Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
’66 AC Shelby Cobra 427
This is a review of the Revell Streetburner Shelby Cobra 427 (S/C)
I have ALWAYS loved this car. It IS the definitive symbol of what happens when American brawn gets matched with European style. This kit is a wonderful replica of really either the road going cruiser or the track ready rocket. There are a lot of ways you’ll need to tread lightly, but the end result is astounding.
This build is actually a combo of a couple of the above kits. I think I started with the top left (with Carroll), and added the Metal Flake and the S/C above. Altogether, I ended up with the final result below. The kits above have good and bad qualities, but all of them are the same racing goodness. Some have better decal sets (like the S/C I had) and the one top-middle is molded in a horrifying metal flake motif. You can bet that they are all pretty good quality, however, and I’ve never failed building this one yet. There is also an AMT 1963 AC Cobra 289 that IS actually a good kit and very comparable to the Monogram/Revell, however, they are getting rare and pricey AND do not have the 427 as an option.
CAR BACKGROUND :: So why Carroll and AC fused their collective goodness and came up with the quickest road car of the day is a story for another time. There have been books, stories, quips, cartoons, movies, and so on about the grandness of this car. Suffice to say, the car is a bottle rocket handling machine with the 289, and an otherworldly force with the 427. Rated at a laughable 485hp, the AC was propelled through the 1/4 mile at speeds in the 110-115 mph range and times in the low 12s. There was nothing short of drag-ready cars that could even read the license plate off the back end. I’ve seen recent tests from Car & Driver and Road and Track with quarter times closer to the 13s, but I honestly think they were short shifting the really expensive cars and not breaking them loose like they could have. My belief is the 2000lb speedster could trip the lights in the low-to-mid 12s with zero effort. These cars were GORGEOUS though and had the style and appeal of European contemporaries while having the fire-breathing, American 7.0 liter, V8 under-bonnet. These suckers are now requiring some $500k or better for the real deal and some $80k or better for the knock-off/repro. To me, they are utterly priceless.
First time I made this car, it was the 289 version with dual exhaust out the back and was painted Testors Green. It was actually way better than others I had made back then and was a favorite of mine. This one is painted Tamiya Mica Blue, and though the paint is head-and-tails better than I had done back then, it isn’t the British Green I was hoping for originally. I love the finished product, but don’t be surprised if you see this one painted green and accented with racing splendor at some point. The remainder of the car as you see it is from the kit with no add-ons.
Right off the bat, you CAN see an add-on to this kit’s engine. I decided you use a dual carb intake (off a ’68 Shelby) and double air cleaners. The single enclosed air cleaner that comes with the car is really nice too, but I wanted more visual appeal for this snake. The remainder of the bay is fairly good and rather stuffed with engine! How they got it in, made it work and made it handle with ’60’s tech is beyond me, but it looks mint!
Thankfully having a convertible makes for easier pics. This interior is quaint but looks sharp in the end. I should have done a different color for the carpet – even an off-tan, but the whole thing looks the part of this stellar racer: sparse, but with purpose. Big worries here include the glass being glued to the frame, glass being glued to the side windows, and the whole thing to the car. It is a possible clusterf*** waiting to happen and I’ve come close on two different occasions to ruining the whole sha-bang. NOTE**: Make sure to tape the windshield in place inside the frame and then glue. Let THAT glue set and then glue the whole thing to the body. THEN carefully glue the side windows to the extensions from the pillars. Like I said… can look beautiful, or be a gluing catastrophe.
There is a lot that this car leaves to be desired. The tough windshield setup; the side exhaust fitting is lousy; the numerous tiny pieces that need fit to the body without fouling the paint; and the ridiculous knock-offs that refuse to stay on all make for a nervous build. When it is right, it is just amazing. These are also a good investment as these cars are “forever-legends” and will always be coveted. You ought to make one before they are $100 worth too.