Building Model Cars in the 1960’s

I wasn’t very good at it at first.  In fact, I recall that my first ever model car build was a near disaster.  My brother Tom had given me my first model car kit for my birthday, giving me a few tips on how to put it together, and left me to work on the project.  I laid out all the parts on top of the table, looked over the instruction sheet, and went to work. According to the box top, it was a “beginner” kit, and I was within the age range of building this model, so I felt better about starting.  By the time I had the kit finished, I had glue on the windshield, finger prints in the paint, and strangely enough, I had extra parts left in the box when I thought I was done.  Either way, I was very proud of the end result.

The more kits I built, the better I became at constructing these model cars.  I enjoyed going to the local hobby shops to browse the shelves, looking at the various kits that could be purchased.  I immediately fell in love with the box art, which I have always considered at least as important as the actual kit itself.  I could look at this artwork all day, completely mezmerized by what I saw on the hobby shop shelves.

One of the kits I remember so vividly was a model by AMT called “Lil’ Vicky”.  The car was based on the rare 1932 Ford Victoria, hopped up as a hot rod driven on the street or raced at the drag strip.  Because of that model car box art, the 1932 Ford Victoria remains as one of my favorite all time hot rod body styles.

The AMT ad below is one of the early model kits that Tom purchased for me when I was young.  He knew that I would find this type of kit easier to build and later make me want to advance to the more complicated “adult” kits with a lot more parts and detail.  He couldn’t have been more right!


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