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Friday, March 21, 2014

Hot Wheels 1955 Chevy Bel-Air Gasser



Last month I profiled the Hot Wheels 1955 Chevy Bel-Air and 1955 Nomad in their best color variations.  One version I forgot to mention was the Gasser for a reason:  I haven't obtained the new 2014 version yet.  Now after a slight delay I finally found one recently, so here's the group (minus the gold recolor).

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The '55 Gasser variations

While it may seem to be a bit premature to show variations on a casting that was just released last year, you can't deny that this one of the finest-detailed Gasser I've encountered!  Gasser's are usually modified cars, some like the AF/X versions have a stretched front axle in addition to the raised front-end.  The hood says buh-bye, so does the interior trimmings including the rear seat.  Other additions include track bars to control axle movement at high torque loads and most importantly a modified engine, usually with a supercharger bolted on.  The whole idea of a raised front end is to combat the front-end lift at launch, which can result in uncontrolled steering if the torque pushes the vehicle, in stand-up wheelie mode, anything other than the straight-ahead 1/4 mile (not to mention precious seconds off the time).  Also keep in mind that track bars arrived later on in the 1960's, so this was the only way to combat the front-end lift from high-powered track cars.  Eventually track bars, along with sleeker aerodynamics, won over drag racers more than the Gasser look in the coming years.

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The variations

To start it off, the 1955 Gasser, debut in flat gray, shows off the stock 1955 Chevy's curves very well and accurately, from the front egg-crate grille, round headlights, to the rear taillights and stock rear bumper.  The interior features only two seats in the front, no back seat, and shifter on the floor, but also includes the ribbed patterns on the door, driveshaft hump behind the front seats, and if you look closely you can see the external tachometer in the center of the dashboard.  The best is at the front where the engine is shown in 3D fashion, no 2D or half-efforts here this is the real thing!   The block, supercharger, air filters atop of the carbs, and my favorite the header exhaust that not only showcase in the engine compartment but exit out of the front wheel wells just ahead of the raised front axle.  Also note the brake master cylinder detailed on the firewall.  Man this casting packs loads of details!

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After the flat gray, flat gold was next, followed by the flat black (one I was anxiously waiting on) with black tint chrome.  Finally in 2014 a gorgeous metallic blue arrives with modified racing decals that don't seem new unless you have one alongside the 2013 version, and lest not forget the Super Treasure Hunt that features a shade darker blue color, white racing stripe on roof and trunk, and rubber tires.

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Don't be surprised to see more because this will be one casting that many will love for many years to come.

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