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Italeri 1/24 scale Ford Escort ZAKSPEED GR.2 plastic model kit review

Good decals and fits make missing parts easier to take
Kit:3664 // Scale:1/24 // Price:$59.95
Body proportions; parts fit and finish of parts; beautiful decals
Body parts molded in blue styrene; missing roll cage parts indicated in instructions
Injection-molded plastic (blue, gray, clear); decals
In the 1970s, Zakspeed was the official Ford team in the Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft (DRM) series, the predecessor to today’s German Touring Car Championship (DTM) series. From 1973 to 1981, Zakspeed achieved many victories in saloon/sports car racing, including the 1981 overall championship with driver Klaus Ludwig. On April 29, 1979, D&W Zakspeed entered two Ford Escort II RS cars into the Brands Hatch 500 Kilometers race, with No. 20, driven by Siegfried Müller Jr. and Klaus Niedzwiedz, finishing second overall and first in its division.

Italeri’s 1/24 scale Ford Escort Zakspeed GR.2 plastic model kit includes markings for the No. 20 and 21 cars entered into the Brands Hatch 500 Kilometers. The cars were, otherwise, identical for the race.

Looking over the instructions, you’ll notice that some parts are not used for this build. I removed those parts from the sprue and dropped them in my spare parts box. Also, the instructions called out parts that weren’t included in the trees. Perplexing, but more on this in a bit.

The seven-piece, 1800cc, four-cylinder engine builds to represent the little race car’s motivator well. You will have to clean up some minor mold lines, but after detail painting, it’s a nice piece. After installing the front suspension, the engine slides into place along with the cooling system and hose, the last of which is not depicted in the instructions.

The Escort interior builds off the chassis pan with one racing seat (decals for seat belts), nicely engraved door panels, and a three-piece dash with a gauge decal. The cockpit benefits from a little research and some detail painting.

For the roll cage, the instructions clearly call for side bars and a front hoop (parts 52A and 53A), but they were not provided in my sample. With the omissions, the roll cage is more like a roll bar. The rear driveline and race exhaust fit without issue, and it all rests on BBS-style wheels and race slicks in front of disc brakes.

The Ford Escort GR.2 body features wide wheel arches, a front air dam, a rear spoiler, and three holes in the trunk lid for fuel and other race necessities. The proportions look good compared to research pictures of the actual car, with markings that are spot on.

I painted the body with Tamiya Gloss Black (No. X-1) and placed the decals; the setting solution helped them settle around the large wheel flares. Take your time to line up the decals, and you won’t have any distinguishable seams on the striping. After adding all the race markings, I sealed everything under a couple of coats of clear gloss.

After a quick polish and window installation, the body slid over the chassis with no trouble, fitting so well that I didn’t cement the body to the chassis — all friction. I finished up with the clear front and rear lights. You’ll need to paint the rear taillights, and the headlights require the last of the remaining decals for the tape to make the car look race ready.

Once again, Italeri brings a fun and interesting subject to the table in its 1/24 scale Ford Escort Zakspeed GR.2 model kit. I was not disappointed with the fit and finish and lack of mold lines. The only gripe I have is with the missing roll cage parts. If you’re an intrepid model builder, you can create them from round styrene stock. Or you can just leave it as is and enjoy the build. I would recommend this kit to most modelers. Even for someone with limited experience, the kit should go together with minimal effort, and you are rewarded with a unique replica on your shelf.
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