Archive for the ‘Legends’ Category
When Don Garlits proved that the rear engine AA Top Fuel setup was the way of the future, it didn’t take long for everyone else to follow suit. However, when Don “The Snake” Prudhomme decided to build a rear engine car, he went one step further and created one of the more unusual Top Fuel cars of the 1970’s. His way-out wedge design attempted to add additional downforce with a lightweight, magnesium “wedge” body section coupled with a long 220 inch wheelbase. While the setup was great in theory, setting decent initial E.T’s, it proved to be slower than Prudhomme had hoped and the car eventually shed the wedge for a more traditional rear engine dragster body.
When we retooled AMT’s Flying Wedge Dragster last year, we took the opportunity to tool an additional wedge body to match Prudhomme’s car. His had some variations like the vents on the cowling behind the engine, in addition that during the testing process of the real car, the exhaust openings were covered as the headers were re-routed to under the wedge itself.
We’ve tooled new optional under-body headers, and the flat panels that covered the original thru-body header ports. You have the option to build the car as it was originally configured, or as setup later. We’ve also tooled an optional push bar setup, as that also changed during the course of the car’s run.
We’re really excited about this release and the kit will feature accurate and complete decals, a photo booklet with fantastic photos from legendary drag photographer Steve Reyes, plus an all-new painting by one of the AMT’s original Kats, Don Greer!
You already know that we released drag racing’s top on-track duo, Don Prudhomme’s “Yellow Feather” and Tom McEwen’s 1972 rear engine dragster, but we’re now set to reissue the Big Daddy of them all, Don Garlits’ successful Swamp Rat 14 dragster! This is the one that pioneered the rear engine setup as we know it today.
As with all of our Retro Deluxe kits, we’ve gone to extra lengths to make this the best version of Big Daddy first rear engine dragster. The kit features a bonus booklet with complete specifications, a recreated and more accurate decal sheet, pad-printed slicks and like the Snake and Mongoose kits, this issue come with a custom display base. While we’ve featured the famous tracks of Lions and Orange County in those kits, we’re featuring Garlits’ “home” track of Gainesville, which hosts the popular Gatornationals. As fitting the car, we’ve portrayed the Gainesville track in the proper era and this one is complete with the timing tower (note the kit shown is simply there for reference).
Finally, we’ve corrected the car’s actual numbering. The original MPC issue noted the car as Swamp Rat 1-R, and we knew that Don successively numbered each of his real-life dragsters. So, we checked and direct from Big Daddy himself, he let us know that the car’s correct version is Swamp Rat 14.
Make sure to get your kit and add to your growing collection of drag racing’s greatest legends – only from MPC!
Hot on the heels of our release of Don “The Snake” Prudhomme’s 1972 Yellow Feather Top Fuel Dragster, we’re getting ready to produce the car that was raced by Don’s famous rival, Tom “The Mongoose” McEwen. This pair of drag racers brought modern showmanship and marketing to the sport with their match races and rivalry and paired that with sponsorship from Hot Wheels and made history in the process.
Now you can build and display both The Snake and The Mongoose in all of their 1972 glory. Just like the Yellow Feather kit, MPC’s Mongoose top fueler features newly-tooled rear wing struts and injector scoop, along with pad-printed rear drag slicks. Plus, as both a collectible and guide for the serious modeler, the kit includes a color photo booklet features great images taken by famous drag photographer Steve Reyes with additional image supplied by McEwen himself!
We’re also including a display base to show off your finished kit and while we featured a backdrop from Lions Drag Strip in the The Snake’s dragster, this time the base replicates another of California’s famous tracks – Orange County International Raceway.
Slated for a December release, be sure to catch this Mongoose when it hits the shelves!
New York Comic con is just around the corner – October 10-13, 2013!
Round 2 will be there – stop by and see us at booth 443. You won’t want to miss our new model kits, die-cast cars, slot cars, Forever Fun, Captain Action, and even the Wicked Witch of the West will be in display.
In any sport there is period of time you can look at and pinpoint the moment when the sport hit the big time. For drag racing, it was the late 1960s into the mid 1970s. That was when the sport experienced the perfect combination of extraordinary technological breakthroughs, record-breaking speeds, ground-breaking designs and a collection of legendary characters who were always ready to push the limits. It was that intoxicating mixture which took drag racing from a regional sport to one that captured the imagination of the nation.
In the late 1960s, model kit building was an extremely popular hobby. Millions of model kits were manufactured each year to keep up with the demand. Model Products Corporation (MPC), a fledgling model kit company based in Michigan, took notice of America’s attention to drag racing and began to produce 1:25 scale model kits of these cars. Everything from funny cars and rail dragsters to pro stockers and gassers lined store shelves. Names like “Grumpy Jenkins,” “Mr. Norm” and “Dyno Don” adorned the packaging. AMT, Monogram and Revell also produced drag racing models kits, but by the 1980s, model building began to wane and the tooling for most of these models was put into storage.
Today, vintage drag racing subject matter has become extremely popular in model kit and die cast circles. Many famous cars have been produced over the years, but it wasn’t until May of 2012 when Round 2, LLC announced the launch of their “Legends of the Quarter Mile” program that things really heated up. The Legends line was conceived to put a spotlight on the famous names and cars that put drag racing on the national map. Because of the diverse brands and categories under the Round 2 umbrella, “Legends” 1:18 scale die-cast replicas and 1:64 scale slot cars and drag sets are manufactured under the Auto World brand. Vintage model kits are also being reintroduced in 1:25 scale under the MPC and AMT brands.
The release of Harry Schmidt’s Blue Max Mustang Funny Car as a 1:18 scale replica signaled the beginning of a wildly successful program that has captured accolades from racing fans and hobbyists alike. Several original teams and drivers have contacted Round 2, asking to have their cars immortalized in this exciting series!
It was well before the first release, when work began to reintroduce several of the most popular drag racing model kits ever made under the “Legends” line. Some had been unavailable for decades and had been commanding big money on the collector market. The original tooling had to be scrutinized and in many cases, parts recreated. The artwork used to produce the decals in the original kits was long gone. Archival photos and other reference material was used to freshly replicate all the logos, badging and other markings in creating new, more detailed and accurate decal sheets. It was a challenge to find several of the original drivers. Some had moved on to other businesses and others had unfortunately passed away.
Late in 2012, Round 2’s MPC brand reissued Arnie Beswick’s “The Super Judge” GTO and Connie Kalitta’s Bounty Hunter Funny Car model kits in the Legends of the Quarter Mile program. These deluxe 1:25 kits are available for the first time in decades and have additional extras added, like the additional window parts in the Beswick GTO molded in clear orange, replicating the real car’s tinted backlight. You’ll notice the attention to detail with the kits’ extremely popular pad-printed tire lettering and a connection to the past with the vintage box artwork.
The latest Legends model kits include a special edition of AMT’s Ohio George Montgomery 1933 Willys Gasser and Carl Casper’s famed Young American front engine rail dragster, complete with bonus items and packaging that will delight any modeler or kit collector. For the Young American, Round 2 worked with Carl Casper himself to acquire a fantastic photo of the 1:1 car doing a wild pre-run burnout, to use on the packaging. It was a photo taken only seconds after the original one was used on the original release of the kit back in the 1970s. MPC’s team turned another photo Carl provided into a bonus card to include in the kit, featuring the specs of the car and a list of famous wins.
For the latest Legends of the Quarter Mile news, updates and offers, check out www.autoworldhobby.com/Legends. Get Legends of the Quarter Mile products at hobby stores, racing and die-cast related stores and www.autoworldstore.com.