By Maz Woolley
All text by, and copyright of the Author. Photographs have all been provided by the Manufacturer.
It is amazing to think that Sergio Goldvarg only returned to producing 1:43 scale models just over a year ago. Since then licences have been obtained from Ford and General Motors and once the first cars were released a steady stream of new ones has been announced. The cars are resin moulded to 1:43 scale and finished in China to Sergio’s specification. Lots of attention is paid to having pre-production tryouts made and shown to knowledgeable collectors to help get them absolutely right before production. These pre-production samples also help Sergio to get a good idea of the colours that will sell strongly and builds up a direct relation between the maker and the collectors.
Most of the releases to date have sold out at Goldvarg Collectibles, though some can still be found on the inventories of retail sellers. What is also amazing is that the US price of some of the cars to pre-order today are still at the bargain $99 launch price, and even a few that are not are only $109. This seems to be a bargain price at a time when prices from European companies like Matrix and Brooklin have increased very significantly over the same period and other competitors are much dearer anyway.
So lets look at some of the models announced but not yet shipped.
1961 PONTIAC CATALINA Twilight Mist
The 1961 Catalina sold for less than a Chevrolet Impala yet was fitted with a better automatic box and was kitted out to the standards of a Oldsmobile and was cheaper than that too. The new squarer, straight through, wing styling front and back heralded the start of the much more conservative styling of the early 1960s.
The Goldvarg model captures the complex curves and pressed surfaces very well.
GC-007 B 1970 FORD Galaxie Caramel Bronze
The 1970 Ford Galaxie was a full-sized car. The name was used for the top models in Ford’s full-size range competing with the Chevrolet Impala. Here the Goldvarg model has captured the typical early 1970s shape well and the intricately finished rear chrome panel and badging are worthy of note.
This car is also to be available in metallic silver with a black vinyl roof.
GC-008 A 1965 MERCURY PARK LANE MARAUDER Ocean Turquoise
In 1965 the chassis of full-size Ford and Mercury cars was redesigned and the Mercury line was given much flatter sides. a much more slab-sided appearance. Europeans will see the influence of the front end on both the German Ford Taunus 17M and the British Mark III Cortina.
The Goldvarg model again has very fine grille work as well as badging. The car is also available in a nice metallic gold finish.
GC-009 A 1969 FORD TORINO Calypso coral
The Ford Torino modelled by Goldvarg is an early car from the second year of production. It is nice to see an earlier Torino as the Starsky and Hutch car has meant that most Torinos produced have been 1973 cars. The Torino filled the mid-range segment and was named after the Italian city of Turin, perhaps to add some suggestion of Italian style to what was only a Ford Fairlane in disguise.
The Goldvarg model looks good even in this early pre-production form with the wheels still not ready to show. The front grille seems to be very neatly replicated and the badging too.It is also to be available in a yellow which is undoubtedly period correct but much less attractive to my eye.
GC010 A 1963 FORD FALCON SPRINT Rangoon Red
The Falcon was the small platform in the Ford line up from 1961 onwards. By 1963, there were two and four door sedans, convertibles, wagons and hardtops. In mid-year a V8 was offered for the first time in the Sprint line only. The Sprint acted as a test bed for the soon to be launched Ford Mustang which may have looked very different but was pure Falcon underneath!
The pre-production model has a few parts that are not yet finely finished as I expect that they will be when the model is launched. But it captures the lights and grille very well as well as side spear and badging.
This model will also be available in Polar White.
1963 Chevy Nova Laurel Green
The Chevrolet Chevy II/Nova was the smallest platform for Chevrolet cars and went through five generations after being introduced in 1962. Its influence on GMs former European Opel division is clear to see. Powered by four or six cylinder engines the Chevy II/Nova started out intending to be a thrifty purchase but as time went on more expensive variants rapidly emerged. By 1963 the Nova option for the Chevy II was available in a convertible body style, and a two-door hardtop was available from 1962 to 1965. All Chevy two-door hardtops in the range were marketed as the Sport Coupe .For 1963, the Chevy II Nova Super Sport was released and it featured special emblems, an instrument package, wheel covers, special side mouldings, bucket seats, and floor gear change.
The Goldvarg is still at the prototype phase but seems to me to capture the original car exceptionally well with excellent fine detailing to finish the relatively simple shape of the car well.
1956 MERCURY MONTEREY Station Wagon
The Marquis-Monterey range had a longer wheelbase and longer body than the Ford LTD, Ford Galaxie, and Ford Custom. The 1956 model had a new engine, the 235 hp (175 kW) 312 cu. in. This year, along with the rest of Ford, Mercury cars started to sport the ‘Lifeguard’ safety equipment. The deep-dish steering wheel and safety door locks were standard.
Here the Goldvarg is in very early prototype form and we can expect to see more prototypes as the details are developed and the colours are tested. Here we can see that the shape seems well developed and the side mouldings are being readied for the woodie treatment.
1962 Buick Electra
The Buick Electra was a full-size luxury car included in the Buick range from 1959 to 1990. Famed for its extreme rear wings when first introduced it was offered in many forms over the years and here it is in two door coupe form. The 1962 model had four VentiPorts per front wing and was restyled from 1961 version. The car was fitted with many luxury fitments as standard but came with a lot of options too.
Again this is an early prototype but it clearly has the correct shape and stance and we can look forward to seeing more developed prototypes in the near future.
1964 Pontiac Grand Prix
The 1962-1964 Pontiac Grand Prix achieved strong sales for General Motors during its run, It set to win over the buyers of Ford Thunderbirds, amongst others. Based on the Catalina hardtop coupe it had unique styling touches and was fitted with T-Bird style bucket seats and a large central console. The name, Grand Prix, was used to add associations to speed and daring. The car could be fitted out with one of five versions of Pontiac’s superb Trophy 389 V-8, from a 230-horsepower economy special to a high-compression Tri-Power version (three two-barrel carburetors) with 348 hp. This, and its lower weight, made the GP faster than the T-Bird. A three-speed manual gearbox was standard, but most GPs were ordered with the new “Roto” Hydra-Matic, a new three-speed torque-converter box. An alternative option taken by enthusiasts was a four-speed manual floorshift.
Again the Goldvarg is in its early stages and much fine detail is yet to be added. The shape appears to be caught very well which is important as the GP is a relatively plain car with limited chrome adornments.
Our look at what is on the way from Goldvarg ends here but I am sure that there are yet other drawings, and work in hand, on yet more models. The current trend for Goldvarg to produce cars from the 1960s seems to be popular with many collectors as there are a lot of cars from that era yet to be modelled well. If you are interested in Goldvarg models their website is https://www.goldvargcollection.com/
We welcome your comments and questions. Please go to our Model Auto Review Facebook page, or email us at maronlineeditor at gmail.com.