Chevrolet Corvette 1954

 
 

 
 

by

 
 

Auto World

scale 1:18

Model number: AMM1015

 
     
 

Review of the model:

If you are going to collect 1:18 Chevrolet Corvettes! I bet the first choice will be a 1963-1965 model (C2).  My first Corvette was the 1965 Sting Ray Coupe, a true icon. But how about to go further back in time, when the car emerge from the drawing boards of the marvelous engineers and designers – way back to the first models (C1) in 1953-1954.

There are a few model producers witch make this little car in scale 1:18: Mira, Auto Art , Ertl and Auto World. Quality and price makes the Auto world to fall just in between. As the Auto Art is rather expensive and Mira too budget for my choice. I was lucky to get mine at a 75% discount!

So come along and let us take a look at this beautiful roadster, from a time when the world was in its heydays, and people looked forward to the new bright future in the US. The first impression I stood with when it came out of the box was: What a small car! This is NOT an SUV. This is art on 4 wheels! – This car is “simply” so cute and well designed and looks good from every angle. Try to open the hood and look at the stunning Blue Flame Six with triple carburetors, all with the right labels and wires. At the back the model shows the incredible bonnet with the in-build license plate behind the curved glass. Just look at the wheels with the beautiful hubcaps that have many details. And if we open the lid we see a well made trunk room, with the removable side windows for the canvas top.

This model is shown in Raven black (Only one of four on the real car) and all black cars is hard to paint, as every speckle and grain of imperfection will easily show up. My model have two spots that the quality control “repaired” otherwise the paintwork is like a piano.

Chrome work on this model is fine, but on some parts it seems that they were attaches to spurs when they were submerged in a chrome bath, but that process will get black spots when the parts is broken off the spurs. I corrected this with my Liquid Chrome pen from Molotow.

The main attraction on every roadster is the cabin, or a more correct name; The Cockpit. Here is 1950´ galore in bling bling. The real red velour carpet is in its class of it own. The red seats looks like they were made in real leather. Instrument panel, with the iconic design from Chevrolet art department, is so good you wish you could shrink yourself to take a seat and hold the fantastic steering wheel in your hands.

If the Cartoon character “Felix the Cat”, would have a car? This will be a fine choice, as this black body with big eyes (headlights), will resemble Felix himself. Speaking of the headlights the real car has recessed lenses in the front fenders with a protecting steel mesh in front, following the lines of the fender. Auto World 1:18 model here only have plastic where the mesh should have been. That a shame, as it gives the model a false face!

The issue above is the most ignoring problem with this model, otherwise it really well made through out.

Some car enthusiast will place a car like this on a big loft wall to enjoy there piece of art. As a model car collector, you can just place this little Corvette roaster at your desk
- And it will surely be a subject of conversation.

I will give this model 5 out of 6 stars  ******

Below here are pictures of the model, historical description, old brochures, technical data and some movie clips for the real car. So please enjoy!

 

 

   

 

Showroom photo

 

  1954 Chevrolet Corvette roadster  
  Only one of four in black (The real car)  
A shining model from Auto World
Look at those wheels and hub caps
America first sports car
The in-build license plate and exhaust pipes is a genius feature from the bureau of design
Note the fine paintwork on this model
No door handles on the outside - but they weren't on the real car either
The loudspeaker on the dashboard is one of Chevrolet hallmarks of the fifties
Note the Corvette emblem at the center of the steering wheel
A cute car - and a cute model too
But can still shows teeth
An practical car only in dry whether
The car looks fast even when it stand still
Inside the trunk the removable side windows is placed
Why not take her for a spin!
A fine color combination
The only Corvette with real fins
A view to the stable with 150 horses
A well detailed model indeed
From the days of dashboard rear mirrors - cool!
I'm coming after you
If you not already own one - buy one!
A piece of Art
 
     

 

 

History:

The Chevrolet Corvette (C1) is the first generation of the Corvette sports car produced by Chevrolet. It was introduced late in the 1953 model year, and produced through 1962. It is commonly referred to as the "solid-axle" generation, as the independent rear suspension did not appear until the 1963 Sting Ray. The Corvette was rushed into production for its debut model year to capitalize on the enthusiastic public reaction to the concept vehicle, but expectations for the new model were largely unfulfilled. Reviews were mixed and sales fell far short of expectations through the car's early years. The program was nearly canceled, but Chevrolet would ultimately stay the course.

