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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

M2 Machines 1957 Chevy 210 Beauville Wagon

M2 Machines is known for making classic 1950's American cars with lots of chrome and large fins, for the might 1960's muscle cars, and now the same era trucks as well.  What M2 has not focused on much is the station wagon, a category that is getting a bit of attention over the past five years.  Now they have answered with a 1957 Chevy wagon, but not the typical (and rare) Nomad that everyone else has one; this is the more typical 210 Beauville wagon.

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The most famous of the Tri-five Chevy's of the 1950's is the Bel-Air coupe, convertible, and nomad station wagon's in diecast.  However, in the 1950's most people drove the lower-end models like the 210, and now companies like M2 are taking notice.  The 210's benefit from a lack of special trim pieces and perks that the Bel-air has but otherwise is undistinguishable.  The 1957 models took a more Cadillac approach with billet bumper ends, more chrome, and larger fins at the rear.  Even 210 and wagon body styles still had the same amount of glitz and glamor as the higher-end Bel-Air models had.  Powertrains were the typical difference as most likely had the new line of V8's, base models had the 235 CID Blue Flame I-6 that produced 140 hp. through a 3-speed column-shifted manual transmission.

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The look of this car is amazing in turquoise with white top and matching blue steel wheels with chrome center caps and very skinny tires.  The look is very familiar 57 Chevy with the front having chrome headlight bezels with separate inner lens, chrome billets on the hood, Chevrolet badge without the V, and a chrome bumper with outer billets and oddly an inner grille with a gold texture (usually reserved for V8 models).  The sides feature the familiar side chrome strip that flairs out with the fins, but uses Chevrolet instead of Bel-Air inside the fins.  The biggest difference here is the pillar posts that separates the standard wagon from a classy Nomad.  Door gaps for the front-doors could be better but otherwise the body looks great.  At the rear are the peaked fins in chrome with red taillights, reverse lamps below, and a tailgate that lacks the Nomad's ridges.

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As mentioned this casting uses the I-6 motor, although a V8 can be used at a later date.  The engine block stands out in blue next to the air cleaner housing and distributor cap, detailed radiator and hose, and even the brake resovoir is detailed to stand out.  The base shows off the typical X-braced frame with dual exhausts and room for larger rear tires in the future.  Open the doors to show off an interior with two-tone bench seats that can seat six people in two rows.  Access is granted by two more doors at the rear (no more climbing over the front to get to the rear seats), with the front having as much detail as possible before the hinges get into the way.  The dashboard layout is very driver-centric with the speedometer and most controls just behind the large steering wheel; only the radio sits in the middle.  The rear cargo area is spacious with an underfloor storage area for the spare tire, jack, and any small items; it wouldn't be until the late 1960's before the rearward-facing third row makes an appearance.

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Of course, this casting is not perfect for anyone with some detail flaws here and there, but starting out a base model wagon with a gorgeous color combination is one way to really get a new casting out of the starting gate.  This model has a bright future ahead!

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