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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Auto World 1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate, and the Johnny Lightning 1969 Impala's




It took a while, but after all the hype about the latest Auto World wagon's, I was finally able to find the 1969 Chevy Kingswood Estate in white.  So along with the wagon I compared it to it's relative the 1969 Impala Convertible by Johnny Lightning.


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Lux Wagon

Station wagons were big in the 1960's and 1970's, the mode of transportation for families traveling across the country.  Chevy decided to up the ante with the top-level Kingswood Estate, identifiable by its side wood trim.  The faux wood panel is joined by the chrome trim with integrated marker lights.  The tailgate is dual-position either swinging down, or to the left with an integrated step to access the backward-facing third row for two. In 1971 the Kingswood gained a tailgate that glides down into the floor.  All 1969 full-size Chevy's have a chrome front grille with inner mesh and the choice of exposed or hidden headlights, tri-taillights that return in vertical (wagon) or horizontal (coupe, convertible, sedan) form, and bullet-shaped bulges on the sides.  The interior features a more driver-oriented cockpit with radio, HVAC, speedometer, and other controls behind the two-spoke steering wheel.  The Kingswood also adds power windows, locks, A/C, and two three-person benches, along with a roof rack to hold additional luggage.  Powertrains range from a 350 to a 427 V8; this Kingswood has a 350 Cid. Turbo Jet V8 producing 320 hp, while the Impala has a 427 V8 producing 335 hp., both through a 3-speed automatic.  In 1970 the Kingswood would join the Caprice in a newly-restyled model.


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Auto World's big wagon

Auto World likes to think big, especially after the 1976 Cadillac Coupe de Ville, they do it again with the 1969 Kingswood Estate, with is slightly smaller in length to the Cadillac, but equally close in size.  The front grille details are nice and features covered headlights for this version (later versions will feature exposed headlights), with blue bowtie, mesh grille, bumper details, CHEVROLET on the hood and Big Block on the front and rear plates.  The side trim is also nicely done with Kingswood Estate on the rear fenders and correct hubcap wheels with skinny tires that look like they struggle with the weight of this car.  The rear also features detailed taillights, trim, and nice dual exhaust peeking out below the bumper.  The metal base features a boat load of details, and the engine bay is nicely done with the orange engine with Turbo Jet on the air filter cover, coolant jug, and alternator nicely-detailed.  The inside is properly done with three bench seats, including the backwards third bench and well-detailed dash.  Again Auto World does it again in amazing details, but the wheels are the only complaint on this vehicle since it's too small and looks odd on this big wagon.  Otherwise it's a superb casting.


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Johnny Lightning 1969 Impala

My start with liking the 1969 Chevy's started at Johnny Lightning when, in 2006, they introduced the 1969 Impala Convertible in the Classic Gold line, with both top up and top down version, in extensive detail and extremely popular, so the top down version was the only one I could find.  You'll notice the windshield is lower and cracked: it actually broke off from improper storage.  It was too late to save it, but I decided to protect the others by buying a bunch of Jammer cases from Anna's Linens.  The details are extraordinary: silver grille with exposed headlights, blue bowtie logo, CHEVROLET letters on the hood, side scallops and trim details, and the rear bumper with taillights and special license plate details.


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Inside the interior is nicely done with the front and rear bench, side door panel details, and correct dash layout.  The hood opens up with the correct orange block, silver valve covers, and white coolant catch tank, and only on this version is the metal base painted black with extensive details to the drivetrain, exhaust, and check out the details on the orange engine block with blue oil filter!


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Afterwards in the Impala 50th anniversary series I found the black one with red interior and top-up profile.  Other changes include the addition of SS logo's and redline tires replace the white-letter tires of the previous version, and a different rear plate.  Later on was the blue one with blue interior and top-up look, with a different plate.  In 2012 Forever 64 the Blue on Blue returned, this time in the top-down look with rallye wheels having a deeper dish, less trim details, plastic base, yet still a much better-looking demeanor.  There was more versions in the Forever 64, but only the blue and orange was worth getting.


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Finally the orange looks awesome with the white interior, looking perfect in a GM Hugger Orange family.  The only change from the blue on blue is the multi-spoke wheels from a 1975 Corvette, which apparently on my version forgot to change out the right rear wheel as it still uses the previous rallye wheel setup.  Since it was facing the blister card it was hard to see this error until you release the car from the package.



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As long as bigger wheels are installed, the Kingswood Estate would be my new favorite.  As for the Impala Convertible, it all depends if Johnny Lightning can come back.


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