Books – Against Death and Time

“Against Death and Time: One Fatal Season in Racing’s Glory Years” – Brock Yates

Originally published in 2004, I got this book around 2006 or 2007. It was a gift from my friend Jeff, a fellow moderator at DiecastXchange, at the time the biggest 1:18 diecast forum on the web. Back then I was an avid 1:18 collector, trying to build a focused collection 🙄. I wanted to stick to Le Mans and Silberpfeile, and just a few road cars, yet in 1:18 those themes were scarce. And books like this didn’t help either. Brock Yates tells a great story about the 1955 Indy 500, and Bill Vukovich’s tragic accident. He also talks about the 1955 Le Mans tragedy and the aftermath. For both cases, it was VERY interesting to see how much a pilot’s safety (and life) was important. Or better said, how little that mattered. He also writes about the death of James Dean, in the last part of the book. However, being honest, that part was subpar compared to the rest. Being blunt, he could have stopped at Le Mans.

Even so, all in all a good book. To the point that I branched my 1:18 collection into vintage Indy racecars 😣. Despite the James Dean part, it’s a very good book. However, I looked it up at Amazon and it’s out of print. If you get a chance to get one, even if you’re not into Indy, it’s a good way to understand a little how racing was done in the 50s. Oh, Brock Yates also wrote “Enzo Ferrari: The Man and The Machine”.

The Monopole Incident

Published 01/16/23

No, you are not seeing double. The photo above is also not a half-assed clever trick of photography. I really do have two X84. And why would somebody buy two units of the exact same model? Because that somebody is clumsy and stupid 😣. I bought the first X84 #52 in early November last year, and was very happy with it. As usual, as soon as it arrived, I removed it from the box for inspection and placed it on my display shelves. A few days later I got it out from the display to photograph it. Just like I always do. Just like I have done for years and years.

Interestingly, NO damage to the paint anywhere else, only where the resin cracked.

And that’s when disaster came to town. While setting it up for the first(!) shot, I dropped it 😫. Almost 20 years collecting models and I dropped a model (no, really). I was paying attention to the camera and not the model, and I placed it to close to the edge of the track diorama. Physics being physics, it fell off and crashed to the tiled floor about 100 cm below. Meanwhile, I looked on dumbfounded, torn between smacking myself once or smacking myself twice.

If I was any good with full-body painting, I’m confident it could be repairable. Alas, I’m not…

Since it is a resin model, as you can see on the pics above, it cracked in the middle. The seats snapped off, as did the number plate’s lights on the side. The seats I recovered, yet I never found the lights. I thought about fixing it, however that would demand a full repaint. And that, unfortunately, is outside of my (meager) modeling skills. Besides, I would also have to fabricate new lights somehow and buy or fabricate decals. With all that, I decided against it.

My second X84 #52 is safe and sound.

So I had two options: bin it and forget about the X84 #52 or get a new one. I really liked the model, and I already had done all the research and written the review. So I went back to eBay and fortunately found a second one, also brand new. And as painfully expected, more expensive than what I payed on the first one 😤. As always, stupidity doesn’t come for free, it always has a price.

So there you have it, kids. Pay attention (don’t be stupid) or pay the price 😣.

WEC 2023: entry list

Oh boy… Things are looking EXCITING for 2023! 🤩🤩🤩

2022 WEC season review

Though I only watched yesterday (🙄), WEC posted this some two weeks ago. Almost an hour long, it shows the highlights of the 2022 season. With that, each race receives a little bit of coverage, so all in all it gives a good idea of how was 2022. However, they don’t focus much on the smaller teams. Basically, they talk about Porsche, Toyota (duh!), Corvette and Ferrari, and just a little on LMP2 (mainly WRT and Jota). I definitively would like to see more on the small teams, specially Glickenhause.

I think that concurrently they also released a “behind the scenes” video called Unmasked. This one is 41 minutes-long, and again, almost nothing on the small teams. Even so, still nice to see some of what happened at the garages and paddocks.

Baby-blue awesomeness…

Do I have all the Gulf 917? Not even close. Missing from that shot is one of the Gulf 917LH from 1971. It could be either the#17 or #18, I would be happy with either one – I’m not picky. And of course, the 1971 Daytona winner… The problem is that all three are hellishly rare to find, specially the Daytona car 😣. I’m aware that there are quite a few other 917s in Gulf colors, however the Le Mans cars and the Daytona one (because of the story of that race) are the ones I really covet. Lets hope that Spark reissue those, like they did with the 917K #20 and very recently with the winning 1933 Alfa. If Spark did, a LOT of collectors would go ballistic with joy (like yours truly). Besides, I’m certain they would sell like hot cakes.

Come on Spark! Pretty please? 🍀

Top 5 – 2022

I have to say that compared to 2021, 2022 was a much better year. The COVID-19 pandemic was almost over and in general things got better. And in the 1:43 collecting front I think I can say it was a pretty good year. I got some nifty-good models for the W-143 Garage, even some very meaningful ones. The bad part is that my collection, as of now, has 483 cars 😲. I’m not at my limit for display space yet, however I’m getting close. So if 2023 is as “eventful” as 2022, for 2024 I may be in trouble…😣 That’s one thing I’ll have to start thinking about. Well, since 2022 is history, it’s time for what I consider the best five models I got last year. And here they are, the Top 5 models of 2022 (in chronological order):

1️⃣ The car of the worst tragedy in the history of motorsports. Nonetheless, a fantastic model that means a lot to me exactly because of it’s history.

2️⃣ This year I got into my head that I needed a Beetle in my collection. Well, though I went a little over one model, I think this set was the coolest. Yeah, yeah, it’s a set, TWO models, yet you can’t buy the two apart.

3️⃣ Being honest, I’m not sure if I like more the model or the history behind the model. Even so, Spark a-c-e-d the car in scale.

4️⃣ The coolest of the pre-war Alfas, and a model that I thought I would have to do without in the W-143 Garage.

5️⃣ I’m a HUGE 917 fanboy and also a Le Mans nut. However, The 1970 Daytona winner has possibly the coolest of all the 917 stories that I know of. And, the Spark version is very rare in 1:43.