From 1953 to 1957, Chevrolet had three full-sized automobiles it was selling to the public – the bottom of the line 150, the mid-range 210, and the top of the line Bel Air. The 210 model was Chevrolet's bestseller up until 1955. It offered the widest choice of body styles in 1953, including a convertible, Sport Coupe hardtop, two- and four-door sedans, and a station wagon.
However, in 1954, the 210 convertible and hardtop were dropped and a deluxe model called the Del Ray Club Coupe was introduced. This model came factory-equipped with interior furnishings found on higher-end models like the Bel Air. Drivers could enjoy upgrades such as padded vinyl seats, a lighted glove compartment, two door armrests, and carpeted floorboards. The cost of the Del Ray was now within $100 of the Bel Air with its luxury and premium trim and it never achieved the sales Chevrolet had hoped for.
The subject of this review is Revell's 1/25 Scale '56 Chevy Del Ray kit from its California Wheels Series. There are 125 highly detailed parts in this kit found on sprues molded in white, transparent red, clear, and chrome plated. Included are four soft rubber, low profile street tires to mount on the 20" diameter custom chrome wheels. The kit also contains a detailed small block Chevy V-8 engine with custom valve covers and air cleaner. A nice touch is the lowered suspension with 4-wheel disc brakes.
The parts attachments to the sprues are a little heavy and there were seam lines to be cleaned up on all parts. The parts fit was a little troublesome in some areas, but generally they went together well.
The highly illustrated instructions are broken down into nine major steps, beginning with the engine build up. Color call outs for the parts are provided in each step. The last page of the instructions provides instructions for painting and decaling.
The small block V-8 went together with no problem. Adding wiring, hoses, etc could improve the looks, but simply out of the box, the engine looks good.
The chassis build up comes next with the front and rear suspension (with lowered suspension parts), exhaust system, and fuel tank. The placement of the upper A-arms on the front suspension was not clear. I added them after the springs and front end were in place to ensure they were properly located. The engine fit into the chassis mounts very nicely.
The stock Del Ray came with padded vinyl seating. The interior of this kit is faithful to the stock car. The seats are molded with nice upholstery in a stock pattern. The door panels have the armrests molded in place and the panels fit to the floor pan nicely. The three-piece dashboard makes up into a good-looking unit. The decals for the dash and instruments look good.
After adding the glass in the windows, you have three major sub-assemblies – the interior, the chassis, and the body. The interior unit fit into the body with no difficulty. The chassis slipped into place with a little fuss, but no cutting or filing was necessary.
Where I did encounter some fit problems was trying to fit the bumper/valance/grill assembly in place on the front of the body. The instructions call for adding the valance to the grill and adding the bumper to the valance. Then it shows adding this unit to the body. I suggest that each part be added separately – the grill be added to the body, the valance to the grill, and the bumper to the valance.
The final steps call for adding all the small parts such as the radio antenna, door handles, side mirror, etc. There are no problems here except to remember the carpet monster could be lurking.
The instructions call for the model to be finished in a light pearl blue below the chrome trim line and a light pearl yellow above with the yellow flame decal over the blue. The kit does not provide for the chrome trim down the side nor does it mention how to add it.
I did not follow the suggested painting scheme, but chose Model Master turquoise metallic as my paint. After painting, I used bare metal foil and a sharp blade to achieve the look of that chrome trim.
The Chevrolet 210 Del Ray is a popular car among many car enthusiasts today. This kit resulted in a very nice looking model with its lowered suspension, large diameter chrome wheels, and low profile tires. It, too, should be popular with model car builders. It is a typical Revell car model with some fit difficulties, but finishes out to be a looker. The kit is recommended for any modeler aged 10 and up. I can easily recommend this kit as a buy.
I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Revell, Inc. for providing this kit and to IPMS/USA for allowing me to review it.