Jada Just Trucks 1957 Sub­ur­ban and 1969 C10 Step­side

Clas­sic Chevys with a Cus­tom Touch

Die Cast X - - 44 -

Chevro­let started on a roll for 1955. A stylish new Bel Air head­lined the au­to­mo­tive of­fer­ings, pow­ered by a cut­ting-edge 265-cu­bicinch over­head-valve V-8 that was des­tined for greatness. The famed small-block Chevy (SBC) wasn’t re­served solely for the sedan; the ’ Vette got it, and it was made op­tional in the all-new Task Force truck line, which included a wag­onbacked util­ity ver­sion of the shorter-wheel­base plat­form known as the “Sub­ur­ban.” For 1957, the V-8 was bored out to 283ci, mak­ing 160 horse­power and a stout 270 lb.-ft. of torque. More sig­nif­i­cantly, 4-wheel drive be­came avail­able in the Sub­ur­ban for the first time in ’57.

The Task Force trucks would give way to the C/K se­ries in 1960. The let­ter des­ig­nated the driveline con­fig­u­ra­tion— C-mod­els were 2-wheel-drive ve­hi­cles, while a K was a 4X4— and the num­ber de­noted the pay­load rat­ing: “10” for 1/2-ton, “20” for 3/4-ton, and “30” for 1-ton mod­els. The styling would be re­designed for 1967, gain­ing a sleek, mod­ern de­sign that was lower and more squared off, es­tab­lish­ing the ba­sic pro­por­tions that would carry it up to the cusp of the 21st cen­tury. As with pre­vi­ous mod­els, the 1967–72 trucks came with two op­tional wheel­base/bed-length com­bi­na­tions and with smooth “Fleet­side” or “Step­side” boxes. For 1969, five dif­fer­ent engines were now of­fered: a pair of straight-6s and three dif­fer­ent V-8s. The base V-8 was now a 200hp 307, but 1969 also saw the in­tro­duc­tion of the 350—by far the most iconic in­car­na­tion of the SBC—good for 255hp.

And there was now a big-block op­tion with the ad­di­tion of a 396.

Jada of­fers one of the most ex­ten­sive truck-spe­cific lines in the 1:24 space with its aptly named “Just Trucks.” There are ac­tu­ally 1:32 and 1:64 prod­ucts in the se­ries as well, but given their ad­di­tional de­tail, it’s the

1:24 ve­hi­cles that com­mand our clos­est at­ten­tion. We’re show­ing two here be­cause they rep­re­sent two dif­fer­ent facets of the se­ries: the ’69 C10 Step­side is a tra­di­tional 1:24 re­lease, while the ’57 Sub­ur­ban is one of the sets that will in­clude a bonus set of wheels that you can swap onto a spare set of axles us­ing an included tool. Roughly a dozen of the cast­ings in the Just Trucks se­ries of­fer at least one ver­sion with bonus wheels. Some are off-road-ori­ented, while oth­ers have retro-style wheels with a def­i­nite rat-rod vibe. Some—like the Sub­ur­ban— come with a mix of styles: one set of black steel­ies wrapped in stock-size white­walls, with a sec­ond set of mod­ern, large-di­am­e­ter 5-spoke al­loy wheels with low-pro­file tires.

The Sub­ur­ban we got was still pre­pro­duc­tion, so the axles to swap on the bling rims were MIA, but we pre­fer the white walls on this par­tic­u­lar truck. The C10 gets ul­tra-low-pro­file rub­ber from the get-go, mounted on dou­ble 5-spoke wheels with flat black cen­ters.

Jada rou­tinely overde­liv­ers in the paint de­part­ment, of­fer­ing fin­ishes and graph­ics that seem im­pos­si­ble at the sub-$20 prices these trucks com­mand. The C10 has a red satin fin­ish the com­pany refers to as “Primer Red” and fan­tasy cus­tomshop graph­ics on the doors; it’s a great color that con­trasts nicely against the black wheels. The only ob­vi­ous clues to the Chevy’s en­try-level ori­gins are the hood and door gaps, but the fact that they both open—along with the tail­gate—is a big point in the C10’s fa­vor. The same holds true for the Sub­ur­ban. The color here is gloss black, high­lighted by a green-flame scheme that com­pletely trans­forms the slab-sided pro­file. Even on this pre­pro­duc­tion ver­sion, the paint is al­most pris­tine, show­ing just the slight­est or­ange peel on the rear flanks. The grille and bumpers have been dechromed and ap­pear to be un­fin­ished black plas­tic, just slightly less glossy than the body. In ’57, Subur­bans came as 2-door mod­els only, and could be or­dered with panel doors or a tail­gate at the back. Jada’s has the lat­ter; the rear glass lifts up­ward and the tail­gate folds down, but both are a bit loose on this pre­pro­duc­tion model.

Both trucks have open­ing doors and black plas­tic in­te­ri­ors, with chrome steer­ing wheels adding a splash of bright­ness. The Sub­ur­ban has a split bench seat and a column­shifted man­ual trans­mis­sion, whereas the C10 has a solid bench and a col­umn-shifted Turbo-Hy­dra­matic 400. Some sim­i­lar­i­ties can be found un­der the hood as well. Both trucks have SBC V-8s—the C10 has the 350 and the Sub­ur­ban the 283; nei­ther is over­whelm­ingly de­tailed, but the 283 has a def­i­nite ad­van­tage.

FI­NAL THOUGHTS

One of the strengths of the Jada brand lies in its de­sign team’s eye for cap­tur­ing cus­tom trends au­then­ti­cally, a knack that is on dis­play in both of these trucks. Sit­ting low on its white­wall tires, the flame-sided Sub­ur­ban has a rat-rod/hot-rod vibe that plays quite well on the ’57 body, whereas the C10 fol­lows more of the mod­ern resto­mod trend. Both are fun and pre­sent well, de­liv­er­ing two iconic Chevy body styles to the en­try-level mar­ket as ex­cep­tional val­ues.

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