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Everything posted by Mark

  1. Story of Jo Han models.

    The "mutt" kits were produced by Seville towards the end of their tenure. Apparently they thought the bumper change alone would backdate the kit, but they didn't know about the roof panel change, nor the fact that the taillight panel on the later cars was bigger, not to mention that putting in the earlier bumper resulted in a gap around the taillight gridwork. The front bumper had guards added to it too. I've got a Hot Wheels Javelin-AMX that was obviously mastered off of the "mutt" kit...earlier taillights, smooth roof, front bumper guards. I don't know if it's true or not, but I heard that Revell took Jo-Han to court in the mid-Seventies, to stop them from selling the Mickey Thompson and Gene Snow funny car kits because Revell had both men under contract by then. From what I heard, at first it was a case of "we're just using up the decals and boxes", but that went on for another year or so before they went to court again. The eBay seller who got the Jo-Han "archives" might still be selling new leftover decal sheets for those three kits, which would (sort of) back up this story...
  2. Story of Jo Han models.

    The original Jo-Han company had things like boxes and decal sheets printed in huge numbers, then drew from the stockpile when the kit was next run. The Javelin-AMX kits from '72 to the end all came in that one box that had the illustration of the '72 on it, even though most of them actually have the '73-'74 inside (with the smoothed roof panel and different taillights). Decals were a crapshoot, though. I've had a bunch of those Javelin-AMX kits, and I don't think a single one ever had the stock hood stripe decal. And, I've never seen a "Rapid Randy" Mercury Comet sheet either; I'm thinking there never was one that matched the box art for that kit.
  3. Pile of Pontiacs

    The MPC Firebird kit that gave up the OHC six engine will have a one-piece single exhaust included with it. The piece probably won't fit the Revell kit as-is, but it should give you a good idea of what the stock exhaust looks like.
  4. Ford Straight 6

    The pickups used the 240/300 "big six" that the fullsize cars used, not the 144/170/200/250 that was used in Falcons, Fairlanes, Mavericks, and Mustangs. Two different engine families. The big one came in around 1964 and was used with alterations through 1996, while the smaller engine started with the 1960 Falcon and ran into the early Eighties. Only the Moebius pickup kits have the 240/300 as far as I know. A lot of casters are offering the smaller engine based on either the AMT Falcon/Comet display engine, or the Jo-Han Maverick/Comet piece. The smaller engine wasn't used in pickups (other than Rancheros) so make sure you are getting the big one.
  5. '70 RR/GTX. The '69 annual kits had seats like the ones in the AMT '69 GTX. All of the reissue Jo-Han '69 RR kits include a '70 interior.
  6. Story of Jo Han models.

    Those are pieced together from existing stock, not new manufacture. I don't believe Okey ever got the AMX tool.
  7. Best Kit headers

    The Jo-Han Mopar fenderwell headers aren't 100% right for the wedge engine, as the four ports on each side are equally spaced. They do look good though, other than that. They're wrong for the Hemi cars, because they didn't run those. The Hemi exhaust ports are perpendicular to the ground (or very nearly so), so the headers should go straight down and not go into such a turn right out of the cylinder head. Check pictures of the 1:1 '63 and '64 cars; the '63 and some (but not all) wedge-head '64 cars have the fenderwell pipes while the Hemi cars definitely do not. Jo-Han did do some of the best headers though. The pipes are nearly always round in cross-section unlike some other companies' parts which are flat or misshapen. Jo-Han's Comet and Maverick pro stockers, AMX super stock, the Sox & Martin Barracuda, and a couple of early Seventies Olds 442 kits have the "good" headers.
  8. Story of Jo Han models.

    Depends on which ownership you are talking about. The current owner of the Johan (not hyphenated) brand and tooling had two kits manufactured: Chrysler Turbine Car snap kit, and '59 Rambler wagon with accessories and interior. The '68 Plymouth police car and one or two other items were sold during this period, but those were pieced together from stockpiled parts included in his purchase of the remaining assets. The previous owner (SeVille Enterprises, who used another name also) manufactured a number of kits under the original/hyphenated name, Jo-Han). Among these were four kits (Sox & Martin '71 Barracuda, '69 AMX drag version, '69 SC/Rambler, and '71 Comet drag car) that got new box art and decals. The last one that was readily available seems to have been the S/C Rambler, so I'd guess that was the last one produced. That, or possibly the snap '75 Cutlass. Now, we're back to the original ownership...could be any of a number of kits, no way of knowing which. The USA Oldies kits aren't among the last ones produced, nor is the Cadillac hearse, and I'd throw the '70 Rebel Machine into that category too.
  9. AMT 57 Ford Hardtop News

    There was never any optional hood in the Ford kit.
  10. Buddy Baker's 1980 Oldsmobile 442 in 1/25th scale.

