Most of the AMT Annuals were updates of the 1962 Kits. But of course there are a few exceptions. The Convertibles were out first and as in 1962, The Fairlane and Meteor were in the convertible boxes. The hardtops were split into the same two groups as in 1962. The styline hardtop kits were now called Advanced customizing. All the styline compacts were moved to snap kits.

Convertible style box
Hardtop style box
Advanced Hardtop Style box
1963 Hardtop line up Image courtesy of Claes Ericsson

There were some changes. The Pontiac Bonneville and Corvette hardtops were moved to the 1.49 group. The Mercury was moved up to the Advanced Customizing group. As the hardtops were out later in the year, both the Mercury S-55 and the Ford Galaxie XL were the 1963 1/2 fastback roof style. The XL promo hardtops were the formal roof line of the early XL Fords. The Buick Special wagon was replaced with the Chevy II wagon and like the 1962 kit , it came in its own box and with many extras including a trailer. The Ford F-100 Truck came with a go cart and the Chevrolet Apache came with the Triumph Motorcycle. Very close to the ones offered in the 1962 kits if you brought all of them to complete a go cart or motorcycle. The Corvette convertible had opening headlights. However the main and in my opinion worst change was the stick on white walls. You got black walls and a sticker set. This didn’t work well in 1963 and the fell off after a few years old. This was corrected with the 1964 Kits.

1963 XL Convertible instruction sheet cover showing 3 build options
Building tips from the team shown on the back of the instruction sheets

Racing options were getting better. Name brand parts were now included. Just a few years earlier open rims and a roll bar were it. The interest in all types of auto racing was growing in the early 1960’s. Drag racing was fast becoming a very popular sport. 1963 was the year The LP’s “Drag City” by Jan and Dean as well as “Hey Little Cobra” by the Ripcords and “Shut Down” by The Beach Boys were released. The kits as well as the magazines of the time were starting to move the emphasis from customs to drag racing.

Racing parts included were accurate name brand parts.
The song that made Jan and Dean from 1963

In 1960 , 4 compacts were issued in there own style boxes. In 1962 They became Styline kits. For 1963 All 4 were moved to stock only snap kits. Like the Jo-Han kits they came molded in color and were basically unassembled promos. No glue needed. There were holes molded in the body for accessory’s. The Corvair Convertible that was almost out in the 1961 Kit was now out as a snap kit.

Comet ,Corvair and Valiant were also available

The first kits out for 1963 came molded in a blue-grey plastic. This may have been in response to both Jo-Han and Revell molding their 1962’s in colored plastic. One of the first 1963 kits I brought was the Fairlane 500 Sports Coupe and it was molded in this color. Also the Mercury Meteor , Ford XL Convertible and Pontiac Tempest Convertible were sold that way. These were later molded in white as were all the rest except the snap kits. The snap kit blue ( Comet) was not at all the same. Image below shows both Fairlane and Comet seats.

1963 Fairlane and Comet seats

For 1963 Jo-Han dropped the Lark and Rambler Classic. The Cadillac was now offered as a 2 door hardtop or convertible. The Oldsmobile was moved from a Delta 88 4 door to the better choice of a Starfire 2 door hardtop or convertible. All the kits were still molded in colors and now all had engines.

Both hardtops and convertibles came in the same style box

As someone who builds stock , Jo-Han did a great thing for 1963. They offered the same kits but with out the other 2 options ( which I Never used anyway) for 0.98 cents. These were the same kits molded in color but in a flat box much like the 1962 Revell kits. Think of it. You’ve saved up $3.00 of lawn mowing money and your off to get some kits. You could get a Plymouth Fury and a Oldsmobile Starfire customizing kits for $2.98 or get the Fury and Starfire plus a Chrysler 300 for $2.94 If I would have had any idea they were available that is. No stores carried them in NE Ohio and until recently I didn’t even know that they were made.

Jp-Han Stock only kits Image courtesy of Claes Ericsson
Model Department of a Woolworths 1963

1963 Kit List


Cars (With Engine)

05-163 Ford Fairlane Sport Coupe
05-363 Mercury Meteor S-33
05-613 Pontiac Tempest Convertible
05-713 Chevy ll Nova Convertible
06-113 Ford XL Convertible
06-213 Ford Thunderbird Sports Roadster
06-313 Mercury S-55 Convertible
06-413 Lincoln Continental Convertible
06-513 Buick Electra 225 Convertible
06-553 Buick Riviera
06-613 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible
06-713 Chevrolet Impala SS Convertible
06-813 Imperial Convertible
06-913 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible

Hardtop Customizing Kit (With Engine)

5623 Pontiac Tempest Hardtop
5723 Chev ll Nova Hardtop
6123 Ford XL Fastback Hardtop
6223 Ford Thunderbird Hardtop
6323 Mercury S-55 Fastback Hardtop
6423 Lincoln Continental Hardtop
6523 Buick Electra 225 Hardtop
6623 Pontiac Bonneville Hardtop
6723 Chevrolet Impala SS Hardtop
6823 Imperial Crown Hardtop
6923 Chevrolet Corvette Fastback

Trucks (With Engine)

08-133 Ford F-100
08-733 Chevrolet Apache

Station Wagon (With Engine)

08-743 Chevy ll Nova Station Wagon

Stock only (No Engine Snap kit)

4110 Ford Falcon Convertible
4310 Mercury Comet S-22 Convertible
4710 Chevrolet Corvair Convertible
4820 Plymouth Valiant Signet Hardtop

Jo-Han (With Engine)

2163 Oldsmobile Starfire Hardtop
2263 Plymouth Sport Fury Hardtop
2363 Cadillac Coupe Deville
2463 Chrysler 300 Hardtop
3163 Oldsmobile Starfire Convertible
3263 Plymouth Sport Fury Convertible
3563 Dodge Polara Convertible
3663 Rambler American Convertible
4363 Cadillac Deville Convertible
4463 Chrysler 300 Convertible
4563 Dodge Polara Hardtop
4663 Rambler American Hardtop

Stock only (With Engine)

S-163 Oldmobile Starfire Convertible
S-263 Plymouth Fury Convertible
S-363 Cadillac Convertible
S-463 Chrysler 300 Convertible