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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