|Overall Panel Fit:||9/10|
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A four-window box with a cool "retro" design, and a lot sturdier than it looks at first glance. The primary window on the front and top of the box has a Johnny Lightning logo centered above it on the top panel and below and to the left on the front panel. The front panel also has an "Officially Licensed" Ford logo, make, model, and replica info, age recommendation, web address, and callout to look at the bottom of the box. This is because JL put a window there, allowing you to view the bare metal chassis with printed serial number. The bottom of the box also has all of the usual legal information, the bar code, the RC2 & manufacturer logos, and another call to visit the site. Each end flap has a window, the JL logo, and the Ford licensing logo. The back panel has a huge JL logo and a checklist of the rest of the cars in this series. The Mustang is held in place by a clear plastic tray at each end of the box, with a plastic band around the mid-section to keep the doors closed and a strip of plastic film protecting the edge of the hood.
Johnny Lightning cars usually do a great job with their castings, and this is no exception. The body panels are all nice and smooth, the doors and hood fit well, and the fine details are clean and sharp. There is a bit of a rough edge on the leading edge of the driver's door, but it's only noticeable when compared to the high quality of the rest of the car. The paint is equally good, with a smooth, even surface across the whole car and no visible flaws at all. The trim doesn't fare quite as well: the rockers are uneven, with patches of blue showing through in odd spots, and the wheel arches don't exactly follow the curves of the fender openings. Fortunately, all of the problem areas seem to be below the beltline. The door handles, window trim, emblems, and wipers are all expertly painted, and the cowl vents have a black wash to give them some depth. Actual chrome is used for the grille surround & emblem, bumpers, wing window trim, taillight bezels, beauty rings, and sideview mirror. Clear plastic is used for the headlights and window glass, and the taillights are painted over the chrome parts. Under the hood is a simple but very effective representation of the Ford 289, complete with ignition wiring and an air cleaner sticker. The wires have a bit of "Alfalfa Syndrome," where the left towers go to the left cylinder bank and the right towers to the right bank (leaving a part in the middle with the coil wire sticking up like the hairdo of the Little Rascals character). Although I don't expect it to be wired in the correct firing order, a little crisscrossing helps the realism here. The interior is cast in black plastic and well detailed with paint on the dashboard, door panels, steering wheel, shift lever, and mirror. JL even went to the trouble of including sun visors, inner roof pillars, and separate door sills complete with Ford emblems - a very nice touch. The chassis is very well detailed, but unpainted to show off the fact that it's metal. The front suspension is a separate black plastic piece to allow for functional steering.
The hood and doors open, and the front wheels can be posed. The hinges are a bit big, but work so smoothly and hold the panels so well (at any angle) that you probably won't care.
As usual, Johnny Lightning has no problems here. The '65 fastback looks exactly as it should, with lots of great detail work to show off JL's abilities. Even the typical deep window recesses have been taken care of. There are a couple of nitpicks: the sideview mirror is way too big, and the shift lever and steering wheel are a bit heavy. Also, the headlights and parking lights aren't quite square in their respective openings and the tires lack any kind of sidewall detail. All of these are minor points, though, and do not detract from the Mustang's overall appearance. Scaling is a pretty good 1/24, though it's a hair wide and the wheels are oversized (18").
In short, a great little replica of one of the early Mustangs. There are a few things I would've done differently, like painting the chassis, but they're personal preferences rather than design flaws. Overall a very cool addition to the collection, and highly recommended.
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