­[Restauration] Ferrari F40

It's been a long time i wanted a realistic Ferrari F40, without paying for an expensive Kyosho or AutoArt, and with an old Majorette beater, i tried to reproduce it!

Here's what i managed to do:
First, the red color was a must. In the front, i made a few decals, especially for the lights and the logos.

You can see that i changed the wheels for some better ones, coming from an old Hot Wheels. I also added details on the interior, painting red seats.

I then recreated a rear window, added lights (made with some plastic coming from a model kit) and created a decal for the liense plate.

It's not perfect, especially because the varnish didn't work out well with the black paint. But it's still pretty showable! Thanks for looking :)


New additions : 17 december 2011

Hi folks,

Since i'm mainly focusing on uploading my collection to my new "Car Collection" page, i don't have much time to do big posts with a lot of research and stuff. Instead, i thought i could make a few posts on what's new in my collection, and you'll be able to find them with a blue writing in my Car Collection page. I plan to do these updates regularly (it means that i have to buy diecasts regularly :D)

'35 Classic Caddy

As its name tells, this diecast is clearly a classic. Introduced in 1982 by Hot Wheels, it has been used numerous times over years, and is still in the 2011 lineup. It can be identified as a reproduction of the Cadillac 370-D V-12 Fleetwood Town Cabriolet (can be seen on the pic at the right). Hot Wheels's one is a nice replica, lot of details included, such as the wheels in fenders. The one i got is slightly used, but still really presentable. Unfortunately, you can see bad paint quality on the hood, with a lot of orange peel. The edition i got is 1989's blue with white walls, a quite common one. Still, i didn't have one, and it came in a junk box i got for 1$, so it is welcome :)

Chrysler Firepower

We're coming on a much more modern era, with this awesome concept by Chrysler, introduced in 2006's Hot Wheels regular line. It is a casting that has not been used often, with its presence in 2006, 2008 and in one of the 2011's 20-pack. I like this kind of concept, pretty realistic lines. The Hot Wheels one is "not bad", pretty realistic lines, but missing tampos in front. Even more, the windows are quite strange, and doesn't fit the car so well. But this 2006 edition is welcomed in my collection, and is quite rare. The front tampos would have been a huuugee benefit to this casting though.

Chevrolet Camaro Convertible

I have quite the collection of Camaros... but not so much in convertibles, especially in modern ones. So this one was a nice add, and a nice completion to my collection of this legendary American car. Also known as '95 Camaro, or '95 Camaro Convertible, this casting is a replica of the fourth generation of the american car, without the facelift (that happened in 1998). It was quite a monster and real life, way too big and not too much powerful like it used to be in '60s-'70s (this is why it disappeared in 2002). This Hot Wheels casting appeared in the main line in 1995 in a simple aqua color, and is still used in the 10-packs. I'm really fortunate to have found the special 1997 "30th Anniversary of Camaro Collectible Line" one, with its special color. It's an awesomely done casting, with tampos all around, even mirrors! Wheels are somewhat strange, but Hot Wheels are pretty much spot on with wheels.

'73 Caprice Wagon

Of course, we keep the best for the end! I already had a Caprice Wagon, but it was a highly tuned version, and even if i like this casting, i thought it didn't represent the car so well. But with the availability of the Release 18 by Johnny Lightning in my area, i had the chance to put my hand on the Police version, that is a stunner. Now this is a perfect diecast! Take a look at those details : the wonderful paint, that reminds me from the Dodge Monaco, the highly detailed lightbar, tampos, great wheels... it's a nice add in any collection. Originally released in 2007 in the tuned version (that you can find in my Car Collection page), it has been declined in regular, derby and now police. Trust me, you need this car! *Unfortunately i didn't found any pic of the police version.

I hope you liked this post, and feedback is appreciated! :)


Little article there...

There's a new page called "Car Collection" listed under the front image...

You can access it to take a look at my entire collection! It will be updated regularly... Have fun :)


[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....


[American Classics] Is it a car or a truck? Part 2 of 3

Sorry for the very few articles in the last months... school is demanding! I'll try to post more, as i bought a lot of interesting castings in the recent weeks. For now, i should at least finish what i began about those strange car-trucks....

The original one
Original one.

