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Faust

MPC Monzas - What's what!

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Spring has sprung, and that means that it’s wet, muddy and generally kinda crappy weather-wise. Add in all the craziness that’s going on in the world, and it might be enough to make you pull the covers back over your head and just wait for better times. However, there’s nothing to brighten a dull day like some good old-school MPC craziness!!

In order to brighten everyone’s spririts, and to thank everyone for helping my little site get to 300,000 views, I thought something different should be done over at the Sprue Lagoon. Thus, I decided to put my four MPC Monzas head-to-head and see just how similar, or different, they are!

So, if you want a trip back in time to a more badge-engineered, parts-reusing, mix-and-match era, where bad customs and crazy decals were the norm, then strap in and check out the link below! H-Body shenanigans a-plenty await!

https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/out-of-box-reviews/mpc-monza-parts-comparison/

mpc-monzas.jpg?w=450

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Thanks, Adam.  Nice to forget the "Crazy" for a few minutes.

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I have a molded in yellow Monza (yellow car on the box art too), anyone know what model year that is?

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Just now, Luc Janssens said:

I have a molded in yellow Monza (yellow car on the box art too), anyone know what model year that is?

This was issued in 1980, and, the last Chevy Monza made by GM was in 1980! But, I think this actually might be their 78 as there is not much different between them, other than the IMSA style body panels and wheels. 

MPC 1:25 SCALE MONZA PRO STREET CHEVY MINI MUSCLE CAR UMASSEMBLED ...

MINT-IN-BOX MPC 1978 CHEVY MONZA MOUSE FUNNY CAR DRAGSTER 1/25 ...

 

 

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31 minutes ago, Daddyfink said:

This was issued in 1980, and, the last Chevy Monza made by GM was in 1980! But, I think this actually might be their 78 as there is not much different between them, other than the IMSA style body panels and wheels.

 

Nope this isn't the one I have......lemme look for a pic on the interweb.....eureka!

HotStreakMonza.JPG

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The Revell Balck Widow kit is the first kit I built (that I remember). I used a lot of glue. 
Here is a beautiful later rendition of the Revell kit:

C48E1EAE-4365-42B1-9633-57FA17052059.jpeg

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Luc Janssens said:

Nope this isn't the one I have......lemme look for a pic on the interweb.....eureka!

HotStreakMonza.JPG

Most likely still the same scenario. It has the Monza badge on the nose like the '78 and up. I really don't think MPC changed the tooling, just kept adding parts that are non stock. 

Edited by Daddyfink

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No, as far as I know, once the Monza went to the slot grille, that was the end of the mods for MPC. Just more custom pieces.

I had a chance to get Hot Streak, but I thought I'd wait for it. It disappeared. That's why I bought Long Shot and the Revell. 

As for a break from the crazy, I hear you. Besides, what's crazier than MPC customs and Harry Bradley decals? :)

P.S. I love that ProStreet/IMSA/WTF machine. None of the others have that Hi-riser intake snorkel! Sweet!!

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Posted (edited)

The 1976 MPC lineup was mediocre for the most part, as were most real cars at that time.  It had the usual Corvette, Camaro, Firebird, Mustang and big Chevy.  I bought the incorrect '76 Corvette convertible - a car that wasn't really made.  Another fictitious model was the intermediate Road Runner.  It appears they were just guessing, or else the RR was dropped at the last minute.  There were no legitimate intermediate models kitted, only the Caprice for big cars, and no Indy Pace Car (Regal).  A Mark IV, Eldorado convertible or Riviera would have been nice.

Edited by Motor City
.

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That Revell Monza, sorry as it is, sticks in my memory as the first car kit I built to completion. I'd built others, but that was one of the first that I finished.NO paint though, just glue. I liked the black plastic, as it looked "Cool" to me at the time.

I should try to find one.

5ba20d850d62ff0d97837498106a9699.jpg

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As I'm sure you know, I have that Revell Super Spyder, too. 

Sure, it's all wrong, but it looks darned cool, especially the front end. I couldn't leave it behind after losing out on the yellow MPC. It's one to just build for the fun of it, accuracy be damned. 

If you can believe it, I actually turned it down three times, but figured fourth time was the charm. I'm glad I did - I don't know when I'll get back to Richmond, MI, what with all this craziness going on. 

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Posted (edited)
Just now, Faust said:

As I'm sure you know, I have that Revell Super Spyder, too. 

Sure, it's all wrong, but it looks darned cool, especially the front end. I couldn't leave it behind after losing out on the yellow MPC. It's one to just build for the fun of it, accuracy be damned. 

If you can believe it, I actually turned it down three times, but figured fourth time was the charm. I'm glad I did - I don't know when I'll get back to Richmond, MI, what with all this craziness going on. 

The Revell Monza shared it's guts with the Pontiac Sunbird and Mustang II, and that is why they look so weird under the body. 

This was a weird time at Revell, where the they where trying to save some money by making some kits almost modular. Like the Pick Up trucks as well! A Datsun shared the chassis with a Ford and a Chevy! 

 

Revell-1978-Model-Kit-Catalog-Model-Builders-_57.jpg

Edited by Daddyfink

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6 hours ago, Motor City said:

Another fictitious model was the intermediate [ 1976 ]  Road Runner [ on the Chrysler B-Body platform , just as all 1968-1975 models ]  It appears they were just guessing, or else the RR was dropped at the last minute.

