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Customs AMT 3 in 1 Customizing kits

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jakespeed63, Dec 13, 2019.

  1. Recently went down an EBay rabbit hole with these damn kits. The question in my feeble little mind was... were ANY of these based on real Customs??And if not, who was the genius behind designing them?
    Love them or hate them, they deserve recognition


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  2. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,349


    I think the 56 Ford kit custom parts were based on a real car but no clue on the others.
    jakespeed63 and Spooky like this.
  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,653

    Jalopy Joker

    went to estate sale today, had hundreds of models but, no 3 in 1 20191213_120300.jpg 20191213_121956.jpg
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  4. Spooky
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 1,740


    Many of the 3 in 1 kits were replicas of their 1 on 1 counterpart. The '53 Ford F100 kit had parts to recreate the Wildcat custom pick up, there was a large Mdelt T RPU kit that parts to build the Ala Kart or whatever one wished. Even the '63 Galaxie kit had pieces to recreate the dreamcar made be Bill Cushenberry.
  5. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 10,654

    from Tampa, FL

    As noted above, some were based on real customs. Many were not. But in keep in mind that many of the big named car builders of the day were on the payroll of the model companies as advisors - Daniels, Cushenberry, etc. and they helped out. I don't know for sure in all cases, but if the model car was designed by a named builder, their name is probably on the box some place.
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  6. andydodge
    Joined: Sep 28, 2008
    Posts: 987


    AMT's 1956 Ford Victoria 3n1 custom version is based on the Alexander Bros Victorian from around 1961....andyd
    jakespeed63 likes this.
  7. finn
    Joined: Jan 25, 2006
    Posts: 661


    Funny this topic cameup. We bought a house in Tucson to escape winter’s fury. Since it has a tiny 20x20 garage, no or few tools, and a HOA, I packed a couple bins with old model kits, some partially built, some sealed boxes, and some that my kids must have left behind. One month and I finished three.

    My skills have diminished from 1968 when I was 17, but they are slowly coming back.

    I noticed that Walmart even has a Round 2 display for the Christmas selling season
    catdad49 and jakespeed63 like this.
  8. Thanks Fellas. Like so many of you, I spent the cold winter months, in my parent’s basement, building countless model cars. Actually still have a few.
    Cleveland Autorama always had a Model Car building contest. Ironically another event in the middle of winter
    IMHO it helped develop my skills in so many ways. Not the least of which was to finish what you start. And creativity, as well. OMG how many brain cells where lost to the fumes of Testors paint and glue???
    “John Joseph!!! crack open a window, you’re stinking up the whole house!!”.,.”OK Mom”
    When she used your middle name, you knew you where in trouble
    Ha ha ha

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    quick85, williebill, 41 coupe and 4 others like this.
  9. The smell of Testors products are an absolute time machine! My first 3in1 Kit was AMT’s 1940 Ford Coupe. It didn’t have all the custom stuff of the kits you guys speak of, but it came with two different engines! I was so stoked! I kinda think it also had a display stand for the other engine. I think it might have been a Nailhead or maybe an Olds. Naturally I installed the Nailhead! With the big tires. By the time I was 16, I had made a 2x12 board with dowels sticking up to store extra tires. Most of the tires on the board were the skinny stock Firestone’s. I loved the fact that most AMT kits used the metal axles and that made it a snap to do a wheel and tire swap from another kit. When I discovered that, I felt like a real Hot Rodder! I also had a box full of decals from other kits too! Ahh, to save two weeks allowance and get a new kit! I also bought a lot of kits on credit, Mom, can I please have an advance on my allowance? Usually got the kit and usually still got next weeks allowance. Those were the days!

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    jakespeed63, Spooky, deucemac and 2 others like this.
  10. Like you guys, models were a huge part of my child hood. I built lots of drag cars and gassers back then. I had lots of spare parts, bodies, decals etc. Those were great days indeed.:)
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  11. This is how we became aware of Roth, Bill Cushinbery, Barris and other customizing giants. The box art sold them like hot cakes.
    Spooky and mad mikey like this.
  12. Ahhhh in the Midwest as a kid the Winter weekends were for building models..I had a Detroit News route..collections were on Friday and Saturday, by 3:30 I was at the S.S. Kresge up the street picking out my build...parents hated me spraying paint in the basement...had a big box of completed kits..all in a landfill now.
    I always love the Heavy Chevy Chevelle..was my best build...I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s.
  13. TerrytheK
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 813


    mad mikey likes this.
  14. ...still like messin with models ...
    model  55 chev 009.jpg
    MO_JUNK, Thor1, Atwater Mike and 4 others like this.
  15. Gearhead Graphics
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 3,370

    Gearhead Graphics
    from Denver Co

    That estate sale pile of models would have gone home with me. I have a plastic addiction.

