The USA-1 kit contains the same aluminum wheels as the Retro Deluxe kit, Round2 used a photo of a 1:1 Vette with stock wheel covers on the pre-production box art, hence the confusion. The re-tooled wheel covers in the Prestige kits are OK, but the original AMT pieces are much nicer to my eye.
Yes, it has the correct hood. I think the only examples with the wrong hood are in the Ertl box with the red box art car. I seem to recall Ertl catching the mistake very early, and I know for sure Round2 knew to watch for the error.
You're both correct....almost. They're using the Fuzzduster box art, with a Graphic Red stock built-up on the corner of the box-top replacing the MPC "Golden Wheels" label. Pics of the red car will replace the original MPC Fuzzduster pics on one of the side panels as well. However...box art has been known to change at the last minute.
This IS the street machine kit from 2014. The street machine kit you refer to is a "2 in 1" kit; both the stock and the street machine parts are in the box. The box art shows both cars....the red street machine is pictured on the top and the stock version is on the end panels as pictured above.
Sorry, Ace. I should have remembered the seat issue right away. This is the kit I built for Round2 when the kit was in the planning stages (with '72 seats). Normally I avoid black interiors as they tend to hide detail, but when I built this one they were still searching for the '67 seats; so we went with black as we weren't sure which seats would be in the box. Unfortunately, they didn't find the correct '67 buckets.
GTO test shot.bmp
With that box, you don't know what you'll get until you open it; Johan threw various parts in that box in the later years. I have one like Jeff's,with a 73/74 in the box. I also have one with the '72 tailights as pictured on the box, but a '73/74 body (yes....they're different: look at the roof panels on 1:1 Javelins)
Oops....I forgot something! I believe the molded-in-blue MPC 80's issue is the only one with correct '67 bucket seats. All of the later issues have the '72 seats with mounting holes for the headrests, including the Round2 kit.
If you don't want to pony up the bucks for the annual, you might as well go with the recent Round2 release. The 80's MPC kit was nothing to write home about quality-wise, with the rough body seams, flash, and (on some) really poor chrome plating...not to mention the dark-tinted glass (some had clear glass though). The subsequent Ertl and RC2 reissues were no better. Round2 had a rough tool to work with, but at least they tried to clean it up as well as possible. And....if you get a defective kit Round2 will look after you.
I think you're looking at the mock-up pic used when the kit was first announced; it shows a 1:1 car with photoshopped graphics. The production box shows a kit built from the Street Rods release with the USA-1 decals applied. That's basically what the box contains; the Street Rod parts with the USA-1 decal sheet.
Yes...licensing is a major factor in bringing any kit to market nowadays. Another thing to consider...licensing has to be obtained individually for each and every product the model manufacturer produces. If, for example Round2 decided to produce a new Ford kit they would have to go through the same approval process they have already gone through for the other Fords they are already producing. This applies to new tools, re-issues etc. Licensing can be denied if a manufacturer doesn't like the look of vintage box art that originated in the '60's. (Note-I'm only using Ford as an example....this applies to all manufacturers) Like Dave....I've heard some stories. I'll go out on a limb and predict that the Brat might be a tough one to get licensing for; those rear jump seats they were equipped with might be considered controversial from a safety standpoint, and nowadays that's enough for corporate lawyers to get nervous.