Comparison :: 1940’s HOT ROD CLUB

Three popular coupes… done my way!

I am NOT a fan of early model cars. Anything before 1955-ish would typically be something that I wouldn’t give a second look to. It is just me, but I’ve only recently gotten the care for these types of vehicles. With that, I’ve built a few of these oldies as something different to look at and I’ve loved them.

1940 Willy's, 1940 Ford, 1941 Plymouth

Three different views of the same type of fun. They are old, heavy cruisers and have been given new parts to augment their style and speed.

Overall, I think a stripe or two might have looked good on one of these, but I just didn’t have anything I wanted to use so they are all straight colors. The Ford is Tamiya Purple and the Plymouth is Tamiya Bright Red. The Willy’s is a mix of three sprays… and I cannot remember which ones. I think black/color change, Mica Blue and another, but oh well… it’s blue.

Willy’s cars are well known as drag champions. The Swindler & Stone Woods & Cook vehicles were some of the faster cars to run the 1320ft lane. This one is a Swindler minus the decals and with that would most likely run the quarter right at 11 seconds without a hitch. The other two would just be shifting into second while the Willy’s finished. Laughable.

1940 Ford with 428CJ engine, 1941 Willy's with supercharged V8, 1941 Plymouth Coupe with 340ci.

Ford’s kit comes with a very low-key V8 and is not very exciting. This 428 cobra jet from a Cougar and open cleaner from a Cobra make for more of a statement… and of horsepower. The stock engine was 335hp, but I figure with a cam and such, it’d be closer to 400. I think it looks far more imposing than what the kit came with. The exhaust has been changed to dual pipes with a Corvette quad set of tips at the end.

The Plymouth is probably the least modded of the three and runs a regular 340ci V8 (possibly a 318, but not the ’41 engine). it is running different wheels and rims and has a Challenger T/A exhaust system (with megaphone tips), but otherwise would be fairly stock. I was going to try and shoe-horn in a Hemi, but too much been-there-done-that to bother. The 340 looks nice anyways.

This interiors were all just a shade different than normal production, but nothing outlandish. I didn’t use any roll bars in the Willy’s – which would have been a no-no on the track; the Ford was done in a light purple to somewhat match, and the Plymouth’s was done in a basic red with chrome accents. These all have decent interiors and could be further customizable if desired.

Really, I’m always more interested in outward appearances than the view behind the wheel.

1940 Ford Coupe
1941 Willy's Swindler / Stone Woods & Cook
1941 Plymouth Coupe

The Revell kit is definitely better than the 2 AMTs, but not in an other-worldly amount. The AMTs are also cheaper than the wiley Willy’s and every bit as fun to work with. The Ford and Plymouth have been recently reissued as well, so not overly expensive OR a quality investment. That is great news to the builders as they are 2 really cool looking coupes. The Willy’s is a great kit, so I cannot say it isn’t worth the extra to get it.

If you like these types of rods, get em all… they were a blast!

8.75 – 9.0 Very Good+

X-RAY: ☼RARE☼ 1963 Plymouth Fury 1/25, Jo-Han

1963 Plymouth Fury by Jo-Han

This X-Ray is an extremely rare kit of a 1963 Plymouth Fury by Jo-Han. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and 3 sets of rims; V8 engine; body molded in gorgeous lackluster green.

Good: Awesome drag car from the early ’60s; tons of customizing pieces, plenty of chrome.

Bad: Jo-Han quality; more flash than you’d like; covering the darker green would be daunting; staggering price.


X-RAY: 1955 Chevrolet Stepside Street Machine 1/25, AMT

1955 Chevy Stepside by AMT - parts

This X-Ray is for a 1955 Chevy Stepside Plus Pack by AMT. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and rims (street size); V8 engine; body molded in gorgeous burgundy; small decal sheet. Plus pack includes paint and glue – most likely dried and useless with age of these kits, but a nice touch just the same.

Good: One of the best color molds you will find anywhere; excellent designed pickup; plus pack is a cool rare feature – especially if kit is sealed.

Bad: Not much besides the ho-hum decal sheet. This is a nice kit with decent AMT quality as well.

Price: $25+

X-RAY: 1958 Chevrolet Impala 1/25, AMT

1958 Impala
Parts for 1958 Chevy Impala AMT kit

This X-Ray is for a 1958 Chevy Impala kit by AMT. This kit includes:

2 sets of tires and 3 sets of rims (two chrome, one standard rim); V8 engine; small decal sheet.

Good: Wonderfully full set of pieces; tons of custom parts, good chrome; reasonably priced for the time being.

Bad: Not an “SS”, so not sporty; opening doors are fussy to get right; AMT build quality.

