Revell Mustang 350GT

Revell Mustang 350GT

Postby wixwacing » Thu 24 Jul, 2008 11:21 pm

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Once again a new model release from the world renown Revell Company. This model has been out in Europe for several weeks now and there have been a flourish of resales on ebay regarding this model. The astute ebayer can pick this up from the internet for Au $55.00 which includes postage or locally from the Slot Shop for about $58.00 plus postage, Which ever way you go, if you’re a fan of early North American Muscle then, this car will please.

This is a replica of the 1967 Shelby Ford 350R Mustang “No. 17” car imported by the Belgian Claude Dubois and raced at the 1967 Le Mans. The 1:1 was forced to withdraw with transmission problems after several hours but don’t let this deter you from buying this model.

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Once again, Revell’s rendition is very high quality with sharp moulded edges and good fine detail. It includes detail such as anodised surrounds to the lamp clusters and window trims. Wheels are the typical five spoke competition wheels of the era and the tyres even get a blue sidewall stripe. One thing that I noted with humour and that is the absence of bumpers.

It seems that motor racing in North America was a “Full Monty” Job and cars turned out with all their factory equipment including a set of bumpers (hands up those who haven’t lost their Trans Am front and rear sets yet) where as in Europe it has always been the norm to strip the detachables from a body before racing. This reduces the necessity for unwanted pit stops in bumper(less) to bumper(less) racing. The other thing that confirms its European identity is the addition of a pair of SEV Marchall driving lamps at the front end and side decals to match.

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The Tampo is once again first rate. The GT side and bonnet stripes are in deep metallic blue and the numbers and roundels are faultless. The front end is finished off by the incorporation of a finely etched upper and lower grille. Inside detail also lacks for little. Gear lever, fire extinguisher, wood rimmed steering wheel. Indicator stalk and instrument cluster detail are all there. The driver even has a blue rim and peak to his helmet and eye detail. All this is barely visible from the outside!!

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This review has been conducted on a 21.5 metre board track using a forty five ohm Parma economy controller and a 12 volt 2 amp power supply. Rob will be doing the Plastic track review very shortly.


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So first impressions have once again amazed and it’s time for its out of the box run. The track had been cleaned and used for 15 minutes by other cars prior to the test. First few laps as always were taken at a moderate pace, the car ran well and no serious problems were apparent. Gradually increasing speed until a noticeable drift through the bends occurred, then pushed a little harder ‘til a good controlled cornering drift occurred.

Out of the box the car was fair to good in performance and cornering on wood. This surprised me as the model has a front mounted motor and a rather long drive shaft to the crown wheel. Without a lot of weight over the rear wheels I expected sideways motion a lot earlier in the speed range! Acceleration was crisp but with the standard tyres and no rear weight there was a noticeable degree of tyre slip on the exit of bends. Once again the motor appears to rev in the 21,000 rpm bracket and doesn’t seem short of power.

Best lap time for 21.5 metres out of the box was 8.533 secs. This was pushing hard with very late braking and hard cornering to the point of deslotting. When deslotting, the car tended to do a slide and deslot at the guide movement limit.

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Next was the blueprinting. The body was removed. Once again four short screws hold the chassis very securely to the body. All tyres were removed and as with previous models, there is a degree of flash on the wheels were they have been detached from the moulding sprue. All wheels were very close to running true and I didn’t consider there to be any need to touch them. The tyres were very good and once the wheels were trimmed they were refitted as standard. This car runs on all fours and the front axle is rigid and runs in two clip-in plastic bearings,. The rear axle is also a clip-in standard with plastic bearings and once again, this model like one of its predecessors, has a fair bit of slack in the right hand bearing leaving the axle to float up and down! The prop shaft is attached by a spring to the motor and has a sound clip-in bearing at the pinion end, unlike some other makes of far greater cost that rely on the body/drivers tray to hold the bearing in!



The motor is firmly fixed in its mounts and I don’t think it will be giving any juddering problems in the foreseeable future. The final drive is a lovely sea blue (thank you Mr Revell!) and is clearly marked 9/27. The guide, well Mr Revell!, the guide set up disappoints me so. I am still bemused by the level and standard of injection moulding on most of the current slot car range. Makers strive ever harder to incorporate amazing detail, faultless tampo and overall finish to their models. Yet, in spite all of this the vast majority are still having trouble with the singularly most important aspect of the model. Its guide!!!



