Ok don’t get my wrong I love Supras, but it’s refreshing to see attention being given to other Toyota products. I’m not usually the person to bring you Japanese cars on Lamley, but if you keep up with my ramblings you’ll know that I spent my youth as a car nut obsessing over modified Japanese cars. I wasn’t so much a fan of the Fast and Furious franchise, more a lover of Gran Turismo and J-Tuner magazine; a short lived publication from the UK that took audiences away from Max Power’s ICE installs, flip paint and Lamborghini doors and introduced Tsukuba time attack battles, Tokyo Auto Salon and D1GP. Later on my love for Japanese cars evolved into collecting Tomica Limited Vintage, Diapet and Aoshima and my focus switched to older models: Toyopet Crowns, Mazda 3-wheeled trucks and tiny Hondas. But I maintain a healthy interest in all things Japanese and collect whatever piques my interest. And these two definitely have. The gorgeous Toyota Hiace custom and Vertex kitted Toyota MkII from diecast masters Tarmac Works.
I’m taking a slightly different line today and we’re not going to dive into the background of the vehicles themselves. No, this time we’re just going to bask in how cool they are and have a look at some of the best features starting with my favourite of the pair, the Toyota Hiace Custom.
I love the VIP tuned looks, the SSR Vienna Courage wheels and the maroon interior. They combine with the bodykit to make a very cool highway cruiser out of a normally pretty boring van. And I love the Ishikawa license plates. I always think an accurate set of license plates on a diecast give an added touch of realism yet Tarmac are one of the surprisingly few manufacturers that do this.
There is one downside: while the wheels do rotate I’d class this as a non-roller. The front wheels catch on the arches to the point where they’re pretty much jammed. But you know I’m not bothered at all by a static 1:64, and nor should you be.
Both the Hiace and the Vertex MkII are just ice cool. Do you ever look at a miniature and think ‘that’s how I’d run the real car’? Well, that.
The MkII’s proportions are spot on; it could sit happily alongside a Tomica Limited Vintage and not look out of place, and that’s a big compliment.
The Vertex kit looks great even in small scale; it’s aggressive without being totally over the top and suits the lines of the car perfectly.
These two could be easily overlooked in Tarmac’s growing catalogue of hits and in the sea of scale Supras out there, but they are really capable of holding their own. I look forward eagerly to the variations that Tarmac will inevitably bring to both castings.