Big things with little cars

Jeremy Clarkson once called the Pagani Zonda a “lion in orange dungarees.” Fierce, but ridiculous. I honestly couldn’t think of any better analogy to use.

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There was a decent period from 1999 to 2007 (roughly) where the Pagani Zonda was the supercar to have. It was the new kid on the block, a car so insanely fast and yet still odd amongst the Ferraris and Lamborghinis of the world that it quickly became a fan favorite. In fact, I do believe it was the first car that the term “hypercar” was given to, due to the sheer insanity the car possessed. I’d even go so far as to say that this car alone is the reason the speed wars got so hot in the 2000s, culminating in such creations as the Bugatti Veyron and Koenigsegg CCX.

And honestly, it’s fairly clear once you take a look at the thing. The wide, long, low wedge shape, arched down at the front, sloping back to a huge cut off with quad tailpipes adorning the rear. If the overall design philosophy of this car could be defined with one word, “maddening” would be the one.

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But, seeing as we can’t all afford a $500,000 supercar, we have to make sacrifices in the form of 1/18 scale. The question is, how good a 1/18 scale Zonda can you get without forking over a couple hundred for an AutoArt? That depends on your frame of forgiveness.

From afar, this Zonda S model by Motormax, finished in a polarizing blue with matching blue/white interior, does a great job of representing this legendary speed demon. It displays very well amongst other supercars of the time period, and would be certain to brighten up any modest collection when added.

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But it is a bargain model, so don’t get excited for high detailing and quality yet. I choose not to talk about Motormax 1/18 on here for a reason, and that’s because I’ve had a vast history with them. This history was plagued with constant quality issues. Every time I had a Motormax as a kid, they would always break not long after buying them, to the point where I asked my parents not to get Motormax. I’ve often thought about breaking that rule to get some much beloved cars in my collection for cheap, but friends have often swayed me away.

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Luckily, Scott’s generosity in awarding me this Zonda meant I got to take a look and see if I had misjudged Motormax all along. I think it’s a rather mixed bag, it’s a good model to glance at but up close and too long and you’ll see all the cheapness it radiates. Plastic-looking chrome, oddly proportioned interior bits, and a suspension that makes it look like it’s doing the Carolina squat are some of the glowing negativities that I could find.

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So, you all may be asking, “You buttered this car up for three whole paragraphs and then immediately trashed it in three more, what’s the point here?” The point is that any person who’s willing to forgive a model for its mistakes may end up benefitting in the end. This is not the worst model I’ve ever seen (Pillarless Coupe can vouch with that C140 of his), yet it’s still not even on Maisto levels of quality, but I enjoy having an early 2000s supercar to add some variety to the collection. I can’t thank Scott enough for gifting me this oddly insane Zonda model, it’s found a good home, I can promise you that.

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