Last-minute gift for gearheads: Build your own scale Mustang V-8 with moving parts

Many of us don’t have access to an engine pulley, complete tool chest, endless time, garage space, patient partners and spare cash.

To help us overcome our lack of a complete garage and shop tools, German model company Franzis offers a 1:3 scale model of the 1965-1967 Ford Windsor V-8 with crankcase, pistons, valves, and rods, that can be built in about four hours without glue or a quart of Quaker State. The engine measures more than 10 inches long, nearly 8 inches wide, and 10.7 inches deep when fully assembled. It’s plastic, because metal parts would be far more expensive, heavier, and probably too heavy for a coffee table showpiece.

The working model runs on three AA batteries—not regular unleaded—and lights up in the true-to-form firing order of the K-Code Mustangs of yesteryear. Power output is pegged at a small breeze from the working fan, but at least there is a soundtrack to accompany the engine on startup.

There are more than 200 pieces in the kit and it costs about $ 190 from retailers such as Amazon and direct from the German company, which is similar to large-scale models from LEGO and others. But the working engine offers a color illustration guide for aficionados and Mustang buffs, and a few hours of respite on Christmas mornings or Hanukkah days where gearheads can put together a hero model in the comfort of their own living room in their pajamas—no degreaser or torque wrenches required. 

It’s one of three automotive models from Franiz, including Porsche flat-6 engines, that are available from the model company and we hope there are more to come. May we suggest the Chrysler 7.2-liter V-8, Toyota 2JZ, and Chevy small block as next year’s must-have gifts?

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