Category Archives: Rolls-Royce

Autopioneer – Made in Europe

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are supplied by, and copyright of, the manufacturer.

Autopioneer is a new range of models made to 1:43 scale in resin with white metal and photo-etched fitments. They intend to release a model every two months going forwards. However, unlike many similar ranges specialising in glamorous coach built cars from the past it is not built in China, but in Europe.  Each model will remain unique as they will not appear again in other colours and only 50 of each model will be made. This means that the models are expensive as well as exclusive.

Like Matrix, AutoCult and others Autopioneer only intends to announce each model shortly before it becomes available in the hope that the model will not be copied by others and spoil sales.

This article covers the second model made in this range which is a Hooper bodied creation on a 1947 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith chassis made for Nubar Gulbenkian. Guilbenkian  was a playboy tycoon who lived at the Ritz Hotel in London. His money came from the family’s oil business – it owned five percent of BP‘s stock. He liked big, fast and expensive cars and developed a taste for Rolls-Royce cars. All his Rolls-Royces were coach built to his own suggestions for design and were extravagant in style and luxurious in fitment.

The car modelled was the first of his flamboyant Rolls-Royces and was based on a 1947 Silver Wraith chassis. There was a
traditional sliding Deville extension over the chauffeured compartment – a recurrent theme on his cars. All windows were electrically operated. There were no sweeping, but flush,
door handles which were not visible from the outside to support the streamline shape. It is said that deeply conservative Rolls-Royce was not very happy with the car and that the English coachbuilder Hooper had no desire to give his name in connection with the Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith, but both needed the business.

The car is coloured in the corporate colours of Gulbenkian’s firm after the pictures of the car which is currently undergoing restoration in the UK.

The photographs below show a well modelled representation of the original vehicle finished to a high level of detail.

The arrival of another entrant into this sector of the market means that collectors of unique coachbuilt cars have an even wider choice of models to collect – if they can afford them!


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Some small Oxford Diecast Releases February 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author.

Oxford Diecast‘s outstanding models from their last Release are now being sold. There must have been a rush to get them finished and onto a ship before the Chinese New Year holiday began which is when most workers living away from their home areas go on an extended holiday to visit their family.

Their 1:76 scale models are extremely popular sellers here in the UK. 1:76 scale used to be heavily tied to railway modelling circles but Oxford’s models have spread its popularity over a much wider collecting base here in the UK over the last few years. This post has a look at two of the latest releases: one a new casting, and the other the sixth release of a casting that has been around for some time.

76RRC001 Rolls-Royce Corniche

The first release in 1:76 scale of this vehicle. The same car UTU353 has already been seen in 1:43 from Oxford with its hood down and reviewed on this site, click here to see it. A 1:76 scale model with the hood down painted persian sand is due later in the year to complement this one. Editors correction: Reader Andrew Davies quite rightly points out that all the 1:76 scale Corniche models will be hood-up so the Persian Sand model will be Hood up again.

The 1:43 model was excellent and Oxford has made an excellent job of making this model in the smaller scale.  The imitation fabric roof has been nicely painted on and the lines of the framework well modelled.

At the front the radiator, lights and bumper assembly are all excellent. Even the RR logo is printed on the radiator. The Spirit of Ecstacy is a little oversize but that is necessary or it would be too frail.

From the side the very thinly cast pillars become obvious. These are wonderful and allow the printed on chromework round the windows to look accurate. This shows what Oxford can do which makes the very thick pillars on some of their other models, and their printed window surrounds which are a scale 3 or 4 inches proud of the windows, even more frustrating.

At the rear of the car the lights are nicely painted on and number plates, reversing lights, and badging are all neatly printed.

The wheels are a little over-simplified but do not let the model down.

On the debit side the hood (roof) painting could be more neatly masked in places and I did have to scratch off a little overspray of “chrome” above windows printed on roof. But these are very minor points. This is an excellent model.

