Back in August, just as I was starting to blog, I was contacted by Christie Dotolo. She is the CEO of Gearhead Puzzles, a woman/veteran owned puzzle company. Gearheads focuses on classic cars and she wanted to know if I was interested in doing Chevy Gold; their inaugural puzzle.
I was super green, and super eager, so I said yes. Thus began my six month road trip with Chevy Gold.
Please keep in mind, everyone puzzles differently. My challenge may be your cakewalk.
It’s a gorgeous puzzle, and I did an unboxing video when it first came in! Click here.
This puzzle is based on a fantastic photograph by Laurie Hatcher of the interior of a 1952 Chevrolet. My dream car has always been a 1957 Chevy Bel Air (I dig tailfins), so I was excited by the subject matter.
In my eagerness to do ALL THE THINGS, I seriously overestimated both my ability to do projects, and forgot that Murphy loves hubris. September had hurricanes, October was booked solid, so I planned to debut the puzzle in November.
My initial assembly went quickly, as I focused on the frame, speedometer and the center of the steering wheel. The pieces are random cut, on a sturdy midweight chipboard. The image is a bit blurred due to being blown up and made into a puzzle, and has a semi-gloss finish. If this is the quality of their first puzzle, I’m seriously impressed!!
There are a lot of shades of brown, black and gray in this puzzle. After a few days, I started to struggle. My eyes didn’t want to focus on the slight variations, and my frustration mounted. I put a cover on it and focused on my Christmas puzzles. This saved my sanity, but made me feel incredibly guilty. I’ve never given up on a puzzle, but I really wanted too.
After the mess of Christmas and January, I started again. I cleared off all the debris that had covered the puzzle board, resorted my pieces by color and tried again. I wasn’t perfect, I still had a mild hate for the difficulty and coloration of the puzzle. I mentioned this to Christie, who patiently checked in with me and agreed that Chevy Gold was a tricky puzzle. I swear, her patience and understanding is what goaded me to finish. I WANTED to do Christie’s puzzle.
Superbowl Sunday, I worked on Chevy Gold. I looked at the tv for commercials, but I was determined to finish. I filled in most of the dark areas by halftime, but was missing four light brown pieces from the steering wheel. My cats have loved sitting on this puzzle, so I did the smart thing and swept under the couch. I found dust bunnies, cat toys and three of my missing pieces!
I kept going, because as the number of pieces dwindled, the ease of matches increased. I could see I was going to finish!!
Remember what I said about Murphy? Yeah, he’s laughing.
One piece!! Months of assembly, and I’m denied victory at the final hour! SC is convinced that the cats or fairies have hidden it. I’m convinced that I know how Captain Ahab felt. I’ve torn the living room apart, but that missing piece is mocking me.
You win Chevy Gold. I still feel accomplished.
This is officially the most difficult puzzle I have done yet. Also, my longest assembly time. If you love classic cars and a serious challenge, try Chevy Gold. Gearhead Puzzles has since added three other puzzles to their catalog, all 500 pieces. They look amazing. For me, I’ll wait until they make a puzzle of a Tucker 48.
- Company: Gearhead Puzzles
- Title: Chevy Gold
- Artist: Laura Hatcher
- Year released: 2017
- Pieces: 1000
- Cut-Style: Steel-cut Die
- Finished size: 19¼ x 26¾ inches
- Bonus poster: No
- Made in USA
- Box: Thin cardboard, sturdy, 10 x 8 x 2¼ inches
- Board: Medium weight chipboard, sturdy pieces
- Cut: Random
- Image Quality: Excellent
- Finish: Semi-Gloss
- Puzzle Dust: Minimal
- Piece Fit: Excellent, once fully assembled. Because of the random cut, some pieces will be loose until connected to the whole.
Disability Notes: Due to the difficulty level of this puzzle, I would not recommend Chevy Gold for anyone with a visual impairment that makes differentiating similar shades impossible. Some puzzle pieces are small, so folks with arthritis or hand mobility issues may want to wait for a good day or look at Gearhead’s 500 piece puzzles.
Where to buy: Chevy Gold is available on the Gearheads website for $18.95 USD. They also have three other puzzles at this point in time.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary puzzle from the manufacturer in exchange for a review. The opinions are my own.
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