This is a review of the Revell 1971 Plymouth Cuda kit#2943

I have NEVER understood the absolute love affair most car fans have for the ‘Cuda. I don’t know if it is the name, the look, the Hemi, or just “because”, but I have never understood most enthusiasts’ infatuation with the fishy sprinter. Biggest reason for my impartiality is that there are a handful of muscle car Mopars that have the same 426 Hemi and run the same ¼mile in the mid 13s, so it really boils down to to each their own… but that’s just me.

Because there is such a crazed liking for this car, there are a ridiculous amount of models to choose from. The above kits all have differing features – shaker hood, convertible, street parts, etc, and all have the ominous Hemi. There are more than the above and they have most of the same quality as Revell and Monogram are both typically good. You have to watch for molded-in-color versions, but little else.

CAR BACKGROUND :: The Barracuda had already been around for years and some had made large statements about being muscular, but none had quite the impact as the ’70 and ’71 ‘Cudas. The above chart-car gives a rainbow-rific idea to how many choices there were. Once you found that “snazzy” color, all you had to do was pick which mill to pair it with. Most chose lesser engines, but the ones that opted for the 426 and 440 V8s had one of the top 5 fastest muscle cars of the day. At 13.4 and 106mph (some Hemi tests say 13.2, some say 13.7… I split the differences), there was almost nothing out there that could match it. Granted, like I said above, most Hemi Mopars ran close to the mid-13 mark, but the crazy color paint and shaker hood really captured the imagination of the car world more than any other. Don’t believe me? Just check the price tags of Mopar Hemis out there and you’ll almost always see a ‘Cuda at the top of the list.

BUILD NOTES : Does the model live up to the hype, then? Well, mostly. The bumpers can be a tricky fit; the shaker is tough to get just right to fit in the hole; The exhaust is part of the bottom and is a tight fit through the rear panel; and that grille… UGH. But.., being a tough kit doesn’t make it a lousy build… just a tougher one. Side note – if you want a “street” setup, you’d better buy the one that says it is, otherwise there are very few aftermarket parts for this one.

I really love/hate this engine. The shaker is mischievous and is completely Vader-esque once you remove the hood. However, after working to make sure the wires are right, the engine is perfectly painted correct hemi orange, and the radiator hose is hooked up in the right spot, you are unable to see anything but the massive “hat” on top. Basically, the Hemi is a monster hidden under a cloak of hiding and it sucks. Don’t misunderstand me, if I purchased a ‘Cuda, you can be sure I’d get one with a shaker… but there is a rather large difference between 1/24th scale and the real McCoy.

This fish needed to be purple. I really detest the Plum Crazy paint Testors makes, so I used the Testors Purple-icious paint instead. It is very close to the 70’s In-Violet and is a much easier paint to use than the other one. There are a lot of fine detail chrome to do, but I patiently got em done. I don’t like the hood fit and as I said before, the exhaust fitting through the body is annoying. I also decided to not use the “billboard” Hemi decals. I’m not a big fan of them, but the black decals look terrible against the purple. I could’ve made white ones, but decided against it.

Like other Revells, this one is fairly well detailed. I went with the flat black interior with wood accents. Pistol shift, rear mirror, and directional stalk were standard equipment.

The underside of this one is like most Revell Mopars as well (no pic). Tight fitting wheels, nice detail, and nothing out of the ordinary. Aside from the exhaust (which is getting exhausting to mention), you’ll like this one. Speaking of this subject, the tips are – IMHO – smaller than they should be and aren’t chrome (sorry.. paint is NOT the same thing).

I can say that I really like this model. I can also say that it is NOT the easiest of models to do properly. They are slowly climbing in price (somewhere between $20 and $35), but they are also everywhere and in many forms. There are also a slew of 1970 Barracudas as well, so even more to choose from. NOT a good investment, but like the notoriety of the car itself, it is a popular model.

8.75 – Very Good

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