With the price of quality diecast models rising the past several years, it's refreshing to find something as detailed as Unique Replicas' (sold by Phoenix Toys) new early 1970s Oldsmobile 442 at a modest price.
The metallic blue 442 can be posed as a convertible with snap-on tonneau cover or white vinyl-look roof, to make it a hardtop. The roof, tonneau, and interior are white, creating a striking contrast with the bright blue paint job.
For plastic model builders, this is a winner because it's in 1/24 scale, the same as many plastic kits, so it fits in the same size display case and looks good alongside your plastic cars.
Olds Cutlass models from 1968 to 1972, the second generation, were top sellers and have been highly collectible in the 1:1 car market. And the 442 was the high-performance model with its V-8 cranking up to 350 horsepower and the car recording sub-9-second 0-60 times.
This casting is well executed and there's a detailed V-8 under the hood, which features springs to keep it up. The doors, hood, and trunk also open, and the steering wheel turns the front wheels. Underneath is a nicely detailed underbody — all high value at this price.
With the convertible, the interior will probably get as much eye scrutiny as the sporty exterior that includes a white racing stripe and 442 logo on each side, plus two wide white racing stripes on the hood's bulges. The white interior features seat belts front and rear and woodgrain trim on dash and doors.
More details that might surprise you?
Well, sure. For example, the license plate folds down to expose the gas cap; the bucket seat backs fold forward; the sun visors work and include mirrors; the headrests raise and lower; and there are all sorts of realistic labels in the trunk, under the hood, and on the doors. Some models costing more and in larger scales don't offer all that.
For this review, the folks at Phoenix Toys sent along one of their accessory kits for 1/24 scale models.
The Repair Garage Set is a fun and inexpensive kit that really brightens up any model car display. This is one of at least 40 kits Phoenix Toys offers for creating more-detailed, interesting dioramas. The Repair Garage Kit includes a tall stackable toolbox, tire rack and tires, air compressor, gas can, fender skirt, oil drum, two ramps, a variety of tools, and a stool. These add a nice finishing touch to any display.
The bottom line here is that price matters to all of us collectors, and this Olds 442 is value-priced. In fact, with the lower cost of the kit you can afford the accessory garage kit and still be a few bucks ahead.
1971-1972 Oldsmobile 442 and Repair Garage Set
Unique Replicas (available from Phoenix Toys)
18695 (Olds), 18420 (Repair Garage Set)
$75 (Olds), $13 (Repair Garage Set)
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