Reviewed and Photographed by Peter Brown
Automodello™ is a manufacturer specializing in overlooked, neglected and interesting as well as new models from British, European, North American and other marques. Their inaugural model was the 1964 Griffith Series 200, followed up by their Bricklin SV1. These are resin-cast models, crafted in the diminutive 1:43 scale so popular in Europe, and now making inroads here in the states. Quality is a hallmark of these replicas, and their unique subject matter gives them an appeal all their own. Upcoming models include a 1966 Fitch Phoenix, a 1966 Griffith Series 600, and a 1974 TVR M Series. You can purchase these and other fine scale models at Diecasm.com.
Bear in mind that you are looking at a model which is only 3.5 to 4 inches long, so this is rather like examining it under a magnifying glass. What's amazing is that it can hold its own under this intense scrutiny--that's how well it's done.
Automodello Bricklin SV1
From the Automodello website: "…The Bricklin Safety Vehicle 1 ("SV1") was designed by Herb Grasse in 1972 and went into production from 1974 to 1976. The SV-1 eschewed a traditional sheet steel body for high-tech composite panels crafted from fiberglass-reinforced acrylic, which were hung on that robust frame. The material offered several advantages. To begin with, it was more cost-effective than steel and its lighter weight helped performance…"
These models belie their small size with a wealth of detail and precision. Wire wheels are oh-so delicately replicated, badges and scripts are all microscopically correct, "glass" is crystal clear and complete with simulated rubber seals, and interiors get detailed nicely as well, particularly the dashboards. Side view mirrors are separately cast with mirrored faces, panel lines are deeply etched and so real you'd swear the panels actually open. The tiniest details like photo-etched windshield wipers, side marker lights and antenna are all there too. To the naked eye these models are nearly perfect.
If space is a concern, 1:43 scale may be the way to go for precision replicas if these Automodello models are any indication. As some of my fellow diecast collectors already know, you can't beat this scale for interesting and unusual subject matter.
The Bricklin SV1 is available in Safety Red or Safety Orange as a Limited Edition of 399 pieces for $94.95, or in Safety Green as a Founder's Edition of 192 Serialized pieces, with the driver's door presented in the up position for $194.95, complete with VIN plate, and a certificate of authenticity hand-signed by Herb Grasse. As an added surprise, you'll find a 1:43 scale broom included to prop up those pesky automatic doors! The Bricklin is also available in Safety White in an "Exploded Edition" of no more than 52 pieces for $228.95. It features the driver's door and all other Bricklin SV1 model parts mounted separately on a wooden base with a commemorative plaque. All Automodello models come with their own clear display case.