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AMT's "Cruisin USA by Barris" Kit Series

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Worst decals ever included in a series of kits? I think so, but Revell's Lightnng Rods series might give these a run for their money. :huh: I honestly can't say there's a good looking vehicle in this series based upon what's shown on the box, but somehow they made it through to production, all twelve of them. I cite these as examples of just how bad the early '80s were: http://modelkitreviews.proboards.com/thread/51/1-25-cruisin-usa-barris

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Posted · Report post

I remember getting into the hobby as a kid in the 1980's. Hate to say it, these pictures pushed me away from buying these. I remember thinking "where are all the stock versions of these" not knowing you could build these stock.

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Posted · Report post

I remember building 5 of these around 1980 as a kid..was dissapointed in the lack of stock parts in the Grand Prix and Riviera. And I did use the dreadful 'rub on' decals and silver decals. Live and learn... :)

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Posted · Report post

I think I would build one with those old tacky decals now because they are so very different and would look great on a contest table in the box stock class. :D

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I built the '40 Ford coupe as a kid. I managed to get the flame decals on with plenty of wrinkles, but I couldn't get the machined aluminum peel and stick stickers to work at all. Over the following years,it got several different paint jobs. I actually hung on to most of it and restored it a couple of years ago. I wouldn't mind having another one to give it another go.

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Posted · Report post

Seeing these for the first time makes me kind of glad I missed it !

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Posted · Report post

Some were molded in color IIRC also...the GP in brown, the Riv in gray, the Mustang in a vile bright green. IIRC the Galaxie was white.

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I have the 53 pickup, the 51 chevy, the 40 Ford, the 49 Ford coupe, and two of the 50 fords. All but one of the 50 fords are still untouched. They aren't all that bad, save for the dry transfers, and were all I could find circa the mid 80's. As far as I can tell, the pickup has everything the original release had except for wheels/tires and decals. The 40 is the same as the later "Avenger" version ( blue car on box top ) except again, for the decals.

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I have a few of the 49 Merc. and recently go the 51 Chevy Convertible.

Though All the Stock parts are in both, the instructions do not show a stock build.

The Merc is molded in a Dark Burgandy Red (Similar to the Last Ertl box art pic)

and the Chevy is a Deep Electric Blue and almost translucent.

I already had the Bel Air & Sedan 51 Chevy's, and Severa;l Older issues of the Merc,

so would have No problem with building them Stock.

I used one of the Cruisin' Merc/s for Parts.

The steering is under the 63 Galaxie Convertible converted from a Sports Roof.

Hubcaps are on the MPC Snap Police Custom Merc.

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Posted · Report post

That Grand Prix looks just awful on the box. What did they do to that?

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Posted · Report post

They used the Custom grill parts from the box.

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Posted · Report post

I just want to collect them for giggles!

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First one I had as a kid was the '70 Impala. Remember being very confused by the dry transfer decals. I might actually have all of these except the '63 Corvette & '53 F-100 in my stash.

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Posted · Report post

I built a few of these.

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I tried using the '49 Merc transfers on an 80's styled Revell '49.

They failed which was a shame as I sorta designed the colour scheme round them.

Still got the prismatic sticker saved for something in the future.

I'll take any unwanted '70 Impalas people care to send my way...

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Posted · Report post

l am glad l missed them and never owned any. l never knew there was so many..

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Posted (edited) · Report post

the 51 Chevy has a nice 6 cyl, with split manifold and dual exhaust..

Edited by thatz4u

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Posted · Report post

I was around 13-14 years old when theses came out and I built all of them, I liked that they were molded in color.

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Posted · Report post

Yep, the box art builds were garish, but so was a lot of stuff in the very late '70s-early '80s. Look at the real cars from that time period, or the clothes, or hair... watching some TV shows from then makes me wince. Get rid of the graphics; the rest of the kit (in most cases) is good stuff.

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Posted · Report post

The Riviera can't be built stock.I bought one a year or two ago (cheaply,thank goodness) and it has only the custom items in it.

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Can't find a pic now but Barris actually did have a Merc painted up like the box art car.

Didn't look anything like the kit besides the paint as all the kits were just reissues of older kits with new decals and , with 1/2 of them, all the parts missing except the ones to build what was on the box.

No new or unique parts, just another case of Barris tacking his name to anything that would stand still long enough. :rolleyes:

Ig-blankin'-zackly. I recall being amused at the thought of poor ol' George trying to sustain his legacy by designing garish decals for model kits.

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Posted · Report post

That Mercury was actually the Fabula built by Starbird. Barris refurbed it in conjunction with the "Cruisin' USA" series. Pics are from Rik Hoving's site.

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Posted · Report post

Bad period of early AMT/Matchbox at it's best :wacko: !

Very nice kits turn sour looking in this series, as mention...at least Barris was keeping is name alive in the early 80's.

Always wonder why the '58 Impala (Kustom parts design by Barris back in 60's) & '53 Studbaker were not in this series :huh:

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I built a few as a kid when they were new. I still have an unbuilt Galaxie, you could build that one close to stock except for the hub caps and hood ornament. I remember being really frosted that the GP didn't contain the stock bumpers and a few other parts, mainly because the custom stuff was so downright ugly. And no Modelhaus back then to save the day.

-MJS

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That Mercury was actually the Fabula built by Starbird. Barris refurbed it in conjunction with the "Cruisin' USA" series. Pics are from Rik Hoving's site.

The "Cruisin' Merc" appeared briefly in the H.B. Halicki movie "The Junkman" (his follow-up to the original "Gone In 60 Seconds"). I saw it at an ISCA show around the same time. New paint, old dirty, raggedy interior.

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