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Here's a review of the 1:18 Biante Holden Torana A9x which won the 1979 Bathurst 1000 in the hands of Peter Brock and Jim Richards....by a whopping 6 laps
For many, this car symoblises Peters best win, not only by the margin but also because he got the lap record on the last lap and because he and Jim lead every lap. Biante made 11000 of these, which was an unusually large run at the time.



First up we'll take a look at the finish of the paint and the livery:



Biante have always had the edge on CC on paint finish and livery finish, and this car is no exception. There is no orange peel on the paint and the red is very crisp. Although on very close inspection, it appears Biante has done the white outer around the rear windows with a white decal and thus it doesn't look as good as it could. One huge problem with these models (as you all know) is the lack of cigarette sponsorship due to the Australian anti ciggie advertising laws, so the decals I've put on and their standard of finish shouldn't be taken into account. Since this car is way WAY before my time, I won't make a full on judgement on the accuracy of the decals, if someone can put in their input it would be much appreciated.



Again, as this car is before my time, I don't feel that I should place full judgement on the accuracy of the mould, but it does look very good next to pics of the car and Biante in my eyes have done a great job in replicating the shape and the stance. I particularly like some of the minor details of the mould including the holes on the wheel arches (I assume this is how they fastened them on). The bumpers look great too since they are separate pieces. Again i love the detail on the driver's side door, which appears to have little pop rivets modelled on it (seen in thumbnail). Awesome. One fault that I can see is that the small grill underneath the front bumper isn't perforated. The QC of the mould is also top notch. The bonnet, door and boot gaps are all miniscule. So overall, the outside of this car is awesome and incredibly hard to fault.



To the wheels, lights and underside:



The wheels on this car are magnificent. From the chrome rim to the modelling of the little fastening points around the rim, to the detail painting on the wheel nuts. They're awesome. The brake discs and callipers are less impressive however, looking quite generic and like a bit of an afterthought.



The headlights on this car appear to be accurate. They're not all that complex so there's not much to comment. Biante have hidden the attachment stubs well, using them to model the light bulb. The taillights are also not too easy to comment on as there's not much to comment. They aren't very 3 dimensional, although I'm unsure on if the 1:1 had 3 dimensional rears or if they were like these. The attachment stubs on these are only just visible. But they're behind the black trim to it's not much of a problem.



Not much to sing and dance about on the underside of the A9x. It's classic Biante. Clean, uncluttered, but at the same time not as good as it could have been. There's lots of red, from the engine, the transmission, etc. And it does look okay. Biante have done an adequate job here.

So overall, the exterior of the A9x is above average. Going well so far.

So we'll go on to the final stage of the review. The interior, boot and engine bay.

First off, the interior and boot:




For the first time, an Aussie model car brand has included a figurine inside the car (it's permanent). It's a love it or hate it feature. It's not all too well detailed or executed, but it certainly adds to the models presence in the cabinet. I like it, but I'm aware of people who don't. The rest of the interior is nice. The doors open on miniscule hinges (which i prefer to CC's hinges which tend to slam shut when you're not careful). The part of the dash that houses the Speedos is the high point of the interior, as Biante have even modelled the little indicators on the edges (last thumbnail). Looks very nice. The seats in the A9x are also very impressive. 1:18 brockie gets a nice racing bucket seat, whereas the passenger side gets a stock normal seat. I think this is accurate to the 1:1, as is the brown colour of the interior. They're also flocked, which is something we rarely see in the older aussie 1:18 racers. The rear seats are also nice. Biante have modelled the rear seats, but in the lowered position, which amazes me every time I see it. The entire car is carpeted in really really thick fabric. It's probably got more carpet than any other in my collection, including my road cars! There are a few negatives about the interior, which include the use of rubber strips for seat belts (rather than fabric like we expect these days) and the steering wheel (which looks a bit bland. Although it's probobly accurate).



The boot is also fully carpeted and it's just amazing to see how much they've used here. This car is missing the wires and gizmos that most of these cars have lots of in the boots, although i think this is accurate. The only thing in the boot being the fuel filling flange (if that's the correct term haha).

So overall, the interior is near perfect. I can't see how CC could do much better.

To the engine....feast your eyes guys (and girls) for this one's a cracker!





If you thought the interior was mint on this, check out that engine. It's fantastic. Definitely one of Biantes finest efforts. The engine itself is a separate piece and features a smattering of chrome and what appears to be a stainless metal too, which really does look the part. It's also fully wired which is typical on all Aussie diecasts. I prefer this engine to, perhaps all the cars in my collection, including the CC Supercars which have some of the most highly rated engines in the business. The only negative about the engine bay is that the damn bonnet won't stay up!

So, overall then, this is one of the finest, most well rounded cars to ever be spat out by the Aussie diecast sector. The detail and cleanliness is there to see in the pics and thumbnails. There has been talk of Classic Carlectables remaking this car, but these rumours were squashed by Steve Collins of CC. I for one am hugely thankful that CC don't have the intention to bring out these cars as not only would it be a major kick in the pants for collectors like myself who forked out the dosh for one, but also it would spell the end of such a gem diecast.



Cheers,
Matt :cheers
 
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