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Best 1963 Split Window Corvette in 1/24(25)??

46 posts in this topic

Posted

I don't know if AMT changed the mold, but I was impressed by the hardtop in the Prestige kit.  It has a very tiny cut-out that drops exactly over the raised body trim line on the center of the rear deck. You almost need a magnifier to see that cut-out, but it's definitely there.  Unfortunately my top had a little flash right at the "B" pillar but it wasn't too hard to remove.

Snake: "Fixed hardtop" was poor wording on my part, I know it was removable.  But in the model(s) I'm thinking of building, it would be "fixed" all the time. 

It was definitely possible to leave the soft top folded and put the hardtop on.  I've seen quite a few of those Vettes at car shows. And places like the Pomona Swap Meet, where they were usually for sale.  People in colder climates would leave the folded soft top in place and just put the hardtop on for the winter.  One guy on the Corvette Forum said he and his wife used to do that every year, on their C2.  The hardtop weighed about 50 pounds, so it wasn't that big of a job for 2 people.

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Posted

was the 63 prestige kit body done from the 67 conv or the Cat issue 

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Posted

was the 63 prestige kit body done from the 67 conv or the Cat issue

Yes. They're all from the same basic molds that go back to 1962.

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Posted

what did we lose to get the 63 conv back

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Posted

OK, I just took some pics of what some of the differences were in the hardtops of the '63 Prestige kit, and what AMT did originally when they started putting in hardtops for the '65 annuals.

P1016224.JPG

On the left is the original '65 hardtop or so it seems to me. On the right is the hardtop out of the '63 Prestige kit which to my eyes has a bit more accurate shape per the 1:1.

photo1-vi.jpg

You can see here the windshield headers are different-----the original has a bit more of a curve......not present on the 1:1, whereas the '63 is a bit flatter.

photo2-vi.jpg

With the exception of the body brace which I don't want to remove till it's time to build, the roof fits pretty well, albeit some tweaking would be needed. 

This is the Prestige hardtop and '63 kit body.................

photo3-vi.jpg

photo4-vi.jpg

Here it is on an original '64 buildup, and its header is clearly different from the '63, which leads me to believe that the '63 is a retooled body and not based on the original. The original had working rotating lights which the Prestige kit and subsequent reissues did not have. The Prestige kit body looks more accurate to my eyes, but nonetheless looks to be a different tooling.

photo5-vi.jpg

Here's the other '65 issue hardtop on the '64 body and its fit is 'bout perfect.

photo6-vi.jpg

It's curious how they did things in those days........not always did they get the shapes correct, but more so than some of the woefully inaccurate stuff I see today.

Nevertheless, when it comes time to restore the '64 buildup, I'll be on the lookout for a spare 63 Prestige kit hardtop as to my way of seeing, looks more accurate than what was done over 50 years ago. Or barring that, just reshape the one I have into something more accurate.

Just to show, here's the pic of that '64 which was shown earlier................

Img_8520_s.jpg

Thoughts anyone?

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Posted (edited)

Here it is on an original '64 buildup, and its header is clearly different from the '63, which leads me to believe that the '63 is a retooled body and not based on the original. The original had working rotating lights which the Prestige kit and subsequent reissues did not have. The Prestige kit body looks more accurate to my eyes, but nonetheless looks to be a different tooling.

Very interesting, and great pics. The original '63 roadster kit had rotating headlights, which made only one reappearance, in the circa-1967 THE Cat issue.

I happen to have original roadster bodies from '63 to '67, plus the Prestige issue and several of the pre-Prestige reissues. I'll have to take a look and see if that windshield frame looks different on mine. I'd seen the difference in the tops, but have never noticed any difference in the windshield frame.

Edited by Snake45

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Posted

When the Prestige '63 Roadster was released, I asked about it at AMT/Ertl's booth when I saw them at a show....probably when they set up at the Toledo Toy Show. i was told then that the roadster body was new tooling. Don't remember if we discussed the two roofs, but wouldn't be surprised if they were new along with the body.

