Diecast Delights: A BMW Isetta in 1/18 scale.


In last week’s trip into the 1:18 garage we looked at a Porsche Carrera GT with working lights and acceleration which, if scaled up proportionally, would be of the steam catapult variety. Today’s Diecast Delight is somewhat more down to Earth, and is devoid of any electronic novelty functions.

It’s a BMW Isetta 250, bubble car, a vehicle that has intrigued me for a long time.

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The Carchive: The Ford Fairlane (NC)


It’s Friday. I’ve eaten a massive jacket potato with baked beans, the sun’s gone down and there’s a bottle of Rioja warming by the hi-fi amplifier. This can only mean one thing – it’s time to relax with a smooth, refreshing car brochure. Welcome back to The Carchive.

Growing up (eh?) in England I was always rather jealous of the greater range of car sizes that Americans could enjoy. The biggest Ford you could buy in England was the Scorpio, which was a little smaller than the Taurus, yet America had the Ford Festiva, which was actually a little smaller than our Fiesta of the time, while we could buy the Festiva in its Kia Pride incarnation if we wanted, anyway.

But Americans had the Crown Victoria, a car sized in a way that even a long-wheelbase Jag XJ couldn’t match. It wasn’t until I was well into my teens that I would learn that Australians had it just as good. And looking back at it now (because, alas, that’s all we can do now), their Ford Fairlane was a remarkably similar package to the Crown Vic.

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Diecast R/C Delights: A Porsche Carrera GT with A Bonus.


As awesome as 1:18 diecasts are, part of me always wanted them to do something other than sitting there, looking pretty. Of course, you could buy a Tamiya, a Nikko, any of dozens of remote control cars, but with their ABS or polycarbonate bodyshells none of them really did quite what I wanted.

Imagine this. A diecast metal, 1:18 model car, with a detailed interior and opening doors. But also with working lights and the ability, if you want, to drive it around the floor. This was what I wanted.

It seems that somebody was listening to my yearnings. The big surprise was that it should have been Maisto.

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Diecast Delights: A Goggomobile T250 in 1:18 scale.


Of all the post-war expansion microcars, the Goggomobil T250 was probably the most conventional, if you can call a tiny two-door sedan with a rear-mounted, air-cooled twin-cylinder engine anything but kerrayzee.

With a Messerschmitt KR200 already in the Diecast Delights fleet, ever since I met a Goggomobil T250 at a car show I had an urge to complete the Diecast Microcar triumverate. Now there’s only the BMW Isetta to go. And something tells me that one will be along soon.

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The Carchive: The Marcos Mantara


After what feels like it’s been an incredibly swift week, it’s time to slit the foil from a chilled bottle of liquid history, pop the cork of wisdom, sip and savour the bubbly golden loveliness, and then stare at the grape must of motoring past. Lets decant those dregs and celebrate ’em. Welcome back to the The Carchive.

Last week we had a long, lingering look at a Playboy.  Today we’re back in Blighty,  looking at another specialist manufacture of high repute. It’s 1993 today, if you didn’t know, and we’re heading to Wiltshire to spend some time with the smashing chaps at Marcos Engineering.

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Misplaced Childhood? Driving The Vauxhall Astra GTE.


When I was eight a new family moved to my town, and I became friends with them quickly. James was in my class at school, Johanna was a few years younger. My mum (who taught in my school) got chatting to his mum one day, and it was arranged that I’d go around for tea..

At 15:15 I walked with James to the front gate of the school- his mum was waiting. We walked about 25 yards to the car. It was a brand new Vauxhall Astra GTE.

All of a sudden my new friend became intimidatingly cool.

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Diecast Delights: A Porsche Carrera GT in 1:18 Scale.


I just wanted it. There’s no other rhyme or reason. I have the McLaren F1 because it was pivotal in the very genesis of the hypercar as we know it, I have the XJ220 because it combined massive power with massive elegance and, well, massiveness. I have the F40 and F50 because The Best Of The Best… although none of the more recent ultimate Ferraris particularly pique my interests.

The Carrera GT, though. V10, semi-exposed engine, midship configuration. It’s more like their early ’70s Can Am offerings than any Porsche road car. I guess that’s why I like it. It doesn’t matter anywhere near enough for me to spend £££ on the Autoart model of it, though.

Just as well the Maisto offering is so good.

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The Carchive: The 1948 Playboy Convertible


It’s time to open the battered, rusting filing cabinet of time, rummage through the brittle, disorganised hanging files of motoring history and see what obscure moth-eaten gems lie in the bottom of the drawers. It’s been a long day, so lets relax with a short visit to The Carchive.

And obscurity we have in abundance, today. From across the Atlantic – and much of North America fluttered an envelope from Seattle or thereabouts. Sent for care by The Carchive by the inimitable mharrell of this parish (salutations, Mike!) is this brief but absorbing brochure for the 1948 Playboy.

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Parochial Pokemon Parking Pandemonium Persists

Chris Haining September 7, 2016 All Things Hoon


Preamble: Inevitably, the two times I’ve been in the right place at the right time to catch photos of this phenomenon, there have only been a couple of cars parked there, rather undermining the drama of my title, but, I beseech you, stay with me on this one.

Once upon a time people used to flock from miles around to the area you see in the photo above. They come to inspect and marvel at the Mistley Towers, the remaining sections of a once grand Georgian church designed by Robert Adams in the 18th century. Alas, today people park their cars ill-advisedly (considering the busy junction dead opposite) on the road in front, and then sit ignoring the towers in totality, choosing to gaze at a four-inch screen instead.

Which is, like, totally fine. It’s certainly no more misplaced a hobby than, say, reading thirty-year old car brochures. It’s just another fascinating example of the changing use of the car.

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Diecast Delights: The Legendary Bburago Vipers


Today’s post is in honour of the car that started so many 1:18 collections, the humble Bburago Dodge Viper RT/10 and its GTS coupe descendent. Released among a wave of other new offerings from the Italian model-maker in the early 90s, a goodly number of pubescent lads awoke on Christmas or Birthday morning and found one of these lovingly gift-wrapped.

It’s also a great complement to Chrysler that the Dodge Viper should have tripped so many imaginations. A great many young car enthusiasts, previously immune to the charms of 1:18 models, found the bright red roadster irresistible. The model sold by the shipload, and an infinite number languish on eBay, seemingly unsellable at any worthwhile price. But just because it’s not really collectable in the currently accepted sense of the word, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth having.

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