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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
6-10-06
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Precision Miniatures 1:18 1950 Ford Custom Sedan
Precision Miniatures 1:18 1950 Ford Custom Police Cruiser & Taxi Cab
Greenlight Collectibles 1:24 Indy Racer Souvenir Car

 

Precision Miniatures 1:18 1950 Ford Custom Sedan Precision Miniatures 1:18 1950 Ford Custom Police Cruiser & Taxi Cab
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 

When we reviewed the 1950 Ford Crestliner a few months ago, we knew it was the start of some nifty variations off this classic platform from our good friends at Precision Miniatures. That second batch of cars has arrived and it’s going to have blue oval fans dancing in the street.
 

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  Precision Miniatures 1:18 1950 Ford Custom Sedan

First up is the 1950 Ford Custom sedan available in two gorgeous jewel tone colors, Hawthorne green and Bimini blue. The paint on both have embedded metal flake, scaled very nicely so the cars come off as polished and metallic but not over-sparkled. In sunlight, where most of these photos were taken, they are radiant and in normal indoor lighting the colors have rich undertones.

Against paint like this there needs to be realistic chrome and PM does not disappoint. Chrome outlines the windshield, side and back windows (with separately outlined quarter windows). Add to that chrome accented trunk hinges, front and rear light sockets, door handles, key locks, trunk lift and, of course, front and rear bumpers. The famous Ford coat of arms insignia on the hood and trunk are color-stamped on a chrome badge – not just a tampo or decal.

Since the car shares the same platform with the previously done Crestliner, rest assured all the standards are met in terms of scale and stance. The body’s deceptively simple shape yet economy of design is remarkable. Look closely, and you’ll see undulating yet understated curves and aircraft-inspired lances running from the tail light through the rear quarter panel. There’s even a hint of fins which would become a seminal element of fifties car design. The side spear has a “Custom” inlaid nameplate nicely articulated on the front fender.

All four doors, the hood and the trunk open. Inside the cabin you’ll find photo-etched ribbed metal step-downs, carpeted floors and floor mats. The soft touch gray seating is upholstered with white pinstriped seating surfaces and seatbacks with large button accents. The dash is nicely replicated with readable gauges, articulated knobs and chrome frame accent - even the interior vents are nicely detailed. The real treat though is the steering column which has a two spoke white steering wheel with chrome horn trigger bar and red center focal point complete with the Ford coat of arms - completely different than the Crestliner. The white shift knob on the steering column matches the wheel like shoes should match a belt. The doors have nicely done window controls, vinyl patterned covering and plastic arm rests.

The trunk contains a ribbed surface mat and visible fuel line and comes complete with a separate and removable color keyed spare tire. And speaking of the tires, they are nice period perfect white sidewalls surrounding hubcaps with nipples that Freud would find interesting. The color keyed wheels are really a nice design touch, as are the 1950 California license plates.

Keeping in mind you are looking at a daily driver aimed at the sensible post war Ward Cleaver-ish American Dad, so opening the hood your not going to find anything flashy. What you do find is a serviceable Ford V-8 engine that has all the basic wiring and plumbing right. The same with the chassis: it’s detailed extremely well – especially the exhaust and gas tank – but overall it’s not terribly remarkable. It’s just the nature of the subject that the interior and exterior design elements are far more striking than the drive train. The good news is the suspension and steering are not only well detailed, they actually work.

When you add up the quality of execution on these models and then add in the brilliant, oversize packaging featuring a large styrofoam coffin and full color artwork on the boxes, you have an excellent product and a key acquisition for the Ford collector. These models are solid and heavy, and reminded me of the old adage for lifting and moving a precision diecast. Lift from under the doors, not front and rear where the stress of moving can unintentionally dislodge the bumper.

Legacy Motors has both these models in stock. To see more, just click on 1950 Ford Crestliner.

 

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  Precision Miniatures 1:18 1950 Ford Custom Police Cruiser & Taxi Cab

While the functional elements and basic platform structures are the same on the taxi cab and police cruiser versions, there are some unique differences.

The Taxi Cab

This model is painted in a brilliant “pick me” yellow. Markings for the famous Yellow Cab C. are well done, especially the unique fonts and letter cases. Even something as simple as the cab number is striking in it’s simplicity. The phone number recalls the era of when good advertising meant trying to find a way to get customers to remember your phone number through the use of making a word from the first two letters of the exchange code. Opening the taxi the first thing you’ll undoubtedly check is the call box and it is mounted on the dash, complete with moveable rate flag. The interior lacks the family driver’s pinstripes and is replaced with a utilitarian gray. Also, gone are the white steering wheel and gear knob accents, replaced by a more subdued black. An unexpected delight are the vented, color keyed wheels show up much better on this model due to the yellow color and black sidewall tires..


The Police Cruiser

This might be the most handsome police model I’ve had the opportunity to hold in my hands. The black paint is as noir while the appliance white paint is executed brilliantly. The roof features black soup can flashers mounted on either side of a brilliant chrome siren. There’s even a floodlight mounted on the driver’s side front (curiously this is also on the taxi). This model also has black sidewalls which like the taxi give it an all business look. The chrome side accent spears on the cab and cruiser by design do not have the branded “Custom” inlay.


The interior on this car departs from the gray of the others and is a kind of municipal building block beige which contrasts nicely with the black and white scheme. There is, of course, a detailed police radio, complete with soft pigtail cord which connects the mike to the scanner. Notice the special radio antennae located on the passenger side rear. In the trunk and you’ll find a complete transmission box with readable dials and gauges that it’s connect too. Wow. Accessorize with Jimmy Flinstone’s Cop figurine and you’ll have the perfect instant Happy Days goes to Melrose Avenue diorama.

 

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  Greenlight Collectibles 1:24 Indy Racer Souvenir Car

So, are you ready for diecast stainless steel?

In 1946, Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Tony Hulman commissioned production of a cast steel racer to give to drivers, dignitaries, sponsors etc. The body was said to be based loosely on the Maserati that was helmed by two- time winner Wilbur Shaw who by 1950 was general manager of IMS.

Given that this is the fortieth anniversary of that event (and this years running of the greatest spectacle in racing is the 90th overall.), Greenlight Collectibles has brought out a replica of this cast steel racer imprinted with the 90th anniversary message.

While as a true diecast model what we have here is a rather crude rendering, as a work of art and as a piece of history it is quite remarkable. The model appears to be an almost instant antique. Due to the process of molding these in individual steel casts, each model is going to have patina due to the random pockmarks that are the natural part of the process. If you are a perfectionist, this model might drive you crazy but if you are an individualist, then the fact that no two are going to be exactly the same is an appealing thought.

This model’s charm is its simplicity and rough hewn character. The Firestone logo in lettered relief on the tires is the only detail. Other than that, it’s just a beautiful conversation piece I just had to have.



Bonus Pictures of Precision Miniatures Models Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

How to Get YOUR Models Reviewed in First Peek!

If you represent a diecast manufacturer and want to have your models reviewed in First Peek, contact me directly at rusty.hurley@gmail.com
 

Next week:

 

A "Street FIghter" and a Road Racing Legend

 
     

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