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AMT Double Dragster

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  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: USA
AMT Double Dragster
Posted by FITTER on Tuesday, May 13, 2003 8:40 PM
Today I was looking through an old issue of SAE... it's the one with "The History of Drag Racing Models." Lots of cool stuff in there; it was Deja Vu all over again! To me, the AMT Double Dragster kit will always be one of the most fun kits ever produced.

My younger brother had one, and it was fantastic! This early issue was molded in blue plastic, and you could make two complete cars from the kit with plenty of left-over parts to add onto other AMT kits. See, in those days, AMT pretty much standardized the engine mounts in their kits to allow for easy engine swaps. The wheels and tires all interchanged, too.

The DD kit allowed you to build a Fiat coupe with any of a number of engine options, as well as either an open rail dragster or a closed-body streamliner. Extra frame rails were included, as one option allowed for a side-by-each arrangement of twin Chevy small-block engines equipped with front-mounted blowers! The instructions provided suggestions for all different engine and body combinations, and even included instructions on how to add ignition wiring for the Chrysler engine in the kit. To make this easier, the two-piece magneto had a separate cap and a hollowed-out body.

My cousin later got the same kit, but his version was molded in red plastic instead of the blue. The only problem with the colored plastic was the fact that the chrome trees were ALSO molded in color, and it seemed to bleed through in spots. This was a great kit; I believe it would still be popular today if AMT decided to reissue it. I did manage to get the "Blueprinter" version a few years back... someday I will sit down and savor every minute of building the way I would have if that blue kit had been mine.

Thinking about this kit and those days (I believe the kit came out in 1961) reminds me of so many other great kits that I'd like to try my hand at again... the AMT '34 Ford pickup with all those tools; the '53 pickup ("Noah's Arc Welding..."); the Revell '57 Chevy; the Monogram '34 Ford (pre-ZZ Top); Revell's Orange Crate and '41 Willys; Oh, yes: the AMT 289 Cobra was a VERY fine kit! Not to mention all the great AMT and Revell custom parts packs... I think I even still have a few of them around, untouched.

Anyone else remember that old Double Dragster??

FITTER Cool [8D]
IBTL
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, May 14, 2003 6:47 AM
Digging out the "Double Dragster" kit? Someone must have run out of jobs around the house...Big Smile [:D]

I remember getting this one around 1962 or so but seem to recall mine being in traditional AMT white plastic. Actually the kit was a gift from my grandfather (some begging at the Rexall drugstore that was a prime source of models...) that my brother and had to share when Gramps realized that there were TWO complete models inside. We argued about who got which chassis, body and engine....so many possible combinations...

Considering the then state of the art as FITTER said, the AMT kits were very well done. While there may have been some scale issues and some liberties taken with size, the kits were most always very well engineered. Parts fit well, seams were not awful and the engraved details were equal to many current kits. True the chrome tree could leave something to be desired and the tire selection was limited, but compared to what HAwk and Lindberg were selling this was the holy grail!

As I recall in those days one of the things we looked for in a kit was a large chrome tree and "extras"-AMT gave us trophys, jackstands, chrome finned brake drums and more! Hey, that kit has a surfboard, the Ford F100 kit had a complete go-kart with an optional Bonneville streamliner body! There was no way we could resist such treasures! At 50 cents per week we only had to save for 2 or 4 weeks to afford another fix (depending on our choice of a "regular" kit or the coveted $2.00 "Trophy Series" kits..) I also recall that status amoungst your modeling friends was determined by how many "neat parts" were in your spares box. And a little "five finger shopping" from someone elses spares stash was not unheard of! I never talked to Tommy O. again after he lifted my chrome "Raider" wheels I had saved for my custom 63 Galaxie.

10 cent Testors or Pactra PLA enamels in the bottle, 59 cents for the rattle can. Eureka! AMT has invented lacquer paint in the tall can as opposed to the short enamel cans of everybody else. This stuff was a treat to use, thin, fast dry and a good shine. Lots of good colors, pearls, candies and more.Also had a unique smell. Still have some and if I spray a little the smell takes be back to my mis-spent youth.....

The older I get the better I was!Tongue [:P]

RickBig Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by FITTER on Friday, May 23, 2003 7:27 PM
Rick...

You aren't thinking of the old Monogram "Sizzler" dragster kit, are you? You know, the one with the Bantam body for the rail? I know it was 1:24 scale, and the pieces didn't interchange with the "normal" kits, but that one had a lot of potential. I believe it came out right about at the same time as the Double Dragster... the only "odd" thing I remember about it was that their way of modeling the front "cycle" wheels was to mold them in clear plastic...

FITTER Big Smile [:D]
IBTL
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 23, 2003 7:40 PM
Before I was bornTongue [:P]Big Smile [:D]
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, May 23, 2003 7:56 PM
Fitter,

I had the "Sizzler" also...

Rick
  • Member since
    December 2012
Posted by FreedomEagle1953 on Saturday, May 24, 2003 6:15 PM
Gee guys ... you sure hit the nostalgia button .... Shy [8)]

Aaah, back in the day ... (as they say today) ... hmmm ... $1.49 & $2.00 kits down at the old Rexall Drug Store ... Fords, Chevrolets, Chryslers, heck, even Ramblers and Caddies ... those little 15 cent Testors bottles of paint ... and getting the druggist to stand there patiently (or, sort of) and hold the little clear plastic tub of plastic handled paint brushes while we checked out almost each and every one of them ... Evil [}:)] ... they were really all the same ... just different colored handles ... but, then some really did "paint" better than some of the others. Wink [;)]

Yes, those were the days ... gone but not forgotten. Cool [8D]

Hey Mark IV ... I really like the idea of spraying some of the old AMT lacquer paint into the air .... for that special smell ... that would really bring back the memories ... sorry I don't have any left. Sad [:(]

Those days, those kits, those smells and memories ... they were very powerful ... they must have been ... for here all these many years later ... here we are ... still. Approve [^]

Thanks again for the walk down memory lane. Smile [:)]

FreedomEagle1953

Chicago, IL area

"keep on building 'em ... but don't glue your fingers together"

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by FITTER on Saturday, May 24, 2003 7:27 PM
Yeah, but the Pactra paints were only 10ยข...

I remember going to the drugstore on the hill... I wanted that AMT '64 Stingray, but I only had one dollar, so I settled for the Palmer Plastics 'Vette... BAD MOVE! It should be illegal to rip-off a kid! I knew I had been scheisted, and I learned that what my Dad had told me was true: "You get what you pay for."

I never DID get that 'Vette...

FITTER
IBTL
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Sunday, May 25, 2003 11:00 AM
FITTER: That's what you get for buying models in a drugstore, they are for cards and condoms!

I bought the "SIZZLER" at Carols Gift Shop in the Harris Hill Plaza and then won the model contest they held there with it-got a $2.00 gift certificate for first prize. The model I did was only fair at best, just that everything else was so poor. I "hi-teched" the detailing on that model, Coats and Clark thread out of my mothers sewing basket for plug wires...

RickBig Smile [:D]
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