Johan Maverick Comet Review

Hello Everyone,
As some of you know, I collect Jo-Han kits, almost exclusively. With that in mind, I have decided to start my own review.
This is the first installment of some of our favorite kits, from this wonderful company.
                                 logo.jpg johan logo image by ford58wgn
I'm going to try and do one of these reviews every so often.
If anyone has any ideas for a review please email me, and include any photos of the subject your inquiring about.
This first installment is one of my favorites;

The Ford Maverick & the Mercury Comet

                 GC3100.jpg image by ford58wgn          comet8.jpg comet2 image by ford58wgn
The Maverick came out in 1970 as a Promotional Model.
Jo-Han built them for Ford to give away to their customers, when purchasing a
new Maverick. Customers could also mail away for a Promo Model for only $1.00.
                 prompgreen.jpg green maverick image by ford58wgn         mavpromo3.jpg salmon mav image by ford58wgn
The model I have in my collection came from the elderly lady that I bought my real
'70 Maverick from. The car was Green so she received a Promo Model that was Green as well.
The Comet Promo Model was released in 1971.
Jo-Han came out with the Maverick kits shortly after the release of the Promo Model.
There were three versions of this kit that Jo-Han produced:
The Super Rare 2-n-1 kits with a Stock Engine
        & Funny Car parts
The Funny car only version
The Drag car only version
With so many versions, how do you know if someone
put a more common version of these kits in an earlier box?
Here are some clues to look for:
2-in-1 Kit
Molded in White Plastic only and included the Grille from the Promo Model (no sport lamps)
Stock Engine & Funny Car parts
Made in 1970 only
                     70MAVER.jpg 3n1 front image by ford58wgn
 70MAVER1.jpg 3n1 side2 image by ford58wgn          70MAVER2.jpg 3n1 mav side image by ford58wgn
Funny Car Kit
Promo Model’s Body and Grille
Hole removed from the windshield for a blower
Glass will say Comet - regardless of whether the kit
was Maverick or not
Includes a Wing and Spoiler
Released in 1973 along with the AMC Hornet Funny Car kit
                       72COMETBOX.jpg image by ford58wgn
Now for the more common drag kits. Here is where things get a little
Drag Car Kit (Maverick ONLY/First Version)
Released in 1971
Included a Hood with Small Scoop & the Promo Car
Molded in White Plastic and marketed as the 'Dyno
Don' kit (box - orange & black car)
Drag Car Kit (Maverick ONLY/Second Version)
Released in 1972
New Box Art and Decals
Grabber 'Dyno Don' kit - Grabber Grille (w/ sport lamps)
AMT Version - “Right On” Pro Stocker kit (made by
 xq4b.jpg Dyno Don 2 image by ford58wgn            PB053971.jpg Right on Mverick 1 image by ford58wgn
Drag Car Kit (Comet ONLY kits)
“Fast Eddie” Schartman kit - molded in Bright Yellow
(1st version)
“Mr. Gasket” kit - new Box Art and Different Decals
        with no Driver Indication, this is the Comet 2 n 1 kit, with stock parts.
 comet3.jpg Fast eddie Comet image by ford58wgn           COMET1.jpg drag comet image by ford58wgn
I see these kits on eBay all the time. A lot of times the person running the auction
has put the later issue kit in the early issue box. Be careful when purchasing these early issues.
What to look for, so as you don't pay for a later issue in an early box are:
The glass does not have a kit number or any writing on
the top.
The later versions say "MAV" or C3100 (GC3100 is the
kit number from the late seventies & eighties for
the Maverick)
The wheel backs are another big clue, early kits have
METAL axles and late kits have plastic axles -
wheel backs have different holes
The tires on originals are one piece not two pieces like
the newer versions
Flashing on an "original" kit is a red flag as well. The
tooling was new then, so very, very little flashing
was present.
Anyone who bought Jo-Han kits in the eighties knows what I mean.
Take a look a the photo of this "original" Dyno Don Maverick taken from eBay.
xq4-1.jpg mave mod1 picture by ford58wgn
There are many Red Flags here on this piece. I'm not saying this guy is trying to defraud anyone, he may not know.
Someone else may have put this kit in the Dyno Don box. This is why you have to be informed when it comes to expensive kits.
Jo-Han produced the Maverick/Comet kits thru the eighties and early nineties until their demise in '99.
This era of kits could be molded in any color, from blue, green, bright turquoise, red, orange and many more.
The Seville era Comet kits have different box art and decals then any other issue. The tires in these kits are a very hard 'plastic like' rubber.
The Maverick remained unchanged during this period as the "Tinker's Toy". The Comet was also used by Testors in their kit line for one year.
These are an exact reissue of the Jo-Han kits (except for cheesy dragon decals). These are molded in white only.
                     comet10.jpg comet3 image by ford58wgn               comet9.jpg comet image by ford58wgn


