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MPC 1976 Dodge Dart

Kit No.: MPC7610
Scale: 1/25
Mfr.: Round 2,
Price: $29.99
Comments: Injection-molded parts (yellow, clear, clear red); four, pad-printed, vinyl tires;  decals
Pros: New decal options; two figures; three versions in one; pad-printed tires    
Cons: Metal rear axle; simplified front suspension detail
MPC’s ’76 Dodge Dart can be finished as stock, custom, or as a drag car. Review the instructions and the parts to determine whether you want to go with route A or B; I went with B, a drag car.

The instructions move logically from wheels, to engine, then chassis. I went with stock wheels with drag slicks in the rear and pad-printed Goodyears up front. The engine’s high-rise manifold and four-barrel carbs assembled without difficulty. The 426 Hemi comes with several details, including a water pump and starter; the latter looks a little clunky. I couldn’t seem to get the manifold to sit properly over the tab on top of the engine, so I removed it and that solved the issue. It’s not the most accurate engine, but you can make it look presentable.

For the drag version, you can remove the mufflers and tailpipes from the chassis. I left mine on and used a couple of parts from the side pipes to connect the headers to the full exhaust system. For a stock build, the metal rear axle slides through the holes in the suspension’s posts; in the drag car, the axle sits on top of the posts. The dual fuel pump mounts on the driver’s side rear floor, but the instructions are vague. Make sure to find the proper placement before applying glue.

The front wheels slide into holes inside the wheel well: one hole for the stock ride height; a second  for the drag height. Not the most accurate representation, but you can upgrade it for more accuracy if desired. After all, we are model car guys. We can do anything!

Now’s the time to mention the kit provides two figures: one sitting and one standing. You need to decide which you want to use before buttoning up the interior. I chose to finish the standing figure. It comes in nine parts that needed a little filler and was a great addition to the kit.

The interior assembles like a dream. However, while the instructions show the firewall attached to the interior, test-fitting revealed a strange gap when installed this way. I attached it to the fender wells instead and that eliminated the problem.

I wanted to use the scoop on the hood and had to add plastic strip to raise it; if you use the stock engine with the scoop, it should fit fine. The taillights, rear bumper, and mirrors round out body assembly. The decal sheet provides great graphics with lots of contingency markings. They settle well and look great. (The Hammerin Hemi came from my spares — I couldn’t resist.)
MPC’s Dodge Dart has potential and give you room to exercise your creativity. Despite its weak points, one of its build options is sure to satisfy a gap in the collection on your shelf.

– Tom Nowak


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