1978 Trans Am Model Kits
1978 Tran Am Model Kits


1978
1978 must have been an interesting model year for the kitmakers, as MPC, Monogram, AMT/ERTL, and Revell all produced versions of the 1978 Trans AM.The Revell and Monogram kits are of 1/24th scale, while the MPC and AMT kits are scaled at 1/25th.
Monogram did their version of the 1978 Trans Am in 1/24th scale. They also added a few details that were missing from the MPC kits. Inside the seats were styled after the custom interior and the car was fitted with the WS6 deep dish snowflakes. In addition, there were real t-tops on this kit. The MPC versions had scored lines which you had to cut out the tops. The first version of the kit came out in 1979 and was kit #2247. This version of the kit was released in 1991, well past the 2nd Gens prime and was kit number 2716. Yet another re-release occured in 1995 and was issued again as kit number 2716. In 2001, yet another version was released, this time under the Revell trade name. It too was a 1/24th scale kit and was kit number 85-2343. Much like many of todays reissues and new tooling releases of the popular cars of the 60's and 70's, the Trans Am shows off it's timeless design.

In 2001, AMT/ERTL decided to cash in on the Trans Am and "Smokey and the Bandit" fame by issuing their 1978 Trans Am (the real Bandit car was a 1977) Unlike the Monogram-Revell versions, but like the MPC Issues, only the 15" x7" snowflakes were cast. Also like the MPC promo & annual kits, the base level of seat trim is molded. T-tops were cast into the design. The kit number was 31560. In 2002, yet another release was issued by AMT/ERTL, the was kit number 6316.

Could it be? Wow, a promo kit of the 1978 Trans Am Special Edition in Solar Gold. Nope, it's just the featured car for 1978 plastered on the box art. Inside the box,there was either a Starlight Black or Platinum version. Black cars had Gold snowflakes and Platinum cars had snowflakes that were chrome. Another bit of deception is the portrayal of a WS6 equipped Trans Am with the wide 15" x 8" snowflakes, but in the kit were the 15" x 7"'s.

With the success of the Special Edition Trans Ams, surely a reissue of the "Blackbird" kit was in order. The kit had the same basic artwork as the 1977 version except the former gold plated pieces were now chrome. A highlight on the box proclaims there are instructions on how to create "gold chrome" for the plated parts. This issue was kit #1-0777 and was copyrighted in 1980.
MPC released yet another "Blackbird" kit, this one had a more striking artwork to grab your eyes. MPC was getting a greeat deal of mileage out of this kit as this re-issue came out in 1985 was one of the "Golden Opportunity Kits" and was kit #1-0774.
In 1988, the "Blackbird" kit returned. This time under the MPC/ERTL banner. On the starburst "many optional parts" replaced the "Golden Opportunity Kit" banner. The MPC\ERTL kit carried a new numberinng system to identify the kits, this kit # is 6332.

Here is the traditional MPC Annual kit for the 1978 Trans Am. Inside the Rally II wheels were still being used with the snowflakes being used only on the "Blackbird" kits. The brown car representing the "stock" version was an odd choice. The good news for 1978 annual is that it was still "CB Eqipped"!

Monogram produced this Snap-Tite kit in 1979 in 1/32nd scale. While not a favorite scale of mine these kits are a nice introduction for youngsters and beginners to modelling. The side pipes were part of the assembly process and the 15 x 8 snowflakes are included. The hood graphics weren't too bad for a beginners model. This was distributed by Revell of Germany and marketed as kit # 1017.

The "War Eagle" was a modified Trans Am kit that MPC released in 1982. The IMSA series was nearing it's zenith and the cafe' racer look was beginning to dominate the car customizing scene. This version boasted fender flares to give it that street racer look. The kit was item number 1-0820.

This MPC Kit number 1-0765 was brought out in 1984 under the Custom Firebird label. It was a Golden Opportunity kit and according to the side panel view, it could be built a stock or custom. From what I can tell from the box art the car had BBS style spoked aluminum wheels (the box is sealed).

Back to kit selector