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Posted

That would explain the discrepancies Don. More than likely the original '63 tooling was either long gone, or was too worn out to be useful in making anymore kits. Frankly, I like the Prestige kit.......I just wish the chassis was more up to snuff as far as detail, but there's always Revell's '67 to kitbash and make something really nice out of it.

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Posted

When the Prestige '63 Roadster was released, I asked about it at AMT/Ertl's booth when I saw them at a show....probably when they set up at the Toledo Toy Show. i was told then that the roadster body was new tooling. Don't remember if we discussed the two roofs, but wouldn't be surprised if they were new along with the body.

Interesting. If the Prestige issue has a new-tooled body, they sure didn't get much use out of it. Has the roadster been reissued since?

I have a couple of Prestiges, though I've never built one, plus a couple of unbuilt non-Prestige issues from about the same time (it was a semi-big deal that the Prestige issue had the FI emblems engraved on the fenders--interestingly, I believe all the Coupe resissues since then have had the FI emblem, too, but I'll have to doublecheck that), and good examples of all the annual bodies. I'll have to try to take a good look at all of them.

One good area for study will be the front valence area and front parking lights. AFAIK, AMT has NEVER gotten the molds to align well in that area, going back to the original issues, and it always requires a bunch of extra cleanup work.

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Posted (edited)

So when did this kit come out Snake?

s-l1600.jpg

Pic courtesy of eBay.

I built one of these around the early '90's but this one doesn't have the removable hardtop, or the stock hubcaps. It does give you the uptop however like in the Prestige kit. I see the flatter windshield header on it which is correct. ;)

Edited by MrObsessive

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Posted

So when did this kit come out Snake?

s-l1600.jpg

Pic courtesy of eBay.

I built one of these around the early '90's but this one doesn't have the removable hardtop, or the stock hubcaps. I see the flatter windshield header on it though which is correct. ;)

This one came out about the same time as the Prestige issue. It's hard to remember, but this one might have actually been released shortly before the Prestige kit. 

 

Interesting. If the Prestige issue has a new-tooled body, they sure didn't get much use out of it. Has the roadster been reissued since?

I have a couple of Prestiges, though I've never built one, plus a couple of unbuilt non-Prestige issues from about the same time (it was a semi-big deal that the Prestige issue had the FI emblems engraved on the fenders--interestingly, I believe all the Coupe resissues since then have had the FI emblem, too, but I'll have to doublecheck that), and good examples of all the annual bodies. I'll have to try to take a good look at all of them.

One good area for study will be the front valence area and front parking lights. AFAIK, AMT has NEVER gotten the molds to align well in that area, going back to the original issues, and it always requires a bunch of extra cleanup work.

Have an AMT/Ertl-era Corvette five-car set that I'm pretty sure includes the '63 roadster. Don't think the roadster version has been out in at least 15 years though.

The '63 Corvette split-window was included in AMT's Corvette 50th Anniversary series. If I remember right, that issue included both tops for the roadster, but not the glass that fit them. Think some other issues of the Vette roadster included the glass for the removable hardtop, but not the roof itself. If you get lucky, you can piece it together if you have the right kits.

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Posted

That issue of the '63 roadster was out shortly before the Presitige. It wasn't uncommon to see both kits on same shelf at the hobby shop. As mentioned, the non-Prestige didn't have the stock wheel covers (just the optional knock-off wheels), or the FI emblems, or the hard top, or one piece of the fuel injection system. I built one back in the day, and the coupe at the same time. Still have them both. (And a lot more, now....)

And yes, I think that issue of the roadster has the optional HT glass in it, but not the top itself. I have several of them and will be using them on various restos.

Modelhaus used to offer the hard top in resin. I bought one five or six years ago. But when I went to place my final order in July '16, they no longer had that part listed--and I checked for every year. Pity.

At the moment, I'm working on bringing back a glue-bomb '65 roadster that, under all the paint, has the cleanest, most pristine '65 body in the Snakepit--EXCEPT the hard top is glued on SOLID. If there were any way to pry or cut it off, I would have, but it's not budging. I could have saved either the top or the body, but not both, so I left it in place and am working around it. Original builder used so much glue that it actually deformed the windshield frame on one side. I had to grind that out, build the area back up with putty, and carefully shape, file, and sand the whole mess back to the contours of the windshield frame, top, and top border molding.

