Revell 1/25 Chi-Town Hustler
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New mold kit|
The “Chi-Town Hustler” was the best-known Funny Car from a bygone era, one that recalled aviation’s “barnstorming” era. It was a time when Funny Cars were paid a flat performance fee to compete in “match races” at drag strips from East Coast to West which today, wouldn’t pass even minimal NHRA safety standards. But it didn't matter as youngsters (including your editor), thronged to the local strip to see these legendary cars perform.
The ‘69 Charger was legendary for its long smoking burnouts and its tough performance. The team claimed that the car had a 90 percent win-loss record in 1969. Pat Minick did the driving, Austin Coil (who at 64 is still a championship-winning crew chief) tuned the engine, and John Farkonas was the behind the scenes engineer. The car was built with an offset roll cage for the driver, one of the last funny cars to be built in that configuration. The ‘Hustler ran a best of 6.96 in 1970 and ran 206 in 1969. As tough as the car was in 1969, it became outdated by 1971 and a new car had to be built.
Revell has been embarked on a program of doing some very nice new mold car kits and I'm pleased to see that they are adding some funny cars to the mix. This particular one is on one of the iconic funny cars of the late 1960s and early 1970's, the Chi-Town Hustler.
Molded in white plastic, the detail on the parts is first rate, as one would expect of a modern 21st century kit. And it should be as car kit prices seem to escalate a dollar or two each year. Of course, this may well be due to all the licensing as this one had to get it from Chryler, the NHRA as well as from the car owners for the likeness of the model and the name. It means a $25 car kit and one wonders how much of that is licensing fees.
Anyway, the kit comes with a complete one-piece roll cage/frame, something that will surely speed up building and help to keep things level. I'm not looking forward to seam scraping on the cage, but it is nice to have it all done at one time. The chrome parts are superbly done, though I'm sure many of us will be de-chroming many of the parts and repainting them in aluminum. This would be particularly true of engine parts. I notice that the front wheels supplied look like your standard Cragar five spoke wheels while the image above shows something with thinner spokes. I don't think it makes that much differences as I'm sure there were changes over the years the car was run. As this car had an off-set engine, it means the exhaust were different lengths on the right and left side. Revell got this feature spot on as well as the proper off-set interior. Four nicely molded rubber/vinyl tires are included and the clear bits are well done with no stress fractures that one sometimes sees. The body is designed to pivot at the rear and a body support is part and parcel of the package.
Instructions are very well done with clearly done construction steps. In areas where alignment might be an issue, there are detail drawings. All of the parts are named and colors provided, something that I know I appreciate. The car is to be painted gloss red metallic and the decals are very nicely done. Modern Revell decals are quite good and these appear to be equally well done.
If you are a fan of drag racers in general and funny cars in particular, then this one needs to be on your shelf.
Thanks to me and my fondness for anything different from the norm for this one.
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