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Monday, December 26, 2016

Team Caliber NASCAR equipment hauler



Ok, so it's been a long time since I last had a blog post.  Since then i've been busy getting some older diecast vehicles that i've been looking for online and at flea markets, with even a few extras to come along.  Also I dealt with the toughest semester at school where once class required major projects to be complete each week.  Add to that the large group of pictures that I had to take, crop and format, and save (which also includes the newest and latest diecast vehicles to come out over the past six months) and you're looking at a lot of time messing with school work, a job, and a bunch of pictures; no time to do blog articles.  Now that the semester is over, giving me time to complete my long-overdue pictures (with a few more planned in the photo booth later this week), and now that the pictures are complete it's time to finally start the articles.  However, there is a bunch of articles that would take at least a year to complete given the amount of photo's and articles planned (if I was to write the title of a blog article on each line on notebook paper, you're looking at three pages front and back of articles to-do!!!) plus the newest castings that will be coming out next year and you're looking at a lot of articles to do.  So what I'm going to do is present the most important articles first, especially those that pertain to vehicles that are out now or have significant awareness), with articles on the vintage diecast vehicles appearing periodically throughout the year.




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First up is an interesting find at a flea market one day.  Usually i'm not a big NASCAR fan, even though I do watch some of it and have a few vehicles, but the sport has gone far from the days of racing stock, showroom-ready cars to cars that are similar and only differ by badges, car shape, and some engine changes.  Around the area I live it's NASCAR country so I do see a lot of NASCAR vehicle for sale, and quite frankly i'm not sure of the sell as good as a vintage diecast vehicle.  When I ran across this equipment transporter I though it was cool, but not my deal.  The equipment transporter is basically a tool box on a pallet jack, used to transport tools and gear from the truck to the garage and to the pit lane.  Even some of these equipment haulers are large enough to allow spotters to sit on top and get a good view of the track to aid their drivers in avoiding crashes that the driver cannot see.




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If this equipment hauler was made today it would be mostly plastic with either a metal body or trailer, and opening parts would be far and few, but not this one.  Made by Team Caliber in 2003, a company that makes diecast models of NASCAR vehicles that are in high quality and price too.  This would explain the weight of this model as it has a metal body and base.  The base has two wheels with rubber tires at the rear, and I guess there was supposed to be two at the front as well, but then again the front wheels might not be necessary.  The pallet jack handle is spring-loaded to snap the handle back up when released and with the indent at the bottom of the handle it also acts as the missing front wheels.  The tool box has panels front and rear that do not open, NASCAR logo on one side, and on the other panels that do open.  The upper one opens downward (though it can spring back up if not opened fully), while the two at the bottom open cabinet-style.  The hinges on them are of higher-quality, and inside there's vast room for gear and such.




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What really made me grab this cart for $2 was what's inside: working jack stands and tires!  The tires are the same one found on the stock cars, with Goodyear letters on the sidewalls, blacked-out rims, and even detailed manufacturer labels on the tires!  What I don't know is if these tires can be installed on any of Team Caliber's stock cars or not, but they do look cool and will serve more of a purpose than just for display.  On the upper shelf there's also working jack stands: three out of the four as the fourth one was missing one half of the four legs and the white stand.  The other three not only look good but work as well:  The white stand has a rack that slides in-and-out of the red leg support, with a small geared wheel to the side that is held in place with two tabs on the support.  When the tabs are pushed one way the stand moves freely up and down; when the tabs are pushed the other way they connect to the rack and lock the stand in place.  You have to push the tabs in fully and check to make sure they lock the stand because sometimes the locks can fail and let the stand drop down.




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Now the biggest question is do they work?  Oh yes, but for what scale model range?  I selected a typical 1:64 vehicle, a larger and heavier 1:64, a 1:43, and a 1:24.  Since most NASCAR models are in the 1:24 scale range and not 1:18 I believe these jack stands can go as high as 1:24, but who knows it might work with 1:18, too.  The jack stands are too small for the 1:64 and 1:43 scale vehicles even though they do support the vehicles.  The 1:43 looks more proper, if a tight, look with the jack stands on.  The 1:24 scale vehicles look spot-on with the jack stands.  With two they work properly, lifting the wheels off the ground and holding the vehicle in place (remember to make sure that the stands lock in place properly before letting the vehicle rest on them).  With the fourth stand missing three can still do the job, though placement would be odd and by auto manufacturer's standards an improper way to jack up a vehicle.  This is where the extra tires come into play: they can fill in for the other jack stand by stacking the tires one by one until the stands match the height of the tires.  In reality you only need two tires to do this.



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It's a very cool set to find that has lots of cool and working features, quality details, and lots of metal.  A nice piece for anyone who likes to add shop components to their diorama's.


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