As mentioned in the El Camino's post, the Ranchero was the first coupe-utility vehicle, introduced in late 1956. The first Ranchero was a beast of car, based on the Ranch SW of those years. It lasted only three years, from 1956 to 1959. What we could call as the "real" first Ranchero was introduced in the same time as the much known Falcon, in 1960. It was much smaller and practical than the first one. Engines offered varied from a pityful 90hp L6 to a powerful 4.7L Windsor V8. It was way more basic than the El Camino, and therefore suffered from the competition. Ranchero's been based on the Falcon until 1967, following style designs of the Falcon. Since 1960, this coupe utility was officially named "Ford Falcon Ranchero", but abandoned the Falcon name in 1966.

Johnny Lightning, as usual, made a nice replica of a cool american classic car. We're talking of the 1965 Ranchero this time, last edition of the first Falcon Ranchero. This diecast appeared in the JL serie Working Class Truck and SUVs, in the fourth release to be more precise. It's obviously a more luxuous version, with some chrome touches and a nice bicolor exterior. Just as almost every JL diecast, it is perfectly detailed, with some awesome small chrome wheels, and nice paint accent. Even more, the opening hood reveals a nice little engine. Altough i would prefer to have the red one issued in the first release, it is still an awesome diecast. But, (there's ALWAYS a but), where are the mirrors?

Evaluation : Johnny Lightning '65 Ford Ranchero
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 7/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  9/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 41/50

Falcon switch

In 1968, the old Fairlane/Falcon was replaced by the new Ford Torino, with a much more angular and bigger shape. The new Ranchero followed this and became the biggest one since the original model. This 1969 model is also known as the most powerful one, even offering a 351 Windsor V8 (same as the '69 Mustang). The Ranchero also been redesigned in 1970, with a more agressive look, and a "Ram-Air" hood. It also offered a version called "Ranchero Squire" offering some wood trims on the side. In 1972, the Torino and the Ranchero went under a major redesign (again!), with a larger, heavier design. It also offered a large variety of powerful V8 engines. After all those changes, the Ranchero remained the same until Torino's disparition in 1976.

About diecast now, i own a fabulous version of Hot Wheels '72 Ranchero (you'll rarely see me use the word "fabulous" about a HW diecast). First offered in 2009 in the HW Classics serie, it was intended to be a high-end diecast. My orange-black 2010 Delievery Serie Ranchero is really well-done. The color is instantly appealing, and the quality of fabrication is stunning. Real rubber tires are just awesome, and the tuning of the car is quite awesome. A few tampos could have been added though, especially at the back of the car. And how about some mirrors? But i must say the car looks "slick", and is a nice add to any collection. I hope we'll also see the stock version in the future.

Evaluation : Hot Wheels '72 Ford Ranchero
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 7/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 10/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  10/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 42/50

End of the Ranchero

With the disparition of the Torino, the 77 Ranchero needed a new base, and therefore switched on the Ford LTD II. It resulted in an even bigger car, and with the petrol crisis, it was clear that the market direction wasn't the same. Ford decided that small pick-up trucks would lead the way, and replaced the Ranchero with the now well-known Ranger in 1979. 


[American Classics] Is it a car or a truck? Part 1 of 3

This is the first of a serie of three articles on a kind of vehicle that is somewhat hard to identify. Somekind called the "coupe utility vehicle", it is mainly a regular sedan, with only 2 doors, and a rear part similar to a pick-up. Many of those cars has been produced over the years, but only (as i know?) by American brands. Ford introduced the concept in 1934, on the Ford Model A. Of course, it was more a pick-up than the real concept. We had to wait until 1957 to see the real coupe-utility vehicle appears, in the Ford Ranchero (which will be covered in the part 2).

In this first part, the most popular of those strange cars will be covered : the Chevrolet El Camino (also known as GMC Sprint and GMC Caballero).

First experiences

First 59 El Camino

The El Camino has been introduced in 1959, as an answer to the growing popularity of the Ford Ranchero unveiled two years before. It was based on the Chevrolet Bel Air/Impala of the year, featuring the "bat" rear-end. Every trim end of the normal car was available, and the customer was even able to put a 315 bhp V8 engine in it... it was only available for one year though. The 1960 El Camino only offered a 170 hp basic engine and the sales completely dropped, and Chevrolet discontinued the model, while the Ranchero was quite popular. El Camino reappeared as a 1964 model, now based on the Chevrolet Chevelle. It featured a more appealing body style, and a complete selection of engines. SS options were available, able to reach a 375 bhp V8 engine! It really started El Camino's career. Unfortunately, i don't have any replicas of those years in diecasts. Johnny Lightning reproduced the 1959 and the 1965... i need them :)

Popular years

68 El Camino.

The third generation, introduced in 1968, featured a wider and longer El Camino, still based on the Chevelle of those years. It was the Muscle Cars Mania, and the El Camino wasn't doing exception. A powerful SS-396 version was added, featuring the 396 Turbo-Jet engine, already in use in the Chevelle. Even more, in 1970, a 450 hp engine was introduced, and was able to reach 169km/h on the 1/4 miles! It followed the Chevelle styling changes on every year until 1972 (end of third generation). The GMC Sprint was introduced in 1971, as a re-badged El Camino. It was clearly one of the most popular Chevrolet of these times, and was reproduced a lot of times in diecast.

