1/25 AMT ’51 Chevy Fleetline “Turtleback”

Gallery Article by Jerry Hawhee (Old Blind Dog) on Apr 3 2013


Here are several views of the AMT ’51 Chevy Fleetline “turtleback” sedan. This is among my all-time favorite automotive designs, and surely one of the most beautiful looks Harley Earle ever conceived in his long tenure as head of design at GM. Gorgeous from every conceivable angle, it was originally seen on the ’49 Cadillac, and gradually worked its way down through the GM price ranges, showing up on a Chevy a year or so later.


Click on images below to see larger images

The kit itself was a huge step forward for AMT back in the 70s, with a crisply detailed platform interior and separate frame. The two-tone gray interior was a joy to mask and airbrush, and the handles and cranks were so well molded that foiling them was no trouble at all. My only complaint is with the undersized Stovebolt Six engine, the tooling for which appears to have been borrowed from earlier kits like the ’37 Chevy Coupe or the ’50 Chevy Pickup. It looks a tad puny in the ’51 engine compartment, even after some effort at wiring and plumbing. 

I used Tamiya TS 19 Metallic Blue straight from the rattle can, and A LOT of Bare Metal Foil Chrome for the exterior and trim. The color may be open to question on a Chevy of this period.  I’ve seen something like it on a restored ’51 convertible featured in a recent issue of Hemmings Classic Car magazine, and had admired a similar shade on a ’49 Caddy Sedanette as a kid.  In the end I figured this was as close as I’d ever come to having a similarly appointed fas-back.  As to the foil, I’d just finished a body-off restoration of the fabulous Monogram ’59 Cadillac Biaritz, and thought that was a foiling challenge until I got to the Chevy.  There’s so much lovely bright work on this “Baby Caddy,” I think I used two thirds of a whole sheet.

So there it is. Hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I enjoyed building it. 


Jerry Hawhee (Old Blind Dog)


Photos and text © by Jerry Hawhee (Old Blind Dog)