Here's my review. On a note, I'd like to say that this review doesn't have the 20 plus pictures my reviews typically have, but the pictures here are clear as a bell, not fuzzy at all. Their pic's I took earlier. My digital camera is battery dead now...when I get some new batteries, I'll add some more. So hope everyone enjoys!!
Exoto Shelby Cobra 1st Logo Polished Aluminum
This is a model of the Shelby Cobra as seen when they had designed their first logo. The first Cobra they created simply had "Shelby" painted onto the front of the car. It is polished aluminum and looks astounding. Personally, I think that Exoto is "too big for their britches" and feel that their models are so wonderful, that they don't care about customer service. That is what I have personally experienced and what I have read numerous places. It's my personal opinion, and I am stating it here because I want any negative opinions to be out in the open before I do a review of a model, so it will be known, and so that I won't allow my "prejudices" to become apparent. Since I've said that, I'll end the suspense and say now that even though I have a "bad taste" in my mouth in regards to the company, Exoto, this model gets a perfect score. It deserves more than the 50 points allowed. It is simply amazing!
Paint? What paint, isn't this car polished aluminum? Yes, this model is polished solid aluminum. It's not zinc, zamac, metal, or any other metallic combination. Solid, polished aluminum. But the car does have some paint actually! The underside of the hood and trunk are painted a satin aluminum color, and it is paint, not unpainted aluminum. The polished aluminum is a wonderful feast to the eyes, it really makes those voluptuous curves even more voluptuous and sexy. A perfect score.
My normal disclaimer here, 3 sections…the Front and Rear covered here, the Interior covered in the Interior section.
The Front Section:
Looking at the front of the car, you may first notice perfectly rendered headlights. The etching on them is astounding, and there are no mounting posts. What? That's right, no mounting posts. But there is something in place of the mounting posts. A silver bulb! Wow, now that's detail! These headlights are surrounded by absolutely beautifully rendered chrome surrounds. Really beautiful and extremely detailed. You might ask, how can a simple surround be considered extremely detailed? Well, for starters, these 2 chrome surrounds change thickness in relation to the fronts of the front fenders. They start thinner at the top, and get thicker towards the bottom. This is so that the headlight lenses are at a 90 degree angle from the road, and not angled down as if simply slapped on the fender. Pretty cool! And since were talking about chrome, let me bring this up:
The body is polished aluminum, so it's shiny by itself. But, the chrome is much more shiny, and stands out as well as if the body was painted say, silver. So, bottom line, even though it's a shiny car, the body isn't "chromed" as say some Kyosho special editions, and you can as easily tell what should be a chrome part as if looking at a painted red, black, etc model.
The front turn signals are clear amber in color and protrude out of the front fenders like rounded snow cones or something like that. They are held onto the body via chrome trim rings. The clear amber lights are textured in two ways. 1st, there are numerous textured circles to make up the main texture of the turn signals. Then there are 4 additional, thicker lines on the lenses, that would say, represent a cross without a center if that makes sense. Cross hairs without a center maybe a better description. They are rendered perfectly without a flaw.
The front grill is photo etch. It is one piece that is made up of 16 vertical bars and 4 horizontal bars. This grill is chromed and very sturdy. These bars are encompassed with a chrome trim piece encircling the somewhat oval grill. The grill is straddled with vertical chrome "bumperettes". These look delicate, but in fact, they are very sturdy, and again are perfectly rendered. There are no mold lines on anything on this model at all.
Looking through the grill you are able to see the photo etch radiator, but you'll probably need a flash light, unless you have the eyes of an owl, cause the radiator is back almost an inch from the grill. And you can not see any "guts", only what you are supposed to see…meaning, no gaps anywhere that would let light in to see the radiator better. That's a compliment! Above the grill is the "1st Logo", which is a photo etch piece placed perfectly. It is actually an intricate shape, even if a casual look says it's an oval. It's not simply an oval, the logo is wider at the top, goes in and then back out towards the bottom. Almost like an outline of a figure 8 where the top part of the figure 8 was squished down and it spread out. This logo is metal (not chrome) in appearance, and says "SHELBY Cobra" in perfectly legible (to the naked eye) black letters. There is a symbol between "SHELBY" and "Cobra" which is black.
The front fenders beautifully flow over the awesome wheels, and there is another photo etch emblem on the fenders, between the wheels and the doors. This emblem is recessed into the fenders so that it is flush, but it is a separate piece. It is rectangular in shape, and is comprised of white, red, and blue colors. There are two bars on this logo, 1 is red, and beneath that is a blue bar. To the right of that is the blue and white Ford emblem, which by the way is perfectly rendered and sharp. The Ford Logo is blue, outlined in white, and has the Ford script in white. Perfectly legible.
