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June 3, 2015

2

Die-cast: Auto World 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS

by Mark Savage

Auto World delivers unique 1967 Chevy Impala SSAMM1027_67Impala_1stPrepro-1

You can’t get any rarer than a one and only model, a one and done.

In this case, Auto World has reproduced what experts say is the ONLY 1967 Chevrolet impala SS with a 427 cu.in. L-72 V8 under the hood as original equipment.

The rare, make that one-of-a-kind, Impala hardtop is owned by Bill Wickman and graced the September 2012 cover of Hemmings Muscle Machines magazine. Now it’s a 1:18 knockout from Auto World. Here’s the scoop!

The History

In 2011 the Muscle Car And Corvette Nationals scored this unusual Impala at 992 of a perfect 1,000 points, which led to the gorgeous emerald turquoise SS ending up on the Muscle Machines cover.

AMM1027_67Impala_1stPrepro-14Experts at the show say there’s no record of any 1967 SS models being equipped with the mighty 427 V8 that created a whopping 425 horsepower. The big block Chevy engine was introduced in 1966 and the L71 version used in Corvettes.

Yet Wickman’s car has all the right original parts, including a date correct engine block, cast-iron cylinder heads, Holley carb, unique twin-snorkel air filter housing and more. So argue over authenticity if you want, but the car fanatics out there say this is legit. In any case, it’s a gorgeous example of mid-‘60s Impala fastback styling on a car that was long and large enough to carry mom, dad, the kids, dog and crazy Aunt Bertha on a cross-country trip.

The Model:

Auto World kicks up the detail with its latest release, basing it off its most detailed Authentic Series of molds and dropping this into the American Muscle lineup, with the Muscle Machines cover on the handsome display box. Like its other 1:18 offerings, the SS comes with opening hood, trunk and doors, plus steerable wheels.AMM1027_67Impala_1stPrepro-16

The fender creases are sharply executed and the flat black vinyl-look top gives the turquoise hardtop a distinctive appearance to go along with its rarity of engine. While many diecast models feel solid, this Auto World sample feels almost as heavy as the original car, and 1967 was the heyday of lead sleds in Detroit. A trip to the scales puts this model at nearly 3 lbs.

Naturally all hinges are real metal. I particularly like the black hood hinges that look just like the real deal, making this a particularly attractive model to display with the hood up.

Adding to the fun is the dramatic orange L-72 V8’s engine block and headers. This one is extremely well detailed with wiring and plumbing. The big round air filter cover touts the Turbo Jet logo along with the 427 insignia Baby Boomers are sure to remember. That’s on the front fenders too with Chevy’s crossed flag logo beneath it.

Also under the hood you’ll find a detailed battery, power steering unit, fan, filters and generator.

Outside there’s a lot of chrome, from the trim line along the wheel wells and bottom edge of the body to the window framing, including vent windows. Naturally the front and rear bumpers are chromed as are the mirrors, windshield wiper arms, door handles and key holes, plus a small antenna on the hood.

AMM1027_67Impala_1stPrepro-4This SS has a unique hood with chrome vents in the pointed raised hood bulge. The front lights and grille look realistic as do the red and white rear lights. Inside the trunk is a rubberized mat and full-size spare, both common in the day.

This Impala’s interior looks like black leather with well sculpted seats that include a seatbelt with metal clasp down by the door frame. This car is from the time before headrests, and feature seatbacks that fold forward allowing kids to pile into the rear bench seat.

The dash is black with a three-spoke black wheel and silver hub, but what will catch your attention is the chrome console between the bucket seats and chrome shift lever with black ball knob. Plus the gauges are reflective, looking like real glass-covered gauges. Door trim is detailed too with full armrests and window adjustment cranks.

There was a very slight dimple in the roof on the review model, but fit and finish are quite good for the price. Tires are white sidewalls and the chrome hubcaps with SS emblems in the hubs are extremely attractive. Auto World always gives the car a well detailed undercarriage too, something you might expect to be skipped, or simplified, at this price point.

Overall Auto World creates a beautiful model from the primo muscle car era.

Vital Stats Product: 1967 Chevrolet Impala SS 427

Maker: Auto World (available from Round2)

Scale: 1/18

Stock No.: AMM1027/06

MSRP: $89.99

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2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bill H.
    Jun 22 2015

    This model has some minor changes to the original Ertl Authentics on which it’s based:

    1. The steering wheel emblem and “SS” logos on the wheel covers are more detailed than on the original
    2. The taillights are clear red plastic on this model, whereas the original Ertl releases had chrome plated taillights tinted with red paint
    3. The air conditioner compressor and lines have more detail and appear to be more realistic
    4. The “SS427” logo on the grille has the correct white and red paint and appears to be sharper
    5. The wheel covers have a different paint scheme, instead of aluminum grey, they are painted black with chrome accents. The ones on this car look stunning; however all photos I’ve seen of the original covers show them as aluminum colored with chrome accents.
    6. The simulated vinyl roof on this model has a satin black finish with slight lines where the factory had a seam, unlike the original release which had a rough crinkle finish and no seam lines. The border of the vinyl on this car appears to be more realistically defined as well.

    Like

    Reply
    • Mark Savage
      Jun 23 2015

      Bill, you seem to really know your Ertl diecast! This is a nicer version!

      Like

      Reply

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