Starter 1/43 1994 Exide Ford Thunderbird

KIT #: 11283
PRICE: $15.00 'used'
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Resin  with metal, photo etch and vacuform parts.


Geoff Bodine Racing:

Geoff Bodine purchased the former AK Racing team in 1993. Bodine was forced to find a new sponsor almost immediately, as Hooters pulled its sponsorship from the team after he bought it. He originally signed The Family Channel to be the sponsor for the remainder of the season and picked up sponsorship from Exide Batteries in 1994. Bodine won three times that year but finished 17th in points. He improved one spot better in 1995, but in 1996, the sponsorship was replaced by QVC, and scored his final win at Watkins Glen International Raceway. He struggled in 1997, failing to qualify in a couple of races, and having his brother Todd fill in for him at the Coca-Cola 600. Despite this, he won two poles in the last two months of the season, including one that broke the track record at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Eventually the team disbanded in 2000.


Starter kits are well known for being fairly accurate representations and fairly easy to build. The molding of the resin is excellent until you get to the underside and that is where you will find your air pockets. Easy enough to fill and generally unseen in the finished product.

This kit has the interior cast onto the floor pan and it fits nicely into the body shell. You have a plastic steering wheel and you'll use a pin for the gear shifter. The kit comes with a piece of mesh to use for the driver's side netting. What isn't in the kit is a roll cage and since there are no instructions, you are on your own for building one.

You are provided with spun aluminum wheels and metal axles. Resin wheel inserts are provided as well as rubber/vinyl tires. The exhaust section is also resin. The windows are vacuformed (not shown). They are to be cut out and placed in indentations around each window. This is nice as it means you don't have to mask them to paint the body. The single photo etch part is a rear spoiler and a few other detail items. The decals are nicely done and even after all this time, should work fine. Note that large sheets like this are often curled from sitting in a small box, which is why I have the one in the image clamped. Two full color images of the car are provided to help with decal application and painting. There are no build instructions.


1/43 is really a niche market when it comes to car kits. However, their small size makes them easy to display and they fit in with the die cast crowd as well. If you are looking for something different and are at ease working with multi-media kits, give these a go. These can often be found well under retail, unlike the F.1 and Sports-Racer kits.


July 2020

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