    Those Seventies cars are built from body panels as opposed to being gutted showroom cars. I heard somewhere that Bobby Allison's early Seventies Monte Carlo (the one AMT made the kit of) was the last car to win a race, that was built from an actual car as opposed to body panels. The templates used to check the cars' profile mostly went down the center of the car, so the builders would pull the roof down at the sides to chip away at the number of square feet the car pushed into the wind. That would explain why the side window shapes differ so much from stock. Years ago, I mastered and cast a couple of bodies. Before I got out of that, my "next" one was going to be a stock mid-Seventies Malibu fastback. I was going to start with the AMT body and splice in the Jo-Han Cutlass roof. That's the opposite of the '67 4-4-2 body I did, by cutting down a Monogram Hairy Olds body and splicing in a Revell '67 Chevelle roof. I sold off the Malibu body I had way back when, and hadn't started cutting on a Jo-Han Cutlass. Since then, I have found another AMT Malibu body as well as a Jo-Han Cutlass that someone hot-knifed an opening trunk into...so both of those are on the pile...
  11. 1/25 MPC Tiger Shark

    The frame is from the Jowett Jupiter; the front suspension is modified VW Beetle, the rear axle and suspension are likely changed too because of the engine swap. But the chassis/engine are pretty decent considering they were tooled in the mid-Sixties. The Cragar wheels are good as I recall (haven't looked at one of these in a while), and Round 2 is on a roll with the pad-printed tires. So even if you don't want to build the car as-is, there are a lot of possibilities here.
  12. What kit is this from?

    It's either '65 or '66 Galaxie. One has the rear glass molded as part of the top, the other has no rear glass and that area is molded open. Off the top of my head, I can't recall which is which. But it's definitely one of those, as AMT didn't do any other convertible kits with the top molded in clear (except the '37 Chevy, and that one would be obvious compared to this one).
  13. Buddy Baker's 1980 Oldsmobile 442 in 1/25th scale.

    I'm pretty certain NASCAR teams were "massaging" the roofs on these cars. I don't recall hearing or seeing any complaints about the AMT or MPC NASCAR Malibu kit bodies that use the same style roof...could be that those bodies are accurate for a racing version but not so much as a stock body. For a stock roof, what's wrong with the Jo-Han '75 Cutlass?
  14. Buddy Baker's 1980 Oldsmobile 442 in 1/25th scale.

    That transmission tunnel looks huge, as do those ejector pin marks on the chassis halves.
  15. AMT 57 Ford Hardtop News

    The "clearance" kits at Hobby Lobby don't mean they have been dropped from the lineup by Round 2. It only means HL has decided to replace them on their store shelves.
  16. "Falling Water", better known as "Rising Mildew" by people who are familiar with it...
  17. FLW tried designing a gas station. There's a replica of it in my area. The guy at the museum housing the station explained how it all worked. First thing FLW did was to put fuel storage tanks ON THE ROOF, so gravity would "pump" the gas into the cars. Of course, if the fill nozzle (which he also designed) failed, then the gas in the storage tank would just keep coming out, and onto the ground. How do you get the gas from the in-ground main tank into the roof tank(s)? Why, you use something heavier than gasoline to push the gas up there...in this case, water. Yeah, let's dump water into the tank on top of the gasoline. It's not enough to have the roof tanks made of copper, shining brightly in the sun to warm up all of that watered-down gasoline. So, what do we put inside the building itself? Not one, but TWO fireplaces. He then floated the idea to the oil company, and they were actually looking for a design to standardize their stations. Trouble was, he wanted them to convert all of their stations and pay a royalty per station. The royalty per station was more than the company intended to spend building each station. The museum also has a fuel truck painted with the new logo he designed for them. Even when the truck is standing still, you have to squint to read the logo. FLW designed a number of buildings in Buffalo...not many still stand, but a couple do. I went on a tour of one of them years ago...ugly, uncomfortable-looking furniture all around. I'm convinced FLW's "thing" was "how ugly and impractical can I make something, and still find some new-money sucker gullible enough to build it?"
  18. What kit is this from?

    That's a mix of parts. The valve covers don't go with the engine.
  19. Not a Pontiac Guy.....

