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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Suburban vs. Suburban: Welly 1:24 vs. SunnySide 1:24




The other half of my recent finds, including the yellow Ram, is this Suburban that looks good in Victory Red.  What's more is that it joins another Suburban that I've had in my collection for years, by a lesser-known company known as Sunnyside.


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The longest serving (and longest) SUV out there today

1935 was the first year of the 7-passenger SUV called the Suburban.  Today, it's still the king of big SUV even after several competitor attempts and rising fuel costs.  In 1992 the GM SUV and Heavy-Duty Pickups got a rather late full-redesign to finally match the 1988 1500 pickup restyle.  The look was smoother and more modern, and was also the last time the Suburban would share almost all styling elements with the C/K pickups.  Still, the interior was the same driver-oriented, seating for seven or eight, and the choice of tailgate/window or panel doors.  The engine was the tried-and-true 5.7L V8 producing 255 hp. through a 4-speed automatic.  Four-wheel drive was still offered with a floor transfer case, but now with an independent suspension, and this was the only generation to offer a turbodiesel V8.  In 1995 the interior was vastly redone with a driver's airbag, while its little cousin gains two more doors and is renamed Tahoe from K-5 Blazer.



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In 2000, the next-generation Suburban arrived with more smoother, but still familiar styling.  The rear-end with new taillights and a rear axle with coil springs was the major difference between the Suburban and the Silverado, though this would be the outright last generation both pickups and SUV's shared body panels (and would continue to separate even during a 2003 mid-cycle refresh for the pickups).  Other notable changes including spare tire now underneath, Autoride self-leveling suspension, push-button 4WD with a full-time setting, rear disc brakes, and a new series of V8 engines based on the Corvette's new LS-series.  On the trucks the cylinder block was cast iron, but everything else was shared with the Corvette's motor.  1500's got the 5.3L, while the 2500 gets the 6.0L V8 producing 335 hp. and 375 Ib-ft torque (a vast improvement over the 5.3L) through a 4-speed automatic.




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The styling was smoother, the front no longer has the square halogen lights on the base trims as before, with integrated daytime running lights, more modern touches on the side, and sill the choice of dual doors (until 2005) or a new lift-up hatch (with separate-opening glass).  The interior was much more roomier with larger seats, now all have integrated seat belts, easier entry-and-exit for the rear seats, and a new dash with dual airbags and more content.






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The Welly version, standing tall (yet short)

Welly did a nice job with this one, even though I feared it would be boring compared to the Land Rover Discovery that I profiled earlier this month.  The red looks appealing, the front grille is nicely done with detailed headlights, grille, and lower chrome bumper with foglights.  The sides have integrated trim, detailed mirror covers, running boards, and roof rack on the top.  Note that while it looks like all four doors open, they do not; the rear doors are part of the clear plastic window, painted to match the body color.  It's cheesy and cheap, but not that noticeable from a distance.  The rear could use some touch-up like detailed taillights, and a rear bumper (on the fenders, not on the actual bumper itself) would have less of a flare to it.  Elsewhere the rear has nice details like the logo's, the black trim D-pillars, the separate rear wiper, third brake light on top, and bumper with clear separation between black and chrome trim.




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Unlike the Ram's base, the Welly Suburban's base is nicely done with the proper location of components.  The best part is the wheels: those chrome 5-spokes with eight-lug center caps means this Suburban is the heavy-duty 2500 version, not the 1500, which also means the more powerful 6-liter V8!  The interior is nice and airy in tan (though some tint on the rear windows wouldn't hurt.  I can imagine how hot this interior would get in the summer!).  The front dashboard is big and has a few details, but the gauges are incorrect, it's missing the wiper/signal stalk on the left, and the gray lower dash (and on the door panels) looks awkward and out-of-place with the tan.  The console and front seats are big and roomy, as does the second and third-row benches.  The rear hatch opens to a roomy cargo area even with the third bench up (a trait of the Suburban's); it would be nice to see the benches fold down like the Maisto 1:24 Ford Explorer's and Buick Rendezvous, but that would be asking too much!  Despite some needed and missing details, and some cheap plastic parts showing, it's a nice-looking Suburban!



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Sunnyside's bigger, older version

About 15 years ago I found this unknown-brand Suburban at a (now closed) third-party toy store.  It was awesome in green with CHEVROLET on the sides, and it's a big truck, so big that it's twice as big as the Welly Suburban!  Though it appears the details are simple and plain:  The front chrome grille with integrated lights and grille inserts, slab-sided sides with integrated door handles and flush windows, no roof rack, and rear taillights, bumper, and tailgate badge.  The wheels are the correct 5-spokes on the stock 1500 Suburban's, while the base was...well...flat!  The interior is a mismatch of generations: 1994 dashboard with 1995 seats and door panels.  The dashboard is nicely done with the driver-oriented controls, 4-spoke wheel (though upside down), and incorrect gauges again!  The console and seats are 1995, as does the floor shifter even though the shifter is a bit big.  The second and third row are 1995 benches, though the third row does eat up some rear cargo room.  The coolest part is the rear tailgate/window hatch opening process perfectly mimicking the actual Suburban's unit, plus it features an inner door panel


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Finally it's interesting to know that the Sunnyside Suburban has more ground clearance than the Welly, which suffers from low running boards, but still it can't beat the Welly's excellent use of details.



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