1962 Ford Thunderbird

Published on
September 7, 2011
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: AMT - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Round 2 Models - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Round 2 has reissued the AMT 1962 Thunderbird with both stock and custom parts, not offered in the original release. The 1962 Ford Thunderbird, known to aficionados as the “Bullet Bird”, was the 3rd generation of the 3 most classic and beloved Thunderbird designs: “Square Bird” 1958-1960, “Bullet Bird” 1961-1963, and “Flair Bird” 1964-1966. The customizing features include ride lowering suspension with rear skirts, low profile whitewall tires and sombrero wheels, Lucas style headlights and sombrero taillights, and a 4 barrel engine option with separate manifold and air cleaner. The decals are a customizer’s dream: scallops for the hood, rear deck and sides, pinstripes, and “T-bird for Two” logos in black and white. To top off the custom look, choose the soft top, convertible, or tonneau cover. The kit is accurate, well detailed, and for the most part fits well. I elected to make a mild custom version, here are my construction notes:


The body is well proportioned and cleanly molded with minimal seam removal needed. Note: all non-chrome parts are molded in white.

Being a custom, all scripts and side trim were sanded off, and the rear fender skirts were glued inside the wheel wells. The trim on the top edge of both sides of the body extending from front to rear was left in place to be bare metal foiled (“BMF”).

The hood, tonneau cover, and body were primed with Tamiya fine gray primer, airbrushed with Cobra Colors’ Pepper Grey metallic lacquer, and lightly sanded between coats (5). I misted the final coats on, leaving a nice smooth, semi-gloss finish.

The front grill and rear bumper, as well as the windshield frame have some flash in the chrome, as well as some waviness. I repaired the chrome with BMF, and it looked satisfactory. Likewise, small chrome parts such as the rear view mirrors, antennae, and wipers needed clean up and re-chroming with BMF. All of these pieces were left off until the final assembly.


I opted for the well detailed 6 pack carburetor, with the classic early sixties Ford oval air cleaner (hint: need Thunderbird decal) and nicely chromed valve covers with “Thunderbird” in raised letters. Engine color is black: Ford went to the blue oval color in the mid 1960’s.

The engine compartment is fully loaded, you get the a/c compressor, radiator expansion tank, and 2 strands of a/c and heater hoses extending from the firewall to the engine front. Everything does fit very well in the very busy space engine compartment.


There’s good detail on the bottom, the exhaust system fits well to exhaust manifolds, and the lowered suspension was easy to assemble.

I ran into trouble with the sombrero wheel sprue attachment points, and took a chunk out of 2 wheels while removing them! I opted instead to use the chrome wheel/tire combination from AMT’s ‘67 Comet, which look quite cool on a custom ‘T-Bird’.

I checked the fit of the rear suspension to the body, and there were no issues, even with the rear skirts. All 4 tires on the ground and the low profile is superb!!


The interior comes with separate side panels, making it easy to paint and accessorize. The floor is actually the top of the chassis, so I needed to mask off the chassis bottom before painting the floor.

I sprayed all parts with Testors Exhaust metallic lacquer, and over-coated with the Pepper Grey Metallic, creating a nice contrast with the body color.

The instrument panel details and door knobs were dry brushed with chrome enamel paint, and the instrument gauge decals went on without a hitch. I added several drops of Future to each gauge.

Final Assembly

The body was attached to rear tabs in the chassis and the rear half of body was then slowly eased in. But before the front half is completely in place, I attached the front windshield to the tabs under the body in front of the dashboard. Then I squeezed the inside interior panels, and the front half was also set in place, with no glue needed in the entire process!

I added the excellent pin stripe decals to the hood, rear deck and rear sides. The ‘T-bird for Two’ decal was applied to the tonneau cover. All decals are opaque and thin, and very easy to apply!!

The front to rear trim on both sides, along with the front edge of the hood were BMF’ed.

I glued the front grill (dark gray pastel wash added), rear bumper, windshield wipers, and mirrors and the mildly custom T-bird is complete!!! Make sure to dry fit the front and rear bumpers as some sanding of the body was needed; otherwise a gap may ensue. Note: the right and left side windshield vents were left out: it gives the car more of a roadster look, and the vents were too short to reach the door.

This kit is recommended for novice through advanced modelers. Experienced modelers will have lots of customizing opportunities with the kit, both mild and wild!

Thanks to Round 2 and IPMS USA for the opportunity to build this AMT classic re-issue with customizing extras!


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