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MPC Malco Gasser

Malco Gasser
MPC No. MPC800/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $24.99
Pros: Body improvements, decals, precise replica of 1:1 car
Cons: No interior side panels; some minor parts-fit issue
During the 1960s, the Gasser class was amongst the most popular of all drag racing genres, and typically featured older Willys, Anglia, Henry J, Austin, and Chevy coupes stuffed with huge, supercharged late-model American V-8s. 

"Ohio George" Montgomery studied the rule book and replaced his famous 1933 Willys Gasser with a completely different approach based on a new 1967 Mustang body shell. The new car was highly successful, prompting many other racers to also switch to late-model-bodied Gassers.

In 1968, both AMT and MPC introduced kits replicating Ohio George’s Gassers. With AMT covering his 1933 Willys, MPC countered with his controversial new Mustang.

MPC’s kit tooling was subsequently modified, and has never been reissued in its original form until now. Not only has Round 2 returned this tool to its mostly original form, it has also substantially improved two areas of the original kit.
The original MPC kit had one major weakness: the body casting was converted from MPC’s 1966 Mustang annual kit, but the front end was not properly updated to reflect the much- different 1967 design. Accordingly, Round 2 tooled an all-new front clip that is correct to the 1967 design, and matches the remainder of the original body shell.  

The other major improvement is an all-new decal sheet. Decals have been added to cover all versions of the 1:1 car during its multiyear campaign. The decals are opaque, show superb print quality/register, and apply easily.

Building the kit is fairly straightforward. Comprehensive painting information is new and matches my references. There are parting lines to address and some flash, but the molding quality is better than many recent kit reissues based on late- 1960s tooling.

The highly detailed interior includes separately molded gauges, three seat belt castings, and a full roll cage. The suspension is equally detailed and mounts to a chassis that captures the unique design of the 1:1 original.      

A few issues from the original 1968-vintage kit carry over:

The supercharger blower case is undersized and incorrectly shaped. (The correct design, unique to the Ford 427 SOHC, can be found in Round 2’s recent reissue of the AMT Ohio George 1933 Willys). The lack of positive locators and somewhat indifferent fit of some engine parts requires a methodical, patient assembly process.  

The roll cage is a complex stamping that tends to be a bit misshapen; this is resolved with minor rebending of the front roll cage uprights.

The taillamp panel should include a cutout to allow the parachute to attach to its chassis mounts through the body; the instructions show this cutout, but it is omitted in the body casting.  

I had some fit issues with the steering column, steering gear arm, tie rod assembly, left and right headers, and side windows. In final assembly, the headlamp part numbers are reversed, and the push bars locate to depressions in the bumper on the 1:1 car, not the holes in the roll pan as shown.  

The team at Round 2 is to be highly commended for the effort they placed on restoring and substantially improving the original MPC Malco Gasser kit.  The result is delivers a highly accurate replica of one of the most important Gassers of all time.


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