Ala Kart by AMT?

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I've been thinking about getting one of these for a while, but not sure what to expect. Has anyone ever built one of these? if so, can you share your experiences/pictures/etc?

Thanks

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Common complaint for the newer AMT issue was the incorrect look of the cowl/nose piece & the too small looking engine.

Many suggested the older version of the kit mixed w/ some parts of the new version would yield an acceptable rendition.

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Lots of drama about the size of the motor. When finished well I don't think it would be mistaken for a Hudson ;):rolleyes:

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Boy, this one always opens a can of worms, and opinions abound. The actual truth (rarely very popular when there are so many opinions) is that there are serious scale issues (and the shape of the nose) with several parts of the latest release, which shares zero parts with the original version. There are proportion and stance issues with the original kit, and styromaniac's mention above of combining the two to make a more-correct model than either alone will produce is definitely worth considering.

I've actually measured a real 1:1 Dodge Red Ram engine and '39 Ford 3-speed gearbox (and you know, divided by 25?) as represented in the kits, and the first version is pretty close, the newer version is a joke.....it's so badly underscale. I have both versions on the shelf, multiple articles from 1958 onwards about the car, my own reference numbers and photos of a real Red Ram and gearbox and have spent (wasted?) considerable time contrasting / comparing the two. Pretty amazing that in this day of digitizing everything and the ability to have a computer do the scaling and design most of the tooling, that the dimensions could be so far off, but it is, period. The decals are not great in the newer one either, but aftermarket was available.

I've also been involved in several online arguments about the correct scaling of the newer-release engine, all of them apparently with folks who have never actually measured the engine and scaled it themselves. Measure it, divide by 25, and the numbers don't lie. The popular argument is that the Red Ram is the "small" hemi, and that therefor the tiny motor in the newer kit is correct. Uh huh. A real Red Ram is almost exactly the same width across the heads as the bigger early hemis, but a bit shorter in overall length.....which is why Barris used it....to fit in the engine bay lengthwise. The original issue engine WILL fit in the later issue car, by the way.

All that said, either kit builds up into a good looking model, and the Red Ram and 3-speed in the early kit are cool swaps in anything, though the Hilborn FI detail is a little light. The newer kit has some nice parts for bashing, most notably probably the best "dropped and filled" front axle available for building a period rod.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

I've got one of these in my stash. Looks like it's a pretty nicely detailed kit. I've got some project plans for mine. I'll keep you guys posted. :)

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Thank you all, especially William for that detailed information. Pictures would be nice though :)

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Andrew, First off let me say I'm a Crazy perfectionist. It took me 4 years of research and building to complete my Ala Kart. I even contacted the owner and Mr. Barris. There are many, many things that need to be modified, scratchbuilt or changed. But then again I'm crazy but I wanted It to be right. The kit has no air bag system,the tono cover is incomplete and mounts wrong, there is no brake detail at all. The engine oil filler stem is on the wrong side of the engine. Plus much more. Many items were scratchbuilt because they don't come in the kit. Yes It's a lot of hard work but for me it was well worth it because I just love this car and wanted to do it right. It rewarded me Best in Class at the GSL.

030-2.jpg

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Wow, wow, wow. That's fantastic. More pictures please, and more details too.......

PS. I see you're in Bend. Too bad about losing Cessna. Do you have anything to do with Windward Performance, by any chance?

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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Posted · Report post

Hers a few more if I can get them to work. 026-2.jpg028-2.jpg

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Posted · Report post

027.jpg

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025-2.jpg

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029-2.jpg

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No, but I know what your talking about. but that was awhile ago and I think they were bought out and a new company took over

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Posted · Report post

well its certainly not going to compete with harolds build there (super dooper by the way!) but heres the newer issue motor used in another context:

veryniceleftfrontprofil.jpg

niceheadersfromabove.jpg

headercloseup.jpg

i think its a kool kit and certainly parts are usable but like others say its a bit of a challenge especially if you start looking closely.

i remember building up the original as a kid and it turned out pretty good for my limited skill set in the basement at 13 years old.

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Posted · Report post

What about the early Hemi in the AMT '53 F100? How's that measure up (sic)?

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I didn't think the re-issue was too bad other than the hood fit on the cowl that I failed to rectify when I built this one in the mid-nineties right after the re-issue. I had bought an original kit from the 60s before I know about the re-issue. I still have that kit and 3 of the re-issues. Here is my build that I didn't try to make 100% accurate just my interpretation of the Ala Kart. Other than the hood fit it was fun to build and pretty much box stock. used white paint and followed woth some Testor's Clear Pearl which has flakes in the paint that made it kinda of white pearl that has faded a bit but still doesn't look bad after 20 years.

101_0339.jpg

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By thw way, If anyone has questions, Please don't hesitate to ask. Four years of this build gave me a ton of info on the real car. Be more than willing to help. in anyway I can.

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i think that injection on your kart is superb harold. really really excellent looking, easy to believe it was a photo of a full size set up instead of a miniature recreation.

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Thanks JB, I was checking yours out as well. Looks really clean and real. Mine was done using aluminum tubing and small tubeing drilled into the base as on the real thing then painted to match. I also included the butterfly valves at the bottom of each tube.

