A photo of the final die-cast prototype sample received by Authentic Collectables prior to the decoration stage. Note the two different versions of rear wing endplates. Pic: Supplied

THE latest episode of the Motorfocus Model Podcast welcomed Authentic Collectables’ William Hall as a guest, who gave us a look into what goes into turning a Bathurst 1000-winning car into a 1:18 scale model.

Authentic Collectables is the exclusive model car partner of DJR Team Penske, including producing die-cast replicas across multiple scales of the #17 Shell V-Power Racing Team Ford Mustang driven to victory in last year’s race by Scott McLaughlin and Alex Premat.

With the arrival and release of the bannerhead 1:18-scale version expected in the final quarter of this year, Hall gave an insight into the model’s development.

“The Mustang is really important to us. It’s been 18 months in the making and I’m glad to say it’s finally in production with the Bathurst-winner first off the rank,” Hall told the Motorfocus Model Podcast.

McLaughlin and Premat’s win marked DJR Team Penske’s first in the Bathurst 1000 in 25 years. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

“That takes a long time to produce because it’s up over the 5,000 (units) mark; normally we’d throw something at (a new mould) first that is a lower run to ease the factory into the new tool, but in this instance we’ve taken an alternative approach in going hard early. (They can produce) anywhere from 350 to 450 a week. When you start talking 5-6000 units, it takes a long time.

“Hopefully we’ll have them in October, all things being equal with no other issues with freight and things the world is struggling with at the moment. Definitely pre the end of the year, let’s just say that.

“Then once the Bathurst winner’s out we’ll roll out with our Tickford cars and Shell cars and all the other Mustangs that we’ve got on the schedule.”

The impact of COVID-19 has been just one of the aspects that has pushed back the Mustang’s release.

“It’s probably added three, maybe four months delay to the process,” Hall explained.

“Chinese New Year is always an issue, that rolled into what is happening with COVID, and staffing is always an issue in China nowadays.

“The biggest issue for us with the Mustang was the uncertainty of the Mustang at the beginning of last year.

An image of the first decorated prototype sample released by Authentic Collectables in July. Pic: Supplied

“We’re in a situation where a mould costs us anywhere up to $150,000 – depending on exchange rates, etc – so you want to commit to a final product, and Mustang last year we didn’t know if it was going to be turned upside down and inside out by (Supercars’ technical department).

“From that point of view, we were a little bit circumspect in how quickly we hit it last year, which has then added to how long it’s taken (to produce) at this end.”

Hall also answered listener questions across a range of topics, including how many units can be produced from a single model mould, the release schedule of Erebus Motorsport’s ZB Commodores, the thinking behind 1:12 scale models and what releases we’re likely to see in the future from Authentics in that scale, and why Australian model companies release models with Certificates of Authenticity while many overseas manufacturers don’t.

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V8 Sleuth strives to both preserve and celebrate Australian motorsport’s rich history, from tracking and tracing the race-by-race histories and changing ownership of individual cars, to capturing and retelling the stories of the people who made our sport what it is today.