Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
’70 AMC Rebel
This is a review of the Jo-Han 1970 AMC Rebel “The Machine” kit #C-2670
Ok, I have said before that I am a AMC fan. To a degree, I like even the most usless of models they made – Matador, Hornet, and Pacer to name just a few. I do like em.. but they are as muscular as a field goal kicker in the NFL. In an effort to get a few AMCs for the collection, I have found a Rebel to add. There is something unique about this kit from all the ones I have posted… there is NO option for this car. There is NO other kit to buy… no better or worse… not even a crazy static kit. This is IT. Unfortunately, like the AMC AMX I reviewed a while ago, this one has a lot of problems and it doesn’t help that you could have to make payments on it just to buy it!
CAR BACKGROUND :: Only AMC would say in their ad that another car company was faster : “..it is not as fast on the getaway as a 427 Corvette or a Hemi..”. Only AMC. Could you imagine nowadays an ad that said – “Yes, BMW is more expensive”, or “Someday the Acura NSX will be fast!” Funny. But then, AMC has always been about quirky, odd names, looks, and styles. The Rebel was still a reasonably fair muscle car. With a 390ci, V8 carrying some 340hp, it would embarrass some other well-named muscle cars at a stoplight if the other driver wasn’t careful. No, it wasn’t as fast as a Hemi or as stylish as a Corvette, but it was cheap… and it would lay enough rubber to make anyone smile!
Like i said earlier, this one has issues. Oh it looks fairly well, but not for the kit’s prowess. Because of the kit’s garbage quality, I didn’t go with “The Machine” plan either. I decided to go with a standard AMC Rebel instead. With that, I painted it Tamiya Lavender and though it is off from AMC’s nearest color for 1970, it is a sharp look. I don’t do many with non-stock colors, but I liked the idea of this one. Outwardly, I used different tires (as the stock ones are two-piece plastic and look AWFUL) and rims, but the rest is out of the box. That is the END of the model kit’s goodness. What follows is a review from hell.
The engine bay is something out of a modeler’s nightmare. The fender wells are undefined and have odd circles atop. The brake boost is low; the radiator wall doesn’t fit solid according to instructions; and the firewall has a bunch of odd shapes… and not much else. Now where the AMX was basically a pro street model kit, this is supposed to be a stock Rebel Machine. The engine bay said otherwise and I had to fix it. It came with a cross-ram intake that you’d see in a drag car and NO stock air cleaner. SO… back to the parts bin. I used a Plymouth intake, a leftover carb, and a 428CJ air cleaner to make it look close to correct. I also had to add a hole for the oil filler tube and had to make a radiator hose – as the one with the kit wouldn’t match up to the new intake. YOU WILL NOT GET ANYTHING CLOSE to this look with what comes with the kit, and using the kit… you’ll have a mock-up drag engine instead of the standard 390.
The interior is thankfully better than the AMX, but it isn’t detailed THAT much more. The dash looks good and matches the actual car, but the doors are an afterthought. There are no inside door handles and there is nothing on the panels in the rear at all. The steering wheel also doesn’t have the trim (I had to manage without the trim line) and didn’t have the directional stalk. I can say that this is a lousy interior – more along the lines with a cheap AMT kit. SAD.
The underside is easily the worst part about this fiasco kit. The exhaust is not only fitted, but is a single exhaust that is supposed to be connected to a cross-ram, race engine! Even IF you wanted just the standard V8 setup, you’d still have to have a single pipe out the rear. I trimmed off the cross pipe and added a full second pipe down the passenger side. I then added dual exhausts from a Monogram ’69 GTO kit and I think it looks really good. In fact, the muffler only had one pipe exiting, it stopped against the frame, and didn’t exit the back of the car at all. Like I said earlier, I also had to replace the rims and tires and they were still attached to one of the worst front axle setups ANY model car ever had. I can’t even explain how odd the setup is and hope I never see one again!
NOT recommended at all. Not even something I’d give to an enemy. This is an outrageously BAD kit in almost every way. Add to that a price range in the $125-$160 range… YES… $125+ for this garbage of a kit and you’d want to pull your hair out. And by the way, it is a kit that also had suspect decals (for it’s age); a terrible front windshield (that I had to replace – including making custom window vents); and needed a dozen pieces to make correct. It is DEFINITELY an investor kit – as it is rare – and could eventually be worth 10X what it is currently going for. Better that than having to trudge through the build.. UGH.