Kit review: AMT 1971 Ford Mustang

Title doesn't say it, but the boxart shows a blue Boss 351 with silver stripes. And that's the stock version they were aiming for. The extras are
enough parts to build a race version with roll cage. Here's how they did:
Decals: Full set of silver decals for a Boss 351. Including a large piece for the hood, only I don't think you'll get it to set well over the Ram Air hood. Color matching a painted hood to the side stripes is going to be fun. There are also some black Boss 351 lettering pieces - but no black stripe kit to go with them. It would have been nice of them to have added a the Mach I letters in silver and black but they didn't.
Body: Crisp and clean, no major problems other than the molded on grille.
Grille: It's a '73 grille with squared headlight bezels. The chrome insert in the middle has the correct horizontal parking lamps of a '71 but it's a real crappy job. On the other hand the "custom grille" included on the drag race version looks quite good - interestingly enough it's a stock '73 piece!
Bumper: A 1973 5 mph impact rubber bumper. Looks nothing like a '71 bumper.
Tailpanel: They molded a honeycomb pattern on the styrene tail piece and they molded a simulated honeycomb panel between the tail light bezels on the chrome insert that goes over it. Boss 351s did not have the honeycomb panel on their tails.
Hood: Fairly nice Ram Air mold. No twist locks that I can see, they might be in the box on one of the sprues. The big problem with this hood is that they have molded vents along the trailing edge. 1971 was the year they introduced the hoods that reached all the way to the windshield concealing the wipers and cowl vents. Luckily, an easy fix.
Tires & Rims: Boss 351s came with flat standard hubcaps or Magnum 500s. You'll find neither in the box. The only Ford rims in the box are the clover leaf style hubcaps fitted on other models including Mach Is - including '73 Mach I's that didn't have optional Ford aluminum mags. Tires are four nice stock Polyglas skins plus 2 fats for the rear if you go the custom route.
Spoliers & Louvers: Ford didn't provide factory louvers in '71 due to the flatter rake of the rear window over the '70 models. They were available as an aftermarket purchase and are included in this kit. The rear spoiler is there but I'm still looking for the front spoiler. Front spoilers were standard Boss equipment, the rear spoilers were optional.
Engine: For some strange reason it appears to include the '70 style 428 CJ engine, though it's not the greatest attempt at it. Nothing in particular jumps out at you about the supposed 351C either. Lame valve covers and water pump housing on the front engine block. Puny looking exhaust manifolds. There's probably another engine option in their for the drag race version because there's a set of Boss 429 valave covers on the chrome sprue.
Interior: Poorly done. Rear seat is two pieces in real life, one ugly piece molded into the interior tub on this model. Front seat are reasonable enough. Console is molded into the tub, deluxe model with console clock. Dashboard is deluze model with three accy gage in center and three spoke steering wheel. The passenger side dash includes a grab bar for the passenger above the glove box. I don't recall those being there on any model but it's been years since I owned one of these cars.
Grade: On a scale of 1 to 10 - with 10 being what a modern effort in replicating this car might look like today - I give this old kit a 4. Basically, it's a 1973 Mach I with a lame attempt at making it into a '71 Boss 351 or custom drag car. Too bad they left out the '73 Mach I stripes or I'd be able to increase the rating by about 3 points. ;-)
Hope this helps. I'd love to see Revellogram tackle this one some day.
WmB
To reply, get the HECK out of there snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
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IIRC, the conversion to a '71 was done by MPC in their dying days. I have the same kit from 1980 and the decals weren't stock then either. Keith Marks makes a set for the Mach 1 but it runs about $7-8, I think.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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I haven't looked in a while but didn't Fred Cady do a set of decals for early 70 stangs?
Where can we contact Keith Marks? tia,
The Keeper (of too much crap!)
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Keeper wrote:

I've never had any of Fred Cady's decals so I can't comment. Most of what I've seen were competition markings.

Apparently he doesn't have a website but I was told to check E-bay seller "kmarks999". The one time I communicated with him was through the Hobby Heaven message board. That was far enough back that his e-mail address is 'lost' on the Netscape 3.0 address book. Even though this machine carries the information it won't talk to it. Bloody stupid computers.
Bill Banaszak, MFE
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These bytes are damn unco-operative aren't they? Here's an auction for his 71 Boss decals:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category 90&itemY3205319 0&rd=1
He doesn't say how he produces them but the few I looked at give the product an air of proficiency. I hope they're screen printed. Cheers,
The Keeper (of too much crap!)
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