Tired Iron by Ted Larson

(photos copyright © Ted Larson; used by permission)

S-scale modelers have long lamented the lack of 4-door vehicles and the lack of station wagons by the various diecast vehicle manufacturers. The announcement by Auto World of their very nicely detailed 1967 Chevrolet and 1964 Ford 4-door station wagons was therefore GREAT news. It reminded me, though, that I had seen some other "1/64th" scale station wagons on eBay. I went back for a closer look. This article presents what I found.

Existing Models

The star of this collection is by Johnny Lightning, their 1965 Chevelle Wagon is a very nicely-detailed model looking like it came right off the show-room floor. All the other models are less accurate in paint and wheels, but the bodies are all fairly well detailed and close to accurate 1/64th scale (see the photos and size chart). They don't meet the recent M2 and AW standards, but steal some wheels-tires off some other vehicles, spray paint them in a prototypical color, and you will have a nice improvement in variety on the streets and parking lots of your layout (or to put on your M2 auto carriers!). To acquire nice wheels and tires for these station wagons, watch for vehicles that you might not otherwise buy; vehicles that are less usable in S due to being slightly over- or undersize for S, or which have odd paint schemes.

Sizing Models

In the size chart (below), 1/63rd - 1/65th scale is within 1-1/4 scale inches of the correct width and within 3 scale inches of the correct length, very difficult to visually see a difference. For 1/62nd to 1/66th scale, the deviation from correct size is double that in the line above; still not likely to "look" wrong. Notice that the 1965 Chevelle deviates the most from correct scale size, yet this model is between the full size Chev and its smaller Nova cousin, therefore it still looks proportionally correct. Note that on the models the axle heights are typically incorrect in the frame, leading to inaccurate vehicle height. Use the prototype height information to adjust the body/axle spacing or your model. All in all, the models' bodies are fairly close to scale (paint and wheels could use some work), except for the "skylight" in the Ford which should really be filled in.

(photos taken on Ken Zieska's "Minnesota Heartland - Western Division" layout)

Model Size Table

 1965 Chevelle Wagon1964 Nova Wagon1962 Chev Wagon1959 Chev Sedan Delivery1957 Chevrolet Wagon1957 Buick Estate Wagon1956 Ford Wagon
prototype width: 74.6" 69.9" 79.0" 79.9" 73.9" 73.9" 75.9"
prototype length: 201.4"187.6"209.6"210.9"200.0"200.0"197.6"
prototype height: 54.5" 55.0" 55.8" 56.3" 60.1" 59.3" 62.2"
prototype wheelbase:115.0"110.0"119.0"119.0"115.0"115.0"115.5"
model width: 1.127" 1.12"1.173"1.203"1.165"1.205"1.218"
model length: 2.927"2.992"3.180"3.256"3.141"3.089"3.148"
model height: 0.887"0.885"0.998"0.910"0.857"0.903"0.920"
model wheelbase: 1.69" 1.77"1.779"1.916"1.765"1.766"1.843"
scale width: 72.1" 71.7" 75.1" 77.0" 74.6" 77.1" 78.0"
scale length: 187.3"191.5"203.5"208.4"201.0"197.7"201.5"
scale height: 56.8" 56.6" 63.9" 58.2" 54.8" 57.8" 58.9"
scale wheelbase: 108.2"113.3"113.9"122.6"113.0"113.0"118.0"
ratio width: 1:66.21:62.41:67.31:66.41:63.41:61.31:62.3
ratio length: 1:68.81:62.71:65.91:64.81:63.71:64.71:62.8
ratio height: 1:61.41:62.11:55.91:61.91:70.11:65.71:67.6
ratio wheelbase: 1:68.01:62.11:66.91:62.11:65.21:65.11:62.7

*J.L. = Johnny Lightning; H.W. = Hot Wheels; M.M. = Muscle Machines


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