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FROM THE December 2009 ISSUE

MPC 1969 Dodge Daytona

MPC 1969 Dodge Daytona
1969 Dodge Daytona
MPC No. 709    
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: Red, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $17.99
Pros: Quick build, fairly accurate body
Cons: Simplified and poor-fitting parts, excessive flash, lacks details
Okay, let’s get this straight right off the bat: this kit is old-school. It’s been around, in one form or another, for many years.

The low parts count (80, plus or minus) translates into simplified engine, interior and chassis components – many of which required quite a bit of time for cleaning up excessive flash.

The spoiler, nose cone, and “fender fillers” fit very poorly.

And did I mention everything’s molded in red?

So if you’re expecting modern kit- detail level, high parts counts, and perfect part-to-part fits, you’re looking at the wrong kit.

But if you know what to expect going into this build, you can get a fairly nice model. Really!
MPC 1969 Dodge Daytona engine
MPC offers this kit with the 426 Hemi that can be built “stock,” “custom,” or “competition.” I built the “stock” version. The details are a bit blob-like, but overall it does look like a Hemi. Too bad MPC doesn’t include stock exhaust manifolds. Also, the air cleaner is not chrome-plated.

True to its age, the kit’s simplified front suspension is molded to the chassis, and has little detail. In the rear, the suspension, leaf springs, axle, driveshaft, and exhaust are all one piece, and the rear tires are held in place with a metal rod. The raised letters on the tires are exaggerated, which doesn’t help, but with some simple detail-painting, the chassis does look presentable.

MPC kitted the center console, dash, steering wheel, and front seats as separate pieces, but the doors and rear seat are molded to the interior tub. Again, careful detail-painting yielded nice results, and an accurate look.  

The best part of this kit is the body. It’s fairly accurate, and MPC supplied all the proper treatments to make the Daytona: flush rear window, front nose cone, massive rear spoiler, front shock tower covers, “Hemi” door decals, and your choice of red, white, or black “Daytona” decals.
MPC 1969 Dodge Daytona spoiler
With that being said, the rear spoiler and front nose cone don’t have guide pins or slots, so gluing them to the body is tricky. Worse yet, the front “fender fillers” used to match the Daytona nose to the standard Charger front fenders look, well, silly just slapped on – as shown in the instructions.

Yes, an experienced modeler could do some simple plastic surgery to better represent the 1:1 car, but a novice has to be satisfied with the fillers glued on.
MPC 1969 Dodge Charger hood
MPC 1969 Dodge Daytona chassis
Another frustration? I found that the hood doesn’t fit the shape of the nose well, and there is no lip for the front edge of the hood to sit on – so it falls into the engine bay. This I couldn’t leave, as I did the fender fillers, so I glued a small lip made from excess sprue to the underside edge of the nose in the engine bay.

Oh, and one last complaint: the kit doesn’t include a side mirror!

I most-recently built this kit in the late 1980s as a Charger 500. I enjoyed building it then, and I enjoyed building it now.

Is it in line with the caliber of today’s kits? Not even close. And it’s not a kit for a child to start on.

But it’s sure got that old-school mojo working for it, and if you know what you’re doing, this veteran kit can turn out pretty nice.


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