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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Johnny Lightning 1:24 1969 Chevelle SS and SunnySide 1:24 1968 Chevelle SS




As you've probably seen before I love the style of the 1968 and 1969 Chevelle.  Just can't get enough!  You may see more later on, and you've already seen the Greenlight 1:64 group profiled before, now it's the larger-scale turn with two very nice examples.




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All-metal Johnny Lightning

There I was one day standing at a Wal-Mart looking at a Johnny Lightning 1:24 1969 Chevelle in yellow with black top.  The lower plastic window for the base, but otherwise it was in good condition.  I left it behind and I never known why I did this, and I regret it ever since.  Just lately I found one at a flea market in a even nicer dark blue with only a black stripe on the side (no black top).. It's a beaut!  Johnny Lightning started to make 1:24 castings in 2005 with the hard-to-find Coke vehicles that was followed by the Muscle Cars series.  Most castings had not only a metal body but a metal base unheard of in this scale category.  The level of details and precision was excellent for the price, and became a popular series even with White Lightning chases (white tires and base).  Sadly, Johnny Lightning's misdirection that led to their disappearance in the retail stores in 2013 also contributed to the final 1:24 vehicles to have plastic bases.  Yes, plastic bases!




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The Chevelle is not one of them.  The front has the chrome grille with round clear headlights in the square housings, chrome bumper, and red Johnny Lightning plates front and rear.  The hood has the dual scoops with chrome vents and hidden wipers behind the cowl.  The sides have the black stripe, SS logo's, marker lights, and chrome trim in silver, though the rear side window trim looks a bit unfinished.  The Craiger mags with Firestone white letter tires look cool on this car, with the front being independent while the rears are attached by a metal pin axle.  The back has the red taillight lenses with detailed badging, chrome trim, and those dual exhaust tips below the bumper.  A few nitpicks:  The chrome trim was so unfinished that they forgot to finish off the hood trim above the cowl (I had to finish it off with a silver Sharpie), and the doors have a little play in them that causes them to easily unlatch (you can see in a few of the pictures how the doors are trying to open on their own).






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The interior has bucket seats at the front, bench at the rear, side door paneling with chrome window crank handle.  The dashboard is nicely laid out with chrome floor shifter, though the silver gauges lack detail that I would've expected.  The hood opens up to a beautiful rendering of the 396 CID V8 with chrome air cleaner with Turbo Jet badge, silver intake manifold, chrome valve covers, black cylinder heads, orange engine block, silver headers and brake master cylinder and booster, hoses for the radiator and defroster in the dashboard, drive belts, alternator, fan, and even the spark plug wires from the distributor to the spark plugs.  So much detail that makes the M2 Machines 1:24 vehicles seem a bit short on a few details!  Then there's the metal base: it's metal from the transmission rearward with detailed exhaust, driveshaft, rear axle, and gas tank.  At front an opening holds for the engine painted in orange and a separate plastic setup for the front suspension to allow the front wheels to turn, but there's a caveat: the steering wheel does not move with the wheels and the wheels don't tend to turn to the far-left much due to some interference inside of the steering linkage.




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Sunnyside's 1968

Before the JL, I found this 1968 from Sunnyside, coincidentally from the same flea market vendor that I got the JL 1969, in metallic green.  It, too, is packed full of detail with the front grille with chrome outlines, round clear headlights along chrome square rings, chrome grille trim with SS logo, and chrome bumper with Chevrolet 1968 Chevelle plates front and rear.  This front-end is much better-done than the JL 1969, and the side trim nicely matches the front grille.  The side window trim is completely detailed, the antenna is nice and a bit sensitive to bending, the hood has the same scoops but are less prominent and have silver vent detailing, and the chrome Rallye wheels have white stripes that are, interestingly, white plastic rings instead of stamped ink.  Also note the use of both exterior mirrors instead of one.




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The rear has the simple look with detailed taillights and trim, though the exhaust tips are not chrome-tipped.  A problem with this version I have is the lineup of the driver's door to the body which makes the side chrome trim look offset.  The interior features the same details as the JL, but the dashboard features chrome radio controls and detailed gauges as stickers, and the steering wheel is a 3-spoke over the 1969's 2-spoke design.  The shifter is in the right position, but I had to fix it to its current state when I cleaned this car up years ago.  The base, though all-plastic, shows the correct details and both front and rear wheels are connected with a metal axle pin.  The hood opens up to show almost the exact same detailing as the JL 1969, but with a few differences:  There's no sticker on the air cleaner, the brake master cylinder and booster is clear brake fluid color, and the engine does not fully go through to the bottom.


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Both of these are some well-done castings for the right price, and are a nice addition to my collection of 1968 and 1969 Chevelle's.  Look for more variations with the Greenlights in the next few months!


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