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Saturday, January 6, 2018

AMT-Ertl 1:25 1996 Ford Mustang GT

AMT-Ertl made some impressive plastic promo models, and while some can be excessive (like the never-ending C4 Corvette promo's; I actually saw a guy at a flea market one day trying to sell a case of 1992 gold C4 Corvette promo models!) others are a rare charm.  The Intrigue is one even if we really don't think about it at first, and the older versions are becoming harder to find each day (the ones from 1950's to 1980's), and then there's this Ford Mustang.  Sure they have made plenty of 1994 and 1995 GT coupe's in a few nice colors, but I wanted this 1996 GT in moolight blue, and I finally got one!

The 1994 Ford Mustang was a big thing back then as it was the first (nearly) all new Mustang since the original 1979 with the new Fox platform.  Notice I said nearly as this Mustang still uses the original Fox platform, but outside of that everything else is new.  By 1996 a new engine replaced teh 5.0 pushrod with the 4.6L SOHC V8 from the Crown Victoria that produces 215 horsepower through a five-speed manual transmission.  Also new were vertical tri-tailights more faithful to the original Mustang and much better to see as well.  A new double 5-spoke aluminum wheel design was also offered on the GT.  Styling of the Mustang was smooth and unique, while tracing history back to the original Mustang.  The interior has a neat twin-pod design that gave the Mustang a stylish interior long-needed.  In 1999 Ford sharpened the styling, but lost some of the charm of the earlier fourth-generation Mustang's.

Moonlight blue looks more purple than blue, but it is one sharp color on this Mustang!  This model was also offered as a skill-level one snap kit in red, but again the moonlight blue is the way to go.  Also unlike the 1994 and 1995 editions this blue is the only promotional color as no other 1996, or 1997, or 1998 Mustang promo's were offered (and considering the short length of time for the Olds Intrigue sedan introduced at the same time it's probably because of the end of mass-promotional model production at AMT/Ertl).  The front has flush chrome headlights with signal lights on the sides where I added some orange for the amber color, round grille with prancing pony in the center, and lower bumper with grille slats and foglights to the sides.  The side profile shows off the long hood and short deck of the Mustang with GT 4.6 badges on the front fenders, rear fender scoops join the hood side scoops, and a sharp lower rocker design between the chrome double 5-spoke wheels on rubber tires.  At the rear is a decklid spoiler, red tri-taillights, 1996 plate, and Mustang GT carved into the rear bumper.  Adding detailing to the dual exhausts adds more interest at the rear.

The lower base shows great depth in details that starts with the front with the front lower A-arm suspension, engine oil pan, and transmission, then leads to the dual exhaust with a cross-over H-pipe, rear live axle with coil springs and track bars, and ends at the dual exhaust tips outside of the fuel tank.  Inside the interior has that nice two-pod dashboard layout where the upper portion is black and leads to the side door panels to separate from the gray interior.  The 4-spoke steering wheel has an airbag and detailed controls, detailed gauges, center stack with radio, HVAC controls, and on top is the duct for the clock.  The 5-speed manual shifter is surrounded by the  black center stack trim and is nicely done, while the center console sits between two bucket sets wtih thick bolsters and hoops for the seat belt track.  The rear seat is a plain bench, but you do get some cool speakers just behind them.

I like the color, I like the wheels, and especially I like how the adaptation of proper vertical taillights finally brings together this sleek design that is one of the most impressive Mustang models that I remember from my childhood.

Brookfield Collector's Guild 1:25 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34

Even if the Brookfield company has stuck to the Chrysler corporation for most of its 1990's model run, there were a few General Motors vehicles, and since Brookfield also contributed to some NASCAR race cars it was only obvious that the model selection would reflect pace cars and support trucks.  This is where the Chevrolet Monte Carlo comes in, and yes you can get one in non-pace car forum like this red one in the sporty Z34 trim.

The Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the luxury sports coupe in the Chevrolet line when it was introduced in 1970 and over the years it encountered some downturns in the auto industry, yet never gave up on what it does best: grand touring.  The 1980's saw the Monte Carlo get smaller and sleeker in response to NASCAR and also revived the SS nameplate, yet that was not enough to stop slow sales and the Monte Carlo and relative platform mates were discontinued in 1987 for the new front-wheel drive coupes where the Lumina coupe replaced the Monte Carlo.  Feeling backlash for dropping the name Chevrolet got to work on the next-generation Lumina coupe that would have a bit of sport in the styling as well as the name plate return of Monte Carlo.  After a preview with a 1992 show car the new Monte Carlo was ready in 1995.  Based on the updated Lumina sedan the Monte Carlo has a sleeker look that is also aerodynamic and monochromatic just like the last SS Monte Carlo's, an interior with a sportier dashboard layout than the Lumina, and a cool Z34 package to enhance the look with more power: A 3.4L DOHC V6 that produces 215 horsepower to the front wheels through a 4-speed automatic transmission.  The styling proved popular with sales and even more popular as a winner on the NASCAR cup circuit, then Chevrolet messed up the styling in the next-generation in 2000 that contributed to lower sales and once again the demise of the Monte Carlo in 2006.

