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This arrived from Jeff a few weeks ago...got a great price on it, and as an added bonus one of his famous polishing jobs.

Elegant is the first word that comes to mind when I think of these beautiful French cars, but they were also one of the top performing GTs of their era. In fact, Facel claimed the HK500 outperformed the Ferrari 250 GT, Aston Martin DB4 and Mercedes 300SL in 0-60 mph, speed over a 1 KM distance and fuel economy (not that that really mattered with a car that cost as much as a Rolls Royce). The HK500 was powered by a 360 HP Chrysler V8, giving it a top speed of 135 mph, and was used to travel safely in luxury at high speed between races in Europe by such racing luminaries as Stirling Moss, Maurice Tringtignant and Rob Walker. It was also a favorite of royalty and celebrities of the time - Tony Curtis, Danny Kaye, Ringo Starr and Ava Gardner were among it's owners.

This is an older model from Sunstar, and it shows just how far they've come with their newer releases. The front clip is actually quite well done, other than the awful attachment stubs for the lights. The shut lines around the hood are reasonably tight (although the model's black color undoubtably helps it in this respect), and when you open it the engine was better than I expected, although the whole engine compartment could really use some detail painting - other than the dull silver valve covers, it's all black. Moving back, the shutlines around the doors aren't bad but not great, while the trunk is similar to the hood. Although there are no brakes, the wheels are one of the most impressive parts of the car...the center section and spinner hubcaps are chrome, while the wheel and rim are a semi gloss silver that looks very realistic. Now things get real ugly real fast. The plastic used for the windows is much too thick, causing distortion no matter which way you look through it, and to make matters worse, Sunstar molded the window frames into the windows and it looks awful. Moving on to the interior, it's just a vast array of tan plastic with a rather unconvincing "wood" dash - other than stickers for the guages, nothing is detail painted, although they did a nice job on the steering column stalks, silver with black knobs. It also has those metal tabs on the floor like Ertl used on their American Muscle line. While I'm sure they made assembly easier, they really spoil the look, especially since they're painted black.

All in all a potentially good model that's really let down by some major problems. Still, you've got to give Sunstar credit for producing these niche models - I'd much rather have a chance to by an albeit flawed model of such an interesting car than something that's already been released by half a dozen companies, and I imagine if this had been a recent release from them, most, if not all of the faults would have been addressed.







 

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Thanks for the write up of this model, Mox. I have been tempted many times to pick up this model but the price has never been choice. If and when it is, I certainly will because, as you mentioned, it is a classic car and a terrific performer.

Wish you would have included a snap of the engine, though! Nice photos.
 

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Thanks, Bob! Here's a shot of the interior and the engine (sorry, but it's not a very good shot, which is why I didn't post it originally).



 

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Congrats John! and :coolpics I think that I bought one a while back at a BigLots sale but it never made it to display and I put it away in storage. I did recall thinking that the grill could use some blackwash.

For some reason, I think that mine has that green tinted glass that Sunstar has used on some models. :confused
 

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Cool vintage car, John! It looks really nice, and I think it has a pretty nice interior for a budget car.

:cheers
Sean
 

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Thanks guys!

Al, all I can say is if yours has those green windows you have my sympathy. I've never been able to figure out what Sunstar was thinking when they did that.

Mike - to the sin bin with you!
 
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