Tag Archives: GM

Die-cast: NEO’s 1956 Buick Centurion XP-301

Buick’s 1956 concept car really did have futuristic features …1956 Buick Centurion

GM’s concept cars of the 1950s were showcased in traveling shows called Motorama and actually looked futuristic and in some cases included features that would show up on future cars, sometimes way into the future.

One was the bright red over white Buick Centurion XP-301 that was displayed in 1956 Motorama shows. NEO now offers a stellar example of the show car in 1:43 scale, and the resin model may surprise you.

The History

The Centurion, a name later used in the 1970s by Buick, was a Harley Earl design reflecting the aircraft and rocket styling touches that were so popular in the 1950s as the U.S. was rushing toward the space race.

Its pincher like nose design with headlights in rocketlike pods would grab everyone’s attention at the time, along with the tapered tail that looks like a jet engine with overhanging flat fins. Oh, and then there’s the bubble top, completely clear except for the metal support structure and window frames. Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1956 Buick Centurion XP-301

Die-cast: Automodello’s 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport

Riviera was one of the few sleek Buicks, ever …1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport

I can still remember the first time I saw a Buick Riviera. As a kid, I was wowed. Its sleek lines, the headlights canted forward to make it look fast and sporty. There was just something about it that oozed elegance and class, and a bit of speed too!

Automodello brings us a bevy of new 1965 Riviera Gran Sport models to fulfill any collector’s fantasies about owning one. These are 1/24 scale resin models that continue Automodello’s tradition of creating beautifully finished models that fit well in any plastic car modeler’s collection.

Like variety? Automodello delivers the Riviera in seven colors and in various quantities, from the snazzy Astro Blue with 299 models made, to the Enthusiasts Editions in Arctic White, Flame Red with black top and interior, and Burgundy Mist with black interior. Just 19 will be made of each Enthusiasts Edition.

There also is an Homage Edition in Regal Black, with 24 models made, and two Tribute Editions in Verde Green and Sahara Mist, with just 50 of each made.1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport Continue reading Die-cast: Automodello’s 1965 Buick Riviera Gran Sport

Die-cast: NEO’s 1959 Chevy El Camino

Chevrolet’s first El Camino blends car, truck …1959 Chevrolet El Camino

Today the blending of cars and trucks seems natural as SUVs and crossovers have become the preferred mode of personal transportation in the United States. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s such a thought was downright odd.

Ford stirred the beast first when it created the Ranchero and within two years Chevrolet answered with El Camino, basically wagons made into pickups with a big open bed behind the enclosed front seat compartment. Some considered El Camino a coupe utility pickup, a fairly apt description.

NEO has created a sharp 1/43 scale version of the 1959 El Camino in black with a red interior and plenty of chrome nose and tail.

The History

The original El Camino was only around two years 1959–1960 and was made in GM’s Arlington, Texas plant. It rode on the 1959 Chevy Brookwood platform, a new two-door station wagon that was longer, lower and wider than existing full-size Chevys.  Continue reading Die-cast: NEO’s 1959 Chevy El Camino

Die-cast: BoS-Models 1957 Imperial Crown Southampton

Imperial Crown Southampton: When styling still mattered … 1957 Imperial Crown Southampton

As a kid I, like many folks at the time, liked cars with jet-like fins. Plus I’ve always been a sucker for the cool fake spare tire molded into the trunk lid. So Imperials, Chrysler’s luxury brand, were, and are, a favorite.

Few Imperials were more impressive than the 1957 Crown Southampton, a monster of a car, but dripping with style. Its nose with twin dual headlights favored Cadillac styling, but its slightly outward leaning tail fins and aircraft-like pointed taillights set it apart from the more staid luxury models of the day.

BoS-Models now creates a beautiful 1957 Southampton in a stunning bronze paint scheme with a cream-colored roof and enough chrome to blind an army of car show onlookers on a sunny day. This is in 1/18 scale and the body is cast resin.

The History

Imperial became its own brand, like Cadillac for GM and Lincoln for Ford, in 1955. The second generation Imperials debuted in 1957 and had their own distinct platforms, something that lasted until 1966.1957 Imperial Crown Southampton

These brutes were big and strong, so sturdy in fact that they were banned from most demolition derbies as being too tough to knock out of competition. Much of the reason was the Imperial’s full perimeter frame with box cross sections forming an “X” for strength. Meanwhile most cars were moving to lighter unibody construction.

The Imperials of 1957, which were part of Chrysler designer Virgil Exner’s “forward look” styling, also featured Torsion-Aire suspensions that used an indirect-acting torsion bar system up front. It lowered the car’s center of gravity and moved it rearward to improve handling. Continue reading Die-cast: BoS-Models 1957 Imperial Crown Southampton

Die-cast: NEO’s 1948 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan

1948 Chevy Fleetline Aerosedan a slick family sedan . . .1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

Cars that bridged the gap between pre-war America and post-World War II are an interesting lot, often dowdy and pedestrian of styling. Most consider the 1930s and 1950s as primo styling eras.

But Chevrolet’s hot-selling Fleetline series, starting in 1941 is an exception, particularly its sleek streamlined looking Aerosedan, a two-door family car with a fastback design that looks slick still today.