We first need to talk about the '68 one. Hot Wheels first introduced the 69 one as a hot rod (with a blown out  engine in the rear cab) in the 2000 casting line, but abandoned in in 2008. The engine was retired of the cab and it was renamed as the 68 El Camino, re-introduced in 2009. And thanks, because the first 69 edition was quite horrible! As you can see, the 68 (here is the first 2011 version) is quite classic, but really well done. I especially like the color, makes it look like a lowrider. Rare thing for a Hot Wheels : the wheels are good! The gold trim make them pop. Tampos are clearly missing though... and the bed is slightly "plastic". An honest casting overall, but one of the recent Hot Wheels you'd want!

Evaluation : Hot Wheels '68 Chevrolet El Camino
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 8/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 6/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  8/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 7/10
  • Total : 38/50

70 El Camino.

On the other Mattel side, Matchbox also has its El Camino version, the 1970 one this time. It was first seen in 2000 with some fancy decals, but the casting really started to be seen in 2004, mainly with the Superfast version. The one you can see here is the 2008 10-pack version, in a bright yellow color. It hasn't been used since 2009 though. Overall proportions of the real car have been really well reproduced. The color is a pretty good choice, and the wheels are a nice fit. But... where are the tampos? I mean, the front lights look empty. As usual with recent Matchbox, it is a solid casting, but would have been better with more details.

Evaluation : Matchbox '70 Chevrolet El Camino
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 5/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  8/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 8/10
  • Total : 39/50

Recent ones

82 El Camino.

The fourth generation, introduced in 1973, was the largest El Camino produced. Following the American petrol crisis, the horsepower of the engines was downgraded, reaching a low point of 175 hp in 1976. The lines were more squarer, still following its Chevelle sister. No casting of this El Camino era is known (to my humble knowledge). Fifth generation was unveiled in 1978, and was now based on the Chevrolet Malibu, since the Chevelle disappeared. The base model was featuring a really humble 95 hp V6. Era of the "bigger is better" was fading, and the El Camino wasn't able to follow the flow. When the Malibu disappeared in 1983, the El Camino was offered as a simple conversion, with the front of the Monte Carlo of those years. Last El Camino was produced in 1987... but is consistently in rumors for a comeback. It would have been introduced in the form of the Pontiac G8 ST in 2011, but the brand disappeared in 2009, due to the economic crisis.

The last generation has been reproduced a few times. First, Motor Max made a nice replica of the 82 El Camino, along with a trailer and a Pontiac GTO The Judge 1970 (described here). This diecast is quite rare, and was mostly available in Canada (one of the rarest cars available here!). The car is really well reproduced, and the orange color is just a perfect match. The front is a bit plastic though... would have benefited from tampos. Nice details are added on the sides though, and what about these lovely wheels? One thing though : that tow hook is HUGE compared to the car's scale. It features an opening hood though. Certainly a must have for any collector, try to find it :)

Evaluation : Motor Max '82 Chevrolet El Camino
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 9/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 8/10
  • Color : 9/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  7/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 9/10
  • Total : 42/50

Last El Camino produced, in 1987

To conclude this serie of diecasts, we must talk of the Majorette's replica of the 1986 El Camino SS. I own two of those castings : an original green one, and a blue one that i completely restored (but was originally blue). The blue won't be evaluated here, since i added details for my pleasure, so let's talk about the green one. As every Majorette casting, it looks pretty solid, and ready to be mistreated by some kids (luckily, i will never do that!). The real forms of the car are somewhat oddly reproduced... there's too much curves, according to pictures of the real one. It does of course need tampos, and those generic wheels aren't the best fit. The opening doors are a nice add though. If you compare to my own custom, you can see what a few details would have added to the car... still a nice effort.

Evaluation : Majorette '86 El Camino SS
  • Accuracy (looking like the real car?) : 7/10
  • Details (mirrors, wheels, other stuff)  : 7/10
  • Color : 7/10
  • Quality of the fabrication :  10/10
  • Personal factor (is it a must for my collection?): 7/10
  • Total : 38/50

Enjoy the pictures :)