History of Monogram’s GM F-body Alston Pro/Stock Chassis

The 1982 and 1983 NHRA Pro-Stock Championships were won by a Chevrolet Camaro campaigned by team owners Dave Reher and Buddy Morrison and driven by Lee Shepherd. The winning combination was achieved by starting with a 1982 Camaro planted on an Alston Chassisworks pro-stock chassis outfitted with a marine Chevrolet big block engine topped with Shepherd heads and a Reher and Morrison fabricated sheet metal high-rise dual-quad intake manifold. Valve covers and a dry-sump oiling system were supplied by Moroso. Power went to the massive Goodyear rear slicks through a Lenco sequential manual transmission to a Ford 9-inch rear axle hung on a four-link rear suspension with wheelie bars. Goodyear Frontrunners completed the package of staggered Weld Draglites.
Monogram decided to replicate this winning car with a true 1/24th scale representation in 1984 with kit number 2216. Molded in white, the accurate Alston chassis is covered with a three-piece body based on Monogram’s Camaro snap-tite kit with modifications for pro-stock duty. Although the real car featured a removable front clip, the kit’s fenders are integral with the body. The hood can be lifted off to show the underhood tinwork and highly detailed engine. Two additional pieces are used to round out the scoop needed to clear the high-rise intake.
For the interior, a delicately molded roll cage is built up to surround the Camaro dash board with race cluster and two bucket seats. The pedals, shift linkage, and shifters are separately molded. Rounding out the interior are batteries and a fuel cell mounted behind the rear wheels.
The transparent tree for this kit includes the front and rear windscreens, side windows, tail lights, and head lights. The front tires as well as the two-piece rear tires are molded in black vinyl.
The following parts are all on the chrome tree: the four wheels, wheelie bar axle, trunk-mounted rear spoiler, shift linkage and shifters, Moroso valve covers, oil tank and top, headlight buckets, suspension links/wheelie bars, alternator, hood pins, carburetors, and inner wheel retainers.
The full instruction sheet can be viewed here.
A comprehensive decal sheet depicts the “Lone Star Rocket” red, white, and blue livery with team name, sponsors, driver, and class callouts.
Also in 1984, to round out their pro-stock series and provide some competition on scale drag strips for the Reher -Morrison car was the Camaro campaigned by Frank Iaconio. This time molded in yellow, the kit itself is otherwise identical to the Reher-Morrison car. The comprehensive decal sheet includes the side panel graphics and sponsors, as well as a separate decal for Frank Iaconio’s name.

The next iteration of this car and chassis was released in 1986 as the Mean & Nasty Pro/Street Camaro. Although the kit had not changed since the previous two versions, kit 2739 was marketed as a street-legal drag car. This time molded in black with a smoked transparent tree and gold plating rather than the usual chrome, the decal sheet was minimalized and features period graphics rather than sponsorship decals one would expect in a racing kit.

For the first major departure of this kit, the White Lightning Pro/Street Firebird came along in 1987. Although the base chassis and drivetrain remained the same, the Camaro body was replaced with that of an early third generation Pontiac Firebird. The body in kit 2748 is the same three-piece affair with separate front and rear fasciae as the Camaro, along with a removable hood and a different style hood scoop than that previously offered. The accessory trees are the same as in kit 2748, including the Camaro-specific parts as well as the curious gold plating. A new, separate transparent red tail light panel was also included, while the remainder of the parts were molded in white. As of the writing of this article, this is the only iteration of an early third generation Firebird for this pro/stock chassis and only includes street-oriented decals. Were one to speculate, it is possible that a race version may have been planned but was not ultimately issued due to licensing. Aftermarket decals are available to build various drag cars.

