Diecast Delights: A 1948 Cheverolet Fleetmaster in 1:18 scale

From last week’s Ferrari Mondial, we’re taking a rather different direction for today’s Diecast Delight. I was going to say something about the irrelevance of money-no-object supercars, but then I found just how much Fleetmaster Woodie station wagons are worth these days.

I was intrigued when I found that Maisto had made a 1:18 of the Fleetmaster, clearly with the American market in mind. My intrigue led to me tossing a casual bid on on on eBay, only to end up ‘winning’ it. Well, stealing it, really. Anyway, it duly showed up on my doorstep, so lets take a look.

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The Carchive: The 1973 Citroen Ami range

It’s Friday afternoon, and coming pretty close to time for downing tools. Let’s take the scenic route home, maybe try the overgrown lane of curiosity, perhaps pausing at the lake of history. Then have a rummage amongst the driftwood on the shoreline of discovery, see you find. Welcome to The Carchive.

The last trip we took into obscurity wasn’t actually in the least bit obscure – we took a fond gawp at the now 21-year old Dodge Avenger. Well, now for something completely different. We’re moving a long way away both geographically and temporally, to France in 1973. It’s the Citroen Ami.

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Pride In the Job: An Object Lesson in Halfarsed-ness

Chris Haining August 25, 2016 All Things Hoon

I had reason to commute into London the other day. My local routes are served by three varieties of train, long distances are taken care of by rakes of coaches towed by electric locomotives, and fast commuter journeys are handled by recently-introduced Siemens electric multiple units. This leaves the high-density, multiple-stop schedule to be filled by the oldest of our rolling stock.

These trains, the 100mph Class 321 electric multiple units, were built from 1989 to 1992 and have been extremely successful, though they are now getting on a bit. Over their long careers they have seen various efforts at refurbishment, and some units are now being rebuilt with air-conditioning and better facilities. The example I travelled in on Tuesday night had obviously experienced a ‘refurbishment’ of sorts, and I was flabbergasted at the sheer magnificence of its ineptitude.

It got me to thinking about the few times I’ve witnessed cars that display shows of owner complacency of this magnitude.

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Diecast Delights: A Ferrari Mondial 8 in 1:18 scale

Ah, the Ferrari Mondial. Often vilified and referred to as “Ferrari’s Porsche”, the Mondial is one of the least loved cars to bear the Prancing Horse emblem. Something about it caused it to be regarded as slightly limp-wristed compared to other Modenese products, perhaps its styling, which had neither the delicate curves nor  exuberant excess of its stablemates.

It’s one of my favourites. And why not? It’s basically a more spacious 308, and there’s nothing much wrong with one of those. Road testers in the buff books tended to agree – few reviewers had anything negative to say about the 2+2 Ferrari.

Compared to other Ferraris it was also largely ignored by model makers. But not totally. Here’s a nice one.

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Redusernab Bookcase: Intermeccanica, The Story of the Prancing Bull

Chris Haining August 22, 2016 Reviews, Speed Reads

Intermeccanica is one name that I occasionally glimpse on the prow of a parked exotic, and wish I knew more about. Finally, armed with a copy of Intermeccanica by Veloce Publishing, a week’s camping holiday gave me a chance to get to grips with this most intriguing of marques.

That I hungrily devoured each of its information-packed 186 pages is a strong hint towards my final verdict in this review.

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The Carchive: The ’96 Dodge Avenger


It’s time to pitch the leaky, torn canvas tent of wisdom on the edge of the dark forest of Motoring history, and wait to see whatever tattered relics are blown out by the breeze of rediscovery. Welcome back to The Carchive

Why, you might ask, am I bothering to cover the Dodge Avenger of all things, when the Carchive boasts such a richness of older, more interesting cars to choose from? Well, I was idly reading this brochure recently, as is my wont, when I noticed that it was published exactly twenty-one years ago this month.

My mind was made up. Ladies and Gentlemen; the Dodge Avenger.

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Diecast Delights Special Edition: Scale My Ride (inc Ford Escape)


In a change from our regular format, today’s exclusive to Redusernab episode of Diecast Delights is all about you.

Nothing delights us more than our own possessions. I can show pretty pictures of diecast models all day long , but if we can’t relate to the subject matter it’s difficult to form any emotional link to even the very best.

Getting the ball rolling, today’s Diecast Delight has survived a transatlantic crossing, fetching up in Mistley all the way from the Oak Harbor desk of our own Ray Lindenburg. Representing his very own Ford Escape SUV. Check it out and get ready for a show and tell in the comments after the jump.

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Ran When Parked: Taking the Path less Travelled


In recent weeks I have taken to riding my bike, nominally as a token gesture towards staying fit, but also as a means of enjoying something other than four-wheeled, fuel-burning personal transport.

My hour-long lunchtime ride also unlocks bits of my local scenery which have hitherto been too far removed far easy walking, yet not accessible by car, and it was while exploring a lane no wider than I am tall, that I was forced to grab two handfuls of my appallingly adjusted disc brakes and bring myself to an emergency stop.

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The Pointless Art of Putting off Purchases


So, earlier this year my trusty Halfords own-brand, Pacific-rim manufactured 12 volt “Tyre Inflator” noisily coughed its last and seized. It was 20 or so years old and, though I opened it up out of morbid curiosity to gauge its potential fixability, I declared it dead. To be honest, judging by the sub-optimal engineering within, it’s a minor miracle that it made it through to its third operational decade.

So, with it confirmed as deceased, I reverted to my old (even older?) Halfords foot-pump. Thanks to a nail in Rover’s front right tyre, every third morning would see me pumping away at quarter-past seven, adding an additional 15PSI in order to drive to work. The tyre is now repaired, so my use of the foot pump became increasingly sporadic. A fortnight ago, though, I embarked on a plan to start using my bicycle again. I immediately discovered the tyres to contain not even a gnat’s fart worth of air, so it was out with the footpump again, which responded by falling to pieces in punishment for my complacency.

I stared at it numbly, with a knowing thought of “it figures”. And then smacked myself on the back of the head for not buying a replacement compressor already. What’s the longest you’ve unjustifiably left buying something you really need?

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In Search Of Drivetrain Feel: Finding it on my Bike

A few weeks back I had an epiphany. During a damn good trip out on my friend’s yacht, I suddenly found myself overdosing on all the sensation that I had been missing out on in virtually all of the modern cars I’ve driven in recent years. Steering systems in cars today deny us of the feel, communication and sensitivity that was once abundant in even humble cars of the past. It’s an evolution thing- the information may not be there but we can be pretty sure the grip is, and the car will make the turn. The tiller of a sailing boat, though, is loaded with information thanks to physics. The feeling is so real you could eat it.

It was after this tactile reawakening that I found myself thinking about other things a car does that we rarely feel, and one that struck me was that we’re hardly ever aware of how much effort the engine is putting into those daily errands we dismiss as trivial. There’s one easy way to remind ourselves.

You gotta ride a bicycle.

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