Tag Archives: TSM

Five Recently Acquired Classics

by  Harvey Goranson

These recent 1/43 resin models are by Neo, Matrix, and TrueScale (TSM).  Five of them showed up recently on my front porch!

Above and below, Matrix MX40201-111 is this 1932 Bentley Mayfair Close Coupled Saloon, on 8-liter Chassis No. YX5124. It is a beautiful model of a beautiful car, so typically Bentley. The real one fetched almost $1M at Amelia Island in 2007.

Similar to the above is this Neo NEO46680 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Windovers Coupe is shown below. I don’t believe it has been pictured often anywhere online.

Windovers clothed Chassis No. 81JS for Robert McAlpine, who took delivery at the Waldorf Astoria in October 1933 and then embarked on a tour of the US, ending up on the west coast. This included a stop at Pebble Beach, and the car returned there in 2011. Both the Neo and the Matrix Bentley have skillfully modeled the drizzle deflectors along the side windows, so that occupants could crack the side windows during muggy weather.

Another Matrix is No. MX41705-141, 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Continental Freestone & Webb Sports Coupe (below).

This is Chassis No. 42PY, built for Sir John Leigh, a Conservative MP (member of parliament). Note the razor-edge styling and absence of running boards.

Neo’s 1929 Packard 640 Custom Eight Roadster (No. NEO46520) is a great addition.

I can’t find info on the precise car this represents, but the burgundy-gray tones look great.

Finally, there is TrueScale TSMCE154315, the 1930 Mercedes-Benz SSK of Count Trossi.

About 42 SSKs were made (per Hemmings), and Chassis 36038 ended up with Count Carlo Felice Trossi, who gave it a streamlined body in 1934 for competition, including entry in the Mille Miglia. It ended up in the Ralph Lauren collection, painted black like most of his cars, and won top honors at Pebble in 1993.

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Alfa Romeo – Back to the US with the 4C!

by Karl Schnelle


4C 3 times

3 of the 4C’s Described Below

Post-war Alfas were sold in the US for many years up to 1995 when they stopped importing the 164.   Then,  in the 2000’s, rumors started about their return to the US market.  Every year it seemed it was the same story:  next year Alfa will be back ran the headlines!

In 2008 finally the low volume, high cost 8C was imported in very low numbers.  I have never seen one so far!  But the real return happened in 2014 with the US launch of the more ‘affordable’ 4C. Then the Spider was launched as a 2015 model in the US.

If you backup a few years, the 4C Concept was introduced at the Geneva and then Frankfurt auto shows in 2011.   I saw it first at the Chicago auto show in 2015, and by then, both production versions were shown.


The Spider was shown in bright yellow (Giallo Prototipo) to contrast the Alfa red coupe!4C Spider


The Models

After the European introduction in 2013, the scale models and toys have trickled out from various manufacturers.   Starting with the big boys, AUTOart makes them in six colors in 1:18 scale.  At more than twice the price, BBR has both the coupe and Spider in multiple colors.   They also have the coupe in red or white in 1:43 scale.  More my size, but not my budget!

With other  1:43 resin makers at half the price, I can not justify a BBR at this time.  So the following are now in my collection!  First up was the Spark coupe in red.

Spark 4C

If you can see the detail, the Spark is a model of the original concept car with exposed projector beam headlights and a different side vents.

More recently, TSM introduced their Spider version. Their website labels it a 2014 concept but the box says 2015 concept and the base says 2014!  So I am very confused (not too unusual!)…


But they are great models and nice to compare.   Both come in an outer box and inner clear plastic display case.  The  red Spark has the projector beam headlights of the concept car.  The wheels and mirrors are also different on the two 1:43 cars.  The edges of the Spider’s grill seems to be less defined when you examine it closely.  Overall, they are both great models of this new Alfa.

Going down in size is the 1:55 scale SIKU, which is really more of a toy but very nicely done.  SIKU does weird scales but are very nice toys, I think.

Siku Alfa 4C

And finally, the small 1:64 scale 4C from Matchbox:  another fine toy Alfa.  The overall shape represents the real car very well, but those generic wheels do bother me a little.  Much less detail than the others is present, but at this scale it still looks very nice.

4C Matchbox

If you’ve seen other models of the 4C or would like to comment, let us know on FaceBook!

Detailed Duesenbergs

BY MAZ WOOLLEY                                                               Sep 2015

Duesenberg’s time as a car maker was short with the last vehicles being made in 1937. From the introduction of the model J, which was the fastest and most expensive car from a US carmaker, in the late 1920s they made the chassis for some of the most memorable American vehicles. The use of Duesenbergs as “mob” cars in the rush of postwar Gangster films help cement the image of the Duesenberg into American history. Some models were bodied by the in-house body builder LaGrande but many were bodied by a wide range of US and even European bodybuilders.

