Post image for Collector’s Kit: 54, 55 and 57 Chevy Revell HOTROD Series

Collector’s Kit: 54, 55 and 57 Chevy Revell HOTROD Series

April 8, 2011

by Iggy Perez

As the name tells you, you get three classic chevys in one box – now, if that isn’t already a good start!! And wait for the rest to come! Although you may not find this kit very often (it was made in 1985), I thought of making a review anyway – just because this kit is so awesome! It features many special and unusual parts, that not only can make the cars look great, but they can help you finish your junkyard diorama in a very special way.

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 57 Body

Let’s get started with the 57 Chevy. As you can see on the pic above, this model car features working hood, working doors and working trunk! All in all, the body is pretty well moulded. One thing that I like is the fact that the interior is not the usual little tub thing. Why is that good? Specially in cars with opening doors, the tub interiors make the doors too thick (as in the case of AMT’s 56 Crown Victoria I reviewed a while ago). Furthermore, it is just “more realistic” (I bet your car doesn’t have a tub with the seats in it, right?).

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell Engine Compartment parts

The engine compartment has some nice details too. The wheel wells are separate parts and they look quite fine to me! Anyway, much better than the usual “generic” looking wheel wells in many model cars. The engine compartment features indeed more parts than the ones you see here to round up this great view. Now, you may wonder what is that square thing next to the wheel wells. Any guess?? Yep, that’s the fuel tank!! This can make a cool feature on a junkyard, for instance on a corner with many other rusty parts!

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell Chrome parts 57 Chevy

The 57 Chevy has several chromed parts. Besides the custom grill, it also has custom steel rims. The stock caps and the stock grill are, of course, there too. A bit more special are the fin trims (just below the chromed steel rims). Furthermore, the kit also has chromed Chevy Emblems for the hood and trunk – but they look a but too thick to me, to be honest. You will also find some chromed parts for the engine, such as valve covers, carburators and the fuel injection.

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 55 Chevy Body

The 55 Chevy also features opening doors, trunk and hood! The interior isn’t a tub either, with the floor as part of the chassis. Although the engine compartment doesn’t has separate wheel wells, the ones integrated with the body look pretty neat!

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 55 Chevy Engine parts

This picture shows the biggest surprise I had as I opened this kit. First, you will see on the left that the cylinder shafts are moulded into the engine parts with the pistons in it!! Although the moulding quality isn’t great, you can really work with it and make a great engine with missing cylinder heads! But what is that inside the engine block (second part from the reight)? That is the crankshaft!! You can either make this build with the engine partially unmounted, or mount the engine and take the crankshaft for the rusty parts corner! The bell housing as a separate part is a nice feature too!! You could put a clutch in it, for instance, and build it the missing engine block!

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 55 Chevy chromed parts

The 55 Chevy chromed parts are also pretty cool! First of all, this model features chromed body trims! The emblems for the hood and trunk are much better than the 57’s – you can actually use them! The 55 also has several chromed parts for the engine as well as the custom chromed rims! Bad news is that the turn lights on the front are fully chromed (no transparent plastic for the lights). HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 54 Body

The 54 doesn’t have working doors and trunk lid. But I guess it is ok – we shouldn’t get too picky, right? After all, this car also features some nice details! Again, the interior is not a tub – but it doesn’t matter much, as the doors don’t open. However, the funny thing is that this car has hinges and separate front door panels – did they change their mind while making it? You could risk it and cut the doors open, but the window frame, the vent window and the b-pillar are going to be quite a pain to get cut undamaged – that is pro’s work only! The wheel wells are also moulded together with the body and look just fine.

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 54 Chromed parts

The chromed parts don’t have much to show.There is something missing just below the grill – but I couldn’t figure out what it is as the part was one of the few missing. Probably it was one of the extra bumpers, as you can see this car features the original “curvy” bumpers and custom, straight, bumpers. Custom chromed exhaust and rims are there too, together with some other engine parts. May not look too good on a junker engine, but I know that not everybody is a junker guy – right?

HOTROD Custom 55 56 57 Chevys Revell 54 Special parts

Although the 54 Chevy doesn’t have opening doors and trunks and the engine block is the typical two-part think with no crankshaft and cylinder shafts, the guys at Revell didn’t want to make this car look too bad in fron of the other two. So they included a nice set of tools to go with the car. The tools are nicely moulded and can look just great inside a woody barn-garage in the middle of the junkyard! – or in a clean gas station garage, for those who prefer that 😉

Pros:

  • Lots (and I mean it), lots of special parts!
  • Great features such as working doors, hood and trunk lid on the 55 and 56 Chevys
  • Pretty well moulded and detailed  and not just for a 1985 kit! Many kits nowadays can’t keep up with this treasure box!
  • It feels like Christmas every time you open the box :)
  • Comprehensive instructions in booklet format
  • Great chrome details (such as engine parts, body trims, etc)
  • Collector’s value!!

Cons:

  • Hard to get
  • Some parts have nice details, but they are not well moulded and look pretty rough (55 and 57 Chevy Emblems, for example)
  • The 55 and 57 Chevys have chromed turn lights and tail lights instead of clear parts
  • For some reason, the 54 Chevy has some half-way features like the hinges for the doors, but no opening doors, or the detailed trunk interior including reserve wheel with no opening trunk lid. It may look tempting for the newbies to cut the doors open, but I strongly advice you not to, unless you have a precise cut since the a-pillar, b-pillar and upper door frame can get tricky. The trunk maybe easier

Conclusion. If you find it, buy it!!

