Simply (Auto)Art: 1:18 Aston Martin One-77 by AUTOart
When it comes to limited-production cars, Aston knows what they're doing
Aston Martin is definitely one of my favorite car manufactures. Across their lineup they have a healthy mix of track beasts and beautiful grand tourers. But every now and then they take it up a notch and produce a high performance, limited production track machine. Back in 2009, that is exactly what they made. It's called the One-77.
Before I became a diehard Aston fan, or a car enthusiast for that matter, I wasn't a fan of the One-77. Why? I used to think it looked like a deformed fish in the front, with disproportional fenders and a stupid little spoiler. Come today, I have grown fond of it and appreciate the time and effort that went into the design and manufacture of the One-77. While I still believe (along with many of you I'm sure) that the nose isn't 100% perfect, the rest is to die for.
Not too long ago an AUTOart 1:18 One-77 was entered into the LaLD 2020 competition by LaLD tribe leader Scott Nadeau. If you haven't already, go check out his awesome work! I'd seen some photos of this model before, but his excellent photography sold me on the idea of getting a One-77 for myself. I surfed the Internet for a while looking for it in baby blue, the best color AUTOart has to offer for the One-77, and I was just about to cease searching when I found one listed at Walmart. Even at Walmart's "sale price," the One-77 was one expensive diecast at $220 resulting in my extensive negotiations with my Dad. He drove a hard bargain, but I wanted the One-77 so bad and moved fast on the chance to get one. When it came a few days later I was blown away not only by the "Tiffany Blue" color, but the overall quality of the model.
Being an AUTOart Signature model, my expectations were set high and I'm really pleased to say that my high bar for quality was definitely met. Upon unboxing, you're greeted with a pamphlet featuring technical specifications and the Certificate of Authenticity that comes with all Signature models. The AUTOart box itself is super clean with plenty of well done branding. Once out of the box, I was blown away by the clear and glossy paint along with the precision chrome trim and realistic hinges. Removing the model from the boxing is an easy process, just unscrew the car from its base plate and unhook two metal wires that keep the hood from opening and closing. The overall casting is very nice to say the least. Most of the vents are mesh, and the immense amount of carbon fiber is pleasing to the eye.
For someone who doesn't often spend upwards of $100 - let alone $200+ - on a diecast, I am very happy (and a bit relieved!) to tell you that this is a solid model. I see no major faults in the body work despite its untraditional shape which at least theoretically makes it a difficult car to mold. The vent inlets under the headlights and behind the wheel well are mesh, of course. The vent under the grille however has no real depth and is just painted black. Chrome trim is also on the hood vents and continue around the windows.
In the rear, things are just as nice. The huge light bar in the shape of swan wings looks splendid contrasting the blue paint. Small details like the Aston Martin wings are straight and painted perfectly. Unfortunately, even at this lofty price point there were some imperfections, specifically the headlights and rear diffuser. The headlights feel cheap like those found on Maisto's $15 1:18s. The plastic used on the headlights appears... well, plastic-y, but at least the detail is superlative. The rear diffuser is home to the switch to pop up the rear wing, but that switch is more noticeable than it should be. What is also noticeable are the screw inlets to attach the car's body to the underside. The placement of both of those are poor.
Inside the cabin
Ah, my favorite part of the car. Can't go wrong with a cream interior, especially with a carbon fiber secondary. Again I say the quality is marvelous. I'm glad AUTOart made this a left hand drive car, something they didn't do with their V12 Vantage S. This 1:18 is also carpeted, a nice touch. The steering wheel has a lot of carbon fiber on it with of course the Aston logo in the middle. AUTOart even got the silver paddle shifters and turn signal stalk!
Unfortunately, I found the gauge cluster to be a let down. I have noticed that with older AUTOart models all of the gauges look like cheap stickers. Sure, the gauges are labelled and all, but even Bburago can make a them look better on sub-$50 models. Fortunately, the center console and seats look fab. I'm amazed at how good the weave looks in this interior carbon fiber. The seats are my favorite part. They're so unique looking, nothing is like them!
Under the hood
Seven and three tenths liters in a V12. That is beyond what any human should even try to handle. For comparison, Lamborghini's V12 uses “only” 6.5 liters. Is it just me or is seven and three tenths insane? At 1:18 scale it looks just as bonkers. Covered in carbon fiber as you’d expect it looks beautiful. I just wish that the weave of the carbon fiber wasn't further apart than the rest of it used elsewhere in the car. A small plaque reads “7.3L V12” just in case you thought a 1.3L four banger powers this. The suspension coils are here as well, mounted horizontally, completing the look. When in comparison to the 1:1 it is like a mirror image.
In the big picture
Once the price of a diecast gets past the $130 mark, my Dad always gives me the same look which, translated, means "is this car really worth it?" In the case of the One-77, it most certainly is. The all around quality is super high and I am overall amazed with how good a diecast metal car can be when done properly. Does an AUTOart get much better than this? I don't think so.