JOHNNY LIGHTNING DOES REAL MUSCLE IN MINIATURE
Die Cast X|Winter 2021
I had plans well underway for the big “Bargain Muscle Cars” feature story in this issue (p18) when I saw this lineup for the new Muscle Cars USA 2020 Release 3 from JL. I already knew I would be talking about the Dodge Dart GTS and AMC Rebel Machine, so I figured I’d just plunder those two cars from this set for that story and be all set. But then my conscience kicked in. Both because the other four cars in the set deserve their moment in the sun, and because they are all based on actual cars from the 2019 Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals show it just makes sense to talk about them together.
MATT BOYD 

I've mentioned the MCACN-series cars before so I won’t belabor that again except to point out that they have a backer card with a photo of the actual car from the show which helps show off the effort JL puts in to match the exact factory paint—a little detail that makes these cars much more satisfying for collectors. As to the car selections themselves, it’s a nice mix of later-era muscle car model years: a pair of 1969s, a pair of ’70s, a ’72, and a ’73. There's also a nice variety of makes, with two Pontiacs, a Chevy, a Ford, and the aforementioned Dodge and AMC.

1969 DODGE DART GTS

This little Mopar was originally owner Adrianna Straub’s grandfather’s car, but he sold it after a few years. The family bought it back for him as a gift 20 years later and restored it, and it has stayed in the family ever since. She races it regularly in the Pure Stock Drags so it is both fast and delightfully factory-correct in B3 Light Blue (JL actually puts the paint swatch and code on the bottom of the card!) The hood callouts are too small for me to read but her car is a 340 and you can raise the hood and see it depicted nicely in 1:64. The car has painted steel wheels with chrome poverty caps and red-line tires.

1970 AMC REBEL MACHINE

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