This is a review of the AMT ’63 Corvette Stingray #6520

1963 Corvette model by AMT - #6520

I’m a hypocrite. YUP. Major one at that. In my article Five Kits to Avoid in my “tips” section, I stressed, no, begged the public to stay away from this kit. Why? Well, if you were kind enough to read the original article, you’d have already known that the kit fits badly, has a lot of flash, can have bad chrome, and much more. I swore I’d never build one again. Well…

There is no shortage of 1963 Corvettes to build, and they come in many different forms. You can go straight SNAP-tite, or go detail crazy with the Prestige kit. MOST of the AMTs have the same amount of good – or – bad and there will be subtle differences here and there. One will have slicks, and another will be molded in a lousy olive-brown. Seeing one of the above kits’ “innards” would be a good idea if you are looking for something specific.

1963 full color ad for a 63 Stingray.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Quite possibly the most coveted Corvette design ever made, the ’63 split-window Corvette was made for one year and was such a cool look that today they carry a price tag and following like none other. It was a gorgeous car by ANY standard, and even though it carried a larger-than-life pricetag (hundreds more than a comparably-fast Camaro SS), was purchased over and over again. Offered with many differing 327 V-8 options, the svelte sports car was quick, nimble, and hard to beat. Unfortunately, it would be many years later before the massive big blocks would grace its tidy fenders, but that wasn’t the point of the ’63. The point was having a car that was the best on the block – and you’d be hard-pressed to argue it wasn’t that year. Man’s car, indeed.

1963 Corvette Stingray by AMT profile in tan

I’ve built many of these – especially when I was much younger. My first was a convertible, and it was Testors Silver. It was a REALLY nice brush job because of the easy-on metallic silver paint. It was my best for MANY years and one I’ll never forget. This one is done in a Gloss Tan, and I added clear coat to spruce it up a bit. I added white walls and a side mirror because they are typically not included. I honestly didn’t think I could make one of these abysmal AMT Corvettes look this good. I’m not bragging – mind you – just making a point about how bad these kits can be.

1963 Corvette Stingray by AMT 327ci V8

Kinda dainty, isn’t it?

No, not a rip-roaring 427 like some of the later-year C3s. The 327 was a nice engine for the smaller Corvette, and it made a great noise too. This one is done as stock as humanly possible. Air cleaner – I admit – should probably be black, but with the black bay, I wanted it to “pop” a bit more. I also didn’t wire one since the distributor cover makes it a useless undertaking. The remainder of the look is typical AMT low-grade. It would at least be nice to have a few decals to spruce it up, but alas, no.

1963 Corvette Stingray by AMT undeside/exhaust

The underside is a dog. Nothing to attach; the exhaust is molded (meaning nothing fancy and no way to side-exhaust it); the axles are metal bars and look awful, and the wheels are allowed to roam outside the wheel wells because of how badly the axle bars fit. Making the whole thing worse, the tips aren’t attached to the mufflers. It is like the muffler stops, and then there is a tip sticking through the body of the car… for looks. Hate all of it. Just don’t look underneath, I spose.

1963 Corvette Stingray by AMT interior

I have fallen I LUST with this interior. The metallic orange looks like a bright version of the “saddle”, and I think it brings it to life. AMT has managed to not muck up this interior as there is a lot of detail and things to work on. Gauges, handles, knobs, and so on. Lots to do and look at.

1963 Corvette Stingray by AMT rear view

Never thought I’d say this, but I am glad to be a hypocrite in this instance. YES, the kit still does have the worst chrome (sometimes faded and attached to the trees in big/bad places), the body floats on the chassis; the engine is small; the underside is one piece (so un-customizable and boring), and the hood is a garbage fit. However, I can say it looks good on display and looks the part of one of the most iconic shapes to grace a car. I can also say that as good as this one turned out, I will likely never do this car again! Kinda sad, but then again, I am thrilled with it, so why bother?

It is still amongst the cheapest models you can purchase too, so if you care for a go – NOW is the time. NOT for the investment-minded, however!

6.0 Mediocre

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