76FB006 Vauxhall FB Victor

The sixth appearance of this casting, and to my eyes one of the best. The single tone paint and printing are beautifully applied.

Most of the previous FBs have been two-tone cars with the exception of a single tone red one. To my eyes the single tone cactus green used here really suits the casting and the period.

This is another model where Oxford has got nice thin pillars around the windows and where the printed chromework works well. From the rear the lights are neatly painted on and the “Deluxe” badge is printed very well.

At the front this casting captures the somewhat plain grille and lights accurately. The Vauxhall lettering on the bonnet and the Victor lettering on the wing are excellent too. The wipers are printed slightly too thick but it is not too obvious.

The number plates initially caused me to go online and ask why Oxford Diecast was using reflective plates as they were not fitted until 1968 by which time the FB has been out of production for four years.

Many people pointed out that lots of people fitted reflective plates when they were introduced on cars made in previous years to make them look more up to date. So before I wrote an indignant letter to Oxford saying the plates were incorrect I looked on the web and there was ABC958B fitted with reflective plates. So the Oxford model is true to how the car is today, and probably has been for some time, rather than to when it was first sold.

So to summon up another lovely model. And with new castings like the Heinkel Kabine and the Isetta to look forward to in the next release any sixties street scene will be easy to populate with models from Oxford.

And one final photograph shows how well the Oxford models, and particularly the FB Victor, fit into a diorama of period buildings.


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Matrix Models Announced to May 2018

By Maz Woolley

All photographs are of prototypes supplied by Matrix

Matrix have now announced a whole group of new models shipping over the next few months. Most of these are also new mouldings being seen for the first time in their range. As ever luxury coach built vehicles are to the fore.  Some models do not yet have a prototype ready to be shown but most do and these are shown below.

A re-colour of an existing model is expected in March

MX10108-053 Aston Martin DB5 Shooting Brake by Harold Radford 1964 Silver

 

All the remaining vehicles listed are wholly new models.

No prototype picture available

MXLM03-1608 Pegaso Z-102 BS 2.5 Cupola Coupe yellow 1953 LOUWMAN MUSEUM COLLECTION Expected April

 

MX41002-091 Jensen Interceptor Series II FF 1970 silver Expected April

 

MX41302-111 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D (W07) Hermann Göring 1937 Blue Expected April

 

MX41302-121 Mercedes-Benz 770 Cabriolet D 1938 black Expected April

 

MX50806-041 Hispano-Suiza H6B Park Ward Coupe #11608 1927 green Expected April

 

MXLM03-1705 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith LWB Special Saloon Vignale 1954 silver LOUWMAN MUSEUM COLLECTION Expected April

 

MX41302-131 Mercedes-Benz 500K Spezial Stromlinienwagen Tan Tjoan Keng 1935 white Expected May

 

No prototype picture available

MX41607-071 Porsche 356 America Roadster 1952 green Expected May

 

MX50307-021 Cord L-29 Speedster by LaGrande 1931 maroon and cream Expected May

 

No prototype picture available

MX50406-021 Duesenberg JN 559-2587 Rollston 1935 brown
Expected May

 

MX51601-011 Packard Super 8 Sport Sedan by Darrin 1940 green Expected May

 

MX51705-081 Rolls-Royce Phantom Tourer by Barker #820R 1929 yellow and aluminium Expected May

 

MX51705-251 Rolls-Royce Freestone & Webb Silver Wraith Limousine #FLW26 1957 maroon and black Expected May

 

MX52108-021 Voisin C28 Aerosport silver 1935 Expected May

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More Anonymous Alloy Models from China

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author

I looked at an Austin Seven Model marked C.I.L. but sold as an alloy model recently. I now have another model from this series which is shown below. The model is of a Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost and is very similar to the well known real life 1907 Silver Ghost AX 201.

The model is quite impressive initially being the right size and shape to complement the Corgi Classics closed bodied Silver Ghost. There is no Spirit of Ecstacy mascot but looking at the original pictures that may be appropriate for this car but the lack of the Rolls-Royce symbol on the radiator is probably incorrect.

