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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date
10-30-06
VIEW ARCHIVE
 
 


1:18 1992 Exoto Williams-Renault FW14B
1:18 GMP Rat Rod
1:18 RC2 (ERTL) 1965 Mustang 2+2 Fastback

 

1:18 1992 Exoto Williams-Renault FW14B 1:18 GMP Rat Rod
 
     
 
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley
 

Ladies and gentlemen, our flight today takes us from Silverstone, England, then over Pine Sap, Georgia and lands in Dearborn, Michigan. We expect to reach a cruising altitude just inches over the pavement. Please keep your seatbelt fastened and your seatback in an upright position. Please turn up your radio and put your foot in it. Have a safe flight.
 

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  1:18 1992 Exoto Williams-Renault FW14B

There has been much hand wringing over the recent “retirement” of Michael Schumacher. I personally believe we will see him resurrect his career. Perhaps he’ll miss the ovations at Monza or drive for Audi at Le Mans. Perhaps Tony George can romance him to run the Indianapolis 500. The last scenario brings to mind Emerson Fittipaldi and the man known simply as “Our Nige”.

Before Michael became dominant, Nigel Mansell was considered the best British GP driver this side of Jackie Stewart and for a time perhaps the best driver alive. While he consistently had superior equipment, he also had a cool, calculated, winning style that enabled him to out gun most challengers.

Perhaps Mansell’s most dominant season came in 1992 piloting the Williams-Renault FW14B. The combination of Renault power and Williams chassis resulted in record breaking performances. The Exoto model of this famous racer more than lives up to their past Grand Prix classics.

Extract the model from the styrofoam shell and a riot of color flashes even in low room light. The intense red lettering, brilliant blue and competition yellow ranks with the instantly identifiable liveries in F1 history. I’m very happy to see the Camel logos included; I wish all model makers had the courage to make tobacco logo cars. While the Camel logos might be the most noticeable of the bunch, all insignia and sponsor logos on the model are crisply defined, even the white Bull logo on the black, faux carbon fiber front wing.

The svelte body is accurately shaped and seems to be glued to the ground. The cockpit with "Mansell" and the Union Jack stenciled on the side is spartan with a surprisingly sueded seat. The red and yellow nylon racing harness, metal fasteners and logo steering wheel are all perfect miniaturizations. Mansell was shielded from the elements by a sliver of a windscreen that’s one of those details easily missed on a first look. A removable front bonnet panel reveals the hydraulic suspension plumbing. The rear view mirrors actually pivot (as they would have for transport.) The rear bonnet is completely detailed – such as the on board camera opening, head rest, and delicate red tow hitch ring. Remove the rear bonnet, and there is a bonanza of marvelously intricate machinery you’d expect of on an F1 machine.

There are photo etched filters guarding the rear of the massive sidepod intakes. Surrounding the cockpit is a spider web of wiring supporting all manner of electrical systems and plumbing that appear to support the suspension. On the rear of the airbox find the punctiliously perfect fuel management system that feeds the massive Renault V10. The engine itself is magnificently recreated with hollow plastic plumbing, color coded wiring, patterned steel block, carbon fiber valve covers, chromed velocity stacks, artfully twisting exhaust headers and mirror quality heat shield that foil the engine bay. The rear split wing is artful with the Canon logo seamlessly integrated between airfoils.

This magnificent racer sits on Good year rubber. The tires have a hollow quality to them and they settle with a slight tow effect. The race scuffed tires Exoto does are the best in the business. Add removable wheels to view the carbon disc brake detail and the brilliantly replicated suspension and get comfortable picking up your bottom lip from the constant jaw dropping you will suddenly be susceptible to having.

All in all a stunning model of a quintessential racer. Like Mansell himself, who now reigns supreme in the Gran Prix Masters series, a timeless classic. Cheerio!

 

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  1:18 GMP Rat Rod

When last we saw ol’ Ben, he was in the shack he called home countin’ up the five large Pork Chop had given him for the Night Before Nova. Ben owned the biggest pile of junked up cars and parts anywhere near the thriving metropolis of Pine Sap. So he started assembling some of these parts and pieces into what the folks in the holler called a “rat rod”. A rat rod is all about the putting your foot in it – all about the speed – not about the paint shop. People started calling him Crazy Ben for taking some of these put-together rods on wild, ground shaking rides. In fact every now and again Crazy Ben grabs a jug of the cure, closes up his yard and heads west in his very favorite beater. He always comes home with a smile on his face, a new tattoo, a pink slip or two and possibly the future threat of a paternity suit.

How fitting that Crazy Ben’s raw, full throttle joyride is a new addition to GMP’s Pork Chop series of models.

The model comes packed in GMPs styrofoam coffin with logo closure – among the best and safest packing the industry for my money. That said the model is a little trick to get out because of the stripped down nature of this heavy piece. What I had to do was gently push the cushion in front of the radiator to free up the front end then lift it out and forward. To my horror, when I finished, I saw the rear view mirror in the bottom of the box. I thought for a moment I had broken it off – but as it turns out it’s just packaged in a separate little bag. Your option to mount it or not. I chose to leave it off.

Why do you need a rear view mirror on this thing? Exactly what kind of car is going to catch this banshee?

Once you’ve got the monster free, you’ll notice the menacing stance of a chopped '34 Ford. In fact this model shares the same wheelbase as last year’s Salt Flats Racer. Most noticeable is the flathead V-8 engine. While the three huge, organ pipe stacked downdraft carbs might be the most obvious feature, look closely and you’ll see wires and plugs, soft rubber belts, hoses, and plumbing. The strut braces are a thoughtful touch often missed or poorly scaled in hot rod models. My favorite features though are the shimmering custom headers – they look like they are scaled versions of the ones on the GMP Ardun Flathead Ford 1/8 scale engine. You can almost hear the thunder they would crank.

