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January 23, 2016

Die-cast: Auto World’s 1966 Chevrolet Biscayne Coupe

by Mark Savage

Chevrolet Biscayne was a go-to car for yearsAMM1053_66Biscayne_1stPrepro-9

While Auto World’s new 1/18 scale Chevrolet Biscayne Coupe is a lot snazzier looking in its Aztec Bronze paint scheme, it reminds me of some of the Plain Jane Chevy’s my great uncle  and other relatives used on their Indiana farms.

Those were usually white, tan or black, but no matter the color, the Biscayne was the go-to car for utility, size and comfort back in the mid-1960s, especially in rural areas where value was, and is, highly, well, valued.

Naturally, Auto World delivers a decidedly spruced up version for collectors, who generally prefer a little pizzazz even on mainstream makes and models.AMM1053_66Biscayne_1stPrepro-1

The History

Biscayne came into Chevy’s lineup in 1958 as its entry-level full-size car and lasted until 1972, so the ’66 model was roughly halfway in its shelf life, and was the car’s third generation. Biscayne replaced the Chevy 210 and featured little chrome trim inside or out, while the Bel Air was a step up and Impala was next up the totem.

Under the hood were a variety of engines, but the racy L72 here was a special dealer-added option. The Big Block V8 generated 425 horsepower and became the top performance factory engine choice starting in 1967. Today the 427-equipped Biscayne’s can go for $100,000+ at auction.

The Model:

Auto World knows its muscle cars and offers this Limited Edition, just 1002 being made, as part of the American Muscle series. Certainly the review car in this sparkling bronze paint job that’s heavy on the red end of the color spectrum is flashy, right down to the Aztec Bronze wheels with red-stripe tires, and small chrome hubcaps, a Biscayne trademark.

AMM1053_66Biscayne_1stPrepro-16There’s chrome trim around the windshield and rear window, plus vent windows, while the door frames and rear quarter windows still are body colored. But the chrome mirrors and door handles and keyholes really stand out on this dark color.

Like other Auto World 1/18 models, this one has opening hood, trunk and doors, something that continues to make this brand stand out at its price point. The engine detail is good too on the 427cc L72 V8, with air filter, red-orange headers and belts and battery visible. Of course engines bays were a lot simpler in 1966 than today.

The hood hinges are strong and easily hold the hood up for display and the underbody is detailed enough you could pose this in a display case with mirrored bottom. Front wheels are steerable too, which can make for a more interesting display.

Plain, but nicely detailed interior.

Plain, but nicely detailed interior.

Auto World points with pride to the car’s diecast metal body, which is more like the original than in the popular resins now becoming more common in the miniature car world. Certainly there is a heft to the model.

Doors, hood and trunk fit well and work well too. I like the full-size spare in the trunk and the ubiquitous rubber trunk mat that was standard in the day.

Inside is a tan or officially, Fawn, interior with cloth and vinyl bench seat up front. I like the old 2-spoke steering wheel with chrome hub and spokes, plus a metallic shifter with giant cue ball knob, giving this a racier flair. The dash is flat and wide with wide gauge pod that looks realistic too.

Not many markings on the cars in this era, and Chevy only used the crossed flag logo on the front quarter panel to signify this was packing a 427. The twin taillights also tell you this is an entry-level car, the Impalas featured three taillights on each side.

This Biscayne is another economical winner from Auto World, much as it was in the Chevy lineup. It will fill the need of a basic V8-powered Biscayne in your collection.AMM1053_66Biscayne_1stPrepro-5

1966 Chevrolet Biscayne Coupe

Maker: Auto World (available from Round2)

Scale: 1/18

Stock No.: AMM1053/06

MSRP: $89.99

 

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