This is a review of the MPC 1974 Dodge Charger “Super Charger” kit.
For the record, this is an AWFUL kit in almost every way. It IS, however, the only kit for this design of Charger. The 1971 Charger is well represented by AMT, but the ’74 has NO other kit to find. I have not even found good resin kits out there. With that, you will have to expect to wait for one to surface and then pay anywhere from $30-$100 for the kit… it is THAT rare. NOTE:: This car ONLY comes molded in red and I’ve seen a few of these kits with a tinted glass. It is the WORST. I would have sold it on the spot had this one had it. It looked like something from a cheap toy car you’d see at the store. I’d try to get an open one if you care as much as I did… better safe than sorry. This MPC model, like most of the MPC/AMT kits of yore, is missing key pieces; has bad flash and fit, and desperately needs better decals. It is really a nightmare of a kit, but it WILL WORK if you need this year Charger… which I did.
CAR BACKGROUND :: 1974 was the Charger muscle car’s swan song. 1975 (see pic) made the charger wear long flannel in a horribly designed hunk of a vehicle. Sure the ’75 was comfy, but there wasn’t a sub-7 second to 60 Charger until the GLHS on the mid-80s. The ’74, however, wears the 245hp, 440 4-barrel. It was good enough for low-to-mid 15s in the ¼mile but nothing compared to its earlier brethren. It is, perhaps, one of the most underrated Chargers of the era, but for me, I just love the lines.
The engine bay is absolutely atrocious. With a little bit of self-fixing, it came out respectable, but by itself… it is just bad. I used a wiper motor off of another kit for some extra detail on a firewall that is one of the worst fitting in the model kingdom. This kit, the MPC/AMT ’69 Charger (Dukes of Hazzard included), the ’74 GTX and some other mopar kits ALL have the same exact garbage firewall. I also deleted a water reservoir as there isn’t one like it in the real thing. The engine is grey wired and the 440 decal was home made. The air cleaner is off of another mopar kit and the “caution fan” is as well (anything to make the bland better!).
The “street” setup is prominent since this is really a “street machine” kit. It comes with a giant hood scoop, a dual carb cross ram intake manifold, beefy exhaust headers, and a tach. It also included a wide set of tires that you’d see in a 80’s Camaro kit… wide and almost truck-like.
When I was a young boy, my family took a trip to Virginia Beach and for the couple days we were there, there was a ’73-74 Dodge Charger SE. Like the above car, it was red. I fell in love and cared nothing about any other part of the trip. I painted mine Tamiya Italian Red and the shine is splendid. I cannot emphasize the horrible finish of this model car, but I seemed to get it about right. The hood stripe is from a ’74 GTX, but fits rather nicely. Since I didn’t want to use a wing (which doesn’t come with this kit) or a hood scoop (which this one has – but in too large of size for stock purposes), I decided a hood stripe was a good add-on. I also have to note that this model uses side mirrors that are used in a half-dozen other kits.. AND they do NOT look right for this car. I used a ’70 Roadrunner side mirror and it looks pretty tight.
Interior is black and fully detailed with wood grain and wood steering wheel. The interior design is better than the rest of the car, but still “cheap” looking. I used a steering wheel off another mopar as the one that came with the car was ugly. I added a directional stalk too as it didn’t come with one.
The underside is lousy as well. No extra detail at all (shocks, springs, sway bars, etc) and a bland exhaust setup. I fashioned 2 exhaust tips as well as the standard “ends” are really awful. I also borrowed the wheels and tires from another kit altogether. I used Goodyear GTs from a Hemi Cuda and the Magnum rims to go along with them. I also could have used ones from a ’71 Duster or the like, but I thought the fancier mags would help this poor kit. The rims that come with the kit are the standard “street racer” type (see pic) that came with a great many kits. That – mated with the fat, truck tires – would have been vomitous. I also printed the license plate as this car does not come with one. The decals are garbage too. A salmon-maroon-black stripe doesn’t work with many car colors and is not a stock stripe kit.
I can say without hesitation that you should avoid this kit like the plague unless you need it like I did. It really – even at its best – still exudes cheap, unauthentic, crap (even the side gas cap – which I left body-color – is something from NASCAR and was never on the side of a ’74 Charger). Add to that a price tag in the $50 range and this kit is an easy by-pass.
This is a review of Revell’s 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A. Kit #2596.
