1955 Volkswagen 1200 Beetle Diecast Model

  • Our Price: $191.82
  • Out of Stock
AutoArt 1955 Volkswagen 1200 Beetle diecast car
  • Year: 1955
  • Brand: AutoArt
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Code: AA79776
  • Model: 1200 Beetle
  • Scale: 1:18
  • Color: Black

Years ago, Johnny Lightning, of all companies, made a fairly decent 1/18 Volkwagen Beetle model. They did it in order to capitalize on a revival of Herbie the Love Bug - but the model itself also came in a couple of “Street” versions and was actually pretty well done. If you’re like me, and waited until the Wal-Marts of the world had run dry on it - well you paid the price on the secondary market or you bided your time.

Then, over the last couple of years, has come an explosion of “original” VW Beetle models, first from Sunstar in, ironically, gigantic 1/12 scale, and now from AUTO art and Minichamps. I could not be happier. And especially with the 1955 car - because that’s when Dr. Ferdinand Porsche’s brilliantly designed people mobile first appeared on US shores.

It’s difficult to imagine now, but back then an import car was something rare but quickly and with little fanfare the Volkswagen spun up sales to 50,000 units. Said Road & Track “the Volkswagen fulfills a need which Detroit had forgotten . . . a car that is cheap to buy and run, small and compact, light and maneuverable yet solidly constructed, and perhaps above all, utterly dependable and trouble-free."

Despite the jokes about it’s appearance - which its innovative advertising campaign aped, the very real problem of acceleration (about 20 seconds to go from 0-60 and even it’s rock-solid build (it was so air tight that closing the doors with all the windows rolled up would, as Bill Cosby pointed out, result in your brain smashing against the window.). That it had the title “limousine” seems to be just another wacky anomaly, but the 1200 designation is easy to explain - it’s simply the engine displacement.

The AUTO art Volkswagen Beetle model is a lot of fun - I think it would be more fun in one of the other colors it comes in - like pink. If you do choose black, the paint as usual in an AUTO art model is silky smooth. The doors and front and rear bonnets open (and can stay open) and there’s even a separate spare tire but be careful as you unpack the model as it’s not secured. The chrome work is very impressive and about the only complaint I can muster is that it would have been nice to have the venting under the rear window be actual openings and not just extrusions. There’s no aerial present but that also seems to jibe with the spartan dash that shows no evidence of a radio.

I haven’t seen the Minichamps version yet, and now I’m not really in a hurry to do so. AUTO art’s Volkwagen Beetle is well executed right down to the VW moon wheels and superb chrome work and time spent on little details like the delicate wipers. The hood and trunk are hinged in such a way that it will stand on its own accord. I am really pleased with this model. You could say there’s not much to it and you’d be right, the only thing it does is make me smile. And that is always delightful.

-Rusty Hurley

  • Our Price: $191.82
  • Out of Stock
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