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AMT 1965 Dodge Coronet 500

Build review of this 1/25 scale Dodge Cornet with sharp chrome
Kit No.: AMT1176M
Scale: 1/25
Mfr.: Round 2,
Price: $28.99
Comments: 88 injection-molded parts (light blue, black, white, clear, clear red, chrome plated); decals
Pros: Nice decals; sharp chrome; multiple versions
Cons: Fit issues during final assembly
The Dodge 1965 Dodge Coronet was a top-seller for the maker that year. The 500 was the top of the line as a hardtop or convertible and considered the high-performance series. AMT’s kit of the ’65 Coronet is actually a reissue of a 2004 Polar Lights snap-together kit.
Building the Coronet is easy and fun, although I recommend test-fitting and enlarging the mounting holes for various parts to reduce the pressure required to push parts together. Reinforce those joints with some thin plastic cement. 

The chassis, engine, and interior go together with little effort. The separate exhaust system features cutouts for a drag version. Nicely detailed front and rear suspensions come in multiple, separate parts. However, the instructions are vague regarding placement of front suspension parts, so test-fit before committing. 

Like the chassis, the engine assembles easily and fits well. The kit offers two versions: a dual-carb cross-ram system and a single four-barrel 426 Wedge. Other details include a fuel pump, separate coil, a mounting plate for the alternator, and both upper and lower radiator hoses. There is one glitch: The distributor is for a six-cylinder engine. I cut off the upper portion of the distributor and replaced it with a V8 cap from my parts box. 

The kit interior features bucket seats and a center console. Detail on the door panels and dash is crisp and easily finished, including a decal for the speedometer. The gas pedal is too long and protrudes almost to the base of the seat. Trim about an 1/8 inch off and bend back the mount for better placement. 

The kit offers a choice of stock wheel covers with faux knockoffs or a set of Torq Thrust-style mag wheels. Tires are black sidewall only with little sidewall detail and excellent tread. The small decal sheet offers a wealth of details including scripts and other trim items. They respond well to decal setting and solvent solutions. 

All in all, the kit is fun to assemble — until you try to install the body on the chassis. The big exhaust manifolds are so wide the front inner fender panels won’t fit over them. After several tries, I had to pull the engine off the chassis, mounted the body, and then reinstalled the engine from above. 

I also waited to install the radiator and wound up removing the lower portion of the fan shroud so it would fit over the engine fan. Then I removed the mounting peg on the radiator wall and slid the radiator into place from above. 

Noted in reviews of the 2004 release, the body’s too straight and the too round front wheel openings haven’t been corrected for this release and would take some heavy lifting to remedy on your own. However, if you don’t mind, this kit is a cool addition to your shelf. After working through the problems and knowing the sticking points, I’d definitely build another.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2020 issue.


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