Category Archives: Pontiac

News from the Continent September 2018 – Busch

By Hans-Georg Schmitt

All text by, and copyright of, the Author. Photographs provided by the manufacturer.

Here are the new releases from Busch for September. All are moulded in plastic to 1:87 scale.

Combine harvester Progress E514

The successor of the type E512 was in a number of points improved self-driving harvesting machine for threshing cereals, oilfruits and pulses.Production started in 1982. In the former DDR, the vehicle was also used for harvesting maize and sunflowers.

40174 Combine harvester Progress 514 with maize picker – blue
40175 Combine harvester Progress 514 with maize picker – green

 

41710 Pontiac Firebird TransAm – red

 

45001 Chevrolet Bel Air – Flames

Car2go:

The concept: Smart forTwo cars parked around the City which can be hired like the bicycle schemes in many cities.

46135-01 Smart Fortwo 07 Car2go – free tanker
46135-02 Smart Fortwo 07 Car2go – Local patriot
46135-03 Smart Fortwo 07 Car2go – Rhineland Express

 

46656 Plymouth Fury “Tennessee State Trooper

 

47365 Citroen Jumper “French Gendarmerie”

 

47524 Ford Mustang Cabriolet with soft top – yellow

 

49820 Mercedes-Benz M-Class W164 “Emergency Doctor – Herford”

 

50362 Land Rover Defender “British Airport”

 

51127 Mercedes-Benz Vito “Patrol car of the German Autobahn Police”

 

51128 Mercedes-Benz Vito “Portugesian Taxi”

 

51167 Mercedes-Benz V-Class “Politi (Norwegian Police)”

Barkas Collection latest releases

Eight differently coloured and liveried Barkas V901/2 half-bus or box van have been produced as a mini-series.

51292 Barkas Halfbus V901/2 No. 7 “BVF Carburettor Factory of Berlin”

51293 Barkas Halfbus V901/2 No. 8 “KfZ Werke Ernst Grube Werdau”

 

51508 IFA G5 1959 “NVA loaded with convoy-way plates”

The 6×6 truck loaded with typical pre-manufactured concrete pieces for the reinforcement of the paths along the German/German border.

51509 IFA G5 1960 “NVA with crane and loaded with boundary posts”

51605 Robur LO 1800A “Measuring vehicle for tractor tests”

EsPeWe Models 1:87 Scale

 

95234 IFA W50 LA/A “Sea rescue service”

95236 IFA W50 LA/A “Fire brigade”

Busch Aircraft models

 

25018 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G6 Hungary

The Me 109 G6 aircraft from 1944 is painted in the colours of the 101st fighter group, also known as the Puma Group. The group was created under the command of wing commander Aladar Heppes for the Royal Hungarian Airforce. Approximately 760 aircraft fought with the Luftwaffe against the Red Army along the Eastern Front during the Second World War.


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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/


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Oxford Diecast Pontiac Bonneville Coupe 1959

By Maz Woolley

All text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author unless otherwise stated.

Oxford Diecast has issued a re-coloured version of their 1:87 scale diecast in China for the United Kingdom 1959 Pontiac Bonneville Coupe.

The re-colour is in sunrise coral with a white roof which is a very period look.  Our review of the original issue can be found here. The model itself is excellent with a lot of very fine printing of chrome embellishments and very neatly printed wipers and window surrounds.

The wheels are excellent and the printed badges and side chrome fine.

To the rear the rear lights, badging and chrome strips are very delicately done, remember that this model is only 1:87 scale!

Inside nothing is picked out but there is a nicely moulded interior with neat door cards and dashboard.

All in all a lovely model and a well chosen colour which is enough to persuade this collector to buy another model from the same casting.

What I cannot understand is that this lovely Pontiac model which is up to the highest standards of 1:87 metal casting and finishing is made by the same company that produced the crude Isetta shown below which we recently reviewed. How can this be? Does Oxford have multiple teams responsible for models and the resultant model is good if the A-Team do it and poor if not?

After being disappointed by the model above I went back to the London Toyfair pictures and I note that the Heinkel Trojan casting on show appears to rely on the same large central shaft to hold the base on which is a very considerable disappointment. Most 1960s toymakers didn’t resort to such crude engineering.


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Brooklin January 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs supplied by Brooklin

Brooklin has recently released a number of  new and re-coloured models. Here are their studio photographs of the latest releases. All these models are now available from Brooklin suppliers even if Brooklin’s web site does not show them as available. Those interested in buying them should bear in mind that Brooklin dealers are now often offering significant discounts which did not happen previously. It is noticeable that there are no new Lansdowne models at the moment as Brooklin continues to develop it’s new sales strategy.

