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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Motormax 1:24 1987 Buick Regal T-type and SunnySide 1:24 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo SS




This was a long time coming ever since I saw the first release of the Motormax Buick Regal casting.  The only Grand National casting that I had at a large scale was the Jada 1:24 model that was low and wore huge dub wheels.  Not what I wanted but had little choice.  Seeing the Regal T-type by Motormax, similar to the GN but with a more stock Regal look, got me interested but with a problem: Motormax castings like these were staring to get harder to find in stores.  Now years later after running into one in person at a flea market I finally had one, even though I only had a color choice of silver.  Interesting enough about ten years ago that was the same choice I had when I found this unique Monte Carlo SS, also silver and also a 1987 model year.  Time to compare both of them.







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Motormax 1987 Buick Regal T-type

When the G-body was introduced in 1978 it didn't look like the type of performance car that you'd lust after: just a typical mid-level luxury coupe.  That all changed in 1983 when each brand got their own performance version with aerodynamic aids thanks in part to NASCAR.  Chevy had the SS name reunited for the Monte Carlo after a decade's absence, while the Regal went incognito and kept the stock look but with less chrome and a new, unique V6 that is turbocharged and would become a lethal force against sports cars of that era.  The Regal T-type, and the black bandit Grand National and GNX that followed, provided power that not even a stock V8 like in the Monte Carlo can match.  The turbocharged 3.8L V6 produced 190 hp. and 280 Ib-ft of torque through a 4-speed automatic transmission.  The car would prove popular with Buick and last for many years until the platform switch to a new front-wheel drive layout in 1988, spelling the end of the mighty Regal's.






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Silver may not be the sharpest color out there compared to black, but on this Motormax casting in Type-T trim it has a sleek, luxurious look that hides the secret ingredient.  The front has a blacked-out grille with buick logo, blacked-out headlight bezels with detailed quad headlights and side lights as well, while the lower bumper is still chrome and has the detailed bumper pads and signal lights; when I got the car the bumper was put on upside down, so when I took it apart to clean it up I took the bumper off, turned it around, and glued it back on.  Problem solved!  The coolest part about this casting is something that you don't see a lot nowadays: a chrome hood ornament.  Speaking of hood the hood has the bulge with the 3.8 badge to let you know what's under the hood on the sides of the scoop.  The sides show a flat beltline with squared-off roofline that adds nifty aerodynamic mirrors, T-badges on the front fenders, and sleek silver turbine wheels with rubber tires, though the car does seem a bit squatted down at the rear.







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Out back there's a slight lip in the rear spoiler on the trunk, Buick, 3.8 badges on the trunk and on the sides the Regal badge, red taillights with inner reverse lamps lining up to a Georgia plate, and a lower chrome bumper similar to the front minus the signal lights.  The silver paint has a bit of a bluish hue that makes it unique and different from the Monte Carlo's silver paint.  The base already has some excellent silver detail accents like the transmission, exhaust system, and fuel tank, but the driveshaft was not completely finished off so I finished it myself. The rear has the fuel tank with the crossover muffler just ahead and the vertical spare tire well on the left, the rear axle detailed though in a square-like fashion, while the front has the detailed radiator support and lower A-arms that sit on an axle that hangs quite low for steering (not sure why).  Pop open the hood to view the turbocharged V6 with the large turbocharger, under the heat shield, is visible at the top of the engine with intake, valve covers, and the air box that enters on the left of the vehicle.  While it is an engine tub and not a full-scale engine, there is visible space at the front of the engine to see the ground below.  The brake fluid resovior is attached to the valve cover and is colored silver, and while I was at it cleaning it I added details to the coolant resovoir, the washer fluid resovoir, and the battery terminals to add more visual impact in the engine bay.








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Inside the interior has a nice light gray look that benefits from the silver paint more than the black.  The bucket seats are detailed and have some good support for a car in this era, while the rear seat can fit two adults with added detail to the rear decklid with the rear speakers and center brake light.  I added silver detail to the belt buckles at the rear as well.  The dashboard is similar to the clean layout like the Monte carlo with center stack that has radio and HVAC controls down to the console with the chrome T-handle and an upper dash that has detailed air vents and black passenger panel.  On the door panels they have ribbed pattern, grab handle, and I added details to the silver power windows and lock controls.  The pedals are a separate piece and look good, while the 3-spoke steering wheel has a nice sporty feel to it with two stalks behind it (one is to tilt the wheel) and a slot to insert the key on the column.  The gauges are fully detailed with the horizontal speedometer and lower auxiliary gauges.  The execution of this car is nicely done, and I can see why it's a very popular choice for collectors.






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SunnySide 1987 Chevy Monte Carlo SS

The Monte Carlo was more about streamlining than speed as the SS package adds more smooth lines to the wedge-shape Monte Carlo starting in 1983.  The front bumper is pushed forward with a smoother nose, the rear sleeker with a rear spoiler, and in 1986-1987 the rear window extended to create the notchback look.  Chrome nonexistent, SS badges plenty, heck you could have an El Camino SS if you want!  Power is provided by the 5.0L High Output V8 that produces 180 hp. through a 4-speed automatic.  As with the Regal Type T when the new front-wheel drive platform debut in 1988 the SS and also the Monte Carlo name was gone for a brief while.





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SunnySide is not a well-known diecast manufacturer, yet they are out there.  Since I got this silver Monte Carlo SS I have yet to see another one like it.  Also this was before 1:18 scale models came along when I got this one, and at the time it had some nice details to it.  Silver was also a lesser-known color to the Monte over white, black, burgundy, or even purple.  The front end has the smooth aero look with black grille, quad headlights, and lower signal lights that could use more orange (and better position of the support holes for the lenses.)  The CHEVROLET and Monte badges on the front also add more detail to the car.  The flat sides add emphasis with a long black stripe and SS badges, while the exterior mirrors are smooth but mounted higher on the door than the Regal.  The 5-spoke wheels are close to the real thing, though the tires look rather small on a large car like this.  The rear has the small trunklid spoiler, taillight that could use detail, black 1987 Monte Carlo plate, and dual exhaust.


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In contrast to the Regal the Monte has much more chassis details.  While the fuel tank is not silver it has the correct details that include the dual exhausts that extend much further out, a sharply detailed live rear axle and driveshaft, more crafty exhaust detailing, more detailed engine and transmission and lower control arms.  As an added bonus the engine is a full-scale block and can be visible from under the hood.  The engine block is painted orange, the silver air cleaner connects to a hose that directs cool air from the front, a touch of silver on the valve covers, detailed alternator and belt system, batteries, and fluid resovoirs.  The engine bay could use a bit more detail and color differences, but otherwise it was nicely done.



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The interior, on the other hand, is the achilles heal in this car.  The all-black look has detailed seats that look flat and has not belt buckels or rear brake light like the Regal.  The dashboard has the detailed vents and center controls, but the shifter is just a stub on the console.  The two-spoke steering wheel is not as sporty as the Regal, while the gauges look like a mess despite the details.  After a while, and against the Regal, the Monte Carlo seems a bit plain and unfinished, but then again when it was the only large-scale at the time and it did its job well.  Now the Monte Carlo has a new companion with the Buick, sharing the same style and the same color.

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