Lifelike 1/32 1932 Plymouth Roadster
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The origins of Plymouth can be traced back to the Maxwell automobile. When Walter P. Chrysler took over control of the troubled Maxwell-Chalmers car company in the early 1920s, he inherited the Maxwell as part of the package. After he used the company's facilities to help create and launch the six-cylinder Chrysler automobile in 1924, he decided to create a lower-priced companion car. So for 1926, the Maxwell was reworked and rebadged as the low-end four-cylinder Chrysler "52" model. In 1928, the "52" was once again redesigned to create the Chrysler-Plymouth Model Q. The "Chrysler" portion of the nameplate was dropped with the introduction of the Plymouth Model U in 1929.
While the original purpose of the Plymouth was to serve the lower end of a booming automobile market, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the division helped significantly in ensuring the survival of the Chrysler Corporation when many other car companies failed. Beginning in 1930, Plymouths were sold by all three Chrysler divisions (Chrysler, DeSoto, and Dodge). Plymouth sales were a bright spot during this dismal automotive period, and by 1931 Plymouth rose to number three in sales among all cars. In 1931 with the Model PA, the company introduced floating power and boasted, "The smoothness of an eight - the economy of a four."
According to Scalemates, this kit originated with Pyro in 1967 and retailed for a whopping 60cents. With the demise of Life Like, the tooling was taken over by Lindberg in 1979 with the most recent release being 1986. This kit was part of a fairly large line-up of similar cars in this scale.
The kit is molded in a somewhat pinkish red plastic and while there is some flash, it isn't all that bad. There is a five piece engine provided and the frame/floor includes the rear fenders. Since this is a roadster, there is no back seat, just a barrier between the interior and the trunk. The separate front fenders fit onto the chassis section along with the seat and engine.
There are separate front and rear suspension assemblies that include the leaf springs. The body itself is in three main pieces of the upper deck along with the two side pieces, which are joined under the cowl. The hood is four pieces that fit behind the two piece radiator. None of the parts are chromed so the builder will need to paint those or cover them with foil. Wheels are each two piece and include the tires. Clear plastic is provided for the headlight lenses, windscreen and side wings, along with the rear glass for the top. The top can only be posed up. No decals are needed or provided.
Instructions are a single double-folded, small and rather yellowed sheet with construction steps on one side and adverts on the other. No color information is provided.
Many of these 'table top' cars have been released by Lindberg over the last few years. I recognize several of them in the advert on the instructions. Not a kit that looks to be difficult to build, but one that one should approach with some care as these older kits have proven to have some idiosyncrasies. Face it, 1/32 is not a major scale for car modelers, but there is a small clique of builders who like this scale and this one should prove appealing.
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