This is a pretty slick Revell kit. There usually is flash on the wheel wells and bottom, but not enough to gripe over. I really like the fiberglass hood that comes with it. Being careful when fixing the front piece to the body is necessary as the sides that match to the front fenders sometimes need bending to be flush. This kit is a 2-in-1 as well but doesn’t include a whole lot of “street” goodies.
Most of these will get you the same results with the exception of #1. The “metal glow” kit has the T/A molded in a horrifying maroon that is as close to an original color as plaid. What’s worse is the entirety of the kit is maroon throw-up. #3 is also molded in red, though not “sparkly”. #2 is almost identical save the decals and instructions may be a bit different. #4 is a rarity and an expensive buy, but it is one that has a coveted feature. This 2-in-1 allows you to built a Challenger R/T with the standard hood. It is the only Revell kit that allows this Challenger to be made so. You can buy a resin hood on top of the other kits, but I’ve found resin to be often mediocre and a lot of work to make right.
AMT makes a few different kits for the Challenger, however, the Revell kits are a truck-load better. The pieces fit better, the flash is less, and the “finish” is better. These kits ARE very build-able, but I stay clear of AMT’s when I can.. they are just not built as well.
CAR BACKGROUND :: The 1970 Challenger was Dodge’s answer to the Chevelle and Torino. The car did so in many iterations. Hemi, 440, and T/A versions were as hot as any muscle car of the time period. Challenger 426s would easily run high 13s in the ¼mile and 440s were right behind by a whisper. This T/A was pretty lively for a small block as well. With 290 underrated horsepower, it would trip the lights at over 95mph in roughly 14.5 seconds. The car was sleek and stylish too, with a huge set of taillights on the rear panel and a blackened front valance that looked like it meant business. It also came in a plethora of tasty colors that sounded like something out of a cartoon: Go Mango, Plum Crazy, and Banana.
BUILD NOTES : Like I mentioned earlier, you have to be careful when putting the front clip on to the car so the fenders match up (see pic). The rear “wing” should be left off for painting and attached after since it will be a different color than the body. The hood should be semi-gloss black, but I like the flat black better. The “street” setup is lacking with this kit. The extra hood allows for a massive high-rise intake or a blower. There is zero else (not even headers) to make this a street rod besides what you add from other kits. There are custom rims, but no slicks. As a 2-in-1, this one is lame.
The engine bay is really good with an ounce of yuck. The 340 six-pack is one of the coolest model car engines you’ll find, but it is surrounded by mediocrity. The battery is molded into the fender and is low-detail. The firewall is BLANK. I added a wiper motor from another kit to help, but it is completely devoid of detail. I know pristine Mopar muscle usually has a color-coded, clean look, but this is a bit much.
This T/A was painted Testors Bug Yellow – a very bright yellow that looks a lot like the Banana of that year. The hood is flat black and so is the rear wing. I don’t usually paint the white letters on the tires, but I took the extra time to do these. The stripes are great, but care needs to be taken as there is a small bit that goes under the side mirror. The other decals are amongst the best in model-dom and there is a lot to place. One gaffe that should be of note is the rear taillight piece. The clear piece is often not the right size for the chrome insert and needs a bit of trimming. Make sure to fit before using glue or you may have a mess.
Interior is black and fully detailed with wood grain and wood steering wheel. It comes with a pistol grip 4-speed and has reasonable detail on the doors. It does come with a rear view mirror as well.
I have to say that I love the side exhaust of the T/As. They look nasty and are well detailed. Helps not having to fool with the axle as with a full exhaust too. Never had an issue with this one matching the engine as well. The other details are a bit lacking as there are no springs, shocks or extras of any kind. One final drawback with this underside is that you cannot opt for a standard dual exhaust. The Challenger R/T had cool exhaust tips and they would look great on this kit. Using them from another kit would work, but it would be extra cost.
Aside from the engine bay being a bit barren and there being almost nothing 2-in-1 about this kit, it is great otherwise. The parts fit well, the glass is easy and manageable, and the decals work to an.. R/”T”. The T/A kits are still fairly obtainable and the price hasn’t skyrocketed yet. The rare R/T Streetburner kit is starting to climb over the $40 range, but the others can still be gotten reasonably (This one was $22.50). This kit is an easy “thumbs up” but not for the serious gear-head. As stock Challengers go, however, this is a beaut!