Monogram 1/32 DuPont Monte Carlo
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||1996 Snap Kit|
Jeff Gordon started his professional racing career in the Busch Series with Hugh Connerty Racing, followed by Bill Davis Racing, winning three races, and began racing full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports in 1993. He is a four-time Cup Series champion, having won the title in 1995, 1997, 1998, and 2001. He was the youngest driver to win a NASCAR title, being 24 years old by the end of the 1995 season. He also won the Daytona 500 three times in 1997, 1999, and 2005. Gordon has completed three career Grand Slams and has won a total of sixteen Crown Jewel races (three Daytona 500s, four Talladega 500s, three Coca-Cola 600s, and six Southern 500s), both of which are all-time records.
He is third on the all-time Cup wins list with 93 career wins, while having the record for the most wins in NASCAR's modern era (1972–present) and the most wins in one modern era season, with 13 during the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Gordon's 81 pole positions led all active drivers and is third all-time, and also a modern era record; Gordon won at least one pole in 23 consecutive seasons, making this a NASCAR record. Other records include the most restrictor plate track wins with 12 and the most road course wins with 9, and he was the active "iron man" leader for consecutive races participated in with 797 through the 2015 season. In 1998, NASCAR named Gordon to its 50 Greatest Drivers list. Ten years later in a 2008 article, ESPN's Terry Blount ranked him 10th in the 25 Greatest Drivers of All-Time. Foxsports.com named him as the fifth best NASCAR driver of all time. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2019. As of 2016, Gordon was considered the highest-paid NASCAR driver ever and the 18th highest-paid athlete of all-time with $515 million in career earnings, per Forbes.
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 dark blue.
Instructions are 15 steps and nicely drawn. Some color information is provided during the build. The nose and rear end of the car need to be painted red-orange. 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.
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.
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