2011/12/07

[Australian Classics] Is it a car or a truck? Part 3 of 3

Let's conclude this serie with a different country, the country of kangaroos and koalas, and a country featuring some legendary cars (just think of Holden, Ford Falcon). Talking of important australian cars, this post will feature one of the most well-known of them, i said, the Holden Ute!

Beginning of the famous "UTE"
Very first Ute.


70's Ute.
Let's go back in time, around 1948, after the world war II. General Motors turned its attention on producing an all-Australian car, under the brand Holden. It was first known as the FX Sedan, introduced in 1948. With the industry prospering and the increasing demand for a "coupe-utility" type vehicle, the first Ute was introduced in 1951, many years before the first El Camino or Ranchero. It was quite rugged, but really durable and most importantly, really affordable. It was able to reach a great 105 km/h, as well as being able to climb any hill or take an important load, with a great fuel economy. This successful model followed evolution of the regular Holden sedan and its names, such as FJ, EJ, HQ etc... Last of all these evolutions was produced in 1984, and was similar to the Holden Kingswood. Just as the Ranchero, the petrol crisis somewhat killed the car, with a demand for much smaller vehicles.



Matchbox, under the old brand Superfast, produced a UTE under the simpler name "Holden Pick-Up", and it first appeared in 1977. It was a plain simple diecast of those years, without any tampos or mirrors, but looking pretty solid. Without the characteristic fancy colors of the 70's Superfast, it looks great. It reproduces well the real lines, and the red flashy color fits it well. Sadly, mine is missing the two huge motorcycles that are supposed to be in the bed. Those are an awesome touch to the casting. The yellow windows are quite horrible though, and would have been benefited from regular ones. Take a look at the front decal... i wonder what this "500" is refering too... maybe some NASCAR or something? The tow hook at the back is awesome, with some caravan. Well, a plain good old casting from the seventeens.


Evaluation : Lesney Superfast Holden Pick-Up
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 8/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 7/10
  • Color : 7/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 6/10
  • Total : 37/50

Modern interpretation


Most recent one.
After three years of development, a new version of the Ute was born in 1990. It claimed to be the "largest ever built", and the most comfortable and powerful. Clearly, it was a change of mind from the rugged first version. The look was much sportier, with slick lines and a "hidden" rear bed. Even more, the extreme HSV Maloo Ute was introduced, featuring a powerful 5.0 l V8 of 241 hp. Aussies clearly enjoyed the return of their famous vehicle, and it became an instant hit.  Since then, the Ute has been renewed in 2000 and 2007, and now features modern sporty lines. It offers a wide range of models, from the basic "Ute Omega" to the much radical "Ute SS-V Redline", with its 362 hp (same from the Commodore sedan). It is widely recognized in the lime green color. HSV Maloo is still offered, with a huge RAM air hood.



Introduced in the Matchbox's main line in 2010, their replica of the SSV version is just a fabulous diecast. Wonderfully done tampos, flashy and attractive color, perfect lines reproduction, and a great set of wheels. I mean, Aussies car are badly represented in diecast, but this one is a must. It has been elected as "Matchbox diecast of the year" in 2010 by the well-known MCCH (Matchbox Collectors Club Hall). I must say that the rear lights are a bit off, but that's a minor detail compared to the rest of the car. You can only admire Matchbox team's work on this one, and i'm simply hoping there will be more like this in the future!



Evaluation : Matchbox Holden Ute SSV
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 9/10
  • Color : 10/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 10/10
  • Total : 47/50

Enjoy the pics of those Australians :)
Next article will probably talk about generic diecasts....

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