Auto World continues to add to its exciting Legends of the Quarter Mile series of 1/18 diecast dragsters with its first Camaro-bodied Funny Car, Bruce Larson's 1970 USA-1.
This is a new tool with fine attention to detail, and its plastic body is well-shaped to reflect the stretched fiberglass Camaro body of the time, with its distinctive pointed nose and single headlights in rounded fender housings.
In this era, there were not as many sponsor logos on the cars and Larson, a Pennsylvania native, ran for a team based at the Chevy dealership where he worked in Harrisburg. The white-bodied Camaro — with one large red and one large blue stripe its entire length — includes a thin red accent along the body's side with Sutliff Chevrolet Co. badging.
There is also a cool decal of an eagle pulling a parachute, just behind the side window openings and four gold stars down the car's side, along with the red-white-and-blue USA-1 logo, which is also repeated on the dragster's blacked-out grille. The car's nickname was Stars and Bars.
Although the body is eye-catching, it's the giant V-8 engine and dragster chassis that distinguishes this and other Auto World Funny Cars. Auto World replicates the giant chrome air scoop that extends out of the hood and windshield, along with chrome headers, giant anodized-looking pipes (four per side, naturally), a cluster of red wiring, tubes, and small fuel tank and plumbing up front.
Wheels can be posed, although straight-ahead is where most dragsters want to go, plus the chassis is a diecast tube design and painted bright red. The model also features a dragster V-shaped steering wheel, black leather-look seat, and seat belts. The rear tires are giant slicks and the front tires the smaller treaded variety standard in drag racing. Wheels are all attractive 5-spoke chrome.
For the record, Larson shook up the NHRA during the late 1960s with a record 7.41-second run, and also won the 1969 Super Stock Nationals. This Stars and Bars paint scheme and the USA-1 moniker were later additions, and the car later burned to the ground, persuading Larson to switch to Pro Stock machines, although he was back in Funny Cars by 1975. Larson raced for many years, leading the 1989 Funny Car national championship from start to finish. He was Car Craft
magazine's Funny Car Drive of the year for 1989.
For Funny Car lovers and collectors, this model exudes "cool" and should be on a short "wish list" of younger Baby Boomers who remember these flashy early 1970s Funny Cars.
Legends of the Quarter Mile: Bruce Larson 1970s Chevy Camaro
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