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View the latest releases in our extensive line of authentically detailed collectibles.


In 1962, Ford dramatically restyled the Fairlane which had been a staple in the Ford product line as a full-size car since 1955. The new look put it the mid-size class, in between the Falcon and the Galaxie, creating a new market niche for the company over its competitors GM and Chrysler.  Ford Motor Company promotional materials of the time touted that its “bigness is inside --- where it’s as roomy as some of the biggest Fords ever built.”    
The model name was taken from the name of the road leading to the estate of Henry Ford, ‘Fair Lane.’  The car had originally been designed as a premier full-size replacement for the ‘Crestline’ and quickly became Ford’s fastest selling car, with more than 600,000 sold by the end of its introductory year.  The Fairlane grew in popularity, especially for use as taxis and police cars.  Power options initially ranged from a 223 CID straight-6 engine and a 272 CID V8 to a 292 Y-Block otherwise known as the Thunderbird V-8.  An interesting feature added in 1957 was the power retractable hardtop offered on the Fairlane 500 Skyliner.  This unique option was a solid roof that folded down into the trunk, activated by the mere push of a button.  In spite of getting a lot of attention, however, the cost and amount of space it required in the truck prevented it from catching on and was soon dropped.  
As suggested above, 1962 was the year of big change for the Fairlane. In down-sizing the model to fill the mid-size niche, it was now more than 6 inches longer than the Falcon and almost a foot shorter than the Galaxie with a wheelbase of 115.5” and an overall length of 197 inches.  Built on a unibody frame, the lower body featured unique 'torque boxes' that were designed to absorb road shock resulting in reduced noise and vibration.  Also new in the Fairlane product line in ’62 was a Sports Coupe featuring a hardtop roof and bucket seats, as well as three station wagon models known as the Ranch Wagon, the Ranch Custom Wagon, and the high end Country Squire.     
In 1963 Ford bored the 406 V-8 to 427 CID for a top powerhouse 425 BHP with twin 4-barrels (a heavy XL version of the 500 could reach 60 MPH in 7.4 seconds!).  Fairlane was given new side trim, grille, and headlight bezels and lost the ‘fins’ on the now rounded fenders in ‘64. The following year 14-inch wheels replaced the 13-inch wheels as standard, and the Cruise-O-Matic became the only automatic available for the Fairlane.  An inconspicuous standup hood ornament was added in 1965, along with a ‘reskinning’ that was not very well received as sales plummeted to a record low.
In 1966 Fairlane again received a make-over resulting in a sleek, contemporary look and leaving the disappointment of the previous year’s model far behind. The new appearance matched that of the full-size Ford Galaxie with stacked dual headlights, single bar grille, semi-fastback roofline for the hardtops, curved side glass, and all new underbody.  A convertible was added to the line-up along with GT, GTA, and XL trim packages. The GT and GTA 390 CID engine developed 335 BHP and had a four-barrel carburetor. 
Approximately seventy Fairlane 500 two-door hardtops were built by Ford midway through the year featuring the powerful 427 CID V-8 engine under the hood.  They looked as mean as they were intended to perform, accented with a functional air scoop on the fiberglass hood. Built for NHRA and IHRA Super Stock racing, these impressive machines were definitely not intended for street driving!  
Just five years later the Fairlane name would be dropped from Ford’s U.S. line-up, replaced by the new Torino model. As a side note, in 2005 Ford did show a new concept car at the Auto Show under the Fairlane name which had a strong resemblance to today’s cross-over utility vehicles. At the 2007 Auto Show a production version of this same Fairlane concept vehicle was introduced, now under the name Ford Flex, and was added to the Ford line-up in the 2009 model year. 
Our attraction to the final results of the redesign of the 1966 Ford Fairlane 427 made it our choice for the latest addition to our 1/25 scale vintage Muscle Car line-up. Our diecast metal replica captures the clean but mean look of the real car, including the signature front-facing air scoop on the hood.  This impressive collectible has poseable front wheels, an opening hood loaded underneath with components of the monster 427 engine, including the front pump, oil pan, oil filter, intake manifold, exhaust headers, valve covers, and air cleaner, along with the radiator, fan, pulleys, hoses, alternator, starter, battery --- and that’s just the engine area!  This hot machine features cool chrome accents including the wheel covers, side mirrors, wipers, grille, license plates, front & rear bumpers, headlight and tail light bezels and more.  
The interior is authentically detailed with door and window handles, dashboard, chrome rear view mirror, floor shift, steering wheel with turn signal lever, and interior door panels.  And the detail doesn’t stop there!  On the underside of this outstanding replica you’ll find a complete dual exhaust system; transmission detail; rear end, drive shaft, and leaf spring detail; front and rear shock absorbers and springs; and functioning steering assembly.  
We are confident that you will find this 1/25 scale ’66 Ford Fairlane 427 an incredible addition to your First Gear Muscle Car collection!

