|Revell-Monogram '66 Chevy El Camino
By Don Atherton
This kit represents the El Camino in it's third year of production on the chevelle platform.
Although no "SS" version of the El Camino was ever produced in 1966, you could still order the necessary options to make it be one (without the "SS" badge though). Chevrolet's 396 V8 was available as an option and could be had with 325 or 360 H.P. ratings. Transmissions offered were a 3 speed and 4 speed manual transmissions as well as a Powerglide automatic. Other Options were Bucket seats and center console. It does appear that Revell-Monogram has included the necessary parts in this kit to build it with these options.
Let's start with the body in this kit. There are two major inaccuracies in this piece. The body curves awkwardly down towards the bottom of the rear roof pillars. This results in the pillar being below the window line in the side door. This will be a hard one to fix. Also, the lower part of the body should have more of an inward curve towards the rocker panel. When I say inward I don't just mean slanted inward but the curve should progress inward towards the center of the car. Compare the kit body to a real 66 El Camino and you will notice this. This body appears to be retooled from Revell's Chevelle kit. The inner fender wells and Battery are molded in. The bed portion is done well but the tailgate door is molded shut. Some may like this feature. The hood has a fair level of detail on the underside.
The chassis is a re-pop of Revell's old Chevelle kit. The front and rear suspensions are separate, but simplified assemblies. There is a separate sway bar for the rear.
The engine is nothing new or cutting edge either. There are 22 pieces with the engine and tranny molded together in halves. Get the putty out for this one. There are some parts for the engine in the kit that are not in the instructions. These might be left overs from the Revell kit or more optional equipment. It would be nice if the instructions were more informative about this. More research on the real car will be needed.
The interior builds up platform style and is the only new up to date technology in this kit (except for the chrome plated parts). There is nice engraving on the door panels. The dash is a two piece affair and the steering wheel has a separate chrome horn ring. There good looking two piece bucket seats and a separate center console.
The chrome plated parts are nice. Of note are the separate rocker panel trim, wipers, side mirrors and door handles. The grille looks good and their is a chrome trim piece for the front of the hood to mate with the grille. The wheel covers look to be accurate and well done.
The clear parts consist of the front and rear window, the side vent windows, a washer fluid bottle and all the lenses except for the rear taillights which are in clear red.
The tires are generic no name tires that do not look correct. Raid that parts box for some skinnier good years or fire stones.
The decals have two sets of plates, a body shop sign for the doors, scripts and badges and gauges for the dash.
This kit is a mix of mostly older kit technology and some new well done parts, particularly in the interior and the chrome plated parts. The inaccuracies in the body and the poor tires along with a questionable engine option are troubling to say the least. It does however fill a gap in the El Camino kits.