By Maz Woolley
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.
Greenlight has released a second series of Estate Wagons to 1:64 scale made in China for the US. They have designed their large 1980s Ford Wagon so that the front end can be varied allowing them to produce different versions. They have already modelled two Ford LTD Country Squire Wagons, one from 1979 and the other from 1985 in series one. Here using the same basic casting we get the Ford LTD Crown Victoria Wagon from 1986 and the Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park. Greenlight have taken advantage of the fact that Ford used the same platform for many years with minor cosmetic changes to the front end between marques and model years. For more on the Fords from Release one click here.
Ford LTD Crown Victoria Wagon 1986
The previous Ford wagons featured in series one were both Country Squire models with the stick on wood effect panels. Here we have the LTD Crown Victoria which was the same vehicle as the Squire but without the wood effect side panels. The LTD Crown Victoria wagon was available in both base and upmarket versions.
By 1986 the days of the sales of large Ford Estates were in decline with sales levels being less than 40% of the levels in 1979 when the model was launched.
The Greenlight model is neatly done though the flake in the metallic paint is very overscale. As with all the other wagons in this series there is no attempt to model any bonnet ornaments.
The grille and white and amber printed lights are well reproduced and the badging at the rear and on the sides is excellent. The Ford badge on the front grille is to scale and is so small you could easily miss it. The Ford badge, brake light and other tailgate details are neatly printed too.
The tailgate opens to give access to the huge load area and the car is also fitted with the Greenlight hitch so that the car can be used to tow the many trailers Greenlight now has in 1:64 scale. The rear lights, although only printed on, are effective.
On the roof the roof rack is neatly modelled. All glazing is flush glazed with neatly printed chrome window surrounds and the chrome trim is printed on the sides effectively. The wheels are neatly done with thin white walls, good wheel trims and the logo printed on the wheel centre. The tyres are over wide which is a shame but does not harm the appearance too badly.
Mercury Grand Marquis Colony Park 1989
This model is of the sixth generation of this vehicle made from 1979 to 1991. It was built on the Ford LTD platform with detail changes from the Ford Model, and Mercury badging. It was smaller than the preceding generation but had a similar huge load area. The Mercury was available as standard with seating for eight. The car was placed in the Grand Marquis model group which was top of the Mercury range at that time.
This Mercury sold in smaller numbers than the equivalent Ford Wagons and also saw a progressive decline in sales from the year it was introduced to its withdrawal with the 1989 cars selling at about 60% of the level when the model was introduced.
The model is good except for the front clip which is ill-fitting and misaligned. Straightening it quickly broke it, it is pictured before I attempted to try to straighten it. Having glued it back on with contact adhesive it is a little better fitting but still a little large for the gap it is intended to fill.
The detailing on this model is to the same standard as the Ford looked at above. There are a few nice touches like the faux wood inserts on the roof rack and the faux wood printing on the side is neatly carried out. Glazing is again flush and the rear door drops down in the same way as that on the Ford.
The wheels are again overwide but with nicely detailed wheel trims and a period authentic thin whitewall. The interior moulding is bland and is identical to the one used in the Ford leaving no sign of the folded down third row of seats. Underneath the model is the same baseplate as the Ford with only the printed on model name differing. Some minimal details of the engine, propshaft, suspension and exhaust are moulded into the base.
These models capture the final days of the classic US Estate Wagon as they were withdrawn by Ford in the 1990s due to the rise in popularity of the new breed of people carrier and the new generation of less utilitarian 4x4s. It is good to see that US 1:64 scale models continue to capture a wide range of US post-war vehicles.