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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Maisto 1:18 BMW 328I Convertible



Now that Hot Wheels has release the 1994 BMW M3 race car, it's time to take a look at the stock 3-series convertible from Maisto and why this version is so special in the line.


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Dropping the top

Maisto has been on a roll in the 1990's releasing mostly sports car, so when it was time to replicate the new 1992 BMW 3-series, Maisto jumped on the chance by doing the convertible, and more so.  On some models they added a rubber convertible top that is wrapped in a plastic frame that folds down under a tonneau cover.  It was a cool feature that usually was offered on more expensive diecast lines, but Maisto made this one affordable and paved way for more including the Mercedes SLK230 and 1999 Ford Thunderbird Concept for removable tops.



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However, be aware that if you see the name "Cabriolet" on the box, you got a no-topper.  Essentially you got the same casting minus the complex top mechanism.  I found that out the hard way, twice!  So yeah this blue one shown here does not have the top, but looks good otherwise.  The eye-catcher is the dark blue paint with black and red seats two-tone interior.  Very Sporty!  The headlights feature round lenses behind the clear cover, kidney grille, and lower gray bumper with foglights.  The sides showcase a longer vehicle with a clean look.  The back features detail taillights and dual-tip single-exit exhaust.  The base shows a comprehensive look at the details including a full engine block, exhaust system, and a look at the complex multi-link rear suspension.  Also all four wheels have coil springs for that real suspension feel.  One thing I don't get is the small transmission, especially since this is an automatic.  Also note the four notches below the ground effects: those are access points for a four-post lift at a service center.


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The hood opens to reveal the 2.8L DOHC I-6 with proper detailing and the neat red spark wires, producing 190 hp. and 210 Ib-ft. torque through a 5-speed automatic.  The interior looks good with the red seats, though I don't know why the driver's side seat back keeps tilting forward!  The dash features full gauges, the center stack has all the controls on a sticker, the door panels and console are properly done except for the backwards shifter placement.  The rear passengers get the added benefit of pop-up roll bars for added safety in the event of a roll over.  It's a cool, functioning feature on this casting, but putting them back in the lock position can be challenging.


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So sure it doesn't have the cool convertible mechanism or the smooth 5-speed manual, but man doesn't it look cool in dark blue with red/black interior combo!

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