Wednesday, 14 October 2020

More Spanish Delight From 1970s Alicante


Corgi got the rear lights right on the Adams Probe 1.6, one of their more attractive Whizzwheels offerings, but the Spanish Auto Pilen version just has more presence. Look at the deail in the wheels with the spinners nicely detailed in the wheel casting. 

The models really are almost exact copies. Apart from those rear lights - and I have no idea why the Spaniards did that - this is a fabulous item and only made me want to find more.

Probably the Corgi model of a production car that I dislike most has been the Mercedes C111. The heavy, little-detailed casting and round rather than sharp edges just made this so unattractive and the heavy orange paint only served to hide more detail and round edges even more. And that's without mentioning the ubiquitous and so inappropriate Whizzwheels.

Corgi did get the colour almost right, though, the only examples I have ever seen being in a metallic orange and certainly not metallic olive green. Nevertheless Auto Pilen have transformed the model with their lighter touch to the edges, paint that doesn't fill every crack and far more pleasant overall stance and appearance.

They even add jewels to the front, a nice touch, and a far more subtle logo. The headlamps pop up too!

Jewels at the back too and lower reflectors or fog lamps are in place.

The rear compartment also opens to reveal a detailed engine and the 'gull-wing' doors operate smoothly. This is another excellent model, surpassing by a long way what Corgi had done with the casting.

Next, another model I tended not to pay too much attention to. It was odd and the way those two characters were raised by opening the rear compartment always rather confused me as I am not sure that made it much more easy to get out after all. However, it was still well-made and was originally issued with reasonably decent red spot Whizzwheels. Now see what Auto Pilen managed to do with the casting.

They left out the passengers which was probably a good idea and let the seats stay in situ. Maybe the experimental car did have them raising in some way but I'm happy with it as it is.

You'll see that the two models are virtually identical, even down to the polished gold coloured panel and mirrors.

Lastly in this Spanish instalment, here are a couple of Chevrolet Sting Rays. It seems that Auto Pilen released a chrome edition of most (maybe all) of the models that I am hoping to acquire and here is their chrome Sting Ray, looking quite indistinguishable to a Corgi 310 model.

It has the same swivelling headlamp units and you'll also see that the chrome suffers from the same problem that many of the 310s did too, peeling off quite easily and leaving, in this case, a white plastic bumper which would often be bright yellow on the Corgi.

the nice thing about the Spanish version, though, is that it can be replaced easily without damaging the base which is simply attached by a couple of screws. I suppose you can, therefore, never be sure of a model's originality but that's a price I don't mind paying as this aspect also tends to maintain a lower price level across the range than for comparable Corgis.

Incidentally, not everyone will have noticed that the silver Sting Ray was also an Auto-Pilen! The opening doors give that away, and the red interior. The wheels, however, whilst slightly different to the Corgi are a pretty similar wire wheel type as on most 310 models.

I don't have a silver 310 in stock to compare with this but will add some photos just as soon as one comes along.

In the meantime, I am looking for the others that I listed as being likely candidates for using Corgi castings (or copies of them) and hope they prove to be as similar;y impressive as all that I have discovered so far.

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