Looking at the latest releases from France

12 September 2022
By simple multiplication, Stephen Paul Hardy is putting sixteen driven wheels to the ground with Solido
Looking at the latest releases from France Images

It makes a refreshing change to have a contemporaneous release of pairs of complementary models, one of which is a street version and the other a special use version that, although effectively originating from the same base tooling, are so different and authentic in their detailing.

The 1998 Subaru Imprezas

Both, of course, in classic Subaru Sonic Blue, come the Special Edition 22B (S1807401) and WRC Rallye Monte Carlo car #3 of Colin McRae / Nicky Grist (S1807402). With so many Impreza rally-themed releases quite justifiably grabbing the limelight, it is enlivening to have a street version to hand. The 22B was a limited edition Impreza produced to celebrate both the brand’s 40th anniversary as well its successes in the World Rally Championship. Production amounted to just 421 cars worldwide – 400 in an initial series for Japan, followed by four for the UK and five for Australia). So it, like the McRae/Grist car, has a particular UK connection.

The Monte Carlo Rally has long been a popular theme and the McRae/Grist car, which was placed third overall in 1998, adds another good example to the ever growing list. Setting aside the obvious visual attributes of the WRC version’s livery and full rally interior, the two models differ also in terms of small authentic details, such as wheels, door mirrors and badging. Another superb pair from Solido.

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The Lada Nivas

By way of a contrast, next up is another example of Solido’s new tooling investment for 2022. Unique in so many ways for its unusual functional, yet clean, rounded edge styling, there was a time back in the eighties when scale models of the Niva were pretty hard to come by. Nowadays that situation has, to some degree, eased. Even so, accurately-proportioned, well-detailed examples are still not exactly plentiful, making Solido’s decision to bring one to the marketplace a welcome one. I like the standard version (S1807301) a lot. My feelings about it in terms of detail, quality, etc., echo those I expressed about the Solido Aston Martin DB5.

As for the second version – the ‘Vlada’ (S1807302) – don’t for one minute think that this is a model enhanced to attract the younger collector. Far from it! I have covered the customising work of specialists like LBWorks and Nakai-San RWB over the past year and the Vlada is their equal in terms of customised exclusivity. Yes it is an authentic replica of a real vehicle created by Vagabund Moto design studio in Graz, Austria, in May 2000 and, after browsing its visually refreshing and informative website, Solido’s ‘Vlada’ came right up from the back of the field to be my Group Test winner this month thanks to its provenance. I cannot recommend a browse of the website highly enough - you will be amazed!  

Further reading: https://vagabund-moto.com/about