Perhaps the best thing about collecting 1:43-scale model cars is the sheer variety of models available. With a history stretching back to the 1930s, it seems that almost every make and model of car has been replicated in 1:43, so that there is truly something for every automotive taste in this smaller scale.
The thing about model car collectors, though, is that sometimes we fall into a rut. Despite almost unlimited choices in 1:43-scale cars, it seems like we keep reaching for the same car over and over again. Here at Model Citizen, we love Porsche 911s and V12 Ferraris as much as the next guy, but at some point, your display case just needs something…more.
If you’re looking to add a little spice to your 1:43-scale model collection, here are three offbeat choices priced under $50 from Model Citizen that might fit the bill:
Known in its day as the finest-handling front-wheel-drive car on the market, the Peugeot 205GTI has grown in reputation over the years as the greatest of all “hot hatches.” As the collector car market awakens to this hidden gem of a performance car, so too has the diecast model world. Maxichamps (the budget-oriented line from Minichamps) released their 1:43 version of the 205GTI last year, and for us it was love at first sight. Though priced as an “entry-level” premium collectible, the Maxichamps 205 is accurately scaled and highly detailed, and deserves a spot in any collection of more exotic ‘80s hardware.
The second-generation of Nissan’s legendary Skyline GT-R, nicknamed the “Kenmeri” after popular Japanese advertising characters, was the right car at the wrong time. Its predecessor, the “Hakosuka” GT-R was the dominant force in Japanese touring car racing at the dawn of the 1970s, and the Kenmeri looked to extend that dominance for years to come. However, the first oil shock of the decade shut down Nissan’s factory racing efforts almost overnight, and the Kenmeri GT-R never had the opportunity to show its true racing potential. The oil crisis also stifled demand for high-performance road cars, so only 197 examples of the powerful second-gen Skyline GT-R were completed. Now a coveted classic, the Kenmeri has been replicated in a beautiful 1:43 scale diecast replica by Ebbro, and features a level of detail more commonly found in model cars costing twice as much.
Okay, Lamborghinis aren’t exactly unpopular subjects among model car collectors, but as in the world of full-scale automobiles, the mid-engine supercar variants get all the glory. At some point, though, all those Miuras and Aventadors are bound to get stale. Enter Minichamps’ gorgeous 1970 Jarama, a 1:43-scale tribute to Lamborghini’s elegant, V12-powered 2+2. With understated lines by Marcello Gandini, the Jarama will serve as an intriguing counterpoint to a display case filled with more aggressive exotics.