Price: $20+

1967 Plymouth GTX

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

This is a review of the 1967 Plymouth (Belvedere) GTX by Revell – kit#85-2386

I can say with utter certainty that I’ve made this car as many times as any other in the past couple of years. I love working this kit and for whatever reason, it is always cheap when I want to get another one. This is also a really good Revell kit with only a few unimportant shortcomings.

This car has been reissued many times recently and they are all really decent kits. The above right kit is molded in a very bold blue plastic and I cannot say it is a good one for glossing. The rest are white molded and are the same for the most part – save the decals. These are very different with race vs sport vs stock and you need to be choosey for what you want. I stick to stock usually, so it makes no diff to me.

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX advertisement

CAR BACKGROUND :: The Belvedere had entered its second year and besides a grille freshening, was the same sleek car of the year prior. Reasonable news for the gents who wanted a sophisticated muscle car – and one that carried a big stick. In either the 440 or 426ci V8 engines, the Belvedere could change clothes in the nearest garage, and blast away with tires blazing. With mid-13 second quarter times, this was one of the quickest non-track cars you could buy. It was a track car as well as many racers used its svelte look and awesome engine array to produce some blindingly fast E.T. times at the strip. Sox & Martin were drunk with wins and crazy drag times, and Richard Petty lit up the racing scene in an amazing year. Even so, this was a great everyday car and is easily a favorite of mine.

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve made this kit many times and I can honestly say, that the Testors Light Blue (close to a Petty Blue IMHO) looks the best. I don’t have a clue why, but I’ve taken a shine to this look. I decided to use the sportier rims that are included with the kit instead of the typical Kragers, but otherwise this is right out of the box – NOTHING added.

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

A wired, stock hemi brings a smile to my face like no other engine. Not that there aren’t bigger or more powerful engines out there, I just love the hemi look. Thankfully, Revell has the hemi engine bay down to a science. Nice, detailed battery, decent radiator wall, and tons of detail on the firewall, this is a really good engine bay. This is one kit I eventually would like to do a drag version of – dual high-rise carbs and all, but for now, the stock sleeper car will have to do. Amazing that a 425hp V8 is not enough for drag-heads LOL

This interior, like that of the 1967 Revell Charger kit, has an exceptional interior – with much to chrome, color, and detail. It looks even more ridiculous-good when the interior isn’t black. With my feeble photo skills and the black interior, I stayed away from photos, but suffice to say, this is a VERY lovable interior and one that you could display without the car!

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

One of the better undersides in the model kingdom, you’ll want for nothing. The exhaust is hearty and fits right everytime. The hemi engine is bright and looks intimidating, and there is quite a bit of ridge detail here. Even the exhaust tips are primo and I’ve kept the ends off of trashed kits because they are excellent mopar tips. I used the blacked out mufflers for a different effect, but otherwise – it just looks good.

1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX

I love this kit. I really like this car. I can say that it is an easy builder and one that has very few issues to annoy. The hood ornament is a TINY problem waiting to happen, the rear bumper can be tricky to get into place without ruining the quarter panel paint, and the front two-piece grill/body filler is just irritating to have to fool with, but these are certainly not deal breakers and you just cannot go wrong with this kit. It is also one of the cheaper hemi mopars to purchase, so getting one is as easy as building one. You should do both.

9.25 – Excellent

*** And now for something completely different ***

People who know me know I have a great love for the cartoon strip Garfield. With that, he has quite a few funny modeling jokes that I’d like to share from time to time. Enjoy!

Garfield comic strip - model building

Thanks to Jim Davis. For everything.


X-RAY: 1989 Chevrolet C1500 454SS 1/25, AMT

1990 Chevrolet C1500 SS454

This X-Ray is for a (1990) Chevy C1500 454SS truck by AMT. This kit includes:

1 sets of tires and rims; modern 454 V8 engine; small decal sheet.

Good: Dang cool looking truck, SUPER rare; good number of pieces; single piece body.

Bad: Even with a 454, not very powerful; WAY too much black; ZERO custom pieces.

Price: $45+

X-RAY: ☼RARE☼ 1969 Pontiac Firebird 1/25, MPC

This X-Ray is for a ◘SUPER RARE◘ 1969 Firebird MPC kit! The kit includes:

1 set of tires +slicks and 2 sets of rims; 400ci, V8 AND bonus turbine engine; stock and CLEAR PLASTIC hoods; average decal sheet.

Good: Clear hood gives look at engine; lots of parts and options, low amount of flash.

Bad: Many of the shortcomings that the newer Firebird 400 has, this one does as well; no T/A decals; UNREAL pricey at this point.

