Time for another installment in kit history. These kits are a bit more familiar to me so I hope I've done this chronicle justice. Also, being from the 70s information and pictures of these kits are easier to find as there are more of them left around.
As you may or may not be aware these kits started as a series of annuals produced by MPC. As far as dating of the kit release goes, I have found box pictures showing a copyright date of both the year depicted and the previous year for most of the issues. For simplicity's sake I have chosen to list the year depicted as the year issued.
The first kit issued with this tooling's long run was the Baja Brute, which was actually the 1972 annual although not labelled as such. The truck depicted is a regular cab, 8' full width box trimmed as an Adventurer SE. The engine is a cobbled together Chrysler B/RB V-8 that lasted throughout the tooling's run. Options with this kit included both 2WD and 4WD suspension with stock wheel covers and 4WD 8-lug wheels, a stock hood and a bulged center hood, off-road race equipment, and service station attendant equipment. The kit has a the grille used for 72-73 and is molded in white. MPC #1-0458
Next up was the 1973 Dodge Pickup annual. This was a straight re-issue of the Baja Brute, swapping the service station attendant building option with an emergency attendant option. The kit has the grille used for 72-73 and is molded in white. MPC #1-7309
Moving on to 1974, the kit was re-issued with changes appropriate to the full size truck, which was mostly limited to the grille. This same grill was used until 1976. To keep the kit interesting to buyers of the 1973 issue, this version had many of the same options including a choice of either 2WD or 4WD and associated wheels, both hoods as before, service station equipment and a dirt bike. This kit is also molded in white. MPC #1-7409
The 1975 issue is almost the same as the previous 1974 issue, however the service station equipment was swapped out for the race equipment from the 1973 issue. MPC #1-7509
In the year of the US's bicentennial, the changes were limited to the omission of optional truck equipment and inclusion of a second dirt bike. There also appears to be two boxes for this issue: one with '76 in the upper left corner and the other has 'NEW' in the same location. MPC #1-7609
Late 1976-1977 was a big year for this tooling and saw a lot of kits issued. The body trim was re-tooled to reflect the 1:1 trim changes: the body side moulding was moved from above the wheel well flares to below them, a new trim line added just below the cab window along the entire body and bed, the Adventurer SE badge moved from behind the rear wheel well to between the front wheel well and the door, the tailgate relief panel was re-shaped and lost the 'Dodge' badge, and the new-for-77 grille. All subsequent re-issues would include either 4WD or 2WD suspension rather than the option to build one or the other. The first kit on store shelves was the 1977 annual with the ubiquitous dirk bike and off-road racer equipment. The bulge hood was also omitted. MPC #1-7709
Edited by kataranga, 02 July 2014 - 02:42 PM.