In Gear: Motorsports Die-Casts

1. DON SCHUMACHER FUNNY CAR, Thirteen-Twenty, INC.

This super-snazzy 1:24-scale Funny Car brings back Schumacher's tire-smoking 1973 Plymouth Barracuda flopper dubbed "Stardust." The heavy cast body lifts off to reveal details such as exposed nylon seatbelt straps and individual plug wires. $74.95

2. JOHNNY RUTHERFORD VINTAGE DIRT CAR, GMP

This gigantic 1:12-scale dirt-tracker is based on the Champ car piloted by Rutherford in 1970. The fine replica boasts functioning front and rear dampers, real rubber Goodyears, and great seatbelts. Plastic "chrome" pieces do feel a bit fragile. $319.95

3. DICK BARBOUR/ROLF STOMMELEN/ PAUL NEWMAN LE MANS CAR, CAROUSEL 1

The full-size version of this sweet 1:18 Porsche 935 finished second at Le Mans in 1979, with Newman getting a good deal of seat time. The wheels and mesh work are wicked, and the overall detail is excellent. Handle with care, though-some bits on our sample weren't on tight. $109.95

4. JOHN MORTON 2.5 CHALLENGE TRANS-AM CAR, EBBRO

Our smallest model is big on detail: a 1:43 BRE Datsun 510 like the one with which Morton won back-to-back 2.5 titles in 1971 and '72. Clear sponsor graphics on two headlights and a funky air dam are especially cool. Weird rolling resistance means it won't win any Pinewood Derbies. $44.95

5. A. J. FOYT INDY CAR, CAROUSEL 1

A 1:18 replica of the Gilmore Coyote that Foyt drove to his fourth and final Indy 500 victory in 1977. The slick engine cover detaches, revealing sturdy wire mesh and the Foyt V-8 with huge turbo. A plastic rear wing is our only knock-otherwise it's superb. $139.95

0502 In Gear 445

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