Both the Barracuda and Fleetside went from AMT to MPC for '68. If anyone knows why or how that happened, they've never said so. After going without for '68, AMT then created another Chevy Fleetside kit for 1969. Both kits have the same incorrect inner fenders in the engine compartment (they should look like the ones on the AMT Blazer/Jimmy body). AMT annual kits (except the '67, of course) had a big-block engine and molded-in dual exhaust on the chassis, the AMT '67 and '68-'72 MPC trucks had a small-block and single exhaust.
I like being able to fix (if not fix, at least diagnose) what's wrong with my vehicles. As for older cars being unreliable, people drove them cross-country back in the day. If they are maintained, they can still be used on a daily basis. No software needed. I'm intending to get back to doing that with my Fairlane, at least in the summer. In traffic, the non-power drum brakes work just fine. After a quick stop, I'm more worried about the modern, ABS, four-wheel-disc car behind me that has a driver with a phone in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. No power steering...no problem. Radial tires make it steer more easily, and you remember to turn the large-diameter steering wheel when the car is moving...no power needed. You don't hear the tires howling and scrubbing on turns like some modern cars with poor steering geometry. I might check the pick-a-part yards to see if I can scare up a set of accessory brackets and pulleys to hang an A/C compressor on the engine. Then I can track down an under-dash unit (that's all that was available back then; no built-in units). A dual master cylinder would be a good idea too, and there are units that will virtually bolt right in. No power steering or brakes, but A/C. Parts availability is still good. Five or six years ago, I needed a new windshield and was able to get one. The side glass is flat, and can be cut by any shop that can get a template (or work with one that is supplied to them). A couple of years ago, I picked up a starter at Pep Boys. The girl at the counter rang it up ($26), did a double take, then checked with the guy at the counter in back where I got the starter. "I had to check that...I know what these usually sell for, I've never seen one that cheap". Back home in the driveway, reach in from the top to detach the cable, crawl underneath to get the bolts (I don't remember even jacking it up)...old one out, new one in in about fifteen minutes. Try that on some of the newer engines. If I remember right, the Northstar Cadillac engine had the starter under the intake manifold.
They may have been running it in Pro Stock at the time ('69 or '70). Some of the Super Stock Hemi cars (Darts and Barracudas) got retrimmed as 1969 cars, a couple of Darts even got reskinned as 1970 cars. As for the Barracuda kit, several casters offered '68 grille/header panel/taillight conversions for it years ago. The Miss Mighty Mopar issue body had 1968 side markers on it, as did the street machine issues after that, up until Ertl reworked it back to the stock '69 383 car.
I've seen a lot of what is available in late model vehicles...I just have no interest in any of it. That's why I'm still driving a 2004 truck. I don't see the need for a rear view camera, for example...just make the windows big enough to see out of, then turn your head and use the mirrors, like people used to do. There are times when the simpler way works better. That said, I should think about picking up a new vehicle before much more of this garbage becomes mandatory...
To use the hood top section, you'll probably have to leave the stacks off of the carbs. I'd build the engine without them, then do a test run to see if you can get them on. I'm guessing you'll have to choose between the stacks and the hood, though.
I've got a Tyco HO scale Bicentennial train set, a few extra railroad cars, a Tyco slot racing set, and a couple of crossover sections to cross the train track over the racing track (those were discontinued not long after I bought them, and always seemed to be hard to find). I've collected HO scale slot cars too...nothing rare or valuable, just trying to get one of each brand and type (Aurora, Tyco, Atlas, Bachmann, Lionel, etc). I never did get a Faller HO car. Got everything except a place to set it up! I've had the train track and race track set up on a 4' x 8' table...should try to find a place to set it up again.
There may have been a hardtop body available for the Monogram '41 Continental, but nothing for the Pyro/Lindberg '48. The kit dates back to the mid-Fifties...multiple piece body, unorthodox parts breakdown and assembly that doesn't lend itself to aftermarket conversions. Proportions are a bit off (short for 1/25 scale) but it's not bad compared to the Pyro/Lindberg Cord though. Just build it, make improvements wherever you can, and take it for what it is...a very early 1/25 scale kit.
