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California Hauler original issue question


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I recently got a started California Hauler kit with a stash of model cars. All of the car kits in the stash dated to 66-70 so I would assume the truck kit also dates to this time frame..

I know very little about big rigs.

Is there anything special about the original issue of this kit?

I do a quick search on this topic but most of what I found was about projects using the re-issue.

Thanks.

Carmak

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According to my information the original kit was introduced in 1968. The hood could not tilt, there were no hinges included. All you could do was to take the hood off, if you didn´t glue it. The original issue had a non-turbo Detroit Diesel 8v71 under the hood.   

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It was the premier 1/25th scale truck kit, from Amt, the first edition came without a sleeper, (but IIRC there was a order form inside that kit to obtain one) but the second edition did.

Then the kit got forgotten all about, but resurfaced a couple of years ago, when Round-2 ordered tool sampling to have an acurate inventory, it was hiding in plain site. 

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As Luc said, the original #T500-500 Unilite small window cab 359 issue was AMT's first truck model kit and came 1969, it had no sleeper but you could order a Restrite sleeper and visor from AMT, the original kits has a Detroit Diesel 8V71 and Stabilaire rear suspension, all six leaf springs are molded to the frame rails.
I have one #T500-500 California Hauler kit, it's molded in blue-grey plastic...but the windows in my kit are clear, not green, some had the instructions printed in blue and some in black, mine are black...so they must have done at least two runs originally as they are slightly different.

The second version of this tooling #T522 was the wrecker version of the Unilite small window cab 359 and it came 1972, I also have that one and it's molded in white.
It's pretty much the same as the original kit with a "Big Stick" wrecker unit included, the same wrecker unit is used on the later #T533 1100 cab wrecker from 1977 and the kits after that.

The third version #T500 came in 1973 and it's the same as the #T500-500 but included the sleeper parts tree with the sleeper and visor, I have one of these too and it's also molded in white.

1976 AMT did the #T501 1100 cab 359 wich got several other kit numbers later and the old Unilite small window cab 359 was forgotten until the latest slightly modified reissue of the original #866 from 2014.
The 1100 cab 359 kit has a Cummins NTC 350 and Peterbilt AirTrac rear suspension with separate parts and this kit share no parts with the earlier Unilite kit.

The tooling for the T500-500 was supposed to be lost but if I remember correctly some of the old #T500-500 359 tooling was blocked off on the #T502 Peterbilt 352 tool and had not been used since 1973-74, so it was as Luc said hidden in plain site, because the 352 tooling has been used several times after that.
The original 359 came in 1969 and the 352 came 1970 so both the 359 and 352 must have been developed at the same time as they share some of the tooling, if you look at the instructions for the 352 they start with a "parts not used" box and these parts are for the 359.

 

Edited by Force
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The kit came with either blueish grey plastic or white plastic. The glass was either green or clear. The mail in form for the sleeper and visor was included in the first run of the kit. Later runs of the T500-500 included the sleeper.

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I had one that I found at a thrift store way back in the 80s. I think I paid all of 2 bucks for it. Unbuilt, with all of tbe paraphernalia, I thought it was so cool that it had the tinted glass! There was even some tin license plates dated 1970 (the ones they used to give away in the cereal boxes) so that dated the kit for me.

Regrettably, I sold it a couple decades ago when somebody offered crazy money for a bunch of my big rig kits. Now I don't have the money OR the kits. And I accidentally left the license plates in the box. Double bummer!

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I just took another look at mine. It's a bit of a mess. Molded in blue gray with clear glass (ALL of the glass has tire burns), hood does not have hinges, engine is missing, chassis is started, cab and hood look nice BUT it does have the Goodyear tire booklet in the box.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As has been said this kit has not been seen since the early 70’s , the round 2 reissue is almost a direct reissue of the the original with two exceptions ( not including plastic colour) . Tires in the original were the first incarnation of Goodyear Hi Miler 10:00 x 20 ( there are 3 different variations) and second is the fuel tanks. When AMT brought out the TurnPiker custom 352 the fuel tanks were shortened to fit with the big fender fairing on that kit . All subsequent reissues of either the 352 or 359 Unilite cab have the shorter tanks . It’s an easy way to spot a reboxed reissue if you are wanting to pickup an original issue!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/3/2018 at 10:25 PM, Carmak said:

I just took another look at mine. It's a bit of a mess. Molded in blue gray with clear glass (ALL of the glass has tire burns), hood does not have hinges, engine is missing, chassis is started, cab and hood look nice BUT it does have the Goodyear tire booklet in the sounds like you got one of the original kits. Look on the grill there maybe a tab that sit inside of the bumper. I got one off eBay blue gray with the green glass, it too was a mess.

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