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Autoart die-cast 1971 and 2008 Mustangs

By Mark Savage
Published: May 14, 2010
1971 Mustang Mach 1
1971 Mustang Mach 1
2008 Mustang Bullitt
2008 Mustang Bullitt
Products: The Mustang marque remains extremely popular today, even if not at the frenzied level it was in the mid-1960s when the pony car was a new and exciting departure for Ford and the rest of the Detroit-dominated U.S. auto industry. Some think it was the last great idea and styling venture of what was Detroit’s golden age.

Autoart continues mining that gold with a variety of new additions to its expansive Mustang collection. Interesting to us are two new models, the 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 in bright white, and a jet black 2008 Mustang GT Bullitt. Each has a suggested retail price of $114.95.

By 1971 the muscle car era was winding down. But Ford had launched the Mach 1 model in 1969 as a “tweener” model, just up from the sporty GT, but not as racy as the Boss, which had been winning Trans-Am races with the likes of Parnelli Jones and George Follmer at the wheel.

When the Boss disappeared after 1970, the Mach 1 was king of the lineup, still maintaining its fastback looks. But the car kept getting longer and heavier. The story goes that Ford designers were not happy with this model’s final styling, which was heavily influenced by some newcomers from cross-town rival GM. So “Ford” is not anywhere on the car, only Mustang and Mach 1 labels, plus “351 Ram Air” lettering on the black hood.

Several engines were available, but this one boasts the Boss 351 (4-valve Cleveland) engine that pounded out 330 horses. Styling changes included flush door handles, a honeycomb grille with Mustang’s pony logo, color-keyed racing mirrors and three large vertical taillight lenses.

The Mach 1 (sounds fast!) made an appearance in the James Bond thriller “Diamonds Are Forever,” which helped implant it in many a Boomer’s mind, as did the appearance of the 1968 GT Fastback in the famous Steve McQueen thriller, “Bullitt.”

That’s where the other model comes in. This black beauty is the 2008 Bullitt version of the freshly restyled Mustang.

Performance: The Mach 1 is well executed, with chrome window, light and grille trim. The white-and-black paint job is pristine, and the 351 Ram Air lettering on the black hood is crisp.

As with most Autoart 1:18-scale cars, the hood, trunk and doors are also functional. The under-hood detail is excellent, with good plumbing and wiring and a realistic black-and-blue air filter cover. It looks impressive when you open the hood.

Inside, the giant faux-wood steering wheel really stands out, and the gauges have a realistic look. Door trim is good, and the vinyl sport bucket seats appear ready for driver and passenger.

The 2008 Bullitt model is nearly as impressive, but is all black with no chrome. The wheels look like brushed metal, to maintain the darkened look of this slick black-lacquered beast. Behind them are massive disc brakes. In back, you’ll find two monster dual chrome-tipped exhausts.

Lights are extremely realistic, with good lenses, and the mesh grille appears authentic. Under the hood is a well-detailed V8 that will be a hit with your power-hungry car collectors. Like the hood, the trunk and doors also open to reveal solid detailing.

And as with the snazzy Mach 1, the Bullitt’s interior detail is excellent, with realistic gauges and sharply executed seats front and rear.

Marketing: It’s hard to go wrong with Mustang models, although these two are likely aimed at separate ends of the die-cast demographic. The 1971 model will be popular with your Boomer customers who may have owned one, or wished they had.

The black 2008 could tickle the buying bug among younger collectors. However, the price tag here is high enough that you’ll want to target these at your upper-end shoppers.

Remember too that setting up a display with these 1:18 models as the keystone makes for an eye-catcher. Stock up on a variety of Autoart’s 1:43 Mustangs and other 1960s and ’70s models and then feature these newcomers as the best of the best! Younger and less die-hard buyers can better afford the smaller scale, while serious pony car fans won’t mind spending a few bucks for these primo larger models.

Products and stock nos.: 1971 Mustang Mach 1, white (No. 72824); 2008 Mustang GT Bullitt, black (No. 73067)
Maker: Autoart
Scale: 1:18
MSRP: $114.95 each
Availability: Gateway Global

Superb detail, engines/interiors
Many moving parts
Popular makes
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