Model Encyclopedia - Rietze 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. Audi was gaining popularity in China around this time, although I've not been able to find any information that proves they were used by any of the many different branches of the Chinese police and it may be possible the model was selected as the most appropriate substitute for the very common boxy Volkswagen Santana.
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.
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. 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.
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