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Friday, January 8, 2016

Greenlight and RC2 1967 Ford Mustang GT "Bullitt"



Nothing is more classical for car guys in movies than the famous chase scene in the 1968 film "Bullitt" starring Steve McQueen as he chases the bad guys in the black 1968 Dodge Charger with his highland green 1967 Ford Mustang GT fastback on the streets of San Francisco.  Today the movie is still an icon and many replica's of both cars have been made, including recently from Greenlight who have made the 1:64 many times and now the 1:43 scale versions, along with an 1:18 scale version with figurines.  You may recall I reviewed the '67 Ford Custom Taxi a few months ago, and now loose from the 4-pack tin set is the famous green Mustang alongside an RC2 casting that I got over a decade ago to see how the new one stacks up.




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The Mustang was a revolutionary car that was designed for the young people who want a sportier car than the Falcon it was derived on.  Introduced in 1964 it was an overnight success, starting a new category called Pony cars for lighter two-plus-two sports cars over the heavier Muscle cars.  The fastback was introduced in 1965 for an even more practical and stylish version of the Mustang.  At that time Caroll Shelby put his touch on the Mustang with the GT350 and turned the Mustang from a secretary's car to a formidable performance icon.  In 1967 the Mustang got a hood that was stretch further past the grille and a new rear valence panel that is coved in.  The interior retained the two-tier dash layout and featured rear seats that can fold down for even more cargo area than the miniscule trunk can offer.  You had a choice of a base I-6 or several V8's to choose from, with this GT likely having the 289 CID V8 that produced 225 hp. and 305 Ib-ft. of torque through a 4-speed manual to the rear wheels.  Also around that time the Shelby Mustang's reached the peak of their 1960's tennure.





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The new Greenlight version is based on the fantastic 1967 Ford Mustang GT casting that also includes a convertible for some versions.  The car is narrower than the RC2 version but has the right look and the right stance.  The front has the round headlights, silver lip around the grille with no badges or foglights, silver bumper with signal lights and the black California plate with the numbers JJZ 109 to match the ones on the movie car.  The front end did have some problems:  The hood did not close flush with the fenders, the silver on the bumpers were smeared, and the front-end does seem to be a bit flat-faced.  The sides show off the clean look with rear fender scoops, silver trim details, and those awesome 5-spoke dark gray Craiger mag wheels that look great and are more realistic than the 5-spoke wheels on the RC2 casting.  The rear has the proper fastback look with the valence panel having the correct cove shape with three-slot taillights, flat black panel area, silver bumper and trim details, and that rear plate sitting just above the dual exhausts.  I had to add silver to the reverse lamps below the bumper.



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The interior has the two-pod dash layout like the other mustang's with the radio in the center, 3-spoke steering wheel just ahead of the large round gauges, and the T-handle shifter where McQueen can stir through the 4-gears to catch the bad guys.  The bucket seats have the correct pattern detail, as does the door panels with the arm rests and window crank handles.  Pop the hood up to reveal the V8 with silver air filter and valve covers on a blue engine block.  The paint is a bit smeary but at least the details are there.  Underneath Greenlight really did a great job with the details from the front engine support brace and lower control arms to the rear live axle with leaf springs and dual exhausts.  Strangely only one section of the recessed floor stamp was detailed on the base.





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Now this Greenlight casting is not perfect amid the paint smearing and hood that does not want to close flush, but it is far better than what RC2 did.  As you can see they started with the 1968 Shelby GT500 KR from the Racing Champions Mint-era.  The front-end is revised with a chrome grille and bumper attached together with a grille that lacks the badges or foglights and trimmed in black, but the round headlights still remain and still recall the GT500KR.  The side details are worse as the rear fender and rear window scoops from the GT500KR remain, as does the 5-spoke wheels painted gray to mimick the Craiger mags.  The rear tail section is revised to feature the proper blacked-out panel and Tri-taillights, but does not cove in like the Greenlight version, resembling more of the 1965-1966 fastback look than the 1967-1968 version.  The hood opens up to show the V8 with silver engine block and chrome air cleaner, but it looks like any generic V8 compared to the more specific Greenlight version.  The base shows off the equivalent details of the other GL version, but i'm not sure if the base is metal painted black or plastic; either way better than the weak bases of the RC Mint versions as they can fall apart (metal fatigue) easily without notice.  The interior is the same as the GT500KR, which is not bad considering the Shelby and standard Mustang's were pretty close.



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The RC2 version was a nice one to have for a while, but now with the excellent, and accurate, Greenlight versions offered in various scales this is a nice substitute over the warmed-over GT500KR version.



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