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AMT/Ertl's 1966 Mercury Hard Top

August 2004
RELATED TOPICS: AMT | 1960S
1966 Mercury Hard Top
AMT/Ertl No. 38161
Model Type: Injection-molded plastic
Molded Colors: Beige, clear, chrome-plated
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $14.00
Pros: Blast from the past
Cons: Some fit problems
This is a reissue of an AMT 3 in 1 model kit (the kit could be built one of three ways; parts were included for stick, custom, or racing versions). Unfortunately, the stock intake, carburetor, and air cleaner are not in the kit, even though the stock setup is shown in the box art.

Construction begins with the engine - a 20-piece (sans stock intake) assembly that includes a twin four-barrel intake. The fit of the individual pieces is not precise; I noticed the heads do not fit over the mounting tabs on the block. I had to remove the tabs, mount the intake, then glue the heads in place, and position them against the intake in order to get them positioned properly.

The exhaust manifold mounting tabs are incorrectly placed on top of the heads above the exhaust ports. The proper procedure is to remove the tabs and then glue the manifolds in the proper position.

The oil pan is a two-piece item necessary to leave room for the metal axle that attaches the wheels to the chassis. This is not a problem because the suspension cross-member completely hides the gap.
My kit's engine did not snuggle down far enough into the engine compartment to allow the hood to close. I had to remove almost 1/8 inch from each side of the suspension cross-member (engine compartment side). When the engine fit, it was necessary to mount the cooling fan and then trim the bottom blades approximately 1/8 inch.

The rest of the assembly is uneventful, and the finished model is quite attractive. The body captures the lines of the Park Lane very well and duplicates the stance of the 1:1 prototype. I would recommend this kit to anyone who is into Detroit iron, and especially anyone who has never experienced a 3 in 1 kit.

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