By Maz Woolley
Ricko are a Hong Kong based model maker. They launched a range of 1:87 scale models in 2004 made in plastic. The range covered modern, classic and vintage vehicles as it developed but sales were not as high as expected and no new models have been announced for many years though existing models have remained in stock at many suppliers. Some sellers have reduced the prices to clear unsold stocks in recent months.
Like Neo, which has ceased its premium priced 1:87 range in favour of a simplified and cheaper BoS range, Ricko set high quality standards in this scale. The initial prices were too high for the US 1:87 market which was flooded at the time Ricko launched with cheap diecast models from Model Power, Malibu and others. And of course the German market was already dominated by the existing 1:87 makers like Wiking, Herpa and Busch.
The author has previously described some Ricko 1:87 vehicles in the now defunct Model Auto Review magazine. This article focuses upon a few of the vintage models made by Ricko which the author had not previously covered.
August Horch, who founded the Audi car manufacturing company, won the Austria Alpine Rally with this car in June 1914. The car was dubbed ‘Alpensieger’ (Alpine Champion) after winning that rally in three consecutive years between 1912 and 1914. Later models were military versions as 1914 saw the start of the Great War.
The Audi Alpensieger was not a specialized racing car, but rather a sporty touring car. The mountain legs of the Alpine rallies called for a car with a powerful engine capable of handling rough terrain. A total of around 1,400 examples were built. An example of this vehicle can be seen on the web site of the Deutsches Museum.
The Ricko model shown has finely detailed features like the lovely headlights with inserted lenses. The brass effect finish is also very well modelled. The dashboard and footwell are moulded in some detail but are not picked out. The “wire” wheels are incredibly fine and show what can be achieved in this scale.
Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
Like the Audi pictured above the Silver Ghost appeared before the Great War and later examples were used as military vehicles. In 1906 Rolls-Royce exhibited two examples of a new car designated the 40/50 hp. The 40/50 hp was so new that the show cars were not fully finished. The first finished examples were not provided to the press for testing until March 1907.
The car was continuously developed and famously completed many reliability trials helping to make Rolls Royce’s name as quality manufacturers.
The Ricko model is delightful. with a superb spirit of ecstasy mascot and fine radiator and lights. Inside the dashboard is wood effect with instruments showing. Like the Audi very good wire wheels are included. A nice touch is the two occasional seats in the upright position in the rear. Fine rear lights and even an exhaust embellisher are featured.
Lincoln Model K
This car dates from 1931 when the Model K appeared with a new chassis with a 145 in (3683 mm) wheelbase. Factory bodies included a two or four door phaeton. The 6.3 Litre engine was a derivative of the earlier L-series V8 which had been developed to produce 120 HP. The car was also bodied by contemporary coach builders and competed with the Chrysler Imperial, Rolls-Royce Phantom II, Mercedes-Benz 770, Duesenberg Model J, Packard Eight, and the Cadillac Series 355.
This is another fine model with period correct white walls and lovely fine wheels. The radiator and mascot are very fine indeed as are the lights front and back both with separate lenses. Small details abound like the chrome grab rail in the rear and the nicely modelled folded hood. The dashboard again has some neat details and the winders and door furniture have also been picked out.
Maybach Typ SW35
Maybach became part of Daimler Benz in 1960 and since then has only featured rarely in the Daimler Benz line up. Most recently as arrange of very luxurious long wheelbase vehicles sold and leased in small numbers. Maybach was founded in 1909 by Wilhelm Maybach and made high quality products and was closely associated with the Zeppelin company too.
The SW35 was built in the lead up to the Second World War being produced from 1935 to 1938 and started with a 3.5 Litre engine. It was smaller than the Maybach Zeppelin but still a car for the rich and powerful.
The Ricko model appears to be identical to a car displayed at Sinsheim Museum in pictures from 2000. Again this is a very fine model with the steel wheels and hubcaps captured perfectly. At the rear the fine rear lights on slender stalks are modelled so finely they are at real risk of being broken when handling the model. On the dashboard instruments are picked out with chrome printing. The front lights and radiator are again very detailed and the mascot is well reproduced as a tiny fine etching.
There are other vintage vehicles available in this series from a tiny BMW Dixi to an inter-war Wanderer and Mercedes Benz.
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