I first encountered AUTOart when searching for a decent, display-quality model of the Porsche 917K as driven by Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans.
I could have built the model from a kit in 1:24 but really just wanted a neat depiction of the Gulf-schemed 1970 monster to stare at, without the involvement of a model build project; my workbench was already full.
I came across AUTOart’s 1:18 diecast model online and acquired it immediately. To my eyes, the model captured the lines of the car perfectly, as well as the pale blue and orange of the iconic livery. Since that time, I have become quite an admirer of this manufacturer and have always been impressed by its output.
AUTOart is based in Hong Kong and was established in 1998. Over the years, it has produced models of more than 45 different marques across no fewer than nine scales. In the most popular of these, 1:18, it has produced more than 2000 models to date, a pretty impressive figure that continues to grow. In most cases, the bodywork is cast from metal, with the interior details moulded from various plastics that, in general, are capable of reproducing finer detail.
Many of AUTOart’s models represent more exotic competition, sports and supercars, such as the McLaren P1 and the classic BMW 3.0 CSL 1973 Spa winner, but it also offers more ubiquitous hardware like VW’s ‘new’ Beetle or the Chrysler PT Cruiser, if that sort of thing is your bag.
Models of ‘everyday’ Porsches, Aston Martins and Lamborghinis are a big part of AUTOart’s output. These particular marques are perennial big sellers and the company has perfected their creation, getting the curves of the 911 body spot on.
Prices are not beyond the reach of the average collector, with a 1:18 Aston Martin Vanquish at about £115; that’s a lot of model for your money. AUTOart has established itself at the centre of the model collectors’ market and its range is now vast, varied and good value.