Duesenbergs were popular in various ranges which emerged in the 60s and 70s specialising in Vintage cars. Here in the UK Matchbox made a nice model of a 1930 model J in the later stages of their Yesteryear series. Rio have had a 1934 SJ Torpedo Phaeton in their range for many years and Solido have made two models a 1931 model J 6 light Saloon and a 1935 Model J Tourer. More detailed models were made in White Metal by Western and others. Tin Wizard currently offer a 1935 Duesenberg SJ Mormon Meteor Speedster.

Over the last year or so a new generation of detailed resin model Duesenbergs in a variety of scales of Duesenbergs has been launched or announced. Lovers of Duesenbergs who can afford them can build a fine collection. This article looks at some of the models available or expected in 1:43 scale.



1937 Duesenberg SJ Town Car Chassis 2405 by Rollson.

This model is available fully closed, half open, or open. It was made for Mr Rudolf Bauer who was an avant-garde painter. This car, known as the Bauer SJ, was the last Duesenberg ever made and the longest at 20 feet and 6 inches.


Great Lighting Models (GLM)

Duesenberg SJ Rollston Arlington Torpedo Sedan 1933

Designed by Gordon Buehrig for Rollston this car was shown at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. It gained the nickname “Twenty Grand” since it was priced at 20,000 US Dollars which was an enormous price at the time.




Ilario Duesenberg Model J Murphy Coupe Whittell 1931

This LWB Convertible Coupe was Captain Whittell’s final commission for the Walter M. Murphy Company. It was purchased as a chassis from Duesenberg in 1929 and completed in 1931. It is a one-off coupe that is fitted with features already seen on Whittell’s earlier purchases. The designer of this car was Franklin Q. Hershey and the car features a low, raked windscreen, elegant flowing wings, a fixed roof, wind-up windows and very large boot where the rumble seat would usually be fitted. It was finished in black and chrome with a brushed aluminum top, and a red chassis. There is polished moulding that runs the length of the car ending at the radiator where there is a harpoon shaped ending, this is the only Model J with this feature.



Duesenberg SJ LaGrande dual cowl Phaeton 1933

This supercharged version of the Duesenberg was produced in small numbers. The LaGrande body was produced in house. Said to be able to reach 140 miles per hour despite a weight of about three tons there were few other vehicles on the US roads capable of such speeds. One feature of this car is the distinctive exhaust pipes which were also adopted on Cord and Auburn vehicles.

Duesenberg Model J Riviera Pheaton by Brunn black and red 1934

Only three Model J’s were fitted with a Riviera Phaeton body by Brunn. It was the first four-door convertible to have a fold down top that could be completely concealed when folded. When the top was lowered, the rear body section could be tilted back to allow the top to fold and be stowed away.



Duesenberg Model J Torpedo Convertible Coupe 1929

This model represents one of the earliest Model Js. Minichamps have also modelled this in 1:18 scale. But it also expected in their premium 1:43 resin range.



Duesenberg Model J Tourster Derham 1930

The Tourster is said to be Gordon Buehrig’s favorite Duesenberg. This is a five-passenger touring car on the long wheelbase Model J chassis. The length of the chassis exaggerated the car’s lowered proportions. The lowering was achieved by moving the rear seat ahead of the rear axle and fitting the foot wells within the frame which increased room for passengers while also allowing the top and sides of the body to be lower than on a standard phaeton.

The Tourster’s had a rear windshield that slid up and down out of the back of the front seat with the turn of a crank handle, providing a windbreak for the rear passengers. Toursters were built exclusively by the Derham Body Company in Rosemont, Pennsylvania. Eight Toursters were built.

Tin Wizard

Duesenberg SJ Mormon Meteor Speedster 1935

The Speedster was a one-off car built to take speed records. Ab Jenkins used it to set a one hour record of 153.97 mph and a twenty-four hour record of 135.57 mph at a circuit on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The 24-hour record would be held until 1961.

In search of further records the Duesenberg chassis was fitted with a Curtiss aero-engine and it appears that it was called the Mormon Meteor after this engine was fitted. It then went on to set more records. The V12 aircraft engine in a stock chassis apparently suffered from understeer at high speeds.


True Scale Models (TSM)

Duesenberg SJ Gurney Nutting Speedster 1935

This vehicle was designed by A. F. McNeil for J. Gurney Nutting & Company Ltd who were based off the King’s Road in Chelsea when this vehicle was built. Duesenbergs were an unusual chassis for the firm who were more familiar with building bodies for Rolls Royces, Bentleys and even Hispano Suizas. In 1931 the company had been awarded a Royal Warrant to the Prince of Wales.



Automodello has recently announced a 1929 to 1932 Duesenberg J Murphy-Bodied Torpedo Convertible Coupe. Prototypes show that this promises to be a fine model.