Greenlight 1939 Chevrolet Panel Van

By Maz Woolley

Text and photographs by, and copyright of, the Author. 

Greenlight have released the Chevrolet Panel van from 1939 in 1:24 and 1:64 scale across a number of their ranges all with attractive liveries. Like Models of Yesteryear there is no discernible differences between them other than their liveries. In 1:24 there are some opening parts but there are none in 1:64 scale which improves accuracy even if it reduces play value. The models are diecast in China for the USA.

In 1:64 scale there are liveries for Goodyear Tyres and Shell Petrol in series four of  “Running on Empty“.  In the “Blue Collar Collection” series three they sell Chevrolet Parts and Krispy Kreme liveried vehicles, there is a picture on the web of a Krispy Kreme van looking very like a 1939 Chevy but in a different livery to the one used by Greenlight. Like all Greenlight 1:64 scale models these are more expensive than Mattel Hot Wheels but cheaper than Auto World or M2.

The 1939 Chevrolet Panel Van was a functional vehicle with a car like look and was replaced in 1941 by a van with a waterfall front end only seen on vans. This van, new for 1939, was sold under the strap lines “The Nation’s Largest Builder of Trucks” and  “Quality Makes Volume – Volume Makes Price”.

Chevrolet Parts Model 1:64 Blue Collar Series release 3

The van has a good shape and captures most of the features of the original quite well though the way the lights are inset in silver blocks to the side of the radiator is an inelegant solution. The Tampo printing of the areas of blue is not as thick as it might be and there are small gaps in the paint here and there betraying the fact that these are made to a strict budget. On the plus side the livery is nicely printed and seems to match printed material of the time.

The light lenses being picked out in white is a nice touch and the grille is good enough though some black wash would be nice. Number plates are printed. The windshield is a bit of a let down. All the glazing is flush but the printed chrome surround at the base of the window is much too high and large.

The wheels and tyres are well modelled though the tyres seem slightly too wide and square shouldered for the period.

To the rear the curved panels are very evident and the rear light, number plate and livery is all well done. The rear door handle is picked out, though the photograph doesn’t show it. Sadly the paint splits at all the panel lines on the vehicle, again showing that these are painted quickly and with minimal materials in the factory to meet the selling price.

Goodyear Model 1:64 Running on Empty Series release 4

Great colours reflect the corporate colours of the period. Sadly the blue overspray does not wrap round wheel arches underneath and there are a few dots of yellow where the blue paint has not covered the yellow.

The blue wheels are neatly painted and show off the contrast with the hub cap well though they are a bit shiny for a working van.

From the front all my comments about the Chevrolet liveried van apply but here the front bumper, which is straight and level on the parts model shown above, is bent like a banana which shows that QC is not very strict.

The front windscreen differs as well. Here there is no chrome print at the base and the window looks all the better for it. Sometimes less is best.

Finally to the rear the finish is as good as the Parts van and the yellow has split less round panel lines too. One other difference between the vans is the silver coach line which is nicely printed along the side of the Goodyear liveried van.

I am sure that we will see many more of these vans in different liveries. Some like the Texaco one that I am sure will come, they already do it in 1:24, I will welcome. Whilst others will inevitably be printed in pretty but inaccurate liveries which I will not .


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