This particular car had barely tolerable side play in its guide. It also had unacceptable front to rear play! So much so that after its initial testing the tinned braids were noticeably worn at the front edge going up into the guide! What to do? In the past on other makes I have matched brass tube to the guide post and drilled and glued a new guide tube into the chassis. There is very little meat in the guide bracket on the chassis. Drilling it to accommodate a piece of tube would leave precious little plastic left and render it vulnerable to failure at some time. I decided to close the hole down and ream it out to size. Using the shank of a small drill bit I applied super glue to both inside ends of the bracket. After a couple of hours curing I did it again. Once hardened I carefully opened up the hole until the guide was a snug fit. I then gave it one more ream for working clearance and after lubing with petroleum jelly it was spot on. No front to back movement and only slight sideways. The guide also needed a 2mm spacer to move it down in the slot. It has a 5mm penetration so will need a slight trim for Scalex Classic and SCX track.

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After the basic mods were done, and because this model has a high centre of gravity, the final adjustments were to give the body a bit of movement on the chassis. This is a fairly important aspect of 1/32 slot car racing. It de stresses the chassis. Tightened screws can distort the drive train on a new model and this in turn can reduce performance. The other benefit is that it decouples the body as unsprung weight, by this I mean when a car is travelling down the straight or in a bend. Every little bump and deviation causes the whole car to move momentarily from its normal course. This can change pressure on the braids or even transfer weight from the tyres causing a reduced performance. By loosening the body, the amount of weight acting on the guide and tyres on an uneven surface is reduced as the body is allowed to float a little, therefore reducing guide and tyre deviation. A third benefit is that almost without exception, the model will run noticeably quieter!

The body on this model is fairly well secured to the chassis and to allow a little movement it was necessary to remove some plastic from the front and rear of the chassis. The sides also had a minor sanding to give a bit more unobstructed travel. The front and rear body features are a separate moulding and I was a bit disappointed to see the front and rear mouldings had a noticeable gap down the sides where they butt against the body. Reducing the chassis at the front and rear went a long way to fixing this. The rear was a 100% fix but, although greatly reduced, the front still has a gap down one side. The four mounts also fit inside each other, minimising the ability to allow free body movement. The chassis posts were counter bored slightly with a larger drill and this has allowed the chassis to move the minimal required amount without changing the outward nature of the model.

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So, back to the track, tyres trued (not much there!) Bearings lubed and a new semi floating body! The change was almost instant, the car (still without ballast!) was more responsive off the mark and the cornering was a lot more positive and controllable. Lap times came down by four tenths and the whole thing drove with more ease. No “ragged edge” feel any more.

After running for several minutes I decided on a final upgrade and that was to clean the tyres with silicone lube (WD40) The rear tyres are lightly coated with WD40 or similar and the excess is rubbed in then rubbed off with a dry cloth leaving tyres dry to the touch. The car was replaced on the track and the difference was obvious. Straight line acceleration was instant and cornering was very positive to the extent that the car was more likely to pick up on two wheels and go straight when pushed hard. Best lap time was 7.821 sec.

I’m not sure about this car as a serious board track racer, it’s a beautiful model but unlike the March which will hop up to a good racing car, this still has C of G problems. I know it has been designed as a plastic track car and I’m sure Robs test will show its true ability but on board, it will require careful ballasting to get it to corner really well. The Scalex Trans Ams take to wood like a duck to water but this model will need a bit more work if it is to compete with them. Nothing wrong with the motor but I’m not too sure if the tyres are up to it (Too soft? Too narrow?) or if the axles are wide enough.

The Scalex Trans Am Camaro has a 57mm wide rear axle 9.5 mm wide tyres whereas this model has a 53 mm wide axle with 7 mm wide tyres. Both cars weigh in at 82 grams but the Camaro has the bigger footprint.

Once again, for me there is no necessity to race this beautiful car but if I did I don’t think I would be disappointed! On wooden tracks it would certainly benefit from fifteen to twenty grams in front of the rear axle. On my next board track outing I will test it with this in place and report back.

The model also has a very effective rear mounted magnet in front of the rear axle with about an eight mill. front to back adjustment, and Mr Revell has thought of the racers amongst us! Yes! He has put the door mirrors in a little bag affixed under the box base! So we don’t smash them off in the first five minutes! I also like the way the braids have a metal sleeve at the guide end, very easy to fit and not like some of the soft copper braid that need heaps of faffing about!


Meanwhile Mr Revell, keep knocking them out, and where’s that Cortina!
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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