The wheels (centers, at least) look like they are from the Aurora wheel parts pack. Aurora used a picture of that model in one of their ads, to showcase their products. The engine looks like the Aurora Ford parts pack engine also. Aurora did only three packs: the Ford engine, the wheels (which include one set of reversed rims plus a ton of different covers and centers), and a grille pack that included large grilles with different patterns (builder had to cut them to the needed size/shape). The engine pack sells for stupid money (why, I don't understand, because the engine isn't that accurate), the wheel and grill packs don't turn up as often but also don't seem to get as much interest. The top on that build is from a company called Monte; again those don't turn up often but when they do they should be reasonable. Monte sold three or four different roofs, all were molded in styrene.
Actually, you could use two of any T-bucket kit out there...by the time the body alterations are done, anything different about the Aurora body is pretty much obliterated. The wheels and engine are Aurora also, but from their parts packs (they made three). You'll also need the top that he used, which was an aftermarket item.
Both AMT and MPC made Corvette kits every year '68 through '77. Both companies' kits had big-block engines (except for the AMT '68, which I'll get into in further detail). AMT's had manual transmissions, MPC's had automatics. If you turn a built one over and look underneath, that's one way to tell them apart provided they are built out of the box.
The AMT '68 is something you'd be interested in only from a collecting standpoint. MPC made the promotional model that year so AMT was not provided with advance information about the '68. They apparently wanted to get a kit out so they basically guessed at the body, and made one to fit the chassis from the '67 kit. It is a convertible with a separate glue-on roof (not the removable convertible hard top). The AMT '68 Corvette kit body is not accurate (fenders rise up too high among other issues) leaving the built model looking like a Palmer kit.
AMT did a few other kits like that, without accurate information ('68 "Chevrolet SS 427", basically a bizarre custom '67 Impala, and a Camaro and Firebird that were basically the same kit with different engines and exterior trim). The "Chevrolet SS", Firebird, and Camaro (and Corvair?) are marked "for 1968" on the boxes as opposed to "1968" on the normal annual kits which can be built as correct stock 1968 cars. I don't think the Corvette kit was marked "for 1968" though. As bad as the '68 was, they issued it two more times: as a promotional item for AC spark plugs, and again in the early Seventies as a John Greenwood GT racing version. Great box art, not so great box contents.
AMT did a better Corvette kit for '69, and issued it as separate hardtop and convertible kits through '76 even though there was no 1:1 '76 convertible. For '70 and '71 only one box was used for the coupe, and one for the convertible. The boxes were not marked with either model year, and didn't match up with the annual kit boxes. AMT did the one-box deal with their Camaro kit for '70/'71 also. For '77, only the coupe was issued, with no optional parts. The only extra in AMT '77 annual kits was a CB radio and a couple of overly thick CB aerials. The '77 annuals were AMT's last until the late Eighties, when Ertl repackaged the MPC annual kits as AMT. All of the AMT Corvette annual kits still had the big-block engine even though 1:1 Corvettes no longer had it after '74. The chassis and interior got recycled into the Eckler custom hatchback kit not long after the '77 kit left the catalog. MPC had the promotional model contracts for Corvettes in most of these years, so the AMT annual kit bodies don't look quite as good as MPC's. If you are really into Corvettes, you'll probably want both anyway. I'm not positive but I think the AMT convertible kits included separate hard tops.
MPC issued their Corvettes as separate hardtop and convertible kits '68 through '76 (again with the phantom '76 convertible), and coupe only for '77. All have big-block engines. Kits through '75 have the working front suspension with metal coil springs. '76 and '77 annual kits lost the metal springs but still had poseable steering. The '78-82 annual kits were retooled (different from '68-'77) with a small-block engine, catalytic converter exhaust, and so on. The '78-'82 kit chassis will fit the '75-'77 body/interior and is an easy fix for the wrong engine/exhaust deal in those kits. MPC sprinkled in a couple of customs over the years (Astro-Vette concept, 'Vette Van) with annual kit chassis and interiors. The Mako Shark variations are not based on the annual kits; the chassis is entirely different.
The AMT/Ertl '70-'72 Corvette kits are all-new (nothing shared with any of the AMT or MPC annual kits). These have small-block engines. AMT/Ertl issued a '70 LT-1 coupe, '72 convertible, and '72 coupe street machine with an altered chassis. Racing Champions or RC2 later issued a '71 convertible, but I don't know if anything about it is any different from the earlier '72 convertible kit. They also did a '70 coupe snap kit and assembled retro promotional model.