New Zealand Classic Car - - Automobilia - Words: Ron Ford Pho­tos: Adam Croy

All the items this month are from Ox­ford Diecasts. Firstly (or should that be lastly?) is APH001, an Austin Princess DM4 Hearse. It is brave of Ox­ford to model such a ve­hi­cle as it may put some col­lec­tors off, but it seems to be suc­cess­ful, as this is the sec­ond 1:43 hearse in the range, while oth­ers are avail­able in 1:76 and 1:148. The hearse fol­lows on from the limou­sine re­leased a while back. This is a com­pletely new cast­ing, as the roofline is much higher and con­se­quen­tially the glass area is big­ger. It also has a higher waist­line, so the whole ve­hi­cle is much taller than the limou­sine. The panel and shut lines are finely cast. Many plated parts are fea­tured, in­clud­ing the roof rack for the flo­ral trib­utes and even the fuel filler cap. Other bright-work is rep­re­sented by sil­ver tampo print­ing, with items such as the rear door hinges and studs to re­move the rear wheel spats be­ing so treated. The glaz­ing is flush fit­ting, but care must be taken to avoid di­rect light on the model as the plas­tic tends to cloud if ex­posed to ul­tra­vi­o­let, whether from sun­light or flu­o­res­cent light­ing. Rear side win­dows are marked with the back sec­tion of the rear door, which is pil­lar-less, plus there is a clear par­ti­tion be­hind the front seats. The in­te­rior is very well de­tailed, with a nar­row bier for the cof­fin, with seats each side for the at­ten­dants fore and aft. Wood­grain trim is fea­tured, with the seats be­ing moulded in black. There is rea­son­able de­tail on the base, and the hearse runs on suit­ably large tyres with plated trims and hub­caps. The model is flaw­lessly painted in som­bre black, although white and other colours are avail­able. It costs £23 in the UK, so should be about $70 when it be­comes avail­able here. The sec­ond 1:43 Ox­ford model is LE002, a Lo­tus Elan Plus 2. The lines of the car are well mod­elled. Only a few plated parts have been used on the model, with the rest of the items, such as the door han­dles and sill trim, be­ing sil­ver tampo printed. Glaz­ing is suit­ably flush fit­ting with good in­te­rior de­tail­ing, com­plete with wood­grain dash­board. The un­der­side de­tail is ad­e­quate, with ex­cel­lent cor­rect-style wheels and tyres. The Lo­tus is painted La­goon Blue with sil­ver roof and black in­te­rior. Strangely it is £22 in the UK, only £1 less than the Austin Princess. The last Ox­ford is a 1:76 scale Com­mer Commando one-and-a-half-deck coach. Ox­ford’s main in­ter­est seems to be with 1:76 scale, although it does have 1:18 down to 1:148 scale mod­els avail­able. Nor­mally I don’t col­lect 1:76 mod­els, but I could not re­sist this one, as it is rem­i­nis­cent of the Dinky Toys No. 283 ‘BOAC’ coach (also a Com­mer chas­sis). To achieve the flush glazed look, the whole up­per sec­tion is moulded in clear plas­tic then painted ap­pro­pri­ate colours, which is rea­son­ably ef­fec­tive, although strong light does shine through. This ver­sion of the coach is in BOAC colours. Ox­ford does have some planes that could suit a dio­rama (the BEA De Hav­il­land Dragon Rapide for ex­am­ple), although the planes are 1:72 scale, mind you the dif­fer­ence isn’t too no­tice­able at this size.

Clues Across: 7. Aus­tralian mo­tor body-build­ing con­cern — its first car body built in 1914 — which later be­came Gen­eral Mo­tors’ Aus­tralian op­er­a­tion af­ter GM take-over in 1931 (6) Ital­ian rac­ing driver, first For­mula One world cham­pion in 1950 (6) Ital­ian tyre maker, its Cin­tura/cin­tu­rato ra­dial was one of the best tyres for your 1960s clas­sic (7) 11. Side-valve cylin­der head with valves on op­po­site sides of the pis­ton (1-4) 12. De­mand­ing road-rac­ing cir­cuit near Belfast in Ire­land, used for clas­sic Tourist Tro­phy races from 1928 to 1936 (4) 13. Model name for Austin’s suc­cess­ful A40 sa­loon built from 1947 to 1954 (5) 17. Ade­laide-born rac­ing driver and Austin em­ployee, who won the 1928 Aus­tralian GP in a su­per­charged Austin 7 (5) 18. Ital­ian-born owner of the French Tal­bot com­pany — its suc­cess­ful late 1940s F1 rac­ing car was fondly known as the ‘Large Tablet’ by the gent in 14 down (4) 22. The Mer­cury ----- was a suc­cess­ful im­port to the USA from Ford Ger­many in the early to mid ’70s (5) 23. J Gur­ney ------- was a suc­cess­ful UK coach­builder of sport­ing styles from 1919 through to the late ’40s, with Bent­ley one of his favoured clients (7) 24. French rac­ing driver, whose long ca­reer (1923–’58) brought him suc­cess in Grands Prix, sports cars and the Monte Carlo Rally (6) 25. Ger­man tun­ing com­pany, spe­cial­iz­ing in go-faster ver­sions of BMWS (6)

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