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First Peek with Rusty Hurley Edition Date



AUTO art 1:18 2005 FORD MUSTANG GT, SHOW VERSION (LE 3,000) ....
Rusty Hurley
Rusty Hurley

Sometimes you want to go to one of the better steakhouses in town, other times you just want an extra value meal. This week, we get both!

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  AUTO art 1:18 2005 FORD MUSTANG GT, SHOW VERSION (LE 3,000)

Have you ever been to that “better steakhouse”, only to discover the menu has changed, along with the furniture, and the prices have gone up accordingly? That’s how you are likely to feel when you purchase this model.

The 2005 Ford Mustang GT (Show Version) is an Auto art Performance Division model, though it is priced more in line with their Millennium offerings. The pricing is based, at least in part, on the edition size of 6,000 - half in lime green and the balance in the fire red color reviewed here.

Auto art models in this line come in a box configured with a five-window display. The car itself is mounted to a base inscribed with the model name. You might choose to keep it in the display box, given the fact that Auto art – apparently listening to customer complaints about sticker residue - chose to secure the hood and trunk of this model to the base through a wickedly effective combination of flexible steel and plastic tie-downs that would make the Marquis de Sade proud. Give yourself plenty of time when removing the model from the packaging. Start with removing the tie-downs, then unscrewing the car from the display base. Despite how much you want to view this tasty morsel up-close, it’s better to be patient than to force the issue.

Once you’ve freed this model from its spectacular bondage, back away from it and savor this color. It’s aptly named fire red. In a well lit area, the car picks up hints of gold warmth and in darker light it is a deep blood red. I own a fair amount of red models and this shade is unique among them.

Current design trends on Ford’s classic model names are retro, and there are several 2005 GT features that are modern interpretations of hallmark Mustang styling. Viewing it head on, the realistic headlights are reminiscent of the 1971 Mach One. The large in-board high beams strike me as a styling point I always associated with Cobras. The front grill is molded plastic with the trademark horse broach trademark dead center like the original 64 ½.

I posed it next to the sleek gold (1967) and red (1968) Mustangs previously done by Auto art. While the 2005 carries several design elements forward, especially the side panels, there is significantly less detailing on this car.

What we have here is a modern day brute. Pop the hood and a wired 4.6-liter 300hp all-aluminum (well, mostly plastic aluminum) V-8 engine waits impatiently for the key to be turned. The stance is "I'm gonna take your lunch money" aggressive. Maybe that's why Auto art had to tie it to the display base so securely.

Spinning the car to a side view, you’ll find shut lines that are faultlessly crafted. The reflective GT badges are sharply applied. You’ll also notice the flared wheel wells give the car a muscular look on a body that is otherwise spaceship smooth. Miniature door handles allow enough room for a fingernail to open the door, revealing the two-tone gold and gunmetal gray interior. Floors are carpeted, and the various interior features from the race-inspired pedals to the commuter-inspired cup holder are accurately replicated. On the dash, you'll even find the main gauges individually covered with plexiglass.


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This is a show car, which means it's not strictly a street car but not a concept car either. It has windshield wipers but no seat belts (though there are seat belt locks). Mysteriously, it appears to have two gas caps, one on the side and another bling-bling version dead center on the rear panel. Reminds me of the Mark Knopfler lyric, "Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong". The wheels are plain but the tires are soft with deeply cut tread. Turn it over, and you'll see the serial number plate mounted on a serviceable under-carriage. You also get a certificate of authenticity, a nice touch.

Like that better steak house, the prices and seating may have changed but the meal is still delicious. Unlike the steakhouse, you're going to need to make your buying decision soon - there are simply not enough to go around. Surely Auto art will need to make more than 6,000 copies using variations of this mold to pay for the development cost. Personally, I hope a Shelby version is not too far behind. But just in case, this waiter advises you not to let this one get away.


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  Tom Daniels 1:43 Street Rods

If you are of a certain age (and increasingly when someone uses that phrase it seems to pertain to me), you might remember spending afternoons assembling Monogram plastic models or racing red line Hot Wheels based on the designs of Tom Daniels. Daniels had a flair for combining California hot rod style with a cartoon sensibility. The results were outrageous takes on seemingly normal vehicles such as the politically incorrect Paddy Wagon or dreamy hot rods like the over the top Red Baron.

Now from Toyworks, comes a line of Tom Daniel models in 1:18 and 1:43 scale. And Daddy-o, these are far out!

The Paddy Wagon is replicated in the police blue you remember, complete with bars on the windows and stylized sconces on the rear side panels. The engine is a mind-boggling collision of headers and superchargers based on a Cobra mill and it looks like it could tear off a 0-60 in 3 seconds. All of Daniel's designs were dragster-based with big slicks on the rear and this one is no exception. The car even has unexpected touches like the period police hat and night stick on the wooden fronts bench seat.

The Fort T-bucket Red Baron features an airplane engine Tom copied from an Orange County museum, customized with headers that look they could fire cannon shot. The car has side mounted guns instead of rear view mirrors. Helpful, I suppose, if you have to make that late night run to Wendy’s through enemy lines. The large surfer-inspired WW1 helmet glistens on top of the crimson cabin. For a time, Hot Wheels sanitized this model by removing the iron cross on the helmet and the front radiator. These have been happily restored.

On both models, are white-lettered Tom Daniels insignia tires. The under-carriage has reasonably good detail. The cars stance is as rad as the originals.

There are several more models listed on the packaging as being available, but I can't verify that all of them are in production at the moment. In addition to the Paddy Wagon and the Red Baron, at least Tijuana Taxi and Bad Medicine can be found in a 1:43 version. At $4.99 each, about the cost of an extra-value meal, these models are a steal. All that's missing is the buzz I used to get from working with the glue.

For more on Tom Daniels visit http://www.tomdaniel.com/index.html

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.

My apologies to readers expecting the “big box o Lincolns”, there were some logistics problems in getting the right stuff here. Hopefully we’ll do it another day.

Next week:


Ettore's creed: .Always innovate - Make the best - Make it classic


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