Earlier this week, after hyping Autoart’s new line of ABS composite-bodied models, we teased an upcoming model certain to satisfy those who still prefer their miniature cars to be hewn from diecast metal. Well, here it is: presenting the 1988 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition in 1:18 scale.
Though the Countach is the unquestioned “poster car” of an entire generation, no one has attempted a premium-quality diecast replica of its final iteration, the 25th Anniversary, until now. Who better than Autoart, the standard bearer for model Lamborghinis, to tackle this important subject?
We anticipate our first shipment of the Autoart Countach 25th Anniversary Edition in black to arrive this Friday, with pricing expected to be around $215.
The annual Nuremberg Toy Fair is where scale model car companies traditionally introduce new products amidst very little fanfare, but this year Autoart dropped a bombshell with the announcement that they would soon release a line of products rendered in ABS-composite plastic. Yes, Autoart, the company that revolutionized mass-market 1:18-scale diecast in the late ’90s with their exquisitely detailed yet (then) sensibly priced models made from good old-fashioned zinc metal, was following the lead of upstarts like TSM and Ignition by moving to plastic-bodied cars. The protests from devoted collectors were as loud as they were predictable. Hell, it seemed, had frozen over.
Then, we actually got a look at the product.
Autoart has pulled off something of a minor miracle. Their ABS models have the same substantial hand feel as their classic metal-bodied cars (as the plastic body panels are hung on a metal skeleton…much the same as many real automobiles parked in the world’s garages) with perhaps even finer exterior detail. Panel gaps and wheel fitment have long been among the toughest challenges facing model car makers, and though Autoart was already among the very best at tackling these problems, the ABS modelling process promises even tighter quality control in these areas. Plus, unlike most other plastic-based miniature cars (typically crafted from resin) Autoart’s models will feature opening parts, as one would expect of the standard-bearer of high-quality scale model automobiles.
The first of Autoart’s new composite cars to grace the halls of Carriage House Models will be the 1:18-scale Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3, which we expect to have in stock by mid-April. Though sadly lacking an opening engine compartment, the Aston’s doors open to reveal an interior that’s detailed to perfection. We anticipate pricing around $155, which demonstrates the additional value of composite casting: it’s a cost-effective way to offer premium-level precision. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.
(Of course, this does not mean that Autoart is planning to abandon zinc metal casting altogether…we’ll introduce an upcoming metal model later this week!)
Throughout the the late 1920s, one name was synonymous with dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance classic: Bentley. Beginning in 1924 and continuing from 1927 through 1930, the dashing British team piled up victories with their fast, rugged roadsters and their crew of rakish young drivers who would become known internationally as “The Bentley Boys.” These archetypical playboy sportsmen burnished the image of Bentley as the sophisticated choice for well-heeled bon vivant drivers for decades to come.
With corporate partner Audi taking a year off from factory-backed competition in the 2003 24 Hours of Le Mans, the time was right to resurrect the legend of the Bentley Boys. A pair of closed-cockpit prototypes would be entered in the LMGTP class, powered by a turbocharged, 4-liter Audi V8 and crewed by superstar team Joest Racing. The result: modern-day Bentley Boy Tom Kristensen would claim his fourth consecutive win at Le Mans in car #7, partnering with co-drivers Rinaldo Capello and Guy Smith to finish two laps ahead of the second place car…also a Bentley.
After a lengthy wait, TSM has finally released their 1:18-scale resin model of the 2003 Bentley Speed 8 EXP Le Mans-winner. Featuring TSM’s customarily excellent level of detail, the Speed 8 will be an essential addition to any collection of 1:18-scale Le Mans prototypes, and with a production run of only 750 units, we expect to sell out quickly! Our allotment is scheduled to arrive around January 23rd; please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.
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.
1969 was a liminal year in Formula One, with constructors experimenting with a variety of new technologies to gain a competitive edge. As understanding of aerodynamics became more fully matured, one of the major leaps forward in the late ’60s was the addition of wings to F1 cars to develop vital downforce. Starting in 1968 and continuing into early 1969, a number of car constructors mounted wings on large struts that towered over the car, usually bolted directly to the suspension. These “high wings” did indeed generate a huge amount of downforce, but they were also prone to collapse…often with catastrophic results. After only the second race of the 1969 season (the Spanish Grand Prix) the FIA banned wings altogether, though they would return in lower, body-mounted specification later that season.
The winner of that final high-wing race was Jackie Stewart in his Matra MS80, a car which he would later describe as the best-handling F1 car he had ever driven. Powered by the ubiquitous 3-liter Cosworth DFV, the MS80 was quick and reliable, carrying Stewart to a dominant six victories in eleven races en route to his maiden World Championship.
Spark Models recently announced that they will produce Jackie Stewart’s groundbreaking high-wing Matra MS80 in 1:18 scale (pictured above, manufacturer’s photo.) Slated for December release, Carriage House Models will proudly carry this incredibly significant Formula 1 car, one that rewrote the rules for the way race cars would be constructed for decades to come. Please visit http://www.carriagehousemodels.com for availability updates.
A couple of weeks ago, Carriage House Models received our first shipment of Autoart’s 1:18-scale replica of the 2010 FIA GT1 World Championship-winning Maserati MC12. Upon our first inspection, we were more than satisfied with the level of detail and craftsmanship poured into this model. Like the real car, Autoart’s MC12 GT1 is a big, impressive piece, with beautiful paintwork and exquisite internal components. One of the nicest features of the car has to be the shutlines; the MC12 has a removable front clip and engine panel as well as opening doors, and they fit as close to flush as one is likely to find in a 1:18-scale model.
Collectors who have been on the scene for a while may feel a bit of sticker shock when they see models from Autoart now priced at $295, as our MC12 is. Be assured, though, that the level of quality built into this car stacks up very nicely against other premium model companies like Exoto and BBR. Individually numbered and with a certificate of authenticity included, the Autoart MC12 GT1 should become an instant classic among collectors of international GT racing models.
Visit www.carriagehousemodels.com to learn more about the sensational Maserati MC12 GT1 by Autoart.