Great Race Winners

Great Race Winners

These two winners of The Great Race could not be more opposing.

Both are recent additions to my ‘Bathurst Winners’ collection (though technically, the Falcon didn’t win at ‘Bathurst’) meaning I’ve only got about eight more to collect (well, until October rolls around again…).

Great Race winners in 1:43 scale - Ford XL Falcon by ACE and Holden ZB Commodore by Classic Carlectables
Great Race winners in 1:43 scale – Ford XL Falcon by ACE and Holden ZB Commodore by Classic Carlectables

The Cars

The White CarThe Black Car
Ford (XL Falcon)Holden (ZB Commodore)
170ci 6-cylinder ‘Pursuit’ engine5 litre fuel-injected V8
Production car on narrow treaded tyres that was tweaked to go racingDedicated custom built race car on wide slicks specifically for racing
1962 Great Race winner, “Armstrong 500” (the third, and final, time the Great Race was run at Phillip Island)2018 Great Race winner “Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000”
Drivers: Harry Firth / Bob Jane (both now deceased)Drivers: Craig Lowndes / Steven Richards
Harry Firth and Bob Jane drove this XL Falcon to victory at Phillip Island, thus winning their second consecutive Armstrong 500 mile race
Harry Firth and Bob Jane drove this XL Falcon to victory at Phillip Island in 1962, thus winning their second consecutive Armstrong 500 mile race
Bathurst veterans Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards teamed up for another Triple Eight win on the mountain.
Bathurst veterans Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards teamed up in 2018 for another Triple Eight win on the mountain.

The Models

The White CarThe Black Car
Primary Material: ResinPrimary Material: metal
Has interior detailNo interior detail
Includes display plinth & acrylic caseNo plinth
Expensive: $110Less expensive: $40

The XL Falcon is by ACE Model Cars. While rather plain in appearance, it is a very well built model.

Apart from removing the wheel trim, it appears the only external changes were the race numbers and blackouts/patterns to assist the pit crew to identify their car
Apart from removing the wheel trim, it appears the only external changes to the road-going XL were the race numbers and blackouts/patterns to assist the pit crew to identify their car.

Conversely, the Autobarn ZB is a colourful and popular livery, however closer inspection reveals an inferior quality model.

The main body of the model is painted silver and virtually all of the decoration appears to be a decal wrap
The main body of the Commodore is painted silver and virtually all of the decoration appears to be a decal wrap. Out of the box, the model had several greasy smears and finger prints, but a wipe over with a soft cloth cleaned much of it up.
Side-trim is not paint or decal, but real metal.
‘Chrome’ side-trim is not paint or decal, but real metal.
The model has interior detail and driving controls. Can't see it in this photo, but there's even a throttle pedal!
The Falcon has interior detail and driving controls. Can’t see it in this photo, but there’s even a throttle pedal!
Yes, that's the correct road registration the car carried to the race win,
Yes, that’s the correct road registration the car carried in the race,
Windscreen wipers are fine photo-etch metal
Windscreen wipers and other trim are fine photo-etch metal
Outside of the basic shape of a few components, the ACE model has very little under-body detail.
Outside of the basic shape of a few components, the ACE model has very little under-body detail.

The Classic Carlectables ZB is of similar construction and quality as CC’s earlier VF version, which means it is still far behind what both Biante and Apex produce.

Having said that, buried in the model cabinet with all the other cars, it looks fine. The biggest criticism I have is the lack of negative camber on the wheels (especially the fronts) and lack of interior. But for 40 bucks, one can’t whinge too hard.

Grill detail of the ZB. Bonnet clips are decal.
Rear end. Needs some black paint to touch up the boot lid under the right-hand tail light
Rear end. Needs some black paint to touch up the boot lid under the right-hand tail light
Classics' underbody detail is far better than the ACE Falcon (but not as comprehensive as Biante). Some detail painting could improve this markedly, but i'm happy to display my models shiny side up, so it doesn't really matter.
Classics’ underbody detail is far better than the ACE Falcon (but not as comprehensive as Biante). Some detail painting could improve this markedly, but I display my models shiny side up, so it doesn’t really matter.
Chipped decal (or paint?) on the trailing edge of the roof will be an easy fix.
Chipped decal (or paint?) on the trailing edge of the roof is an easy fix.

Special note on the Falcon: There is a point of argument over the colour of the stripes that run across the bonnet and the C-pillars. This model by ACE (plus an earlier version I’ve seen photos of, EDIT: perhaps by Automodelli or Dinkum?? it was AMM, Australian Motoring Miniatures) have these stripes in black. However, a few years back a 1:1 ‘tribute’ car was built where these stripes are red. I also see there is a painting titled “Ford’s First” where the lines are also… red.

Are there any in-period colour photos of the real car to settle the score?

Numbers have been placed over the side-trim, as per the real car.
The Lowndes/Richards Autobarn winner was produced in a run of 2500 pieces, and being a Lowndes car, it’s popular.
According to the Certificate of Authenticity, 1000 pieces were produced, so it shouldn't be too hard to find these for a couple more years yet.
According to the Certificate of Authenticity, 1000 pieces were produced, so if you’re looking for one of these, they shouldn’t be too hard to find for a couple more years yet.

2 thoughts on “Great Race Winners”

  1. Hi Wixy. Nice site and collection. Good articles too.

    I have the AMM model of the XL Falcon. I acquired it in the 90s so a very old model now. It has black stripes on the bonnet, but no side blackouts or pattern on the boot. However, I do think it is a better shape than the ACE model, which doesn’t look right to me — it has somewhat of a banana shape to it. Just my thoughts.

    Regards,
    Brendan

  2. Hi Brendan, thanks for the kind words. Until you pointed it out, I hadn’t really noticed, but yes, the ACE version does have a banana look to it!

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