The wheels and Chassis are made of plastic and the colour match with the painted body is excellent. The horn, brake levers and spare tyre are all well modelled as are the seats.

Inside the nice painted steering rim is the end of the detail other than some foot pedals moulded into the floor. There is a complete lack of any instrumentation.

In profile the lack of detail elsewhere cab be easily overlooked as it captures the shape of the original very well.

The front headlights have a simple polished interior finish but looked at from a distance it looks like bulbs and lenses are all modelled. This is a trick of the light but an effective one.

To the rear no effort has been made to include any lighting or other features.

All in all like the Austin a curious mixture of “Models of Yesteryear” levels of detail with a 1:43 casting which captures the original vehicle well.


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Anonymous Alloy models from China

By Maz Woolley

 

Every now and again eBay throws up some curiosities as we have seen with the recent articles on GFCC Jaguar and Pontiac models in MAR Online. Indeed GFCC has come up with another US model recently, a Studebaker Speedster Coupé , which the Author has ordered and will review when it arrives. A photograph from the eBay listing is shown below.

 

At the moment there are a number of sellers of models described as “alloy classic models” which do not appear to have originated from Part Works or other known model ranges . Four seem to be available and photographs from eBay listings are shown below.

 

Austin Seven


Skoda Hispano


 

Rolls Royce Silver Ghost


 

Ford Model T


 

All the models appeared to be finished in a “Yesteryear” style with no window glazing but as the models were being offered very cheaply with no postage charges I decided to buy the Austin Seven to see what it was like.

The model is marked C.I.L. on the base but I seem to be unable to find any details of this company on the web. If readers have any details please let me know. As I expected the model is like a later “Model of Yesteryear“. It has a plastic roof but diecast body.

The wheels are one piece plastic affairs but as can be seen they have excellent spokes and rims and if they had been fitted with rubber tyres I would rate them as better than the wheels on Oxford’s equivalent model. The front lights are picked out but the rear ones though moulded in are not printed.

The body casting has been neatly detailed with handles, flaps and coachwork lines but none are printed. Underneath the chassis is made in plastic in some detail.  All in all this is quite a nice basic model but the one thing that lets it down is the paintwork this is far from smooth and the model really would benefit from taking the model apart and treating it like a kit.


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Oxford Diecast – Small scale Rolls-Royce Phantom V and Rover SD1

By Maz Woolley

Oxford Diecast are quickly catching up with the models for Release 2 of 2017. The models shown have been diecast to 1:76 scale in Oxford’s Chinese facility for the UK.

76SDV001 Rover SD1 Targa Red

This is the first use of this casting in the Oxford range and I am sure that it will be around for a long time. The car was used by many UK police forces and there are many liveries it could be made in for just the Metropolitan Police let alone all the other forces who used them as motorway patrol cars.

It has been made initially in the Vitesse trim as is shown by the printed side marking. This was fitted with the Rover V8 engine and was the top of the range sporty model.

The SD1 replaced the Rover P6 series. Surprisingly the SD1 was only in production for 10 years from 1976 to 1986 from which date all large BL cars were based on Hondas. It even won European Car of the Year in 1977. Sadly though the car was not well made with even the press cars at the Launch having build issues. It also had issues with paint flaking and even rusting and tarnished Rover’s reputation for well made cars. The lack of a booted model also caused issues in the Executive Market which was more used to traditional booted vehicles like the Jaguar XJ or Ford Granada.

As is often the case from mid life onwards many of the early issues with the car were resolved and the build quality steadily improved. Had it been well built and finished from the start the car may well have sold better across the world and its eventual sale of about 300,000 cars might have been larger. Perhaps if an estate version had been introduced as well it would have taken a lot of the market that Mercedes and Volvo satisfied.

The model captures the SD1 shape well. It is long and low and the wheels examined closely are an excellent reproduction of the alloys fitted to the VItesse and the wheels are fitted with nice rubber tyres.

