Revell 1/25 Kurtis Midget Racer
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Brand new mold|
Kurtis Kraft was a designer and builder of race cars. The company was founded by Frank Kurtis.
Kurtis Kraft designed and built midget cars, quartermidgets, sports cars, sprint cars and USAC Championship Cars.
Kurtis Kraft was started when Kurtis built his own midget car chassis in the late 1930s.
Kurtis-Kraft created over 550 ready-to-run midget cars, and 600 kits. The Kurtis-Kraft chassis midget car featured a smaller version of the Offenhauser motor. The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame describes the combination as "virtually unbeatable for over twenty years." However, that wasn't the only power plant used in these cars and drivers who chose the flathead Ford V-8 were also quite successful at various midget races around the country. Kurtis sold the midget car portion of the business to Johnny Pawl in the late 1950s, and the quarter midget business to Ralph Potter in 1962.
Frank Kurtis was the first non-driver inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame (U.S.)
When this kit was announced several months ago, there were many race car model fans who were anxious to see this come to fruition. It has been a very long time since any Midget model was released. Monogram's first plastic kit was a midget, but was somewhat simplified and at an odd scale. Next was the slot car version from the mid 1960s, also by Monogram. This was not the same as the original Monogram midget and though it was offered as a plastic kit as well as the slot car, it has become very difficult to find. It is also a rather odd scale, being larger than 1/24. I believe that both of these cars were Offenhauser powered.
Now we not only have a modern molding of a midget, but it is also a Ford V-8 version. This is in every way a thoroughly modern kit with a full engine and a trailer. Even at 1/25 scale, this is not a large car and so having the trailer included helps to justify the $25.00 price tag. The kit includes a few photo etch pieces for the inside of the steering wheel, the instrument cluster face and the hood straps. The steering wheel set includes parts specifically designed for the p.e. bit and one can use a standard one-piece wheel if one so desires.
The chrome bits are superbly done, though many will dechrome them so that the mold seams can be removed, and later repainted or covered with chrome foil. There are also a couple of sprues that are painted an aluminum color, a nice touch, though again, most will probably repaint these once the mold seams are removed. A full chassis is part of the package with the body panels attached to it. The hood and windscreen are a single piece and can be removed to show off all the work one put into the engine. Both the car and trailer tires are rubber with one-piece wheels. There are two towing hitches provided for the trailer. You see, Monogram would have you buy the recently re-issued 48 Ford Woody or 50 Ford pickup to go along with this kit and so have hitches for those two vehicles.
Instructions are very well done with generic paint information. One option is the box art #27 car, which is tied in with the 48 Ford Woody. The other is a black #8 car that has ties with the '50 Ford pick-up. The decal sheet is standard kit decals and while a bit thick, should provide no problems. As much as I'd like to see it, I doubt if there will be any aftermarket markings for this one. A shame as there have to be literally hundreds of available options.
It is a great kit, despite the somewhat high price (licensing fees no doubt), and I'm sure it will sell very well. The slot car guys are already trying to figure out how to adapt this one to a motor. They are also complaining that the kit doesn't come with a driver. Oh well.
Thanks once again to me for picking this one up at the local shop.
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