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About Mark

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    MCM Ohana

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  • Location Amherst (Buffalo), NY

Mark's Activity

  1. Mark added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    Don't get me started on EZPass.  Count up all of the people in your state who are using it, figure each has $25 or so on account at any given time...then arrive at whatever that works out to...a rolling, ongoing, permanent, interest-free loan to the state.  Slip up though, buddy, and they'll nail you to the wall for all sorts of service charges.
  2. Mark added a post in a topic AMT T 380 QUARTER MASTERS FIREBIRD AND SPEEDBOAT KIT   

    Nasty as that '68 'Vette is, I don't think it's a "for '68" kit.  MPC had the promo model contract for Chevrolet in '68, and they probably made sure AMT didn't get any advance info on any '68 car that MPC was going to do as a promotional model.  AMT had to throw that Corvette out there, as well as the "SS 427" oddity.  They did get a decent '68 Chevelle kit out, but even that one didn't have stock engine parts.  AMT did a better Corvette kit for '69.  That '68 did get reissued twice, first as the AC spark plug tie-in "AC cellerator" custom, later as a John Greenwood GT version.  Greenwood must have been thrilled to open the box and see what was inside...
  3. Mark added a post in a topic AMT T 380 QUARTER MASTERS FIREBIRD AND SPEEDBOAT KIT   

    Whether or not something still exists plays a part in deciding what will be reissued!  That said, the box for the stand-alone Firebird kit reads "AMT for '68".  The Firebird, Camaro, and "Chevrolet SS 427" were "for '68" kits that couldn't be built stock.  I think the Corvair was a "for '68" deal also, but can't remember off the top of my head.  The "for '68" kits were something I avoided like the plague in years past, but recently I've picked up the Camaro, Firebird, and Chevrolet.  The "Chevrolet SS 427" is a real hoot; picture if you will a '67 Impala assembled as the custom version, with all exterior trim (script) removed and the rear window completely filled in.  I'm looking at sticking that one together as pictured on the box, just have to check and see if the decals are usable...   
  4. Mark added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    The tolls on the New York Thruway were supposed to end when it was paid for, in the mid-Nineties.  A couple of years before that, though, the state created a new entity that purchased the Thruway from the existing one.  Mortgaged for another twenty or thirty years, the sale price went into the till to help balance the budget one year.  The same thing was done again in another year, this time with the buildings that belonged to the prison system.
    Locally, a few years ago a couple of guys campaigned to get one particular toll booth removed, claiming the state never had the authority to put that one in in the first place.  They fought it for several years, collecting tolls all the while, but were eventually forced to remove it.  Shortly afterward, one of those guys got a series of threatening letters, and he spotted someone watching his home...turned out to be a toll collector.  I'm not sure if he got jail time, but he did eventually get fired over that.  The morning the toll booth was shut down, one of the local radio stations set up nearby, handing out donuts and coffee.  Another toll collector showed up screaming at them about how he was going to be out of a job.  If I remember right, they actually had to call the police on the guy.  I guess that job was his birthright...
    One local legislator got on the bandwagon to make the "temporary" 1% sales tax addition permanent.  His quote was, "it's only a lousy penny".  Someone did some digging and found out that this guy was collecting a pension as a county employee, and was close to nailing down a second pension as a legislator...the heat got turned up on him, and he dropped out just short of qualifying for the second pension. 
  5. Mark added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    When government employees are a large enough group to constitute a voting bloc, it's probably too late to do much about it.
    Around here, we had a "temporary" 1% sales tax that lasted over 20 years.  Several other counties also had a "temporary" 1% also.  Everyone was just waiting for someone/anyone to push it through as a permanent measure, then the rest followed.
  6. Mark added a post in a topic AMT 1959 Corvette differences   

    The one-piece clear hardtop was used in the '60 and '61 annuals also.  The '62 annual hardtop kit included only a custom hardtop.  So, if in 1962 you bought the annual "hardtop" kit and built it stock, you had a convertible.
  7. Mark added a post in a topic New releases at Hobby Lobby   

    One store in my area had the MPC '79 Trans-Am.  Shelf price $29.99, 40% off was still over $19 with sales tax...more than I really wanted to pay for that particular kit, but in all likelihood cheaper than at a show or from any of the online sellers.  Some of the online sellers seem to be shying away from that particular kit; maybe they are figuring on the craft stores carrying it.  The HL website shows the AMT '64 Impala and '53 Ford pickup, but I think I've got as many of those as I need.  LHS still gets plenty of business from me...grabbed a Moebius Satellite there this morning, and will probably get the MPC Cosmic Charger when those come in.
  8. Mark added a post in a topic AMT 1959 Corvette differences   

    The reissue kits are actually 1960...'60 seat upholstery pattern, and the opening hood and engine.  The '59 annual kit(s) did not include an engine.  The reissues have blank license plates.  These have rims with separate wheel covers.  Over the years, the rims were messed with so they would fit those two-piece tires.
  9. Mark added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    Every time you click on an "I agree" box, you're accepting whatever new terms they see fit to offer.  Same thing with your online banking and credit card're incrementally giving up rights.  And, they browbeat you into a new agreement every time you sign up for an update or a new service.  With online banking, they'll shoot you a revised agreement every so often, and if you don't accept the new terms then your access is blocked.
  10. Mark added a post in a topic AMT PRESTIGE SERIES   

    The '63 Galaxie was the big news in that series; it hadn't been out since '63 (the original annual kit) and was thought to have been long lost.  The following year, the '63 Impala was a big deal.  I remember talking to the AMT guy (John O'Neill) at the MCCA convention in Dayton.  They had a display there, and were showing off the whitewall tires.  The story he told was that they found the equipment AMT used to stamp the tires, but had to science it out because nobody was there from when it was last used.  The stamping on the lettered side of the tire was something they couldn't prevent.  At the time, the Firestone Supreme tire tooling hadn't turned up, and he (O'Neill) opined that it was lost, so they were using the tires they had. 
  11. Mark added a post in a topic AMT PRESTIGE SERIES   

    Besides the display base (which was the one from the MPC 1/20 scale Indy Turbine car kit), the Prestige kits included printed whitewall tires.  AMT hadn't included them since the mid-Seventies, and nobody else was doing them at that time.  The thing was, they hadn't found the tooling for the Firestone Supreme tires so they were printing the whitewalls on Firestone Deluxe Champion tires which had raised lettering on one side.  Nobody was making sure the non-lettered side got fed into the machine for printing, so only about half the tires were any good.
  12. Mark added a post in a topic Some more Round2 surprizes!   

    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.
  13. Mark added a post in a topic Another reason to like older cars!   

    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 problem.  Radial tires make it steer more easily, and you remember to turn the large-diameter steering wheel when the car is 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.
  14. Mark added a post in a topic What Irked You Today?   

    Wherever people like that are going, whether or not they even know where they are headed, count on one thing: they absolutely must be in front of you while they are going there...
  15. Mark added a post in a topic Some more Round2 surprizes!   

    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.