Here is my original review. One thing I didn't catch is that the top (subjectively) should have been chopped a wee bit more in the back.
Seldom is there as much anticipation as when a new model kit comes out, especially an icon, such as the chopped 49 Mercury. The 49 Mercury is as much a pantheon of the custom circle as the fabled Deuce is to hot rodding. This said, when you come out with something like this, you had best get it right. If you don't, you lose more ground than you gain. A good example of this is the new tool AMT Ala Kart of 2002. Conceptually, it was a winner, but coming at a change of guard for design and tooling, it could not have been a greater disaster. Grossly misshapen, out of proportion, with an under scale motor, the best thing this kit was good for was to drop the collector prices down on the original issue kits.
So where does the Revell 49 Merc stand in all of this? Let's open the unique 2 sided box, and have a look see.
Conceptually, it'€s off to a great start. You have a nicely proportioned chopped 49 Merc body, devoid of any chrome trim. The only bone I have to pick is the rather large holes in the rear quarter panels for the tail lights. This sits on a platform style floor pan and interior, with tuck n roll inserts on the seats, on a separate frame. So far, so good.
For power, we have a 50's era Cadillac engine, with three carbs, and chrome no name valve covers, likely to save on royalties. This is a great choice of power plants, and famed Barris Kustom collector Kurt McKormick, who owns a pretty famous chopped Merc of his own, will be happy to tell you so! Not to mention that the Hirohata Merc is Caddy powered, so maybe another version may be down the road?
This kit comes with a multitude of options, including two hoods, one louvered, one plain, and here is one of the few disappointments. For some reason, the front of the hood has a couple of large flat spots flanking the peaked nose area as if they didn'€™t fully round it off as they were grinding the tool, resulting an almost angular shape. One hood is worse then the other, but both exhibit this flaw. This is only minor though, as you can prime, and then sand this to shape.
The same cannot be said for the Cadillac "€œSombrero"€ wheel covers. They lack the graceful curves of the real ones, and for sticklers, would best be supplanted by after market resin. This is a shame, because a kit with this many cool extra custom parts would be worth its price for these alone. Speaking of extra custom parts, lets go down the list.
For starters, you get the aforementioned pair of hoods, the Caddy Sombreros that go with a set of no name wide white wall tires with inserts, plus a set of larger chrome reversed rims that fit some generic black wall radials. (I would be happier if they interchanged with the Sombreros, but I digressâ€¦)
You also get a beautiful set of stock bumpers that have been relieved of the bumper guards, and a set if ribbed Brizio "Desoto" style bumpers.
In back, you get a choice of 49 Lincoln Tail lights with blue dot decals, or a pair of frenched 59 Cadillac bullets.
In front is where things really get cool, as you get a choice of not one, not two, but THREE grilles! You get a smoothed stock Mercury grille, a 54 Pontiac Grille, and a really nice 53 Desoto grille that will allow you to duplicate the Wally Welch Merc, or any number of others. The guys at Revell really scored a home run with these grill selections, as they cover just about every classic style. This kit is worth it for these alone.
To finish this kit off, there is a large decal sheet, with flames, and several different colors of "Von Dutch"€ style pinstriping for the hood and deck, plus the aforementioned blue dots (two sets!), and decals for the trophy stand (complete with miniature Mercury on top).
When you consider that Revell has recently gone through itâ€™s own changing of the guard, This kit has not fared nearly as badly as the if fated Ala Kart kit. Still you must wonder how things would have been, if the guys who cut the tool were as big of car guys as the guys who conceptuallized this kit.
It isn'€™t perfect (few kits are), but it sure will make a lot of people happy, including me. If they would fix those wheel covers, and hood shape, and flash over those large tail light holes, they would have the perfect kit, but even as is, this is a "€Must Have" kit for any old school model builder, as you can not only build a really nice chopped Merc, but just like in the old days, you get a TON of the coolest extra parts you could ask for. I bought two!