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      Your path: Home >> Wall-E's World >> Model Cars >> 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500 SL
1964 1/2 Ford Mustang
Manufacturer: Maisto
Release date: 2006(?)-Currently in production
Catalog number: 9854
Date Purchased: July 2007
Date Completed: August 2008
Number in collection: 11

The first year of the Ford Mustang is significant for many reasons. The first is that it's credited with creating the 'pony car' market segment. It featured sporty styling that included the once popular 'long hood, short deck' proportions, but shared drive train, suspension, and much of the chassis structure with the less distinctive, but more practical Falcon. This allowed for a lower total production cost, and helped justify the additional tooling expense for a car whose success was unknown. The Mustang also offered an comprehensive list of optional colors and equipment. Although the base model sold for a near economy car price, it was not very difficult to double that, should you get a little carried away. Finally, it was the first time a car was officially sold as a '1/2' year model. It went on sale in April 1964, long after this model year started, but several months before the 1965's were released. The auto companies no longer seem to do this, choosing instead to round up late introductions to the next model year.

This replica is made by Maisto, as part of their Power Racer series. Like all other cars in this series, it features a spring-loaded, 'pull-back' type of motor at the rear wheels. It has decent exterior details with opening doors, but two inaccuracies really stand out. The first is that there are two pair of tail lights. I suspect this was done for engineering purposes. The back of the inner pair have pins that locate the rear light/bumper assembly to the body. The other very visible problem is the rake of the windshield, which is swept much further back than the actual car. It reminds me of the Mustang II concept car that made the auto show circuit the year before the Mustang was introduced. The wheels are a generic wire style that I've seen on other Power Racer cars. The interior isn't very impressive, but at least the car is large enough so that the pull-back motor doesn't intrude into it. The chassis is a reminder that these are intended as toys, as it has no realistic detailing whatsoever.

I originally worked on this car long before I started photographing them. The 'before' pictures are not of my car, but ones I found on-line of cars that are in original condition, but in different colors. The 'after' pictures were of my car, but taken while I was originally writing this page.

Click to zoom Click to zoom
What I started with. Actual car I used for reference.

Pictures of car before any changes were made (click to enlarge)

Disassembly was started by removing two screws that hold the chassis to the body. The remainder of this process, as well as the resulting parts breakdown, is as follows:
  • The bottom half of the interior, with seat bottoms and console moulded to it as a single piece, in black plastic. Seat backs fit loosely into tabs in the seat bottoms. This assembly just snaps to the base chassis plate. The seat backs can then be removed from the rest of the bottom piece.
  • The front axle, with wheels and tires pressed onto the axle. This falls loose once the bottom interior is removed. I didn't see any way to remove the wheels from the axles without damaging them, so I stopped there.
  • The rear tires, wheels, axle and pull-back motor assembly. This fits loosely into the chassis plate. Once again, I didn't see any way to remove the wheels from the axles without damaging them or the motor assembly, so this is as far as I went.
  • A one piece black plastic chassis That has minimal and unrealistic detail cast to the bottom.
  • a steel spring that locates between three pins cast into the underside of the body. The purpose of this part is to allow the doors to spring back closed after being opened, and to hold them in place when closed.
  • The two doors, which are easily removed once the retaining spring is removed. These are painted the same color as the body, and have door panel detail lightly cast into the inside surface.
  • A black plastic dashboard and steering wheel. The steering wheel is glued the dash, which I didn't remove so that I didn't damage it. This whole assembly was carefully pried from the retaining pins inside of the body.
  • A clear windshield and rear window, which locates to a rivet inside of the roof. I didn't remove it from the body, as I didn't want to damage it.
  • Chrome plated front bumper, grille, and rear bumper (with attached tail lights), which are attached by heat applied to moulded-in pins. I cut these bonds and removed the parts.
  • Two clear head lights, attached by heat applied to moulded-in pins. I cut these bonds and removed the parts.
  • The die-cast body, painted a color that looks very close to the original Dynasty Green with tampo-printed and adhesive-backed markings.

After disassembling the car, I decided to do something about the 'double tail light' issue. I carefully trimmed the unneeded inner pair from the bumper assembly, and filled the indentations in the rear body panel with epoxy putty. I then sanded the panel smooth, and painted the entire panel with the closest match I could find in automotive touch-up paint. The result was not one of my better efforts, but still an improvement.

The rest of the detailing was done with paint and foil. I also added a clear plastic vent windows to both doors.

The following is a summary of the changes I made:
  • Wheels and tires: Sanded the tread surface with 220 grit sandpaper to simulate wear. Covered the entire wheel with Bare-Metal foil. Painted spoke areas with a wash of Testors flat black, then rubbed paint from the spokes after it dried.
  • Chassis: Painted entire piece Testors acrylic flat black. Highlight the few moulded in details with Tamiya semi-gloss black. I left the pull-back motor attached to the chassis, as there was no need to remove and detail this part.
  • Interior: Painted front and rear seats, console, lower half of dash, steering wheel, and inside surface of the doors Testors acrylic flat white. Painted floor, top half of dash, and package shelf using the same touch-up paint that was used on the body repair. Remaining interior details were highlighted with appropriate colors, using pictures of the actual car as a guide.
  • Windows: Added vent windows to both doors with clear plastic, using silver paint around the edge of these windows to simulate chrome.
  • Body: Painted underside of body Testors acrylic flat white in the interior area, and flat black everywhere else. Applied Bare-Metal foil to window trim, hood trim, rear fender side trim, gas cap, backup lights, and front park/turn lights. Painted tail lights with Tamiya clear red, front park/turn lights with Tamiya clear orange, back up lights with Testors flat white, and behind head lights with silver.
Disassembled parts, before reassembly To the left is the car prior to re-assembly.

The car was reassembled by reversing the procedure used to disassemble it. No glue was needed.

Pictures of completed car (click to enlarge)

The proportions of the completed car look very close to the actual car. The table below shows how close they are.

Actual car 
(mm / in)
(mm / in)
Dimensions of actual car based on model scale
(mm / in)
Calculated scale based on model to actual car
Length 4613 / 181.6 119 / 4.69 4650 / 183.1 1:39
Wheelbase 2743 / 108.0 69 / 2.72 2693 / 106.0 1:40
Width 1732 / 68.2 45 / 1.74 1756 / 67.9 1:39
Height 1300 / 51.2 36 / 1.44 1404 / 55.1 1:36

My calculations show that this car is a very close to the 1:39 scale moulded onto the chassis plate. The wheelbase is slightly shorter, but not enough to be noticeable. The height I measured was a bit too tall, but I suspect this is due to the way the axles are mounted in the chassis.

This is the first time I've really looked at this car in any detail since I bought it over six years ago. I'm still happy with the way it turned out, and didn't feel the need to make any changes. I can't say that this is one of the better efforts from Maisto. In addition to the inaccuracies I mentioned earlier, The overall level of detail is less than many other Power Racer cars currently in my collection. This also doesn't seem to be of their more popular releases, as I had a lot of trouble finding pictures of this car. The ones I did were different colors than the car that I show here.

One item that might be interesting (to me, anyway) Is that I first published this page on 17-April-2014, fifty years to the date of the actual Mustang.

Liked what you saw? More cars can be found HERE .

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