Tim BernsauAuthorJul 7, 2021
The MotorTrend App’s New Model Car Series Features A Famous ’67 GTX, Modded Chevelle, And More.
Model car kits were the gateway into the hot rod hobby for many, maybe most, hot rodders. And while a lot of enthusiasts moved away from models when they got old enough to start building cars, many others never gave up the fun of plastic 1:25 scale hot rods, even as they wrenched on real operational rods.
Related: Sign up to the MotorTrend App today for a free trial, and start watching all four episodes of Steve Magnante’s Super Models! Then check out what classic cars Steve finds on Roadkill’s Junkyard Gold, plus the biggest collection of automotive content anywhere!
Steve Magnante is a famous example of one of those hot rodders. When he was starting out as a staff editor for HOT ROD, his office was like a showroom for his collection of fantastic plastic model cars. So when we heard about his show on the MotorTrend App called Steve Magnante’s Super Models, we knew it wasn’t going to be about leggy, pouty fashion models—and we knew it was going to be good.
“My first model kit, at about age eight, was a 1971 Chevy Monte Carlo from AMT,” Magnante told me. “Pretty soon, I was getting serious about models, and by the time I was a teenager I was learning how to detail, how to airbrush, add chrome trim, and how to kit-bash, which is taking parts from different kits to make your particular project more realistic. Lately, I have been gathering a lot of followers on Instagram where I’ve been posting pictures of model cars. So when Mike Pantaleo at MotorTrend came to me with the idea for a show about model cars, I knew I would love to do it.”
The first season of Steve Magnante’s Super Models is four episodes long. In Episode 1, titled “Factory-Backed Street Racing in a ’67 GTX,” Magnante demonstrates the procedure for creating a scale-model replica of the Jimmy Addison Silver Bullet Plymouth GTX. The remaining episodes highlight an altered-wheelbase 1967 Chevelle SS, the Dodge Little Red Wagon wheelstander, and a 1968 Hemi Charger.
We wondered how those specific models were chosen. “We needed to choose models that actually exist and are currently available,” Magnante explained, “not only so that we could get a bunch of them to use for the show, but so that people watching would be able to find these models, as well. From there the question became, ‘What can we do with the kit to make it more interesting than just building it out of the box?’ In the case of the Jimmy Addison GTX, I knew that Revell has a wonderful model kit of the Sox & Martin 1967 GTX, and I knew that my parts box was full of parts.”
Addison’s Plymouth GTX, with a 426 Hemi engine and 727 Torqueflite transmission, was a successful Chrysler-sponsored street racer on Detroit’s Woodward Avenue. To build a 1:25 version, Magnante modified the Sox & Martin 1967 GTX model with parts from other kits to create an authentic-looking scale replica. As he builds in on camera, he combines informative model building tips with historical and technical info about the original Silver Bullet. Midway through the episode, the show moves outdoors to Magnante’s driveway to examine a 1967 GTX clone, built from a Plymouth Satellite.
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