Well I hope you have enjoyed this and it has informed you about these wonderful kits from Jo-Han Models.


Happy Modeling,


USA Oldies Review

                   logo.jpg johan logo picture by ford58wgn

Hi Gang, It's time again for another neat review. This was a tough one for me to write. Not much information was available on these, so the year of release was hard to figure out. I do appogize about the delay in writing this, but it's been crazy here at home.
       This review is about the Jo-han USA Oldies series. Which I think is a nice set to collect.This set is still fairly easy to get a hold of without spending whole lot of money.
  This series came out in 1977 and had 15 cars in it. Most all of the models were 1960s vehicles, with a couple 70's cars thown it to the mix.  I'll begin with the Mopars first.

                     dart.jpg 62 dart image by ford58wgn1267055200008_IMG_3458.jpg 62 fury hd top image by ford58wgn
 Jo-han issued two hardtops, the 62 dart and the 62 Fury both are really differant looking cars from the early Sixties.  No one else made anything like them. I believe the design team from the late Edsel Division of the Ford Motor Co. was hired on at Chrysler to design these cars!!
                    pl1.jpg 62 fury image by ford58wgn 
           Next we have the Fury convertible and Dart convertible kits. Identical to the hardtops. All four of these kits are very basic builders, with molded in chassis parts and not much under hood detail. The V8 engine is really generic. I'm not even sure it's a production engine from Chrysler at all. The engine does resemble an early big block, maybe a 413? Hard to tell. The chassis does have "working" torsion bars. These kits go together very well and make a very clean model when finished. I have added the shock tower panels from a Lindberg 64 Dodge to make the engine compartment look more accurate.
                      BlqQ1ewBWkKGrHqEOKisEtkVHKG10BLciIo.jpg 60 desoto image by ford58wgn
              The next three Mopars are really odd beasts as well. All of these have the same generic V8 engines as the Fury and the Dart kits. The Desoto includes a Dual Quad intake that looks pretty sweet. All of these kits use the same basic chassis with seperate torsion bars.The 60 Plymouth was reissued again later as the Police Emergency Wagon. NOTE The 60 Plymouth wagon is NOT listed in any catalogs I have or have seen as a USA Oldies kit. I'm not sure why. The engine compartments of these kits have almost NO detail. The chassis on the 60 Plymouth does not even have wheel wells, the battery just hangs on a small post. The Lindberg Mopar parts work well with these kits to inhance them. Also as another build option is an AMT 58 Plymouth chassis and shock towers. This works well under these to correct the kits short falls.
              BmrqnzQmkKGrHqYH-D4EttG8VHYlBLgddHN.jpg 62 olds image by ford58wgn
         Next up are three Oldsmobiles, 62 F85, the 61 Olds Wagon and the 63 Olds Starfire. These are really cool to build. Very accurate Olds V8, nice detail and one piece interior tubs. All the engines are the same through out each of these models. The detail on the bodies are super sharp and crisp. I have used an AMT 64 Impala chassis to upgrade the Starfire kit. There are so many possibilities for these kits. I recommend building at least one of these Oldsmobiles.
