This is a review of the MPC 1974 Dodge Charger “Super Charger” kit.
For the record, this is an AWFUL kit in almost every way. It IS, however, the only kit for this design of Charger. The 1971 Charger is well represented by AMT, but the ’74 has NO other kit to find. I have not even found good resin kits out there. With that, you will have to expect to wait for one to surface and then pay anywhere from $30-$100 for the kit… it is THAT rare. NOTE:: This car ONLY comes molded in red and I’ve seen a few of these kits with a tinted glass. It is the WORST. I would have sold it on the spot had this one had it. It looked like something from a cheap toy car you’d see at the store. I’d try to get an open one if you care as much as I did… better safe than sorry. This MPC model, like most of the MPC/AMT kits of yore, is missing key pieces; has bad flash and fit, and desperately needs better decals. It is really a nightmare of a kit, but it WILL WORK if you need this year Charger… which I did.
CAR BACKGROUND :: 1974 was the Charger muscle car’s swan song. 1975 (see pic) made the charger wear long flannel in a horribly designed hunk of a vehicle. Sure the ’75 was comfy, but there wasn’t a sub-7 second to 60 Charger until the GLHS on the mid-80s. The ’74, however, wears the 245hp, 440 4-barrel. It was good enough for low-to-mid 15s in the ¼mile but nothing compared to its earlier brethren. It is, perhaps, one of the most underrated Chargers of the era, but for me, I just love the lines.
The engine bay is absolutely atrocious. With a little bit of self-fixing, it came out respectable, but by itself… it is just bad. I used a wiper motor off of another kit for some extra detail on a firewall that is one of the worst fitting in the model kingdom. This kit, the MPC/AMT ’69 Charger (Dukes of Hazzard included), the ’74 GTX and some other mopar kits ALL have the same exact garbage firewall. I also deleted a water reservoir as there isn’t one like it in the real thing. The engine is grey wired and the 440 decal was home made. The air cleaner is off of another mopar kit and the “caution fan” is as well (anything to make the bland better!).
The “street” setup is prominent since this is really a “street machine” kit. It comes with a giant hood scoop, a dual carb cross ram intake manifold, beefy exhaust headers, and a tach. It also included a wide set of tires that you’d see in a 80’s Camaro kit… wide and almost truck-like.
When I was a young boy, my family took a trip to Virginia Beach and for the couple days we were there, there was a ’73-74 Dodge Charger SE. Like the above car, it was red. I fell in love and cared nothing about any other part of the trip. I painted mine Tamiya Italian Red and the shine is splendid. I cannot emphasize the horrible finish of this model car, but I seemed to get it about right. The hood stripe is from a ’74 GTX, but fits rather nicely. Since I didn’t want to use a wing (which doesn’t come with this kit) or a hood scoop (which this one has – but in too large of size for stock purposes), I decided a hood stripe was a good add-on. I also have to note that this model uses side mirrors that are used in a half-dozen other kits.. AND they do NOT look right for this car. I used a ’70 Roadrunner side mirror and it looks pretty tight.
Interior is black and fully detailed with wood grain and wood steering wheel. The interior design is better than the rest of the car, but still “cheap” looking. I used a steering wheel off another mopar as the one that came with the car was ugly. I added a directional stalk too as it didn’t come with one.
The underside is lousy as well. No extra detail at all (shocks, springs, sway bars, etc) and a bland exhaust setup. I fashioned 2 exhaust tips as well as the standard “ends” are really awful. I also borrowed the wheels and tires from another kit altogether. I used Goodyear GTs from a Hemi Cuda and the Magnum rims to go along with them. I also could have used ones from a ’71 Duster or the like, but I thought the fancier mags would help this poor kit. The rims that come with the kit are the standard “street racer” type (see pic) that came with a great many kits. That – mated with the fat, truck tires – would have been vomitous. I also printed the license plate as this car does not come with one. The decals are garbage too. A salmon-maroon-black stripe doesn’t work with many car colors and is not a stock stripe kit.
I can say without hesitation that you should avoid this kit like the plague unless you need it like I did. It really – even at its best – still exudes cheap, unauthentic, crap (even the side gas cap – which I left body-color – is something from NASCAR and was never on the side of a ’74 Charger). Add to that a price tag in the $50 range and this kit is an easy by-pass.