These pics don't do the carnage justice. I was several evenings of carefully filing and sanding with every tool in my box, but it's starting to look okay now.

AMT65VetteHT03.thumb.jpg.867ffa4058ccca1

AMT65VetteHT12.thumb.jpg.2e8f9e6aaee3a3f

I'd removed the windshield before those pics were taken--surprisingly, it came right out. The back glass came out too, later. The windshield was almost as glue-boogered as the back glass, but, almost unbelievably, I was able to sand and polish it out to where I can use it again. Doesn't look like I can save the back glass--the damage is too deep. Lucky for the "spares" in that later kit issue.

On a rebuild like this, I try to use as many original parts as possible, but sometimes you gotta go to a parts kit.

AMT65VetteHT07.thumb.jpg.78fc3b29a51ff05

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Posted

Okay, had a chance to compare three pristine bodies: Prestige, the "Legendary Classic" issue shown above, and an original unbuilt '67 roadster.

Except for the FI emblem on the fender, the LC and Prestige bodies are identical. So is the original '67 until you look closely. The latch dealies on the deck lid are better engraved in the newer kits, and the sun visors are different. And, as shown above, the top of the windshield frame is different, too, but you're not likely to notice it with the naked eye unless you try to fit a new top to an old body, or vice versa.

The new hard top fits so that it covers up the top bar of the windshield frame. The old top leaves part of the frame showing. The '67's panel wagon top fits the '67 pretty well, but would take some tweaking to fit the new bodies.

On the inside, the molding pattern is similar but different between the '67 and the newer bodies.

I don't know if the whole body is new, or if they just did a new top (horizontal) mold to fit the original sides (vertical mold pieces). But I did notice that the front turn signals are a bit better between the new bodies and the old annuals.

Very interesting!

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Posted

Yes. They're all from the same basic molds that go back to 1962.

Pretty sure Ertl tooled a new convertible body for the late Eighties issues...tops don't readily interchange between annual convertible kits and the later body.

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Posted

Okay, had a chance to compare three pristine bodies: Prestige, the "Legendary Classic" issue shown above, and an original unbuilt '67 roadster.

Except for the FI emblem on the fender, the LC and Prestige bodies are identical. So is the original '67 until you look closely. The latch dealies on the deck lid are better engraved in the newer kits, and the sun visors are different. And, as shown above, the top of the windshield frame is different, too, but you're not likely to notice it with the naked eye unless you try to fit a new top to an old body, or vice versa.

The new hard top fits so that it covers up the top bar of the windshield frame. The old top leaves part of the frame showing. The '67's panel wagon top fits the '67 pretty well, but would take some tweaking to fit the new bodies.

On the inside, the molding pattern is similar but different between the '67 and the newer bodies.

I don't know if the whole body is new, or if they just did a new top (horizontal) mold to fit the original sides (vertical mold pieces). But I did notice that the front turn signals are a bit better between the new bodies and the old annuals.

Very interesting!

Looked at the reissue '63 roadster I have in the "Legendary Classic" box with the red car on it. The body in mine has the Fuel Injection engraving on the front fenders. It's molded in that typical Ertl beige/gray color plastic...my Prestige kits are in white so it should be original to the kit and not swapped out. Possible it was made both ways depending on when the kit was molded.

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Posted

I think you are correct. The ERTL body was a new tool. The clip for the rotating headlights was missing in the newer body.

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Posted (edited)

Okay. Time for my two cents on this issue. I love '63 Corvettes. Especially the split window coupes. I have several of both the Revell and AMT kits. It's tough for me to pick one as being better than the other.

The AMT coupe is still one of my all time favorite kits. I don't mind it's primitive, lack of detail chassis. I like that it represents a car with fuel injection, a four-speed transmission, and aluminum wheels. And the completed model looks good to me. The lines look right. I love it.

