Are These Scale Model Cars Too Strange For Your Shelf?
Ever browse the scale models at your local hobby shop and wish there was a bit more variety past the usual 1:18 and 1:43-scale suspects? This German firm only makes truly unique, weird, and bizarre vehicles—and often has to resurrect a vehicle that’s been all but lost to history.
Late last year, Petrolicious had the opportunity to speak with Thomas Roschmann, founder and managing director of AutoCult models. While Roschmann is an old hand in the scale model world with over three decades of experience, he decided at the outset that his new company would focus on more obscure fare such as prototypes, as well as historic and rare vehicles. Roschmann’s rationale was that many of these models either just don’t exist anymore, or aren’t as widely known, but because some of their features or history were either interesting and important in their own right, he decided that his company should bring them back to life in 1/43 scale resin.
AutoCult has been very busy since its launch a year ago. The company has released forty-four different model cars, including a few trucks and buses—but don’t worry about the latter, they’re still properly weird, of course—and Roschmann said the response to AutoCult has been very good.
The latest releases follow that trend: there is a diminutive, and slightly ill-fated 3-wheeled vehicle called the Shelter hailing from the Netherlands. An aerodynamic “streamliner,” via the very French Dubonnet Dolphin. An Argentinian company utilizing the engine from the Porsche 356 resulted in the rear–engined Zunder 1500 Porsche sedan. A quest for a smaller turning circle manifested itself in the Gordon Diamond…of which only one was made. Racing cars aren’t left out, either, with the BMW 700 RS. It might have been small, but its nomenclature does contain those magic two letters: “RS”.
Roschmann did say that the company has encountered some pushback from some distributors that don’t understand the philosophy of, “telling the story behind each model”. That’s a shame: I think that telling the story behind a car is one of the key differences between AutoCult and other model makers, and one that is very necessary, especially given the offbeat and often weird models it chooses to produce. On this last point, Roschmann corrects: “not weird, unique”.
Each of the new model lineup is accompanied by a booklet that contains a history of the car, with each strictly limited to just 333 numbered copies, just like every other AutoCult model.