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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
7-02-06
VIEW ARCHIVE
 
 


1:18 GMP 1969 Street Fighter Camaro
1:12 GMP PCM Racing Corvette C-5R

 

1:18 GMP 1969 Street Fighter Camaro 1:12 GMP PCM Racing Corvette C-5R
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 

Junior, home from the war, finds Grandaddy’s old Ford T covered up in the barn. He decided right then and there on a project.

So it must have been something the first time Junior roared up to the family reunion in Grandaddy’s old Model T. Gone was the “everyman” black replaced by a Lemon Peel Yellow, with purple pin stripes. Also gone were things like the roof, the old wheels and the entire suspension system. A blown Ardun Flathead all chromed out sits glistening in the sun. Fat slicks surrounding Cragar Mags dominate the back end. The finishing touch were white Naugahyde bucket seats. Even the old radiator was chromed out like a Buick.

Granddaddy groans. “Whatcha going to do with something like this? This was a classic; now it's got all this chrome and an engine I’m sure the police are goin’ to find mighty interesting. Perfectly good money wasted. I just don’t get you kids!”

Guess Granddaddy never lived to see Barrett-Jackson.

 

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  1:18 GMP 1969 Street Fighter Camaro

Well, there’s a new generation of “kids!” and they have their own vision for what a street rod should look like but in many respects they share the same spirit as Junior. They like a classic chassis; special wheels, a radical interior, performance tires plus the latest evolution in power plants. Just goes to show you – the more things change the more they stay the same.

Enter GMP’s newest entry in their “Street Fighter” series, a brilliantly executed 1969 Camaro. GMP is not “first in” within this category - Jada and other companies have radical diecast subjects based on the spirit of the resto-mod movement. These examples tend to have a cartoon-ish bent to them as, indeed, can some of the more creative rides seen in every major city today. Thumping stereos, trick shock packages and fluorescent lighting are all interesting enough I suppose but it when it comes to dancing around wildly, it impresses me more if my girlfriend does it than my car.

The GMP is different than a lot of what’s out there and that’s why this Street Fighter series has people talking.

Sure, the first thing you might notice about this model is the set of Billet Specialties SLC85 billet aluminum wheels, 18’x8” front and 18”x10”rear. They sparkle as brilliantly as diamonds as you unpack the car. Centered on low profile yet deeply treaded performance tires, the Billet rims are precisely detailed. Billet supplies their name to the model and you get a Billet decal for your 1:1 ride with the model in the box.

While tenacious pursuit of detail is part of the reason these Billet wheels look so amazing, additional credit should go to the gleaming black paint that shrouds the Camaro in such a menacingly effective way, framed by lustrous chrome details. This seamless black paint is highlighted very tastefully on each side by red rally striping. The color contrast reminds me of the original batmobile. The red striping also highlights the numbers “527” which is the power plant that drives this beast. To view, take the hood (studded with cosmetic locks and dominated by a huge cowl induction) off of the model and you’ll find the magnificently detailed, wired and plumbed fire-breathing engine. A word about this removable hood: the paint matches the diecast metal brilliantly, no easy trick on large plastic parts with black paint. The engine is clearly articulated – something GMP seems to be constantly improving with each model. Notice the 527 big block engine is correctly colored, wired, plumbed and has soft touch belts. You get a set of mats that are pose-able as work mats on the fenders.

The interior has been stripped for speed but not at the expense of style. The way-cool two-tone racing buckets, each with a red nylon racing harness are better than any interior combo you'll see in "Pimp My Ride". The performance steering and pedals are svelte lightweight aluminum while the straightforward dash has readable gauges embedded steel. Other details abound, such as the white shifter that controls the modified T – 56 6-speed tranny, the fully plumbed nitrous system, full door details (curiously window roll-ups) and a roll cage.

The body is cat black sweet and sleek. Add to the classic 1969 look slightly flared fenders inherited from GMP's legendary Trans Am Camaro. The front tires can be posed and are susceptible to negative camber. A view of the chassis shows no skimping there either, fully detailed brakes/brake lines, exhaust and suspension. GMP along with Classic Carlectables seems to be head and shoulders above the crowd at their price point in replicating chassis detail.

So what haven’t we mentioned – headlights and taillights? First rate. Windows? Textured plexi with a nifty Billet decal center stage on the rear window. Spoilers? Custom back and rake handsome Trans Am version in the front. Photo etched parts? Are you kidding me? Have you looked at the pictures? Shut lines? As tight as Granddaddy’s wallet.

What we have here, in my opinion, is maybe the finest restomod-style diecast to date. It has the bling, yet maintains the zing. It’s an updated modern performance monster yet enclosed in classic form. Ultimately, it’s the simple presentation of traditional lines, an elegant use of chrome and the glossy black paint and “don’t even try it” stance are what win me over here – making the model simply wicked. Don’t miss this storm bringer.

Legacy Motors has GMP's 1969 Street Fighter Camaro ready to ship.

