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Sunday, January 1, 2017

M2 Machines 1957 Chevrolet 150 Handyman Wagon

Earlier this year I profiled the newest and first premium 1:64 M2 Machines station wagon, the 1957 Chevrolet 210 Beauville Wagon.  It was very impressive with lots of details and a gorgeous turquoise color.  Oh, and for a change it was not a Nomad that is typical in small scale; instead is a more common Chevy wagon that would be on the roads or in garages in 1957.  Well M2 has done it again with another new Chevy wagon tool, and this time it's one designed for the working man.

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The Handyman line was designed much like a fleet-oriented pickup truck is today: only essential for the working job of the company or person, which means features like power windows, mirrors, most comfort features on higher trim levels are not found here.  The Handyman appeared on the fleet 150 and 250 lines in 1957.  Aside from the lack of creature comforts there is also less chrome trim and something interesting: no bumper pads on the front bumper!  Steel wheels with chrome hubcaps are the only choice.  You can get a range of engines from a 235 CID I-6 to a 283 CID V8 with 283 horsepower through a three-speed column-shift manual or automatic transmissions.  Despite being plentiful than the Nomad, the hard use of these Handyman's and their deterioration means that today these Handyman wagons are harder to find than a Nomad!

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This M2 Machines Handyman starts out with a black paint with white fender and chrome side trim reminiscent of the 1955 Chevrolet wagon's.  Aside from Chevrolet on the front fenders and Fuel Injection flags on the rear (more on that later) the rest of the car is free of any other chrome trim or badges.  The steel wheels with larger chrome hubcaps look proper on this model.  The front has the typical chrome headlights with clear lenses, chrome hood daggers, chrome bumper with signal lights and Chevrolet badge.  The difference here is the lack of bumper billets and the grille is not gold to signal V8 models like other 1957 Chevy's do.  At the rear the peaked fenders are still in chrome with taillights and dual exhausts at the lower-end.  The chrome bumper and tailgate badges also still remain.  The base is pretty much carry-over from the Beauville wagon with its X-brace frame, spare tire and fuel tank area in the rear, and dual exhausts.

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Those dual exhausts open up to an unlikely surprise: I was expecting the same I-6 that I saw in the Beauville wagon, but I was surprised to see the small-block V8 under the hood with its orange block, orange intake, silver air filter and hosing, and silver fluid resovoir.  Talk about a sleeper!  The doors open to an interior with seating for six on black and white benches, but this time rear passengers must get in and out from the front doors.  The dashboard has the same two-spoke steering wheel, centrally-mounted gauges, and dash layout of the other 1957 Chevrolet models.  The rear cargo area is accessed by opening liftgate and tailgate and has plenty of room for whatever gear is thrown its way.  Also its likely the Handyman models lack any carpeted floors as these models would succomb to supplies, tools, and the occasional dirty boots.

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It's a nice surprise to see another wagon in M2's line, and with an entirely different casting for two-door non-Nomad wagon's as well.  Whether the Handyman model with continue in future variants is yet to be seen, but at least there's two 1957 Chevy Wagon's to choose from.

Update 12/19/17: Want a panel version?  You got it as M2 Machines has released the handyman wagon as a panel version as well.  I went for this Auto-Mod version painted in a yellow color with flat black roof design, chrome 5-spokes and supercharged 6.2L V8 found in the 1955 Chevy 210 coupe that I reviewed from the Auto-Lift series, and yellow seats to contrast from the black interior.  It looks very sweet and cool, but for those who prefer the stock look M2 offers that as well.

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