My Favorites
Here are my favorite diecast models. Obviously, I have to like the car (as in the "real" car), and then, I have to find the high quality 1/18 model of that particular car. Minichamps (aka. Pauls Model Art), Kyosho, and AutoArt models are my favorites, as they all have very high quality. UT models were very nice too, but it's too bad that brand just faded away.



Collector's Area

For those of you who "know" the 1/18 diecast models, here are the models that I believe are getting rare these days. I've tried to exclude "yeah, been there, seen that" Maistos and Burago models. Also, if you happen to own diecast models that are inclueded in here, I suggest you to take a good care of your investment !




Alfa Romeo

I like Alfa's exterior designs. Cars like 164 and 156 are distinctive, unique, yet very attractive. I would love to have a real Alfa 156 in silver. Too bad they don't sell them in the U.S. (I heard they are coming back, though. I just hope that they would be affordably priced.) Probably related to the fact that the real Alfa cars are not imported to the U.S., but there aren't many 1/18 Alfa diecast models out there. . .


Audi

My second car, back in the '90s, was a beautiful dark green 100S. I had to let it go because it was costing me a fortune to maintain . . . If I had money, probably I would have kept it till today. I think they have timeless designs, and I also like the fact that they are never ostentatious. Kyosho makes very detailed 1/18 Audi diecasts.


BMW / Mini

When they say it's "the Ultimate Driving Machine", they are not kidding. If you don't believe me, please go to a used car dealer and test drive a manual shift Bimmer (I never liked new car dealers. . . simply because I can't afford one.) Anyways, it's REALLY difficult to go back to other cars once you drive one. There are a lot of Bimmer enthusiasts out there, and naturally, there are a lot of diecast cars too.


Bugatti

I am not at all a believer of these supercars, especially when it has a price tag of US$1.4 million, but the fact that Bugatti / Volkswagen were able to combine such a great design (classic yet modern) and performance (0 to 60mph in 2.4 sec. w/ max speed of 407.5 km/h or 253.2 mph) simply amazes me. AutoArt makes a beautiful diecast of Veyron.


Chrysler / Dodge

Among the American car manufacturers, Chrysler is my favorite. Even before the Mercedes merger, they've always had some European touches to their cars. Lately, they have some nice looking cars like the 300Cs. Few years back, I test drove a PT Crusier, as a possible replacement of my VW Beetle. . . but I didn't like it. Too bad it drove like a SUV.


Citroen / Dongfeng-Citroen

I used to like them a lot, back in the '80s and '90s. You know, the DS, Xantia and XM. After that, well, it has become rather boring. . . or less unique, I should say. I would love to restore and drive a DS. By the way, Dongfeng is a Chinese partner of Citroen, who manufacturers Citroen cars for the Chinese market. While back, the only manufacturer who made Citroen diecasts were Solido, but now Norev makes great ones !
Ferrari
Sure, I think they are beautiful cars. But my rule in selecting cars is "no unrealistic cars". So would I have $200,000 to spend on a car ? Well, obviously not. And on top of that, as you may have found out by now (especially by looking at the heavy cars that I drive), that I am not a speeding person. I would drive it if someone buy one for me. . . but otherwise, nah. . .


Ford / Lincoln

When I was 16 years old, my father let me use his commuter car, a '89 Taurus, for the drivers license driving test. But that's where my good memory ends, really. Ah, actually, as Hertz is by far my favorite rent-a-car company, I have driven newer Taurus few times. Once I rent a brand new Taurus (5 miles on odo.) from Hertz in Calgary. The car had a total electrical shutdown after 2 days of my driving. . .


General Motors / Chevrolet, Cadillac, Pontiac

I really don't have much exposures to GM cars. Drove a Pontiac Grand Prix from Hertz once, but that's about it. They concentrate too much on SUVs. . . I think. I like the Cadillac from the old days, like '80s Broughams and '90s Fleetwoods. Ah, I also liked the Pontiac Firebird in the Knight Rider. No Hummers and Suburbans, please. . .


