Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Mat Irvine reports
The Munster Koach is one of the most famous ‘Star Cars’ ever built, and was the main mode of transport for Herman Munster, the Frankenstein-lookalike husband in the 1960s family sitcom, The Munsters. The real-life Koach used in the series was built by George Barris, self-styled ‘King of the Kustomizers’ (his spelling), from three Ford Model T-bucket bodies. It sits on a custom chassis, with hand-formed brass radiator and scrollwork, and stretches 5.5 m (18 ft) in length. Power comes from a 289 cu in Ford Cobra engine, bored out to 425 cu in, with a four-speed stick shift. All in all, the Munster Koach was certainly large enough to transport the five members of the Munster family in style. It still exists too - you can see it at the UK’s Cars of the Stars Museum.

AMT Koach kit
AMT was quick to produce a 1:25 kit of the Koach, which first appeared in 1964 and although one of the simpler kits compared to many of the company’s offerings, it still looked the part when built. In addition to the Koach, there was also Grandpa Munster’s Drag-U-La. Built around a real coffin purchased from a Hollywood funeral parlour, it was powered by a Ford Mustang engine. The car actually worked as a dragster, and could turn in a reasonable elapsed time (ET) down the quarter-mile drag strip. AMT’s kit Drag-U-La kit was issued later in 1964, and had the Surf Slab surfboard as a load, otherwise the kit’s parts-count may have seemed a bit ‘thin’.

The Koach reissued
The Koach has been reissued a few times over the years, Drag-U-La less so. Both appeared as the Graveyard Ghoul Duo, (1970) with no reference to the Munsters at all, then later as a Blueprinter Special (1991) in a plain white box. In more recent years (1999) the Koach had a reissue with a box style closely matching the original.

The latest Koach and Drag-U-La from Round 2
Now we have a brand new reissue of both 1:25 scale kits in one box - or rather, in a tin - as it is one of the new ‘Collector’s Tin’ series, with full-colour artwork and a booklet that features images from the original builds, many likely never seen before. There are also stand-up signs for the nameplates and family. All this neat presentation was co-ordinated and assembled by John Greczula of Xenolab Design for Round 2, the new AMT license holder.

The kit was obtained from Al’s Hobby Shop in Elmhurst, Illinois. Thanks to Jeff Clark.

Visit Al’s Hobby Shop here.

Visit Round 2 here.

Visit the Cars of the Stars Museum here.

The pictures show, top to bottom:
1  The new AMT Collector’s Tin contains both the Munster Koach and Drag-U-La kits.
2  What you get in the new issue: two kits, both moulded in white, with chrome and clear parts; a booklet, and even ‘stand ups’ for display.
3  For the record, the previous issues of the Koach - (from top left), 1964, 1970, 1991 and 1999 issues.
4  The parts layout for the Blueprinter kits. They are moulded in approximate colours for the plastic - black for the Koach, ‘gold’ for Drag-U-La.
5  The 1964 kits as built. The figures come from Jimmy Flintstone and are, strictly speaking, ‘just’ figures of the Frankenstein Monster and Dracula - you make any connection to the TV series!