Thursday, September 30, 2010

Two Holdens in One Day

It doesn't do you any good to become typecast, and so just in case newcomers to this new blog think "French car fanatic" I think it's time to throw a spanner in the works. When I arrived home from work, there were two more packages sitting on my desk. (My wife is getting worried about the almost daily flow of parcels, and I wonder if the drug squad have taken note of my details? No worries either way, they're just beautiful little diecast model cars.)

And so when I opened the parcels, two Holdens in one day! I can't say I'm a Holden fan at all. Yes, like most Australian families in the 50s, 60s and 70s, we had Holdens as our family car (in our case it wasn't all Holdens, but that's another posting for later on). And the various Holdens were OK, if unexciting. However, it seemed a bit disloyal of me not to at least have a token presence of a few Holdens in the old historic diecast cabinet.

On the right, an FJ Holden of the early 50s, and on the left, an FE Holden
taxi from 1956 in the livery of Sydney's De Luxe Cabs company.

Strangely enough, I found this cheapie made by Atlas on a Dutch website.
Must have got lost at some stage in its career. As I am building up a small
gaggle of cabs from New York, Paris and London, a Sydney cab would
have been a shameful oversight. Been in a lot of Sydney cabs, I have,
including quite a few FE Holdens in De Luxe Cabs colours, long ago.
The big surprise for me was how incredibly lovely the FJ Holden model is.
It's made by Biante/AutoArt, and it's a beautifully made thing. Heavy
in the hand, fine in the detail, excellent in the finish. It has instantly become
one of my favourite models in my small but growing collection.
The detailing of the engine and front end is much better than average.
So too is the detailing of the FJ's dodgy old leaf-sprung rear end. Even though
it's a nice model, I'm never going to convince myself the FJ had good
suspension, good brakes or went round corners well. But it was a tough car.
They even got the running writing 'Holden Special' badge right.
So I count the 'Two Holdens in One Day' a very pleasant surprise, courtesy of the quality of that nice old FJ. It doesn't mean I'll be adding any more Holdens to the collection, most probably, but one old Holden has suddenly and surprisingly become a favourite model, and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more Biante/AutoArt models in future.

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