1965 Ford Galaxie 500XL

This is a review of the AMT ’65 Ford Galaxie kit #6467

Here it is. THE favorite classic / muscle car I’ve owned. I traded my Firebird – that I cherished for over 4 years to get this car and it was a dream come true. My first REAL classic. See, I had owned a ’70 Duster for my first car, but the story behind it was really terrible and needless to say… I never had it on the road for more than 45 seconds (moving it around). This car was out-of-the-lot ready to cruise. I had a LOT of fun at shows, misery with repaint after an elderly woman backed into the side of it, and a pain inside when I sold it to a gentleman in Germany. Through this ownership, I built two different ones to be look-alikes to the car I was driving (for the shows) and I remember the them as being easy to build and nice to look at. I was NOT missing this in my current collection… not even on a dare.

As AMTs go, these kits are all pretty good and the finish is outstanding. I am slightly biased because of my liking for the car, but honestly, the kits are very good. The new “Green Gasser” above is a terrible looking kit. The green is as disgusting of a mold as you could find and it is everywhere in the kit. The “Rides” version allows for a donk-ish looking lowrider and is much more sensible than the gasser – which Galaxies are not known for being. The others are rare, expensive and have a lot of goodness to them – lots of parts, extras, and good molding.

CAR BACKGROUND :: “No Galaxie made after ’64 was worth a shit”. Words from an over-stuffed jackass at one of my first car shows. Smug, arrogant and as incorrect as the goofy-ass look on his face. See, Mr. Special Guy had a ’63 & ’64 Galaxie – both with 427s – and thought the WORLD of em. They were gaudy, and way overpriced. Anyone who swears by one year of a model has no appreciation for cars. Beyond that, the FOUR I’ve owned after ’64 were all attractive, powerful, and sweet riding cars. Now if he were talking about the ’64’s prowess at the dragstrip, that is fine… but he’d be shocked at the record-setting number of NASCAR wins the ’65 had – he’d probably faint. Schmuck aside, the ’65 Galaxie was a fantastic riding car. Coined as the “velvet brute” or “velvet authority”, the car was tested to be quieter than a Rolls Royce. The seats were deep (though not very supportive) and the C6 transmission, though a slight dud performance-wise, was as smooth as honey. The 390ci in my car (slightly different than the 427ci in this kit) had a stout 300hp and some 427lb-ft of torque. Enough for high 16s in the quarter and brisk driving to say the least for such a LARGE car. The 427, however, would not only destroy tires with zero effort, but would also get the beast into the mid-to-high 14s. Stout indeed. Really, where the car is happiest, is when you are just cruising around. It is quiet, comfy, and looks like a dream!

As you can see in the pic from the beginning of this review, my car was Wimbledon White. Yup, not today. Not only did I not want a representation of MY car, but I wanted to try a different color scheme altogether. The red was just the ticket – Tamiya Pure Red. Matches the pic from my favorite muscle car book (pic below) and it is superb to me. I used two kits to get 4 of the stock hubcaps (as the kits seem to come with TWO only), and had to add a side mirror since the kit didn’t come with one. I also forwent the hood ornament as they are tricky anyways and I like the less formal hood better.

Golden 390. It is a very attractive engine and the bay is one of AMT’s better ones. The brake boost could be better pronounced, it could use a radiator shroud, and the battery is facing the wrong way with terminals facing the radiator wall – otherwise, the rest looks admirable. This hood fits rather well also, but it will most likely need trimmed toward the cowl – as the size isn’t ever quite right. If you get one that is perfect, great, else expect a little whittling before paint.

This interior is also VERY good for an AMT. The details are very well seen, and there is a lot to do. The ’65 dash is strewn with bright-work and the console is a nice touch. I had adapted the one I made for my car to have the column shift and a bench seat, but I kept the 4-speed and console for this one. The 427s with this setup were amazing, but the 390 would have been hot with it too.

I didn’t take pics of the bottom as this kit suffers from the AMT curse for lack of pieces/detail. The axle is a pin with “hole” add-ons; the exhaust is molded; the headers need extensions to fit to the exhaust; and there are no exhaust tips. Really, there is nothing to write home… or for this review, about. There is another issue and that is with the rear bumper fitting. It is a PAIN to get the bumper to sit correctly. The chassis sits back a bit to far and it doesn’t screw to the bottom. That leaves the bumper to sit against a small piece of the rear fender and along the chassis which likes to move. Same as the other AMT Galaxies after ’64 as the ones prior were pin-bottom. Maybe that was what that doofus at the show meant!

