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AMT ’77 Ford Cruising Van

RELATED TOPICS: AMT | FORD
Vanbox
Round 2 No. AMT1108/12
Molded Colors: Metallic silver, chrome, clear, clear red, vinyl
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $31.95
Pros: Decal options; overall look and dimensions; newly tooled wheels 
Cons: Weak instruction sheet; thick, stubborn decals; ride height and wheel orientation
Van1
Van2
The customized van craze that boomed in the late 1970s prompted U.S. auto manufacturers to push out some of their own factory-built custom vans. Ford’s Cruising Van offered bright graphics, swiveling captain’s chairs, dark-tinted porthole windows, and a slew of other popular options.     

This AMT offering is a re-release of the original 1977 kit with some new parts and decals. While there aren’t photos of a built-up model on the box, you do get a look at the new pad-printed Firestone tires with raised white letters and the elaborate decal sheet. 

Inside, the parts require little cleanup considering the kit’s age. There is only one option for wheels — newly tooled five-spoke covers. Optional custom parts include a CB radio, spare tire and mount, choice of two antennas, and a roof rack. 

The decal sheet gets both high and low marks. You get options for two different Cruising Van paint schemes: one for a silver finish like on the box top; the other for a white finish. The stripes are vibrant and would shine even on a darker colored van. However, the stripes are thick and didn’t want to conform to the corners of the body even with helpings of decal setting solution. I applaud the inclusion of decals for the turn signals and scripts.

Under the hood, the battery, brake booster, master cylinder, and coolant overflow tank are all separate pieces, making detail painting easier. 

The instruction sheet would benefit from an update. Seemingly unchanged since the original release, connection points are vague for the power steering pump and shocks. And considering the effort put into providing decals for both cruising van versions, I would have liked to have seen better placement instructions. My references show the two versions were only sold in metallic silver, but a list of 31 exterior and five interior factory colors is included. 

If built 100% by the book, the ride height and wheel orientation will need some attention. I narrowed the rear axle 1/8 inch to fit the wheels under the fenders. Up front, I lowered the springs and omitted the brake rotors to get the proper look.

Despite some difficulty, the final appearance  made it all worthwhile. I chose Ford Wimbledon white, suitable for cruising the beach or the strip. 

Without too many hurdles during assembly, I recommend this kit for all builders. The stripe decals, however, are for advanced builders only. 


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