Sunday, November 22, 2009


It’s television folklore captured by Corgi. Who hasn’t seen the sketch of Basil Fawlty (John Cleese) giving his Austin 1300 Traveller ‘a damn good thrashing’ with the branch of a tree after it refused to start. And who hasn’t felt like doing the same at some point? This model captures that moment, in the episode ‘Gourmet Night’, well, helped by the backdrop included in the pack. For those whose memory needs a jog the even is detailed on the model’s box: With a drunken chef and a missing lobster, there is no choice but to drive to a local restaurant to collect an available duck. It’s then that the car breaks down.

The Austin model is well reproduced and the hand painted white metal figure of Basil Fawlty is fair- we’ve seen worse. Like the series, this model is a laugh.

If you have heard rumours about specially packaged versions, they are true. In a flash of genius Corgi has released an exceptionally small number of the models with variations on the ‘Fawlty Towers’ hotel name, to read ‘Fatty Owls’ and other, less polite, variations, following a running joke in the actual series.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


THE MONKEE MOBILE 1:18 Scale 2002 American Muscle / Ertl Collectibles MONKEES Die-Cast Collector Vehicle. It vaguely resembled a GTO, but what started out as a "goat" emerged as pure "Monkee!" When customizer Dean Jefferies was contracted to build a car for the TV show about a rock group and its zany misadventures, he knew just what was needed. While the front grille sported a GTO emblem, Jefferies' extensive modifications included a tall split windshield, and extra row of seats where the rear deck was, a T-bucket convertible top, large fender flares and exapperated taillamps. The engine sported a 6-71 supercharger, although the blower was a dummy, as the car had too much power and was difficult to drive with the original blower.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


In recognition of possibly the greatest ever British crime caper, three of the stars from the 1969 cult classic, The Italian Job, are now faithfully reproduced by Scalextric.

An icon of design when the film was released, the three Mk1 Austin Mini Cooper S’s captured the hearts of movie fans the world over; starring in one of the most memorable car chase scenes in cinema history.

Incredibly, for the shooting of the getaway scenes the cars were only slightly modified to achieve the array of dazzling stunts. Movie cars are generally heavily modified to cope with the strains of stunt driving, but the Coopers were race bred, extremely light and incredibly tough in all the right areas.

The Mini originally went into production in 1959 and celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2009, the same year that The Italian Job celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Each car is liveried in the correct shade of red, white and blue complete with the individual licence plate numbers. The Italian Job Minis are not suitable for conversion to digital operation.