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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