This is a review of the AMT 1969 Ford Torino Cobra – KIT #38415

I don’t think I will be any more at odds about a model car than the ’69 Torino. This was one of the first cars I ever built and it is a beautiful looking car IMO. However, this kit is a bit of Jekyll and Hyde. There are a great bunch of goodness to it, but there is enough “wrong” to both cost you a pretty penny and also make you dip into the parts bin too often.

The above kits are basically the same (I’ve bought all 4 at one time or another) and are getting more and more rare. #1 will most likely be molded in white and the other three are molded in a yucky off-grey/beige color. The Superset is by far the best deal – as you get 2 other kits – but also the most problematic. I’ve had one with broken pieces and two with bad chrome. The big problem with the Supersets has to do with the box… it is as flimsy as paper and protects about as well.

Revell makes a nice version of the Torino Talledega which was built to allow the car entry into racing. The front clip is extended and – to me – ruins the shape of the car. Because of the extention and the 1/24th scale of the model, the Talladega looks like it is 1/20th scale compared to the other models you’ll own. It is BY FAR a better kit (and in most cases cheaper) but I don’t like the finished product.

CAR BACKGROUND :: The Torino was the new Fairlane for 1968 and it was a complete departure from the straight-lined, stacked-lighted, ’67. With a snubbed nose and fast-back, the new car was a shadow of its former self. Some believe it is an abomination comparatively, but I think it is it’s own way of being cool. Engine options didn’t suffer, however, and this one gets the coveted 428 Cobra Jet. With the 335hp, this upstart would run past almost any ’67 out there – to the tune of 14-flat through the ¼mile. It is a car that I’ve liked for some 25+ years… and probably always will.

BUILD NOTES : So, back to this mish-mash of a kit. The model will most assuredly have flash in a lot of areas – especially around the wheelbase. The hood takes some effort to get seated right and the hole is not easy to make either. It is a good thing for those who deleted the ram air option, but not for those needing the hole removed.

All of the above kits come with NASCAR options such as light covers, roll bars, exhaust options, dash options and much more. I really think that this model is not designed well enough for a stock-car motif, but it is all there to make just the same.

Probably the worst place to be in this model is under the bonnet. The 428 looks pretty decent (though a tad small) and with wires, shines up real nice. Unfortunately, the stock engine bay is among the worst you’ll find. I had to add a master cylinder from another kit; a washer motor from (most likely) a Mopar; had to paint a molded washer reservoir that had no real end to it (it ran the length of the inner fender!); used an air cleaner off another Ford because of not using the Ram Air option; and replaced the ridiculous overflow tank with a regular hose. When all was said and done, the bay looks quite respectable, but NOT because of the kit.

The original color I used 20 years ago was Testors Red Metal Flake and I painted it with a .35 cent brush! It was nice but had more dark spots than a leopard. Not awful for a 13 year old, but nonetheless – crap. This one is done in Testors Citrus Yellow to mimic the Ford Lime Gold of that year. I really like the look, but a red or blue would bring out the chrome better. The above blue GT was made by Randy Bodkin and is a wonderfully clean Torino. Check his site in my links! Aside from all the missing parts in the engine area, the car is also missing a side mirror (i used one from the parts bin), a rear-view mirror (same), and the tires are the floppy, flash-ridden ones from AMT.

The interior, however, is NOT a bad place to be. The four-circled cluster in the dash is handsome and the automatic shifter is really nice. Door detail is awful, but is overlooked with the rest of the car.

The bottom of this kit is typical AMT garbage. Low detail, poor fitting exhaust, molded shocks and little other detail. It also uses pins and a rod through the axles for movement, so the rear axle is molded as well. POOP. This car does come with exhaust tips that are top-5 best in the modeling kingdom.

As I mentioned, this kit is a beauty and beast, so caution is needed for buying. The kits have become somewhat rare as well. The 3-pack Supercars set can be bought for $60-$70, making the Torino around $22, but they are a risk to buy. Original kits are in the $30 range and are increasing slowly. The kits are a good investment with dwindling numbers, but a pricey buy for building – especially with the low quality. This one cost me FOUR kits worth to get the pieces right.. too much for someone who’s not a fan.

7.0 – Mediocre

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