The hood's shut lines are perfect all around and tight. At the end of the hood, towards the windshield, you see two chromed handles. These can be used to raise the hood, which is hinged at the front of the car, and opens towards the front of the car. Let's open the hood:
Beautiful! First, the inside of the hood is painted in a flat silver color. There is a prop rod that you can use to hold the hood open, but the hood will stay open without it. On the inside side of the hood, you do not see the unfinished ends of the chromed handles that are on the finished side of the hood. Instead, you see nicely finished indentations in the hood where the ends of the handles reside hidden. No unfinished rivets or melted plastic here…The engine is so detailed, I'll cover it just in the "Engine & Undercarriage" section, vs. both places as my other reviews…
Going past the hood reveals two chrome windshield wipers that have flat black wiper blades! The windshield wipers are two separate pieces, i.e., they are not connected to each other. You also see 2 chrome windshield washer nozzles that are separate pieces from the body. Behind those, you see a beautiful chrome surrounded windshield that is actually quite strong. It is not flimsy at all. Very well set, and it doesn't move. This windshield rests on a flat black gasket, which is sandwiched between the body and the windshield frame. This gasket is a separate piece and nicely applied with no gaps.
Behind the windshield is the passenger compartment, which will be covered in the "Interior" section. But some things to bring up here first, such as rivets…lots of 'em. There are actually 2 types of rivets that surround the passenger compartment. They are used to attach a cover for the passenger compartment and/or the convertible top/boot. Think of these rivets as miniature snaps you may have on a winter coat. These rivets are either photo etch or machined stainless steel, and each and every one is a separate piece. There are 22 "male" rivets and 6 "female" rivets, a total of 28 surrounding the passenger compartment. The "male" rivets are along the top of the dashboard, and behind the passengers. The "female" rivets are along the doors (so you won't snag your shirt sleeves or impale your arms!).
The rear of the car is beautifully curved, and there is a functional chrome gas cap that flips up Flipping this cap up reveals a metal colored hollow tube (not chrome, not polished aluminum).
The trunk has a "twist type" opening handle, and a license plate light…both are chromed. On each side of the trunk on the rear of the car, are two beautifully simple rear turn signals. They are simple vertically aligned rectangles. Within these chromed rectangles are two square, clear red lenses. But what is this I see? Mounting posts? Oh No! I thought I was giving this a perfect score!!!!! Have I been bitten by the Exoto bug? They really aren't very noticeable, and there is so much on this car that it can be easily over looked completely. (Don't hold it against me!).
There are two vertically inclined "bumperettes" here as well, perfectly chromed, and again, very sturdy. No wobbling. Also in the back, you get to see the dual exhausts, which are hollow, and a burnished gold in color (for lack of better color words). They, by the way, are held to the chassis by true miniature springs that wrap around the pipes…more on that later. Lets open the trunk:
First thing you might notice is a neat little sliding arm that raises and lowers with the trunk. It is on the passenger side of the car. The inside side of the trunk is painted a flat silver, and running along the drivers side of the inside of the trunk is a black wire that goes to light up the license plate light. It is a flexible wire and goes into the rear passenger bulkhead. There are no "guts" in the trunk, but lots of neat little surprises. For starters, you see a chrome and silver fuel pump (I guess that's what it is) with chrome pipes going out of it. It has 6 molded in rivets on the top of this thing. There is also a black flexible tube going from it. There is also 3 additional wires in the trunk, represented by flexible black tubes. Two of them go to power the tail lights.
The interior of the trunk is flat silver. The floor has a raised rubber mat, that when lifted, shows the spare tire, which is removable. These wheels by the way, are works of art themselves. Are they as good as the wheels on the CMC Auto Union Type C that I reviewed earlier? That's hard to say I would say they are equal. The CMC has more parts, and they are removable. But both these and the CMC wheels are all metal, hand made, both have photo etch individual wires and so on. The spare tire's wheel has only 2 levels of wire, while the wheels on the axle's have 3 levels of wire. It's supposed to be that way from what I understand. The spare is held onto the trunk floor by a pin. Lift up the rubber mat, remove the pin, and take out the wheel.
The interior is truly astounding! The dash is a textured black, and there are 8 gauges seen. Each gauge is perfectly legible in black and white, and each is surrounded by a chrome ring. There are 9 chromed switches and 1 red warning light. Also seen on the dashboard is the ignition switch with a miniature photo etch key in it! The glove box has a chrome lock/button to open it (doesn't open), and above the dash, mounted to the polished aluminum body work, is a chrome passenger grab handle.
The steering wheel has 3 chrome double spokes, with a black center, which has it's own miniature chrome ring. These spokes go to a wood grain wheel, which has silver, raised rivets on it.
