We’ve heard about the Cars Of A Lifetime of the Niedermeyers, and the “Not-Niedermeyers” as well. So may I present this fleet for the Mini-Niedermeyers? One will certainly look familiar to our Executive Editor, though the yellow-orange is a bit brighter than the real one cruising the streets of Eugene…
I have had this mini-F100 (a 1965 model) for probably a dozen years now. When CC first started and I was but a humble reader, I thought he might be interested to see this, but never got up the gumption. When I ran my first Mini CC last year (a Corgi Mercedes 240D, click here in case you missed it), I had completely forgotten about it, with it being in a cardboard box in the closet with a bunch of other models.
But recently, when I was hunting for something else, I came across it again. The Corvair was in the same box, and I knew it was time to write them up. Both were made by Racing Champions, known for their NASCAR models in the late ’80s and early ’90s. In 1996 they decided to go into the production car line with their Mint models. Among the first releases were the Viper GTS, 1956 Thunderbird and Advanced Design Chevy pickup.
In case you’re wondering why my hand is in this picture, it’s because the hood did not want to stay open. These were pretty detailed, but sadly there was no mini hood prop. Do you think it has a 292 or a 352?
Looks like an eight-foot bed. It even has the optional toolbox built into the bed. These seemed to be a major rust magnet on full-sized F100s.
An added bonus: In addition to the hood, the tailgate opens too.
No doubt what make of pickup you’re following, when you’re stuck behind it in a 1/64-scale traffic jam.
As an added bonus, later versions of RC Mint models came with their own display cases. The first issues had a plastic stand with a diecast emblem of the featured car attached at the top. Later versions got a cardboard window box. This F100 and Monza are towards the end of production, and feature flimsier boxes.
I know you’re all anxious to see the Corvair, so let’s move on. The first release of the Monza by RC was in the unusual color combination of maroon with a dark blue interior. I have one of those, and also a blue and white police version, but as green is my favorite color, I had to get the car you see here just for its sea foam hue. The interior matches.
Here’s the little flat six. While more recent diecast like M2 Auto-Thentics have increased the detail from these late-’90s/early ’00s offerings, they still have a charm of their own. And M2 has yet to do a Corvair, hint hint M2 guys.
I am glad that RC chose to do the ’60 Monza, little seen as they are today. The ’60 was introduced halfway through the Corvair’s first year, and for that reason most full-size Monzas you see are 1961-64 models. To my knowledge, this is the only model of a ’60 Monza, save the retired (and pricy) 1/24 version by the Franklin Mint.
This pair would certainly stand out in the neighborhood, what with all the bland silver bars of soap preferred by most motorists. The colors alone draw the eye, don’t you think?
One thing is for sure–it’s a lot cheaper to collect the toy version instead of the real thing. More space efficient, too! I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of collecting model cars…