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AMT 1949 Mercury Club Coupe

1949 Mercury Club Coupe
AMT No. 654/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, clear, translucent red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $21.99
Pros: Whitewall tires; custom building options; good instructions
Cons: Chrome mounting locations and seams; trunk hinge
AMT's 1949 Mercury two-door club coupe is its most recent reissue of an always-popular 3-in-1 kit.

I was pleasantly surprised to find all parts separately bagged, lots of chrome, beautiful whitewall Firestone tires, and a plethora of parts and pieces to make this into a one-of-a-kind build.

For a mold that has been around a long time, the body had no major mold lines or sink marks, and cleaned up well with minor effort.

I decided to go the mild custom route by removing the drip rails, side chrome trim, and the peak in the hood, along with all emblems, door handles, and adding skirts to the rear wheel openings.
The body also includes an opening hood and trunk. The fit of the hood was fairly good after removing a twist, using the hot-water method. The trunk fits the opening well, but the plastic hinges are almost useless and awkward.

Overall body dimensions look good and have the unique Mercury shape.

There are two engine choices: the Ford Flathead or a cross-ram-induction 440 Chrysler big-block. I stuck to tradition and used the tried-and-true Flathead, with a mix of various speed parts included in the box.

Cleanup of the engine included filling the seam that runs the entire length of the engine and transmission and dechroming some of the parts. Some mold line locations would have been impossible to hide from view, such as the air cleaners, which on this ride were painted to match the car.

The chassis took little cleanup and  went together with little or no fuss at all.Using the lowered suspension pieces provided for the rear and reversing the front spindles as per the instructions, the Merc now has  that lowered stance wanted by the custom crowd.

There are three choices of wheels: stock, baby Moons on chrome reversed wheels, or the Cadillac-style caps used on this build that were so popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Tires consist of four beautiful Firestone whitewalls,  as used on this build, or the blackwall tires for the stock or competition option. Both have good tread detail and look the part for this vehicle.

The interior is where this build falls short. It’s bucket-style with a molded-in rear seat. Light door panel engraving makes it a challenge to detail; and the dash, as nice as it is, should have had some decals for the gauges. Overall, the interior fits the car well, and I had no issues with installation into the body.

If you’re building a race car, the generic race team logos and markings would make an odd-but-convincing- looking race machine. The decal sheet includes four gauge decals that fit nothing; they are way too big for anything on the dash of the big Merc.The custom stripes are anything but pleasing, and limit the builder to only a few color choices.

Fit and finish is good. This sled has been painted a medium teal metallic. Using the custom frenched headlights and the Caddy bullet taillamps, one of the three custom grilles and dual antennas, this 1949 can stand with the many Mercs that have been customized in the past and the ones sure to be customized in the future.

This was a great build of a subject I probably have built four or five times previously, and I never get tired of the countless customizing options given to the builder. Using your imagination, you will find you can build many of these kits and no two will be alike.


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