That’s the 1948 Chevrolet that NEO has produced in 1/43 scale, a somewhat sporty full-size car that GM began cranking out for the 1941 model year, just before converting its car plants to war machinery. And for the 1946-48 model years they cranked up the assembly lines again using the satisfying 1941 design.

 

The History1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

Look at a four-door Fleetline and you’ll quickly see why the two-door Aerosedan and its smooth curves was such a hit. Blah describes the former, but Chevy knew it had a winner with the Aerosedan. In 1948 it sold 211,861 of the cars vs. just 64,217 of the four-door. Of course the baby boom hadn’t quite caught on just yet either.

The car, which was a sub-series of Chevy’s Fleetmaster, featured a Chevy Blue Flame 216 cu.in., inline six engine that created 90 horsepower. That meant the car was no slouch. It could hit nearly 80 mph. The Fleetline rode on a 115-inch wheelbase, about three inches longer than the current Chevy Impala, and was 197 inches long, about four inches shorter than today’s Impala.

Bottom line, it was nothing fancy, but looked good, with good power and was reliable. If you’re a Chevy guy, it also wasn’t a Ford!1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

The Model

NEO’s resin bodied Aerosedan is beautifully shaped and perfectly reflects the smooth lines of the sedan, plus hood, trunk and door seams are all stellar. This tiny Chevy also includes all the chrome trim as seen on the original.

That includes three thin chrome styling strips flaring back from the front wheel well and along the rear fender to the taillights. Bumpers are chrome too and include dual raised guards front and rear. There’s a chrome Chevy hood ornament along with all window trim, including vents and the flat split windshield. Door handles, gas filler cap, headlight bezels, wipers, trunk release and grille are chrome.1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

I like the fine detail of the photo-etched Fleetline logos along the hood’s sides, the script name on the trunk and winged Chevy logo on the nose. Head and taillights are fine too and there’s a yellow Ohio license plate front and rear. Broad whitewall tires treaded tires with large chrome hubcaps put the car on the road. Those caps are the fancy Chevy models with painted red swooshes (sorry Nike, Chevy beat you) and Chevrolet in blue too. Cool!

Inside is a reddish brown dash and door trim that really sets off the gray bench seats in the interior. The dash top doesn’t look as metallic as it might, but the color is nicely mated to the car and the dash face looks authentic, including a giant clock in the glove box door. This was a wind-up clock that would run for a week on one full wind. The speedometer is similarly large and visible, of course the side windows are all up, which does slightly limit your taking a peek inside.1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

NEO creates a fine two-spoke cream steering wheel with horn ring, and the steering column and hub match that reddish brown dash color. Sharp!

A cool addition to the model would be a green translucent sun visor like so many of these have worn over the years to keep the sun from reflecting from what was a metal dash. Maybe on a future model!

The Model: 1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan1948 Chevrolet Fleetline Aerosedan

Maker: NEO

Scale: 1/43

Stock No.: 45830

MSRP: $99.95

Link: American-Excellence.com

2017 Cadillac XT5 Premium AWD

Cadillac XT5 long on style, short on details …2017 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac has mastered the styling, now it needs to work on the details.

The new Cadillac XT5 crossover continues Cadillac’s sharp chiseled styling with tall taillights and noteworthy nose and headlight stylings. Its interior is luxurious and attractive in a way most German makes have yet to figure out because of their love for black leather.

But the XT5’s seats are way too snug in the hip and the ride too firm for our crumbling Wisconsin roads that are cracked by time, winter and a lack of willingness to pay for improving them. Additionally its CUE audio screen is improved, but still not the easiest to master while driving.

2017 Cadillac XT5The XT5, which replaces the SRX and rides on what should be a smoothing 112.5-inch wheelbase delivers a firm ride that turns too sharp and bumpy on cracked streets and highways.

Yet like other Cadillac’s and GM products, the XT5 delivers ample power with a new 3.6-liter direct-injected V6 with variable valve timing. It’s rated at 310 horsepower and 271 ft.-lbs. of torque, so it’ll scoot when required to. That happens best when in Sport mode which holds gears longer in the 8-speed automatic. In normal mode acceleration is moderate. Continue reading 2017 Cadillac XT5 Premium AWD

Cars from down under

I love Australian cars

holden-plant-at-elizabethBy Paul Daniel

Unfortunately after next month there will no longer be anymore built after Ford closes the doors on its plant following the lead from GM who shut down its Holden plants. At one time this was a booming market cranking out just over 400,000 vehicles in 2004 but it dwindled down to 175,000 in 2009. Why did all they pull out? Mostly political tax stuff that I’m not going to get into here.

A little history first

Holden manufacturing dates back to 1856. They were the first to introduce the “ute” and Australians ate it up. It became a huge market. It may have also inspired the El Camino and Ranchero built by Chevy and Ford in their U.S. Plants. See my blog entry, history of the El Camino and Australian “utes”. The Holdens, in my opinion, are the fastest and best looking cars produced in Australia. In 1925, Ford Australia’s first products were, of course, Model Ts assembled from knock-down kits. Ford is best known in Australia for the Falcon, not the same as the one produced here in the U.S. Chrysler also played in the Australian market but only stuck around for a much shorter time. Continue reading Cars from down under