1/34 scale heil half/pack freedom front loader


The Heil Co. was established by Julius P. Heil in a small rented building in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1901.  At the time, the new process of “welding” was just discovered, which allowed Heil to expand their business from building street car rails to making truck bodies and trailers.  The first Heil refuse body was built for the city of Milwaukee in the early 1900’s, and by the 1930’s Heil garbage trucks were collecting solid waste in hundreds of cities across the nation, both large and small.


Today the Heil product line is represented by a network of more than fifty knowledgeable dealers in North America.  On an international level, Heil’s network reaches into 150 different countries.  They produce the widest variety of refuse collection bodies available including front loaders, rear loaders, side loaders, and multi-compartment vehicles, as well as a premier line of hook-lift and cable hoist units for roll-off containers.


“For over 100 years, the Heil name has stood for excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction.”


The Heil philosophy is very similar to that of First Gear in our approach to the diecast replica manufacturing business; we strive to be the best.  With that in mind, we are very pleased to announce the latest release in our highly detailed, top quality 1/34 scale product line --- the Heil Half/Pack Freedom Front End Loader w/ Pusher Axle --- to be paired with our current Mack® TerraPro™ cab.


Over the years, the refuse industry has advanced along with the changing expectations of their customers.  As customers are demanding larger payloads without jeopardizing durability and dependability, Heil stepped up to the plate with the development of the Half/Pack Freedom body.  This revolutionary body evolved from their lightweight Half/Pack Sierra as the base, substituting alternative materials such as aluminum and composites for the secondary body components. With that being said, the Heil Half/Pack Freedom is currently the lightest and most durable front end load body in the market.


The Half/Pack Freedom is a perfect fit for those haulers who want to transport the largest legal payload without having to worry about being overweight, especially for those collection areas and routes that have strict weight restrictions.  The Half/Pack Freedom weighs about 15,000 pounds, which is twenty-five percent lighter than the standard Half/Pack and even 1,700 pounds lighter than the Half/Pack Sierra.  Although this body is light weight it can still handle any challenge, with a capacity of 11+ tons legal payload in its 28 cubic yard body -- the largest payload available.  It also features a 12 cubic yard hopper and has an arm lifting capacity of 8,000 pounds.


An innovative load-control system called Heil’s Optimal Payload System™ (HOPS™) has been added to the truck to ensure it maintains its long-term durability.  HOPS uses axle scales to determine the vehicles gross weight (accurate to within 2%), so when a driver is on a route collecting waste material and the gross vehicle weight is near the maximum legal weight (or preset allowable weight), the system warns the operator with audio and visual signals inside the cab.  Once this exclusive, patent pending system warns the driver capacity is nearing, the driver can continue collecting containers only until the gross vehicle weight reaches its maximum volume.  The HOPS system will then prevent the operator from collecting any additional containers.  This innovative system always lets the driver know the weight of the refuse collection truck without having to worry about exceeding the specified maximum capacity.


The Half/Pack Freedom also features the Heil Shur-Lock™ tailgate system that keeps the payloads secure and enables the operator to unlock and open the tailgate, as well as discharge the load, all from the safety of the vehicle’s cab.  The truck features a 22-to-26 second packer cycle time, with an arm cycle time of 18-to-20 seconds, which means an operator can collect refuse more quickly before reaching the maximum payload.


Instead of the standard diesel truck, the choice of an alternative fuel vehicle is also available on the Half/Pack Freedom. Optional Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) tanks, called ‘CNrG’ by Heil, can be integrated into the body of the truck for a sleek design with no wheel base or weight distribution concerns.  The CNG tanks can be mounted to the top of the body or be integrated into the revolutionary new Heil tailgate design.


The First Gear 1/34 scale Mack TerraPro with Heil Half/Pack Freedom front end load refuse truck features a tilt forward cab with authentically detailed Mack MP™ Engine. Included in the engine components is the radiator, fan and fan shroud; hoses; cylinder pump; intercooling housing; belts & pulleys; air cleaner; steering box; turbo charger; exhaust manifold; and much more.  Among the chrome accessories are the side mirrors, Bulldog hood ornament, grille, rear storage box, exhaust stack & heat shield, and wheels.


Computer conceptual drawing shown here.

The all new Heil body features poseable front fork arms with operable trash bin; front canopy; opening rear dump door with functioning hydraulic cylinders and rams; packer panel; fire extinguisher; and CNG detail when that option is chosen.


The detailed chassis is also loaded with authentic detail including the driveshaft, pusher axle w/air bags, battery box, transmission, air brakes, etc. 


This outstanding diecast metal replica measures approximately 11” long by 3.25” wide by 4.85” high and is constructed from more than 200 component parts.


Our replica can be produced using the standard diesel set-up, along with either version of the CNG engine as mentioned previously, offering a variety of ways our replica can be customized just like the real trucks!  We are excited about this addition to our refuse truck product line and are confident that you will find this 1/34 scale Mack TerraPro with Heil Half/Pack Freedom FEL w/ Pusher Axle an impressive extension of your First Gear collection!



Last Updated - 6/18/2014 12:17 PM

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