Monogram 1/32 Country Time Thunderbird

T #: 1094
PRICE: $6.50 'used'
DECALS: One livery
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 1993 Snap Kit

HISTORY

Charles Robert Hamilton Sr. (May 29, 1957 January 7, 2007) was an American stock car racing driver. A driver and owner in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series circuit and the winner of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, Hamilton owned Bobby Hamilton Racing. Hamilton's son, Bobby Hamilton Jr., is also a NASCAR driver.

Hamilton may be best remembered for two of his Winston Cup Series wins. His first career victory at the 1996 Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix was the first win for the No. 43 Petty car since Richard Petty's last win in 1984. He also had a memorable win at the Talladega 500 in April 2001 driving the No. 55 car for owner Andy Petree. The entire 500-mile race was run caution-free and was under intense scrutiny from both NASCAR and the media at large, being the first superspeedway race run since the death of Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500 two months earlier. A physically and mentally exhausted Hamilton slumped to the ground after exiting his car and was given oxygen from a tank before giving the standard post-race Victory Lane interview while sitting on the ground, leaning against the drivers door.

Hamilton broke into the Winston Cup ranks in a very unusual way. He was asked to drive one of the "movie cars" for the 1990 film Days of Thunder, qualifying fifth in a movie car at the 1989 Autoworks 500 in Phoenix, in a car that was not intended to be competitive. The car was the No. 51 Exxon-sponsored machine, portrayed in the movie as being driven by the character Rowdy Burns. Hamilton never did drive for one of the top teams, scoring but four wins during his Cup career, which is better than some. He raced on and off after his cup career and passed away in 2007 from cancer at the age of 50.

THE KIT

Back in the late 1980s/early 90s, NASCAR was a big deal. The model companies caught on to this and began producing kits by the thousands to meet the demand. Not only standard kits, but smaller ones for the snap-kit market. Bothe AMT and Monogram produced these kits, but they did so in a slightly different way. The AMT kits were more like standard kits, but with very large mounting pins/sockets. Monogram, on the other hand, went with a kit that had even fewer parts. The Monogram kit has pretty much the same detailing as the AMT version, but for instance, all the side roll cage parts are incorporated into the floor pan and one folds them up during assembly. The engine is also designed a bit differently with fewer parts.

Both kits have a chassis where one snaps in place the wheel/tire assembly. The exhaust is also incorporated with the front suspension detail. There is a separate engine and as I mentioned, the majority of the roll cage is molded onto the interior pan. The seat is molded onto this pan. This all sits atop the chassis pan. A single clear part deals with the windows and fits into pegs under the roof. The body has a separate hood and both are in color to match the majority of the livery scheme. In this case a yellow. Those who like to actually paint their stock car bodies will need to match the yellow on the stickers. 

Instructions are 15 steps and nicely drawn. Some color information is provided during the build. The car is an overall yellow making it easy to paint if you are so inclined.  You don't get decals with this kit, but you do get stickers that are very nicely printed. How viable they are after 25 years is unknown.

CONCLUSIONS

These kits are designed for beginning modelers. As in kids. Their ease of construction and the use of stickers instead of decals shows that. However, older modelers may be drawn to them as a way to build something easy after a tough project. Slot car enthusiasts will like these as well as a source for bodies for a project.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobby_Hamilton

March 2021

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