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AMT 1965 Buick Riviera 3-in-1

Round 2 No. AMT1121
Molded Colors: White, clear, chrome plated, soft black
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $29.99
Pros: Popular subject; custom parts missing from past reissues
Cons: Suspension and driveshaft molded into chassis, lack detail

The 1965 Buick Riviera 3-in-1 customizing kit features a stock build, a custom version, and the George Barris “movie car of the year” from the movie Villa Riviera — added back into the kit with this release! Many know Barris as the builder of famous TV cars such as the classic Batmobile and Munster Coach. 

For my Riv, I chose to build the custom version. Starting with the engine, I went with the  Latham supercharger and two four-barrel carburetors. Assembly went quickly, but make note to install the supercharger and intake manifold after you’ve attached the body to the chassis.  

The transmission isn’t complete, but you won’t see it because it is mostly hidden by the chassis. The chassis itself has the front and rear suspension and driveshaft molded in, which doesn’t leave a lot of detail underneath.

For me, the wire wheels with knockoffs and triple pinstriped tires make up for the lack of suspension detail. I had to shorten the center pin on the wire wheels that fits into the wheel back and sand the part that slips into the tire in order to get it to fit.

The parts for the front custom roll pan and bumper fit together well and sat just about where I wanted them. The rear custom roll pan needed some test-fitting and filing. I filled gaps with acrylic nail powder mixed with superglue and sanded smooth.

I test-fit the windows inside the body, followed by the interior, and then fit the whole to the chassis. I needed to do extra sanding to the rear roll pan and chassis to get the fit I was looking for. I also test-fit the engine and noticed the booster for master cylinder was way too large and the headers needed to be shortened a touch.

A custom-mixed white base coat went on the bottom half of the car. After it dried, I masked the lower half and airbrushed on a base coat of Testors gold enamel. Two coats of House of Kolor tangelo pearl went over the gold. I pulled off the lower mask and airbrushed a clear coat with orange pearl powder and followed with a
clear coat.

Final assembly went smoothly. Test-fitting parts prior to paint was important. The custom grille and headlights are particularly nice, and the taillights and bumpers finish the kit perfectly. I’m happy with the Riviera’s overall look and think it benefits from detail painting.


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