I was privy to seeing this model as a working design drawing long before it materialized as a 1:24th scale Franklin Mint model. It was blue and the dimensional drawing of it revolved before me in a 360˚view scan. It was a vision, an automotive design concept, which sprung from the fertile mind of my dear friend Raffi Minasian. I vividly recall, back in 2000, the 50th Anniversary Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. I was walking the manicured putting greens with Raffi and listened intently to his comments about each stunningly beautiful automobile we encountered. It was obvious; his love of cars and his knowledge of each of them. It did not matter if we were gazing at a Delahaye, Delage, Talbot Lago or a Chevy, Ford or vintage race car. He knew its history, pedigree, lineage and the development that went into it.
So when he sent the artist’s rendering of what we now call the Lambandi, I recognized his love of automobiles in this concept. It had the best lines of an early Ferrari, the brute power and strength of the Cobra and a lot of his own imagination. In June of this year, 2009, he wrote this on our Bulletin Board forum: “The reason for this model was two fold: 1. Develop a model that uses technology that will allow for new model cars to be made without the high cost of tooling and traditional die cast methods. 2. Develop something that no one else can sell or promote. I designed the car because I like this kind of sports car look and feel and I enjoy seeing ideas come to life through the support of craftsmen and fellow designers. “
He went on to write, “This is no different from the process that yielded an original ‘57 Chevy or the Mustang. They all started out as Lambandi models in the studio - some got lucky and made it to production. Who knows...maybe this one will have a shot at production some day. Then it will have served a third purpose. But for me, it is just a cool car concept that I thought would be fun to build and share with fellow collectors. Same thing motivated the making of Simone. (His reference was to TFM’s 1939 Duesenberg Coupe Simone - Raffi and Roger Hardnock’s mythical creation.) It won't be for everyone, but then a ‘57 Chevy isn't for everyone either :-)”
Like it or hate it, it is what it is and that, to me, is indicative of a fine automobile essence; form following function graced with an elegant shape and masterful model construction. Yes, some pieces are purposefully fashioned from Cobra elements to help bring ‘life’, in scale form, to the fanciful story of Vic Lambandi. The sleek little roadster captures the story in its fullest and incorporates the Lamba Engineering’s 4-phase Hyper-Jection on the aluminum 427 mill along with a version of the, “Vic-Fire” exhaust system.
FM crafted minute detail into the engine bay with use of scaled wiring, plumbing and super sweet working suspension. The use of metal to fabricate the side air vents, all scripts and safety belt ends is great. The interior detailing is really nice, albeit reminiscent of the Shelby Cobra. The flowing lines of the graceful open-bodied car are much more prominent in person and the rich color of burgundy-red highlights its sexy shape.
This is a new departure for TFM; a resin replica with no opening trunk or doors but the spirit and character of the car, its design and designer are ever present and heartily accounted for. Like it or hate; I LOVE it!
-Tony F Perrone