Lesney Matchbox time is here again. The last Matchbox review featured a boat, here is the car I pictured towing it. Today we examine Lesney Matchbox 57b, the Chevrolet Impala. This casting entered the range in early 1961, remaining until early 1966, and is a real classic:

As one can see, this is based on a 1959 model year Impala 2 door hardtop, a cult car in its own right. The casting is also a popular and sought after model, due to the subject matter,and the high quality of the casting itself. This marks the beginning of the era when Lesney moved the Matchbox range into a new realm of fine casting detail and realism from the somewhat softer more mellow 1950s era castings. This casting features an innovation of the era, glazing - new models of this time also could feature moving parts and interiors. These were quantum leaps from the hollow castings introduced shortly earlier. This casting features ample fine detail and accurate proportions, and was only ever offered in this pleasing two tone combination of metallic blue body with light blue roof. I estimate scale to be in the upper 1:60s range - not a huge scale, but the model isn’t particularly large, and the real world vehicle is quite full sized. From all angles, one can see why this model has always been desirable:

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Front and rear have similar excellent detail, with a realistic grille, mask painted teardrop taillights under the trademark batwing fins, and a tow hook to add play value:

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The base is basic, as was the style of the time, featuring identifying data. The variations of this casting are base colors and wheel types - it exists with silver, black, and grey wheels, along with a few base colors (varying base colors were seen on several models of this specific era, the 1958-63 or so timeframe when many desirable models were produced):

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This casting is lucky enough to live in its original Type C box. With this box, it is an early production model made in 1961:

This box features a fun artifact, an original price tag. At 14 cents, there was a heck of a sale (normal price would have been 39-49 cents, I think):

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I am definitely glad to have this model in my collection. I have a couple loose ones as well. It is a lovely casting of a memorably styled period car, and the colors make quite pretty. This is just exceptionally well-done:

A couple 1:1 images from mecum.com (this car needs wide whites, stat) showing the generous amount of space age styling, and those famous fins:

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