Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Revell-Monogram Chevy SSR

October 2004
Revell-Monogram No. 85-7691
Model Type: Injection-molded plastic
Molded Colors: White, gray, black, clear, red clear, chrome, black vinyl tires
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $14.95
Pros: Clean, crisp moldings, chrome and clear parts packaged in protective bags, good fit on most parts, good decals
Cons: Dimples on most panels, poor fit on intake plenum, vague and/or incorrect color instructions. No factory color options given for exterior
First came the Retro-Rods, then Chrysler Corporation introduced its versions of the retro styling craze with the Plymouth Prowler and the PT Cruiser. Now General Motors has jumped into the fray with the Chevrolet SSR.

Originally conceived as a high-tech concept vehicle with interior design loosely based on the Corvettes of the 1950s (interior "waterfall") and body lines reminiscent of the 1949-1952 Chevy/GMC fat-fender pickups, the SSR was an instant hit with the viewing public, and Chevrolet put it into production.

Revell-Monogram has done an excellent job bringing its version of the SSR to market. The completed model is faithful to the 1:1 prototype, with only minor flaws (mostly concerning painting and decal placement) to contend with during construction. For some reason R-M did not give a list of factory exterior colors; a quick trip to the local Chevy dealership revealed that the SSR can be had in 21U Ultraviolet, 41U Smokin' Asphalt (black), 67U Ricochet Silver, 70U Redline Red, and 79U Slingshot Yellow. The only interior color option is Ebony (black) leather.

One of the biggest surprises happened as soon as I opened the box: this kit is molded in a new-formula plastic. R-M normally uses a relatively brittle white plastic that is thinner than that of their primary competitor. As a result of the plastic formula change, the moldings are much thicker, causing the completed model to feel about 20% heavier than it would have otherwise. Thicker plastic allows for more shrinkage, which is the primary cause of dimpling, and this kit is no exception. Every body part shows evidence of dimpling to some degree.

The SSR's engine is a 225 hp fuel-injected all-aluminum V-8. R-M has done a fairly good job of replicating the engine/transmission. According to photos posted on the Internet, the only thing wrong was the color of the valve covers. The instructions state that the valve covers should be painted black; paint the valve covers aluminum, then paint the ignition modules semigloss black.

Assembly of the engine/transmission unit is straightforward with the exception of the intake plenum (manifold). My model's plenum sat rather crooked on the engine block; this had to be corrected at this point or the front air box (Step 8) would not align correctly. The engine shroud has an engraving in the center that should be removed if the builder wishes to use the included SSR decal.

The front and rear suspension assemblies are the typical R-M design in that they are rather simplistic in design but build easily and look good. There is only one way to assemble the chassis, so pay attention to the order that R-M recommends, with the exception of the upper intake manifold and shroud. Install them at the same time as the engine; they cannot be installed on the engine as suggested in Step 8. They simply won't fit unless the chassis is removed.

The interior tub assembly is of the new design with the side trim panels molded separately. The engraving is sharp and crisp, with the only problems being the recommended paint colors and decal placements. R-M has included two SSR decals for the head restraints; these decals duplicate the embroidery on the optional floor mats for the 1:1 prototype (not included in this kit). The rear of the head restraints should be painted/foiled to duplicate brushed aluminum panels.

After the interior tub is painted, prefit the assembly to the body before gluing the side trim panels in place. I had trouble getting the trim panels to fit flush with the body, and I was able to get a better fit by bending the trim panels into more of an arc, but I still had to glue them to the inner door after assembly and clamp in place until the glue set.

The interior tub also includes the front aprons, wheel housings, and the engine compartment reservoirs, control boxes, etc. The instructions call for painting this entire area semigloss black; I did so and was very disappointed when I installed decal 29. Black decals on black surfaces do not show up well. The control box (decal 29) and the reservoirs (decals 22 and 23) should be painted white, with the filler caps black.

The location of the VIN tag in step 6 is also incorrect. The instructions show this decal (19) installed on the left upper rear cowl, but the correct location is to the immediate left of the left wiper blade.

The only other problems were with the front and rear "bowtie" decals. The decals included are bright and sharp, and gave no trouble until I installed the bowtie decals on the front grille bar and the tailgate chrome emblem; the decals would not stick to the chrome pieces! I had to let the decals dry and then paint a gloss clear coat on the chrome and stick the decals to the wet clear. I don't think the decals were bad; perhaps there was a special coating on the chrome pieces (to simulate brushed aluminum) that the decals just wouldn't stick to.

Final assembly went without incident and included a vinyl front grille screen and machined aluminum exhaust tips. R-M has also reverted to metal axles, which I don't normally like, but in this case they are far superior to plastic pins. The front brake rotors are affixed with metal stub axles that allow the wheels to rotate but don't allow the wheel to wobble.

All things considered, this is one of the better kits I've built in a long time. Even modelers with limited experience can build it and be proud of their accomplishment.


Read and share your comments on this article

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.


50-plus great reader tips!