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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Racing Champions Mint 1960 Chevy Impala

Another Racing Champions Mint casting that arrived shortly after I got the GTO was the Impala, in that gorgeous blue that was worth passing many red versions that I saw.  Unlike the GTO this was an older Mint casting, which means no opening trunk and some rather odd details.  Still this Impala looks good, and comes with a bit of a surprise under the hood.

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After spending a year with the largest fins that have an angry look, the 1960 Impala steps back a bit for a more softer look.  The 1960 version goes for a shorter rear-end that is less-aggressive and returns the tri-round taillights that connect to side trim, while the front-end relocates the signal lights from the top to the lower part of the bumper.  This Mint casting takes on a spot that is rarely done in diecast: the 1960 Impala (most go for the 1961 and it's start of the bubble top profile), and it still looks good.  The blue color is much richer and attractive than the red color, adorned by a white roof with silver window trim, side rear fender trim with the lower trim that has the Impala logo.  The front fenders have vents that join the side marker lights, while the chrome hubcaps join whitewall tires on a stance that is low and yet still remains stock.  The front grille has detailed quad headlights in white with black grille that has Impala flags, CHEVROLET letters on the hood, and a lower bumper with chrome plate surround that looks a bit thick on this casting.

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The rear is very tasty with eyebrow fins, chrome valence panel with Impala logo and pointed tri taillights just above a chrome bumper.  The base shows off a metal frame (a far cry from the chrome-plated metal bases that fatigue too easily) with the X-shaped frame and a single exhaust system.  The surprise on this fine Impala is under the hood where not a V8 lay but a 235 CID Blue Flame I-6 that produces 160 est. horsepower through a 3-speed column-shifted manual transmission.  The valve cover stands out in blue with black air cleaner to the right and distributor to the left.  The interior has a twin-pod dashboard with round gauges behind a two-spoke steering wheel and front and rear bench seats that could benefit from a two-tone layout.  Overall the 1960 Impala is a nicely-done for an older casting, and looks even better in this gorgeous blue color.

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