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Home  >>  Reviews  >>  Cars  >>  1/32  >>  Carrera

1970 Hemi Cuda

Published: July 17, 2002

One thing is certain, American muscle car fans have more to choose from than ever before, and Carrera just keeps adding to that selection. Adding to their already popular classic line-up comes the 1970 Hemi Cuda in all its street machine glory.

When it comes to muscle cars, one must include the old Mopars, how could you not? The 426 Hemi engine was certainly a horsepower lovers dream, and the Hemi Cuda certainly an icon in its day.
First off you need to know that these cars are not modeled after prototype racecars, but rather pure street machines. With that said, I take these cars for what they truly are, motorized scale models. Is this a bad thing? Not at all as far as I am concerned, in fact we love these classics.
Can you race them? Of course you can, and we do often on our track. Sometimes it's a great change of pace to just pick out a few street machines and head out on the highway for some competitive cruising. In fact, for some nice sliding, bumping and grinding, these cars are hard to beat.
My initial inspection found no runs or fades in the clear-coat, as the body is molded in color. Even on the bottom edges I failed to detect any "orange peel" effect or pitting. Fit and finish of the bumpers, rear wing, rear window louvers and front grill assembly were nicely done. The small amount of tampo markings were excellent, the black stripe on rear quarter panels with the word HEMI were near perfect, as was the HEMICUDA markings on the front hood scoop.
Inside we find our familiar Carrera driver surrounded by a full interior, complete with a tachometer on the dash. Well, ¾ of an interior is a better description. Room had to be allocated for the motor, so inside the tray you can see the raised square portion to allow it. I still feel the interior is adequate and provides a decent amount of effect.

Now it was time for the initial pre-test, 5 quick laps to see how she ran out of the box. As usual, its classic Carrera style: A nice, quiet drive train, light braking with plenty of tail-out action if you prefer.
Under the hood we find the wiring for the polarity switch and the standard Carrera inline drive system. To this date, all my other classics have performed flawlessly, and feel this system does its job as intended, and the gearing mesh was smooth and quiet. The gearing is a little high for some, but on my 59-½ foot Carrera track, it works quite well. 2 screws need to be removed
from the gear cover for maintenance, but Carrera sure lubes these cars well enough from the factory, as my model was covered with grease. I simply used a toothpick and moved a little of this grease to the axle bushings to make sure they had lubrication as well.
The "VMS" or Variable Magnet System that Carrera employs utilizes a larger squared magnet that you simply move with your finger. The magnet here is a fairly strong one, but with the distance of the magnet from the rails being quite a lot, it does not drag the car heavily. There is room to add additional magnets if you choose to do so, but I leave my Classics alone and cruise them the way they came.

Performance of this car is on par with the rest of the Classics. Using 60-ohm Parma controllers, acceleration is brisk and braking distinct, yet smooth.
Sliding this car around the curves is so much fun, its borderline addicting for me. As stated, we run these cars like the street machines they are intended to be, so lap times here are not what you would call "blistering", but not that slow either. Average times posted on the 59 ½ foot Show-Me Speedway were 5.6 seconds, which I feel is acceptable. Speed does not always equal fun and this car matches the rest of field quite nicely for some competitive street racing.
If you already are a fan of this series, then don't hesitate in picking up this beauty. I am happy that Carrera has brought these machines to us, and look forward to each and every release. I also feel anyone should add this car to their stable if you want some fun American Muscle to drive.
This car also lends itself to be kit-bashed into racing form as well. So no matter how you look at it, if you are a fan of American Iron in their glory days, I would ad this car to that ever-growing wish list of yours.