Origin 1951
In 1927 General Motors hired designer Harley Earl who loved sports cars. GIs returning after serving overseas in the years following World War II were bringing home MGs, Jaguars, Alfa Romeos, and the like. In 1951, Nash Motors began selling an expensive two-seat sports car, the Nash-Healey, which was made in partnership with the Italian designer Pinin Farina and British auto engineer Donald Healey. But there were few moderate-priced models. Earl convinced GM that they needed to build a two-seat sports car, and with his Special Projects crew began working on the new car, "Project Opel" in late 1951. The result was the hand-built, EX-122 pre-production Corvette prototype, which was first shown to the public at the 1953 General Motors Motorama at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on January 17, 1953. Production began six months later. The car is now located at the Kerbeck Corvette museum in Atlantic City and is believed to be the oldest Corvette in existence.

Design and engineering
To keep costs down, GM executive Robert F. McLean mandated off-the-shelf mechanical components, and used the chassis and suspension design from the 1949–1954 Chevrolet passenger vehicles. The drivetrain and passenger compartment were moved rearward to achieve a 53/47 front-to-rear weight distribution. It had a 102-inch wheelbase. The engine was a 235 cu in (3.85 L) inline six engine that was similar to the 235 engine that powered all other Chevrolet car models, but with a higher-compression ratio, three Carter side-draft carburetors, mechanical lifters, and a higher-lift camshaft. Output was 150 horsepower (110 kilowatts). Because there was currently no manual transmission available to Chevrolet rated to handle 150 HP, a two-speed Powerglide automatic was used. 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time was 11.5 seconds.

During the last half of 1953, 300 Corvettes were to a large degree, hand-built on a makeshift assembly line that was installed in an old truck plant in Flint, Michigan while a factory was being prepped for a full-scale 1954 production run. The outer body was made out of then-revolutionary glass fiber reinforced plastic material. Although steel shortages or quotas are sometimes mentioned as a factor in the decision to use fiberglass, no evidence exists to support this. In calendar years 1952 and 1953 Chevrolet produced nearly 2 million steel bodied full-size passenger cars and the intended production volume of 10,000 Corvette for 1954 was only a small fraction of that.

The body engineer for the Corvette was Ellis James Premo. He presented a paper to the Society of Automotive Engineers in 1954 regarding the development of the body. Several excerpts highlight some of the key points in the body material choice:

The body on the show model was made of reinforced plastic purely as an expedient to get the job done quickly.

Although we were going ahead with the building of an experimental plastic body in order to get a car rolling for chassis development work – at the time of the Waldorf Show, we were actually concentrating body-design-wise on a steel body utilizing Kirksite tooling for the projected production of 10,000 units during the 1954 model year. It was some time later that we decided to produce this quantity in reinforced plastic.

About this time, some doubt was expressed that we should build the 1954 model of steel. People seemed to be captivated by the idea of the fiberglass plastic body. Furthermore, information being given to us by the reinforced plastic industry seemed to indicate the practicality of fabricating plastic body parts for automobiles on a large scale.

A 55 degree raked windshield was made of safety glass, while the license plate holder was set back in the trunk, covered with a plastic window. Underneath the new body material were standard components from Chevrolet's regular car line, including the "Blue Flame" inline six-cylinder engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, and drum brakes. The engine's output, 136 hp (101 kW), was increased however from a Carter triple-carburetor system exclusive to the Corvette, but performance of the car was decidedly "lackluster". Compared to the British and Italian sports cars of the day, the Corvette lacked a manual transmission and required more effort to bring to a stop, but like their British competition, such as Morgan, was not fitted with roll-up windows; this would have to wait until sometime in the 1956 model year. A Paxton centrifugal supercharger became available in 1954 as a dealer-installed option, greatly improving the Corvette's straight-line performance, but sales continued to decline.

The Chevrolet division was GM's entry-level marque. Managers at GM were seriously considering shelving the project, leaving the Corvette to be little more than a footnote in automotive history, and would have done so if not for three important events.

• The first was the 1955 introduction of Chevrolet's first V8 engine since 1919. Late in the model year, the new 195 hp (145 kW) 265 small-block became available with a Powerglide automatic transmission, until the middle of the production year when a manual 3-speed became available, coupled to a 3.55:1 axle ratio, the only one offered. The engine was fitted with a single 2218S or 2351S WCFB four-barrel (four-choke) Carter carburetor. The combination turned the "rather anemic Corvette into a credible if not outstanding performer".

