'68 Corvette L88 "Rebel Racer"
The Chevrolet Corvette is the quintessential American sports car. Included in the numerous models produced since the cars introduction in 1953 were some very serious performance cars. The L88 version was a special order 427 big block option available for three model years 1967 to 1969. For $5000.00 you got a factory built racecar with over 500 horsepower under the hood. The subject of this kit is the 1968 (some sources say 1969) L88 powered car driven by Dave Heinz and Bob Johnson to first place at both the 12 hour Sebring and the 24hr Daytona races. Some interesting notes about this car include its Ferrari red paint, which was required because this and a sister L88 'Vette were running in two Ferrari slots just to get in the races. A backdoor agreement through Goodyear tires who used their connection to Enzo Ferrari to open the slots. The unusual headlamps were moved up and covered with custom lenses to allow more cooling air into the engine compartment. The confederate stripes were a response to another car painted in a stars and stripes livery. The resulting victories put the Corvette and GM on the map for a class of racing traditionally dominated by foreign manufacturers.
A reissue of the 1988 according the date stamp on the molds this is a typical Revell offering. Molded in white, clear, clear red and chrome, the parts are decent quality considering the age of the kit. Only a little flash needs removal and some of the detail is a bit soft compared to the modern standard but it gets the job done. There are 119 parts in all. Decals are provided for the #57 racing version only.
Typical sequence for car model construction is the order here. The engine/ transmission come first followed by the front and rear suspension. Interior construction is next. There is a nice roll cage but the tubes need cleaning up. I glued it together and set in place till it dried. Then I primed it to see where the problems were and removed those with a sharp blade and some sanding. There are no harnesses for the seats, which is a real bummer for a racecar model. Even a decal would have been better than nothing. In keeping with my review protocol I did not add them. Next up is the body. This version has some big flares to cover the wide rear tires. They fit well. Some mold seams need removal near the top of the doors and there are ridges along the fender tops that need smoothing. Once sanded and primed, we’re ready for some color.
The color was easy as I got to use my favorite Tamiya Italian Red spray paint. I built it up in layers with sanding in between courtesy of some Revell polishing cloths that really worked well. The headers and exhaust pipes are molded in white so I primed with gloss black and finished them with Alclad chrome. I did the same on the front grille that comes with chrome finish but was a bit bright for my taste.
Decal application is made easier because of the glossy paint. There are lots of curves and bumps for the decals to get over and while I flooded them with micro set and Solvaset, I still got some wrinkles. This car had clear plastic lenses that covered open headlights in lieu of the flip up lights on the stock car. Revell duplicates this with a decal under the clear parts. Those are followed by decals that replicate the duct tape used to secure the originals! Pay attention, as there are decals that overlay other decals. Since this car had the side pipe exhaust, make sure if you use the chrome lower trim pieces you cut off the front portion or your headers won’t fit. The tires have a small ridge of rubber to remove and fit the rims very well. The mag wheels are chrome coated so you have to paint the darker centers to finish them.
This kit was a fun build of a very historic car. I would rate it a 7 out of 10. The deducts being for soft mould detail in some of the parts, no attempt at racing harnesses and a missing air dam under the front end of the car, and decals that don’t settle into some of the curves. Revell car kits are funny in that they look a bit rough in the box but build up into decent representations of the real thing. This kit is no exception especially the tight fit of the front fender wells and the radiator. Many thanks to Revell for yet another enjoyable build and to IPMS/USA for the opportunity to build and share it with you.