The AMT Piranha Will Make You Cry U.N.C.L.E.

From 1964 to 1968 there existed a television show called The Man from U.N.C.L.E. It starred Robert Vaughn and David McCallum who portrayed two secret agents working for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement. They battled against their enemies who were part of the THRUSH organization, which was developed after the fall of the Nazi regime and founded by high-ranking Nazi members who fled to Argentina. The real star of the show arrived in the 3rd season in the from of the AMT Piranha spy car which was designed by famed car-crafter Gene Winfield. It is based on a Corvair (bonus points already) but features a sleek exterior design fit for a high-ranking U.N.C.L.E. member.Cars from this era feature heavy steel bodies. The Piranha was something of a revelation because of one word, plastics. Originally slated to use a Dodge Charger for the show, Winfield convinced the studio heads to have a look at the experimental vehicle that he and AMT were campaigning on the drag circuit. The studio liked the idea and Winfield developed a version of the Piranha for the show. The Piranha Spy car was born and is a car you should all know about. AMT produced a few production versions of this kit for sale to the public but you would be hard pressed to find one in good shape now.

That hole in the gullwing door above Mr. Vaughn's head? That's the rocket launcher…
Ultimately the car was only featured in a few episodes because of various issues the crew had with the vehicle. The headroom was minimal inside and getting in and out of the car was a chore due to the large sills. Regardless, it is a motoring icon which seems to have disappeared from public knowledge. Hell…I had never even heard about it until my father in-law emailed me a link about the car.
The TV car is up front with the shorter production version behind it.
A sexy light-weight body with spy-guy-cool gullwing doors is awesome in itself but when you throw in the Corvair powerplant and Gene Winfield heritage…well, you don’t have to twist my arm because I am crying UNCLE!
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Piranha car and Stephanie Powers
Special thanks to Sam for bringing this awesome vehicle to my attention! All photos and information on the car was found here: http://www.c-we.com/piranha/

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