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FROM THE August 2010 ISSUE

AMT Double Dragster Drag Team

Fiat and rail dragster
Rail dragster
Fiat and rail dragster
Double Dragster Drag Team
Round 2 kit No. AMT 627
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $39.99
Pros: Generally good parts fit; many building options
Cons: Prominent mold lines on many parts; dragster front suspension fragile

Building two complete models from the same box was a novel idea in the early 1960s, when AMT introduced the Double Dragster kit.

The number of parts and building options has made it a benchmark in the history of model-car kits. The Fiat-bodied Altered and the dragster have at least 14 building variations.  

The kit comes packaged in a nice 11x14 tin, decorated with the graphics from the second issue of the kit. A reproduction of the original instruction sheet and the drag-racing information booklet, along with a mini-box, is included. The decal sheet includes elements of each previous issue, plus nicely-done vintage contingency decals.

The kit is molded in white plastic, and has three trees of chrome parts. The clear windows from the original kit are joined by window sets done in tinted red and green plastic.

There are three sets of tires, including brand-new “pie-crust” slicks. One set of slicks has M&H tampo printing; the other has whitewalls. There are also six front tires: four of those have tampo-printed whitewalls, which were not perfectly centered on my examples.  

There are major mold lines on almost all of the parts. This is a big disappoint-ment on the chrome parts. The plating is beautiful, but many of the parts have to be stripped, and the lines removed.  

There was also a fair amount of flash, but nothing unreasonable for an almost-50-year-old kit. I recommend cleaning all of the parts with a good degreasing agent before painting; there seemed to be a large amount of mold-release agent on the parts, causing some problems with fisheyes in the paint.

The dragster can be built with a streamliner-type body or as a rail dragster, with several engine options. I chose to build mine as a rail, with the side-by-side fuel-injected Chevy engines. There is an option for front-mounted blowers with this setup, but I was going for a low-buck look for my build. Other engine options include tandem Chevys and the Hemi from the Fiat in blown, injected, or carbureted styles.  

Another reason I built a rail dragster is because one of the streamliner body pieces in my kit was not com-pletely formed in the molding process – otherwise known as a “short shot.”  

I chose to build the Fiat with the blown Hemi engine, as shown in the box art. The building options are more limited, with most of them being engine and induction choices. I went for a show-and-go look, and kept as many chrome pieces as possible.

The parts fit on both builds was generally very good. I did have to carve out the centers of the new slicks slightly to get the wheels to fit. The dragster’s front suspension was a bit fragile;  I broke it a couple of times during final assembly. The large sprue-attachment points for the chrome parts created major spots to touch up – especially on the wheels and suspension parts.  

The models did build up nice and square; all four tires are on the ground, which can be tricky on race car models.  

The decals went on beautifully. They are rather thin, but showed no signs of tearing. There were no gauge-face decals for either kit, which makes the interiors look unfinished.  

I had a good time building these kits. The nostalgia factor is very high – especially with the beautiful tin. But the best part is that they build up into nice-looking shelf models, with unlimited potential for parts-swapping and detailing. 


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