Returning to licensed race-only cars, in 1991 Monogram modified the Alston chassis once again. The front and rear fasciae as well as the hood were modified to the late third generation Firebird pieces. The car depicted for this version, kit 2933, was the STP Firebird Pro/Stock driven by Rickie Smith and was molded in Petty blue. Further modifications to the basic kit included a newly tooled transparent tree to incorporate a new tail light panel and more accurate windows. The chrome tree was also modified to replace the Moroso valve covers with blank, fabricated sheet metal valve covers. The interior remained the same with a Camaro dash panel, however only one bucket seat was included. The decal sheet once again contains body graphics and sponsor decals, as well as a heckblende decal to cover the tail light panel.

Following the merger of Monogram with Revell, the STP Firebird was reissued again in 1992 as kit 7498 with Revell branding and a picture of the actual car on the box cover.

The second pro/stock Firebird for 1991 was the Pennzoil car campaigned by Bill Orndorff Racing and driver Jerry Eckman. While largely unchanged from the STP car, kit 2934 was molded in yellow and the chrome tree was modified to depict the Weld Prostars found on the actual car.

As with the STP car, the Pennzoil Firebird was reissued in 1992 with Revell branding as kit 7499 and a box cover photograph of the actual car.

Returning to the Camaro body, again in 1991 Monogram issued the Tony Foti’s L.A.P.D. Camaro Pro/stock drag car. This issue, kit 7423, saw a departure from the original 1984 version. Molded in black, the body was largely unchanged save for positive mounting locations for the light bar and the hood was a newly tooled piece to reflect the open hood of the actual car. The chrome tree was expanded to include a Weiand blower, fuel injection, injector hat, Milodon valve covers, light bar mounts, and a new design of trailing spoiler with support rods. The transparent tree now included a light bar that the builder painted the appropriate red and blue. Another addition was headlight covers and the Weld Prostars from the Pennzoil Firebird version. This kit was branded as a Revell and was seemingly issued twice: once in 1991 and again in 1994 with an identical box and kit number.

After significant modifications, the Alston pro/stock chassis returned to market in 1999. A fourth generation Firebird body was tooled to bring the kit to modern times and required changes to the basic chassis plate as well. The rear wheel tubs had to be clearanced for the curvy Firebird body and the transmission tunnel was also enlarged. The engine and transmission were newly tooled to depict a Liberty five speed manual but retained the fabricated sheet metal dual-quad intake manifold from previous versions. The chrome tree was modified to include the transmission controller, nitrous bottle, redesigned wheelie bars, and a new spoiler and supports. The inner wheel retainers and carburetors were moved to a regular parts tree and are no longer plated. Further new parts for the Firebird include a new dash, an all-new transparent tree, and a return to a transparent red tail light panel.
This version of the kit was issued thrice. The first version was as Warren Johnson’s Firebird Pro Stock Superman Racing team, kit 7645.

Also in 1999 was the Summit Racing Firebird, kit 7660.

And finally, the Firebird Match Racer reissued through Model King in 2007, kit 2059. This version features generic decals for a dubiously street-legal weekend warrior.

The Reher-Morrison Camaro was reissued again in 2013, however with significant departures from the original 1984 issue. Modifications to the tooling in the intervening years required the use of the LAPD Camaro body with its light bar mounts as well as the latest Firebird chassis plate. The original Lenco transmission returns but gets lost in the Liberty-sized transmission tunnel. The interior reverted to the Camaro dash panel and the passenger bucket seat is included once more. The chrome tree sees the return of the Weld Draglites, however the valve covers are blank and the carburetors are still on the regular parts tree. Once again molded in white, kit 4994 includes an update of the original 1984 decal sheet.

For 2018, the Frank Iaconio Camaro was reissued as a companion for the Reher-Morrison car. This is a straight reissue of kit 4994 with the appropriate change in the decal sheet. The updated Iaconio decals differ from the original in that Frank’s name is now part of the side panels rather than a separate decal.

For a comparison between the 1984 and 2018 versions of the Frank Iaconio Camaro, check out this video from Luka Cee.
This article includes research and images gleaned from various eBay listings, Google Image searches, and Scalemates. Feel free to share this article, however please remember to link back to this page and/or include appropriate credit.

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