Testors 1/24 Dodge Charger R/T Kit First Look
By Phil Cooley, Front Range Auto Modelers (FRAM)
|Date of Review||November 2005||Manufacturer||Testors|
|Subject||Dodge Charger R/T||Scale||1/24|
|Kit Number||7141||Primary Media||Metal & Styrene|
|Pros||Museum quality||Cons||Too detailed for the beginner|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
For 1969, Dodge refined the Charger "to provide customers with even more attractions without disturbing Charger's unique wedge-farm design or identity." Charger's sporty car appearance was enhanced by the use of a divided grille with six functional air vents in the divider piece resembling dual intakes. Near wall-to-wall rectangular tail lights, which were recessed, replaced the dual, round projecting lights used on the 1968s. These lights were surrounded by a black insert to retain Charger's highway identity.
The standard engine for 1969 was either a 225 cubic inch slant six, producing 145 horsepower (gross) or the 318 cubic inch V-8 producing 230 horsepower (gross). Two optional 383s were offered with either a two or four barrel carburetor set up producing 290 and 330 horsepower respectively. In the Charger R/T, which accounted for 21 percent of 1968 Charger sales, the 440 C.I.D. Magnum, 375 H.P. power plant was standard and the 426 C.I.D., 425 H.P. Hemi was optional.
A high rate rally type suspension, including sway bar, was standard. The R/T and 500 models had special handling suspension package which inclined heavy duty torsion bars, heavy duty shocks, extra heavy duty rear springs and sway bar. The long list of options included automatic speed control, front disc brakes, tachometer, rear window defogger, AM, AM/FM, and AM/Stereo Tape radios.
The Charger's wheelbase remained at 117 inches, overall length was 208 inches, width 76.6 inches, and height 53.2 inches. 1969 production totaled 69,000 Chargers. (Description from Richard Bowman of the Walter P. Chrysler Club)
Want to build a museum quality, 1/25th scale version of the real thing? Then you would be hard-pressed to find a better starting point than this version by Testors/Lincoln Mint. To start off, there are 125 parts, plus the pre-painted, diecast body with opening doors, trunk and hood. There is even a set of photo-etched Charger emblems!
I’m not a Mopar expert, but I was a big musclecar fan in the 60s/70s and this kit looks to be dead-on accurate in its body proportions. It depicts a Charger R/T with the optional 426 Hemi. The body is painted white with a black vinyl top, which was a popular option in the 60s. The finish on the sample kit had slight orange-peel. The body has pre-painted side marker lights and a black rally stripe with R/T markings. It also has tampo printed Hemi badges on the doors, though one was slightly askew in this sample. There are plastic parts which snap inside the body to depict the chrome trim around the wheelwells, vent wings (remember those?), and the vinyl top. The grill and tail-lamp panel are detail painted, though the grille blackout was slightly scratched. The body, as well as all of the other parts, are well packaged and in plastic bags to prevent/lessen damage or loss.
Curiously, the engine goes together with a combination of glue, snap pieces, and screws. The engine is pre-painted Hemi orange, with plated valve covers, alternator, and thermostatic clutch fan. The exhaust manifolds are painted silver, and the fan assembly is molded in black, but depicts a silver-colored power steering pump. A couple of especially nice touches are a fan that can rotate and a pre-wired distributor! There is an aircleaner decal, but it is for the Magnum 440, so its not accurate for this engine (plus it is round and the Hemi aircleaner is an oblong). A set of heater hoses in also included.
The windshield and backglass are molded in one piece, with a nice depiction of the headliner and sunvisors. The interior “bucket” is multi-piece, with the floorplan pre-flocked in black. The doorpanels are well detailed and could easily be detailed with a little paint. A first (for me anyway) is separate, chromed, window-winder handles. There are two (stick-on type) decals for the dash—one for the instruments and the other depicts the heater controls. The front bucket seats are two piece and include headrests, which were new in 1969. There is also a separately molded set of pedals—brake, clutch, gas, AND emergency brake.
There are two sets of wheels included—factory rally wheels (I think they were called Magnum 500s) and what looks to be chrome steelies. If you use the Magnums, they will need some paint detailing to be accurate. The kit includes a set of no-name redwall tires.
The chassis/suspension is molded in black. To be prototypically accurate, you would need to fog white paint along the sides and front/rear. The rear springs/axle are metal, which is important to prevent the rear suspension sagging due to the relatively heavy metal body. The front suspension is fairly detailed and allows for steerable wheels. The exhaust is molded separately from the chassis, though, curiously, it is not painted silver, even though the exhaust manifolds, which are next to it on the same parts tree, are.
The instructions are well done, though I liked the ones from the 60s (when I first started building kits) that named the various parts, in addition to giving the part numbers. A number of suggestions/tips are given to help the builder make a more accurate model.
Bottom line, I am not a big fan of die-casts. However, this is a beautiful kit and I highly recommend it. With just a little attention to detail and some detail painting, you can build a kit comparable to the pre-builts sold by the “other mint” for well less than half the price.
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!
Ed Note: Phil is a member of Front Range Auto Modelers.