   Next in the series are the 64 Cadillacs. Excellent kits. The fit and finish are great for the time period that they were originally tooled. Both of these caddys have seperate interior parts and nice chassis detail. Like most Jo-han kits the chassis is molded in one piece. These two have working steering. (NOTE I just found out that most all of these Caddys did not have working steering. The kit I have must of been a fluke, because it does have that feature.) Under hood detail is OK for what it was. Pretty basic but with some imagination you could really make these two standout at the next Model contest.
    Next up is the 1966 AMC (Rambler) Marlin. Super kit!!! I really enjoyed building this one.
The body is crisp and the proportions are dead on. The chassis has steerable front wheels and molded in chassis parts. This chassis is correct for this year car but incorrect for the 67 and later AMC vehicles, even though Jo-han kept on using it thoughout the life of Rebel and Ambassador kits. The engine is a 327 V8 (not a GM built unit). Here again Jo-han was saving some money by using this engine across all of the AMC line reguardless of the year car. This kit is really a good looking one when it's finished. Chassis sets a little low in the rear when assembled, a few modifications are necessary for the correct ride height.
      The last three cars are some of my favorite Jo-han kits. The AMC AMX, the Olds
442 and the 70 Olds Toronado. When these were issued as USA Oldies kits the cars were only about 7 years old!
Not really an oldie if you ask me. The AMX has an incorrect engine in it. Jo-han used the Marlin engine in this kit, even though they had the correct tooling from the 69 S/C Rambler kit on hand. The AMX has a one piece interior tub and a molded in chassis. None of the Drag-On-Lady parts are included. One build option.
  The 442 is a Two-in-one kit with custom parts and a hood scoop. This has a really nice interior tub with seats molded in, and is dead on accurate. The engine resembles a 455 Olds, so I believe this car would of been a W-30. If any of you Olds guys know please correct me. Very nice kit to build. Here again a builder might want to rob an AMT 69 Olds for the chassis and other parts to make it more detailed. Right out of the box makes a good looking 442 without much effort.
  The 70 Olds Toronado is a really cool car to build. Very accurate Olds 455 V8 and transaxle unit. The lines are great and this goes together pretty well for being tooled from earlier kits. Most of the kit came from the 67 issue
Toronado kit. Interior was updated for the 70 model year. This has a separate front bench seat and nicely engraved detail for the rear seat. Very nice kit. I do recommend building this one.
     All in all the USA Oldies series kits are a neat collectible and can be built very nicely right out of the box. One more thing I might add. None of these kits had any decals of any kind that came with them.
    Well I hope you enjoyed this edition of the Jo-han Model review, and be sure to look for more later on. I also want to thank Walter Urban of Scale Hawaii for the use of some of his photos. Thanks Walt!!!!! 
                                Happy Modeling!!!! !

