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AMT 1965 Chevy Chevelle Surf Wagon

Kit No.: AMT1131
Scale: 1/25
Mfr.: Round 2,
Price: $28.99
Comments: 130 injection-molded parts (white, clear, clear red, chrome plated); six vinyl tires; decals
Pros: 4-in-1 kit; good parts fit; lots of extras; colorful decals; easy assembly; looks great finished  
Cons: Passenger-side rear-window trim flaw; shallow interior door panel detail
AMT’s ’65 Chevelle Malibu wagon dates back 55 years, but the tool seems to be in good shape with clear scripts and details. I noticed upper trim of the passenger-side rear window is uneven, an issue which appears to be the result of a mold flaw because it also appears on earlier versions. Careful sanding above the trim and some re-scribing are necessary to clean that up. Otherwise, the kit is easy and fun to build!

This new release makes it a 4-in-1 kit: stock, custom, drag, and surf wagon. New parts include a pair of two-piece surfboards (a longboard and a shortboard) and a six-piece surfboard rack for the roof. Like other recent AMT kit releases, the Malibu includes a fabulous decal sheet with a lot of tiki-themed markings for the surf boards, surf shop emblems for the rear windows, gauge faces, and even a set of wood-grain side panels if you want to build the model as a custom woody.

The interior is simple with the front seat molded to the interior bucket. I used a Molotow pen for various chrome features like the horn ring and instrument bezels. The shallow details on the door panels were common when the kit was newly tooled and could be improved. While you can use a chrome pen for the door and window handles, because of the soft nature of the details, foil works better on the door trim.

The kit includes three different sets of wheels. The stock wheel covers and Cragar mags are chrome plated and look sharp, especially with the pad-printed whitewalls. If a drag version is your preference, the kit includes open wheels for both front and rear. The rears feature a deep-dish outer rim for use with the pad-printed drag slicks.

For mine, I nipped off the grease caps from the front drag wheels and sanded them smooth to simulate stock rear wheels. Then I put the mags up front for a little bling.

The engine compartment includes a detailed firewall, windshield washer reservoir, and battery. You can choose between a stock engine; a custom powerplant with dual carbs; or a supercharged drag version. The valve covers indicate that it’s a 327.

The chassis comes as a single piece with good details. However, it requires careful masking or brush painting to make those details pop.

Overall, assembly is straightforward and quick. Parts fit solidly with few problems and allow you to concentrate on how you want to finish it. For me, I wanted a tired refugee from some car dealer’s back lot. The look’s popular on car websites, so why not? If you’re looking for the perfect ’60s nostalgia kit or something to build for the pure fun of it, the Surf Wagon’s for you.


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