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Franklin Mint 1:24 1980 Corvette Sport Coupe- 2004 FM Die-cast Club Nbr Ltd Ed of 9900

Reviewed by:   Tom Pine
     
  Franklin Mint 1:24 1980 Corvette Sport Coupe- 2004 FM Die-cast Club Nbr Ltd Ed of 9900 diecast car
 
 
 

In 1980, America's Sports Car was much different. The dreary, gas crisis years of the ‘70s, had left their mark. By 1980, the Corvette had dropped 250 pounds of weight (due to the use of aluminum and plastic). It needed it too; horsepower was down to a paltry 190 bhp (for the L-48, 230 bhp for the L-82). Even the speedometer reflected the lackluster specs, with a top speed calibrated (by government mandate) to only 85 mph! Corvette would soldier on until 1982 with the dated C-3’s. But the butt-kicking days of the ‘60s were far behind Chevy’s performance marque. It would take the introduction of the C-4’s to begin Corvette’s new era of performance.

In a way, this is a good car to use for the FM 2004 Die Cast Car Club inaugural issue. After issuing mostly repaints (as LE’s, to make them seem special) in 2003, they surprised collectors by closing all their gallery stores in January of 2004, which were, in my view, their biggest assets over the likes of DM.

Basically, this LE 1980 Corvette L-82 is a repaint of the earlier 1982 image. How do I know? Because it has working suspensions—just like the ’82 image. Aside from minor differences—in, out, and under—it’s the same. Same roof panels, same stick-on decal dash, same non-functioning seat backs and rear window. That’s not to say that the image looks shabby, for it doesn’t. The black finish is appropriately glossy and is set off by an off-white interior. Engine detail is up to par. The slotted mag wheels also look sharp. Looks-wise, this is a fine image. But, yet again, it’s old technology—not an image to kick off the 2004 FM DCCC club year.

Sadly, this LE, like the 1:1 car it represents, seems to commemorate the passing of FM’s glory days. We, as die cast collectors, can only hope that, like Corvette, a future rise to prominence is in FM’s future. The issue price is $120.

(03/21/2004)
 
 
  Franklin Mint 1:24 1980 Corvette Sport Coupe- 2004 FM Die-cast Club Nbr Ltd Ed of 9900 diecast car

Franklin Mint 1:24 1980 Corvette Sport Coupe- 2004 FM Die-cast Club Nbr Ltd Ed of 9900 diecast car

 
 
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