From the rear the huge rear window is well modelled and includes a wiper blade. The silver plastic in black plastic door handles are well represented as are the black rubber bumpers with silver embellishers. On thing to be careful of is the fragility of the door mounted mirrors. They are well scaled and look good but on my car one was so loose it fell out and was lucky not to be lost.

Looking at the front a few issues show up when examined closely. There is a strange silver strip over the passenger side light at a curious angle. The black grille area is not printed properly in the middle and the number plate is not fully printed. In addition the orange indicators have not been printed/painted on properly to the divider mark. On the positive side the Rover badge has been nicely printed and from a normal distance the faults on the front end are not so obvious.

The rear end is rather better than the front with the spoiler perhaps a little too large but acceptable at this scale. The printed badging is excellent and the lights though slightly exaggerated close up look good from a normal distance.

Although a lot of effort has been made to create a nice grey period moulded interior I was surprised whilst looking at it carefully for this review to find that the driver’s seatback was totally missing. Not just loose inside which I could correct but completely absent.  At the moment there is just the seat cushion fitted  whilst the passenger side has a full seat back. This shows poor quality control is still their even for the launch of a new casting.

Apart fro the completely missed seat back which is not acceptable I would other wise have said that despite a few issues with this car I would emphasise that looked at from a normal distance and handled carefully this is a good replica of the Rover SD1 which will I am sure go on to be seen in lots of liveries.

Rolls-Royce Phantom V

Already seen in the 1:43 range we now have this car “shrunk” to fit the 1:76 range. For many the first impression of this model is to remember the Matchbox model of the same car from their childhood.

The Phantom V makes a stunning model even in a small scale. The original car was in production from 1959 to 1968 retaining Silver Cloud underpinnings and a chassis at a time when the mainstream Rolls-Royce cars were built on the new monocoque Silver Shadow body. Only just over 500 of such cars were built and many went to heads of state apart from John Lennon’s spectacular “pop art” car.

The photograph above shows how well Oxford have masked the painting to give an excellent edge between the black and silver paint. Unlike their Phantom III which did not include the black circles on the wheel covers Oxford has printed them this time. Those on the side photographed are nearly centred correctly but one on the other side is printed well off centre ruining the effect.

One curious feature I did not notice on the larger car is that when looked at at an angle only part of the radiator grille darkens on each side causing a curious effect. I am not sure of the cause of this as the grille looks excellent otherwise.

Inside there is a nicely moulded cabin with the seats in blue leather effect and a wooden effect dashboard  though not door cappings. The painted on rear lights are crisp, correct and lined up correctly and the boot of the car with its GB markings and boot fittings is excellent.

The photograph above shows how much detail has been included on the front end with all the lights and ancilliary lights present on the full size car nicely reproduced.

The spirit of Ecstacy is nicely moulded if slightly large: forgiveable because this is probably to make it strong enough not to break when handled. And the RR marking on the radiator shell is there if so tiny the eye struggles to see it.

Again the bumper has the tiny RR log fitted and it is so small that without magnification you cannot see how well printed it is.

Other than the misprinted black circles on one wheel this model is excellent and I am sure that like the larger version it will now appear in a range of colours.


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Oxford Diecast Rolls-Royce Phantom III

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the author.

Oxford Diecast have now released the 1:76 version of their Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca de Ville. This was released earlier in the year in 1:43 scale.

The model is based upon a real car auctioned in 2014. Registered in 1936 it has a 7.3 Litre engine. The chassis left Rolls-Royce’s factory in May 1936 and was bodied by H J Mulliner in Chiswick. It was delivered to  Lady Maud Buckland of Salisbury, took place on the last day of 1936. The total cost was around £2,600, about £1,500 for the chassis and £1,100 for the body.

Photographs of the real car show this model to be an excellent replica of the real car. The shape is excellent and the detailing very good too. There is not a single quality control issue on this model it is beautifully painted and detailed.

