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New Zealand Classic Car - - AUTOMOBILIA - By Ron Ford

They have been a long time com­ing, but I have fi­nally found two 1:43 Ox­ford Diecast 1931 Austin Seven RNS — a sa­loon and a van. The Austins will also be avail­able in 1:76 scale, but at the time of writ­ing, they have not ar­rived in the coun­try. First on the dis­sect­ing ta­ble is the sa­loon. A quick ref­er­ence check shows that Ox­ford has got the lines right. The panel and shut lines are del­i­cate but well de­fined. Un­usu­ally the bon­net seems to be a sep­a­rate cast­ing, but it is only the ef­fect of black tampo-printed lines rep­re­sent­ing rub­ber trim around the open­ing. The roof and win­dows are a one-piece cast­ing in clear plas­tic that al­lows al­most flush glaz­ing, and is quite ef­fec­tive with the opac­ity of the black colour­ing. This must be a rather flash ver­sion of the Seven, as it has sil­vered win­dow frames and a thin, twined bead­ing around the perime­ter of the car at the waist­line. The ba­sic in­te­rior is well de­picted, and the un­der­side car­ries some frame and en­gine/ run­ning gear de­tail. The wheels are rea­son­able, but the printed de­tail on a clear plas­tic disc is not con­vinc­ing, es­pe­cially if the light catches the sheen of the plas­tic. This ver­sion of the Seven is painted fawn and black with a beige in­te­rior. The sun­roof sec­tion of the roof has a matte fin­ish to rep­re­sent the open­ing sec­tion. Other colours will be avail­able. Bright­work on the car is min­i­mal, as be­fits the era, with only the ra­di­a­tor sur­round and in­ter­nal mir­ror be­ing so treated, although the peen­ing of the metal axle ends gives the im­pres­sion of a small, plated hub­cap. The head­lights are clear glazed with sil­vered re­flec­tors. The van ver­sion fol­lows the same pat­tern as the sa­loon, but with a longer body, with only the roof sec­tion in plas­tic. Even so flush-fit­ting glaz­ing is fea­tured, in­clud­ing the small rear­door win­dows. The rear panel on this ex­am­ple is plain, but oth­ers will be avail­able in the fu­ture with pe­riod ad­ver­tis­ing and lo­gos. The van is neatly painted pale yel­low with black roof and guards, and a black in­te­rior. Both the van and sa­loon are avail­able at model shops at $41 for the van and $45 for the sa­loon. They come in sturdy dis­play boxes with clear lids. A few is­sues back, two Coca-cola 1:43 diecast Volk­swa­gens — a van and pick-up — were re­viewed. Now there is a late-model Volk­swa­gen Bee­tle avail­able from the same maker. Over­all it is a rea­son­able model, but it is a cheap­ened down vari­ant of a plain ver­sion is­sued some time ago. It is painted pale green, with a red-striped white roof. The only con­ces­sion to Coca-cola– col­lectable fans is the logo on the door, the spu­ri­ous ‘Zingy’ num­ber plate, and ‘Re­fresh Your­self’ printed across the en­gine cover. It’s priced at $30 at gift shops, etc.

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