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Cousin Bo's '67 GTO....yes, the much hated MPC kit


roadhawg
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His real name is Earl, but we've always called him "Bo" for some reason. He's my first cousin, the son of my father's sister, and he's always had the coolest cars in the whole family, such as a '62 Corvette that ran F/G in NHRA, a '68 442 which held the NHRA national record in D/S for 4 weeks while being his daily driver, and a '70 Monte Carlo that looked bone stock but ran 11.50s in 1972, extremely fast for a street car in those days. 
I ran across a picture taken on Christmas day, 1967, at my grandparents house that shows two other cousins in front of Bo's 1967 GTO, which he had bought brand new at Boomershine Pontiac in Atlanta. I was 12 at the time, and Santa had brought me a Polaroid camera, so I was taking the picture.
Bo's car was red with a black interior and a 4 speed transmission. I don't know what he had done to the engine, but I do know it had headers because it had that distinctive header sound when it was running. 

When I found this picture, I wanted to build a model of Bo's GTO. The only '67 GTO kit out there is the old MPC kit, which gets a LOT of bad publicity, ESPECIALLY on places like Facebook. I wanted to show that with a little work and careful planning, it can build up fairly decent. Yes, I COULD'VE used the much more detailed Revell '66 GTO as a donor, but my plan was to use as much of the MPC kit as possible just to show it's not as bad as you've heard. 

First, here are the main areas of concern that I found during the build:

1) The wheelbase is slightly off, being about 1/8" too short. I don't know why this is, but I corrected mine simply by moving the front wheel mounting locations 1/8" forward.
 
2) There's remnants of screw bosses on the radiator support, and where these sit against the chassis leaves the front of the car sitting too low. I suspect that originally the front bumper/grill had tabs the went in there and screws held the whole works together, but those tabs got removed somewhere down the line. The fix is to simply add 1/8" spacers to the bottom of those screw bosses. 

3) The transmission is a manual, but the console is for an automatic. In the interest of wanting to keep this build within the realm of anybody being able to accomplish this, I did not fix that. To be accurate, you would need to use an automatic transmission (easier) or come up with a 4 speed console and add a clutch pedal (harder).

4) The top of the transmission interferes with the bottom of the interior tub. 
I fixed that by grinding the top of the transmission down. That part doesn't show anyway. 

The rest of the build was just using basic building skills. Test fit, test fit, then test fit again. Yes, theres some flash, but you should be cleaning up those seam lines anyway. Non kit parts I used were the wheels (2 sets of rear wheels from the Revell '32 Ford kits), the tires (AMT parts pack), a Kris Morgan distributor, and some tubing for heater and radiator hoses. I used some scrap bits of styrene to make a panel to cover those unsightly screw bosses. The kit has no mirrors at all, so I used the mirrors from a '66 Chevelle kit. The paint is Tamiya TS-8 over gray primer, and I used a '67 GTO decal set from Speedway Decals. 

No, it's not perfect by a long shot, but I'm happy with how it turned out...plus I had a lot of fun building this one. Maybe some of the issues I listed will help some of y'all. Thanks for looking! 
 

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Beautiful!  Can't recall ever seeing one looking as good as yours.    

It's refreshing to read an honest appraisal of an old less-than-perfect kit from someone who isn't afraid to put a little effort into building it. 

I'm sooo tired of the "this kit is junk/MPC is junk" comments out there, most of which are accompanied by a pic of the one I built for Round2 years ago (the blue box art kit...yes, I forgot to remove the "Pontiac" lettering from the taillight panel...it was a quickie build).  Like you, I just worked around the flaws; it's not that hard.

All of the complainers out there should take a look at yours.  

 

    

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2 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

Great story! I’m a sucker for nostalgic family car stories. These are the episodes of our life that made us car guys!

Model looks fantastic. Is cousin Bo still with us? It would be fun to see his reaction.

Thank you sir, and yes, Bo is still with us. He's getting on up in years now, but he's still a hot rodder.....just with late model computerized cars now. I've already built the Corvette gasser he had, and I've started on the '70 Monte Carlo....I guess I might try to finish that one day. 

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1 hour ago, mrmike said:

Very nice!  But, an automatic shifter with a manual transmission?  I did say the model is very nice!

Lol, I know, I know......but like I said, I chose not to fix that. This was somewhat aimed at the Facebookers that call it a junk kit. I wanted to try to stay as much with the kit as possible while catching the outside look of the real car. I probably should have changed out the console, but, well.......you got me lol. 

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1 hour ago, pack rat said:

Beautiful!  Can't recall ever seeing one looking as good as yours.    

It's refreshing to read an honest appraisal of an old less-than-perfect kit from someone who isn't afraid to put a little effort into building it. 

I'm sooo tired of the "this kit is junk/MPC is junk" comments out there, most of which are accompanied by a pic of the one I built for Round2 years ago (the blue box art kit...yes, I forgot to remove the "Pontiac" lettering from the taillight panel...it was a quickie build).  Like you, I just worked around the flaws; it's not that hard.

All of the complainers out there should take a look at yours.  

 

    

Thank you, and yes, those negative comments were what made me decide to do this one. No, it's definitely not on par with more modern kits, but it does build up nice if you take your time. Some people should stop whining and learn to be problem solvers lol.  

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Model looks great. I looked at pics of manual consoles and you had to options, one with just the boot and trim directly on the floor and the console version which was a bit different from the auto console. For those that wished, they could easily scratch build one or 3D print it. I don't think modifying the automatic console would be easy, but it could be done as well.

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Your build looks great. I like the family history on this, and the day two look with the wheels and headers. Cleanly detailed builds like this offset any problems with the basic kit. 

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Cool story and I too have replicated a few cars from mine and my wifes past, notable her '66 GTO.  

Anyway, great job on the '67. The chrome work (BMF??)looks darn perfect.  You get two thumbs up for this one👌👌😃

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