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Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible

Reviewed by:   Tony Perrone
     
  Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car
 
 
 

This is Danburyís first 1959 Impala. They gave us the 1960 Impala, in Ermine White, back in 2000 and it immediately set the new precision diecast mark with its cutting edge technology. They gave us a Suntan Copper hard top version five years later and a limited edition in Horizon Blue. But finally we have a í59 from the boys in Connecticut. And what a color to lead off with, what I hope is, a series of fifty nines! Crown Sapphire Poly is a gorgeous blend of the most beautiful tropical ocean blue and shimmering aquamarine that one may envision. Applied shiny wet in appearance, it highlights what made this carís styling so over-the-top. Briefly stated, the history of the car began in 1958. The Impala was the highest optioned Bel Air that year. But in 1959 it achieved star status in its own right. The rounded curves of the previous year gave way to swooping, larger than life tail fins rendering the distinctive look that made it famous. Those fins flattened somewhat in 1960, the side chrome trim that ran the length of the body in 1959 disappeared and the overall styling became a little toned down in comparison. So for many of the purists in love with the Impala, the í59 is still today the radical styling benchmark of the breed.

DMís reproduction of the fifty nine was well worth the rather long wait. As marvelous as it was, and still is today, I see a vast improvement over their 1960 Impala convertible model. While holding this new replica in hand, DM completely prevents any reviewer from coming down with writerís block; it is just too substantive. Everywhere you look you become aware of DMís thorough attention to detail. The modelís overall eye appeal is apparent with your first look. The car sits right. The shape and body panel match is extraordinary. Fit and finish, in a word, is outstanding. Add a rather large portion of detail and a good dose of functionality and you have a memorable diecast that should exceed even the DMís 1960 Impala effort. I like the addition of the twin rear antennas; scaled well and angled nicely. Did both of these work or was one a dummy? Checking inside the trunk wonít help; the connection cannot be seen, in either the 1:1 or scaled version. Chevy covered the driverís side of the trunk with floor matting. DMís replication of it is soft to the touch. Cool. The other side plays host to the spare. Itís removable and highly detailed. Taking it out reveals the jack stand and tire iron behind it. DM also went the extra mile and fabricated the fabric Ďtop storage wellí behind the rear seat and as with the real car, you can see this from the trunk. They gave us minute electrical wiring in the back of the trunk too. The jacking instructions are replicated and trunk insulation is seen along with it. I like the new scaled and detailed trunk hinges too, they overshadow those out-of-scale and featureless hinges of previous Impala models. While weíre back here, be sure to notice the opening license plate displaying the well defined gas filler cap. Just above it, DM fabricated a tiny separate trunk lock piece; not a painted simulation. Note too, DM did not take the easy way out by painting the tail light divider trim. These little babies are actual chrome trim pieces! Before we go forward to explore the rest of the car take a peek beneath. Good googlie mooglie, is this actually a 1:1 or a fraudulent perpetration? From front to rear there is the most incredible realism you can find built into a 1:24th diecast today. From the working steering links and hydraulic piston, to the fuel lines and unbelievable shielded brake lines flowing rearward, to the trans lines, to the working suspension components, this chassis vies for the top honors ever for chassis detail and development. The rear suspension alone, with sway bars and coil springs and shocks and control arms, is a mini feast of detailing.

Moving to the interior does not cause a let-down in excitement. All of DMís detail finery has been pressed into service. The miniaturization of the window and vent wing cranks is superbly fashioned. The door handle itself and door pulls all exhibit great scaled detail. Of course the doors open on hidden hinges. The fabrication of the door sills, rubber floor mats, dash, gauges and steering wheel are awesome. The visors function and the 9 color seats fold forward and provide grand color contrast to the model. I hate tops that donít fit right. They flop around, fall off or worse; look like Uncle Gus wearing a size 6 7/8 derby on top of his size 7 1/8 toupee-covered noggin. This white, fabric covered beauty, complete with welt line and trim ends, sits perfectly thanks to DMís designers. There are two top locator tabs on the windshield header that lock the top in place up front. Then by gently positioning the rear, chrome trimmed, portion of the top, press down and into the body recess. The fit is flawless. Even the down top boot has the appropriate chrome trim sandwiched between the boot and base layer. See what I mean by attention to detail?

Ok, I saved the best for last, although it will be hard to top the chassis detail. Place a fingernail under the hood, just beneath and to the side of the chrome metal foil ďChevroletĒ script and crossed flag and ďVĒ emblem and lift up gently. Note the photo-etched metal air duct screens on either side of the hood latch and just above the grill. And yes, thank you DM for the utilization of those fabulous scissors hinges. I note that with each outing they become more realistic. They open fully and more closely replicate the genuine article with each modelís release. But, to me, it is the scaling of the bits and pieces found everywhere in the engine bay that sells the overall miniaturization of the Impala. Battery cabling, spark wiring and radiator overflow tubing are the right size and scale. Larger, in real life and here too, are heater and radiator hoses. The air cleaner housing, alternator and oil breather cap have perfectly tiny printed instructional stickers. But then you factor in the flexible rubber fan belt, the extraordinary throttle linkage return spring and metal brake lines and you have the master model makerís art on fine display.

The cutting edge of diecast technology just got sharper with the release of this model. DM, I want more of these marvelous creations but first I want to savor this one and say, ďthank youĒ for a job very well done. The issue price is $115.

(05/21/2006)
 
 
  Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

Danbury Mint 1:24 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible diecast car

 
 
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