Chevrolet Impala 1959 Convertible

 
 

 
 

by

 
 

SUN STAR

scale 1:18

Model number: 92118B

 
     
 

Review of the model:

The Chevrolet Impala 1959 is one of the most iconic cars of the American motor history. Ill bet when some shall think of a US. Car from the fifties, they will choose the Impala 59 just after the Cadillac Eldorado 59. Fins matters! I always had a cross of this car ever since I was a child. Low sleek and with those fins that even Batman will envy they are “eyebrows” for one of the most famous” eyes” on a car ever. I’m of course talking of the brake lights. Imagine when you are driving a Ford only a few years old, just to be overtaken by a fast beast of the Impala on the freeway. Momma its time to visit the dealer soon! The Impala is a fast land animal, and the car let not any car come near. The Chevrolet Big block was a power plant of horsepower, oh yes the stable was full. The designers of Chevrolet find the recopy for a sales success, as the car was not that expensive as it looked, and it was faster than more expensive car of their time.

When you read the words above, you can not any more be in doubt, about my affection of this car. The best Die-cast model car of the Impala goes to Danbury Mint In scale 1:24. But when it comes to scale 1.18 I wonder how come; only one manufacture had this car in there catalogue. And this is Lucky-die cast from China and now will we get a little closer look at this model car.

Firstly I most mention that this very car, are only available in convertible! - Don’t get me wrong, I like Convertibles, but this particular car have a special hardtop that nearly flows over the car on a cushion of air. That is a shame we had to miss this. As said before, it is cheaper to produce a Convertible than a Hardtop due to the extra parts. Let’s hope they, or others will make a hardtop in the near future. My Impala in Harbor blue was purchased used with box. Not because it’s hard to find, but the seller offered it cheap. And I wish to see if I could improve the model car. The model was old and had been on displays for some time, so I soaked it in a bowl of hot dishwasher soap. It comes out very clean and smelled like new!

At first glance the model showed it was a low cost model, as the detailing was quite sparse. I decided to disassemble the model and get an inspection for what I could do to improve it.

Now after the model was in parts, it was easier to see what need an attention and what could be done in the borders of my skills. I started to paint the interior. The parts here were just ugly and looked more of a toy car than a model. The floor had to have a new color, as well as the dashboard. The lower part of the instrument panel was foiled with household aluminum foil glued with white glue – that helped a lot! The steering wheel was painted too. And the new Liquid Chrome pen was vastly used. The doors and seats had also to be foiled and painted. If one can improve further – I will suggest a carpet, and use decals for the instruments. But that will wait for another day.

When I first saw the model car, it stood high on the front wheels – a bit too high? But no! - The model is right compared to the real car (to many hotrod and lowered car out there). One of the features of this model is the fender skirts on the rear fenders. Normally I’m a fan of this, but not on the Impala. If you can’t live with them, a Dremmel is the answer. I’m not that bold at the time being, so the stayed.

The Impala have many chrome panels, but Lucky die-cast have left some out. I made some of missing panels on the fins and trunk lid. Again household foils was used, and in my opinion to a god result. If you look at the real car side chrome panels, you will notice, that the rear part is painted white inside (just behind the flags emblem) this was an easy job. The solid chrome part of the grill had to be upgraded with “black wash” to give the right shadows of the holes. An extra feature many Impala 59 have is the twin antennas on top of the rear fenders. I had to made them of styrene plastic and wire (thanks god for the Liquid Chrome pen again! The flag emblems mention above needed a bit of paint too. Now here when the model car got assembled, I felt more for the car as the hours vent. The little car has a potential for becoming a better model in the end. Lucky Die-cast has the Impala in different colors, I have seen a light blue metallic and to me the favorite: Light green metallic.

If I shall choose the parts I like on the model, it most be the plastic lenses on the front and back lights. The chrome parts the model comes with are fine for the price. Wheels and hubcaps look realistic. The same goes for the front of the car. So the conclusion of this review is: Look at the model car as a canvas, you have to finish up. The model can be a fine car, if you are willing to invest some time on it. And after all, it’s a hobby and time spent here, is worth the money you saved, when you bought the model. If you can’t wait until Sun Star or others will redo it – I will recommend you to give the Impala 59 from Lucky Die-cast a try.

I will give this model 2 out of 6 stars  ******

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

 

 

   

 

1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible from Road Legends / Lucky Die-cast in scale 1:18

 

 

Harbor Blue

 
  As mentioned above the model car needed a little attention, but came out fine  
Note the custom made antennas on the rear fenders
Foiling on the fins and heavily use of the Liquid Chrome pen from Molotov
The paint work from the producer is good
The exhaust pipes needed to be drilled out
The front grill was painted black in the holes and the upper part of the grill was black washed - But not the extremes as they are indicator lamps
The side chrome panels was painted white inside  just after the door - A distinctive of Impala
Dashboard and steering wheel was painted
Liquid Chrome pen was used on break lamps, interior and foiling was used on doors, lower part of instrument panel
Carpet (floor) was painted and seats were foiled with household foil
The chrome parts on this mode is fairly good
Just wish they will make a Hardtop model soon, without continental kit and fender skirts
The engine room have a potential for improvement with hoses and wires
The interior, including the seats and canvas cover, got a coat of semi-gloss varnish, to remove the plastic feel
Tires and hubcaps are well made from the manufacturer
1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
 
     

 

 

History:

by David W. Temple and others.

