A couple of weeks ago, we got together with Greg Bartlett, an automotive photographer/videographer whom we know from the SCCA Road Rally community. It seems Greg was interested in experimenting with forced-perspective photography on scale-model cars, and as we are always in need of new product photography we jumped at the chance to provide the subjects for his series. We spent a couple of hours at the weekly Million Dollar Breakfast Club car show in Marina Del Rey, California trying out various set-ups for shots; the results are pretty darn good, but Greg is confident that he can do even better…we hope to meet again in the months ahead to shoot newly released models as they come in.
As it happens, one of the models we chose for our first shoot is also one of our current featured products in our Facebook Social Store: Autoart’s 1:18-scale Maserati MC12 GT1 2010 FIA World Championship winner. Each month, we select a handful of models to offer to Facebook fans of Carriage House Models at a 10% discount. The MC12 GT1 is one of our favorite recent Autoart releases, featuring some of the best, most flush shutlines we’ve ever seen in a diecast model car (although its beautifully presented engine compartment and ductwork might tempt us to display the car with its body panels removed in perpetuity!) Regularly priced at $295, we’re offering the MC12 through our Social Store for only $265.50…and as always, shipping is free to the lower 48 states on any purchases over $99 from Carriage House Models.
Some exciting new models are around the corner at Carriage House, and we can’t wait to work with Greg again to capture more great photos of them!
Even as a young kid, I approached life from the perspective of a car collector, and die cast models were my stand-in for the fleet of desirable automobiles I hoped to own when I was all grown up. Like many junior gearheads, I started out with a stable full of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars, moving quickly to Corgi’s venerable 1:36-scale pieces by age six. However, I don’t consider myself to have been a “true” die cast collector until 1984, when at age nine I acquired my first 1:18-scale car, Bburago’s classic Ferrari 250GTO. My appetite for adult-level model cars had been fueled for years by Road and Track magazine’s “Cars in Scale” series, as well as by the glossy ads in that same publication for these Italian-made marvels. At $30, 1:18-scale Bburagos were not items to be purchased casually by kids; I saved for months to afford my GTO, and when I finally bought it I treated it with every ounce of care I could muster.
By my side during these first steps toward die-cast fanaticism was my father, a casual car enthusiast himself, who saw the pride-of-ownership I felt in my beloved GTO. The following Christmas, he gave me my second Bburago, a 1934 Bugatti Type 59 grand prix racer (no small feat in El Paso, Texas, where upscale model cars were nearly impossible to find in those pre-internet days.) Thus was born a family tradition: Christmas meant that the old man would source a big, beautiful Bburago, and my collection would grow. Next came an exotic 512 Testarossa, then a gorgeous silver Gullwing, and finally the best of them all: a 250 Testa Rossa. Soon, my interest shifted toward vintage “redline” Hot Wheels cars, but the tradition of giving continued…Dad found a local collector who could provide these rare classics, and the “car-for Christmas” ritual went on.
My life as a die cast car collector (and now dealer) has been marked by many fascinating experiences and opportunities, but when I really think about it, the thing I have always valued the most was my father’s encouragement and participation. We used to spend hours upon hours at antique festivals, eyes peeled for old models stuck amongst the relics. Many of those models we acquired moved out of my collection long ago, but the memory of the chase, Dad as my partner, will stay with me forever.
With the recent rise in popularity of classic Japanese cars on American shores, it was only a matter of time before a wave of formerly obscure JDM heroes arrived here in scale model form. At the forefront of this movement is Ignition Models, a specialist in Japanese “nostalgics,” offering a seemingly bottomless well of vintage high-performance Nissans, Honda touring cars, and assorted Group C racers. With production runs of 150-300 examples, Ignition’s creations are as rare as they are detailed…and detailed they are, exquisitely. Cast in resin, their models feature no opening parts, but they more than make up for this in exterior precision, featuring some of the finest chrome brightwork and other small components we’ve ever encountered in 1:18-scale models.
First to arrive at Carriage House Models will be Ignition’s stunning 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R (KPGC110) in classic white. Often called the Kenmeri (after a popular Nissan ad campaign featuring characters named Ken and Mary) the 2000GT-R was powered by Nissan’s lusty S20 straight-six, an engine reserved for their highest-performance models. The GT-R was bred for the racetrack, but Nissan withdrew from motorsport in the wake of the first oil crisis after only 197 GT-Rs were completed (all sold in Japan.) Consequently, the Kenmeri GT-R is among the most sought-after Japanese classic cars.
Supplies of Ignition’s ’73 Skyline GT-R will be extremely limited. We anticipate arrival by December 23rd, and interested collectors are advised to order quickly. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.
Collectors of classic 1:18-scale Formula 1 cars have long had their pick of seemingly every Ferrari, McLaren, Tyrrell or Lotus to win a race, yet surprisingly, precious few Williams models have ever made it to market. Thankfully, Spark will remedy that in the next few months with the introduction of two World Championship-winning cars from one of history’s most successful constructors. Pictured above is an obvious choice for a scale model: Alan Jones’ 1980 championship-winning FW07B. Patrick Head’s design was perhaps the most well-developed car of the ground-effects era, with undercar airflow so perfect that it sometimes ran without a front wing (though Spark’s model will feature one.)
Spark will also issue one of the most iconic F1 cars of the turbo era: the Williams FW11B, which carried Nelson Piquet to the 1987 Drivers Championship. Motivated by Honda’s 1.5-liter, turbocharged V6, the FW11 packed 800 horsepower (with up to 1000 available in qualifying tune) as well as an early “active” suspension system. Piquet and teammate Nigel Mansell dominated the 1987 season, winning nine races between them en route to a crushing victory in the Constructors Championship.
We’re very excited to offer Spark’s 1:18-scale replicas of these incredibly important Williams, which we expect to retail for around $200. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.