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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

M2 1:24 1959 GMC 150 4x4 Pickup



One of the most anticipated castings  to debut this year for me in 1:24 is the M2 1958-1959 Chevy and GMC pickups in the same various cab, engine, bed, and ride height formats just like the 1:64 version.  So let's see how much of a good job they've done.


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The birth of GM 4x4 pickups

The 1958 GM trucks followed the full-sized GM cars by adopting the new quad headlight arrangement with new grille's, but still retaining the same fender and hood shape, along with everything else past the hood.  The rear now gets dual taillights on stepside models.  In 1959 the 4x4 was now offered as a factory option for the first time.  You have a choice of a 3.9L I-6, or two V8 motors through a three or four-speed manual or Hydramatic automatic.  Two-wheel drive or a NAPCO Power-Pak four-wheel drive system.  1958 featured custom fleetside bed on the Cameo (Chevrolet) or Suburban Carryall (GMC) trim levels, but in 1959 the package was dropped for a more flexible standard Fleetside bed for all trim levels.  Prior to 1958 the Chevy and GMC had different front ends, with the GMC encorporating Cadillac-style bullet bumpers and the GMC using Pontiac V8's.  Now both trucks share almost the identical front-ends and the same V8 motor's.



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The Big and Brawny M2 1959 4x4

First off, it looks amazing in red with the tall ride height and plenty of metal to make it feel heavy, plus this is the first 1:24 truck casting for M2.  The GMC looks even better than the fashionable 1958 Chevy Cameo in blue!  The front has the chrome trim surrounding the quad headlights, GMC trim on the hood, silver bumper with integrated turn signals, chrome bumper, and "150" in the middle of the grille despite the "100" designation on the base.  And trust me that's not the only fault in this casting!





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The sides have the V8 logo, chrome mirrors, antenna, door handles; white roof and window trim, nicely-done stepside with left-side spare tire hangout (though it could use some more paint in the small crevice above the rear fenders and below the bed edges).  Out back is the tailgate with white GMC letters, dual taillights, and chrome bumper with 1959 plate.  The tailgate is nifty: You raise it up slightly to drop the gate, then as you close it in just push in all the way.  A small latch at the bottom of the main latch allows for a locking ability to prevent the gate from coming open.  The bed is nicely detailed with the wood planks and silver trim.  The red steel wheel with chrome hubcap is correct, but the bowties on the wheels are incorrect (it's a GMC, come on!).  The steering is available, but barely moves, though I do give credit for the front pumpkin (differential) on a live axle with I-beam steering knuckles for the proper look.  Underneath the base starts off with the body-on-frame profile with the detailed black frame, live front and rear axles supported by leaf springs, exhaust system, transfer case, and engine and transmission details.  However, why is the passenger-side exhaust header missing?



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Opening the hood shows the V8 motor in orange block with black air cleaner, hoses, radiator with silver cap, alternator, fan, belts, and battery box on the firewall. Simple, yet effective even if I want to see an engine label.  The smooth-opening doors open to a red and white two-tone interior, white bench, red and white door panels with door latch and window crank chrome handles.  The dashboard has a white top with a red lower portion with comprehensive gauges in silver (no dial details), stereo controls in the center, four-wheel-drive shift lever function sticker, and glovebox, but where is the transfer case shifter?  No where to be found!  Only the floor shifter for the four-speed manual is there.  The steering column is red, metal, and has the correct dash mounting point, but again unless this was a Chevy or Suburban Carryall, incorrect with the bowtie in the center!  Come on M2 Machines, if you're going to design a highly-detailed classic, at least make sure it is accurate!



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...what about the blue 1957 Chevy?

The Chevy is from another manufacturer (not sure who), which I got at a Cracker Barrel a decade and a half ago.  Since then it sits on display right next to the desktop computer.  It's seen better days with loads of dust, fading chrome, one end of the tailgate supported by a bent paperclip, and the steering column has come off twice (at least it glued back on).  Even so, it still looks good and holds up well, though detailing is not as sharp as the M2.  This should give you an idea of how big the 4x4 is over the two-wheel drive version.  Oh, and at one point I had enough of the cheap chrome wheels and replaced them with 5-spoke wheels, extra's from an AMT/Ertl 1996 Chevy S10 model kit.  I must say it looks good with them on!




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...now for the 1:64 version from last year.

Now compare the 1:24 to the 1:64 that M2 released last year.  This was the first time the GMC got the 4x4 unit and stepside bed first offered on the 1959 Chevy Apache.  Joining it on that release is the green 1958 GMC Fleet Option Truck.  This version features two headlights, mesh grille, round turn signals, green steel wheels with white hubcaps, along with white front and rear bumpers and grille.  The interior lacks a stereo and features a Chevy steering column.  The only engine is the I-6 and three-speed manual.  Since they were worn down by fleet customers, finding a perfectly-mint Fleet truck is hard to come by.




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Overall I give the 1:24 a 4 out of 5 mostly for some incorrect details (too many bowties still visible), missing transfer case shifter, and missing passenger-side exhaust manifold.  I can sees a customizer finding a way to fix those problems (and I may need to install the missing transfer case), because otherwise this is one fantastic casting in 4x4 trim!











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