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.
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.
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.
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.
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.