Accurate Miniatures 1/24 Corvette Gran Sport
KIT #: 3401
PRICE: $34.00 and currently OOP
DECALS: Two options
REVIEWER: Mark Hiott
NOTES: Includes photo etch parts

HISTORY

In early 1962, Corvette Chief Engineer Zora Arkus Duntov began top secret work on a Corvette purpose-built race car to win Sebring and Le Mans and more specifically -- to put an end to the humiliating losses Chevrolet had suffered at the hands of Carrol Shelby and his Cobras.

The envisioned Grand Sport would be the ultimate Corvette, a lightweight, tremendously powerful factory built racer. Mounted with a 377cid small block with Weber side-draft carburetors (see the photo, below), it dynoed at 550hp at 6400rpm and was designed to blow the hoods off Shelby's Cobras. And if the Ferraris and Fort GT 40's were also left in the dust, so much the better.

After the prototypes had proven their mettle -- and metal -- 125 production street beasts were to be unleashed. But it never happened...

When they learned of Zora's secret program, the Chevrolet boardroom put a stop to the car's construction -- but they couldn't stop the five Grand Sports already built. And neither could the competition. From 1963 to 1967, the cars tore up the racetracks. And even after that, they continued to see duty and put up an excellent showing at races around the country and even overseas.

 

THE KIT

Upon opening the kit you will find a nicely molded model in white plastic. A small fret of Photo-Etched parts is included for the louvers in the hood and various other parts. Also included is a beautiful sprue of "aluminum" parts. They are very nicely done and look fantastic. Unlike the McLaren kit, no hoses/fuel lines are included in this kit.


The instructions are up to A/Mís normal standards and are very clear on assembly.

CONSTRUCTION

While not as complicated as the McLaren, the GS has it problems as well. Generally the fit is good with most of the kit. The biggest problem is the chassis assembly.

Engine:
Assembly begins as with any car...the engine. It goes together well and the "aluminum" parts look very nice. One small tip; leave the left rear carburetor off until the body has been installed. Otherwise there is a good chance you will break it off...I did.
Be careful with the carb linkage piece, bending is required to fit it properly and it is VERY easy to break.

The exhaust headers do not fit, either they are too short, the engine sits too far forward or I screwed something up during assembly. Whichever, they would not fit up to the engine block. I could get them close, and as it is a tight fit, you canít really tell. I also had some trouble with the left exhaust pipe; it is too long for the body. I had to cut and section it to make it fit.

Chassis:
For the most part the chassis went together ok. I had some trouble with all the fiddly bits and it takes some test fitting to figure out where everything goes. Take care with the steering linkage...make sure that the wheels are glued at the correct angle, the linkage is installed in a later step and will not fit if the angle is incorrect.

I had some trouble with the spare tire under the rear of the car. I ended shaving most of the tire away so that the body would fit correctly.

Inside my box was a "revision" of the instructions. It gave an improved way of installing the roll bar mounts. I followed the revision and found that the interior would no longer fit. I had to remove the braces and reinstall them the way the original instructions said to. Not sure what that was all about...

Body:
The body is the shinning star of the kit. Beautifully molded and free of imperfections, there are a few mold seams that need to be taken care of, but nothing serious.

The construction of the PE hood louvers is a real hand full as the parts are VERY small. Take your time here and test fit. The louvers are each made to fit in one certain spot...take care to make sure you have the right louver in the right place. Done correctly, they look beautiful and just couldnít be done in plastic.

Depending on which version you are doing, you may have to fill in the holes in the right front fender. My version did not use these and I had to fill the opening. Accurate provides a plug for the hole and it just requires a little filler to make it look right.

COLORS & MARKINGS

Painting is straightforward for this version. All Blue! I painted the body Viper Blue and the interior Blue/Gray. The instructions call for the interior to be French Blue, but I chose a lighter blue to set it off from the body.
The white stripe is provided as a decal, but I was unable to get it to conform to the nose. Even after several application of MicroSet, it still lifted. There is no decal supplied for the louvers. So, after painting it blue, I masked off the white and painted it.
After painting, the PE bits are added to the body. I left off the lights on the driversí door and the roof.

CONCLUSIONS

A wonderful kit with beautifully molded parts. Wonderful detail. A very nice detail set is made for this kit by Model Car Garage. It includes many parts that will go a long way in making this great kit even nicer.


It takes time and a lot of test fitting to get everything right, but in the end the effort is worth it. It is an easier build then the M8B, but does not have the detail of the McLaren.

REFERENCES

Just some photos off the net

Your editor provided the historical section.

Mark Hiott

December 2011

Final Note from your editor. As you might guess, the Grand Sport has been well represented in the slot car world. Though each of the five were by no means identical, Revell has done several of them and got most of it right as well (though they chickend out on doing the clear headlights). Here is a photo of the car that Mark so ably built.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

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