Big things with little cars

AutoArt Chevy Corvette SS 1957 Review

It goes without saying that many of us have not heard of the Corvette SS. Thing is, the car itself was a surprise for both GM and the rest of the world. The infamous designer and forefather of Corvettes, Zora Duntov, wanted to built a lightweight yet powerful car that can compete with the like of Mercedes 300SL and Jaguar’s XK150. With that in mind, the creation of the Corvette SS was based off of the ideology of Mercedes sleek yet elegant 300SL.

The goal of the car was to eventually compete in the 24 Hours race of LeMans. During the development and testings for the race, the Corvette encountered a multitude of problems including suspension and mechanical defects, just to name a few. In fact, the car itself broke down just after 23 laps.

Despite the excitement and potential of the SS, GM ended up scrapping the project all together due to the auto community’s rule placement of not allowing manufacturers to develop factory race cars. However, that did not stop GM in producing the Corvette as the everyday sports car we now know them as.

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Onto the model itself, AutoArt has chosen quite a unique car to make a model after.

Like many of AutoArt’s models, the work done is absolutely beautiful. The 50's styling and unique curves of the car, is well represented in the sense that, just by looking at it, you can already tell how fast the car went.

However, as the model itself is an early AutoArt cast, a few details here and there are not represented.

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I actually bought the piece because of Samanosuke817's post about a hobby store about half an hour from my house. This model by no means, was part of my to get lists for the year. However, seeing the model inside the well lit display cabinet, I had to get it. Now that i have, I can say with no regrets that the model was worth the $125 I bought it for.

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The motor is well appointed, but cars during the era aren’t known for having flashy engines and meticulous details, so i can’t exactly blame AutoArt for that. The motor isn’t exactly an “eye-candy” as it features nothing but the engine block itself, wires, and the small-block V8 pipes.

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Moving onto the rear of the Corvette, is the storage compartment for the spare wheel, although nothing too special here either. One thing i don’t like about the rear is the two plastic looking air intakes. I know this model was a early cast and also not part of their Signature series, but for a Millenium, it still disappoints me a bit.

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Onto the good stuff! As i’ve stated many times over, wheels and rims are one of AutoArt’s strongest suit. I would argue that the manufacturer is actually one of, if not, the best in the industry in terms of detail vs. affordability. The rims are spot on and the mimic chrome bits including the classic three points on the hub, are all well represented. In fact, what got me to buy the model was the attention to detail AutoArt put on the wheels. I mean, hell, they even included the Firestone logo! Something you normally only see on Signature models. Bravo AutoArt!

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Interior is plain and simple, just like any other true drivers car. No distractions, no extras, just the necessities.

The goods: The speedometer and steering wheel are incredibly accurate in that i’d be hard press to believe that the “wood” on the steering wheel is actually plastic. I really adore the old school steering wheels where it’s literally half the size of your body. Furthermore, the seats are well made, but we’ll get to that next.

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The bads: The mold lines along the doors are horrendously huge. Also, the interior paddings along the edges, looks like they’ve simply been slapped on and glued in place because the design does not continue all the way through to the doors.

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One thing i don’t understand about this car is, why is there a three-point harness on the drivers seat, but no seat belt whatsoever on the passengers? Maybe someone can answer that for me, but that was one of the first thing i’ve noticed about this model. Nevertheless, the seat belt is actually made of a fabric-like material, unlike the use of plastic ones around this model era.

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This is by no means, the best model AutoArt has made. It’s a mix bag actually. It has it’s ups and downs. However, having multiple AutoArts from a newer era with superior quality as compared to older casts, I might be a little biased. On anyone’s standards, the detail on the model is well above what you’d usually find on say, a Maisto or a Bburago.

With that said, don’t let my opinion stop you from acquiring one! It’s a treat and the quirkiness of the model will sure bring a smile to any enthusiasts face.

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Thanks for viewing!

I do have another model on the way. Should get here by Monday, and up on LaLD on Tuesday of next week!

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