 

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  1:12 GMP PCM Racing Corvette C-5R

There are classic molds of racecars in the diecast game that are nothing short of seminal. The CMC W154 Streamliner, Exoto’s Sauber Mercedes (1:18 and 1:10), Precision Miniatures Willy’s Gasser are examples of models that are so fabulously detailed and well executed that no one with any common sense will produce a model of the same platform to compete with it in the same price range.

GMP’s legendary 1:12 Corvette fits this category and it’s available in a new version featuring the Pacific Coast Motorsports Racing paint scheme. This short-lived privateer team ran contested the first seven rounds of the 2005 ALMS campaigning the #5 Menards-Yokohama Corvette C5-R in the GT1 class. Despite podium finishes at Portland and Road America, PCM decided to cancel its program prior to the end of the season in order to focus on it’s Rolex Grand Am operation where they run the Playboy-Vonage sponsored Pontiac-Riley’s. Why leave ALMS? According to the team, the Corvette works team is too strong to make a privateer operation viable.

Though short-lived, PCM left us with what might be the most striking livery for a Corvette C-5R racer. The chartreuse paint – typical of Menard’s sponsored cars - is almost jarring, yet especially well framed with the single offset cerulean blue stripe that runs the length of the body and the blue crescent violators on the side panels. Crisp tampo graphics cover the body, though curiously the tires remain anonymous. The ADVAN labeled spoiler is one of many body parts in faux carbon fiber that add realism and depth to the subject.

The 15.75 inch long, 8 lb. model comes packed in a huge styrofoam coffin badged with a Corvette Racing closure, The front and rear cowl packaged separately form the main chassis. Also packaged separately are cotton gloves, four jack stands, a metal stanchion set (to give it a real museum piece feel), front cowl intake coverlet (which I never mounted), an access tool and the wheels and tires.

Everything in 1:12 is bigger and better and looking at the front suspension and brake detail will confirm for you very quickly that you’ve made a wise investment. The one thing I immediately noticed was that this model was less plastic than some other 1:12 models.

The functional coil shock suspension is vividly detailed, as is the braking systems and engine wiring. The level of articulation is simply flawless, with every hose, brake duct, linkage and connection properly placed, correctly colored and slinking seductively amongst the Geiger-like engine. Beautiful execution. The carbon fiber engine modesty panel unfortunately is not removable so the headers are enjoyed by implication rather than inspection. However, there is a smaller carbon fiber panel that is removable to view the air management system (quite frankly, I didn;t even waste time mounting it. Grilles are photo etched fine mesh and are seated exactly true. You’ll be quite pleased with their firm yet delicate appearance.

Doors to the cockpit open on hinges – even the door handle can be lifted though I would not recommend opening the door with them due to stress on the fragile part. The interior has an amazing replication of the driver’s environment – everything from the safety equipment, roll cage, seating system to the driver hydration system look authentic (see the foil covered drink reservoir). The dash is filled with enough flip switches and dials that you might think you’re looking at something from Airbus instead of Chevy. Steering is functional (lift the model and pose the wheels). Even little details like the cluster of stickers on the B pillar are faithfully replicated here.

Of the 800 or so parts none are more amazing than the rear of this legendary GT1 racer. While yes, the engine and detail under the front cowl is satisfying, the rear represents even more interesting and often overlooked detail. Hidden under a carbon fiber panel, find the radio antenna, roll cage struts, fuel/oil management systems and more electronics. The rear fascia of the car has perhaps the niftiest touch, two operable LeMans required luggage compartments.

Given that it comes with jacks, the car can be displayed with or without tires. The tires are weighted fat racing slicks that look incredibly realistic (lack of a Yokohama logo aside). They mount using bolts already mounted to the axle.

As we stated at the top of the article, this C-5R mold has been out there a while, so its greatness has been praised by many and it’s value is tried and true. In other words, you don’t have to take my word for it. The paint scheme though is fresh and new and almost edibly good. Far different from the business-like yellow of the Goodwrench cars and the corporate blue of the Compuware effort –this livery seems to hearken back to the mean early days of the Corvette’s assault on GT1 where the cars were silver and black – almost pirate inspired.

PCM racing may have left GT1, but the spirit of these privateers shines through on this model. While they last, there are 350 of these models that will go to some lucky 1:12 privateers. Without hesitation I can say this is the finest 1:12 model I’ve seen (keep in mind I haven’t seen a GMP Cobra yet). I give this one my highest recommendation. If you’ve got the space, keep the pace.

Legacy Motors offers GMP's spectacular 1:12 2005 Corvette C5R - Menards. Legacy also has available for immediate shipment two equally stunning GMP 1:12 C5R masterpieces... 2001 Chevrolet Corvette C5R #3 GM Goodwrench piloted by Earnhardt/Earnhardt Jr./Pilgrim/Collins and the 2002 Sebring winning Corvette C5R #3 GM Goodwrench.
 

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  Bonus Pictures

Enjoy!

How to get YOUR models featured in First Peek

If you represent a diecast manufacturer, contact me directly at rusty.hurley@gmail.com
 

Next week:

 

Classic Chevys and a new Aston Martin. Going to be a fun summer!

 
     

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