|PRICE:||I paid $6 from a vendor at the St. Louis show.|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The 1957 models retained a single-headlight front end like their predecessors, but were unmistakable with their long flanks and tailfins. A plethora of trim lines was introduced, starting with the base "Custom", "Custom 300", "Fairlane", and top-line "Fairlane 500". The two Custom lines used a 116 in (2946 mm) wheelbase, while the Fairlanes had 118 in (2997 mm) between the wheels. A new car/pickup truck hybrid was also introduced, the Ranchero.
The 223 CID (3.7 L) OHV Straight-6 continued, now with 144 hp (107 kW). The V8 lineup included a 272 CID (4.5 L) Y-block making 190 hp (142 kW), a 292 CID (4.8 L) Thunderbird version making 212 hp (158 kW), a 312 cubic inch V8 making 245 HP and a supercharged 312 CID (5.1 L) Thunderbird Special making 300 hp. A dual 4 barrel version of the normally aspirated (non-supercharged) 312 cubic inch V8 rated at 270 HP (some sources report 285 HP) was reportedly available, although that engine option was not listed in most Ford sedan factory literature and is more commonly associated with one of the optional Thunderbird engines. This option was dubbed "E code" and featured a unique camshaft, cylinder heads, intake manifold and various other performance enhancements.
Perhaps I'm not the best person to review a car kit as it isn't my major area of interest, but here goes. This kit is similar to a lot of AMT kits of the time. There are a lot of parts, the molding is fairly good, but a tad soft when compared to some other brands, the decals are hopeless. Those few I have built also suffer somewhat from rather poor fit.
This kit has very nicely done chrome parts and has the ability to build it with the doors and hood open, something I know that many car builders like. The kit can also be built as either a stock Ford or as a customized car. I like the option to do a stock machine; something a few other kits I've seen do not offer if a souped up version is shown on the box art. This kit comes with a V-8 that is probably the 312 version as the custom car can be built with the rare supercharged Thunderbird 312. You also get wider tires and wheels for the customized variant in addition to custom seats and console for the interior. Front and rear end treatments are different for the custom car should you wish to go that route.
The instructions are well printed, showing just what goes where and there is a written construction sequence with each step, something one rarely sees with an aircraft or tank kit. What is especially useful for those building the stock vehicle is a matching of interior and exterior colors. The Ford color names are provided in all cases so it is then up to the modeler to seek out these shades from those that do custom paints for model cars. The decal sheet is fairly well printed, but my experience with them is that they are thick and troublesome to use.
So there you have it. Probably one of the more popular Fords out there as I see these from time to time on show tables. It can be built into a very nice car if one puts the requisite effort into it. The opening doors should be an attraction as well.
I bought this one cheap just to see what it was like and thought you'd
be interested as well. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please
me or see other details in the
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If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly, please contact me or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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