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Friday, May 13, 2016

40th and 50th Corvette Anniversaries: Maisto 1:18 and Johnny Lightning 1:64 1993 Corvette and Johnny Lightning 2003 Corvette

The Corvette has celebrated many anniversaries, milestones, and pace many races for many years.  One of my favorite Corvette anniversary models is the 1993 40th and 2003 50th anniversary models in dark metallic red color that still looks good today.  I have recently received a Maisto 1:18 scale version of the 40th anniversary ZR-1 (a long-time coming for this one), and also I brought out the Johnny Lightning versions to show as well.

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Maisto 1:18 1993 Corvette ZR-1 40th Anniversary

One of my first reviews on this blog was the new Maisto 1:18 2014 Corvette Stingray coupe, an impressive model that Maisto has done since the C4 Corvette, in which I also showed the 1996 coupe in striking red and a 1993 ZR-1 in admiral blue.  One car that I've been chasing years ago was the 40th Anniversary edition.  Came close, but never got it.  Now I had the chance to get a loose one from Ebay and cleaned it up to let it shine in these pictures.  It still looks good today!  The maroon paint looks good in the dark more than in the light, but still looks good nonetheless.  The front-end has the rounded look with signal and foglights that look much better than the pre-1992 C4's.  The sides have 40th badges above the side scoops and the torque-fan wheels have red Corvette badges (they're less noticeable compared to the 1:1 version).  The rear has the same setup with rounded rear bumper with quad taillights, reverse lamps with ZR-1 badge (the only ZR-1 badge on this car!), and rectangular dual exhaust tips. 

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The glass hatch opens to reveal the large cargo area with the spare tire under the floor and access by a side handle.  If you have the 1996 coupe with the two targa tops both will fit on all C4 Corvette coupes from Maisto.  The interior has the first use of the two-tone colors with the maroon seats and door panels adding emphasis to the black interior.  The seat headrests have the 40th badges on them, again hard-to-see unless you look up close.  The dashboard has a nicer look than the pre-1992 C4's with a smoother dashboard layout, glovebox on the top portion of the dashboard on the passenger-side, gauges with more analog than digital, and central radio and HVAC controls.  The shifter and ride adjustment knob are on the console, though the parking brake that is to the left of the driver's seat is not there.  The hood opens up to show off the excellet 5.7L all-aluminum DOHC V-8 that produces 405 hp. and 385 Ib-ft. of torque through a 6-speed manual transmission.  Powerful indeed, and very well-detailed under the hood with the silver intake, valve covers, the engine a full 3-D piece with the transmission as well, red spark plug wires attached to the front distributor cap, and detailed air box and fluid resovoirs.  However, its a heavy hood so make sure to use the hood prop to keep the hood open.  The chassis underneath shows off the exhaust system, frame, and suspension mounting points in full details (no molded base plate here!).  In all it's very nicely done and worth the wait!

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Johnny Lightning 40th Anniversary Convertible and 2003 50th Anniversary Coupe

Johnny Lightning celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Corvette in 2003 with a special series that celebrated all years of the Corvette with a picture of each year's brochure cover.  Of course, this also includes anniversary models as well like the 40th and 50th Anniversary models shown here.  The 40th is a convertible instead of the Maisto coupe and the LT4 5.7 V8 over the ZR-1's LT5 V8.  The details on the car are incredible from the lighting to the badging, smoothly integrated over the maroon color of the car.  The interior has the dashboard in black, with the rest of the interior in the maroon color that really shines on this convertible.  Interestingly enough despite the use of transitional castings at Johnny Lightning that can use one casting for several body styles (see the 50th Corvette next for an example) this convertible has a metal back area where you'd expect a plastic transitional piece to reside for coupe models.  The metal base shows off most of the typical drivetrain components, including a transmission pan to indicate that this car uses an automatic transmission.  The ground clearance is a bit too high and the wheels are not that realistic, but at least they look good on this car.

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For the 50th Anniversary the Corvette again adorns the metallic dark red, or maroon, color.  The difference here is that the interior is a solid light gray instead of a two-tone and the chassis is all-new.  The C5 Corvette moved forward from the C4 with a more refined chassis, relocating the transmission to the rear axle, a new LS1 5.7L V8 that produces 350 horsepower, and an improved interior with a trunk finally for the convertible.  A third bodystyle was introduced in 1999: a convertible with a hardtop, that would later become the ZR-1's successor the ZO6.  The stance on this JL version is nicely done though the retro 5-spoke mags look awkward on this car.  The front has the concealed headlights with signal lights that meet scoops with integrated foglights.  The smoother sides with swept fender scoop have 50th badges on the front fenders, while the rear has detailed brake lights, reverse lamps, and center exhaust tips in black.  The chassis shows off more detail than the C4 with the drivetrain and suspension components fully detailed, a front air splitter, and a pan for the transmission signaling the 5-speed automatic transmission is used.  The nicest touch is the open targa top look that shows off the light interior color with twin cockpit design, dual seats, and detailed door panels.  The cargo area is larger and opens to a larger rear hatchback design.  Unlike the 40th the 50th version in replica is much less commonly found in diecast so this JL version is one of only a handful of 50th anniversary replica's, but hey it looks all great with this trio of dark metallic red anniversary Corvette's.

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