Testors 1/43 Corvette Grand Sport








Scott Van Aken


Pre-painted and decaled metal body


When the first totally remodeled Corvette hit the market in 1963, the hot design feature was the fast back. The original '63 'Vette had a split rear window and is now a highly prized collector's item. In 1964, Chevrolet was not officially involved in auto racing but was pumping money into various teams to test out its products in various racing venues. One of those was high-powered sports car racing.

This was the era of the original Shelby Cobra, the Lotus 19, Ferrari GTO, and a host of other exotics and home-builts, all of which vied on race courses around the US and the world for basically little more than a trophy and some prize money. Auto racing had not really hit the big time during this period and like most things during their infancy, it was a time when people did it because they really liked it (and the fame that came with it), and not because it was a way to get rich. Sponsorship was minimal and basically limited to automotive products like fuels, spark plugs, gaskets and the like. Drivers were not always tied to teams and many built the cars they drove in their home garages.

Chevrolet 'loaned' their 'test cars' to various teams and had them compete against the world's best for the time. I'd like to tell you that they blew away the competition, but that really just isn't the way it was. When up against heavy opposition, they did well, but rarely won. It was only when some of the other heavy-weights were absent that they did well. The cars were very fast, but prone to breaking a lot and the list of DNFs for the Grand Sport is a bit longer than Chevrolet would have liked. However it did provide a lot of information to the home company and that is, after all, why they allowed the car to be races.



Generally 1/43 is not that popular a scale among most car builders. They prefer the larger 1/24 - 1/25 scale as it provides more car, but for those that are into exotic foreign cars and racers, 1/43 provides a plethora of choices, mostly in resin. It also allows a lot of cars to be built and take up little space in return. Sort of why many people prefer 1/72 over 1/48 when it comes to aircraft and 1/72 vice 1/35 when doing military subjects.

The only reason I bought this kit was because it was deeply discounted and I happen to like old Corvettes. They piqued my teen car interest so I've a fondness for cars from that era. As with many hobby kits, this one is made in China. You can tell from the industrial strength box that is comes in. The major parts are all separately bagged with the body in its own; hey, a scale body-bag! This is a pretty basic car with no engine and it requires little in the way of any major construction. The smaller parts do need to be glued in place and painted if you want, but it seems to be a kit that can be built in just a few hours. Most of the instructions are on painting: not only the parts, but how to dry-brush and apply washes.

The kit comes with metal axles and there are three hefty screws to attach the body to the chassis. You'll have to paint the tail lights and the headlights. Some of the small body parts will have to be attached using epoxy or superglue. The tires are rubber but generic with no sidewall detail. They are also treaded in an odd crosshatch design that is more applicable to an off-road vehicle. Back when this car raced, it was common for them to race on treaded tires, but ones that were a little more like street tires than what is provided. Those that want to change the tread will have to sand down what is there and regroove them. Too much work for me so I'll probably leave them as they are.


This is definitely the kind of kit that is perfect for the collector who likes to exercise his construction skills a bit. It is also great as a break from heavy-duty modeling and perfect for a near beginner. It should be good for kids as well as it gives them a taste of modeling that is a step above snap-tites and they'll have a cool car to play with when they are done (though I don't think the axles will survive rough play). If it toots your horn, then I can highly recommend this one.

Review kit courtesy of my kit collection.

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