Tuesday, 5 August 2014

GALLERY | Ninco Austin Healey PanAmericana

Ninco Austin Healey Panamericana

The La Carrera Panamerica is rather unusual race that was run between 1950-1954 in Mexico. The race is rather unique in that it requires drivers to travel a distance of approximately 2000 miles over 8 consecutive  days. The original race usually had some of the worlds best drivers (Hill, Fangio) in attendance.

The race was originally devised by the Mexican government to advertise to the world that Mexico had completed the building of highways fro the north to the south. The race was used as a tourism campaign that turned out to be very effective.

150 cars started the 1954 race and sadly only 85 completed all 8 stages. The winner of the race Umberto Maglioli won with an average speak of 173km/h in well over 17 hours.

The Austin Healey 100S was driven by the rather famous Carroll Shelby. The PanAm wasn't to be a success for Shelby as he had an accident on the very first stage forced an early retirement and final position #120.

The PanAm has been revived and each year and up to 100 lucky individuals (many of them flush with cash) tackle the race in more modern, controlled environment where the roads are closed and speed limits are enforced.

Ninco have been taking a beating in the last 12 months with many buyers abandoning Ninco due to the high prices of new models with RRP around the globe of around $80AUD or more. Other manufacturers offer so much more for a lot less. You only have to look at the small number of scheduled releases in 2014 to clearly see that slot cars are not a priority for Ninco at present.

This particularly model has some problems when comparing to the original car. The car is advertised as a Austin Healey 3000. Considering the 3000 wasn't made until 1959 I'm not quite sure how this model competed in the 1954 race. A Healey 100S was entered in to the race. I find it difficult comparing a 3000 to a 100S as this model seems to fit somewhere in-between. Perhaps a Healey expert can advise the exact model that has been made by Ninco.

The colour scheme is simply wrong, the blue colour scheme is far to bright and most historical pictures depict a navy/dark blue. The tampo printing of the race number 8 is particularly poor as can be seen in some pictures as the bright blue easily bleeds through the white number.

Aside from these issues it is a very nice looking car which will appeal to anyone who continues to collect the Ninco classics. The car comes with a Speedster NC-11 (not the NC5 as advertised on many of the sites selling this model). There are plenty of Healey models to pick from and I have included some photos of some other Healey models that have been produced by Ninco over the years.

The astute collector amongst you will notice that one Healey model that has been produced is not pictured. This was merely a consequence of being unable to find that particular model at the point in time that the model was photographed.


In summary this is a lovely looking model, far from perfect but a model I am glad Ninco have made, it provides an opportunity for those who missed out on the earlier Ninco classics to acquire one today. Purists won't touch this model with a barge poll. I suspect that in about 12 months time that you will likely see this model discounted by retailers at a price far lower than current RRP.

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