The chromed suspension seems a little high falutin’ for a rat rod but it’s gorgeous and every connection defined. This articulation carries over to big drum brakes (with lines). The chassis is solid and opaque, though there is an opening to view the differential.

Let’s talk about this paint for a minute. These one-off homegrown finishes are becoming a signature element in the Pork Chop Series. This one is a flat black primer type finish. While not as unique as some of the other Pork Chop models (the 1968 Camaro still has the most unusual finish I’ve ever seen on a diecast model) it is amazing the a flat black like this shows up crisp and clean. It makes the red details on the seating and other areas shine brilliantly. The red Maltese cross on either side of the front quarter panel is the "kiss-this" tattoo on a very southern ride but it works for me.

Open the discreetly hinged suicide doors and you’ll let the available light fill the cockpit. Notice the leather door interiors, vintage Stewart Warner gauges mounted on a steel dash, two-tone bench seat. The model is has a long throw shifter with skull knob, just in time for Halloween.

Open the trunk to view the metal gas tank mounted on a custom frame. Details like the metal band clamps tieing down the tank are the kind of feature that makes a GMP model special. You also have to love these classic wide band whitewalls and brutally simple wheels.

There are 1,000 of these bad-ass rat rod models made. But you better act quickly – ol’ Crazy Tom...er I mean Ben...might start strippin’ 'em for parts for his next rat project.

Legacy Motors has GMP'S 1934 Ford Crazy Ben's Rat Rod in stock and ready for delivery.


 

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  1:18 RC2 (ERTL) 1965 Mustang 2+2 Fastback

Some things are just plain classic. When it comes to cars, it means it may not be the snazziest car made, but one that defined a specific style or quality of expectation. Think of the Chevy Impala or the Porsche 911 – no matter the current rendition, the name itself demands attention be paid.

So it also is with diecast molds or “tools”. Think of the Exoto’s GT40 MkII or GMP’s 1970’s GTO. Molds that are incredibly well engineered to be nearly timeless.

So, what happens when you combine a classic nameplate with a first rate diecast mold? You get lightning in a bottle. An in this case the lightning comes in the form of a 1965 Mustang GT 2+2 in Springtime Yellow.

RC2 (ERTL) has rejuvenated one of its classic molds, the Precision 100 1964 Mustang to bring this model to life. That’s great news since the mold is still one of the best ever produced at a sub $100 price point.

The model is a beautiful color, a very sixties maize yellow variant. It comes complete with GT appearance kit including triple GT striping just above the rocker panel, red GT badging and 289 insignia. Gleaming chrome on the bumpers and window trim are a captivating frame.

The classic front end is highlighted by an open mesh grille and the famous running mustang ornamentation. Lights are clear yet show no signs of mounting posts. The hood seems to lay a scooch high, but opens to an incredibly detailed engine. I’m not sure it’s the correct engine – every example I can find of this car has a blue engine block and this one is jet black. That said, the wiring and plumbing appear accurate and specific labels and markings must have been done by munchkins with extremely good eyesight as they appear miniaturized and readable. The usage of chrome, metal and plastic and the detailing on the underside of the hood would have you believe this model is twice the price.

The car’s interior is something to shout about too. Dig the two tone scheme seating complete with nylon seatbelts complete with metal fastners. Several of the P100 refinements survive notably the key-in-ignition portrayal. There are also ribbed rubber floor mats, a well engineered fold down back seat and metal step plates emblazoned with the blue oval logo. The color keyed dash and console along with the sport steering wheel will make you think Paul Revere and the Raiders should be coming from that AM radio. The metal trimmed seats not only fold, but move forwards and backwards. Sweet.

The unique “Silent-Flo” extractor vents on the C Pillars that enabled a free flow of air in and out of the cabin are well crafted –these worked even when the windows were rolled up - a good thing since the rear picture window could make an east traveling Mustang a very warm place to be in the late afternoon.

The trunk features a chrome key lock, full spare, jack and a funky patterned interior. Look underneath the hood to find lilputian sized instructions for changing a tire glued to the roof of the trunk interior.

Soft, treaded white wall tires are supported by chrome ten spoke mag wheels. Chassis detail is not spectacular but is well executed and includes full suspension and chrome tipped dual exhaust.

If your looking for one detail that makes this model special take a look at the doors. The exterior have door handles and locks. The hinges are latched solidly and opening the door the window rollers and door opener and quarter panel windows are all chromed. and detailed. The interior upholstery is two tone and set off by a silver painted accent outlining a scalloped central panel which includes the hardware and armrest. If all that wasn’t enough there’s a perfectly miniaturized door panel sticker.

Can you tell I like this? Yes, the classics never cease to amaze.


Last Flight Out

Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to officially announce that this has been the last ride for “First Peek”. When First Peek was originally developed, the idea was to show you prototypes and stuff that was coming out down the road a bit. But in today’s diecast industry, getting such pieces is more and more difficult.

But we’re not going quietly into that good night.

What we’ve developed for this space is a “review feature” that will change more often than First Peek has. It will be a column that will bring you diecast reviews from respected writers and photographers such as Bill Bennett, Frank LeMire, Rich Sufficool, Tony Perrone, Patty Henderson and more. Yes, I'll still be here and I believe Mr. Kelly will even climb in the box occasionally. It also involves an orangutan. I’d say more but I’d have to kill you and quite frankly I don't have the time to clean the mess.

Watch Diecast Zone News for further details. Now you’ve got to tune into that.
 

 
     

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