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Monday, December 26, 2016

SunnySide 1:43 1997 Ford F-150 Flareside



One thing that I forgot to mention in the last post is that not only did I spend a lot of time setting up the pictures but also placing some of them on Hobbydb.com for future reference, along with setting up an Instagram account to take quick pictures of models in my collection that I may or may not review on this blog.  Now back to the program: I will start with a few Ford trucks that I've found since in the last post there was a big 1:24 scale Ford that might peak your interest.  Here's an off-shoot pullback brand that introduced two nicely done 1997 Ford F-150 pickups.





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The 1997 F-series was a revolutionary design that offered rounded, car-like styling that no other automaker has ever done with a truck before.  This was not only to reflect Ford's new aerodynamic styling that really took off with the Sierra and Taurus, but also to reflect truck buyers that were using their trucks more as personal vehicles than rough and tumble trucks.  The new rounded design did nit appease every Ford truck fan, making this the first-generation to separate the light-duty F-series from the heavy-duty F-series (for 2017 both lines have finally emerged as one despite different styling and naming).  This was also the first line with the new Triton V8 SOHC truck motors that replaced the pushrod units for a smoother running engine.  The 5.4L would eventually have three valves per cylinder in later years.  The 5.4 produces 235 hp. and 250 Ib-ft of torque through a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic.  The other change is the replacement of the twin I-beam front suspension for a typical coil-over (2WD) or torsion bar (4WD) front suspension setup that allowed for more caster and camber alignment adjustments.  This was also the first generation to prompt many diecast replica's over the years, including some Chinese copy off-shoots, and even some look very similar to one another (the Welly and Maisto 1:24 scale versions are a good example.





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SunnySide is known for making pullback vehicles for a few decades, but unlike other companies they tend to fly low under the radar.  Every once in a while they will produce a nice casting (the 2007 Camry was a surprisingly good example).  The metallic blue version was found around the same time the truck was in production.  The front has the separate clear headlights with slight orange on the signal lights, black grille, and chrome lower bumper with yellow foglights.  The sides includes full-frame opening doors, F150 badges on the front fenders, teardrop wheels on wide rubber tires, and stepside bed that has separate step pad pieces.  The rear has round and ribbed taillights with central reverse lamp, Ford and F-150 badges on the opening tailgate, and a chrome bumper below the separate black step bumper trim.  The tailgate opens to a bed that has a fully-installed bedliner with some odd round lumps on the inside of the tailgate.  Oh, and as I was cleaning these two I found out that the bed is separate from the cab.  There's a lot of neat details for a low-buck pullback vehicle!







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The base shows off some details, but nothing impressive.  What I do like is how the pullback motor does not interfere with the cargo capabilities of the bed.  The doors open up inside to reveal separate and detailed inner door panel trim, bucket seats with center console, and two shifters: one for the 5-speed manual transmission and the other for the part-time transfer case.  The dashboard has the correct rounded look that I think looks a bit plain for its time with the two-spoke steering wheels that can be hard on the hands depending on your driving style.  The dashboard has the correct location of gauges, air vents, and controls, but the whole dashboard seems pushed up and far forward than where it should be.







What I didn't know until this year is that SunnySide also made an extended cab version.  My example comes in a dark green color and has similar looks to the regular cab version, but look close and there are some differences.  Inside there's a rear seat that is accessed by a third door on the real truck located after the passenger-side front door, the shifters are placed further back and are now between the front seats, while outside the rear window gets a opening center unit with detailed third brake and cargo lights.  What makes this one unique is that even though there's only a few extended cab flareside F-150 pickups made in this body style, but also this is the only one with a 5-speed manual transmission.







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While not impressive at first, these two trucks offer a lot of great detail at their price point, and look good at the stance they sit at.





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