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Friday, September 19, 2014

GTO vs. GTO: AutoWorld 1:64 vs. Ertl 1:18 1966 Pontiac GTO




Just recently I found the new AutoWorld 1966 Pontiac GTO 1:64 in red from the first release.  How did I miss this one?  Well, first off I've seen the light blue version many times, but not the red.  Second, this was found in a Wal-Mart clearance section, plus the red color is awesome and, strangely, the only red 1965-1967 GTO in my collection!  Even more interesting is the fact that AutoWorld owns the older Ertl tools from the 1990's, including a 1966 GTO that I've had in my collection for about 15 years.  Let's see how the two compare.



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GeeTO

The GTO was the first muscle car to start the so-called category in 1964 as a Tempest with more power under the hood.  It shares the same A-body shared with the Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu SS that was also released at the same time.  In 1965 the Tempest was now called LeMans, and now features new styling including the famous vertically-stacked headlights.  In 1966 the GTO for the first time became a model of its own despite still sharing styling attributes with the LeMans.  The headlight bezels are more rounder, the grille the same as well with a plastic grille that would later gain fame for its dent-resistant snout, coke-bottle rear fenders leading to a new rear with taillights behind horizontal slots.  The hood now features a scoop, but is only functional with the Ram Air package.  Several colors were offered, including Toronado Red and, as a special order and based on the Hurst contest-special 1965 GTO,  is Tiger Gold.  The interior was revised for a more luxurious look with a revised driver's pod that now can feature wood trim; otherwise the interior carried over from 1965.


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Under the hood was the Tri-power three carbs 389 cid. V8 producing 360 hp. and over 400 Ib-ft. or torque through a 4-speed manual.  0-60 was around 5.8 seconds, 1/4 mile at 14.5 at 100mph.  While acceleration was the top suit, the brakes were not the best, and the car's size was growing each year until 1968, meaning handling wasn't the best either.  This era of GTO's are recognized as the best musclecar ever created.



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AutoWorld 1:64

The AutoWorld casting is nicely done, though being in the entry-level Deluxe series limited it to a plastic base, plastic tires, and a hood that looks like it could open, but doesn't.  The red looks sharp, and even though the wheels are incorrect, the Rallye wheels still look great on this car.  The GTO is really big, especially in the trunk area!  The front is nicely detailed, but lacks more silver trim around the headlights (I had to use a silver Sharpie to fill in the rest as best as I can), otherwise the front-end details look great.  The side and roof feature the correct lower side trim, door handles, and window trim details, and check out the hood scoop and Pontiac logo on the hood!  The rear has the correct taillight covers and reverse lamps on the bumper, not to mention the dual exhaust sneaking out, and kudos to the silver trim surround as well, but as you'll see later you can only go so far in the detailing department at 1:64 to get the full effect of the details, especially the taillights.


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The interior is nicely-done as well with the bucket front and bench rear seats with the proper details, the shifter on the chrome console with hidden storage compartment (again, you'll see more later), and 2-spoke wheel with quad gauge setup.  Finally, the base shows the excellent details of the frame, floorboards, drivetrain, suspension, exhaust, and so on, in 3-D.  Overall it's a great casting, though it would be even more fantastic if it was in the Premium series with the correct wheels, rubber tires, and opening hood.



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Ertl's 1966 GTO

Now you can, and yes you can, get this casting now under the AutoWorld brand, but let's start by saying this was first an Ertl.  These so-called American Muscle series was common everywhere in the 1990's (especially Toys-R-Us) compared to now at reasonable $20.00 price (the AutoWorld versions are more limited and closer to $50.00).  However, I found this gem in a new green-colored box at Target, a place that rarely at times sells Ertl 1:18 products.  At first I was going to sell this one, but after just one good look it's hard to ignore this casting in the fabulous Tiger Gold paint!  Even though most of the shine has gone, when I first got it the paint and plastic had a shine (kinda of like when I clean-up some of the loose cars with a touch of Armor-All) that still lasts for years!




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The front-end now has the proper shape of the headlight bezels, grille with parking lights and GTO in left grille, and chrome bumper with GTO 1966 front plate.  The hood has the Ram Air scoop that is open, the lower trim and door handles are now chrome, though the window trim details are not as excessive as the 1:64 version.  The rear has the surround trim in chrome, bumper with integrated reverse lamps and rear plate, GTO and Pontiac lettering, and check out the see-through details of the taillights behind those covers!  Also note the rear trunk is not as long as what the 1:64 version depicts; sadly these Ertl castings don't have opening trunks.  The chassis shows the same details as the 1:64, in 3D, but with silver exhaust, blue 3D engine and transmission (no engine pan here!), and check out the rare factory-option plastic wheelwell liners in red!  The Rallye wheels are correct, though I would like to see the Mags of the 1967 GTO, with the cool redline tires.  The front wheels steer, but the steering wheel inside is off-center with the front wheels straight.



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Prop the hood open to see the detailed Tri-power 389 with the correct blue engine block, chrome valve covers, chrome air filters per carburetor with the carbs in copper (the coolest detail on this engine), battery, chrome brake master cylinder and booster and hoses and belts.  Except for the wiring, this is pretty much what you'll see on the real car!  Inside the front bucket seats and rear bench have the typical patterns in them, the door panels have chrome door handle, window crank, and GTO badge, and even around the arm rest!  The console is the best details with the chrome billet design surrounding the shifter with the white cue ball.  Pedals have chrome rings on them, GTO on the glove box, and wood trim that surrounds the quad gauges with chrome rings, stereo and ventilation controls in chrome.  The steering wheel is nice, but in my opinion I would like to have the 3-spoke wheels found on Pontiac's in the late 1960's.



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So which is the best?  The 1:18, of course!  Now the 1:64 isn't that bad either, but I feel the details, especially the chrome trim, is perfectly-done in the 1:18.  GeeTO!



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