I'd imagine that MPC assumed that Plymouth was going to continue offering a 'real' Road Runner on the B-Body , just as it found its way on to the newly-redesigned 1975 models (ever see a 1975 Road Runner ? They're rare -- they were rare back in 1975 , too !) . 

1975 was the last year for a Road Runner that was more than a package , as its V.I.N. read RM21 ; that was also the last year for a big block 'Runner ( 400-HP was top engine choice , all automatics-only ) .

The 'Runner was relegated to an option on the then-new 1976 Volare , signalling the end of the true 'Runner . 

MPC developed kits as early as spring of the preceding year . The evidence I have is the decal sheet for the 1972 Duster annual ; it's dated "05/71" , which is two moths before the 1971 model year ended .

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Thanks for another great article that managed the impossible - made me interested in MPC Monza kits.  At least for the time it took to read the article. I will now go back to ignoring them.

I do have to say: of all the lunk-headed, ham-fisted "styling" fads inflicted on innocent model cars, that "IMSA panel" nonsense was one of the worst. With the Monza, it took a basically sleek little car and turned it into something that looked like the misbegotten offspring of a Russian bulldozer and a Dually pickup truck.  

Back in the '80s I often went to the DIY junkyards around Los Angeles, looking for Pontiac parts.  One yard had an area of "movie cars."  They were not what you might think from the phrase "movie cars."  No Barris-type customs. These were mostly vehicles cobbled up for long-forgotten (or never released) sci-fi movies. Just sad old junkers with extra body clutter pop-rivetted on, to try and make them look futuristic and/or "alien."  The IMSA body panels remind me of those things.

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I picked up the Long Shot kit after your other thread about Monzas and want the Super Spyder as well. I really like the flares and fins and stuff and like to build the engine and chassis to justify the outlandish bodywork. 

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1 hour ago, Mike999 said:

Thanks for another great article that managed the impossible - made me interested in MPC Monza kits.  At least for the time it took to read the article. I will now go back to ignoring them.

I do have to say: of all the lunk-headed, ham-fisted "styling" fads inflicted on innocent model cars, that "IMSA panel" nonsense was one of the worst. With the Monza, it took a basically sleek little car and turned it into something that looked like the misbegotten offspring of a Russian bulldozer and a Dually pickup truck.  

Back in the '80s I often went to the DIY junkyards around Los Angeles, looking for Pontiac parts.  One yard had an area of "movie cars."  They were not what you might think from the phrase "movie cars."  No Barris-type customs. These were mostly vehicles cobbled up for long-forgotten (or never released) sci-fi movies. Just sad old junkers with extra body clutter pop-rivetted on, to try and make them look futuristic and/or "alien."  The IMSA body panels remind me of those things.

Hey, that's a pretty good accomplishment on my part, then! :)

Oh, man, I agree on IMSA panels - Vettes suffered too. You've seen the "Travolta Fever" (I call it "Revolta Fever") Trans-Am, right? You wanna see flares ruin a sleek and sexy car??? (PS - I NEED one of those so, soo badly) I like the proposed geneology - sounds right to me!

Man, those "movie" cars remind me of the Tonka trucks that were all Mad Maxed in the '80s. Remember, they were recalled due to lead paint, I think?

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Man, I'm just the opposite on the IMSA stuff. I love it!  I have about a half dozen kits with the huge, add on parts. I need to dig them out and build them. Those kits take me back to when I first started building kits, and when I was in High School. (1978-1981). At the time, those were the coolest thing going. I'm gonna have to buckle down and get some more of those kits. I have only the AMT Monza from 3 or 4 years ago, and I need a couple MPC Monzas in order to kit bash a Mondo Street Warrior!!! 

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On 4/8/2020 at 11:44 PM, 1972coronet said:

I'd imagine that MPC assumed that Plymouth was going to continue offering a 'real' Road Runner on the B-Body , just as it found its way on to the newly-redesigned 1975 models (ever see a 1975 Road Runner ? They're rare -- they were rare back in 1975 , too !) . 

1975 was the last year for a Road Runner that was more than a package , as its V.I.N. read RM21 ; that was also the last year for a big block 'Runner ( 400-HP was top engine choice , all automatics-only ) .

The 'Runner was relegated to an option on the then-new 1976 Volare , signalling the end of the true 'Runner . 

MPC developed kits as early as spring of the preceding year . The evidence I have is the decal sheet for the 1972 Duster annual ; it's dated "05/71" , which is two moths before the 1971 model year ended .

John,

No, I don't think I ever saw a real '75 Road Runner.

I had bought the kit and eventually sold it.  I think it was eventually modified into the '77 Dodge Monaco.  

 

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MPC was so bad for that - "thinking ahead" with what was coming next year... and being wrong. 

The reissued '78 Pacer X  the aforementioned Sportback Chevy are two other examples, for sure. I'm sure there are others. However, it wasn't just MPC. Monogram's Corvette America is dead wrong, too. It took the late '70s 4-door vette and updated the endcaps to make it an '80 or '81. However, they left the original wheels and Targa Bar on, and these weren't present on the miniscule number of '80s (maybe 1 or 2) they made. Hmm... I think I should review that kit sometime... For some reason, I LOVE that thing!

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