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Polar Lights Ford Petty Torino Talledega

Ford Petty Torino Talladega
Polar Lights No. POL896/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $29.95
Pros: Decals, tires, and great subject matter
Cons: Mold lines; upswept front fenders
In 2002, Polar Lights introduced all-new tooling representing some of NASCAR's great Fords and Mercurys from the 1969 racing season. The Richard Petty $43 Ford Torino Talladega kit is one of the most recognized, and one of the King's most controversial rides.

Upon opening the box, you will find this kit molded in white, with clear and chrome trees separately bagged. The chrome and clear parts were relatively free of mold lines and/or sink marks; almost all of the white molded parts had sink marks and excessive mold lines.

The kit comes with two complete Holman Moody-style race engines: a 26- piece 427 and a 27-piece 429. For my build, the 427ci engine from the earlier Torino would be used. The 427 is not  totally correct; the oil pan should be a front sump unit.
After some significant cleanup of mold lines and sink marks, all chassis parts were attached to the top side,  including the roll cage, dashboard, bulkheads, and driver’s compartment necessities such as seat, extinguisher, shifter and rear end cooler.

The underside was next, with the 10- piece front and the 13-piece rear suspension installed. I found that some of the locating points where the shocks and some of the smaller parts were not clearly spelled out on the instruction sheet.

Installation of the engine, exhaust, and the rest of the drivetrain components required a lot of patience and bit of imagination as to where and how parts were going to all fit in the same space. The headers are fed in from the bottom after the engine is installed, and takes some finessing. The overall package looks convincing.

The wheel are steel-style wheels used during the 60’s, the tires have changed from the No-name side walled slicks used in the original issue to the old type Good Year Blue Streak Racecar specials found in many of the old MPC Nascar kits of the past.

There are two grilles – one for the Torino Cobra and one for the Talladega that replaced the Cobra later in the year. Using the Cobra grille and the other six additional pieces the body comes together in a rather simple but complete package.

Of note to anyone who has or is looking to build one of the Polar Lights Torinos:

The front end has a noticeable upward curve, which can be remedied with two small cuts with a razor saw where the inner fender step is on the body, and a little heat from a hair dryer.

The other notably wrong thing with the body is the line separating the rear panel from the quarter panels. On the 1:1 car this does not exist, and will require a little filling with some putty.

After painting the closest match to Petty Blue I know – Tamiya TS-23 Light Blue – I was able to apply the decals. Again choosing a earlier version, my build has the Cobra designation rather than the Talladega designation found later in the year.

After clearing the car, I noticed some issues with the paint, which may have been attributed to an old batch of clear, or a reaction to the Tamiya paint (which never happened before). The finish is not what I was expecting.

This kit is recommended to anyone who is a Richard Petty, NASCAR, or Torino fan. The kit builds into a fine representation of a great iconic car of late 1960s and will not disappoint. 


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