Recently, in the last year or two, I decided I want to build an AMT '63 convertible to match my Revell roadsters. Since I had both the AMT and Revell coupes for comparison. I felt I needed the roadsters too. I sought out the AMT Prestige version, because unlike other reissues of AMT's roadster, it had stock wheel covers rather than aluminum wheels. I love the aluminum wheels. But one AMT '63 with them is enough for me. Again, like AMT's coupe, the convertible represents a car with fuel injection and four-speed. And I liked that the kit came with both tops. The chassis looks like the same one in the coupe kit to me. I don't know the history of the body. But, it looks very good to my eye.

As far the Revell 63's. Both the coupe and convertible build into beautiful models. There are only curbsides. But, that's okay with me. They represent cars without fuel injection. They also represent cars with a Powerglide transmission and air conditioning. And the stock versions have wheel covers rather than aluminum wheels. This is okay with me. This probably the way I'd want my Corvettes to be equipped in real life.

As far as slipping Revell's '67 Corvette chassis under these cars. First you need to know the '67 big block Corvette roadster is my all time favorite Corvette. Followed by the '63 split-window coupe. The Revell chassis will have more detail. But, it's set up to accommodate the big block engine. And represents a chassis with disc brakes. Though the Revell chassis really does not show any brake detail. The two Revell 67's (coupe and roaster) are both very nice kits to build. Again, I love them. But, how often do I flip my cars over to look at chassis? Not enough for me to justify modifying either AMT's or Revell's 63's. But, that's just me.

So picking a favorite '63 coupe model? Both look great when built. But, which represents your fantasy Vette? AMT's with fuel injection, a four-speed transmission, and aluminum wheels? Or Revell's with a Powerglide transmission, air conditioning, and wheel covers? Can't decide like me? Buy both. Or like some of us, buy several.

Edited by unclescott58

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Posted

By the way, the early AMT roadsters had the rotating headlamps as many have noted. I don't think I've ever actually seen a early kit with this feature. I know it existed. I've just never seen it. Does anybody have any photos showing this feature both opened and closed? I can imagine in 1/25 scale it may not have worked to well, or looked all that good? I hope I'm wrong on that.

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Posted

By the way, the early AMT roadsters had the rotating headlamps as many have noted. I don't think I've ever actually seen a early kit with this feature. I know it existed. I've just never seen it. Does anybody have any photos showing this feature both opened and closed? I can imagine in 1/25 scale it may not have worked to well, or looked all that good? I hope I'm wrong on that.

Here's some pics.

The feature looks convincing enough, but the gaps between the headlight doors and body are out of scale, and once assembled I found they're pretty difficult to operate.  Not a feature I miss on the reissues.       

001.JPG

002.JPG

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Posted

By the way, the early AMT roadsters had the rotating headlamps as many have noted. I don't think I've ever actually seen a early kit with this feature. I know it existed. I've just never seen it. Does anybody have any photos showing this feature both opened and closed? I can imagine in 1/25 scale it may not have worked to well, or looked all that good? I hope I'm wrong on that.

I've got one bought as a glue bomb. I was able to carefully cut the glued-in buckets away from the body and they should be usable, but I only have one of the headlight assemblies, but I should be able to sili-clone it no problem. The big problem with that body is that someone hogged out all four wheels openings and of course butchered the rockers, so that would all have to be rebuilt. Ironically, the windshield frame is in perfect shape, which is pretty rare in old glue bomb Sting Rays.

By happy coincidence, I have another original '63 body which was a coupe someone cut the whole top off of. It's pretty decent otherwise. I might try to Snakineer some way to graft the whole sides of that body onto the '63 roadster to make one good restorable '63R body with exposed headlights. As I hate waste, I'd then probably use what's left of the ex-coupe body with some scratchbuilt sides and rockers to make some kind of custom. Lord Knows I got plenty of extra '63-'67 custom parts of various sorts to use up--hoods, side exhausts, taillights, grilles, and so forth.

I don't have a pic of the original roadster body, but here's the topless coupe that might end up the body donor for it:

VetteAMT66Speedster07.thumb.jpg.e9042be6

 

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Posted

Here's some pics.

The feature looks convincing enough, but the gaps between the headlight doors and body are out of scale, and once assembled I found they're pretty difficult to operate.  Not a feature I miss on the reissues.       

001.JPG

002.JPG

Looks better than I would have expected. Thanks for showing it. I hope there are others out there that we can also see.

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