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AMT 1940 Willys

1940 Willys
Round 2 No. AMT818/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear, translucent red
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $23.99
Pros: Design and brand-name parts; decals/wheels/tires.
Cons: Flash; ejector-pin marks; parting lines; pickup challenges

In September 1963, AMT introduced one of its most beloved "Trophy Series" Double Kits:  the 1940 Willys/1932 Ford Sedan. By 1969, AMT had dropped the customized 1932 Ford and added a new Willys pickup variant to complement the Willys Coupe. Subsequent issues revised or added parts to make a somewhat passable street-rod-style Willys.  

Now, 50 years to the month of its introduction, AMT has returned the Willys Coupe/Pickup to its original Gasser roots and reissued it in updated artwork based on the 1969 "#T311" Coupe/Pickup release.  

AMT’s Willys Gasser was a state-of-the-art miniaturization of the best of the 1:1 scale Willys racers of the era. The engine was a blown 394 Olds, and the model included a complete tuck’n’roll interior.
It was among the first 1/25 scale kits with such features as separately-molded, plated door and trunk handles, and upper and lower radiator hoses. The final touch was a one-piece hood/fender unit that was hinged to tilt forward.   

In this reissue, Round 2 has included newly-tooled front and rear Halibrand wheels and tires that restore the kit to its original design intent. The rear slicks are tampo-printed with Goodyear letters and blue outline stripes (the same units found in AMT’s “King Cobra” kit introduced in 2012).  

The kit also includes a reproduction of the very cool original AMT instruction sheet, and the decal sheet is an expanded version of the late-1960s release gloss finish on the decals. Red-tinted “glass” is included along with the clear parts.    

The major downside to this reissue is that almost every part had flash (thankfully, the chrome tree was mostly without flash). Ejector-pin marks and exaggerated parting lines were also found on some parts. Fixing these parts before assembly is mandatory.  

The rear axle needs to be shortened by about 3⁄64 inch to avoid it pushing through the wheel hub and becoming visible from the outside. Consider relocating the front axle slightly forward of the marked location on the leaf springs, so that the axle is more properly centered in the wheel well opening.  

The supercharger drive belt guard is a neat feature, but is too thick; you may want to omit this part or file it down.   There are two large floorboard depressions (to mount the bucket seats) that are visible from the underside when the model is completed. Consider filling these prior to assembly.  

Having built the Coupe version of this kit twice before, I assembled the pickup version for this review and found that it requires additional building skills.  You must remove a portion of the rear floorboard (the area to be removed is well marked); a razor saw and jeweler’s saw are needed to do this.  

The pickup bed locator holes for the rear fenders must be opened on the exterior surface of the pickup bed (and should be filled on the interior side).   The interior is a tight fit into the body; I had to use super glue and accelerator to get it to stay in the proper position.  

The design of this kit, with its era-correct, brand-name speed parts makes it a highly desirable model subject. It’s easy to assemble in its original form, but the kit requires a more-experienced modeler in its current
configuration – particularly if you choose the pickup version.

Don’t let that stop you; just expect to spend several hours cleaning and preparing the parts before you begin assembly.


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