Tommy Grove Mustang Funny Car

Published on
March 2, 2014
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Polar Lights - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Round 2 Models - Website: Visit Site
Box Art


Tommy Grove drove this 1969 Mustang based funny car through two seasons. The car depicted in this kit was one of the first funny cars to break the 200mph barrier. Running a 1500hp blown 427ci single overhead cam (SOHC) Ford, this car was hard to beat in its time.

The Kit

Harkening back to the days when artwork sold models, this box is graced with a cool burnout photo. Inside you get about 80 parts in white, chrome and clear plastic. The tires are rubber, with the rear tires done with backside inserts and preprinted “Racemaster” lettering. A single sheet of instructions and a nice decal sheet complete the package. There are extra parts that allow you to choose the style of wheels (front and rear), front end and the type of engine intake you want. The photos on the box confirm that there were several part variations on this car during its short career.

The Build

The first order of business was striping the chrome parts with Easy-Off. There are so many good metal finishes out there now that I don’t see ever using chromed parts “as is” again. To my eye, you get a more scale appearance, and you don’t have to live with seams. The 427 SOHC engine is nicely reproduced with some exceptions. The lower pulley on the crank didn’t project out to the same plane as the blower pulley. I had to shim it out with plastic rod so the serpentine belt would align correctly. Speaking of which, the drive belt is provided as a rubber part, but it was too short and completely the wrong shape. I cut a rubber band to width, blackened it with a Sharpie and viola… a blower drive belt! I wired the engine with thin solder painted black. The distributor and the engine block were clearly marked or molded to make wiring easy.

Next up is the chassis frame. This part is tricky. Unlike the last funny car review I did (see Hot Rod Mustang Funny Car) this kit’s frame consists of side rails and cross members as separate parts. The critical cross piece is the rear one since the body mounts on to it. If you glue the cross piece (part #5) to the molded location it will not be at a right angle to the side rails. The result: the body will not open and close, or sit square over the frame when it’s propped up. I measured from the same point on both sides, and made a new piece from brass tube. Once the frame is done, its time to mount all the running gear and cockpit parts. I plumbed the remote oil filters and the fuel tanks to the fuel pump. The drivers pit builds up nicely with separate seat belts and a roll cage built up from five parts.

The body has front and rear clips that need gluing. The front clip leaves some nasty gaps around the headlamps that are difficult to fill. One thing I did like was that the baffling around the cockpit is all reproduced, as shown in pictures of the real car on box. Not only is it all there, it fits amazingly well. There are color callouts throughout the instruction steps. Testors bottled paints are the only colors referenced.

Paint and Decals

As for body paint, you have to examine the box photos and some internet photos and decide which variation you want to do. Although the overall color of the body is dark metallic blue, the front end had various sections of white, blue or black. I chose one of the side photos on the box with a blacked out grille section and white bumper. All exterior colors are Tamiya rattle can lacquers. I didn’t rub this out since the real car doesn’t look as glossy as some race cars I’ve seen.

You have to rely on the box photos for decal placement since the instructions don’t address them. I decided to start with the hood decal, and was a bit concerned when some of it came apart as I brushed it with Micro Sol. Once I got it on the car, it promptly cracked over the peak of the hood. I had the same problem with the large side decals by the rear wheel wells lips. Those I could save, but I had to touch up with paint on the hood. The remainder went on without issue. There is a strange green-yellow splotchy pattern on the white decals that I can’t decide if I see in the box photos or not. I didn’t try to duplicate that on the front bumper.


Despite ending on a bit of a downer with the decals, I really enjoyed this kit. I’m a huge Mustang fan so this one was a must build. This is not a kit for a beginner. The frame assembly has to be done right or the whole project can go awry very early. The engine is a little gem, and even though the blower belt is a throw away, it was cool to have the pulleys molded without a belt. What impressed me the most was how well everything fit together once the frame issues were resolved. By that, I mean the body closes fully over the chassis. I would rate this kit an 8 out of 10, mainly for the decal issue. Thanks so much to Round2 Models for providing this sample, along with thanks to the IPMS Review Corps for sending it my way, and allowing the extra time I needed to finish it.


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