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AMT 1970 Chevrolet Corvette LT-1/ZR-1 Coupe

AMT No. AMT1097/12 Type:
Molded Colors: Orange, clear, clear red, chrome
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $31.95
Pros: Well-molded body shell, interesting subject, complete decals
Cons: Some fit issues with suspension and chassis
When I was a kid, the Mako Shark was the coolest concept car out there. I knew it was the inspiration for the Corvette, and the earlier third-generation (C3) Vettes more clearly showed the ancestry.

The LT-1 was the high-performance small-block V8 model, fitted with a Holley four-barrel carb on an aluminum manifold. A four-speed M-22 Muncie “rock-crusher” transmission sent power to the rear wheels. If the LT-1 wasn’t enough, you could order the stripped-down ZR-1, in essence a racer for the street. AMT’s cool reissued kit has parts to build either car, but the differences are subtle.

Slotted steel wheels were bare on the ZR-1 -no beauty rings or center caps- and since there wasn’t a radio, shielding around the distributor and coil was omitted. Tires are so-so, but offer red stripes or Goodyear lettering.

Decals include hood stripes, an air-cleaner sticker, and radio, along with Corvette emblems for the nose and fuel tank door, and fender-side “Stingray” and rear fascia “Corvette” lettering.

The engine has 19 parts, and while it’s not the best small-block Chevy out there, it’s not the worst, either.

Important bits are there, including the fuel pump molded to the lower passenger’s side of the block, and shift linkage on the side of the four-speed.

The carb is a little soft, and its mounting tabs have fuel inlets facing the rear (usually they face the front). Alternator and air pump, both chrome-plated, are supported only by their belts. A chrome-plated air cleaner looks right, but chrome on the valve covers is a little bright (they were cast aluminum).

The Corvette flags decal for the passenger-side valve cover is a nice touch, though. Painting callouts specify Chevy red for the intake manifold — it should be aluminum.

Suspension is next, and there were minor fit issues. The front coil springs aren’t long enough to reach the lower control arms if glued all the way into the chassis recesses. The rear suspension required coaxing to get into place, and clamping to keep it there. Once assembled and painted, the chassis has a satisfyingly detailed look to it.

Not gluing the front spindles to the control arms allowed for a little movement of the front wheels, but the wheel arches are tight to the tires.

The overall body shape looks right. There weren’t too many parting lines, but there were sinkholes.

The insides of the roof sails, tail end of the rear deck, and upper corners of the rear fascia needed filling. Once filled, everything looked good.

I gave Model Car Works paint a try- and was really pleased with the way it sprayed and the final color. The gloss you see in the photos is the result of a clear coat from MCW, no polishing.

Fitting the chassis to the body required coaxing. Instructions tell you to remove some material from the front fender liners, but they actually could be molded to fit.

Once the front of the chassis fit far enough into the nose of the car (this affects how the hood fits, take your time and make sure it’s right), I flexed the rear of the chassis to fit under the rear fascia.

But wait, there’s more!

The frame rails were showing below the rocker panels, and the chassis didn’t want to lay flat against the bottom of the interior tub. I used persuasive measures once again to get everything where I wanted it. I suspect the tab that secures the dash to the transmission tunnel was hitting the top of the transmission, but after multiple times flexing the body shell to get the front end to fit, I didn’t want to chance something letting go.

This was a fun kit to build. It took a bit of modeling to get everything in place, but all of the major components are there. I’m glad Round 2 reissued this kit. Now, if we could just get a nice ’63 to ’67 to go with it!    


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