Yeah, I really liked the pic in the book and though I will never likely own it, I have built one pretty close. The kit itself is REALLY good. There is little flash, the engine bay is decent, the interior is really good and the bottom is workable. The trunk being a separate piece (which doesn’t line up perfectly at times and has a spot where the tree stem intrudes on the lid), and the hood is sometimes bothersome, but otherwise there is a lot of parts, and this makes a lovely car. Most of the pre-Jolly Green Gasser kits are starting to explode in value (as the JGG kit is a green mess of a thing), so best to get one before they are $100 or more.

8.75 – Very Good

X-RAY: 1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Drag Racer 1/25, Revell

1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Drag Car 1/25 kit parts

This X-Ray is for a 1990 Ford Mustang 5.0 Drag Racer by Revell. This kit includes:

2 sets of tires and rims; 5.0L, V8; stock and cowl hoods; excellent decal sheet.

Good: One of the best drag cars of the ’80s & ’90s; truck-back is a welcome treat; Revell quality.

Bad: Most everything present for 90% stock, but chassis is for drag wheels; stock version not very exotic or muscular; expensive kit for a simple Mustang;

Price: $35+

X-RAY: 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle Station Wagon California Wheels 1/25, Revell

This X-Ray is for a 1966 California Wheels Chevelle Wagon by Revell. This kit includes:

1 set of non-stock tires and rims; 396ci, V8 motor; stock interior; good size decal sheet.

Good: Revell quality kit; lots of parts; one of the best model kit motors out there; about the only non-Lindberg stock ’66 Chevelle you can buy…. even if a wagon.

Bad: Expensive; rims are kinda silly (I know you try and make a wagon look bad-a$$, but it just looks like a wagon with fancy wheels); not enough “speed” parts for silly rims; wood panel look with custom rims?? No; Um… it is a wagon!

Price: $40+

1966 Buick Wildcat

This is a review of the AMT ’66 Wildcat kit#38457

Buick kits are a tough thing to find unless you are a Riviera fan. There just aren’t enough of em out there. A ’69 Skylark GS would be a heck of a model, but alas, not meant to be. This is one that I’ve wanted to build because a childhood acquaintance in my neighborhood owned one. I also needed another Buick in my stable – besides the GSX – so here we are.

There are very few options for this Buick and they aren’t great to begin with. The three without the bimbo are the exact same kit I built save that they look fancier. Mine had the same outlandish custom parts, they just decided a ugly yellow stock version was the way to go. The Hasegawa kit is expensive and lower quality from what I’ve been told. If you know different, let me know, but I think it is insulting enough of a cover to stay way from anyways.

I wanted to add a side note about the ’66 Wildcat kits and I believe it has to do with AMT being lazy again. This kit is of somewhat poor quality (which I’ll mention the downsides later), but more than that, it has other problems with being an accurate representation of the car – specifically, the interior. The dash, steering wheel, doors, and even seat are all for a 1965 Buick Wildcat. I’m not sure if the company just got lazy, wanted to be cheap, or made an honest mistake, but this is NOT a 1966 Wildcat dash. The steering wheel is also not the one seen here and is definitely from a ’65. The first time I decided to build this one, I sold it because of this, but I wanted a replica of this car, so I stuck it out with the incorrect interior. If I REALLY wanted to, I could look into a resin option or the like, but I didn’t want to shell out a bunch of money to fix it.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Wow. Even when new in 1966, Buick decided to specifically market toward the “older” clientele. Why not just offer some free Gold Bond with every purchase? It is a shame too, because even though Buick has built some handsome, lively vehicles in its day, but they are still considered the “old-folks” car. The GSX, GNX, Grans Sport, and Regal Turbo were all fierce driving cars, however, they still get snubbed too often as boring. This Wildcat is no slouch either. Sporting a 360hp Super Wildcat engine, this land-yacht would run mid-15s in the quarter. Imagine grandpa pulling up next to a Mustang and putting the smack-down on it? No… I’m not saying against a GT-500 mind you, but this isn’t just a pretty face. Beyond the speed, the car looked classy as hell, had chrome for days, and would be one of the more comfortable cruisers at ANY car show. Unlike the new commercials, THIS is a Buick.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

One of the first repeat colors I’ve used, this one was done in French Blue and came out great. The whitewalls were pulled from another kit (as they are straight black from the kit) and a side mirror didn’t come with this one, but otherwise the exterior was a nice finish. I cannot say the rest of the car is anything but cheap garbage, but the end look IS fantastic.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

