Monday, September 21, 2009

Stop gap custom

'Lazy Customs' series

I’ve wanted the HotWheels 50th anniversary Porsche 917 Gulf #2 , the 1970 24 Hours of Daytona winning car for quite a time, yet until now has not bagged one. I think waiting will take some more time. Meanwhile, a great guy sent me this HW Real Rider spare… though we both share the same observation. It does not represent an actual racing car.

Alas, an opportunity presents itself for a quick transformation.

The inspiration:
The 1970 1000km Brand Hatch race winner, which was never modeled in small scale yet. The 917 piloted by the legendary Pedro Rodriguez

The ‘lazy custom’:
The car was de-tampoed.. .rubber tires reversed for thicker sidewall…home-made livery applied….added detailing.

The Gulf #10 Porsche 917 Kurzheck.

A pair of shots inspired by the 1970 race photo.

The glass top resembling rain soaked track :-) maybe.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Japan only German model

‘They don’t make them like they used to’ series

For VW, the Japanese market it seems is an important one. I guess it confirms my brother-in-law’s (my wife’s youngest sibling) observation that there exists an enthusiast base for VW cars. Let alone that he also owns a VW Golf IV now in Japan, and is part of that fan base.

Back in the late 70’s, VW introduced the highly successful Golf I in Japan. The Golf was badged a GLE. It is an ‘only in Japan’ model, as the Mark 1 Golf GLE exist nowhere but in the Land of the Rising Sun. Everybody would expect a GTI badged hot hatch 2-door Golf, and the acronym is known worldwide. Well, this makes the GLE very special then.

Somehow I was hoping to find the meaning of GLE, to understand why it was a Japan only model, but to no avail. Rather I’ll try to guess what it stood for. Normally car plates with GL, would mean “Grand Luxury”. GLI, then is “Grand Luxury Injection”. In early German cars, E stood for Einspritzung or fuel injection. Alas, GLE can then be simply a GLI in another form.

Here in small scale, Tomica captured the Japanese special VW Golf GLE.

Kudos to Tomy for modeling this one of a kind Golf.

It is a special version made by no one but Tomy?

I’m a Golf lover myself and this casting is a favorite. Thrice that much…

...and got to get them in our national flag colors (hahaha)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Smallest Diecast Karmann Ghia

Miniature Appeal Series

Contradictory to the dictum “Bigger is Better”, nowadays everyday things are getting smaller. Good examples are computers and host of personal devices, are leaning towards being handy and tiny.
Miniaturization then is the operative word and it does have its inherent charm.

For diecast car collectors, they know too well the appeal of miniatures; the scale representation of their favorite automobiles. Most would say, having them is the only sane way to have your very own 1,001 or more cars under one roof! But let us admit it; the real reason is that miniatures have irresistible appeal, period. Let us not even touch on mini pinchers or bonsai, a wonderful small scale car is a sight to behold.

How about going to the extremes of diecast car miniaturization?
I believe the firm, Tsugawa of Japan has done it by this example of one my favorite classic VW.

The smallest diecast of the VW Karmann Ghia (Early version Type1)

For scale comparisons, it is shown beside the JL 3” Karmann, and 1 Philippine Peso coin.

Overall length is 1 inch (25mm), thus it should be around 1: 170 scale

For its size it is quite heavy. Note it even sports clear plastic windows.

A bit of trivia : The hubcaps are sized like that of the needle pin-head….that tiny!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Godzilla Bug

They don't make them like they used too - series

Years back I had the chance to meet this fascinating duo; Pinoy father and son who shared the same hobbies as mine; VW, miniature cars and bicycles.
We both have 1:1 VW to enjoy, drive, and that was the start. Theirs was a Kombi, mine my old-school watercooled Vdubs. Theirs was a VW miniature model to dream of having, mine is the longing for one.
When the son has to leave for the US to study, I thus pursued his childhood treasure and hoped he’d allow me to be its new keeper. Upon much convincing he did let go and the Godzilla Bug was mine.

I did promised him among others, that I won’t sell it. I wouldn’t …
Here’s why?
I saw this giant of a bug in one of the VW magazine (US publication) and it was in the Top 20, Rare of the rare. Didn’t believe it until I checked the internet…. this Bandai Wireless Remote Controlled Litho Tin VW Beetle can’t be found…..yet.
Most of the Bandai are bump’n’ go or cable remote controlled. Could be, it’s uber rare indeed.

The Godzilla Bug aka ‘Latang Uwang’ (Tin Giant Beetle)

For scale purposes it is pictured with the tiny Tomis

Opting for a tatami looking backdrop for the following photos (ooops… it’s a Belgian made rug actually…LoL)….. to go with the Japanese origin….
The instruction manual, antennae, remote are all intact

Box is still complete. ‘ Wireless Radio Contol’ & 'Kingsize' printed on it.

Operable sunroof and see thru motor reveal rotating fan.

Lovely Lithograph on Tin.

A bit of tidbit. Thanks to Brian’s Radicon bug post, it made me remember to feature my non-diecast giant bug.