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A look at Jo-Han's third, and least known, funny car kit.....


tim boyd
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Posted (edited)

Serious model car builders are fairly well aware of the killer Jo-Han Mickey Thompson Pinto and Mustang funny car kits that they brought to market around 1972.  These two kits shared a common rail-digger type narrow chassis and a Boss 429 engine, along with individual bodies and livery to represent the two cars being campaigned by Mickey Thompson Enterprizes that year.  But there was also a third Jo-Han funny car kit, a completely unique kit tool that represented an exact scale replica of the 1970 Challenger "Rambunctious" funny car that was by many accounts the single most successful/winning funny car of the entire 1970 racing season.  

Jo-Han's Challenger funny car kit was released concurrently with the above-mentioned Mickey Thompson kits, at that point representing a funny car that was already two years out of date in the racing world.  The Rambunctious Challenger had a very unique chassis design that was not shared by any other funny car that year, which largely prevented Jo-Han from doing any additional kit variations (although as was typical of the time, Jo-Han produced a run of the same kit with unique box art, instructions, and decals for sale under the AMT brand as the "Hamtown Hemi"; Hamtown presumably referring to Hamtramck, a small village are surrounded by the Detroit City Limits, and the location at the time of one of Mopar's key assembly plants).  Later on, Jo-Han slightly revised the decal sheet to read "Ram Rod" instead of Rambunctious, as the licensing for the car's driver migrated to Revell during the following years).  

I bought the kit when it came out not only because it was a really good kit, but also because I had used the same car's chassis and powertrain layout for my own "Tommy Ivo" 3-car set that won Best of Show at the 1970 Washington DC MPC model car contest.  I had to draft the chassis design and then scratchbuild it, using a jig, tubular sheet styrene rod and thin styrene sheets (I'll post images of that model set at some point in the future).  I wanted to see how close I got using just magazine phot of the real car, and I did get very close presuming that the Jo-Han kit was exactly correct.  The one difference between the two was that the Jo-Han kit used a TorqueFlite tranny, while it was and is well documented that the real car used a slipper clutch/direct drive layout without a tranny.   I don't have an explanation for the difference there. 

Anyway, I built the kit box stock, adding only full engine and chassis plumbing using the then-latest trend of hard steel plumbing lines replacing the rubber-like plumbing that was the 1/1 scale trend until that point.  The paint was Candy Red over Gold.  

Here is some photography of the completed kit for those who are not familiar with it or who have not seen it in an assembled form.  Like virtually all the Jo-Han tooling, this one is missing and presumed scrapped, never to return to the hobby store shelves.  Thanks for checking it out....TIM 

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Edited by tim boyd
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Hi Sir!

What a great build. You improved all that could be, and then some! I built one two years ago, and I could appreciate how good it was for the era it came out.

If only those molds still existed...

CT

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That's one beautiful build Tim , and it looks like it was just finished yesterday !  I got one of these stashed away and yours makes me want to dig it out and build it !

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I have the Ram Rod version still in the box down in the basement. Got it many many moons ago. IIRC the slicks were kinda mashed. Taken from the mold a bit too soon maybe?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2022 at 8:29 AM, geemoney said:

Beautiful as always!

I remember a Johan FC with a GIGANTIC quick change.... was this legit in the class, or something johan jus did?

Michael....that was the Jo-Han Mickey Thompson Mustang and Pinto Funny Car kit. 

DSC 0610

And yes, it was legit at the time.  

More images here (see pix .#164-173)

Hope that helps....TIM .

Edited by tim boyd
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Fantastic!!  I always thought that kit was a more appropriate representation of funny cars of the era than many of the other kits.  Beautiful craftsmanship on the build!!

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Very nice build and informative Tim.
I'm fortunate to have 2 of the JoHan Challeger, 1 Pinto and 2 Mustang Funny Car kits unbuilt in my stash, it's not the original issues tho' but they are nice kits.

Edited by Force
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On 6/8/2022 at 5:10 PM, tim boyd said:

Michael....that was the Jo-Han Mickey Thompson Mustang and Pinto Funny Car kit. 

DSC 0610

And yes, it was legit at the time.  

More images here (see pix .#164-173)

Hope that helps....TIM .

thats the one!

in like '85 i aquired Ram Rod and the mustang, started a 29 roadster with the suspension for them both....

need to finish that!

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