On the left is the 1961 Impala from the new Cool Classics Series. This series takes mostly classic vehicles, covers them in a paint effect called SpectraFrost, adds new shoes (wheels), and transforms the base from plastic into metal. Most of the vehicles in this line are a pass for me, but there were a few exceptions. The '61 Impala being one of them.
After a few years of evil-looking rear-ends, the Impala started the 1960's with happier spirits, rear-end wise, and started to take an even more art form. The bubble top that was available for '61 and '62 represented a classic design element for these cars. While not as strong as a sturdy post-pillar roof, the design was smooth and light, to the benefit of drag racers. I actually preferred the 1962 body style over the '61, but thanks to Hot Wheels it's starting to grow on me.
Introduced in 2012, this version is the third after the blue and red of 2012. The Pro-rod stance gives the Impala one sleek, mean look and the pinstripe/scallops flow with the body instead of offending it. My favorite part of this casting is the tri-taillights in the rear: Nice and big, and you can feel them with the tip of your finger. Underneath shows the x-brace chassis, which is where the outer frame rails start inward inside of each wheel to cross at the center of the vehicle. The frame was light and stiff, but wasn't strong enough to survive a side-impact crash. The interior shows some, if not all, of the classic design of the real '61's cabin.
Under the hood is another legend, the 409 V8. This V8, with it's unique W-shaped valve covers, produced 360 hp. and delivered this power to the rear wheels through a 4-speed manual on-the-floor. One thing's for sure these Impala's were fast on the 1/4 mile dragstrip, but tricky to handle when pushed on a road course, though the ProRod stance of this casting should definitely help on that. The only downside of this casting is the lack of the upper brows on the front end where the signal lights are located.
Big-Block Hurst Wagon
To the right is the 1970 Chevelle SS Wagon, this year done in the fabulous Hurst deco. White, gold stripes, H-logo, gold wheels, and gold interior really set off this casting. After countless variations starting in 2009, this one has to be the best by far!
The 1970 Chevelle family in Hot Wheels is a large one, with Coupe, Convertible, Track Racer Coupe, El Camino, and the Wagon. The wagon uses a lower stance with a wide rear end sharing some parts with the El Camino. It looks big, but aggressive. The interior looks pretty roomy, but I would like to see a better-formatted dash mold. Cool feature is the cargo area where you can see various loose parts from a supercharged V8 motor.
Underneath the hood is the famous LS6 454 Big Block V8 producing 440 hp. and 595 ft-Ib torque through a 4-speed Rockcrusher manual. Yea, that's fast, yet the heavier wagon body would make it the slowest out of the group of '70 Chevelle's. Still it's one grocery-getter I wouldn't mind owning.
Oh, and as for the Chevelle's deco, it is based on the real GM wagon, but the wagon is not a Chevy, but a 1970 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.