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Monday, December 7, 2015

Hot Wheels 2007 Chevy Silverado in 2WD and 4x4

What you see quite a lot these days in the diecast land is a lot of full-size American trucks from the big 3 Detroit automakers.  The Ford F-150 is the only common vehicle modeled for each generation, the Ram as of 1994.  The Chevy Silverado has also a long run like the F-150, but the previous-generation has not much so.  Only a handful of manufacturers make the replica of the 2007-2013 Chevy Silverado in diecast (not counting the plastic and R/C versions).  One of them is Hot Wheels who this year released a second version for those who don't like sitting close to the ground.

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The 2007 Chevy Silverado was a desperate truck for General Motor's survival when it was released.  Falling truck market, rising gas prices, and dwindling economy put a risk on the truck heavy GM.  The new Silverado was smoother, had two different dashboard designs (one shared with the Chevy Tahoe/Suburban), and an award winner as well.  Still, the falling of the stock market and the start of the Great Recession marked off the new Silverado from many diecast manufacturer's to-do list, but not Hot Wheels.  The first release of the casting was in 2007 in orange with simple SILVERADO letters on the sides and a cool motorbike diagonally in the bed area.  The bike was removable to allow the bed to haul other cargo, which it could.  When cost-cutting came to town so did the bike, but I must admit the bike was out-of-scale and looked rather odd in the truck.  The truck was low, but unlike the 2006 Nissan Titan was not too low to look awkward or forgo bed functionality.

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The front has a big split-grille that can be done in chrome or black depending on the interior color.  Stacked headlights join a lower bumper with integrated foglights and chin spoiler.  The sides show off a proud square style with fender flares that nicely break up the long flat sides.  The rear has large taillights and stock bumper, while the base shows off a typical truck frame with dual exhausts at the rear.  The engine is a typical 5.3L V8 that produced 315 hp through a 4-speed automatic that transitioned to the 6-speed automatic after a few years.  The engine seems weak compared to the 6.0L V8 that has the proper power and rumble of a true V8.  The interior, contrary to the LTZ's Tahoe dashboard and center console, the Hot Wheels version uses the work-truck dashboard with dual gloveboxes and seating for six.  Again, unlike the Nissan Titan or Steel Flame Chevy S-10 castings there is no large subwoofers or amplifiers taking over the rear seat.

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For those who want more out of the Silverado then check out the 2007 Silverado 4x4 which was released in this year's Heritage Real Riders series.  Just like the first release the color is a nice solid metallic red with only Silverado SS logo's on the doors and detailed headlights and taillights.  The grille is still part of the interior tool and yes the bed is still big and empty and features all of the same boxy lines of the 2WD couterpart.  However, to acommidate the wider base the body is actually smaller than the 2WD counterpart; you won't notice until you have the two side-by-side.  Other cool touches include the silver gas cap door and door handles, running boards, and front bumper guard with driving lights.  It looks cool, and sometimes, odd, with the lifted stance.  The base is meaty metal with the front and rear drive axles well protected by skid plates, and those 5-spoke wheels with rubber 4x4 tires look great, though they tend to look weak on the thin pin axles (not to mention the tire grooves rubbing against the shock absorbers.

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While the 4x4 has only one color so far and might be restricted to premium lines, the 2WD has been through countless variations.  The Orange, blue, and black of 2007 are the best, as is the sleek flame job of the 2009 variant.  The one you see here is the 2015 Then and Now series, which is pared up with the '52 Chevy Pickup in similar color and deco (i've reviewed the '52 Chevy Pickup earlier this year).  Overall the 2007 Chevy Silverado is now much better with two different versions to choose from, lots of acres for special logos, and lots of versatility to boot.

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