Spotlight Hobbies


From the files of the Hobby Heaven forum

Remember this one?

Posted in 2002 by Tom Carter as his entry into the 250K Question.

'51 Mercury Chopped Coupe

1) what subject would you kit, and why?
Let’s go with a chopped ’51 Merc coupe. The customized ’49 to ’51 Merc’s popularity is unsurpassed, and by choosing the ’51, the first issue can be the version used in American Graffiti. The tremendous enduring popularity of the movie would ensure that it would be a huge sales success. This kit would also be of great interest to customizers of all ages, providing material for an endless number of custom designs, both period and contemporary.

2) Set your target audience, decide on skill level, parts breakdown, and overall design.
To appeal to all age groups, it should be a regular “Level” 2” glue kit, with an engine and an easy way of adjusting the ride height.

3) Do you want to include optional parts? name them, and why?
Additional custom parts such as grilles and wheels could be included, and perhaps a couple people figures from the movie as well.

4) Possible alternative versions for the tooling.
There are an infinite number of custom options for a chopped Merc. The kit should be periodically reissued with a new assortment of custom options including engines, grilles, taillights, wheels, tires, hub caps, exhaust systems, and interior parts. There are enough possibilities to continue this process for many years, with the hobbyists anxiously awaiting each new version. An aggressive but viable variation would be a Stock ’50 Merc Convertible, first issued as the Indy Pace Car, and reissued as a stock kit with an up-top and a few custom parts from the coupe. Kit buyers would undoubtedly purchase multiples of both the coupe and convertible kits to combine the parts from the various issues creating endless building possibilities. Yet another future variation would be the '50 or '51 Merc Woody.

5) How do you want the packaging? (box art, the packaging of the parts, etc..)
The initial box art should depict a scene from American Graffiti.

6) Over-budget issues:
If it ends up over budget, the optional custom parts could be left out of the American Graffiti issue and included in the first reissue instead. The figures cold also be omitted.