|PRICE:||$ I simply do not recall what I paid for it|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
For those of you into car models, take yourselves back about 20 years. During this time, NASCAR models were as popular as Beanie Babies (those who are clueless, look it up). Every time a NASCAR kit hit the shelves it was an instant sell-out. I can recall a price list on older kits with many exceeding $100 and this was when a new kit was under $10. The model makers knew a good thing when they saw it and both R-M and ERTL were cranking them out. Had been since the mid 1980s.
For your editor, one of the first NASCAR kits I built was Bobby Allison's 1984 Buick Regal. It turned out just great and for those liveries not kitted, there were many aftermarket companies providing interesting options. I probably built a half dozen of these in the late 1980s and early 1990s. One thing about them is that the chassis and interiors were pretty much the same whether you had a Ford, Buick. Pontiac, Chevy or Oldsmobile. Since NASCAR is basically spec racing, this was not unusual.
However, like everything the boom turned to bust and in the early 2000s, the fad petered out to the point that there are no new NASCAR kits being produced and haven't been any since about 2004. With the fad going away, so did the collector's prices for these kits and even mint in box NASCAR kits were selling for less than sticker price. I know that your editor built up a considerable collection of these cars and has been slowly whittling them down as the years go by.
So major was the clamor for these kits, that cars driven by drivers who hadn't won a race were being kitted. Such is the case for this particular one. Rick Mast was one of those drivers for whom many had hoped for great things, but in over 500 NASCAR races, Rick never won a single event in the premier series. He was fast and placed high in the standings, but the checkered flag eluded him. As with many other drivers in a similar situation, he retired and went on to other things.
This kit was produced shortly after Revell and Monogram merged into Revell-Monogram. To be frank, this is a Monogram mold for the most part as the folks at Revell did not get involved in these sorts of kits. When one opens the box, one is immediately amazed that they could fit all the sprues into one box. Mostly molded in white with a sprue of rubber tires and a clear sprue, the kit is quite familiar to anyone who has built one of these kits in the past.
The kit is not a curbside and offers a complete engine, full suspension, well detailed interior and a nearly one piece body. The only bits separate on the body are the hood as well as the front nose section and the rear bumper area. The Thunderbird kit has a nose with a lot of air ducts for radiator and brake cooling. This means that it is, in all respects, a short course or road course car. For the super speedway there would be only a small opening for air as heavy braking is not a major consideration on the big tri-ovals.
Though pretty inaccurate, there is a chrome sprue for things like the wheels, valve covers, radiator and a number of other car parts. Most modelers will strip the chrome for two reasons. One is to allow them to remove mold seams and the other is to paint them aluminum, which is more accurate for the radiator and valve covers and carb and air cleaner. Also many teams did not run chrome wheels by the time 1996/97 came around.
Those who like to scrape seams will thoroughly enjoy this one as, in league with others in the series, it has a full roll cage with many bits and pieces that will have to be blended into each other while the car is built. One pretty well attaches the side and rear panels to the chassis pan and then builds the roll cage over the completed interior. This means that if one is smart, one will pre paint the roll bar members. Ducting for driver cooling is also provided as is the hefty padded seat of the days. This was before the cocoon that drivers now sit in.
Instructions are well drawn with Model Master paint references. The decal sheet is very nicely printed and a bit thick as was the norm. It seems that over the years, despite this box being sealed, the white areas have started to yellow.
If you enjoy building racing cars, few are as colorful as NASCAR racers. This particular car kit was opened as I need the body for a slot car that we are racing in 2014 and I thought that it would make a good choice. Since these can be had for very little from vendors, it would be a nice choice for something a bit different from the usual.
Thanks to me
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