustang and '70 Mustang
and this one is ready to rumble. Add some realistic muscle paint jobs (Johnny
Lightning can show you how), and this package would fly off the shelves.
Now, how about a jump from 'bad to the bone' to 'a spot of high tea'?
In the February 1999 issue we reviewed twin-striped Camaros, for March,
it's Viper time. When Chrysler first stunned the automotive world with the
Viper concept car, it was clearly envisioned as a modern-day Shelby Cobra.
Since the best-known Cobra colors were blue with white racing stripes, it
was natural for these colors to appear on the Viper at some point. The production
Viper R/T did not come with stripes, rather, red was the color of the concept
car and initial production run. Stripes did appear later in a true skunk-scheme
of black and white.
The GTS Coupe that followed the Viper Roadster followed the lead of the
Cobra Daytona Coupe and blue with dual white racing stripes was the clear
choice. The concept car and initial production run all came this way. As
the GTS moved into sports car racing, it appeared in traditional American
racing colors of white with blue stripes.