General Motors cars of 1959 are noted for their dramatic and extreme styling. Chevrolet was, of course, not immune to the virtually “anything goes” styling phenomenon of that model year. The big Chevys of 1959 marked the end of a decade of major advancement at GM’s “bow tie” division. The decade of the 1950s brought forth Chevy’s first hardtop, the Bel Air, in 1950; its first modern overhead-valve V-8 in 1955; fuel-injection for 1957; and the upscale Impala for 1958. The 1958 Chevys had changed about as much from the 1955-’57 models as the “Tri Fives” had been changed from their predecessors. Then Chevrolet changed its line-up for 1959 in about as drastic a manner, and the fact was boldly noted in Chevy’s ads with the statement “all new all over again!”

Beginning with the 1959 models, GM management decided that in order to save on costs, all GM cars would share common body shells. Therefore, all new bodies had to be designed to accommodate the mandate. The first-year Impala had been available only as a two-door hardtop or convertible, but two more body types were added for 1959: a four-door hardtop and four-door sedan. Four-door hardtops  received a low, flat roof with straight, angled C-pillars and wrap-around rear windshields while the sedans were capped by a bubble-like top similar to but taller than that of the two-door hardtop. Other sedans in the GM divisions used this arrangement, while Cadillac and Buick offered a four-door hardtop based on the bubble roof shape of the sedan.

The most dominant styling characteristic of the 1959 Chevrolets was, of course, its deeply sculpted fins. An early report in Popular Mechanics on the 1959 Chevrolets said of the car, “Styling is the thing with the new Chevrolet … Its low, flaring rear end is as expansive as the deck of an aircraft carrier and looks almost as wide from the driver’s seat. Horizontal taillights squint, like giant cat’s eyes, from under chrome eyebrows. At the front, two sets of paired headlamps are set as low as the law allows to accentuate the road-hugging design.” A road test report in the January 1959 issue of Motor Trend concluded that, “All in all the Chevrolet stands out as the most unashamed proponent of the ‘bigger and wider styling school’ in its field. In performance it’s batting fairly even with the competition.”

The standard engine was the familiar Blue-Flame straight-six, although the buyer could still obtain the Turbo-Fire 283-cid V-8 two-barrel or the Super Turbo-Fire 283 four-barrel carried over from 1957. Also, the 250-hp Ram-Jet fuel-injected 283 was retained as was a companion 290-hp version dubbed Ram-Jet Special. The fuel-injected engines were very expensive and the Rochester setup was also significantly more complicated to keep properly tuned and in good repair. As a result, far more people wanting high-performance opted for the more affordable and conventional 348-cid V-8 with the fuel/air mixture fed to the cylinders via carburetor. It was offered in various outputs ranging from 250 hp to the little-known 350 hp variant. For some, though, the standard issue 235-cid “Stove Bolt” six-cylinder offering 135 hp was just fine in an increasingly V-8 world.

Transmission choices included the standard-issue three-speed manual along with the optional three-speed manual with overdrive, close-ratio four-speed, the Powerglide two-speed automatic and the somewhat troublesome Turboglide automatic.

In addition to a multitude of engine and transmission combinations, cars across the 1959 Chevy lineup (consisting of the Biscayne, Bel Air and Impala series) could be optioned with such amenities as power steering, power brakes, power windows, air conditioning, tinted glass, padded dash, Posi-Traction, two-tone paint and more. As for paint, GM offered its new 13 single-tone paint colors and 10 two-tone schemes in its new “Magic-Mirror” acrylic lacquer.

Base V-8 was the carryover 283, at 185 horsepower. Performance fans could select 283-cubic-inch outputs to 290 horsepower -- or turn to the big-block 348-cubic-inch V-8, in a dizzying roster of ratings, up to 315 horsepower.

With a V-8, the Impala convertible listed at $2,967, but a six-cylinder version saved the customer $118. Impala interiors flaunted their top-of-the-line status, offering such pleasantries as front and rear armrests, an electric clock, dual sliding sun visors, and crank-operated front ventipanes. A contoured instrument panel held deep-set gauges residing below hoods to prevent glare. On the comfort front, a new Flexomatic six-way power seat could be installed.

                                                                                                                                            

Technical  specification:

 

Model

Weight range (lbs.)

Price range (new)

Number built

Impala

3,570-3,670

$2,592-$2,967

473,000 (approx.)

 

1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

Overview

Production

1958–1960

Model years

1959–1960

Assembly

Baltimore, Maryland, (Baltimore Assembly)
St. Louis, Missouri, (St. Louis Assembly)
South Gate, California, (South Gate Assembly)

Body and chassis

Body style

  • 2-door convertible
  • 2 to 4-door hardtop
  • 4-door sedan

Layout

FR layout

Platform

GM B platform

Related

1959–1960 Chevrolet Biscayne
1959–1960 Chevrolet Bel Air
1959–1960 Chevrolet Brookwood
1959–1960 Chevrolet Parkwood
1959–1960 Chevrolet Kingswood
1959–1960 Chevrolet Nomad
1959–1960 Chevrolet El Camino
1959–1960 Pontiac Catalina

Powertrain

Engine

  • 235 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6
  • 283 cu in (4.6 L) Turbo Fire V8
  • 348 cu in (5.7 L) W-series Turbo Thrust V8

Transmission

3-speed (close-ratio) manual
3-speed overdrive manual
4-speed manual
Turboglide auto.
2-speed Powerglide auto.
(Corvette-type)

 

 


 
 

Old brochures of the Chevrolet 1959

 
 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
     
     
     

     

     

 

 

 

     
     
     
     

     

 

 

 
     

     
     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

 

 

Video of the real car from Youtube

 
     
     
     
  The making of the 1959 Chevrolet  
     
     
  1959 Chevrolet Commercial With Dinah Shore  
 

 

 
     
     

 

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 Sep 2017

 
 
 
     
     
     

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