Category Archives: Buick

Goldvarg September 2018

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.

Some 2016 Racing Champions.

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by the Author unless otherwise stated.

I recently looked at three Racing Champion Mint models from 2017 but here we go back a year further into the past to the earlier releases by Round 2 after they were licensed to produce this range by Tomy. The same ‘3.25 inch’ fit the box sizing applies as it did with the 2017 models with all the models shown here being pretty much the same length. All were diecast in China for the US.

2016 #3 1949 Buick Riviera

The Riviera first entered the Buick line in 1949, as the designation for the new two-door pillarless hardtop, described in advertising as “stunningly smart”: the Buick Roadmaster Riviera coupe. It was also in 1949 that Buick introduced “VentiPorts.” Four were displayed on each of the Roadmaster’s front fenders, with three on the fenders of models with smaller engines.  The Riviera joined the line up in the middle of the year selling 4,314 units.

Featuring power windows as standard equipment, the 2-door Buick Roadmaster Riviera was among the first hardtop coupes produced. The Riviera was also notable for its popular optional “Sweepspear” chrome body side moulding, which would soon become a Buick trademark. The “Riviera trim”, as it was initially called, was also made available on the Roadmaster convertible very late in the model year.

The model captures the rounded lines of the Buicks of the late forties well. Note the excellent flush fit of the windows into the diecast roof.

The interior has moulded dashboard with quite a bit of detail as well as seats but no door card mouldings.

At the front the huge ‘grinning’ grille has been well captured. Above it the printed badge is only visible in detail when the photo is enlarged but it is an impressive tiny multi-colour print. The huge bumper has been perhaps exaggerated a little in size and the small number plate looks very small. The chrome printed objects extend to the fittings in the top of the wing. The chrome printing is a little flat  and could do with being a little shinier.

Like other Racing Champions the front lights have been painted in white which works well here.

To the rear the window fits snugly and printing  represents the multi-part screen well. The boot handle is surrounded by a lovely printed Dynaflow badge and the Dynaflow script is also printed neatly on the rear wings. where the rear lights are moulded in the casting and accurately over-printed high on the wing.  Another slightly heavy and rather dull bumper with a tiny license plate. Two reversing lights are moulded in and highlighted by printing silver on them.

Finally the play components. Only the bonnet opens but this fits well and opens sideways in a realistic way. The engine detail is limited but it is clealry powered by the inline eight rather than the V8 that was to dominate in the 1950s.

2016 #6 1956 Chevy Nomad

The original Nomad was the shortest GM offering with a two door body and an estate car rear it was meant to combine sportiness with practicability and it had gathered much favourable comment when originally show as a styling exercise at Motorama in 1954.  Though it has been widely featured in films, and is certainly regarded as a ‘classic car,’ it did not sell well enough for GM and from 1958 onwards Nomad was just a badge on the larger Chevrolet Impala Station Wagon.

When the Nomad was introduced in 1955 it reflected the new styling across their ranges. Nomads, like Bel Airs, came fitted with interior carpet, chrome spears on the front wings, chrome window mouldings, and full wheel covers. A V8 engine option was offered using a new 4.3 Litre OHV engine. In 1956 Chevrolets received a face-lift. This gave Chevys a more conventional full-width grille as fitted to this model. In 1957 the Nomads was changed again and they were fitted with the same interior and rear-wheel pressings as Bel Airs, lacking the original Nomad’s unique trim.

The model captures the short length and the unique Nomad rear roof section, windows and painted rear section.  The wheels are a reasonable representation of the original wheels even if the tyres are slightly too square shouldered and wide. The Chevy badge and Nomad scripts are printed very finely on the rear wing.

The windows and their chrome fittings along the side, and the front door with its forward facing B pillar, are all well represented.

The interior again is a black plastic moulding with a moulded dash and steering wheel with some detail , seas and floor, and in this case the ribbing of the carrying compartment detailed but again it has no moulding on door cards.

From the front the 56 front end with its full width grille are captured well and there is even a black wash on the grille making it much more convincing. Headlights and sidelights are both painted white which contrasts well with the ‘chrome’ The Chevy badge is printed nicely on the bonnet and the bonnet ornament with its aircraft influences is reproduced neatly.

