1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street

       
 
Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street
Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street Packaging Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street Flank Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street Interior Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street Engine Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street Front Jada Toys 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Pro Street Trunk

Packaging

The box is Jada's standard yellow three-window box, with this release having a ghostly supercharger in the blue field at one end of the box. Also, the Jada logo and swoop on the front of the box are printed in chrome silver, making this a running change in their packaging rather than a "special edition" feature. "Big Time Muscle" logos appear on all six sides, as does the Jada logo. The interior tray has two plastic molds capturing the ends of the car, and a plastic panel with two screws hold the car down. Plastic bands hold the hood, doors, and trunk closed - the hood band is actually twisted around the hood twice to keep it in place, and you'll have to remove the hood to get it fully removed. There's also a plastic band around the hat, but it doesn't seem to do anything.

 

Casting/Paint

For the most part everything looks great and is up to Jada's usual standard. The casting is smooth and straight, and covered in a flawless gloss black. There are quite a few clever assemblies here that have virtually eliminated painted-on trim. The result is chrome that actually looks like chrome—a critical feature of mid-fifties Detroit. For example, the roof is a separate panel mounted on a chrome-plated piece that serves as the window frames and roof pillars. The window sills, mirrors, door handles, rocker panels, side trim, bumpers, headlights, hood lip, wheels, and fender spears are all separate chrome pieces. Some of these look better than others: the mirrors are a little heavy, and the fin trim and rear bumper don't line up perfectly, but the overall effect is still good. The front fender gills, grille emblem, Chevrolet Vs on the hood & trunk, Bel Airs on the fin panels, window markings, and racing graphics are all printed, and look straight and sharp. The checkered flag graphics are especially well done, wrapping around the fender openings perfectly and lining up across panels with none of the registration or layering issues common to tampo printing. The only problem I see is the hood fit: the passenger's side rear corner tab doesn't line up with the hole in the cowl, preventing the hood from seating correctly. Fortunately, on this type of car you can leave the hood off altogether without ruining the look. The interior is done much like the exterior, with plated parts used for the dash insert, gauge cluster, door handles, window cranks, panel trim, pedals, and horn ring/steering column. The trim on the sides of the front seat and the speaker grille are painted silver, and the gauge faces are printed and placed nicely. The engine is entirely chrome plated, with the outside of the belt and intakes painted flat black. The chassis is simple, but with a tad more detail than I usually see from Jada.

 

Features/Accessories

The doors and trunk open, and the hood is removable. The hood has the correct trim piece (leaving a gap in the grille surround when it is off), so the car looks good both with and without the hood.

 

Accuracy

This is not a stock Bel Air, and has had some subtle and not-so-subtle alterations to help its "racing" image. The front end is lower than original, with a shorter bumper and more tapered fenders to give the car a wedge appearance. The top has been slightly chopped as well. The trim is correct for the Bel Air (it's missing the hood bullets, but given what the hood looks like I'll overlook that omission). It scales out to about 1/23.25, but the slightly larger size could simply be chalked up to the various modifications the car has gone through.

 

Overall

This is a great looking car overall. The hood fit is a problem, but an easily solvable one. I would've liked to see a few more paint applications for the vent window trim, parking lights, bumperettes, and original exhaust ports, but none of these are deal breakers. Recommended.

 

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