ERTL 1:18 1970 Trans Am

One of my website customers, Designs In Motion (DIM), sells diecast cars. A perq to that arrangement is inside information on upcoming releases from the various manufacturers. At this stage in my car collecting career it's actually a more valuable contact to me than those who have the inside (wide) track at Pontiac simply because I've blown my fullsize car budget for the next, say, 10 years! I can, however, splurge on the Classical Pontiacs that fit on a desk.

If you've read My Pontiac Story then you already know that one of my favorite indians was my 1970 Trans Am. Sadly we parted ways, but ERTL has come to the rescue with a 1:18 scale cousin. Last year DIM let me know that the next big Pontiac news from ERTL would be the 1970 Trans Ams you see here. The subsequent delays were frighteningly similar to Pontiac's penchant to tease us with the latest Trans Am flagship, but just like those WS6 cars the little T/As finally arrived.

The first thing you'll notice if you've got a Judge on your bookshelf is that ERTL has put much more effort into the Rally II wheels. Instead of the improperly chromed wheel with black paint the new rendition is painted silver with gray between the spokes. Just like a real car, good wheels set the tone. As you start to look at the details most things will withstand close scrutiny. The stripes are faithfully reproduced with white cars receiving blue stripes that fade to black at the edges, blue cars receive white stripes with the hard black outline. The lettering on the tires is identical to the orginal though understandably a little out of scale. Inside you'll find the low seat backs unique to the '70.

Like any diecast these cars have their glitches (easily overlooked for a $30 model). The rear bumper is tilted upwards on one of my samples. The blue car's paint appears to be a shade or two too light, although I didn't have a Lucerne Blue paint chip to directly compare. There's a slight strangeness to the scoop to air cleaner mating presumably because of the engine's position in the car, it's not nearly as troublesome to me as the darn backward lower Ram Air pan on the '69 GTOs. I was disappointed in finding an automatic, but I guess half of the people will be happy.

Overall a nice job by ERTL who continues to supply us with affordable muscle.

Please take the time to let me know what you thought of this article. Rich.