Ron’s Model Spot
I am always on the hunt for the unusual as far as model cars go and ebay, along with similar websites, is a great hunting ground. The items I found during my last search are from a series called ‘Carros Inesqueciveis Do Brasil’ ( Unforgettable Cars of Brazil). The cars are modelled in 1:43 scale — a 1967 Willys Itamaraty and a 1965 Chevrolet Veraneio. The Chevrolet Amazonas reviewed last month is probably part of the same series, except it was sold under the IXO brand. IXO makes many of the part-work models, and sometimes they are available via their own branding, usually with higher specification detailing.
The Willys model captures the lines of the car very well, judging by comparison to online images. The casting is very neat, with no opening parts to spoil the lines. Plated parts have been used for the grille, bumpers, and windscreen wipers, with other brightwork being represented by silver tampo printing. The headlights are clear glazed, with the front turn indicators and rear lights painted in their appropriate colours.
The interior can be seen through the flush-fitted windows, but detail is hard to discern as it is moulded in black. Only sketchy detail adorns the base, and the model is fitted with realistic wheels and tyres with fully plated trims. The Willys is smoothly painted black. There is also a Willys Interlagos (Renault-alpine derivative) available in the same series.
The Chevrolet is a well-presented model that captures the lines of the original very well. The panel and shut lines are finely etched into the casting. Plated parts are used only for the bumpers, rear light cluster, and a door-mounted rear-view mirror. The wipers are black plastic, and look realistic instead of being oversized, as they are in many other models. Other bright parts are silver tampo printed. The grille is a separate casting, with the clear headlights set into the matte black of the moulding.
The interior moulded in black seems to be well detailed. Only the main frame and running gear is shown on the base, with the outer edges painted silver to represent a guard under the side skirts. The wheels are businesslike and have painted hub caps. The Chevrolet is painted mid green. The models cost about $35 landed here, so are pretty good value. I found the ebay sellers by searching ‘IXO’ and looking for a seller from Hong Kong.
The New Zealand importer of Oxford Diecasts has apparently decided not to import any more 1:43 models, which is a pity. It has been selling remaining stock at markdown prices, which makes them good value at around $25 each. My local hobby shop had several in stock to choose from, so I picked some of the ones I already have, but in different colours. These were a Bentley Continental in gunmetal grey and an Austin Princess in scarlet. It was pleasing to get the Princess, as the one in my collection has window damage, caused by ultraviolet light ‘ fogging’ the plastic.
Both models are well made and carefully detailed, and it is a pity that the 1:43-scale Oxfords will no longer be available in New Zealand, and interesting to note that the existing stock in my local shop sold out in a matter of days.