• The second was the influence of a Russian émigré in GM's engineering department, Zora Arkus-Duntov.


• The third factor in the Corvette's survival was Ford's introduction of the 1955 two-seat Thunderbird, which was billed as a "personal luxury car", not a sports car. Even so, the Ford-Chevrolet rivalry in those days demanded GM not appear to back down from the challenge.

In the October 1954 issue of Popular Mechanics there was an extensive survey of Corvette owners in America. The surprising finding was their opinions in comparison to foreign sports cars. It was found that 36% of those taking the survey had owned a foreign sports car, and of that, half of them rated the Corvette as better than their previous foreign sports car. Nineteen percent rated the Corvette as equal to their foreign sports car and 22% rated the Corvette as inferior. While many were well pleased with the Corvette, they did not consider it as a true sports car. The principal complaint of the surveyed owners was the tendency of the body to leak extensively during rain storms.
 

                                                                                                                                                 Technical specification:

PRICE in 1953-54
Base price: $3,577.85

ENGINE
Type: OHV six-cylinder, cast-iron block and cylinder head
Displacement: 235.5 cubic inches
Bore x Stroke: 3.56 x 3.93 inches
Compression ratio: 8:1
Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 4,200 (later 155)
Torque @ RPM: 223-lb.ft. @ 2,400
Valvetrain: Mechanical valve lifters
Main bearings: Four
Fuel system: Three Carter side-draft carburetors, mechanical pump
Lubrication system: Pressure, gear-type pump
Electrical system: 6-volt
Exhaust system: Dual 1.75-inch pipes, 1.69-inch tailpipes, stainless steel extensions

TRANSMISSION
Type: Powerglide two-speed automatic, floor shift
Ratios: 1st: 1.82:1
2nd: 1.00:1
Reverse: 1.82:1

DIFFERENTIAL
Type: Hotchkiss-type, hypoid drive gears, open
Gear Ratio: 3.55:1

STEERING
Type: Worm and ball-bearing roller sector
Gear Ratio: 16:1
Turning circle: 37 feet

BRAKES
Type: Hydraulic, four-wheel drum
Front: 11 x 2.00-inch drum
Rear: 11 x 1.75-inch drum

CHASSIS & BODY
Construction: Reinforced fiberglass body, separate steel perimeter frame
Frame: Steel boxed girder with flanged box-section side rails, crossmembers and center X-member
Body style: Two-door convertible
Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel drive

SUSPENSION
Front: Independent; unequal-length A-arms, coil springs, double-acting hydraulic shocks, anti-roll bar
Rear: Solid axle; semi-elliptical four-leaf springs, double-acting hydraulic shocks

WHEELS & TIRES
Wheels: Steel with wheel covers
Front/rear: 15 x 5 inches
Tires: Firestone 721 radials (originally 6.70-15 bias-ply wide whitewalls)
Front/rear: 205/75R15

WEIGHTS & MEASURES
Wheelbase: 102-inches
Overall length: 167-inches
Overall width: 72.24-inches
Overall height: 51.3-inches
Front track: 57-inches
Rear track: 59-inches
Shipping weight: 2,744-pounds

CAPACITIES
Crankcase: 5-quarts
Cooling system: 17.75-quarts
Fuel tank: 17.25-gallons

CALCULATED DATA
Bhp. per cu. in. :0 .638
Weight per bhp. : 18.29 pounds
Weight per cu. in. : 11.67-pounds

PRODUCTION
Roadster: 3,640 (only 4 in black)

PROS & CONS
+ Two-seat convertible
+ Classic '50s sports car styling
+ Limited production

- Not overly powerful
- No roll-up side windows
- Body panel fitment issues from new

WHAT TO PAY TODAY
Low: $40,000 - $50,000
Average: $60,000 - $80,000
High: $110,000 - $125,000
 


 
 

Old brochures of the Corvette 1954

 
 

     

     

     

     

     
     

     

     
     
     

     
     

 

 

 

     
     
     
     

     

 

 

 
     

     

     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

 

     

     
     
 

Videos of the real car from YouTube

 
     
     
  1954 Chevy Corvette Commercial  
     
     
  Car Nerds in a 1954 Chevrolet Corvette  
     
     
  1954 Black Chevrolet Corvette  
     
     
 

 

If you have any question or comment your are free to contact me at: aeronautic@stofanet.dk

 

 

Dealers are welcome to get their models reviewed too.

 

 

 

 

 

Aeronautic Feb. 2018

 
 
 
     
     
     

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