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Posted · Report post

Harold. What color is the grill? Some pictures it looks chrome and in other pics it almost looks gold. Been bugging me for a long time. Thanks much in advance. Richard

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The original spears that stick out of the grill on the real car were painted a clear gold or yellow so I did the same and painted mine Tamiya clear yellow and to get the grill effect behind them I scratched the chrome kit insert with the back of a #11 blade in the original grill pattern. I see if I can come up with a pic as the discription is kind of confusing.

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Well Richard I was wrong. I went back and refered to the 36 page book I wrote regarding the build, after all I built this almost 14 years ago. I discovered that on the chrome grill portion that I had painted it flat black right over the chrome. After it dried, I took a toothpick and a ruler and scribed the grill design into the black paint leaving the chrome grill showing. So with the chrome grill and the clear yellow pins coming out of it it has quite the effect in the light. Hope this helps

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Posted · Report post

I've never had an interest in building an Ala Kart, but the modern tool kit is a fantastic parts source for kit-bashing. The front axle is very nice and can easilly have a conventional spring attached to the top of it for a more traditional dropped axle front end. (The spring from the stock axle in AMT's '29 Roadster kit is a great fit.) The wheels and tires are an excellent set of big & little hot rod tires. The wheels look even better stripped, painted and with hubcaps. (The hubcaps in the AMT '53 Ford Pickup fit really well!) The front and rear wheels also have nicely done brake plates.

The engine is a bust because of its scale issues but... In the later 70's AMT stripped down their '29 Roadster kit by eliminating the Ala Kart parts (the Ala Kart was actually changed into what they called a Mod-Rod by replacing the nose and hood with a '32 grill and eliminating the truck bed and putting a platform with gas tank on the last couple of issues.) AMT kept the Dodge engine as the alternate "street rod" engine option for the Roadster but replaced the Hilborn injector and front accessories with a race-only super charger setup. By race only this means there was no water pump or generator, just the super charger belt & pulleys. Now, while the engine in the modern Ala Kart may be undersized, it's water pump/front cover, fan belt/pulleys and generator ARE sized pretty well. By using these parts from the modern Ala Kart the Dodge in the '29 Roadster can be nicely converted into a street motor making it a perfect addition to any early hot rod model. The starter motor that is molded to the oilpan on the Dodge engine can also be cut away and the seperate starter motor from the modern Ala Kart engine put in place for better detail. Add a 2x6 carb setup and log manifold from an AMT '36 Ford kit and the over-the-frame headers from AMT's '32 Phantom Vicky and you have a great looking engine.

What about the early Hemi in the AMT '53 F100? How's that measure up (sic)?

The Hemi in the '53 Pickup kit is a Desoto and while I have never compared it to a real one dimensionally, it seems to be scaled correctly. They are about the same physical size as a Dodge, and the '53 Pickup Desoto is right about the same size as the Dodge in the '29 Roadster / Old Ala Kart kit.

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Harold for both of your answers. Will be looking forward to a picture(if you find one). Richard

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Boy, this one always opens a can of worms, and opinions abound. The actual truth (rarely very popular when there are so many opinions) is that there are serious scale issues (and the shape of the nose) with several parts of the latest release, which shares zero parts with the original version. There are proportion and stance issues with the original kit, and styromaniac's mention above of combining the two to make a more-correct model than either alone will produce is definitely worth considering.

I've actually measured a real 1:1 Dodge Red Ram engine and '39 Ford 3-speed gearbox (and you know, divided by 25?) as represented in the kits, and the first version is pretty close, the newer version is a joke.....it's so badly underscale. I have both versions on the shelf, multiple articles from 1958 onwards about the car, my own reference numbers and photos of a real Red Ram and gearbox and have spent (wasted?) considerable time contrasting / comparing the two. Pretty amazing that in this day of digitizing everything and the ability to have a computer do the scaling and design most of the tooling, that the dimensions could be so far off, but it is, period. The decals are not great in the newer one either, but aftermarket was available.

I've also been involved in several online arguments about the correct scaling of the newer-release engine, all of them apparently with folks who have never actually measured the engine and scaled it themselves. Measure it, divide by 25, and the numbers don't lie. The popular argument is that the Red Ram is the "small" hemi, and that therefor the tiny motor in the newer kit is correct. Uh huh. A real Red Ram is almost exactly the same width across the heads as the bigger early hemis, but a bit shorter in overall length.....which is why Barris used it....to fit in the engine bay lengthwise. The original issue engine WILL fit in the later issue car, by the way.

All that said, either kit builds up into a good looking model, and the Red Ram and 3-speed in the early kit are cool swaps in anything, though the Hilborn FI detail is a little light. The newer kit has some nice parts for bashing, most notably probably the best "dropped and filled" front axle available for building a period rod.

You are so right. Back when this kit came out we ahd a big discussion about it also. I too went and measured a real Dodge Red Ram engine. And if I recall correctly I believe the kit engine is pretty close to .100" too short. Don't remember what the figure was on the width but it was proportionately small. (Gettin' old ya know! LOL)

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