During Pinto Day, I mentioned that Motor Max, the company that makes the mini-1974 Pinto (Mini CC here) also made 1/24-scale Vegas, Mavericks and LeBaron Town & Countrys, among other ’70s models. Well, thanks to Mopar Week, it is now time to share my mini-T&C with you all!
The LeBaron was the fancier version of the F-Body Volaré and Aspen–much like the Granada was to the Maverick over at Ford. Dodge also got a version, the Diplomat, but the Chrysler was the plushest, with its “upside-down” headlights and faux-timbered flanks. The LeBaron sedan and coupe debuted in mid-’77, but the wagon came a year later, replacing the gigantic C-body T&C that exited the scene after the 1977 model year.
Upon first hearing of the mini-T&C, I began scouring the local stores hoping to find one. I did run across a reddish-brown one at a Walgreens, but it had a silly “American Graffiti” logo on it (American Graffiti? On a 1979 LeBaron? What?!).
Eventually I located this nice blue one. A couple of months later they were on the discount aisle, so I picked up a second one for five bucks. That one is still in the closet, in its original box; this one is the “display” model, and usually sits on top of my refrigerator. The exterior details are quite well-done, although the license plates and hood ornament are a bit too big for the scale.
The interior is accurate enough, though there isn’t much detail painting. Since I have two of these, I have been thinking about taking this one apart and giving it a white interior with blue carpet and dash. And of course, plenty of dark brown paint to simulate the fake wood that should be on the instrument panel and steering wheel!
And yes, it even has the little “Unleaded Fuel Only” label above the fuel filler. Now, if they would just release a matching ’89 Fifth Avenue…