BML22 – 1939 Nash Ambassador

BML23 1948 Ford V8 Station Wagon. [Colour change]

 

BML24 – 1934 Ford Five Window Coupe –

Stated as Cordoba Grey but beige/brown colour

BRK221 – 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air 4 Door Hardtop

The four door hardtop has not often been modelled and this model has been favourably received for the significantly improved levels of detail.

 

BRK223 – 1965 Chevrolet Impala Convertible Coupe

Another well received model. This model is neatly detailed.

 

CSV26 – 1937 Superior-Pontiac Provident Ambulance

IPV446 1939 Railton Cobham Saloon (Flying Squad)

Six cars were assembled during the war for the use of the Metropolitan Police.


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Oxford Diecast 1:87 Scale Yank Tanks

By Maz Woolley

All photographs taken by, and copyright of the Author.

Regular readers may remember my criticisms of the last release of 1:87 scale American subjects by Oxford Diecast. It wasn’t that they were bad models it was just that some details were not finished correctly and the models could have been much better. If you wish to refresh your memory of the shortcomings click here.

This time round I am happy to say that the latest release of new castings are impressive and very good value for money here in the UK. There are a few minor details that could be better but overall these are as close to excellent as I would expect for the price point. All the models in this release are licensed by General Motors.

87CI61001 Chevrolet Impala 1961 Convertible.

The third generation of the Chevrolet Impala was considerably less flamboyant than the previous generations. US cars were going through a period of transformation as the fins retreated and squarer body styling gradually asserted itself.

The 1961 Impala was based upon the GM B platform and could be bought with a 3.8 Litre Straight six or a range of V8s from 4.6 Litres to 6.7 Litres.

The Oxford model is excellent with really fine printing of badging and number plates. The wheels capture the real ones excellently with the correct narrower whitewalls and the elaborate wheel covers. Inside the chromed dashboard has been moulded and picked out.

The rear lights have been cast in well and are neatly picked out. In the photographs you can see that even the button to open the boot has been printed on.

All these models have the chassis moulded in some detail for their size.

The windscreen is a single part plastic moulding and it may be possible that Oxford intend to model the very rare two door saloon or a coupe as it would just need a different plastic top and interior tub.

87CSD61001 Cadillac Sedan DeVille 1961

This is based on the second generation of the DeVilleCadillac restyled and re-engineered the model for 1961. Gone was the wrap around windscreen and the fins were had shrunk. Even the suspension was no longer by air. All Cadillac DeVille’s had lots of accessories fitted as standard with power brakes, steering, automatic transmission all coming with every car.

The roof of this car is again moulded in plastic allowing for much thinner chrome printing than is usually seen on small Oxford Models.  And of course it allows for flush windows which look the part. Again fine badges and chrome tampo printing is visible especially when magnified. The small chrome strip with a slight rise to the front on each front wing is modelled and printed. The grille is black washed as was the Chevrolet’s which certainly highlights the fine mouldings.

Wheels are neatly represented with a correct thin white wall and the elaborate wheel covers too. The rear of the vehicle is nicely modelled though the centre section is a bit less crisp than it could be and the printed chrome may extend too high as well. The fins lack the chrome on their end section and on one side mine has a minor casting fault on the inner part of the fin. Not perfect but at this scale it is not immediately obvious either.

87PB59001 Pontiac Bonneville  Coupe 1959

This was third generation of the Bonneville which was Pontiac‘s costliest and most luxurious model throughout the 1960s. The distinctive front end was based on a 1930s design feature and stayed in use throughout the 1960s.

The Bonneville differed from the models lower down in the range like the Catalina and Star Chief counterparts. It had luxurious interior trim with upgraded cloth and vinyl, as well as walnut veneer trim on instrument and door panels.   Hydra-Matic gearboxes were standard on the 1961 car but power steering and brakes, and air conditioning were all additional cost options. The Bonneville also had more powerful standard V8 engines than other full-sized Pontiacs including the 6.4 litre and 6.6 litre V8s with four-barrel carburetors.

The Oxford model is lovely. The plastic roof with its excellent tampo printing gives he huge windows a really excellent finish.  Looking in detail a lot of tiny badging can be seen on the rear wing and at the rear of the front wing. Chrome side features are delicately printed too especially notable are the four chrome features on the rear wing. The front wing top chrome with its spear like front edge is also well modelled.

At the rear the delicate modelling of the rear lights and panel are a tribute to the modeller who made the master. And impressively even the boot release button has been printed on the rear panel.

