Oxford Diecast have now launched a Vauxhall Firenza 1800SL to 1:43 scale to complement the 2300SL which appeared a few months ago. Although the models are very similar the 2300SL had additional instruments on the dashboard. The SL was the highest specification available initially until the “droop snoot” appeared in Magnum form.
The Firenza (Florence) was a two door coupé built on the chassis of the HC Viva and was also assembled in South Africa as the Chevrolet Firenza. It was a conventional four cylinder inline rear wheel drive car and the British equivalent of the Opel Kadett Coupé.
Like the previous blue 2300SL the car is very neatly painted and finished with badging and chrome nicely printed. Grille and lights are excellent all round. There is no photo-etch and some items like door handles are moulded in but at Oxford’s retail prices one would not expect anything else.
The wheels fitted to the real car are again well done and the rubber tyres are excellent.
So are there any criticisms: only that the left hand rear light cluster could be straighter. All in all a very good model and I hope that Oxford are set up to produce a “droop snoot” at a later date and a Viva HC.
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Several new castings to 1:43 scale have just been released by Oxford Diecast. All are diecast to 1:43 scale in Oxford’s Chinese factory.
VA001 Volvo Amazon Light Green
The Volvo Amazon was made from 1956 to 1970 and was known in many countries as the 120 series. It sold well and was exported to the US from 1959 onwards. Volvo’s advertising at the time made the most of the fact that the car included many safety features and towards the end of the 1960s Volvo’s longer than average life span featured strongly in all Volvo advertising here in the UK.
This model from Oxford is based on a 1967 car which has been shown at Car Shows in the UK. The model is well made with chrome work neatly printed, good wheels and lights though mainly printed very convincingly done. The wipers are rather thinner than many partworks ones which is good. The interior is neatly moulded with the “padded” dash top and linear speedometer housing nicely moulded in. The seats and door panels are in mid green. An excellent model from Oxford which will form the basis of many more releases.
AMDB2001 Aston Martin DB2 Mark III Saloon
The first model to appear in the new Oxford Aston Martin packaging. The original car was a beautifully styled with every panel hand beaten so no two are actually identical. The Oxford model captures the lovely lines of the original very well and the printed chrome widow surrounds and lights are excellent. The grille moulding is very finely done. The wire wheels are very fine in the usual Oxford manner with a clear disk behind to form the actual wheel structure. The interior is moulded in tan and there is a painted wooden steering wheel, instruments picked out on the dash and a separate gear lever. This will all be seen to more effect when the convertible version of this car is released by Oxford. I do hope that Oxford produces the DB4, DB5, and DB6 to a similar standard and even ventures into the DBS era.
The car that the model is based upon has featured in a book about its restoration. From being stored for many years in a lock up garage in Weybridge to its recommissioning by Aston Works Service at Newport Pagnell in 2009.
VF001 Vauxhall Firenza Sport SL Bluebird
Vauxhall’s answer to the Ford Capri was a pretty car even though it did not prove to be anywhere near as big a seller. Based upon the Viva HC floor pan, mechanicals, and seating it was a more stylish vehicle than the base HC Viva. This Firenza was fitted with a 2.3 Litre engine which was more than adequate power for this light vehicle. The vehicle has been made in white metal before but the only contemporary diecast was a Lone Star Flyer which has been much sought after. The oxford model is excellent capturing the shape very well and featuring nicely finished front grille and lights. The rear lights are printed and are acceptable even if separate moulded lights would have been nice. The printed chrome trim and body stripe are well done too. The interior is all black which was pretty typical of the period and the dash has instruments picked out in silver.
The car that the model is based upon was first registered in 1972 and pictures on the web show that the car has been modified and has a small spoiler fitted below the bumper and non-standard wheels. Oxford have chosen to model the car as it would have left the assembly line which will allow them to make a range of authentic versions including versions with the vinyl roof.
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