By John. F. Quilter
All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless stated otherwise.
Vector Models, based in the Ukraine, produce an astounding number of resin models in 1:43 scale. Much of their production is a range of buses from the USA, Russia, and Europe. The number of liveries and varieties is just amazing. There are also some Russian trucks and of interest to American car collectors, a small number of US cars. Having recently finished a conversion of a White Box 1959 Plymouth sedan into a convertible I was surfing through eBay and ran across a pair of 1959 Plymouth station wagons from Vector and marketed by an eBay seller in Washington state. There was a red two door wagon with luggage rack and a pair of four door wagons, one in blue and white and one in persimmon and white. All these appear to be correct colour choices for that era of Plymouth.
I acquired the two door in red known as a Sport Suburban and the persimmon four door just known as a Suburban. They make great companions to my convertible conversion, and the ‘From Russia With Love’ movie black taxi that was part of the James Bond partworks series. The base for these appears to be an IXO diecast four door sedan though that casting seems to have now been passed on to White Box. [Editor’s note: White Box models are made in China by PCT, Ixo’s parent company, for Modelcarworld in Germany to Modelcarworld’s specifications. The moulds are owned by PCT Industries]. The most recent two tone blue White Box one being marketed has a side trim that is not correct for a USA car but may have been used on some rare export version. Much discussion has taken place on 1:43 scale forums on exactly where this side trim came from if it ever existed at all. The proportions of these White Box items are very good and my only nit-picks are the incorrect side trim, the wheel covers that are not correct for a USA sold car and the lack of a black wash for the egg crate grill. But their reasonable price makes them great candidates for “chops” or as Vector has done, fully built up “transkits”.
On the Vector wagons I would take issue with the overly large side mirrors, the lack of conical shaped wheel covers and the lack of grill blackwash which the skilled modeller can easily add. The paint quality is truly outstanding.
They come in small cardboard boxes with a colour photo of the real car on the side.
A little background on these 1959 Plymouths: things were simpler then as each major manufacture made one basic car but it was available in multiple trim levels and usually in two and four door sedans, two door and four door pillarless hardtops and two and four door station wagon. All shared such things and bumpers and grills although side trim varied by the model. Plymouth had four trim levels, entry level Savoy with minimal chrome trim, a step up was the Belvedere, then the Fury and finally the Sport Fury which was only a two door hardtop and convertible. Engines ranged from a very long running side valve six of 230 cubic inches and 132 horsepower, to a Golden Commando 361 cubic inch V8 which developed 305 horsepower with a single four barrel carburettor and dual exhaust. Given the size of these cars, sixes were becoming less and less popular and most likely the common engine was a 318 cubic inch V8 with a two barrel carburettor which developed 230 horsepower. Transmissions were a column shifted 3 speed manual, a Powerflite two speed automatic or the newer Torqueflite three speed automatic. For maximum economy an overdrive was optional with the manual three speed. These were big cars with sedans at 208 inches long and wagons at 214. The Sport Fury and others had an optional divided front seat that swivelled sideways to aid entry. This was a Chrysler Corporation innovation that was now available in the Plymouths which was the entry level Chrysler product.
The other Vector American cars are a stretch 1956 Ford limo, a 1956 Ford convertible, a 1948 Desoto Suburban and an ambulance version of the Desoto. There is also a 1965 Ford LTD sedan stretched into an extended wheelbase limo, 1938 Packard Super Eight coupe, 1948 Ford Sibert stretch ambulance limousine and a planned Checker stretch limousine. All rare items, though the 1956 Ford convertible duplicates an earlier Vitesse issue. I suspect all these are resin modifications of diecast items.
But the real attraction of Vector Models is their amazing selection of buses. For bus collectors it’s worth a look. Research them via Google which can translate the Russian site to English.
There is also a US Based dealer in Vector Moldels whose website is perhaps easier to use at http://www.pb-scalemodels.com/node/564
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