To the rear the small Nomad script in gold is printed above the chrome strips on the rear half of the rear tailgate. The rear lights are neatly cast in and overprinted chrome and red to give a good effect.

The rear bumper is rather dull and slightly heavy but follows the lines it should.

Again an opeining bonnet is the only play feature on this model. Under it lies an impression of a V8 engine.

2016 #4 1960 Chevy Impala

This is a model from the last year of the second generation Impala.

The Sport Coupe is modelled here which featured a shortened roof line and wrap-over back window. Standard fittings included front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front vent windows. A contoured hooded instrument panel held deep-set gauges. The 1960 Impala models reinstated three round taillights on each side, and a white band running along the rear fenders.

The side view shows that the casting is quite good, though I feel that the rear window may be slightly oversized.  The side moulding with the rocket age embellisher also bears tiny printed Impala script and an  image of someone waving the chequered flag so small magnification is needed to see it.

The side ‘chrome’ is well printed though the front wing embellishment is  rather over large, the four vents seeming much too obvious perhaps because the black sections are printed a larger than needed.

The wheels and tyres are well done, in spite of the fact that the tyres are too wide, with the white walls matching some seen on real cars for sale in the US.

The front grille is very nicely moulded and in a much shinier finish. Again a black wash has been applied to the grille and the light lenses are printed in white. There is no front number plate fitted.

Along the leading edge of the bonnet Chevrolet has been finely printed where the full size car would have had the letters applied. And the centre of the grille has a badge fitted which has the figure with the chequered flag again.

Inside we get the black plastic moulded tub with some detail in the steering wheel, dashboard mouldings and seats, and in this case on the door cards as well.

To the rear the badging and lights are well done. A printed Chevy badge graces the boot though it is perhaps missing a printed dot below it for the boot lock. Again a nice shiny chrome effect rear panel is fitted and the moulded in lights are then accurately overprinted. The number plate to the rear simply says Impala.

Play features are again restricted to an opening bonnet. It looks like the car is fitted with a standard inline six rather than the popular V8 option.


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GFCC 1956 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Four Door Hardtop

By Maz Woolley

Photographs are by, and copyright of, the Author.

Here is the latest model from GFCC Toys a 1956 Buick Roadmaster Riviera Four Door Hardtop. Reviews of the previous Jaguar, Pontiac, and Studebaker models from this maker may all be found elsewhere on this site.  Although the models claim to be from a company registered in the US this seems to be a conceit as the models only seem to be available from Chinese sellers on eBay and on the Chinese equivalent of eBay, Ali Express. Perhaps due to the Chinese New Year holidays only the Jaguar seems to be listed at the moment.

The Riviera four door hardtop was an extremely popular model outselling the conventional four door Roadmaster. It was certainly a large and impressive car and appealed to those who could not afford a Cadillac but who liked large and powerful cars.

The side mouldings are printed neatly as are the door handles and quarter lights. The Buick “bullet holes” are there with four for the most upmarket version of the car but they have not been silvered as I would have expected.

The version that I bought is in pink and white and despite having a plastic base plate it is quite a heavy model. As on previous models the wheels are silver items with Dinky style round ended axles protruding.

The grille is quite fine and the Buick badge is printed neatly and not oversized as I might have expected. The bonnet emblem is neatly cast and silvered. The silver used is more like that used on Atlas Dinky than the silver used on collectors 1:43 models.

At the rear the lights have been done well but the lettering is very strange as it says CHRYSLER! Not exactly what you would expect.  Under the corner of each bumper and exhaust end sticks out in silver plastic rather more detail than I would have expected.

Inside we have a white dashboard and steering wheel as well as white seats. Though the backs of the front seats are in black. The dashboard has some quite detailed mouldings but nothing is picked out. Unusually the dashboard is in metal as is the steering wheel. The doors are fitted with plastic door cards rather than having them moulded into the casting .

So yet again GFCC has produced a hybrid model which is neither a “proper” collectable or a Dinky Replica and once again it has a character of its own.


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