Diecast Wish List













Some cars I'd like to see the Mints produce...
 


The Mints have pretty much done fifties cars justice at this point, although there are still some noteworthy gaps, and it's always nice to see them re-tool an old classic with up-to-date technology, features, and new body styles (new colors almost go without saying).  What's been missing--for me at least--are my favorite cars of late fifties, the sixties, and the early seventies in the days before lines started forming at the gas pumps. I also like some 60's exotics, and of course the French Curves of the 30's.
 
I have a special fondness for "Personal Luxury Cars" an American invention I believe, at least as far as the last 50 years are concerned. The Mints have announced, and even begun to offer, many of my favorite late fifties cars and a few from the early sixties, but from the mid-sixties and later, there are many they have yet to offer. Here are some of my favorites from every era (and a few that are here just because I used to drive one):
 
 

1937 Delahaye 135MS with Body by Figoni & Falaschi

This Delahaye bears a striking resemblance to the Motor City Talbot Lago, also by Figoni & Falaschi. A real car not (yet) reproduced in scale, fellow collector Bob A. spent some time tracking it to New Jersey, but he believes the owner was unimpressed with the prospect of having some crew crawling all over it for measurements and photos. Too bad, what a beauty!
1957 Cadillac Coupe

I'm not sure whether this is a series 62, or a coupe de ville, but I'm pretty sure it's a 57 and I love the forward-slanting fins. This car still has the single headlights, which I usually find makes for cleaner lines. All the unique model years between 55 and 59 should be represented in scale. Come on Danbury: do a Cadillac series!
1960 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible

The 59's have been done in many forms, but I think the '60 presents the styling in a slightly cleaner way, without the distraction of those rockets. I'd love to see the mints give us some other years after 1959, and this is a good place to start.
1961 Imperial Crown Convertible

When I first saw one of these, I was immediately drawn to the floating chromed "pod" headlights. They reminded me of the luxury cars of the thirties. The "wheel" on the back deck lid only served to increase the car's resemblance to those classic autos of yesteryear (even back when it was new). A bit flamboyant perhaps, but then I love the 59 Caddy's too :-)
1962 Imperial Crown Convertible

Floating "pod" headlights weren't enough, so in 62 they added floating rocket taillights. What's not to love? LOL. To their credit, they did tone it down a bit by deleting the "wheel" on the trunk deck (referred to disparagingly by some as the "toilet seat"). Personally, I kind of liked the wheel myself. Anyway, to my eye this car is just as much of a head-turner as a Lamborghini (although I wouldn't want to see the two cars compared in any other way).
1963 Buick Riviera

This was the first model year for this new class of "Personal Luxury Car. It had looks, power, and all the creature comforts. Right from the start it was destined to be a classic design.
1963 Ford Thunderbird

The 1963 T-Bird shared essentially the same body as the 61 and 62. Pictured here is a rare '63 Sports Roadster with removable tonneau cover.
1963 Chrysler Turbine Car

I always thought the turbine cars were cool. Their story is one of a good idea at a bad time, that sadly got brushed aside. The inspired styling hints at what was to come in cars like the early to mid sixties Dodge Dart. I've seen these done nicely in 1:18 so why not 1:24?
1963 Iso Grifo A3L

I had a small scale one of these when I was a kid, and always thought it was beautiful. The Body was built by Carrozzeria Bertone (Giorgio Giugiaro) in Turin, Italy, for the manufacturer: Iso Automoveicoli S.p.A. Bresso, Milan, Italy. Nuccio Bertone worked closely with Giorgio Giugiaro on the design, and called the production version of this car "my masterpiece." I agree.
1965 Buick Riviera

This year the "Riv" got hidden headlights, and the tailights moved down into the bumper.
1964-66 Ford Thunderbird

The 1964 through 66 T-Birds were an evolutionary design. In keeping with the style of the times, the curves were gone, replaced with sharp creases and blockier design elements like the tailights. Pictured here is a '66 Convertible.
1966 Oldsmobile Toronado

