A Nickey-pimped Chevelle was, and is, a thing of beauty …
Many 1960s car lovers believe the second generation Chevelle and its related GM cousins were the epitome of automotive styling and beauty. It’s hard to argue the point, at least that the Chevelle displayed beautiful lines and proportions, in addition to being highly affordable.
Chevelles often rumbled with the power of large V8s that made them true muscle cars, and a few were tweaked even further by the likes of hi-perf shops like Nickey Performance for racing, drag or otherwise.
That’s what Round2, via its Auto World American Muscle brand, delivers in its new 1:18 scale 1968 Nickey Chevelle. It’s decked out in Ermine White with a flat black (vinyl) roof and sharp gloss black Stinger hood scoop. And like most American Muscle die-cast metal models, this one retails for $99.99. That’s high value for a model with detailed engine, interior and undercarriage.
If you know anything of 1960s muscle cars you know that Chicago-based Nickey was a leading, heck, THE top high-performance tuner of the day. It could even make a Vega hot for cryin’ out loud.
It certainly put its performance powers to this ’68 Chevelle. The original came with a 396ci Big Block V8 but Nickey replaced that with another Chevy Big Block, the L72 427ci V8. That was a 7.0-liter number that was mated with an M22 “Rock Crusher” 4-speed tranny. Plus it added a KK code Positraction 12-bolt rear end with special gearing.
Nickey also added its Traction-Action ladder bars and a special Stinger hood and graphics. Plus inside it replaced the front bench seat with leather buckets. Oh, and the tires were redlines, just in case its competitors need further evidence that THIS Chevelle meant business.
And remember, Nickey was needed because the factory wouldn’t put that larger V8 directly in your Chevelle, that required a specialty performance shop.
Auto World delivers on everything you’d want on a 1:18 scale replica, but to me the engine bay is most important once you get beyond the Chevelle’s racy exterior with that black demonic pointed Stinger hood and scoop.
As always the hood is easy to pose in the open position due to solid metal hinges. Here there’s an orange GM engine block for the V8, plus 8 big pipes exiting its sides and funneling into two muscular exhausts that exit out the back.
The V8 also features chrome headers with a Nickey decal and 8 yellow wires hooking up to the spark plugs. There’s also the requisite radiator hose and other electrical wiring, a battery with detailed top including clamps and cell covers, a power steering unit, and round chrome air filter cover, plus window washer fluid container. I like the labeling atop the radiator too, plus what looks like a chalk “OK” mark there, showing someone had checked the fluid level before putting this one on the street, er, track!
Head and taillights look realistic and there’s an SS logo nose and tail, plus 396 emblems on each front fender. Bumpers are all chrome, of course, and there’s a racing mirror in chrome as are the door handles, rear fender antenna and the racy wheel covers.
Each rear side window dons a Nickey sticker, as does the windshield and trunk lid. Side vent windows are trimmed in chrome while the rest of the windows feature silver-painted trim. Tires are treaded and red-stripe, but not branded.
Both doors open and reveal blue GM stickers inside the door edges while all the window cranks and door releases inside are chromed, so nicely detailed to reflect the original car’s appearance. The black bucket seats have backs that partially fold forward and include the silver trim that went around the base and over the top of the headrests.
This Chevelle dash has chrome trim too and the gauges are large and well detailed so you can read the speedometer, etc. The floor-shifter features a black ball atop the long lever and the steering wheel is a black 3-spoke, again with a touch of chrome on the spokes.
Another sterling effort from Auto World, especially if you love Chevelles that are ready to rumble, and likely kick a little Ford or Mopar bootie!
Vital Stats: 1968 Nickey Chevy Chevelle