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Franklin Mint 1:24 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Police Chief Special

Reviewed by:   Tom Pine
  Franklin Mint 1:24 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Police Chief Special diecast car

So you’re a Chief of Police in 1955 – what car do you pick to drive? Why, the “Hot One,” of course. Chevy really spruced up its image by dropping its new 265 cu. in. small block V-8 into its newly styled Bel Air. This potent combination not only turned heads on the street, it set a precedent for the remainder of the Fifties (and throughout the Sixties), with ever-more-powerful V-8s being introduced. Today, the ’55 Bel Air looks almost stodgy, with its high profile, but it’s one of the most desirable collectors’ cars of the era.

Aside from the cool, gold-on-gold, 50 millionth limited edition of this car, I had no particular desire to get another version from FM. But then I took another long look at the Police Chief version and went for it. Why? Well, it wasn’t for the dazzling array of features, for they’re basic at best. This is one of FM’s older images, with none of the features we’ve grown accustomed to. What I did like, was the black and white color scheme. Like the all-black ’40 Ford pickup, this color combination works for me. The sheen of the gloss black paint, the lack of the cliché continental kit, the subdued, blackwall tires, all combine to give the image a sharp look. The side-mount searchlight (without interior handle), “bubble gum dispenser” top light, hat, handcuffs and trunk-mounted fire extinguisher are fun touches. The under-the-hood landscape isn’t exactly devoid of detail but don’t look for wires or plumbing. Interior-wise, the dash detail is fine but the seats are from the Kay-bee-molded school of design. Nevertheless, the black and white color scheme complements the exterior nicely. This one’s definitely an image you get on the basis of overall “look.”

FM also did a Fire Chief version of this image, as well as a convertible and two sport coupe releases. And don’t forget the gold image. All of them are old technology however, even the re-issue coupe. If you’re looking for one with all the whistles and bells, check out the offering from DM.

The issue price is $120.

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