Jim Richards’ 1985 ATCC Winning BMW

Spark recently did a run of 500 pieces of Jim Richards’ Group A 1985 Australian Touring Car Championship winning BMW 635CSi (Spark item # AS017).

When the 6-cylinder Bavarian bullet arrived in the post the other month, there was a glaring assembly issue with the car – the rear axle was ajar, the left wheel was poking way out past the bodywork and the right rear was buckled with massive toe-in.

Poor assembly from Spark with misaligned rear axle and buckled wheel BMW 635CSi jim richards

Poor assembly from Spark with misaligned rear axle and buckled right-rear wheel

I communicated with the importer/retailer, Apex Replicas, and they were happy to swap it as they still had new stock. They were also happy for me to attempt a fix, so that’s what I elected to have a crack at.

Once the model was removed from the plinth (2 screws) the right-rear wheel fell off and the axle and other wheel was free to move.

Once unscrewed from the base, the rear axle was free to move

Once unscrewed from the base, the rear axle was free to move

The model uses a solid metal axle that runs through the diff and half-shafts. There is limited underside detail, whic is fine by me - who wants to pay for high detail here that can't really be seen?

The model uses a solid metal axle that runs through the diff and half-shafts. There is only basic underside detail on this model, which is fine by me – who wants to pay for high detail where it can’t really be seen?

The whole problem was caused by the loose wheel not fitting on the axle shaft properly. Whoever assembled this model at the Spark factory must not have noticed and just screwed the model to the base, trapping the loose wheel at an angle under the quarter panel.

It turned out a very simple fix. I drilled the inside of the loose wheel a little larger and simply glued it back on the axle, making sure the track width and wheel clearance to the guards looked ok.

During this work the right-side mirror fell off (the mirror had no locating pin to go in the locating hole in the side window), so that had to go back on as well.

Locating hole in the side window for the mirror. I was lucky I noticed the mirror fall off, otherwise it could easily have been lost

Locating hole in the side window for the mirror. I was lucky I noticed the mirror fall off, otherwise it could easily have been lost. Detail on the centre-lock BBS wheels is good.

The model comes with the JPS tobacco decals taped under the plinth in a protective plastic zip bag. Unlike a number of other JPS models, these are in the full mirror-chrome effect that was used on the real car, not just dull gold that’s often used as a substitute on scale models. As usual from Spark, decal quality is excellent with very little excess carrier film.

Decal card for the naught John Player Special t'baccy decoration

I love that Spark provide a decal card for the naughty t’baccy decoration on their models

With the fixes made and decals applied, I reckon the 1985 ATCC winner looks the goods!

Glossy back paint, reflective JPS decoration, the forward-stance of the 635CSi body and those vent covers on the front wheels really set this off as a great model.

BMW-635CSi_1985 (31) copy

Gentleman Jim’s 1985 ATCC winner by Spark, repairs and decal application by me. Decent interior detail is partly visible in this pic.

Ass end. Pity about the mounting spacer being so visible.

Arse end. Pity about the mounting spacer being so visible.

BMW-635CSi_1985 (25) copy

BMW-635CSi_1985 (32) copy

BMW-635CSi_1985 (33) copy






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