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MPC 1/25 scale Barris “T” Buggy plastic model kit review

Round 2 brings back another classic George Barris kit for show-car enthusiasts
Kit:MPC971-200 // Scale:1/25 // Price:$31.99
Expanded and newly printed decals; classic George Barris topic; simple build
Chrome parts need work; ejector-pin marks in obvious places; too much flash
Injection-molded plastic (yellow, clear, and chrome plated); 112 parts (4 vinyl tires); decals
Known as the “original” King of Kustomizers, George Barris created legendary cars for screens, both big and small, including the Munster Coach, the Batmobile, and the Beverly Hillbillies Oldsmobile truck. One of his lesser-known vehicles was a kit car, originally designed to appeal to the 1960s surfer crowd, known as the Barris “T” Buggy. Initially powered by a Chevrolet Corvair flat-six engine, some subsequent builds used various Volkswagen powerplants. Several body styles were available, including an open buggy, landau buggy, and the “C” cab truck buggy, which MPC used as a basis for the 1/25 scale kit. Between 40 to 60 kit cars were produced, and fewer than 12 of them were truck buggies. Only four are known to exist today.

Overall, a simple kit, the MPC Barris “T” Buggy gets going with the combined Chevy Corvair six-cylinder engine and transmission. With 23 parts in the assembly, it builds into a pretty convincing drive line. Parts clean-up was relatively easy with minor flash—expected with a kit of this vintage.

The deep-dish wheels look so good that I’m searching for a second set for use on another project.

The spindly chassis turns solid enough when all together and the engine is in place. Molded in yellow, I painted the chassis AK Interactive Super Chrome (No. AK9198). As a show car (of sorts), I figured it would fit the image. The wheels and body with seats, lower gas tank, and interior parts all went on without any difficulty. Unfortunately, some of the chrome parts were junked up with rough material and flash. After scraping and filing them clean, I touched them up with AK Super Chrome.

The kit lacks marker lights and hinges for the side panels, both depicted in the box art and seen in photographs of the real vehicle.

I painted the car with Tamiya Pearl Yellow (No. TS-97) over Dupli-Color White Primer (No. DAP1689). After applying the kit’s decals, I clear-coated for a wet, show-car look.

The Barris “T” Buggy would make a fun addition to any show-car collection. It’s a straightforward build without too much hassle. Like most reissued MPC kits, the kit lacks some of today’s details, and the flash on the chrome bits requires work and can be disappointing. Overall, this scale model kit of a kit car is a must-have if you’re a George Barris fan, if you like any kind of movie or TV vehicle, or missed this kit the last time it was available.
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