    AMT made the Buick wagon as a kit in '61 and '62. Some time ago, I checked both the Jo-Han Olds and AMT Buick wagons against the '61 Tempest four-door body, and if I remember right the AMT kits matched up better than an AMT/Jo-Han combo. I'd like a Tempest wagon. but don't think I'll ever get around to doing one. Not sure how I would cut the two; whether to slice the Pontiac front clip onto the wagon body, or try to splice more of the Pontiac body into it.
  20. I saw the most amazing woman,,,,,

    I know one like that...outlived two of her own children (one aged 5), lost her husband when in her mid-forties, raised four kids then aged 6-17, beat cancer twice, was in three or four pretty nasty car wrecks (two of which could have killed her), several heart surgeries, and spent the last four or five years of her life dealing with the side effects of radiation treatment, and then memory loss. Never felt sorry for herself or asked "why me". Easily the toughest, most resilient person I have ever known. And, had the most common sense though she only finished tenth grade. My mom. BTW, those last few years involved massive effort on the part of the three remaining children (though even that didn't come close in terms of paying back)...
  21. My '67 Sting Ray (coupe) annual box shows no signs of tape marks, nor do a couple other '67 kits I checked. I bought two '67 Mustang annual kits in the Eighties that were both shrinkwrapped, one remains that way to this day. I have a sealed '67 Barracuda kit that I got in the early/mid Seventies, and I know where it was prior to my getting it. The '66 AMT annual kits were definitely taped. I'd put the beginning of AMT shrinkwrapping kits in mid-late '66, with the '67 annuals. Maybe the first one or two releases were taped, but the vast majority were wrapped. The Trophy Series kits were probably phased in as they were re-boxed in the '66-'67 period, when many went from their first-issue boxes to the "portrait" boxes with wording only on the ends and side panels.
  22. Birth Year for model cars ?

    Revell did their original '57 Ford Ranch Wagon in '57, the Eldorado Brougham was probably '57 also. SMP did a couple of bagged/unassembled promotional models in '57, with a tree of custom parts added. I've never seen one in person but I understand those were molded in acetate, same as the promos and friction toys. Those weren't around long, SMP/AMT came back in '58 with the boxed, molded in styrene, 3-in-1 kits. Only eleven kits were offered that first year (Ford, Edsel, Buick, Pontiac, and Chevrolet in both hardtop and convertible, and an Imperial convertible). Jo-Han started in '59, with only four hardtops (Plymouth, Dodge, Cadillac, and Oldsmobile). SMP/AMT pickup kits started in 1960 (Ford, Chevy, and Chevy El Camino). AMT offered some 3-car kits in '53, those were unassembled promos molded in acetate. They also offered a "Styling Kit" with an unassembled '57 Thunderbird promo, plus some clay and styling tools. Unless someone thinks of something earlier, I'd probably peg the Revell '57 Ford Ranch Wagon as the first 1/25 scale full-detail car kit, even though it didn't include any windows...
  23. AMT/SMP history lesson wanted

    Buick kits were all AMT. SMP did Chevys and Chrysler products (Imperial, Valiant). A handful of SMP-boxed '62 Imperial convertible kits slipped out, and about half of the Styline '62 Valiant kits are branded "SMP" as well. The '62 Impala kits have "SMP" engraved on the custom license plate, and the body might have an "smp" logo on the inside as well.
  24. Not a Pontiac Guy.....

    Yes, the automatic was a Powerglide. Get under one of these, look at the outer case of the transaxle, it has "Powerglide" cast into it, plain as day. Another weird thing about these Tempests was that they used 5-on-4-1/2" bolt circle wheels, which Ford, Chrysler, AMC, and Studebaker used. I don't think any other GM product ever used that pattern. The other GM compacts used four-lug wheels. On top of that, the Tempest used left-hand thread lugs on one side, which I don't think GM did much, if at all otherwise. Chrysler was getting away from that around this time. GM was doing some experimentation back then, and gave the divisions latitude to do their own thing. I'm pretty certain the transaxle/rope drive was floated on one or two GM concept cars in the Fifties. Buick had the aluminum V8 engine, Olds got it too (but got to do their own cylinder heads), Olds and Chevy messed around with turbochargers, and early Chevy IIs had monoleaf rear springs which they had been experimenting with for a few years prior.
  25. RIP Toys R Us

    Two Guys was based in New Jersey (original name: "Two Guys from Harrison"). They didn't operate all of the departments in their stores; if you remember that far back, at first some departments had their own cash registers within the store. They probably didn't operate the jewelry/watch department, as they started out selling TV sets. Two Guys came to my area around 1967, had two stores here that I know of. One of the hobby wholesalers in my area operated the toy/hobby department in the stores here, as well as in another department store based here that operated in much the same way as Two Guys. Both Two Guys and the local operation closed all of their stores in the early Eighties; both reshaped themselves as real estate management operations, and both are still in business doing just that.