The gear shifter is chrome with a black handle, it goes to a "leather" boot, and is surrounded by a chrome ring that has 4 raised rivets. The emergency brake, residing in the passenger floor board on the transmission tunnel is chromed.
The seats are beautifully rendered, in flat black, and are leather in appearance. They have fabric 4 point seat belts with photo etch and leather clasps. The leather is real. The interiors of the doors are simple, they are flat black, with well rendered map pockets and tan leather colored pull straps. The doors are on, wait! Doglegs? Yes, but tiny dog legs. And from what I have read on the internet, the actual car also had dog leg hinges. Whether this is accurate or not, I do not know, so I can not judge. They are painted flat black, and come almost flush to the bottom of the dashboard, so they really aren't very noticeable. I would most certainly take at least 1 point off of the rating, considering this is a premium of a premium car, but I did read the actual original car did have dog legs…who knows anyone? If the real car doesn't have dog legs and this one does, then it shouldn't have a perfect score. As it stands now, it's still a perfect score, because of what I read…
The floor/transmission tunnel is carpeted in a gray carpet, and on top of that are rubber, texturized floor mats. The rear passenger compartment bulkhead is flat black in color. On this bulkhead are two tiny metal loops, metal in color. I believe these would be part of the mechanism of the convertible top.
The wheels are perfect. They are flat silver with photo etch wires, each and everyone an individual piece of wire. There are 3 levels of these wires, and the wheels are a work of art themselves. The typical Exoto machined tire valve stems are present, and there is a chrome center knockoff on each wheel center. As covered earlier, the removable spare tire has 2 levels of wires. The tires are very well detailed and are labeled "Firestone" etc.
The disk brakes spin with the wheels inside fixed break calipers. The disks are grooved, and the calipers are gold in color. The front calipers have flexible brake lines going to them from the chassis.
Engine & Undercarriage: 8
What a site…where do I begin? So many colors, so many textures. We have silver, black, blue, gold, orange, white, chrome, gray, and yellow.
The engine block is silver, as are the valve covers. The valve covers state "XHP-260-1" in black letters. The air filter has a blue base, chrome photo etch breather, and a flat black top, which is screwed on with a silver wing nut. There is a white and black tampo label, which I'm sure I could read with a magnifying glass. The distributor, ahead of the air filter is black, and the spark plug wires, colored in black, splay out from the top, going to grommets that hold them together, which reside on top of each valve cover. You can see the chrome throttle linkage in this area too.
The alternator is a light gold in color, has wires coming from it, and guess what? It's attached to the block with a bracket as they are on real cars, and NOT molded onto a plastic fan belt. Plastic? Nope, the fan belt is honest to goodness rubber, as is the corrugated radiator hose and other hoses. In fact, there are so many hoses and wires here, I won't even attempt to cover them all!
The radiator is black, photo etch, and silver, the caps being silver. There is an overflow tank behind it with a chrome lid.
The battery is hard to see, but it's definitely well represented, with tampo's and orange battery cables. Along the firewall, we see yellow and orange wires, as well as some differently molded accessories. There are also a couple of tampo'd on labels, which are black with chrome lettering. The hood prop rod resides on the passenger side of the car, is hinged towards the windshield side, and is a thin metal wire that is not very flexible. It can be used to prop the hood up, although it is not needed.
The chassis itself is quite amazing. It is a separate ladder type chassis, made entirely of metal, and is black in color. Everything seems authentic, down to the red rear differential with the silver drainage bolt. You are able to see the silver undersides of the engine, transmission, and other accessories. I have no doubt in my mind that the chassis itself could be entirely stand alone with out the body. It's just like the old cars…you build a chassis and place the body on top of it, just like that here.
The exhausts are a burnished metal color, almost a light gold. The tail pipes that come out of the two mufflers are held onto the chassis by little springs that I guess keep the tail pipes from hitting the chassis when it would go over bumps. Why they do that, I do not know, but it's an awesome feature, those tiny springs.
The rear suspension is functional, with the independent suspension moving when you compress the wheels. The shock absorbers here, which are not coil over, actually compress along with the suspension and wheel, just like a real shock absorber. It is sprung, but I can not see the springs, other than the non-functional transverse leaf spring. The front suspension is not functional, but it is just as well represented. The individual pieces of the suspension; you can tell they are designed to move. Why they do not, I do not know.
It seems every model manufacturer makes a Shelby Cobra, or at least did. But they mostly are of the 427/SC racing version. No one to my knowledge makes this Cobra other than Exoto.
One of my favorites hands down.
I'll post some more photos as soon as I get some batteries. Sorry there aren't more right now!! Enjoy![/img]