Here is the long awaited "star of the forward look," the all-new Plymouth of 1958.
I have five brilliant and shining examples of this unique and charming automobile, each with their own design interpretations and ideas.
Left to right; Hot Wheels, Johnny Lightning, Auto World, M2, and Ertl.
The Hot Wheels claims to be a 1958 Plymouth Fury, and comes from the 2013 Boulevard series. However, the Fury in 1958 only came in buckskin beige with gold trim. The 1958 Belvedere, on the other hand, was available in toreador red/iceberg white with silver trim.
In Stephen King's book, he claims "Christine" is a 1958 Plymouth Fury, even though the photo on the back cover prominently shows him sitting on the hood of some sort of '57 model.
In John Carpenter's interpretation for the movie, they used 23 different '58 Plymouths (including Belvederes, Savoys, and even Furys) that were all painted red and white. Gold or missing trim was added or painted silver, hence the white trim in lieu of the gold on the Fury model. Given the low production numbers of the Fury, this is quite a shock.
The only red examples in the bunch are the Hot Wheels, and the Auto World, both shown here. Curiously, the two cars are also both the only models being described as a '58 Fury, while the other three are Belvedere models. The AW even carries both the tinted windows and the "CQB 241" plate (intended to strike fear from the close-quarter battle acronym) from the movie car. This is not surprising though, I assume they just wanted to stay accurate to the film car. Likewise, I believe the HW Boulevard car pays homage to the movie.
In '58 you could have a 225hp 318ci "Fury" V8 or a 250hp 318ci V8 called the "Fury with Super-Pak," which added a 4bbl carburetor. These were available on lesser models, but oddly enough, not the Fury. Lastly, the Fury engine option, which was called the Dual Fury V8, carried a pair of 4bbl carbs, a 9.25:1 compression, and a rating of 290hp.
The Johnny Lightning and Ertl Belvederes both use a single air cleaner design, and are either the 225 or 250 horsepower models.
The Auto World Fury and M2 Belvedere both carry the 290hp "Dual Fury V8." This is accurate to the movie car, which had the dual 4bbl setup.
The Hot Wheels is the only car in this bunch that is devoid of any opening parts.
Johnny Lightning and Auto World both use an "upfront" headlight design that give both of these cars shockingly accurate front ends. The Hot Wheels is similar, but looks a lot less sharp.
The M2 and Ertl cars opted for a recessed headlight look that intended to add detail but ended up looking really busy. I prefer the AW and JL lights.
From this angle, you can see one of the M2's biggest achievements: seemingly air-tight panel gaps. Just looks at the hoods!
The Ertl is the only car that came with an opening trunk, seen here with it's spare in all of it's glory.
The Ertl car also came with a stand (gone since stowed in my cases) and a neat little '58 advertisement card.
Ertl, M2 and Auto World proudly show license plates. Ertl says "BELV1" and Auto World has the film car's "CQB 241," while the M2 simply says "1958."
The Auto World car's tires seem a bit small with regards to diameter, but are not overly apalling. Ertl's are better but still a bit small. Hot Wheels are quite large but give the car a definite presence. M2 are almost perfect while it seems Johnny Lightning has nailed the wheels, right on the money, at least as far as dimensions are concerned.
A neat little bunch, these cars, especially growing up with a passion for automobiles and being about seven years old the first time I watched "Christine." I was hooked for life.
I love the Auto World as it is a direct replica of the movie car, and fairly accurate and detailed at that. The Hot Wheels was also a must buy, being the same color and having a metal base and premium wheels. I've had the Ertl the longest, and it's charms have staying power. The M2 is the most recent addition, but overall, Johnny Lightning has the most accurate scale and reproduction of all the cars here.
I'd never let any of them go, though. My childhood, pieces of Hollywood, and bits of automotive history are wrapped up in each and every car, and all were welcome additions to my growing collection!
Stephen King and John Carpenter would be proud.
Thanks for reading!