At the front the Pontiac “nose” is beautifully modelled though it would have been nice if Oxford had managed to model the grille or even just print it on. But again this is not a major issue.

As the roof is plastic it is possible that we will see this car as a convertible at a later date .

87OR50001 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Coupe 1950

The Rocket 88 was featured in a record by Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner in 1951 which was one of the first Rock and Roll records. The Oldsmobile 88 was one of the cars that set the style in the early 1950s and was noted for its track performances making it a fashionable car for a type of motorist who would not have bought Oldsmobiles before. Indeed some suggest that with a small and relatively light body and big powerful V8 it was the first “muscle car“. The 1950 model featured a single piece screen for the first time and a Hydra-Matic automatic came as standard unless it was deleted when ordering. The 88 famously won the 1950 Carrera Panamerica.

The Oxford model is all metal. The glass fitting was so flush I couldn’t believe that the roof was not plastic and I took the model apart to check. The car is fitted with plastic windows that push into the window openings to flush fit, a technique I wish they would introduce for all their new 1:76 models.  The front grille again gets a black wash

The tampo printing is excellent with tiny badging and lettering evident when looking at enlarged pictures.  It is a shame that the moulded in bonnet mascot has not been printed too. The wheels and tyres are good with the wider early 50s style white walls and neat chromed wheels finishers and hub caps.

At the rear the Oldsmobile badge and lettering, Rocket 88 symbol , and printed chrome are all well done with simple but effective painted on rear lights. The painted cream roof seems to have rather thick paint which fills the fine shut lines round the upper parts of the doors though later colours for the model may not have the same issue.


So Oxford continues to delight me with some releases and frustrate me with others. These four new 1:87 scale models may have some flaws but they are well made and finished like the recent 1:76 scale Rolls Royces and I am sure that they will be popular items.


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GFCC Models

By Graeme Ogg

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

I read that Mr Editor Woolley is hoping to report sometime soon on a model of a Jaguar SS1 made by a new toymaker calling themselves GFCC Toys. [Editor: as the model is coming from China a review may be some weeks away]. Their official registered name seems to be Tongbo Toys Co Ltd, based in Albany, New York. and I’ve read that they are a toy and sports equipment marketing outfit rather than a model manufacturer, but apart from that I don’t know anything about them or what their intentions are in the 1:43 field. The models are produced in – surprise – China.

I’m not into vintage Jags, but GFCC have also issued a 1:43 model of a 1959 Pontiac Parisienne, which is more up my street. I don’t know why they’ve chosen to do this particular car in isolation, you’d have imagined they might have produced a small series of U.S. cars from this period, but there you are. You take what you can get.

I’ve seen this model offered in the United States for about $15, but I think that may have been wholesale. The current retail price from  a Hong Kong dealer is about £25 but that is with free postage, so it can be considered relatively “cheap and cheerful”.

Mine has just arrived, and from some angles at least, it really looks pretty good, quite crisp and clean with a very smooth paint job. The windscreen frame (on my example at least) has no chrome or silver paint applied, it’s just clear plastic, and would benefit greatly from some Bare Metal Foil. The silver highlighting on the edges of the fins is a little weak in places and could also be improved with foil. The model lacks front vent windows, which could be made up easily enough from fine wire. But the overall impression isn’t bad at all. If the Neo versions of this car didn’t exist – and I don’t know if there are any other ’59 Pontiacs available in 1:43 apart from the rather expensive (and very hard-to-find Madison) versions from 2013 – it would certainly fill a gap in any collection of GM ’59s quite adequately.

From the side, it sits a little high, and has very narrow tyres, so you are almost expecting to find a clockwork motor or friction drive underneath. The clip-on top supplied with the model is very, VERY plastic-looking, so the car probably looks better open, even though it lacks a tonneau cover behind the rear seats.

Obviously at this price you wouldn’t expect the model to match the Neo for overall quality or detailing (although at least it doesn’t have the awful black front screen surround of the Neo convertible), but it isn’t disgraced either. It matches the Neo for scale, length is identical and I could almost suspect they might have pirated the Neo body, although there are small differences here and there when you look closer.

There is also a version in black with body flames, and a 2-tone version in not very authentic colours (it looks more like a contemporary Ford colour scheme to my eyes).

The model comes in a “distressed” box, with fake dampstains and scratchy lettering, which is an odd sort of gimmick. We can probably expect to see some cretins on eBay offering these models as “rare vintage barn finds” at silly prices.

It will be interesting (for me at least) to see if they do any more Yank Tanks, hopefully some that haven’t been done to death already.


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