Danbury Mint '08

30 Dec 2007 | 3,673 views | No Comment
The very first Danbury Mint model I saw was, I believe their first ever in the diecast business. It was an antique Mercedes Benz roadster from the 1930s, and it was exceptionally well done. 30sMercedesRoadster Many years have passed since that first replica was introduced, and Danbury Mint has only become stronger, more dominant and more pace setting in the die cast 1:24 model business. Opening doors, real fuel and brake lines, fully detailed engines, stickers and labels where they should be—they are all standard operating procedure from Danbury, and a reason why they are a strong leader in the field. For me, Danbury Mint really sealed the deal when I received my limited edition 1956 Lincoln Premiere Convertible, one of the most beautiful cars of the 1950s, or any era for reason. Danbury Mint’s version has to be seen to be believed. The car is painted in a magnificent shade of Wisteria, or lavender, with a convertible top that has matching lavender and white with chrome accents. The interior is done in a triple lavender, black and white scheme, with all of the shiny accents that you would expect of a car made in the 1950s. 56LincolnPremiere The engine compartment is especially well done, with the requisite stickers, hoses and decorations under the hood . Even the air cleaner has appropriate decorative markings, reflecting the fact that, in the 1950s, the engine doubled as an advertising venue. That's back in the day of such famous names for engines as "Rocket V-8,'' "Fireball 8'' and "Firepower.'' When you open the box, you'll notice the car's emblems are liberally covered with protective material, and for good reason. The emblems appear to be done in gold leaf. There's the usual working features on this car, including opening doors, hood and trunk, with a very highly detailed undercarriage where you can pick out various components and wiring installed. This was one of those rare models that was flawless in execution, from the correct stance and proportions, to design of emblems, accessories and other features. There's really nothing to complain about, unless you count the price, which, as you might imagine, is stiff: $140 . Some of their most recent efforts include two members of the pony car era—and of course, these are not to be missed for your collection. I’m talking about their all-new 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS/RS Convertible and their 1967 Ford Mustang Convertible. Both are likely to bring back memories of a fierce automotive rivalry that resulted in some of the best cars that the industry has ever offered to the public. 67CamaroConv Let’s take the Camaro model first. If you look at almost any advertisements from the era for the Camaro’s first edition, you’ll see a beautiful shade of yellow, and that’s the color that has been selected for this convertible model. The relationship between the long hood and short deck is just as it should be, and all of the trim on the RS/SS designation is there, including model-specific taillights and working hidden headlights. The engine on this model was a 396-cubic-inch V-8, and it is so detailed you can see a little metal dipstick that just begs to be pulled out of the side of the engine block. 67MustangConv Fuel lines and brake lines from the engine follow the correct path to the back of the car, and the dual exhausts feed out from just behind the rear wheels, the correct position for this car. Textures and materials used inside the car are a match for the real Camaro, although the interiors on Camaros were rather plain compared with the snappier designs then used by Ford. There even are little speakers on the back package shelf of the Camaro, and tiny mechanisms installed in the vent windowpanes up front -- a detail usually missed by modeler The Mustang is a particularly desirable model because it comes with replication of some seldom-seen accessories, such as a delicate, well-duplicated set of wire wheels, more brightwork around the rocker panels and wheel wells, and an upgraded interior. It also includes a highly detailed 200-horsepower, 289-cubic inch V-8, which is a good choice since this model depicts a car more oriented toward the luxury buyer than the typical sports model Mustang. I was astonished when I noticed I could read the writing on the radiator cap. That's how detailed this car is. Inside, the proportion of the large hub to the rest of the steering wheel is also precise -- unusual because the entire hub design on this year of Mustang is pretty hard to replicate. Like the Camaro, every single detail is in place, even around back, where Danbury managed to get the unusual rear-end design replicated precisely, too. If these two don’t get you, I can almost guarantee the next one will. It’s the "Bullitt" Mustang GT from the Steve McQueen movie of the same name, which was involved in the famous chase scene through he streets of San Francisco. Danbury Mint may not realize it, but it is right on the money offering this car now, because Ford just came out with a 2008 version of the "Bullitt" Mustang, so lots of people are going to want to add the older version to their collection. Danbury might now want to turn its attention to a 2008 version to go along with the 1968 model. 68BullittMustang This car is distinguished by the lack of ornamentation, including the famed pony emblem up front. It also had a specially designed steering wheel, a hopped-up engine, and special road wheels. All of these items are done precisely right, and it shows someone really took time in designing this model car. It's the only 1:24 "Bullitt" Mustang offered, and thanks to its wealth of features, it also just happens to be the best. 1967 Camaro and 1967 Mustang are both $120, while the "Bullitt" Mustang costs $140. All of them are likely to be sold quickly. Go to www.danburymint.com for more information. Another favorite of mine from the 1950s was the Mercury. And wait until you see what Danbury Mint has waiting for you ---a 1957 Mercury Park Lane Convertible, the top of the heap model that year. The model shows all of the cool features I remember: the long, chrome laden body, Continental spare tire in the back, fancy wheel covers, two-tone interior and the "Big M" emblems that graced the front and rear of the car. The model car has opening doors, trunk and hood; a highly detailed engine; and emblems that were so accurate that it looked as if each letter or badge had been applied separately. The underbody was particularly well done. The chassis, all glossy black, was installed under the body, which was painted in the soft yellow shade of the car itself. That's significant because in those days, cars usually were built by dropping the body onto the chassis, and that's well shown on the model. There were a few features that raised questions. The engine has a red air cleaner and red fan. Did Mercury really use that color combination on this engine? There also was a mysterious looking black cloth piece in the trunk that may have been intended to be a scale storage case for tire changing tools, but that's not for sure. I also had a problem with a poorly fitted hood on this model. Nevertheless, this is a wonderful portrayal of the real car in all its glorious 1950s beauty, from the anodized bullet shaped trim that draws attention to the fenders and to the reflectors that graced the extended rear bumper for the Continental kit. It's well worth adding to your collection at $120. Another memorable car was the 1968 Plymouth Road Runner Coupe, which launched a whole slew of lower priced muscle cars when it debuted. 68PlymouthRoadrunner Danbury Mint’s version has "dog dish" hubcaps with the old Plymouth emblem, folding front seats, operating suspension, an operable trunk detailed with spare tire instructions and the correct mat pattern, pivoting sun visors, a working antenna and opening doors. But the highlight of the car is none other than the famed 426-cubic-inch, 425-horsepower Hemi V-8 engine, all fully wired and with complete decals as it was delivered from the dealer. But there is one glaring error on this car, and given the amount of editorial attention in books and articles, I don't know how Danbury missed it -- I chalk it up to careless research. The underbelly of all Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth products of this era had paint overspray that was the same shade of the car itself. For some reason, Danbury insists on doing a gloss black shade instead -- which I suspect is inaccurate for almost any car -- flat black is a more likely choice for all but Chrysler Corp. products. Other than that, the car is a nice rendition. It's done in Electric Blue, a shade that matches precisely a color that was very popular with Plymouth and Dodge owners back then, and it has the right stance, proportions and lines as well. The model is priced at $120. For more information on Danbury Mint models go to www.danburymint.com

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