Price: $125+

1967 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Roadster (Custom)

This is a review of the Revell ’67 Corvette Roadster #85-2968

This is one of those kits that I never saw and/or wanted to build til I was older. Funny how it is VERY prevalent and inexpensive, but somehow I never really got around to building it until my last full set of builds (which I sold 2 years+ ago). It is a shame too as this is a rather good kit with only a few problem areas. It is a fantastic looking car, so it IS worth the work.

Like I said… prevalent. The ’67 is most likely the most coveted, so not surprising there are many iterations of the convertible (roadster for the distinguished of us). The two AMTs above are as rare as an un-grilled steak and are more expensive than 10 of the normal Revell ones. I’d LOVE to see one up close, but I’m guessing that may never happen. The other kits are fairly similar to each other. The red Monogram/Revell ones can be molded in red or white, so you need to look closely when deciding. The newer convertible (top-left) has a few extra pieces – including an aftermarket hood – and is common in stores. And I cannot fail to mention the Austin Powers kit… Wow… that was needed? I can say the kit IS build-able stock save for the 427 stripes… they’ve been replaced with A.P. movie stars/stripes. At least you have a Felicity figure to stand next to it!

These kits are the optional hardtop coupe that is typically adored further than the roadster and are much rarer. They are gaining in price and can run you over $50 currently, so they are also starting to get pricey. They are all good builds (tho I’ve not seen the ULTRA rare MPC… it could be garbage) and are just as powerful to look at as the roadster.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Got to love older ads. A car sooo cool it can run with chicks on horses! I don’t get it. Anyways, this was THE car of cars in 1967. More than a muscle car, the ’67 Corvette was the top echelon of Corvettes – and stayed there until just recently. It exuded sports-car thrill, had one of the strongest V8s on the planet and looked as if Zeus designed it himself. And, yeah, it was lightning fast as well. The 435hp version would easily hit low 13s in the quarter at almost 110 mph. This was one of a select few that could see a hemi in the rear-view and would scare all but the stock-car drivers into submission. This roadster version would be 90% as fast and you’d get to hear that rumble first hand with the top down – something the coupe owner could only dream of. Such a brilliant car.

You’d be hard-pressed to find one in a color like this. I have made a ’63 and ’65 bone stock, so I decided to go with a mild custom color to do the ’67. The Tamiya Brilliant Orange, to me, just looks amazing. I wanted something completely different and I think I succeeded. The kit is fantastic, however, and there is nothing else needed to get this look – save for the whitewalls (mine kit didn’t come with em).

To me, the Corvette engine bay is a two-part love and hate relationship. Well… not hate, but dislike anyways. The 427 looks like a monster inside the small opening. It is a handsome engine and the tri-cover really sets it off. The fan shroud – even in the worst kits – looks massive and detailed and the brake boost is a decent size. The dislike part comes in with the hidden battery and washer bottle, cutouts in the fender arches, and the hood – which can be a fitting nightmare. This one worked fairly well, but there was still some bending needed to make it right.

The interior is a nice place to be in this kit. Because of the openness of the seating, there is a lot you can detail and see regularly. The doors are nice, the dash is 100% correct, and the whole thing is just a good look. There are drawbacks to this, however. The windshield has a small area to be glued into the frame and then the frame must be glued to the car. Both harrowing experiences, I suggest using model masking tape to hold the pieces together for pin-point gluing. I’d also suggest you pre-fit the glass to see if any manipulation is necessary to get the pieces together. Not done yet. The small triangular window vents need the glass glued inside them and then glued to the windshield frame you just had a heart attack over! This whole set of events could easily ruin the build and makes this a far tougher kit than the rest would suggest. When right, it is handsome, but it is a killer when wrong!


I just love it. Traditionally, I’d be the one to scoff at the color, but I’ve liked this shape for a long time and wanted it in orange. This kit is NOT really for the novice especially with all the glass issues, but the kit is otherwise a nice build. There is little flash, lots of parts, a good decal sheet (with 3 stripes), and a great overall fit. These are still relatively cheap as well since they were just reissued multiple times. Not a BIG investment yet, however, I’d look to the coupe version for that. I’d build em both!

8.5 Very Good

X-RAY: (1989) Ford Probe GT 1/25, AMT

This X-Ray is for a (1989-ish) Ford Probe GT by AMT. This kit includes:

1 sets of tires and 2 sets of rims; 6-cyl engine; laughable decal sheet.

Good: Extremely famous sports coupe; reasonable number of parts.

Bad: Decal sheet is embarrassing; 6-cyl is boring; PROBE GT is boring; getting expensive!

Price: $30+