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Sunday, April 19, 2015

M2 and Hot Wheels 1959 Cadillac

To emphasize on how big American cars were, nothing comes to mind than the 1959 Cadillac line.  Big fins, big trunk, chrome all around, it's the most iconic cars of the 1950's.  Here's two examples of the 1959 Cadillac, one custom one fantastically stock.

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The biggest fins you can get!

In the 1950's tail fins rule as they get bigger and loaded with more chrome.  Inspired by the aircraft from World War II the cars from the Big 3 in Detroit used some aviation inspiration in the styling of their cars from the gun shooter and spear bumpers to the taillights with the look of a jet afterburner.  This design was nothing new for the Cadillac division that has been using this design for a decade at this point.  The 1959 Cadillac line was going to take this into a new direction: at 225 inches in length, the 1959 Cadillac line was the biggest Cadillac in recent history with a large trunk, or landing strip for aircraft, with tall fins featuring tri-taillight spears, chrome trim, and a lower grille with reverse lamps in afterburner housings.  The front has quad headlights with a mesh grille and lower quad signal lights.  The roof on the coupe models has a smooth look that starts sloping down at the rear to meet the slope of the trunk.  The interior has a plush seating for six with a driver-oriented dashboard featuring a horizontal speedometer and air vent/clock at the ends of the speedometer housing to add more to the aircraft theme.  To move 5,000 Ib's worth of weight, the 1959 Cadillac uses the 390 CiD V8 that produces 325 hp. through a 4-speed automatic.  The frame, just like other GM car products, use the X-frame technology with coil spring A-arms at the front and live axle with coil springs at the rear.  The Series 62 and Eldorado look the same, but the Eldorado offers more luxury content at a high price; both cars are also offered as a convertible with the 62 being offered as a 4-door sedan as well.

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Hot Wheels slim jim '59 convertible

The first 1959 Cadillac that Hot Wheels made was the convertible in 1989.  As you can see the car is rather narrow, though the length is correct.  The front end has the correct grille and headlights, the rear has the slant trunk with the large fins.  The windshield is wrap-around, as is the tonneau cover for the convertible.  The interior has the correct seat details, but the dashboard is rather flat lacking any details, though the base offers the correct frame and exhaust layout.  As for the variations there's a lot, but beware you have a choice between nicely-trimmed stock or one gorged with graphics or pinstrips all over the place.  The black one came from the 1950's 5-pack with a red interior, 7-spoke wheels with white stripe tires, and ELDORADO letters on the front fenders.  The other one is a 1999 release in blue with white side scallops and pinstriping on the hood and rear trunk.  Like I said there's good ones and then there's not so good ones.

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The finer Custom '59 Caddy coupe

Hot Wheels resolved this issue in 2002 when the coupe version of the 1959 Cadillac was released with the proper wide width to match the long length.  Also it gains the slick roof and a lowered stance for a lowrider look.  The front grille now has more finer detailing to join the quad headlights and a larger front place area.  The sides have a cleaner look without the door handles and added lower rear skirts, while the rear has a more finer-detailed grille and the reverse lamps have more detailing of the afterburner surround.  The base shows off even more detailing with the X-frame and drivetrain components, while the interior shows off a more detailed dashboard than the '59 convertible.  The color started off with the proper pink, but with the graphics on the hood and roof.  Despite the lowrider look, this '59 Cadillac is much better than the '59 Eldorado convertible.  With that in mind most of the recolors have looked good on this casting, including the 2008 blue with side flames (the most cleanest-looking version of this casting) and the K-mart-only primer black with yellow flames and interior.

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The stunning M2 version

But nothing compares to the level of detailing offered in this 1:64 version from M2 Machines.  This casting has lots of variations, but nothing's more appropriate than the Wood Rose pink on this 1959 Cadillac.  This release came in either a white top and pink interior or the color-matching top and black interior with white seat trim accents shown here.  The interior has the detailed seats and dashboard with silver trim accents, but the door panels have no detailing and match the exterior color.  The base is metal and features a few driveline details, while the engine bay shows off the large mill with gold valve covers and air cleaner on a blue block with some decent details.  The wheels have the lace hubcaps with the whitewall rubber tires with the correct narrow shape.  The best part is the exterior, and lets start with the front that includes chrome bumper and grilles with black grille insert and a separate lens for each signal light and headlight.  Then there's the chrome fins on the front fenders, side trim, wheelwells, and window trim.  The best part is at the back that features the tall fins (which are part of the metal body and not a separate piece) with chrome trim carrying the spear taillights, chrome bumper with black grille insert, and the reverse light afterburners with red outline.  The only downside is the chrome trim on the fins that have some broken flash from the manufacturing process that, luckily, is only visible on the inner chrome trim.  Words cannot say much about how great this casting looks, and this is by far the best M2 1:64 car casting to date!

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Bonus: Ghostbusters ECTO-1

As an added bonus, the movie "Ghostbusters" used a 1959 Cadillac Ambulance for its ghost catching routines.  This Hot Wheels version is a bit slimmer than the custom '59 coupe, yet still as long.  The front grille loses the mesh pattern for a smoother version with integrated rescue lights.  The sides have the large fenders a tad smaller and blended in with the wagon profile, in addition to the four large doors.  The rear shows off the same fin and afterburner reverse lamp locations, but the smooth trunk lid is gone and replaced by a tall wagon roof with side opening door.  The roof has dual rescue lights integrated with the windows and joined by the roof rack with all of the necessary gear for the ghost hunting mission with a ladder down the right-side of the vehicle while the left side secures itself to the vehicle.  The base is chrome and really shows nothing special, while the interior features a detailed front dashboard with front bench seat for three.  The rear area where the gurney would rest is replaced with a gear rack to hold the nuclear guns for the three ghostbusters that slides out like a gurney when the guns are needed.  So far this is the only mainline release in 2010, with a Retro Entertainment version introduced in 2013 and a Halloween version for Kroger stores in 2012.  Recently, for the Ghostbusters II film the casting was modified with a different gear rack system for the 2015 Retro Entertainment line.  And if that's not enough there's a 1:18 Elite version for even more detail and functionality.

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Still, nothing beats the details that M2 offers at a smaller scale for this 1959 Cadillac, and nothing's more iconic than that pink color!

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