One of the worst I’ve had the “pleasure” to work with, only the 425ci engine itself is worth writing home about. To start with, the radiator looked like the pic right originally. NICE straight plastic junk! There is no radiator to insert between the pin circles in front of the fan. That is it. UGH. I pulled out a radiator from the parts bin and fit it between to give the bay a bit better look. Had to replace the original fan too because it was too thick to put anything in front of it. Like a lot of my builds, you won’t get this look from the stock kit. The battery is a bit generic; the firewall is barren; the brake boost is a joke; there is too big a gap in the wheel well (and this was a pinned chassis!); there is no washer fluid bottle; no decals at all; and no radiator cover. It is just a hot mess. I’ve made it palatable but do not look for “special” here.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

So, I went with a champagne interior to look like that of the beige that came with that year Wildcat. It is ok, but considering the inside snafu, I wasn’t too concerned with being 100% amazing with the interior build. Again, if I owned this car IRL or wanted a super accurate facsimile, I’d need to go resin shopping and maybe not find everything in the end. The kit’s gated shifter is also laid out incorrectly; there is no directional stalk (which I need to add at some time); and no rear-view mirror. All really disappointing.

I didn’t take any photos of the underside as there is very little detail; the pins make the car look very fake; the writing on the muffler about “used with Buick copyright” nonsense makes it look like a Matchbox; the exhaust is molded and not defined; there is NO extra pieces to attach (springs, shocks, axle, etc); and the engine has the hole in the bottom for the axle pin – which looks grotesque. I would NOT display the bottom of this car on a dare… it is just awful.

AMT 1966 Buick Wildcat kit

There are worse models out there, but this one is a doozy. You CAN make it what it needs to be and even fairly authentic with some extra money (I assume), but overall, this is a flop. The Wildcat hasn’t been reissued in a while, so kit values are starting to creep up in value. Some are more rare than others too, so get em for an investment while you can… just don’t bother building them.

5.0 – Poor

FAN SUBMISSION! :: Steve Lowe

The son of an aeronautical engineer, Steve has been perfecting his trade of building for decades, and there is a lot of attention to detail and heart in his work. I’m not a “body-man” myself (and not just in the waistline) and I can say HE is. The pic of his Viper-Jag called Fang is one of the better melding jobs I’ve seen.

He wasn’t just good on the hobby table either, He fabricated this Avenger GT-12 – GT40 lookalike – from scratch and made a fun driver for himself. The Green Bean, which honestly doesn’t give enough kudos for such a nice build, was something ANYONE should be proud of, and was a fun time for him. After 4 years, he parted ways with it, as trying to move and keep it was too much of a hardship at the time. I’d like to find ONE person who doesn’t regret having to ditch a car!

After many years, and some skill honing, Steve was able to re-fabricate the bean in most of its glory – this time in 1/25 scale. Again, it took some supreme work to get her looking a 10th as the real McCoy did. An amazing amount of effort and work went into making his car and I have to give it to Steve for his passion, ingenuity, and life-long hobby. Thanks to him for his story, and for his work. –KEV

X-RAY: 1962 Buick Electra 225 (Pro Shop) AMT, 1/25

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This X-Ray is for a ’62 Pro Shop Buick Electra from AMT. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and both hubcaps and uncovered rims; 401ci, V8 motor; body-only custom options (nothing for engine); small decal sheet.

Good: Very classy ride with some impressive custom body pieces; lots of chrome; cheap price.

Bad: Very “grandma” looking car stock; no whitewalls even though pictured on box AND instructions; decals are lame.

Price: $20+

1978 Dodge Monaco

This is a review of the 1978 Dodge Joker Getaway Car (Monaco) Kit#MPC890/12

This is a special review for me, because this car is not only an 80’s TV icon (A-Team, TJ Hooker, Dukes of Hazzard, Hill Street Blues, on and on and on), but also because I owned one of these. The car to the right was my 77 Plymouth Fury and I REALLY liked the comfort and view-ability. That car was liked everywhere. “Nice cop car” and “those are rare” were common and I only got rid of it because the 318 was knocking and didn’t want to spend the money getting the engine done on a car that wasn’t worth very much. I would imagine this won’t be the last review of a personal car, but I try not to build the cars I had because I miss them too much. I would also LOVE to have another non-black-and-white Fury/Monaco again someday.

This car, because of its popularity and overwhelming use, has been reissued twice lately. Bottom right and the one I did have been reissued lately and are really good. The Joker car was the issue when Batman (Keaton’s) came out and is the same as mine – minus the Joker figure. TJ Hooker’s car is becoming more rare by the minute and would be a great investment (though getting pricey). The other kit is one of a half dozen Yodel model kits and they are STATIC (no engine). Not sure of the quality, but they look cheap as well.

