This is a review of the 1971 Demon Kit by MPC – kit#0450-225

Back in the mid-eighties, I used to ride my bike everywhere. Back then, times were different and much more carefree. Two streets over from my house, my Aunt and her family lived in a nice house at a “T” in the road. Parked in the driveway was a 1971 Dodge Demon 340 – along side a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner 383. Back then, I can only imagine how damn cheap they were and how much of my house I’d have to mortgage to buy both today. Since looking at the Demon – with the devilish little decal on the side – I have wanted one ever since. Someday, I will own one, but for now…

This IS the only kit ever made for the 1971 Demon. The model companies could make a FORTUNE re-doing this one, but for now, there is only this one, never-reissued kit.

And, boy is it expensive.

1971 Dodge Demon advertisement

CAR BACKGROUND :: Yup, they got the front of the box straight from the original ad back in 1971. And, yeah the performance wasn’t just painted on. The 340 Demon has many tests on the internet that show the car was a legit 14.5 second car in the quarter. Beyond that, the Demon was the Duster’s best look. Between the pronounced front grille and rear slatted lights, the Demon was far the more aggressive look. And, no this isn’t the crazy sprinter that the new Demon is, but then again it wasn’t supposed to be. The Demon was a relatively cheap muscle car that carried fantastic looks – and it that it succeeded as well as any other. Shame they made this body for just one year (’72 was different and not as cool) and now they are overpriced to death.

1971 Dodge Demon MPC kit

My cousin’s car was not yellow. Not even close. I decided to go my own way instead of with blue. See, I owned a 70 Duster and wanted to make it look like the above. Mine was yellow…. faded and awful. I was 19 and stupid. My 225ci was not going to morph into this and it certainly wasn’t going to be this cool. Oh well. My father in law and I had good times workin on it and it eventually looked really cool – to me.

Anyways, the Tamiya Yellow worked really well. I can say that the kit’s decals – by this point – are useless. Mine disintegrated the second they hit the water. I had copied them before trying them, so I was able to redo them myself. For the record, this MPC kit doesn’t have the the rear taillight stripe – I had to make that myself. On top of that, the side stripes aren’t quite the stock stripes – they are shaped slightly different. They work, but aren’t what you’ll find IRL. I also used a side mirror off of a 1970 Roadrunner as the ones from this kit are small and awful looking.

1971 Dodge Demon MPC kit 340ci

The engine that comes with the MPC kit is LOUSY. It is small and very un-detailed. I decided to take the 340 out of a 1971 Duster kit and use that instead. The finished product looks better than what would have been there. The battery was used from the Duster kit as well. I didn’t wire this one since the rear engine distributor makes it unnecessary and I will probably make a decal for the cleaner, but otherwise it is a tidy engine bay.

1971 Dodge Demon MPC kit side view

This interior is typical MPC flare with low detail and a floaty fit. I had to find a better rear-view mirror and added a directional stalk. The gauges are look good and are the actual Demon circular openings and the seats are very realistic. Not more than a “B-“, but presentable.

1971 Dodge Demon MPC kit underside & exhaust

With using the headers off of the MPC kit, the exhaust fit well. The bottom is otherwise disappointing as there is little else to put together. I ditched the MPC rims and tires for white-letter ones and a Krager look. The ones found in the kit were faded and the tires were boring. In addition, I used the tips from the Duster kit – probably the best Mopar tips anywhere.

1971 Dodge Demon MPC kit rear

The kit IS mediocre. There is a lot of flop to the fit; there is a good deal of flash; the engine is small and poorly detailed; the decals are a bit of a sham; and the tires were junk. I still paid… $403 for it. Yup, you read right. FOUR HUNDRED. And, I’d do it again tomorrow for this car. It is a favorite and always will be. Unfortunately, a used one is $300-$400 and a mint, sealed one might cost more than you can imagine. If you have one, it is a prime time to sell before they decide to reissue it. Otherwise, make the damn car!

6.5 – Mediocre

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