Oldsmobile was the first to put front wheel drive in a full-sized American car. People were amazed at the car's flat floor (no drive tunnel hump between the seats), and loved the extra traction in snow. All that aside, the car was a styling triumph, and a true classic.
1966 Buick Riviera

In 1966 the Riviera gained some weight. It got less European looking, and began do define a purely American concept of big, stylish, and sporty full-sized cars. This body style remained basically unchanged through 1970, but the first year was by far the best in my opinion.
1967 Ford Thunderbird

In 1967 the convertible was retired, and a new 4-door Town Landau was introduced with suicide doors, hidden headlights and a single full-width tailight. I personally didn't care much for the pointy "beak" on the 68 through 71 birds.
1968 Lincoln Continental Mark III

The 1968 Mark III was a classic design, clearly evocative of the earlier Mark II's profile. I can't think of what other car, if any, shared the Mark III's platform. Clean, flowing lines like these have always appealed to me.
1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser


The family car - my first everyday driver - what a beautiful boat

From 1964 to 1970 the Vista Cruiser evolved a little each year. By 1969, it had reached its pinnacle. Some would argue that the 1970 was the best year, but I never liked the deep accent lines they added over the wheel wells that year, or the revised taillights. This car was also great in the snow due to the weight of all that glass over the rear wheels.
1970 Buick Riviera


My uncle bought one of these after his 66 Riv was stolen - the 66 was faster

By 1970 the Riviera had gotten even fatter, and grown fender skirts. It still had factory chromed mag wheels, a 454 with a 4-barrel, and you could smoke the tires if you ran on high octane gas. Unfortunately, its handling and braking weren't up to the task of controlling all that power and weight. This was a cush-mobile, a fast one, but a cush-mobile nonetheless.
1971 Buick Riviera

The 1971 model year change gave the Riviera a dramatic, if controversial, new look. People either loved the boattail Riv or hated it. I always thought they were kind of cool looking, except for those with vinyl tops, which I thought broke up the car's lines.
1972 Ford Thunderbird


I used to drive one of these - a living room on wheels

In 1972 the T-bird began sharing it's basic structure with the huge Lincoln Mark IV although they didn't share any body panels. Clean lines abounded, including the grille and tallight treatments. Later years cluttered the design by adding vertical bars to the grille and taillights, and the landau irons were dropped in favor of opera windows.
1972 Lincoln Continental Mark IV


This example was optioned without the opera window

In 1972 the Mark IV got bigger, and a bit more rounded. It shared the same platform as the 72 T-Bird, but had totally unique body panels. Clean lines like the T-Bird, but crisp instead of smooth. The classic lincoln radiator and grille, the oval opera window, and one of the last really attractive continental tire humps on the rear deck lid (in my humble opinion), were what distinguished this car.
1967-70 Cadillac Eldorado

The razor-like taillights and rear deck treatment on these cars made a huge impression on me. Borrowing from the 66 Toronado's new front wheel drive platform, the 67 eldorado took a leap forward in technology and styling. Until 1971 when it was replaced by an all new body, this was one of the most handsome personal luxury cars detroit ever produced in my humble opinion.
1967 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Convertible

I remember seeing one of these when I was a kid and loving it. I thought the stacked headlights were cool looking, and the forward rake made the car look like it was moving even when it was parked. Nothing like a big five- or six-passenger convertible and a sunny day, mmm mmm.
1970 Cadillac Coupe De Ville Convertible

I think this is a 1970 (please let me know if it's not and I'll correct it). It just speaks to me. Something about the sum of it's style and proportions and presence that just works beautifully together. The color is also very flattering on this model.
1971 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible

This was a land-yacht of vast proportions, yet it looked sleek--even fast. Back when safety was measured in curb weight and the length of your hood, a car like this made you feel like you were cruising around in your recreation room. This was the first, and perhaps the purest eldorado convertible design, since they ceased producing them in 1967. I guess having FWD and a convertible top in a car of this size was too much to ask of GM back in 1967--now that would have been a car to remember.

MORE TO COME...