CAR BACKGROUND :: Like the Crown Vic of the 80’s+, the Monaco and Fury have been synonymous with 70’s and 80’s police cars despite being everyday road cars. The doldrums of the muscle car scene did a number on police cars as much as the hot rods themselves. The 440s were down to a lethargic 195hp and would have trouble keeping up with a Honda Fit today. That said, the cars were almost unbreakable, had enough torque to spin the tires, and actually had a reasonably good look to them. Biggest problem nowadays is that they have been destroyed in almost every way conceivable. Flips, crashes, explosions, and even a demolition derby or two have whittled these away as badly as the slaughtering of humpback whales.

MPC The Joker Getaway Car (1978 Dodge Monaco)

Mine did have the white top, but I decided to try and keep the blue with blue motif. This is Krylon Short Cuts Medium Blue and it works very well. Some of these Krylon paints have questionable quality, but this one did very well. The rims are from a different Dodge car and the rear tires are a bit wider than the stock kit, but otherwise the car is right from the kit. Note** : the hood is a TERRIBLE fit almost everytime. I’ve done two or three AND a cop car or two, and ALL of the hoods fit like crap. They are usually warped and need a lot of trimming. I’ve also had the cowl be poorly molded/warped and it will make the fitting even more difficult. It IS fixable, but it IS a headache.

MPC The Joker Getaway Car (1978 Dodge Monaco)

Well, it IS a 440, but I cannot say it is one of the better 440 engine bays I’ve done… and NOT because of my shortcomings. AMT/MPC bays leave a LOT to be desired. I’ve made this one work, but it is a lame duck compared to a Revell kit. I replaced the garbage air cleaner and added a decal, but there is a lot of wrong with it. The radiator wall is low-detal; the fender arches are flat plastic; there is far too much room between the fender and the arches – leaving a gap; the firewall is barren and has too small a brake boost; and there is far too much empty space toward the grille. I like this as it is clean and attractive, but it is still disappointing. I would like my next Fury/Monaco to have the 440… the 318 I had was even more of a slug on the road.

MPC The Joker Getaway Car (1978 Dodge Monaco)

For an AMT kit, this one looks the part with a vengeance. Again, where I drove this car for over a year, the interior is a nice facsimile. I don’t remember if the column shift had to be added or if it came with it, but it is here. There is nothing else to add here… unless you want a shotgun from the Joker part of the kit.

MPC The Joker Getaway Car (1978 Dodge Monaco)

I didn’t take a pic of the underside, but needless to say it is a bit on the boring side. Like a lot of AMT/MPC kits, there is a post-with-holes axle – with raised and regular holes – and the axle itself is a one-piece. Low number of pieces and mediocre detail is the story. Adding insult to injury is a molded, single exhaust with catalytic converter. This bottom piece, or at least the design, is used with many mid-seventies MPC mopar kits and for those who’ll have nothing but dual pipes, it is a drag. I added a second full line on the driver side and tips out the back. It came out rather good, but was annoying to have to do so. Bummer.

MPC The Joker Getaway Car (1978 Dodge Monaco)

Idiosyncrasies aside, the car is pure reminiscing magic and should be built by anyone who loved a police show or two. I like mine as the fun sedan I once had, but the Joker car is really fun, and the police car is spectacular. It is also still relatively inexpensive (as long as Shatner isn’t on the box) and a favorite of mine. If only Revell had made the kit… It’d be perfect.

8.75 Very Good

*** MAJOR model car sell-a-thon!! ***

I have acquired a VAST number of model cars, boats, and planes from a collection. These are VINTAGE, rare, and – for the most part – in excellent shape. Visit my items for sale on Ebay @ Volarerr to see what is listed currently and if you are in need of something specific, let me know and I will see if I have the part/car/etc. THANKS!

–Kev

X-RAY: 1995 Dodge Viper RT/10 1/25, AMT

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This X-Ray is for a 2005 Dodge Viper RT/10 from AMT. This kit includes:

1 set of tires and rims; 488ci, V10 motor; tiny decal sheet.

Good: When right, the Viper looks bad-a$$; EXTREMELY CHEAP to buy; V-10 is a great swap for another muscle car.

Bad: Decal sheet is laughable; multi-piece body is a pain to get even; rims look tiny.

Price: $10+

X-RAY: 1969 Mercury Cougar 428CJ (Eliminator) 1/25, AMT

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This X-Ray is for a ’69 Mercury Cougar from AMT. This kit includes:

1 set of tires, and 1 sets of rims; 428ci, V8 motor; decal sheet with 428CJ and Eliminator decals.

Good: Choice of 428CJ or Eliminator versions; reasonably good AMT with no Revell option; chrome is almost always good.

Bad: Still has AMT drawbacks; no speed parts (slicks, engine opt, etc); getting pricey for quality of kit.

Price: $25+

Check my review here: ’69 Cougar Eliminator