This is a review of the 1965 Pontiac GTO kit by AMT #6593

This is one of those kits that I KNOW is going to be garbage before I start because I’ve seen many of these open and most have been just low quality, junky kits. This one is no different – to the point where I think this build is actually 2 of these kits worth of parts to make it properly. All things considered, I really like this car. I like the look, the engine, and the history. The kit is another story.

This car kit is in the “dime-a-dozen” category and can be found for as little as $12. The above are the typical ones you’ll find and are basically the same design save for the re-issue (light blue) – which should have a bit more quality and l less issues. Big problems with the others include excessive flash, bad chrome, ugly molded colors, and weak decals.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Ends up inside one, huh? I would. These cars are beautiful, elegant, have excellent engines, and are one of the more stylish convertibles of the time. After the success of the ’64, you’d figure the ’65 would be identical, but Pontiac managed to make the car different while keeping the things that made the previous year so good. The body style was still mid-size, the hood still had a ram air scoop, the grille was still menacing, and the overall look – Grrrreeaat! (sorry Tony)

Under the hood, the 389 for the GOAT was either in 335hp 4-barrel form, or 360hp tri-carb form. Either way, this big cat could move down the road as fast as most other muscle cars and in top trim, run down some of the elites. These cars are not for the timid, however, and even in the simple flowing form – depicted in the pic right – would easily burn the tires off the rims at the drop of a hat. Tiger indeed.

1965 Pontiac GTO

If you’ve seen my article on the ’65 Impala I’ve built, you’ve seen that I like the Iris color scheme from GM vehicles. This one is NOT Iris and it is annoying it isn’t a bit closer because the Testors Purple is a reasonably good paint and it has worked every time I’ve used it. It is just a bit off tint for the right color. Oh well. I decided to use it anyways because I LOVE the color and love how easily it works. The car needs a side mirror because the kit doesn’t include it, but otherwise the kit is fairly complete.

1965 Pontiac GTO 389 4-barrel

The engine bay for this one is decent and yet flawed. I did this one as a 4-barrel model instead of the tri-carb and for no reason except I’ve done MANY with the tri-carb setup and I wanted a change. Now, granted, the 3-2 is the more expensive setup and the more powerful, but I wanted to show a typical 389. Problems with the bay are from the display aspect. The wheel wells and the firewall are plain, the radiator wall is a bit generic, and the metal axle rod is visible when you look down over top of the engine. It is a bit aggravating – the level of cheap plastic – but it can look reasonable. I think this one is attractive.

1965 Pontiac GTO interior - black and white

This interior is a bit of good with a load of terrible detail. The dash works, the seats are well detailed, and the overall look is good. However, there isn’t enough detail on the doors, the rear tonneau is a bit on the dreary side, and there is no rear view mirror. I think that the black and white motif helps with the drab details and makes the interior “pop”. This is still a major dud, however. Shame, considering it is a convertible.

1965 Pontiac GTO rear quarter

The underside is about as bad as a kit gets. EVERYTHING is molded – which leads to less pieces and less detail. I painted the molded dual exhaust and added the tips out the side, but there is VERY little to display.

1965 Pontiac GTO side top view

The kit IS terrible. The hood is a poor fit; the body is “floaty”, the underside it barren of parts and detail; the engine bay is mediocre; the front grille is impossible to fit properly, the top DOESN’T fit EVER; and the red clear-plastic taillights are too thin fitting inside the slots molded into the bumper

I think the re-issue MAY be better in some ways and is still reasonably cheap, but I can’t imagine it is “amazing” compared to the older ones. The good news is that these kits are ULTRA cheap, so you could buy 3 or 4 to get perfect pieces/parts to work with and still be less expensive than some rare kits. They are also NOT an investment as there were a ton of these produced AND it was just reissued. I’d say build it, but the kit isn’t THAT good. As you can see, however, it is a hell of a looker… maybe you should build one?

4.25 – Poor

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