Looking at the front lights I was very surprised to see that they all have tiny lenses fitted and unusual level of detail for a 1:76 scale model. The radiator, horns and spirit of ecstasy mascot are very well modelled too.

Wheels are excellent and the contrast of the rubber tyres to the shiny wheel covers is excellent. The wheel centres appear to have the multi sided section moulded in but Oxford has not printed any of the detail which breaks up the silver section leaving it as a simple silver disk. The interior is simplified from the 1:43 version with a simple dashboard with moulded detail  and a simple one piece steering wheel.

The running boards runners are nicely modelled and printed and the rear end is neatly modelled with lights and number plate box all very well presented  Bumpers at each end are simplified from the 1:43 pattern as they need to be strong enough to with stand shocks. Finally the number plates are excellent with the characters all the correct shape.

I have recently found myself being critical of Oxford’s models for detail issues and faults which have not been caught by their quality control. This model is beautifully detailed and finished to a very high standard and yet sells for a very modest price. I can see many model railway layouts featuring one of these outside the Church and many more collected just because they are a fine model of an attractive vehicle.


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Oxford Diecast Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I

By Maz Woolley

All photographs by, and copyright of, the Author except where otherwise stated.

The latest 1:43 scale Rolls-Royce by Oxford Diecast is another new casting; a Silver Cloud I. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I was made by Rolls-Royce Limited from 1955 to 1959. It replaced the Silver Dawn and was replaced by the Silver Cloud II. The J. P. Blatchley design is part of the evolution away from the upright pre-war style still used for the Silver Dawn. The Cloud I had a six cylinder 4.9 litre engine which was replaced by a larger V8 in the Cloud II. In 1957 performance was increased by the fitting of twin carburetors. Brakes were hydraulic and servo assisted and the suspension was independent coils at the front and semi-elliptic springs at the rear.

Rolls-Royce did not build a monocoque car until the Silver Shadow in the 1960s so the Cloud body sat on a frame. This allowed some special bodied versions to be made but the overwhelming majority sold were built with the standard Pressed Steel Company manufactured steel body shell. A lightweight aluminium based alloy was used for the doors, bonnet and the boot lid.

The British Motor magazine tested a standard factory-bodied Series I in 1956 recording a top speed of 102.9 mph and acceleration from 0-60 mph in 13.5 seconds. The car tested cost  £5078 including taxes.

The car modelled by Oxford Diecast is a real one which was auctioned for over 21,000 GBP in May 2015. It was originally made in 1959 and the model retrains most of the original’s features though it does not reproduce the red pinstripe and red stripe on the wheel trims.  Photographs by the Silverstone Auctions of the original in 2015 are shown below.

© Silverstone Auctions
© Silverstone Auctions
© Silverstone Auctions

43RSC001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I Sand and Sable.

The Oxford model is another excellent Rolls-Royce model from them, particularly as it sells for only a little more than Atlas models and less than most Corgi Models. Whilst it lacks any photo etched parts it really doesn’t miss them. Oxford has again used multi-part windows which press fit into all window apertures to give flush glazing. The side window glazing has chrome printed on raised frame lines which gives an excellent effect.

The paintwork matches the original well. Please note that  my photographs make the sable area look a little lighter than it really is. One or two minor items have been dropped from this model such as the red wheel trim on the original but this is not missed and could be added if one wished.

As on all the Oxford Rolls-Royces a lot of effort has been made to capture the RR radiator and mascot with a finely printed RR symbol on the radiator setting it off well. The mascot is again a little overscale but that is understandable since it would be easily breakable if modelled to scale size.

The rear is lovely with number plate, RR symbol, and handle finely modelled. The only slight let down is the rear lights being printed in flat red and orange on a silver printed background and the left hand light being raked inwards more than the right hand one. If Oxford has to print these lights then printing the base fitting straight and using a translucent paint over the silver would give a much better effect.

The wheels are good with the central section of the cap hinting at the flat side sections. The white wall on the tyre is kept small in keeping with that on the original car. The side view of the car is excellent capturing the flowing lines of the original really well though the thicker lower brown paint does slightly soften the cast lines on the body.

