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AMT Autocar A64B Tractor

AMT No. AMT1099/06
Molded Colors: Clear, white, clear red, clear orange, plated chrome
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $47.95
Pros: Popular subject, sharp decals, realistic components, good parts fit
Cons: Thick attachment points on chrome pieces, backsides of springs are open, no front brakes, clear lenses are too thick
AMT’s Autocar A64B tractor was first released in 1972 and this box contains no noticeably new parts. The number of chrome pieces, however, is reduced from previous releases.

Foldout instructions with a suggested color chart show 10 assembly steps, and although the parts appear to be denoted by number, they represent the assembly sequence and do not relate to the numbers on the trees. Unfortunately each pictured part does include a description and be ready to do a fair amount flash cleanup.

The engine appears to be a Cummins NH230 diesel and as an alternative, unused parts are included for a turbo-charged NTC350. After an ounce of cleanup you end up with a solid looking engine. The transmission is molded separately and both radiator hoses are included.

The multipiece frame assembles cleanly but make sure it is level and square. Locating points for the battery boxes and fuel tanks are molded on the frame rails. The front axle includes linkage for external power steering but is not poseable. There are no front brakes or backing plates.

At the rear is a Hendrickson walking beam suspension, which does not pivot, so care must be taken to get all six tire assemblies to touch the ground. The tandem rear axles include an intermediate drive shaft. Rear brake drums, backing plates and brake chambers are supplied. The inner faces of all the springs are open. On this build they were filled with Magic Sculp and the spring leafs scribed.

The front disc wheels are chrome and the rears are unchromed Dayton spokes (unlike in past releases) with demountable rims. Each rear wheel assembly has five parts and two tires. Assemble the wheels before mounting the soft vinyl tires from the rear. It’s difficult to get the tire bead to mount flush to the wheel lip, so my solution was to stuff the tires with soft tissues. The two rear metal axles are each a ½-inch too long. I chose to cut mine, but you could drill through the brake drums.

The cab has separate fenders, a hood, and hood side panels. The interior also is a one-piece tub with lightly molded features on the sidewalls, and its instrument panel has a wood-grain texture and gauges. No decals are supplied for the gauges but they are engraved. A suspended driver’s seat sits next to a passenger seat wide enough for two occupants. The steering wheel and pedals are separate, and the gear shift lever includes a range selector.

Consider masking the windows of the one-piece glass insert from the inside and making a headliner as done on this build.

Note: When the interior tub is installed, there are large gaps between it and the surrounding cab walls. On this build, a floor pan was fashioned to eliminate this.

A Luber-finer, power steering reservoir, and air cleaner are each made of two pieces and originally were chrome. Instead, I stripped and painted them. I never could figure out how to mount the Luber-finer and power steering reservoir realistically, so I only attached the Luber-finer.

The supplied roof-mounted AC unit and grille guard were not used. Other exterior features include the West Coast mirrors, grab handles, marker lights, and two styles of exhaust stacks. Trailer connections have a sliding fifth wheel, pogo stick with glad hands, and a vinyl line for the air hoses.

The original decal sheet has been expanded and it appears some of the new decals are from other truck kits. The decal panels for the box art version are there but not used. All of the decals perform as desired.

Apart from tooling that’s well over 30 years old, it still builds up to a presentable Autocar. Now we need the dump truck version!


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