It wasn't until I actually removed the bought-on-line 1:18 scale MotorMax '32 Ford chopped top 5-Window Coupe from its box that my initial impressions were solidified somewhat. Before this, I had only seen the generic picture of it on the internet. And my impressions were not all that favorable. What struck a nerve mostly was the ride height and stance being too high, and secondly, a forward-leaning radiator grille which caused the car to appear contorted. Both of these made the model look sufficiently "off", so much so, that after having the model in my hands and seeing some of the more toy-like and sort of 'cheesy' aspects of it, I was very close to returning it. However, I felt that with some modifications the car could possibly be redeemed.
The first step was to lower the front end as much as possible. Ideally, lowering the entire car would have looked better. Yet the rear end is supported by, surprisingly, actual working springs which, when depressed, lowers it. So I left the rear end as is.
Next, the radiator grille was realigned so that it was roughly parallel with the firewall, eliminating that distorted look. This short sentence of what was done belies the fact that it took many trials and errors to get the final finished result.
The model was completely disassembled so that the exhaust pipe tips could be silvered and the rear differential hub treated likewise. MotorMax should have chromed all these parts for an authentic hot rod touch. Inside, the foot pedals and door handles were silvered and the holes in the steering wheel spokes blackened. Kudos to MotorMax for the gear shift knob in the form of a piston, which looks the part. The chrome rubber gasket on the floorboard was blackened to add realism. The four slots in each chrome wheel were blackened; the radiator grille was blackwashed and the radiator cap silvered. Other engine parts were detailed and colored. Thanks, MotorMax for doing a good job with the chromed firewall, chromed engine parts and the chrome wheels. The chrome metal support rods running from the firewall to the radiator grille is a cool touch, too.
MotorMax could have and should have included big rear slicks and lettered tires on this hot rod. They did make the rear tires bigger than the fronts to their credit. Two other faults are the vent opening on the engine cowling being merely a painted-on silver rectangle and the inexcusable sealing of the trunk lid eliminating the inclusion of a rumble seat or any trunk detail.
In conclusion, I had my doubts about this one, but after doing work on it, I feel much better. It's no GMP by any stretch, no matter how hard you pull. But it does have some redeeming qualities after all the work that was done.
Thanks for looking....