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Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II

Reviewed by:   Rusty Hurley
     
  Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car
 
 
 

What a long strange trip itís been...

Thatís about the least you can say about this Fiat Bartoletti Type II transporter that touched many legendary racing teams. Ordered in 1959 for Team Scarab and it served them until 1960, when the team folded and it was left at the Lotus.

In 1961, it was shipped back to Italy and prepared for Camoradi. Among the changes was the addition of a third axle and when the team ran out of money, it seems to have hibernated for a time, reappearing as the transporter of the 1964 Shelby Cobras where it undoubtedly picked up the distinctive blue paint.

For 1965, the Cobra team was campaigned by racing impresario/driver/force majeure Alan Mann - who had made a favorable impression on Ford racing Falcons and Cortinas in Europe and the USA. What happened with that team is the stuff of legend, as it dominated the 1965 World Sports Car Championship. As leader of the 1965 assault, Mann inherited came this handsome transporter. In 1966, Fordís all out effort to win Le Mans involved Mannís team which ran three GT 40. The subject under review here is the 1966 version (EXO00017).

At any race venue then as now transporters tended to be the center of attention when the action on the track was at a standstill. Attending the Indianapolis 500 the last few years, it's interesting to see the sort of egos involved in how nice or intimidating a transporter can be made to look or what mind boggling level of polish it can flash (Penskeís must be spit shined every morning).

Exoto has done a great job of bringing transporters from the golden era of racing back to life in model form. I reviewed a Bartoletti Type I transporter built for Maserati that was modeled by Exoto (and is still available) so I was anxious to get my hands on this new Type II model and compare the two.

The model shares at least one trait with its predecessor; itís substantial - weighing about 4 lbs. Given the relatively compact construction, that makes it brick solid - handle it very carefully as the weight shift can cause you to squeeze a delicate part (like the upper level rail guards) at the worst time. Fortunately an instruction manual comes with the model to guide you.

The paint and decoration is seamless with tamped on graphics. Chrome and glazing are exceptional for such a small model and while the doors do not open the high quality razor thin plastic and half lowered windows give you an unobstructed view to the cab interior where you can clearly see the controls and gauges. Front tires are posable and the functional leaf spring suspension responds to a gentle touch. I love the detail like the Firestone tires with extruded markings and lettering and the propellor action of the linked drive shafts.

This Cobra Transporter is about 2Ē longer, slightly taller and a good half inch wider than the Type I. It also features real wood inlay on the functional ramp beds with textured metal plate under the rear platform and at the joints. The ramps are functional and can be lowered and raised; especially ingenious is the engineering of the fold down ramp/rear gate which utilizes an ingenious latching system. There is a special tool included to assist you in manipulating it. Rubber stops are provided when displaying with cars; and a gift set version of this model (EXO00017GS1) is available with the three GT 40s run by Mannís team. The basic engine block is viewable both from underneath the model and through the photo-etched grill.

The model is exquisite even given that it could use working doors in the tool/parts area, or more realistic wheels (though the inclusion of stems here is rarely seen in 1/43). Iím not wild about having to glue on the rear view mirrors but the instructions are straightforward, good for an all thumbs guy like me. I imagine such changes though could have driven the price up by $100 or more in this scale, so Iíll count my blessings with whatís already on offer - which is spectacular for a 1/43 model. Plus, for every ďcoulda beenĒ there are ten ďcanít believe itĒ moments such as the chassis replication complete with real spare tire.

All in all itís another superb and definitive Fiat Bartoletti Transporter from Exoto. The Bartoletti Type II is or will be available in several Cobra editions for both the 1965 and 66 seasons as well as the original Team Scarab livery and a Ferrari version.

Iím up to three Exoto Transporters now and just like at the track, they make a nice center point to your collection, whether displayed on shelves or in acrylic cases (they fit nicely in 1/24 drag race cases). Highly recommended.

(11/25/2010)
 
 
  Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II diecast car

 
 
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Exoto | 1:43
Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II

Exoto 1:43 1966 Fiat Bartoletti Transporter II

 
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