Did my best to get our July update posted before running out of July. So, skipping the wacky intro again so you can get right to the photos.
Last month, we presented to you a garbage truck purchased by Emergency Back-up Ken’s wingman, Gary. Here, EBU Ken proves to be his own wingman with this Matchbox A-10 Thunderbolt II.
I RAOK’d Original Ken with this Racing Champs ’41 Willys with neat-o opening hood.
Ed bought from Big Tractor Mike this very rare Milton military ambulance. As BTMike and O’Ken explain, Milton is a company in India, which often used Corgi and other UK dies. You can read more about Milton at the Bickford Diecast Research Center, doing a word-search for Milton.
In the top image,you can see the steering wheel clearly. In the bottom image, you can see the smooshed, white globby-looking thing with big black splotches which is presumably the driver.
This is a 1914 Stutz Bearcat. I know this, because I know such things. More specifically, it’s a Matchbox Models of Yesteryear-series 1/48-scale 1914 Stutz Bearcat. What I can’t explain is that bizarre device ominously installed over the ‘Cat, looking like something Auric Goldfinger might use for nefarious schemes.
Oh, it’s a fuel reservoir. For butane. Because it’s a lighter. Ed found this somewhere, and brought it in to show it off (violating one of the few rules we have). Encased in a Lucite block, this model will stay fresh long past its “use by” date.
Bill bought some advertising.
I’m kidding! Hopefully you noticed either the triangular peg hole and/or the Leo logo. This is Bill’s, a Leo (India) variation, variations being one of Bill’s specialities. As I’ve said before, there isn’t much info available about Leo online, but this page at Gary’s Cars makes for a interesting if brief read.
O’Ken bought this rare Red Baron from Bill. Now, obviously Redline-era models are rare to begin with; what makes this version even more rare is the slightly taller and pointier spike on the helmet. This was replaced with a blunter spike beginning in 1974.
Big Tractor Mike bought several things from me, starting with that most important of collector accessories, storage.**
Supposedly, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Which I guess explains Mattel’s various attempts at imitating Galoob’s success in the “micro car” market. BTM collects “micro” models, and was happy to buy this from me. This particular set contains bite-size versions of three of my favorite Hot Wheels models: Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, Sharkruiser and Rigor Motor.
And finally, BTM got this ALF hand puppet. BTM has purchased several ALF items from me over the years, so when I (finally) found this guy in storage, I had no doubt he would end up Safely at Home™ with Mike. These puppets were available at Burger King. There were four variations: this hair-band rocker, a Hawaiian shirt-wearing version, and two others I don’t remember.
Guests Terri and Robert bought three vehicles, includi– Huh, part of the photo … seems to be redacted … Strange…
Well, anyway, one of the models they bought is a ’57 Chevy from the 2002 Hot Wheels Racing series (which I should’ve taken more photos of), and this Johnny Lightning ’65 Chevy Chevelle wagon, which I did take another photo of. It’s a very nice casting, with deep lines around the doors, windows and even the fuel filler door. This model is done up in an “unfinished project” motif, which can really add realism to a diorama.
Okay, enough teasing. The “redacted” vehicle is this spectacularly awesome Team Trailer from Ira Gilford’s Heavyweights series.
This was only issued in 1971, making this one of the more exceedingly rare Hot Wheels models. And, had Gilford designed the trailer in a more “traditional” style, that rarity alone would have made this model very cool. But “traditional” does not define a successful Hot Wheels artist. Elements such as the cleft forward side window and “frameless” rear window give the trailer that distinctive Hot Wheels “look and feel”.
I have stated previously that when it comes choosing a model to designate as Find of the Month for any given meeting, broadly speaking either one simply jumps out, or there are several contenders. For our July meeting, it was a bit of a combo. Ed’s Milton ambulance, Bill’s exotic GMC Motorhome and Ken’s sharp(-looking) Red Baron were all candidates for FotM. However, from that pack of notable worthies, the Team Trailer very clearly stands out. For all the right reasons, I very happily declare the Ira Gilford-designed Heavyweights Team Trailer to be Suncoast Diecasters‘ Find of the Month(*) for July 2016.
See you at the August meeting!
**An erroneous comment regarding the car cases has been deleted. ~WM