’74 Dodge Charger 440

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.

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.

BUILD NOTES : 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.

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 (UGH). +

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.

5.5 – Poor

’70 Dodge Challenger T/A

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.

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A model car by Revell

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.

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A model car by Revell

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.

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A model car by Revell

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.

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A model car by Revell

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!

1970 Dodge Challenger T/A model car by Revell

8.75 – Very Good

’64 Pontiac GTO

This is a review of Revell’s 1964 Pontiac GTO 2-in-1. This is kit #2164.

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The body of the car is fantastic. There is little flash and pieces fit very easily. It comes with stock and street pieces, though the street setup is mild (no slicks, wheelie bars etc.). The glass is easy to work with and the rear side glass is optional. There are many versions of this kit and there are some differences.

#1 is basically the same as the above. #2 is molded in red – and that means ALL of the pieces save the chrome… and even they are red under the silver – which makes trimming more tedious. #3 is not only not “special” but is the same as #2. #4 looks like 2 & 3 but is actually molded in white like #1.

These 2 kits are probably amongst the better snap-fit cars you can buy. They are complete with engines and lots of detail, just are a bit easier than the above. They don’t have the panache of the regular kits and include things I’m not crazy about – like a radio antenna w/hole. If you don’t use antennas (which I don’t) then you either have to patch the hole, or have one car with an antenna. The J.L. is a good collector item and comes with a 1/64th version.

CAR BACKGROUND :: The 64 GTO is considered to be the first of the true muscle cars and is one of the more handsome IMO. I think Revell did a great job with this kit in capturing all of the curves/lines of the original. The car’s 348hp, 389ci V8 was a honey of an engine – though lesser versions of the 389 were stout enough for anyone. The car wasn’t a pretender either. With the 4-speed tranny, the car could easily pull mid-14s in the ¼mile at near 100mph. Many purists took slight at Pontiac’s use of the GTO (Gran Turismo Omologato) name that was originally coined by Ferrari. In all fairness, it is hard to compare the Ferrari’s $20,000 racer to the $3k, 6-passenger cruiser. And… even though the “tiger” would outrun the prancing horse through the quarter mile, the cat would be skinned on ANY track and would lose the top speed battle by a good 50mph.

BUILD NOTES :: When going to paint the car, remember to paint the firewall (if you want it same as the car) and the nose insert between the grilles. The underside is very detailed and has a nice exhaust setup. It also has shocks and springs. The GTO comes with stock rims or custom ones. The custom rims are actually among the better looking in the model world and worth keeping/selling. Interior is also nicely detailed with a lot of door/dash items to paint if you wish.

The front grille/bumper setup fits very well and I’ve never had a problem with it. The rear one is a bit trickier, but still matches up well. Rear valance insert is nice and the center can be painted red or left chrome (the GTO came both ways). This model comes with rear view mirror, side mirror, radiator hose and has a master cylinder.

Under the hood is really nice on this car. Plenty of details adorn the fenders and firewall and the 389 tri-power is one of the nicest you’ll see. The model has a nice radiator setup, an attached battery, and a molded brake boost. I’m not crazy about the ones molded to the firewall, but at least this one is bigger and more detailed than most.

The “street” setup, like I said earlier, is mild. There are a few subtle upgrades – dual intake, sport rims, and a second hood with hole for the high-rise intake. The decals are kind of garbage. The stripes are ugly as heck and completely aftermarket. There is NOTHING GTO related. No engine decals, no GTO badges, nothing. Disappointing. License plates are standard too – nothing fun. I made one for mine.

I chose Tamiya Red Metallic spray for this GOAT. It looks pretty similar to the Grenadier Red of 1964 and the metallic isn’t too stunning (not like a bass boat, more of a light dusting). The paint came out just gorgeous and is †††††††††††††† easily one of my best to date.

This car can be a non-pillar car with just a slight bit of trimming. You have to take out the double bar and then shave the extra chrome trim around the roof (see pic). I kept mine as is as I think the extra chrome looks sharp.††

Interior is black and fully detailed. Was debating in a multi-color interior, but decided the black with red was bold enough. Forgot to do a wood steering wheel, but the black still works.

Engine is the typical Pontiac silver-blue and has black wires. I didn’t, however, like the side mirror (one of the only negatives I can give this Revell) so I used an extra GM mirror I had.

Underside is easy to work with as the exhaust matches up with the engine every time. The shocks I painted blue and I left the mufflers flat black for a turbo-muffler look. I kept the standard quad-tips as they look pretty good from the sides.

Honestly, the grievances for this car are small. The parts all fit well. The front grill typically needs trimmed before placement (check before gluing). The rear bumper could better fit against the rear panel – doesn’t fit completely flush against on the top, but it doesn’t ruin the look either. I’ve also had a kit where the chrome is BAD. Not that other kits don’t have the issue, but this one was unusable.

As of 6/2019, these kits are prevalent and not horribly expensive (bought this one for $18). They are a decent investment since out of print, but are more importantly a fantastic build. I recommend the “white” versions so you can paint the pieces easier and not have to worry about the chrome ones, but the “red” kits still work.

9.25 – Excellent