The interior has been finished to a high standard with wood effect dashboard, door cappings and seat back fitments. Seating is in white which is a match to the white leather fitted to the original car. The instrumentation is printed on the dash and the door fitments have been printed in chrome too.

Underneath, the frame, engine, propshaft and rear axle and springs are all modelled in a basic manner.

The Silver Cloud has been modelled by many in the past with the 1:45 scale Budgie/Seerol model  perhaps being the most commonly seen in the UK, especially as it was on sale in London Souvenir shops for many years. Less commonly seen is the Lone Star model of a four headlight 1960s Silver Cloud. My personal favourite obsolete diecast Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud is the Verem model which also comes in a Sand and Sable finish. This was an enhanced casting based upon the 1960s Solido Silver Cloud. Although we have had many Chinese resin Silver Clouds from a variety of makers many have not captured the Cloud accurately in some respects.

Although Minichamps Silver Cloud II does have separately inserted rear lights to my eyes it offers nothing else that the Oxford does not. The available paint schemes are also less attractive, though the white and black solid colours may make them popular as replicas of wedding cars.  At about half the price of the Minichamps the Oxford model is outstanding value for money.

I look forward to Oxford making this car to 1:76 scale at some point in the future which is sure to be popular as collecting in this scale seems to be growing at the moment.


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Oxford Diecast – Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn

By Maz Woolley

 

The latest Rolls-Royce from Oxford is now being distributed. It is a Silver Dawn which was a stablemate to the very similar Bentley Mark VI already included in the Oxford range.

Traditionally, most Rolls-Royces had been large and imposing limousines. But the post war years were a period of rationing and austerity and Rolls-Royce wanted to offer a car that was in keeping with the times. Thus the Silver Dawn was a compact Rolls-Royce, based on the standard steel body produced by Pressed Steel Fisher for the Bentley and fitted with a slightly less powerful engine. It was targeted at owners who also drove themselves.

The Oxford model is every bit as good as their Bentley Mark VI which was itself an excellent model. A first class paint job with great masking between the two colours is complemented by the flush fit windows with finely printed quarter light surround. The trafficators, door handles and bonnet catches are all nicely moulded and picked out with printed silver.

To the rear the boot handle and registration plate holder are nicely modelled too as well as the limited rear lights and reflectors which are printed on but are very effective. Even the spats fasteners are picked out in silver on the rear wings. Inside, the seats and door cards are all painted tan coloured with fittings picked out in silver. The door cappings and dashboard are in a darker “wood” shade and the instrumentation and switches are printed on. All is accompanied by a large steering wheel and column though this is without the gear change lever I might have expected to see.

To the front the radiator is excellent as are the lights. The flying lady mascot is typically slightly overscale for strength but is nicely moulded. Sadly the air intakes have been fitted wrongly. The line in the middle should be vertical and not horizontal other buyers may be luckier perhaps. Such issues are fairly common on Oxford models and I think that Oxford should design such fittings with a slot and peg so the parts cannot be fitted wrongly.

The wheels are moulded nicely and painted well but the centres seem round rather than hexagonal and I cannot see a printed RR in the centre which is clearly there on a  picture of the real car taken in 2010. Another curiosity is the aerial which was a thin silver coloured item in 2010 and not a thick black object which looks more like it is designed to fly a flag.

All in all this is an excellent model of the Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn and better than resin kits costing very much more money. Oxford should be applauded for making this model as it was neglected even by the contemporary diecast firms.


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Oxford Diecast 1:43 scale June 2017

By Maz Woolley

 

Oxford are now starting to catch up with models remaining from release 1/2017. The two featured in this post are new Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin castings. These models have been diecast in Oxford’s Chinese factory to 1:43 scale.

