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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
2-10-05
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AUTO art 1:18 BUGATTI CHIRON 18.3
ROAD SIGNATURE 1961 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL

 

AUTO art 1:18 BUGATTI CHIRON 18.3 ...
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 


 

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  AUTO art 1:18 BUGATTI CHIRON 18.3

If you look up “Chiron” in the dictionary or on the web, you get several intriguing dual definitions. It’s synonymous with the half man-half beast Centaur. Chiron is also the name of a recently identified enigmatic heavenly body which first appeared as a combination comet/asteroid. This dual nature applies to the Bugatti Chiron model from Auto art. It is a combination model/sculpture – along the lines of CMC’s W196R.

Want more duality? How about Roy Rogers meets Buck Rogers!

Start with the trademark horseshoe grill surrounded by Xenon head lights. Add the Bugatti ridge that starts behind the grill and runs almost the entire length of the car before ending in a plunging V at the very last moment it could. And then there’s that prim Bugatti logo sitting directly behind the austere, W18 Engine - the three valve covers emblazoned with the famous initials EB.

The whole body strikes you as being something like an ocean wave. Seemingly in constant motion, rising up from the massive opening hood, cascading around the space age cockpit, then finally crashing around bulging wheel wells. ALl of this supported by a Lamborghini crafted chassis.

Open the doors (careful, do not grasp the rear view mirror), and you’ll find a saddle and chrome cockpit that has a George-Jetson-meets-Beverly-Hills feel. The curved dash emulates the rest of the styling with smooth curves falling and climbing. The dash holding the main gauges, though, picks up on another historic Bugatti styling point – it almost looks like it could come out of a 30s racer. The bright blue flocked carpet is nicely done. You’d get grip quickly with the massive tires supported by impressive spoke wheels, screaming as they took advantage of all 550hp the w18 monster can.

The blue theme is really well executed throughout the entire “Experience”. The model is packaged in a remarkable gift box with a classic, embossed Bugatti logo. It carries over to exterior paint that is worthy of the legendary Bugatti blue. It is reflective and crystal clear.

Oh, by the way, the name Chiron does not derive from something incredibly exotic. It dreives from the famed driver Louis Chiron who won a considerable number Grand Prix’s piloting Bugatti’s in the 30s and 40s. He might be more famous today had the WWII not cut a wide swath through what should have been the most productive years of his career.

This car is an easy decision for those of us that adore exotics, but others have an opportunity to add this artwork to their collections. For example, the styling cues are closely related to cars of the 30s. For others, this car might remind you of something like Anson’s Buick Y-Job or Aa’s Jaguar XJ13 – an amazing and unique model – at least for now. While it will always be amazing, the Veyron should be washing up on shore here any minute to give it company in the cabinet.

 

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  ROAD SIGNATURE 1961 LINCOLN CONTINENTAL

Loyal readers [there is at least one of you, right?] of this column know we are still building bridges to diecast in manufacturers in hopes of bringing you more “pre-production” type cars. In the interim, we said we would need to focus on some recent releases from time to time. A few weeks ago we promised our readers a review on a “big box o Lincolns”. Well, the dealer I made a purchase from (not Legacy), actually delayed shipping and then sent one lone Lincoln instead of the three I ordered.

So, a review on the 1961 Lincoln might technically be a “Second Peek”. But what a peek it is.

Yat Ming at one point was among the most under appreciated manufacturers in the diecast world. They chose subjects that no one else did, but did not always get good execution on it. But they didn’t charge for it either. When you found a Yat Ming at your local Big Lots or Spencer’s for $9.99 it was a treat – who else was making a 1:18 Karmann Ghia?

Yat Ming formed several business lines. The price went up – but the subject matter became even more interesting and the build quality dramatically improved. The 1948 Sportmans Coupe, part of the Signature series, was a quantum leap in their modeling acumen.

Now, Yat Ming has raised the bar once again with this model, long overdue in1:18. It’s available in metallic blue and jet black. And for $39.99 or thereabouts, you’re not likely to find a better model of any car.

The beautiful blue color rivals the best paint I’ve seen in a model in this price range. To me the blue color is just so-so-sixties and is the perfect choice.

More inexpensive models sometimes have great globs of chrome, but here the black washed grill and rear panel are well done, as is the hood ornament. The fit and finish on the chrome trim is well executed. The suicide doors open nice and smooth – even the detail on the door interior is perfect.

There is a removable top which is an afterthought. The point of buying a convertible is to drive it as a convertible, so you should display a convertible without the top - right? That’s what it says in the Diecast Collector 101 handbook. You should know that it doesn’t look as plastic as it does in much of the web photography I’ve seen on this model.

This model had all the earmarks of being a heartbreak model. You know, you wait for years, then someone finally makes it, and they muck it all up. But this one has me swooning. Until now, the only premium model of a 1961 Lincoln on the market was the 1/24 from Franklin Mint. This model is comparable if not better in almost every regard.

Cheers, Yat Ming! You meet or beat expectations at an affordable price!



How To Get your Models Featured in First Peek

If you are a representative of a diecast manufacturer and wish to get your products featured in First Peek, please contact me at rhurley@mn.rr.com.
 

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