Honda / Acura

My mother had a red '88 Honda Civic when I was in middle school, and we loved it. Reliable, stylish, economical, what's not to like ? Then, my first car (thanks to my parents) was an electric blue '92 Acura Integra GS. Today, I would like to drive Honda S2000, and NSX. . . as I was told that they are incredibly fun to drive.


Jaguar

I've always wanted a british green Jaguar XJ8 with ivory leather and wire wheels. Some say Jaguar lost its direction after the Ford acquistion, but I don't believe that's true. With exception of "what were they thinking ?" X-Type, they still create gorgeous looking cars.


Lamborghini

Another unrealistic dream cars that I am not very much into. Although I love their scissors style doors, and would love to install them on my Mercedes SLK (it can be done), but that's about it. . . If I had to, I would like to have a good old Countach.


Maserati

I am seeing more of the new Quattroporte on the streets of Manhattan these days. (I have seen several chauffered crystal clean Quattroportes parked on the side of Saks Fifth Avenue store on 5th Avenue.) They must be one of the most picturesque four door cars ever manufactured, that were actually imported to the U.S.
Mercedes-Benz
OK, so I like Mercedes. Although the recent quality problems have somewhat tarnished their image, I still believe that they have by far the superior engineering and safety features. Also, everytime I drive my Mercedes, I have this feeling of accomplishment (it's hard to explain this one). My favorite is the '80s S-Class that was a giga-hit in the '80s. Needless to say, there are a lot of diecast models out there.


Nissan

Just two words to explain recent Nissan: "Carlos Ghosn". Before he steps in, they were just producing rather unattractive cars 24/7 non stop. And then, Ghosn stepped in, and "kaboom!", an elegant Mulano, and cool Altima was introduced. They may want to do something about recent quality issues in the U.S. though.


Peugeot

As mentioned earlier, I "was" a Citroen fan, until I start drivng Peugeot 307s in Europe. The build quality is certainly questionable, but their design is simply impeccable. My dream is to own a 307cc and 607 in New York (no, they don't import them to the U.S.) Solido makes some great modern day Peugeot diecasts.


Porsche

Probably the most "realistic" sports cars that I can think of. You see, if I work hard enough, I can probably buy an used Boxter for about $20,000 USD, and the fact that it is that affordable is very important to me. Also reliable enough to drive to work everyday. Needless to say, there are a lot of 1/18 diecast out there.


Renault

Another French cars that I like. The first Renault that I fell in love was the first generation Renault Clio (aka Lutecia in Japan) Bacarrat. As far as I remember, it was the first car that showed to the world, that the small cars doesn't always have to be "cheap". I still like the Safrane and current Megane. And of couse, thanks for saving the Nissan !


Toyota / Lexus

People around me, including my wife, my parents, and my friends, all loves the Toyota cars. "Reliable !" they all say. But I just can't get to like them because of that "yeah, everyone's got one" factor. Sure they are reliable, but to me, a brand new white Lexus LS is just like a brand new Hitachi refridgelator. Clean, well made, reliable, and everyone has one. Can you fall in love with a fridge ? Sorry, but I just can't. . .


Volkswagen

My third car was a silver '00 Volkswagen New Beetle. It was the car that tought me how to drive stick shift. Roomy, affordable, unique, screaming character, and yes, it was actually quite fun to drive. Among a lot of VW diecast models out there, one of my favorite is the Phaeton by AutoArt.


Volvo

Although their boxy design in the '80s and '90s has been somewhat. . . ah. . . controversial, I think I like their design better back then. I have been in the 240 & 740 station wagons few times, and every single time, I was very impressed with its solid and rigid body structure. Next time you are in a Volvo, check out the thickness of the center pillars that are holding up the roof; you will be impressed too.


Other Manufacturers

Here are the diecast model of Fiat, Opel, Panoz and other fine cars. Not interested ? Then how about a Delorean, or a Chery QQ ? Fun part of collecting the diecast model, of course, is that you get to park your Saleen right next to a LTI . . .

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