The Low Down on Revell’s Lowriders

Hello everyone! Since this is my first Lamley post I figured I’d introduce myself. My name is Sam McConnell and probably like many of you, I am a diecast addict. 1/64th scale cars have been a part of my life as long I can remember, and after nearly 30 years of collecting cars, playsets, tracks, cases, and other various diecast goodies, I should have enough content to share for years to come…which is why I jumped at the chance to become a contributor to THE Lamley Group.

Gone in 1/64th Seconds. This is one of my favorite diecast pics I’ve taken and was posted to Live and Let Diecast a few years back. I’m a huge movie and TV car guy and get a kick out of setting up dioramas and recreating Hollywood moments — so be ready for some of that action in future posts.

I have been sharing diecast content online for a few years via the Live and Let Diecast Kinja blog and my Instagram (user @64wheels on both), which gave me enough portfolio content to send to the Lamley head diecaster in charge and eventually landed me a spot as a at-large contributor. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this amazing team John has assembled and look forward to sharing sweet, sweet 1/64 goodness with you. Enough with the chit-chat — let’s get to the real reason you clicked: lowriders.

(Find the Revell Lowriders on eBay)

Revell’s ’64 Impala and ’82 Buick Regal lowriders

Before we dive into the Lowrider line, lets take a quick look at the Revell brand in whole. Founded in 1943 by California businessman Lewis H. Glaser, the brand started out as a plastics molding company named Precision Specialties. Throughout the 1940s the brand started producing toys, namely 1:87 scale trains and train set equipment like buildings and cars. By 1950 the toy line of Precision Specialties was given its own name, Revell. According to sources online, the name Revell was derived from the French word reveille which means “new beginning”. Over the next three decades Revell produced everything from scale models of boats, replica WWII airplanes, slot cars, and probably their most famous products, custom plastic 1/25 scale car models. After a tumultuous decade of reorganization and buy-outs in the 80s, 90s, and 00s, Revell now exists largely as plastic model company, offering many of of those classic kits in updated form along with new releases like the Porsche 918.

A classic 1960s Revell model kit designed by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth

Let’s rewind the clock to the early 2000s. Revell 1/64th scale cars started hitting store shelves along side other diecast brands like Hot Wheels, Racing Champions, and Johnny Lightnings. I was 15 in 2001 – and that year was the start of tuner pandemonium with the theatrical release of The Fast and the Furious. The Fast and Furious kicked off a huge wave of changes throughout the diecast world, along with the rise of hip-hop and the dub (20+ inch wheels) culture becoming more mainstream. Those two subcultures shaped much of what is even mainstream today and is still impacting the diecast world with widebody kits, big wheels, and flashy paint schemes.

Revell releases from the Lowrider Magazine, Fast and Furious, and Four Wheeler Magazine lines.

Revell didn’t spend much time in the 1/64th scale market, but their impact left a lasting impression on collectors. While I can’t find much information on Revell’s official licensing agreements, the early 2000’s saw Revell release licensed brands almost as quick as Mattel did. Revell dropped a wave of 1/64th scale cars from 1999 to around 2004, and those lines contained the juggernaut of licensing for the Fast and Furious cars, Bullitt, American Graffiti, Lowrider Magazine, and even NASCAR (their NASCAR line launched around the early 90s).

A few various Revell cars from the early 2000s. I purchased the Integra and the Charger at an Ohio county fair when they were new. $8.00 was a lot for a paper boy to afford back then.
Revell was ahead of its time with the working lowrider suspension and Fast and Furious line.

While many of these lines went unnoticed at the time, including their licensed music line with a then-new Volkswagen Beetle branded with Jimi Hendrixs (no idea what was going on there), the Lowrider Magazine releases have only grown in appreciation over the years, especially the S-10. Let’s check out a few of them in closer detail.

Magnificent.

Revell cars were available at major US retailers like Wal-Mart — although I don’t remember seeing them that often. A few of my carded cars even have the price tags still on them. Originally it looks like they were $2.96, but one is marked discount at $1.97. A DOLLAR AND NINETY-SEVEN CENTS. That would be equivalent to $2.81 in today’s dollar.

Notice the early and later branding on the cards. The blue ’47 was released in 2000 while the maroon car was released in 2003. The 2003 card is branded as Lowrider Magazine rather than just “lowerider”.

I had four of the ’47 Chevys carded, had being the keyword there. The blue one was looking so good I just had to crack it open for the feature.

It was the first time it hit the open air since being carded back in 2000. Freed after 20 years – and totally worth it. This thing oozes coolness.

The details on this, and all of the lowrider models, are really amazing. Remember these came out 20 or so years ago. Those pinstripes, rubber tires, the lower body molding lines, THAT FLEETLINE SCRIPT?! Perfection.

The interior is pretty basic but Revell did a nice job of making the seats look semi-authentic by two-toning them with bright colors.

All the Revell castings I own have a metal body over a plastic chassis and the Fleetline is the same. Some of them have opening parts, namely trunks, but the ’47 is all body lines. While some of the lowriders come with adjustable suspension, the Fleetwood did not….but the Impala and Regal castings did. Queue that Eazy E 🎵

While the Fleetline is cool, the ’64 Impala is a masterpiece. The blend of beautiful reds and purples over those perfectly sized gold replica Dayton Wire Wheels – it’s close to as perfect a lowrider as you could imagine.

And the big boi has the moves too.

The suspension pivots and locks into place to allow both front and rear “hydraulics” to function. It’s a pretty slick setup.

The trunk opens and houses a row of batteries and pluming, just like a real lowrider.

I took so many photos of the ’64 it’s hard not to share them all…but here’s a few of my favorite angles:

*powered by imagination*
I don’t care what brand you have loyalty too, the Greenlight Mechanic’s Corner line of garages are the perfect setting for any car.

I’ve already talked your ears off about this line but I also wanted to share some shots of the Buick Regal as well. It has all the same features as the Impala, so you get the gist of it.

Phone wallpaper anyone?

I could go on and on about the Lowrider line, but the models really do speak for themselves. If you have even the slightest itch for a 1/64th scale lowrider, do yourself a favor and invest in a few of the Revell cars — you won’t regret it.

(Find the Revell Lowriders on eBay)

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3 thoughts on “The Low Down on Revell’s Lowriders

  1. I don’t have those particular ones. Wish I did. I do have most of them except the trucks. They used to be easy to collect since it did not seem like anybody else around here was getting them. Most scale perfectly with most hw’s. I started collecting hw’s because of the lowriders. Sure would be cool t see these released again by somebody. The graphic possibilities are near endless.

  2. I have a large collection of Hotwheels ones such as Impalas, Rivieras, and Fleetlines but none from Revell. Those are pretty cool. Growing up Dad had a ’70 Riviera so I have a soft spot for them as well as others like the Monte Carlos. I have to admit, while I would not make a classic into a lowrider, I still marvel at the paint and skill it takes to make legit ones. The Graphics can be unreal!

  3. Great pictures from a great series. They also had a beautiful ’96 Impala SS plus an 04 Cavalier in these series. They were hit and miss at Wal Mart back in the day, much harder to find these days.

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