Revell 1/25 '57 Chevrolet 150 Utility Sedan
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Partial new kit|
The Chevrolet One-Fifty, or 150 was the economy/fleet model of the Chevrolet car from 1953-1957. It took its name by shortening the production series number (1500) by one digit in order to capitalize on the numerical auto name trend of the 1950s. The numerical designation '"150"' was also sporadically used in company literature. It replaced the Styleline Special model available in previous years. This model was dropped following the 1957 model year being replaced by the Delray.
The One-Fifty was mainly conceived as a fleet model and little effort was spent marketing it to the average car buyer of the day although sales weren't limited to fleets. It was most popular with police, state governments, small businesses, economy-minded consumers and hot rodders. Chevrolet sold substantially fewer One-Fifties than Two-Tens or Bel-Airs in every year of its life.
True to Cheverolet's vision, the 150 was no-frills basic transportation. It had limited options, stark trim, solid colors, plain heavy duty upholstery and rubberized flooring. Small things like ashtrays, cigarette lighters and even mirrors were extra cost options. Compared to the mid-level Two-Ten or premium Bel-Air models, the One-Fifty was stark and bland. However, the model became a little more stylish in the last years of existence with previous year's Bel-Air stainless steel side trim and an improved interior due to more standard equipment being included in all Chevrolets.
Body style choices were also limited to sedans, wagons and (until '55) the club coupe. The only body styles specific to the One-Fifty were decidedly fleet oriented: the sedan delivery (a 2 door wagon without rear windows and the rear seat removed) and the business sedan (A 2 door sedan with immobile rear windows and back seat removed). Powertrain choices were limited to manual transmissions and low output engines until 1954. In 1957, a full race ready version was also available commonly known as the "Black Widow" for its black and white paint color. It was equipped with 4 wheel heavy duty brakes, 6-lug wheels and dual shocks. About 76,000 two door 150s were made in 1957, the only year that the 283 V-8 was offered.
In general, One-Fifties are less valuable than the sibling Two-Ten and Bel-Air models on the collectors' market but the rare surviving sedan delivery or Utility Sedan (particularly the 1957 model when equipped with a fuel-injected engine, although these all are latter-day modifications) can command premium prices. V8 One-Fifties are popular with hot rod enthusiasts due to lower curb weight and lower prices.
This is a new version, which is one that many modelers have been seeking. Window post sedans are a bit of a rarity among model kits with most manufacturers building the hardtop versions. Also new is the higher retail price, though you can, of course, find it for less from discounters
Not everything about this kit and I imagine that actually, much is not new. The chassis still has 1997 stamped on the underside along with 'Made in China'. Of course, this will need to be removed by the contest modeler, who will also have quite a few ejector pins to worry about under the hood and in some other spots.
There are seven bags of sprues (eight if you count the teeny red one for tail lights). The clear sprue and chrome sprues are separately bagged. One chrome sprue has the grille, headlights and other body bits while the other is mostly engine parts and the hub caps. The other bags are sprues in white with one containing the body, one with chassis components and the chassis, another with the hood, engine and some other bits and a fourth one with what seems to be all new parts for this version. It has the bench seat, plain door inner panels, roll bar, and the new interior pan. There is also a vinyl sprue that has the standard skinny tires of the time Molding on all the bits is very nicely done and I'd show you the sprues, but not only are there a lot of them, but I'd rather not remove the body and chrome bits from their protective bags. One thing for sure, when you take out all the sprue bags, you'll not be able to get them back in to where the box closes flat!
You do, of course, get the option to build either a standard car or the racing version. This means different wheels and different engine options, with one being the aforementioned fuel injected version. A very nicely done set of instructions is provided that gives you clearly done assembly drawings with each part identified and any painting information provided. Any differences between the 150 and the racing version are clearly noted, so you'll need to make a choice rather early in the build. A superb decal sheet is included with this one that gives you all the interior matting and the various markings needed for the racing car. No actual info on the racer is given so I'm not really sure what the reference for it might be, aside from it being in black and white. A nice part of the decals is that some of the script and small chrome bits are decals. The rest will require the builder to break out the Bare Metal Foil.
I am not that much of a car guy, but when I saw this one on the shelf, I grabbed it. I've always liked sedans from this time period and wish more were available. For sure, it won't be a difficult kit to build and those who want to add engine wiring and stuff can go to town on it.
Thanks to my inability to pass up something cool and 'shop credit' at CRM Hobbies.
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