Cadillac review


                             logo.jpg johan logo picture by ford58wgn
      Hi Gang, it's time for the third installment of my Johan kit review.
This issue I'm going to feature some really cool Cadillacs. These are some of my favorite ones to build.  The Cadillac Ambulance and the Hearse Funeral car.
        Johan first released these kits in the mid Sixties as stock utility vehicles.
These originally came in the early Johan "Flat" boxes. The reissues all came in the more common Johan standard box. They build really nice kits with steerable front wheels and molded in chassis parts. The interior has very nice detail separate seat parts and detailed cargo areas. The rear door also opens to gain access to the rear cargo areas that holds the strecher or casket. The ambulance comes with a stretcher and can be built as either Detroit fire dept. or as an independant Ambulance company. The First Hearse issue is the only one that had the casket in it. When Johan reissued this they omitted the casket. (probably do to complaints from parents)
The reissue of the hearse was now the Heavenly Hearse with Surfboards, Groovy lamps, big hood scoop and wild decals. NOTE The Eighties issue of these had rub-on decals and which were very poor quaility. Both of these reissues can be molded in any color. Most of the Amblances came in red, however I have owned the Heavenly Hearse and the Ambulance in purple and in many other weird colors.
          Now for the more rare versions of these kits.
The Haulin' Hearse and the RRRRoarin' RRRRambulance.
  These are really neat kits!! They are duel Hemi powered all wheel drive Draggin' machines!! The bodys are a direct copy of stock kits, the only exception is that Johan removed the skirts from the Haulin Hearse. The grilles are also removed. Rear door is a seperate part but is not hinged. The chassis is a Hodge-Podge of Johan parts. Kind of neat how they cobbled it together. The front frame horns and suspention are from an Olds Toronado and the rear are parts I reconized from a funny car chassis. The rear axle is from the Rambler American kit. Both of these cars use a Olds Toronado engine block and Trans-axle with Chrysler Hemi heads on it, for the front engine.
 As for the rear engine, it came from one of the early Mopar drag cars ( Maybe the Ramchargers 64 Polara?) These come with all the glass which the instructions say to use but the box art cars don't have the glass installed. Your choice. Here are photos of the Heavenly Hearse and the Hauiln' Hearse I built.
             P6235168.jpg image by ford58wgnP5315090.jpg Haulin Hearse image by ford58wgn
 Well that concludes another Johan kit review. I hope you Guys enjoyed this and learned more about these cool vintage kits. Until next time, keep building those vintage kits and 
                              Happy Modeling!!!!!

Police Pursuit Vehicles




          Hi gang, this installment is about two of my all time favorite kits. The Police Pursuit Vehicle and the Police Emergency Wagon.


      I'll start with the 1968 Plymouth Fury Police Pursuit Car. I have owned about 20+ of these kits over the years. This is the best police car kit ever produced. The police equipment included in the kit alone makes this a classic. The kit has four different major cities, LAPD, NYPD, Detroit PD, and Chicago Metro police. It also includes a Sheriff Road Patrol version. The lights and sirens are very accurate for each City. The only exception is the red lens for the NYPD version. NYPD had a single large flasher with a clear lens and colored bulbs. The police radio is a big Motorola unit correct for the time period. Lots of neat equipment to mix and match to make many variations.

     The body was tooled from the 68 Fury hardtop kit and the lines are super sharp. Fit and finish of the overall car is really nice. The chassis is molded in one piece with no separate suspension parts. The engine is really nice looking 383 V8, one problem is that the kit has a manual transmission and not an automatic. You can correct this by using the transmission from a Lindberg 64 Dodge or Plymouth. Under hood detail is fairly nice with a place for the under hood siren and front Push bar. The interior is pretty accurate with a net partition and separate front and rear bench seats. The kit even includes a spot lamp and cord reel. No guns or rifles come in the kit. Even with using nothing but the parts included in the kit, you can make a really cool looking police car with not much effort. All in all this is of Johan's best kits ever!



   Now for the Police Emergency Wagon. This kit is a really neat car to build. The overall car is not very accurate. The chassis is from the two door hardtop kit and not a wagon. It does however have "working" torsion bar front suspension. The engine is from the other Mopar kits they had out at the time, a poly 318 Red ram v8. Looks pretty accurate. Under hood detail does not exist, the kit doesn't even have inner fender wells.  The battery just hangs out on a pole on one side of the engine compartment. The interior is molded in one piece and has great detail. It uses the police radio from the 68 Fury kit as well as the push bumper, antennas, siren and Red Bubble flasher. The wheels are plain and look nothing like the box. The decals are a generic police star and no specific Cities mentioned.  I think if you combine an AMT 58 Fury and this kit you can have a sharp more accurate looking car. This is a neat and different subject to build. I do recommend  building this fun old wagon,  just on the basis of it being so cool.

  Well I hope you learned a little something about these two cool kits from Johan models, and it inspired you to take a look at something  different to build.

  Until next time, Keep building those vintage kits and...

                                        Happy Modeling