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Revell-Monogram 1950 Austin Drag Coupe

October 2003
RELATED TOPICS: MONOGRAM | REVELL | 1950S | DRAGSTER
1950 Austin Drag Coupe
Revell-Monogram No. 7679
Model Type: 1/25 scale injection-molded plastic kit
Molded Colors: Clear, chrome-plated, black
MSRP: $16.05
Pros: Timely reissue, multiple decal options
Cons: So-so chrome-plating, have to cut your own glass, tricky door hinges, finicky front end, wrong wheels/tires for era
Over the years, spectators have flocked to drag strips to see colorful, powerful, and sometimes out-of-control vehicles push the limits of speed. This includes the Pro Mods of the 1990s, the jet cars and wheelstanders of the '80s, and the Funny Cars of the '70s.

Preceding the Funny Car classes were Gassers. These often-small cars with large powerplants were more than a handful to control - even with a capable driver behind the wheel. Cars like the 1933 and 1940-'41 Willys and the Ford Anglia could be seen screaming down the quarter-mile on any given Sunday. Another popular Gasser-class entry was the 1950 Austin coupe.

Revell-Monogram recently reissued its '50 Austin Drag Coupe for the fourth time since its inception in 1970. The decal sheet is the only item that has changed from previous releases. Although the decals are the same, there is now gold foiling on some of the sponsor logos, and the overall quality has improved.
1950 Austin Drag Coupe
There are 111 pieces, with plastic parts molded in white and chrome-plated. There are four vinyl tires, one decal sheet, and one sheet of clear acetate for the windows. You'll have to cut your own windows, but the patterns are included.

My Austin kit had minor flash and minimal mold lines. The biggest problem was the chrome tree. The plating didn't cover properly and there is too much bare plastic showing through. The attachment points for the chrome-plated injector stacks are on the tops of the funnels, which makes it nearly impossible to remove them without damage.
engine
Powering this Austin is a simple 14-piece Ford 427 single overhead cam V-8. The instructions show the engine should be assembled before installing it into the chassis, but this can't be done with the headers in place. You must wait until after installing the engine to attach the headers. Because this kit has a flip-nose front end and the engine is visible, I'd recommend swapping the Ford engine for the 392 Chrysler engine from Revell's "Big John" Mazmanian '41 Willys (kit no. 2350).
chassis
The chassis is molded separately from the interior pan and comes with a simple, but nice, chrome-plated straight axle attached to leaf springs. I had to remove the front shocks after assembly because they interfered with the front end's hinging motion.

The rear suspension is a bit more complicated. When you attach the rear end housing to the rear springs and the separate ladder bars, the quick-change rear end points in an upward position. Drill new holes farther back in the rear end housing to attach the ladder bars. The tires and wheels are nice, but are wrong for this kit. The rear tires are too small and the wheels are the same items included in almost every '70s Revell Funny Car.
The interior consists of a one-piece dashboard with molded gauges that attach to the inside of the body. I added a couple Slixx decal gauges for added detail. The interior also has four separate button-tufted panels, and the doors have molded-in handles and window cranks. There's a steering wheel and column, single-loop roll bar, shifter, and two bucket seats. The instructions call for the back seat to be installed, but there wouldn't be a back seat in a Gasser; one of the previous issues offered this kit as a street version, and that's why the back seat is provided.

Revell did a nice job on the body. It has separate chrome-plated door handles and headlights and four separate chrome-plated trim pieces. The drawback to the tilt-nose front end is that the hinge mounts are too low, and when in the closed position, the hood has too much downward slope. The doors are separate pieces that are to be hinged. If you assemble the hinges as shown in the instructions, the doors will bind and scrape the paint when you open them. After two hours of fussing, I decided to tack the doors in place. with a little more time reworking the hinges, they may work better.

There are some problems with the accuracy of the markings. The decals provide several different markings for this car. I was able to verify that two of them were on real cars. The Jack Merkel Automotive decals are for a real car, but I was unable to find any pictures. The car on the box art also existed. The instructions call out the colors of the Panella Trucking car to be Burgundy Metallic, but it's actually Candy Apple Red. I started with three coats of Plasti-kote primer, followed by four coats of Testor's Guards Red, then finished with two coats of Testor's Candy Apple Red. Some other markings provided are also inaccurate, such as the window class designations. They show the car being in the AA class; fuel-injected cars would've been designated with a B classification.

This kit has a few minor glitches to overcome and any modeler with a moderate level of building skill should be able to remedy them. This is a good kit and with the right changes, will build into a very nice model. I'd recommend this kit to others, especially if you like vintage drag subjects.

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