The 25-piece big-block Chevy represents the RPO L78 version of the 396 with the Cowl Induction ram-air option. This is the same engine that is in Revell’s Yenko Camaro, albeit in that kit it represents the RPO L72 427, which was for the most part externally identical except for identifying decals. Tooled in the 1989-90 timeframe, the mill features the then standard Monogram practice of molding the oil pan as part of the block halves. The rest of the engine is in newer R-M style, with almost all parts being separate components. Highlights include the separate oil filter, fuel pump, distributor with molded-in vacuum ad- vance, ignition coil, oil filter, two-piece open-element air cleaner, and two-piece Holley 4-barrel carburetor. Two two-piece four-into-one tubular Hooker-style exhaust headers are the only exhaust system in the kit, a holdover from the Yenko. Most Camaro convertibles did not come with factory installed headers; they came with cast iron exhaust manifolds. These can be found in Revell’s stock ‘67 Chevelle SS396, ‘68 Corvette convertible, or ‘69 Yenko Nova or COPO Nova kits. You’ll have to scratchbuild exhaust extensions to meet the main pipes, but that’s not hard to do. Decals are provided for the valve covers (Ton- awanda engine plant #1) and air cleaner. Properly painted, wired, and detailed, this engine can be a real standout. Take the time to give it the TLC it deserves.
If you’ve built any of the Revell or Monogram 1990s-vintage ‘69 Camaros, what’s here will be very familiar to you. The basic chassis is nicely done with good engraving throughout, and features the front subframe, wheel housings, and gas tank molded in place, with a separate front crossmember/ engine mount. Front suspension is a five-piece assembly with separate upper A-arms and steering box, with a simplified one-piece lower unit comprising lower control arms, spindles, and tie rod. Rear suspension is a six-piece unit with separate springs and shocks. The two-piece separate exhaust system is the rare Walker chambered unit that has been in every Monogram and Revell ’69 Camaro since the Monogram 1/12 scale Z-28 kit debuted in 1989 and yes, again, the tips must be drilled out so as not to look solid. Though considered a muscle car rarity and therefore collectible, the reality is that the Walker system did not work as well as expected, being loud enough to be a nuisance on the street instead of uplifting the sounds of power–and it was dropped from the option list, replaced by a normal dual exhaust system. The exhaust pipes from Revell’s ‘69 Nova or ‘68 Firebird can be adapted here with minimal fuss. Under the hood, there’s quite a bit of detail, with separate radiator braces, firewall with two-piece master cylinder and brake booster, five-piece radiator assembly with separate hood latch/striker plate, and a clear washer fluid bottle. WHEELS AND TIRES: For the stock version, plated Chevy five-slot Rally wheels ride on no-name (once upon a time, Goodyear Polyglas) black vinyl tires. For the street version, there are two-piece 19” curved spoke billet wheels, riding on no-name black vinyl low-profile tires with good tread detail.
The kit’s interior represents the up-level custom interior with the houndstooth upholstery pattern. The basic bucket has the rear seat molded in place with ashtrays on the arm rests and proper droptop dog legs flanking the boot well. The separate side panels feature excellent 3-D detailing. The two-piece front buckets feature delicate texturing on the seat cushion surfaces. A real plus here is that the houndstooth insert patterns are on the decal sheet and are printed as black patterns on a transparent background, giving one the ability to not only do the orange seats of the ‘69 Pace Car, but any other Camaro droptop interior in nearly any other color (black interiors had black houndstooth on white cushion backgrounds, for example). The dash is a three-piece as- sembly with excellent engraving and decalized instrument faces, HVAC controls, radio face, dash emblem, and a tiny odometer decal! The console is a separate component with separate plated shifter–decals are provided for the four console gauge faces and the shift pattern plate.
The basic one-piece body is very well done and captures the character of the real car well. Engraved on the body are Camaro, 396, and SS emblems, and unlike the coupe kits, the droptop’s side gills have finely molded trim outlines that will require some careful finessing with the chrome foil of your choice. The one-piece grille represents the Rally Sport style with hidden headlights–the not so great thing about this is that the entire unit (grille, surround, and headlight doors) are molded as a single chrome piece. On the real car, the surround is body color, and the headlight doors have three clear inserts that were meant to allow the headlights to be seen if the doors didn’t open. What this means for the modeler is careful painting. Using some acrylic clear in the headlight doors will simulate the inserts decently. The SS emblem in the center of the grille is of the wrong style; the letters are too square. Fortunately, correct SS emblems are provided on the decal sheet–carefully filing the molded emblem away and using the decal will suffice. Using the three dimensional photoetched one from The Model Car Garage’s ‘69 Camaro detail set would work even better. If you desire a standard (exposed headlight) grille, you can swap one in from any of the Rev- ell Camaro hardtop kits–note that the headlight reflectors for that grille are on the kit’s chrome sprue, another holdover from the Yenko kit. There are two sets of taillights on the red clear sprue–Rally Sport style with an additional horizontal trim bar, and baseline Camaro without the trim bar. A nicely textured boot cover is also included, but surprisingly, there is no up top, despite the fact that a rear window is included on the clear sprue! For those wanting said up-top, it’s avail- able from Time Machine Resin. The hood is the Cowl Induction style with good underside detail, and a separate cold air plenum attachment. The rear mounted flags for the Pace Car are still on the sprues, should you wish to duplicate the white-and-orange ‘69 Indy Pace Car or one of its replicas. The wipers, outside and inside mirrors, and door handles are separate chrome pieces. DECALS: On the kit’s rather large decal sheet, in addition to the items described previously, are hood and deck striping, side “hockey stick” stripes, and wheel well accent striping in black or white, SS emblems in black outline for grille and taillight panel, Camaro, 396, and Camaro SS emblems in silver, a USA-1 plate, two blue California 593 ACW plates, and two black California ZRS 689 plates.
The instruction sheet features a chart of correct factory paint codes for 1969 Camaros, and a detailed explanation of how to use the proper striping decals in what combination.