Reviews, pictures, hints, and links 1/24, 1/25 car kits
1965 Ford Galaxie 500XL
This is a review of the AMT ’65 Ford Galaxie kit #6467
Here it is. THE favorite classic / muscle car I’ve owned. I traded my Firebird – that I cherished for over 4 years to get this car and it was a dream come true. My first REAL classic. See, I had owned a ’70 Duster for my first car, but the story behind it was really terrible and needless to say… I never had it on the road for more than 45 seconds (moving it around). This car was out-of-the-lot ready to cruise. I had a LOT of fun at shows, misery with repaint after an elderly woman backed into the side of it, and a pain inside when I sold it to a gentleman in Germany. Through this ownership, I built two different ones to be look-alikes to the car I was driving (for the shows) and I remember the them as being easy to build and nice to look at. I was NOT missing this in my current collection… not even on a dare.
As AMTs go, these kits are all pretty good and the finish is outstanding. I am slightly biased because of my liking for the car, but honestly, the kits are very good. The new “Green Gasser” above is a terrible looking kit. The green is as disgusting of a mold as you could find and it is everywhere in the kit. The “Rides” version allows for a donk-ish looking lowrider and is much more sensible than the gasser – which Galaxies are not known for being. The others are rare, expensive and have a lot of goodness to them – lots of parts, extras, and good molding.
CAR BACKGROUND :: “No Galaxie made after ’64 was worth a shit”. Words from an over-stuffed jackass at one of my first car shows. Smug, arrogant and as incorrect as the goofy-ass look on his face. See, Mr. Special Guy had a ’63 & ’64 Galaxie – both with 427s – and thought the WORLD of em. They were gaudy, and way overpriced. Anyone who swears by one year of a model has no appreciation for cars. Beyond that, the FOUR I’ve owned after ’64 were all attractive, powerful, and sweet riding cars. Now if he were talking about the ’64’s prowess at the dragstrip, that is fine… but he’d be shocked at the record-setting number of NASCAR wins the ’65 had – he’d probably faint. Schmuck aside, the ’65 Galaxie was a fantastic riding car. Coined as the “velvet brute” or “velvet authority”, the car was tested to be quieter than a Rolls Royce. The seats were deep (though not very supportive) and the C6 transmission, though a slight dud performance-wise, was as smooth as honey. The 390ci in my car (slightly different than the 427ci in this kit) had a stout 300hp and some 427lb-ft of torque. Enough for high 16s in the quarter and brisk driving to say the least for such a LARGE car. The 427, however, would not only destroy tires with zero effort, but would also get the beast into the mid-to-high 14s. Stout indeed. Really, where the car is happiest, is when you are just cruising around. It is quiet, comfy, and looks like a dream!
As you can see in the pic from the beginning of this review, my car was Wimbledon White. Yup, not today. Not only did I not want a representation of MY car, but I wanted to try a different color scheme altogether. The red was just the ticket – Tamiya Pure Red. Matches the pic from my favorite muscle car book (pic below) and it is superb to me. I used two kits to get 4 of the stock hubcaps (as the kits seem to come with TWO only), and had to add a side mirror since the kit didn’t come with one. I also forwent the hood ornament as they are tricky anyways and I like the less formal hood better.
Golden 390. It is a very attractive engine and the bay is one of AMT’s better ones. The brake boost could be better pronounced, it could use a radiator shroud, and the battery is facing the wrong way with terminals facing the radiator wall – otherwise, the rest looks admirable. This hood fits rather well also, but it will most likely need trimmed toward the cowl – as the size isn’t ever quite right. If you get one that is perfect, great, else expect a little whittling before paint.
This interior is also VERY good for an AMT. The details are very well seen, and there is a lot to do. The ’65 dash is strewn with bright-work and the console is a nice touch. I had adapted the one I made for my car to have the column shift and a bench seat, but I kept the 4-speed and console for this one. The 427s with this setup were amazing, but the 390 would have been hot with it too.
I didn’t take pics of the bottom as this kit suffers from the AMT curse for lack of pieces/detail. The axle is a pin with “hole” add-ons; the exhaust is molded; the headers need extensions to fit to the exhaust; and there are no exhaust tips. Really, there is nothing to write home… or for this review, about. There is another issue and that is with the rear bumper fitting. It is a PAIN to get the bumper to sit correctly. The chassis sits back a bit to far and it doesn’t screw to the bottom. That leaves the bumper to sit against a small piece of the rear fender and along the chassis which likes to move. Same as the other AMT Galaxies after ’64 as the ones prior were pin-bottom. Maybe that was what that doofus at the show meant!
Yeah, I really liked the pic in the book and though I will never likely own it, I have built one pretty close. The kit itself is REALLY good. There is little flash, the engine bay is decent, the interior is really good and the bottom is workable. The trunk being a separate piece (which doesn’t line up perfectly at times and has a spot where the tree stem intrudes on the lid), and the hood is sometimes bothersome, but otherwise there is a lot of parts, and this makes a lovely car. Most of the pre-Jolly Green Gasser kits are starting to explode in value (as the JGG kit is a green mess of a thing), so best to get one before they are $100 or more.