Revell has made a few “annual” kits in the early nineties with some Ford and Mercury cars, like the Thunderbird and Cougar in specific. From ’89 through ’93, each year they put out a updated version of the model kit. In 1992 they put out the original which this kit was based on, a simple Thunderbird SC with the typical 2-in-1 treatment with a gargantuan body kit, no spoiler and a second set of wheels, oh and some extra decals for good measure.
Now with the turn of the century, Revell grabbed a bunch of old molds and turned them into “lowriders”. There were some hilariously odd choices for lowriders(a culture I personally can’t stand but hey, more power to turning classics into something… else) like a 1991 Chevrolet S-10 pick up(a rare kit turned into a even rarer kit), a 1981 Chevrolet Citation, 1978 Chevrolet El Camino, the 1992 Ford Mustang Convertible and less silly cars like the ’92 Mercury Cougar, ’93 Chevrolet Impala SS and the ’84 Cadillac Coupe Deville to the logical ones like the ’77 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, ’63 Chevrolet Impala and so on.
Some of these are easily the weirdest choices I’ve ever seen, I mean, who the hell’s bells would take a notchback Citation and turn it into a lowrider!? Speaking of which, that kit’s coming soon!
Anyway, the kit’s a combination of Lowrider Magazine’s uh, inspired look, together with Revell’s early nineties stable: the whole array of lowrider parts plus the neat bodykit stuff from the original 2-in-1 however, it also comes with extra decals that allows you to make it a much, much better “sporty” Thunderbird. That being said though, holy shit are the wheels fifty shades of ugly.
I mean, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and all that, but whose brilliant idea was it to give the “sport” version Thunderbird logo dish wheels? On top of that, I wouldn’t say the default OEM T-Bird wheels are by any means pretty and it’s amusing to know that the supposedly sporty T-Bird had a bunch of hideous tear-drop hole wheels, but would it have killed someone to add some five spoke wheels, even a direct steal of the Mercury kit? I won’t go into depth about the lowrider even though the kit’s package shows it so proudly, but I’ll say the kit’s entirely the same besides the decals and color choices for the most part. And of course, the wheels. I wanted to attach some Pegasus wheels, which wouldn’t fit and as a second plan I had the 1994 Impala SS wheels ready and set, but the wheels were too wide to even come close to matching the body.
But enough about the prettiness of certain aspects, the car other than that is actually crisply molded and quite pretty. I ended up adding a wing to it which I personally think would’ve completed the sportiness of the car. Stole it from the ’84 Cutlass kit I built a while back but used a gurney wing on instead, it’s not quite as fitting as I would’ve liked but it still sits pretty.
Other than that it shows the shared roots with the Mercury Cougar kit(just like in real life in which the Cougar, T-Bird and the Lincoln Mark VIII shared the MN12 platform), same interior for the most part and same chassis though a key difference on this car’s very evident: it’s got the supercharged and inter cooled 3.8L Essex V6. Normally, I’d be raving on about how V6’s are nice, quick and adaptable but nowhere near as brutal, quick and roaring as a V8… ’til 1992 in which Ford proved that the T-Bird Super Coupe with the 3.8L V6 was 2 seconds faster to the 60MPH mark than both the 5.0L Windsor V8 equipped T-Birds and Cougar XR-7’s.
In kit form, the engine is still largely the same as the 5.0L V8’s found in the ’90 Mustang and Cougar kits, the inter cooler duct was updated to show the respective engine size and such but still 99% the same other than that. That being said though, there’s always something so nicely cluttered about the early nineties Ford kits, especially with the Windsor and Essex engines.
There’s some pitfalls though that got carried over from either kit, for instance the bumpers are incredibly difficult to attach to the body and the chassis can be a stupidly awkward fit at times and trying to get it to meet up with the body is as always a nightmare. Though unlike the Cougar kit on which the wheels stayed perfectly, on this kit the wheels are attached by little prongs that should normally clip open in the wheels so they don’t de-attach anymore, however this quite clever design… doesn’t work.
But what the hell, it all came together in the end! Another ever-so-forgotten tried-so-hard-but-got-nowhere early nineties car finished. I do really quite collecting these types of kits of cars that were meant to be so much more than they were and building them gives me a nice glimpse in what Ford had going on at the time. It’s a shame both the Cougar and Thunderbird are now just near forgotten vehicles of a near forgotten time.
Speaking of which, like I said; the 1981 Chevrolet Citation is coming up soon, talk about forgotten. Or wanting to be forgotten.
’92 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe specifications:
Skill Level: 2
Molded in: White