In 1980, USAirfix, a company I remember building model
airplanes in the early seventies, released thier version
of the new Trans Am Turbo under the Snapfix banner. The car
actually was quite well done for a snap together kit. Like
their rendition of the 1979 Type-K wagon, this kit featured
an opening hood and a rudimentary engine. The graphics, even
though they were not waterslide decals, were actually quite
good. The kit was done in 1/24th scale and carried part number
||The surprise in the modelling
world had to be the 1980 promo kits made by MPC for Pontiac.
Pontiac had spent millions of dollars on the new 4.9L
Turbocharged engine and had even made a special hood and
decal for this engine. So what did the promo kit come
with? A shaker hood and the traditional hood decal. The
cars were once again available in Starlite Black or
a new color, Francisco Red. The box was pretty much a
carryover of the 1979, save for the "'80" graphics and
a revised side panel which no longer listed the 6.6L
engine. Even in the modelling world the Second Generation
Trans Am days were numbered. These kits would be the last
Pontiac promos of any kind until the 4th generation of
||At the 1980 Indianapolis
500, the Turbocharged Pontiac Firebird Trans Am paced
the race for the first time in the marques history.
A striking car in white and charcoal, MPC recreated
the car in 1/25th scale. The kit carried part number
1-0761 and was the only MPC kit offered for 1980. This
was a combination of the Annual Kit and a specialty
kit all in one. The Turbo Trans Am kit did have the "Turbo"
cast aluminum wheels from the 1979 10th Anniversary kit.
Wiht the bulging Turbo hood, shaker alignment was no longer
a problem. If you chose to build a curbside version, you could
easily hide your underhood mistakes. Like the 1979 kits, the
roof panel was scored for you to cut out your own T-Tops if
||Here's a shot of a nicely assembled
version of MPC's 1980 Turbo Trans Am Indy Pace Car.
||Monogram pulled a big oops on this
one. Check out the description, "Turbo Firebird". Now look at the
car. Look at that mighty shaker popping out of the hood of the
Trans Am. The kit did have the Turbo wheels and strangely enough
side pipes like on the 1978 1/32 scale snap kit. The engine decals
on the shaker call out T/A 4.9. This kit like most Monogram kits
was produced in 1:24th scale and was kit number 1418. The kit was
released in 1981.