31 May 2023
Motor City 1956 Dodge Sierra D-500 Station Wagon
Serious collectors of handbuilt 1/43 scale models of American cars will know the original Motor City USA range as being the top-of-the-tree in terms of both quality and price. The original range ceased production some years ago when the proprietor retired, and a planned revival in different hands, again in years past, came to naught.
Here, however, we have a brave new attempt, by American enthusiast Greg Gunn, an expert builder of, and dealer in, handbuilt models. The project has taken several years to come to full fruition, but the results have most definitely been well worth the wait.
Cast in resin and made in China, as so many such models are nowadays, the new model is of the 1956 Dodge Sierra D-500 Station Wagon, an unusual subject at first glance. However the last Motor City from the original range was of a 1956 Dodge Royal Lancer Coupe, so this can perhaps be considered as a follow-on from that car.
The D-500 was the top-performance package in the Dodge range that year, with a 315 cu. in. (5,155 cc) V8 powerplant that gave out some 260 bhp, which translated to a 100 mph quarter-mile and 0-60 in 8.8 seconds - very rapid for the time. Just 13 of these engines were fitted to the Sierra station wagon during that model year.
The model is top-quality in terms of moulding, finish and detail, as we’ve come to expect these days. We have two versions to look at - light/dark green (as featured here) and black/white (see the smaller review below, right), with small, subtle differences between them.
This two-tone green example sports plated rear wing tops, for example, whereas the black/white one doesn’t. Greg tells us that the black/white model is a replica of a car owned by famous NASCAR driver, Lee Petty. On both examples, all of that plated trim is there, as are the badges and small motifs, the wheeltrims are fully-plated and period-correct whitewall tyres are fitted to both.
The interiors of both are well-detailed, with excellent seats, inner panels and fascias, and in toning colours to the exteriors.
Both of these models can be purchased direct from Greg Gunn, at around US$129.00 plus shipping. He can be contacted by email, at [email protected], or you might prefer to source through your favoured dealer.