This is one of my most precious kits! I still didn’t dare to build it. I have the vision of one of the cars with a missing front and the rusted engine on the chassis. I also thought of making the 54 like a racer with red steel rims, some dark color (flat black?) and racing decals on it – plus some body damage and rust. I just need to get the courage to build this special kit.

Jim Gibbons April 8, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Ah, yes; the old Revell Chevies. I built a number of them over the years, and they can be challenging. The first one I built was the ’57 in the early 70’s when it was still a fairly new issue. Over the years and many, many re-issues, the parts took a beating. They suffer from some body dimensional problems, but can still look decent. Because of the opening panels, fit isn’t all that good. The separate trim can make you cry, as it’s fragile, flashy, often a bit warped, and difficult to apply and clamp neatly (not even mentioning scraping the plating off the delicate parts at the glue surfaces.) The internal engine detail is pretty cool, though. I have a few pictures of a ’55 that needs total restoration, and a custom ’57 I built in the mid ’70s. The ’55-’57s will likely not be re-issued, as there are too many newer models that are better kits as far as proportion and fit goes.

http://public.fotki.com/modelerjimg/nostalgia-builds/

The ’54 was designed to be built as a custom only. In the early 70’s, Revell did offer the option of cutting out the doors to make them open on some kits. I remember doing it to a Porsche 911 that came out around 1971.

Iggy April 11, 2011 at 5:47 am

That’s true, the 57 body looks kind of funny indeed. I didn’t mention that in the review. However, if I think of some other kits, like AMTs 66 Ford Mustang Hardtop – for instance – I must say I have to stay with these Chevies. What I mean is that some manufacturers still sell old fashioned kits in new looking boxes and while it is cool to have some memories revived, I would love to see real re-issues some kits, based on current technologies and with more parts and stuff.

The case of AMT is very interesting anyway. Round2 Models seems to be re-working some of the old AMT, MPC and Polar Lights kits and they are doing a pretty good job, they say. I didn’t have the change to get a Round2 AMT kit yet, as I they don’t sell them around here, where I live. If you guys have had a chance already, drop me a line.

Iggy

orval lindsey (mesa modeler) April 9, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I don’t have this kit but have the AMT classics kit containing the 64 impala 57 brl-air and the 58 impala. I necer got this kit because i had orignal issue kits of the ones in it from both revell and amt. Like you I have never got the courage to build this kit by amt as it is rare. I have quite a collection (200+) going back to the 50’s and 60’s.

Don~~In Florida April 10, 2011 at 2:03 am

As a teen in the early 70’s I built a Revell 57 chevy station wagon 1/25 scale model & the doors opened & still do rather nicely. I painted it this ugly green (do not know why) & not real well but nice for a can job. The rear tailgate goes down almost all the way & the upper window hatch works good but does not stay in the open position,although it matches the tailgate nicely when in the closed position. Can’t remember any details about the build, it was a long time ago. Hopefully a rebuild someday when I get time.HAHA
Thanks for sharing this trio kit with us builders, you have made some very good points & it always takes me back in time when I read your blogs , Thanks Don

Rick April 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I actually have this kit. Sorry to say I don’t have the box anymore. All fun kits to build.
In the words of the great Bob Hope “Thanks for the memories”. Loved checking it out again.

Rick

Lee Hartman April 22, 2011 at 12:03 am

Hi Iggy,
The missing part on the ’54 chrome tree was a ’53 grille. Some of the kits can be built as either a ’53 or ’54. I opened the doors on the first one I had, like you said, a lot of careful, tedious work.
Lee

Iggy April 22, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hey Lee,
thanks for the hint! I was still wondering what that part may be.
Iggy

aaron November 16, 2011 at 10:15 pm

at a store in town this model is for sale 50 bucks
to much for me

Iggy November 17, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hey Aaron,

I know. This kit can be very expensive. And to be honest, I just love it because it is old and it means a piece of history of this hobby we all like – but as some of the other guys have commented, the kit’s quality isn’t top (but it still has a bunch of special parts, such as the crank shaft, which you won’t find many other kits).

Anyhow, if you want to build Chevys, check out this other post:
http://blog.modeljunkyard.com/2011/09/23/125-revell-1957-chevy-150-utility-sedan-blackwidow-race-car/
Just to name one…

Iggy

rc helicopter January 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

Glad to visit this blog, keep it going.

german May 13, 2013 at 11:55 pm

hola soy de bs as tengo mas de autos en sus cajas hot rod de revell me interesa venderlos comunicarce al 1124571257

Brian July 28, 2013 at 4:22 am

I recently discovered this kit, tucked away in my parents’ basement since 1987. I never put together the models, but apparently I misplaced the instructions. I don’t suppose anyone would have them and be willing to scan them? I’d be awfully grateful.

Thanks!

Iggy July 31, 2013 at 7:24 am

Hey Brian,
I won’t have time during the next days to do that – but I will try to keep it in mind. In the meantime, if it is urgent, you can always contact Revell.
Check out this page: http://www.revell.com/support/instructions.html
They have most of their instructions there, but the Three Chevys HOTROD box isn’t among them. Still, they publish also contact information.

Have a nice day,

Iggy

javier October 28, 2013 at 3:19 am

Hi, congratulations for your blog.
I have a REVELL 57 chevy hardtop, but i don´t have instructions.
do you have it??? or know where is it?

Seb November 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm

check out revell’s page, they have many instructions online ad pdf: http://www.revell.com/support/instructions.html

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