1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Hard Top 

     
 
M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Packaging M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Flank M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Interior M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Engine M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Chassis M2 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Trunk

Packaging

M2's 1/24 cars are packaged in a standard window box. It's decorated with a collage of classic automobiles and street rods, with the M2 logo in the bottom right corner of the front panel and the rearmost bottom corner of both end flaps. "Designed in USA" is in the top right corner of the front panel, and the safety information is straight down from it, on the bottom edge. Stats about the model are in a box in the top right corner of the top panel, designed to look like a name plate (or VIN plate). The back of the box has stats about the 1:1 car, including things like length, curb weight, 1957 sticker price, and engine specs. A line drawing and series of photos and callouts detail the features of the model ("authentic engine," "die cast chassis," "opening doors," etc.). Inside, a red curtain is printed across the back of the box with the phrase "" printed in the middle, evocative of vintage manufacturer displays. There is a two-part tray holding the car in place (in addition to plastic bubbles over the front and rear ends, holding the hood open and the trunk closed). The first part is a tray the size of the box with a silver diamondplate surface and a nameplate for the car. Four screws hold this to the second part, a standoff that attaches to the chassis with four more screws. A plastic band holds the doors closed.

 

Casting/Paint

Visually, the model is excellent. M2 is generally known for its 1/64 vehicles, but this is not merely a scaled-up version of one of those.The bodywork is clean and crisp, and the panels fit together flawlessly. Truly outstanding attention to detail is evident in the separate trim components, delicate windshield wipers, and multi-part grille. The paint is applied nicely, with a nice vintage-looking gloss rather than a modern "you can shave in it" finish. The bumpers, grille trim, headlight bezels, hood bullets, side trim, wipers, windshield frame, drip rails, rear window trim, side view mirror, door handles, fin trim, license plate bracket, and tail pipes are chrome-plated plastic. It appears that the roof - including the front and rear window frames - is a single chrome plated piece with a painted panel to give the illusion of a roof with separate trim pieces. It's a nice touch and is well executed. The rockers, door locks, vent window trim, and anodized panel are painted silver, and the grille, "Chevrolet" scripts, "V"s, fender louvers, and "Bel Air" scripts are painted gold. The bumper bullets, headlight bezel trim/vents, fender shields, and false exhausts are painted black, and the reverse lights are painted white. The shield on the grille bar is both sculpted and painted, a nice touch. Clear colorless plastic is used for the parking lights, headlights, windshield, and vent windows, and clear red plastic is used for the tail lights. The tires are black vinyl over full hubcaps with thin rings painted to look like color-matching wheels. Chevy's 283 small block is nicely done with painted Chevrolet scripts, separate air cleaner (this is the carbureted version), separate oil fill tube, and separate radiator hoses. The rest of the engine bay has several nice details as well, including the battery, horns, heater motor/duct, and master cylinder. Paint is good for the most part, though the orange on the battery looks a little strange. The chassis is mostly one piece with separate front and rear suspension components, and the exhausts are painted to look like separate parts. Trunk detailing is minimal - the spare tire well present on the chassis is not carried through to the trunk - but the mat looks decent. The two-tone interior looks good, with different textures representing the floor, seats, inserts, and dash - just like the 1:1. The dashboard paint is simple but effective, with black gauges, radio details, and clock, and gold "Bel Air" script. Silver is used for trim, including the door hardware, seat piping, and horn button/ring. Overall excellent work.

 

Features/Accessories

The doors, hood, and trunk open, and the front wheels can be posed. The hinges work very well, and the seams are some of the best I've seen in any price class.

 

Accuracy

The '57 Chevrolet is one of the most famous American cars in the world, so there's plenty of reference material available. It looks like M2 put this to good use, as they have created a fine replica. The body proportions all look spot-on, and the attention to detail is superb. It's not perfect, though: the wheels are way too big, a common issue for diecast cars but unfortunate to see on what is otherwise an excellent replica. Also, the colors look like they were aiming for India Ivory over Tropical Turquoise, but ended up a tad dark on both. Finally, the overall scale is a tad small, closer to 1/25 than 1/24.

 

Overall

M2's first attempt to enter the world of 1/24 has been done many times in the past, but seldom with such a good balance between price and quality. Not only does it surpass others in the sub-$25 price range, it even blows away older models by more expensive companies. Only the few minor issues mentioned above hold it back, but even so it is a worthy addition to your collection. Highly recommended.

 

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