Audi 80 Police Car
The Audi 80 (B4), was sold from 1991 until 1995 with over 900,000 examples produced. These were the last of four 80 series and were the predecessors of the A4.
Police cars surged in number in the 1990's. The standard police car for many areas was the Volkswagen Santana and most were delivered in the livery that Rietze depict on their model. Audi was still a small brand in China during this time period, although a number of Audi 80's made it through. I still haven't found any evidence they were used by the Chinese police forces however.
Rietze are one of the smaller, high quality German manufacturers of HO scale vehicles. They tend to focus on European models, but have made hundreds of very limited 'world' releases including this Chinese Police car.
Rietze cars come with a thin box folded from a single sheet of plastic. The models sit on a platform from a piece of folded thin card.
The details are very good for the vintage, typical Rietze quality. The car features individual 'clear' head lights & tail lights, full interior, painted Audi emblem on the front grille, rear window de-mister, and really nice hubcaps and tires with treads on the edges. The car is made up of two main sections; the body shell and undercarriage which includes the bumpers. The two main parts clip together and separation is easy, by simply pulling on the center of the under carriage until the rear clip comes out, although care should be taken as the very fine bottom section at the front which runs under the grille can snap rather easily. The interior is attached onto the under carriage which locks the wheels in place. The blue light bar on the roof can be installed by the owner. I found this to be handy as the light bar is partially hollowed and with a bit of ingenuity, I plan to add some ultra fine LED's inside with a flasher unit.
The painted areas are on the lower part of the doors and the two Chinese characters on front doors. These areas, while minimal as most components are cast in the appropriate colors, is very good with my only criticism being there is white clearly visible in the gaps between the doors and the blue doesn't extend around into the mudguards. From the number of photographs I've seen of Chinese police cars from this era, they lack a number of important labels such as the word "Police" in English as well as bonnet (hood) numbers. The roof lights supplied are solid blue, where agin most of the examples from this perios are blue & red type. They still appear on a layout as a very believable item and will look right at home on a Chinese layout based between the early 1990's until around 2000.
Oddly, while these models were made in 2003, the undercarriage shows made in West Germany - some 15 years after the end of East and West Germany.