Review: 1/18th Of Britian's Finest
A look at AUTOart's 1:18 Scale Aston Martin Vulcan
Photographing die cast cars is a wonderful thing. For some people it is a fun hobby. For others, myself included, it is a passion, along with photography. Much to the dismay of my parents, I have to fuel my passion(s) with an ever growing collection of die cast model cars ranging in size from 1:64 to 1:18 scale, not to mention associated photography equipment.
As I have become more and more involved with die cast photography, my car collection has inevitably grown and recently I spent more than a few hours navigating the holy grail of die cast cars - the AUTOart website. I was initially looking for a BMW E39 M5 or Volvo 850 wagon but much to my surprise there weren't any cars from those manufacturers on the site. This actually turned out to be a good thing because I found something much, much better: an Aston Martin Vulcan. Not just any Aston Martin Vulcan - but one in the fabulously unmistakeable Apple Tree Green. After saving up for a few months, and with the help of my parents (who keep telling me I am spending my college fund!), I purchased the Vulcan.
Unboxing the Vulcan was an experience in itself. The Vulcan came in a tightly packaged styrofoam box with screws holding the base of the vehicle highly secured to avoid damage while shipping. Once unboxed, it was easy to see the astounding attention to detail (more on that soon) AUTOArt put into the design. Every quirk and feature™ imaginable can be found somewhere on this Vulcan. The brake calipers have the Brembo script across them, there's a fire extinguisher under the passenger seat, and even the shifting paddles are done up noticeably in carbon fibre. Speaking of carbon fibre; it's everywhere. The front splitter, side skirts, gigantic rear diffuser, spoiler, and even the entire roof.
When I unboxed my Vulcan and saw it for the first time, my jaw dropped to the floor. I didn't know a model car could look this good. I think it is more beautiful than many full-size cars including my mom's recently purchased (and reviewed by me) Infiniti QX60. The 1:18 scale Vulcan is aggressively styled and beautiful. This thing looks like it won the race before it even started. All aspects of the Vulcan are visually intimidating, something hard to come by on the sleek and modern Aston Martins one sees on the road.
Inside the cabin
If you're looking for practicality as in your friend's Honda Civic, you may be disappointed with the Vulcan as many of you likely saw in DriveTribe's Facebook post. The Vulcan's full-on bucket seats that were challenging for Jeremy Clarkson to get into are on full display in the die cast version. In his video, Jeremy also mentioned that he didn't believe the Vulcan was well equipped. Some of his examples, such as the fact that windows can't roll down and you only get "half" a steering wheel, were included precisely by AUTOart in the interior of the die cast model. Not only does this attention to detail set it apart from any model car I've ever had, the look and feel of the materials make you believe AUTOart used the same parts found in a 1:1 Vulcan. Hats off to AUTOart on the interior reproduction.
Under the hood
There is certainly no cheaping out here. As you can see in my under-the-hood shot, AUTOArt has provided a close to perfectly replicated version of what can be found in an actual Vulcan: the 7.0 litre V12 smothered in carbon fibre. What I fancy most is the unreal attention to detail in the engine compartment. Other die cast manufactures typically pay less attention to the engine bay detail. AUTOart did the exact opposite. The Aston Martin logo - a relitavley small detail - is clearly shown front and center on the engine, something truly astounding for a die cast. Other pleasant surprises in the attention to detail category include the tubes leading to the engine and the Vulcan's shock absorbers.
The AUTOArt Vulcan is an absolute must-have for Aston Martin fans like myself. I am in love with this model, and am not the least bit disappointed.
This is by far the best model car I have been up close with. No detail has been left out, all the proportions are in line, and it is a near perfect replica. My only complaint is that my Vulcan came with a slight panel gap above the passenger side headlight. For a perfectionist like me, this was upsetting. However, the fine people at AUTOArt immediately agreed to exchange it for a new one after I contacted them through the website.
With retail pricing starting at $220USD (I really hope my Mom isn't reading this as she doesn't know what it cost), the AUTOArt die cast is a much more affordable way to get a sense of ownership of the $2.3MUSD Aston Martin Vulcan and you'll save $2,299,780 in the process!