43EMP001 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud Hooper Empress

 

The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud was available to coach-builders as a long wheelbase chassis. In this case that car was built by Hooper on a 1957 chassis fitted with the final version of the straight six designed by W O Bentley. It was in the Empress style that they had used on Silver Wraiths and Daimlers previously. This time the front wings came to a peak to give the body a more up to date look than the earlier models.

Only 18 Cars were built by Hooper in this style on the Silver Cloud LWB chassis. It is one of the last creations made by the Hooper Coachbuilding Company before they ceased coach building in 1959.

This style of bodywork was captured by Quaralu, a French company in the 1960s in a diecast mode that has since been reproduced as a replica. Until now I believe that only ATC have produced it to modern standards in a rather more expensive resin model.

The Oxford model just shows how well they make this type of car. The flush fit windows are excellent as is the grille and all the separately fitted light lenses.

The wheels are good as are all the lovely tampo printed coachlines, badging and number plates. there is even a modest level of detail; on the baseplate. Inside there are wood effect dash and door cappings, a good steering wheel, and printed instrumentation and door fittings. The chrome fittings are excellent too. Bumpers, interior and exterior mirrors, number plate surrounds, grille and even the Spirit of Ecstacy are all neatly moulded and “plated”. The mascot may be a little overscale but this is common on models as otherwise it becomes vulnerable to breakage.

The colours it is painted are accurate for the car as it can be seen on the Internet, but for those who  do not like brown this car will be part of Release 2017/2 in two tone blue.

In summary an excellent model from Oxford at a very competitive price.


AMZ001 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 2 VEV

 

The only way most of us will ever be able to own a DB4GT Zagato will be to buy a model. The last one sold at auction sold for over nine million UK pounds. An excellent return on investment as the car cost  £5,470 when new.

The DB4/GT was originally built to allow Aston Martin to take on Ferrari in the World Sports Car Championship, but with its Italian rival having a competitive edge Aston sent its car to Carrozzeria Zagato, with the instruction to maximise its performance. Ercole Spada at Zagato lead the work to lighten and streamline the car.  In search of weight reduction many steel components were replaced by aluminium parts and all non-essential elements like bumpers were removed. It was 100 pounds lighter, more aerodynamic and was fitted with a highly tuned engine and could reach around 153mph. 19 DB4/GTs were created by Zagato. The best known DB4 GT Zagatos are affectionately known by the registration plates they share, of ‘1 VEV’ and ‘2 VEV’. These were raced under the John Ogier’s Essex Racing Stable with assistance from the Aston Martin factory. Both the Zagatos raced in the 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans. However a repeat of the 1959 Le Mans victory was not to be, with both cars retiring. In July 1961 at a British Grand Prix Support race the Zagato had its first victory. With ‘2 VEV’ taking the last lap lead from a Jaguar E Type. ‘2 VEV’, which is modelled here by Oxford, crashed heavily at Spa in 1962 and had to be rebuilt and was modified in the process however that process was reversed when after a road accident in 1993 it was returned to 1962 specification.

Examining pictures on the Internet Oxford seem to have captured the profile of the car extremely well. I am particularly impressed by the lovely windows again flush fitted and with printed frames. The lights are all separate plastic inserts other than some small printed reflectors at the rear and are all nicely done. The grille and the tiny printed badging again deserves praise.

However, I have to point out three areas where I think that the model is not as good as it could be which lets down the otherwise lovely model. The first is the printed chrome surround for the headlights. As can be seen in the photograph below the printed line is actually quite some way from the plastic lens that the chrome is supposed to surround on the lower inner section and it is overscale as well which merely brings attention to the issue. Some Oxford publicity pictures showed the model without the printed chrome and that looks much better.

The second is that the model sits too high at the rear giving a “jacked up” stance as can be seen in the photograph below.

The third is the wheel rims which have bits of silver finish missing on one wheel which really needs to be resolved as this is not the first time I have seen this on an Oxford model.

My conclusion is that the faults mean that this model though still value for money is not as good as it could have been. It could have been as good as the Rolls-Royce with a little more care and attention.


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