This is not a particularly popular model as it is light on details, weight, and seems a but small for a premium model, but this model does have its hightlights.  The front has smooth flush headlights with a slim center grille that houses a red bowtie logo, while the lower bumper has a large lower scoop and no foglights.  The sleek look continues to the sides with body-color exterior mirrors, Monte Carlo decals behind the front doors, and smooth 5-spoke wheels on rubber tires.  As a nod to the original Monte Carlo the C-pillar straightens up near the rear quarter windows for a nearly straight-up pillar profile.  At the rear the spoiler-less trunk lid has a large taillight bar with brake lights at the ends and in the middle is a blacked-out panel where the reverse lamps are located, but barely there so I added some silver to make them stand out.  The finishing touch is dual exhaust tips that stick out below the rounded rear bumper.

The familiar W-body chassis is visible underneath with the detailed engine and transmission and associated hoses behind the subframe, with an exhaust system that leads past the independent rear suspension and ends in quad tips.  The interior has a somewhat sporty look with front seats that have the proper design if it lacks bolstering.  The rear seat looks a bit flat on details.  The door panels have detailed grab handles and wood trim color, but the red body panels tend to show from behind the grab handle.  The center console is similar to the one found in the 4th generation Camaro's and has the T-shaped transmission shifter, while the dashboard has detailed radio controls with HVAC controls mounted above the air vents.  The gauges are detailed, though the 4-spoke steering wheel sits too low, and there's a bit of wood trim color on the passenger-side dash.

Not a very exciting design, but I love the simple look in a spory red color and as an added bonus it is not a NASCAR stock car, bringing in more uniqueness to this model.

Brookfield Collector's Guild 1:25 1995 Dodge Intrepid ES

Promotional cars were the rage once, and while most were plastic Brookfield Collector's Guild found a way to produce both plastic and metal promotional models.  One of the first metal vehicles was the Chrysler LH sedans that were introduced in 1993 and Brookfield made all of them (except the Eagle Vision sedan).  I wanted to see how good these cars are by selecting the sporty Dodge Intrepid sedan.  I wanted a metallic red version from 1996, but that was out of my price range so I settled for this 1995 black ES model.

Chrysler was achieving success in the 1980's by building dependable and popular models that helped get the company out of bankruptcy all led by Lee Iaccoca.  By the start of the 1990's Chrysler was in turmoil again with falling sales and a big deficit, so Chrysler needed a car to boost sales in the way the Chrysler K-cars did in the 1980's.  The result was the LH cars that started with the Chrysler Portofino concept in 1987 that previewed a cab-forward sedan with power from Lamborghini (once owned by Chrysler.)  Over time the design was reinforced and created unique models across the line, and by 1992 the LH cars were ready for the public.  Dodge went for a sporty route with the Intrepid sedan that shares edgy styling with the Viper and Portofino concept, with Eagle doing the same a few years later.  Chrysler went for the sleeker Concorde design with premium luxury in mind, and since Plymouth never got the model because of its low-cost line Chrysler added another model that was higher-up than the Concorde called the New Yorker and was unique by the upright C-pillar and roof design.  Cab forward means the cabin is pulled far forward, sometimes hovering over the engine, to where the dashboard and front passenger feet meet the front wheels.  This gives the cars credible room in a small package while allowing for sleeker aerodynamics.  The front-wheel drive cars are powered by a 3.5L SOHC V6 that is longitudinally mounted and produces 210 horsepower through a 4-speed automatic transmission.  The cars proved popular and got rave reviews from journalists, spiking up sales and once again saving Chrysler.  After a successful second-generation the LH design was started to grow thin as reliability problems and the demand for a rear-wheel drive sedan mounted, and even with the Intrepid bring back Dodge to NASCAR in 2001 the LH cars were discontinued in 2004 prior to the arrival of the rear-wheel drive LX sedans.

To go all-out Brookfield created the Dodge and two Chrysler models out of die-cast metal with opening hood, trunk, and all four doors.  A pretty impressive start.  This 1995 Intrepid looks sleek in black that better hides the lower dark gray trim color (later a monochromatic option was offered) and chrome on the 5-spoke torqued wheels look better than the early silver ones.  The front has the sleek headlights with a slot grille in between, with the main grille the cross hairs below on the bumper and flanked by large round foglights to give it that Viper RT/10 look.  The sides include a nice, clean sedan profile with right-rear antenna post, rear window defroster lines, and 3.5L badges on the front doors.  The rear has a red taillight bar with center reverse lamp that also houses the Intrepid name, gills below the taillights, and a 1995 license plate.  The hood opens up show off the 3.5 V6 motor and its detailed intake runners, timing belt cover, air box, and battery, though all of it is on a flat plastic pan.  The rear trunk opens up to a spacious cargo area and also this is where the Brookfield tag is attached to the trunk hinge and nicely tucks inside the trunk.

The base underneath shows off the subframe that contours around the engine while the transmission gets a crude hole from the base support screws.  The exhaust system is a separate piece, but I had to add my own detailing to stand out from the all-black base.  All four doors open in a smooth pattern and have no obstructing hinges, though some of the doors tend to not close in well as evident by the left-rear door.  You do get detailed door panels with wood trim handles that at the front doors also feature air vents.  Front seats are supportive buckets, while the rear is a plain bench seat, and the center console houses the automatic shifter that tilts far forward than normal.  The dashboard has a nice smooth look to it that at least uses real wood details (even if it's just a tan color application) and detailed gauges and center stack controls even if they are decals.  The 2-spoke steering wheel looks old-fashion and has the radio controls mounted on them like an afterthought.  What this car does boast is more room and dual airbags even in 1993.

While not 100% perfect, it has a lot of neat features and details all done in metal for a model that no one else has done, not even now or back in 1992, making these Brookfield LH sedans in high demand for collectors.