    Based on some real kustoms. And then keep in mind there were people like Big Daddy Roth that worked with Revell, And at one time Darryl Zip (Founder of Zipper motors) was the lead designer. There were people with a burning passion for cars that had a pretty good idea of what people wanted. I had a blast working for Zipper. Learned a ton about old models. He had created items 40 years before, that were just becoming common at that time.
    mad mikey likes this.
  16. 26Troadster
    Joined: Nov 20, 2010
    Posts: 564

    from Texas

    my first 3 in 1 was a 57 ford don't remember brand but had opening doors and even had a tube of putty to fill the seams. it seems like the knife to work it too. i don't recall any other kits having the putty after that one. haven't built any in years.
  17. I've still got a few hundred kits but the 3-in-1's got builtin the 50's and 60's. I haven't built a model in almost 50 years I would guess. I'm putting together a starter program for my 9 y.o. grandson for old tool box and tools, some new supplies, a few kits and the old model magazines. If he likes them he will get the rest as times goes by.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
    MO_JUNK likes this.
  18. john worden
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,574

    john worden
    from iowa

    You all know, don't you, that there is a "Sunday Models" thread in the "antiquated" section?
    There are a number of tools and materials available now that help get nice results.
    Get some cars built or even started and post em up.
    quick85 likes this.
  19. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 2,531


    Think I posted this years ago....
    Christmas, probably around 1960 or 61. All I wanted Santa to bring were model kits, and he obliged. I sat over my work table all day long on Christmas day... all day, sniffing glue, putting together the T coupe, the 40 coupe, and a few others. That night I had to room with my big sis cause we had relatives visiting for the holidays.
    I was so fucked up on glue I couldn't close my eyes, much less sleep.
    Testors was my gateway drug... By '68, beer and weed were a big part of my life.
  20. 55 Ford Gasser
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 495

    55 Ford Gasser

    That was probably AMT. I built that one as well and have the reissue sitting on my shelf. I've been buying the reissues, hoping to start building again.

  21. AMT came out with their 3-in-1 kits and were poised to corner the market when Revell was concentrating on military models, no competition. But Revell had the genius to hire teenager Jim Keeler to design a series of models based on custom (Roth) and race cars of the time which blew AMT away with their detail and subject matter. AMT soon countered with some kits of contemporary prototypes and the golden age of models was born. 3-in-1 kits were the genesis but didn't last long.
  22. 40Standard
    Joined: Jul 30, 2005
    Posts: 5,770

    from Indy

    my 1st model build was in 1960, age 10, built an AMT 1960 Ford, great hobby, still have some unbuilt models
  23. knucklenutz
    Joined: Jan 4, 2009
    Posts: 63


    During the Summer of 1962 my Dad took our family to the Worlds Fair in Seattle. The five of us piled into his 1953 322 cu. in. Buick Special . We towed a 16 foot Pathfinder travel trailer from our home in Wisconsin across the prairies of Canada. To while away the boring ( to me as a 13 year old) flatlands , I built an AMT 32 Ford 5 window coupe. AMT sponsored a model car show at the the Worlds Fair that year. When we attended the Fair, I entered my Duce Coupe. I got the chance to meet Bud "The Kat" Anderson there. He was an AMT marketing man. He wrote a model building column for Rod & Custom each month. Needless to say, I subscribed to that magazine ( along with Hot Rod ). It was really cool to meet the Kat. BTW , I won an honorable mention in the paint category for my Duce.
  24. I just did a slammer to see what my coupe would look like with fenders. Cut the top on another one before I cut the top on my steel car. I still have an AMT, ERTL mild custom 61 Ranchero kit, unopened and a AMT , ERTL 3 in 1 62 'vette kit not assembled, sitting on a shelf in my closet . 34plastic.jpg
  25. KevKo
    Joined: Jun 25, 2009
    Posts: 403

    from Motown

    AMT had the Alexander Brothers, Barris, Cushenberry, and Winfield as consultants. AMT had a facility in Arizona that Winfield ran for them.
  26. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 9,956

    Atwater Mike

    I was a kid in the '40s...started with some Revell 'Highway Pioneers' in '49 or '50. Built the 1915 Center Door T, (a sedan for the newbys) and soon got ahold of the Hot Rod magazine in '54, that had Art (Jack?) Chrisman's 'Torrid '29 Tudor'!
    Quick as a flash, my new '32 Ford hiboy "Hot Rod" (Revell, 1/32 scale) came apart as I chopped the top, lost the 'B' pillar, and changed the '15 T to a '29 Tudor...Lots of filing, sanding...reshaping, chopping top with a red hot needle. Reshaping fenders, rounding them off, like a '29 A.
    Chopping off the hood, and inserting the Hot Rod flathead (with 2 extra carburetors!)
    Installed the dropped axle, rear end, and big-and-little tires, (plastic, but painted/ detailed!)
    Set the '32 shell in the front, (Chrisman car had a '29 radiator and shell, none available)
    My friend (later great car striper and flame painter, Shannon) said "Nice work, Chrisman's car, right?"
    BIG surprise when AMT came out with giant 1/25 scale '40!
    I was on my way... More later, when I skim over 60+ years of plastic car modeling off-and-on, now 'on again'!
    Thanks for this thread!
    Thor1 likes this.
  27. Pass The Torch
    Joined: May 18, 2018
    Posts: 343

    Pass The Torch

    MO_JUNK likes this.
  28. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 7,349


    I too have one of those that is unbuilt and cant wait to be the first one to build it,still trying to decide to paint or not.
    Pass The Torch likes this.
  29. Spex84
    Joined: Mar 12, 2015
    Posts: 152

    from Canada

    The aforementioned '56 Ford kit shared the same styling cues as the Alexander Brothers' "Victorian".

    The AMT '57 Chevy had customizing parts that produced a car like "Hint of Mint". Apparently the green version of "Hint" was built later than the AMT kit was released, so maybe the kit inspired the car, rather than the opposite?? Not sure.

    The AMT '53 PU has styling elements borrowed from the Barris-built "Wildkat":
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Jalopy Joker and bowie like this.

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