Survivors! (vintage builds) Feb 16, 2010 10:00:52 GMT -5
Post by froghawk on Feb 16, 2010 10:00:52 GMT -5
Sam's Pickup: Radical Roadster[/color][/size][/b]
I purchased this refugee from the early '60s on ebay a bit over a year ago, having been attracted by those period canted quad headlights. The original builder, Sam, was an old friend of the seller, Larry Krauss, from when they built models together as kids. Larry did a trade way back then to get this car, and was selling it along with several other old models and parts lots. Sadly Larry and Sam have lost touch over the years.
Sam started with an AMT '32 Ford roadster kit, cut off the rear of the body, then trimmed off a wedge-shaped portion of the lower body to channel it over the fender assembly. A piece of balsa is mlded in to form the rear of the cab. The bed is from the AMT '25 "T" kit. Sam did a great job fabbing filler panel between the inside of the rear fenders and the bed. The rear splash pan is also formed by molding in a chunk of balsa and a new floor was formed from balsa sheet. The rear suspension appears to be a combination of brakes, spring and radius rods from the '40 Ford sedan kit with a quick change diff and axle housing from either the "T" or the Double Dragster kit. The '40 also provided the injected Olds engine. The grill shell was radically sectioned and nestles nicely between the molded-in headlights, which along with the rear lights, are my favorite part of the build. The wheels and tires are from the Ala Kart. The dash is from the '25 "T" while the steering wheel is from a '60 Pontiac kit.
The interior and bed are lined with the now rather dingy ivory corduroy, with black carpet thread piping that also cover the spare tire cover, gastank and running boards. The balsa seats are similarly upholstered, but with black cord inserts. The grill shell was originally painted silver like the tailgate. I decided to paint it Tamiya Racing White to match the rest of the car, and in the process discover that are at least three other layers of paint on the car, including maroon pearl, light metallic blue, and gold. While the old off-white lacquer is scratched, cracked, chipped, and lifting in some spots, in the interests of originality I just gave it a clean and polish.
While taking the model apart for cleaning and rebuilding over the weekend, I decided to make some changes that could benefit the look and work to bring out what was really cool about this vintage model. Sam used the dropped axle and wishbone from the '40, which pushed the wheels too far back, so I used an original '32 axle and removed about half the leaves off the top of the spring, "C" notched the frame, cut down the front crossmember and shaved down the top of the rails to get the front low enough and the wheels back where they should be under the top of the fender arch. I also split the wishbone and added a steering arm from an AMT '28 "A" along with a styrene rod tie rod.
Sam had cut open the doors and butt-glued them to the body in the open position. I opted to glue the passenger side shut to show off the great profile and make a fixed wire "hinge" to hold the driver's side open. I also added some nerf bars from the old Ala Kart to complement the headlights and a cut-down custom grill from the '34 Ford pickup in place of the '32 grill. One issue I have yet to correct is lack of any exhaust system!
Rebuilding this model was a rewarding weekend project and gives me a classic addition to my shelf that looks like it came right out of the pages of the original "Car Model' magazine! While it's a little rough here and there, the exaggerated profile, proportions and stance remind me of some Roth cars, and maybe the Lil Coffin, along with cars illustrated by Weesner. Definitely a model that's more than the sum of its parts!