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Saturday, June 24, 2017

NAPA Auto Parts Delivery Truck 2002 Chevy S-10 pickup 1:12 scale (est.)




Recently I have purchased some of the largest replica models in my collection: one is a full diecast model that I will review later this year, while the other one was twice as big as I thought it was: this NAPA parts delivery truck.  When I saw the pictures I thought it was around 1:25 scale, typical with plastic promotional models, but when it arrived in a big box the truck inside was, well, as big as the box!  No scale is mentioned but I estimate it's around 1:12 scale, and it's cool!






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It started in 2005 with NAPA doing the annual Christmas gift guide and in it there's usually a model car or truck for the year.  Diecast 1:24 scale models were the norm from classic American cars to race cars, but this time NAPA went for the kids with this parts deliver truck, actually a nicely-detailed 2002 Chevy S-10 regular cab 2WD pickup just like the real NAPA delivery trucks.  After that the S-10 has made another appearance along with a custom drag car that was created by Chip Foose and the Overhaulin' team.  Since then large-size plastic vehicles for kids have appeared a few times, the most recent is a Ram 3500 utility truck that can be found at Tractor Supply.  What I don't get is the lack of any Chevrolet licensing or bowties for a truck that clearly looks like an S-10, nor does tacking on a 2004 Ford Ranger grille help, either.  (I fixed that with Sharpie lines in silver and black to correctly deplict the S-10's proper grille)






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From a size point a 1:24 scale car would fit between the wheels of this truck; it's as wide as a 1:18 scale vehicle, yet it is double the height of a 1:18 scale truck.  Even with the all-plastic construction this is one bulky truck with a bit of weight to it.  The front has clear headlights with amber signal lights below the chrome bar attached to the chrome grille.  The lower bumper has vent scoops and a NAPA 01 plate.  On the sides you'll find the flared S-10 fenders, torqued 5-spoke wheels on rubber tires, correct exterior mirrors that are made of rubber and flexible, and NAPA Auto Parts side decals.  Even the roof gets the blue and yellow NAPA hat.  The rear has upper taillights, NAPA decal on the tailgate, and the S-10 proper bumper with NAPA plate.  It looks and feels like a 2002 S-10 pickup.  The tailgate does open and with it is a large cargo area where I manage to get a 1:24 scale car in there with the tailgate open at a 45 degree angle.  A big truck.






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That empty bed does come to use as later versions like my tester come with a red dolly that has rubber tires and a very realistic look to it.  That dolly is put to use with two plastic crates that say NAPA on the sides and despite the plastic material these crates have some weight to them.  All three manage to fit inside the bed nicely with the tailgate closed and just a little bit of room for anything else.  The hood also opens, though it can come out and closing it requires some adjustments before it will fully close, to reveal the 2.3L I-4 that powers these parts trucks.  The engine produces 115 horsepower through a 5-speed manual transmission and to the rear wheels.  You can definitely tell this is an S-10 where the location of the fluid resovoirs, AC system plumbing, and intake and airbox all tell you this is a 4-cylinder S-10, all nicely detailed for just an engine pan.





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The base underneath shows off excellent detail for a one-piece design.  The front has the lower control arms with oil pan, correct transmission and exhaust layout.  The rear axle also comes out naturally and all of this is enhanced with Sharpie's that help break up the all-white look.  Note the opening cover over the transmission: this is where two AA batteries are placed to operate the lights.  Unlike the noise boxes catered to kids this is more of a Hess Truck where it only lights up and nothing else.  How it works is by pushing down on the front-end to make the front axle touch the contact and turn on the lights.  The front headlights and rear taillights light up, and of course with the nature of plastic light also tunnels into the interior as well.  Strangely the hat on the roof is not part of the light system.  The lights stay on for ten seconds then automatically turn off.  I was expecting a noise box, but I was pleasantly surprised.





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The interior also has the right look and feel of a 2002 Chevy S-10 pickup.  The front seats are buckets with a center armrest that doubles as a third person seat with cupholders between the seats.  The door panels have the correct details from the door handles to the crank handles to operate the windows.  The 5-speed shifter and boot come out of the floor properly, a floor that lacks any gray carpeting.  The dashboard has the right look and feel starting with a 4-spoke steering wheel with a column that has the correct key lock design.  The gauges are nicely done and accurate to the S-10, as are the light switches, A/C vents, radio and HVAC controls in the center, and the passenger airbag and grab handle.  All the proper S-10 and all nicely done.  Despite being plastic and huge what I most enjoy about this replica is the fact that it is not a custom S-10 or a top-of-the-line V6 ZR2 4x4 that we are so accustomed to in the diecast world, but instead this is a nicely done replica of a basic work truck with the 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual, crank windows, and best of all it's based on a real truck whether Chevy or NAPA






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