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Rodney's rides


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#1 dc-65x

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:41 PM

This will be an ongoing thread dedicated to the restorations and original scratchbuilt cars by my friend and mentor Rodney. He has been building and racing all types of slot cars continuously since the early '60s. When we go to Eddie's Slot car World in Vallejo, CA, I always bring my camera, light box, and flood light. He always has something cool to show me and I want to share it with everyone on Slotblog.

As Rodney said, "People like to see junk". His cars are hardly junk but you get the idea. We like to see pictures of other people’s cars. It gives us ideas and inspiration for our own builds... and it's just plain fun.

So here we go with some Mustangs (Rodney's comments will be "in quotes" and in blue color):

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"The '68 Mustang is a fantasy car for what would a 68 Mustang look like in the IMSA GTO era. It uses a Raitz resin Mustang body."

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Check out the attention to detail in the rear end:

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Now let's lift off the hood...

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"The hood pins are made from LED leads."

... to see the detailed engine compartment and engine:

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The chassis is brass sheet hand-cut with a Dremel tool. No Laser Dude here:

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The next Mustang is a 5.0. "The GTO Mustang uses a standard kit."

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Again we can lift off the hood...

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... to reveal the underhood detailing and engine:

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Really cool! "But now for something completely different"... How about a Lotus 11 based on a '60s Merit model kit from England:

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It started as a built model from eBay that was rebuilt and repainted.

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The chassis is a modified modern sprint car:

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Something else completely different. "Lola with Lancer factory-painted body and DC-65 with 6 volt arm. Hand-cut mag chassis from the '60s. Took eight months of playing around with this one.

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Looks like it was worth the effort! Nice car and a nice original vintage restoration.

Enjoy and onward!
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#2 Ron Hershman

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:46 PM

Wow... awesome "Tangs"... where is Willy T??? LOL.

#3 68Caddy

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 10:56 PM

Finally I seen something that makes me tick. Wonderful body modifications and details and I sure got my battery recharge finally, thanks for posting that. :wub:

Now I got to do something with a 1/32 car. ;)

Nesta
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#4 spudboy

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 11:52 PM

My compliments to Rodney!

Rick, thanks for posting. Any chance you have more photos of the chassis beneath the Mustangs? Technical descriptions would be much appreciated.
Nate "spudboy" Bemis

#5 don.siegel

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 04:03 AM

Great stuff, Rick. Thanks for posting. I really like that Lola!

Don

#6 dc-65x

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:16 PM

Two more to show from last weekend. A pair of Super Cucs:

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Both with "factory painted" bodies by Raynoda Dream Werks:

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Ones a 16D and the other a 26D:

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Gotta represent the thingies too :)

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#7 TSR

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 06:33 PM

Rodney can "Chew" more than most of us... :laugh2:

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#8 dc-65x

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:40 PM

Rodney sent me this picture in an email titled, "Got Wood":

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What the heck is going on :unsure: ? Look at all the wood chips and saw dust :blink:

It turns out he won the bid on an Ebay auction for this Allard model:

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It's hand carved from a hunk of balsa wood :shok: :

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Here are some more pictures of the original model car:

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Now that's one cool car. But it could be even cooler if it was not just a model car but a SLOT CAR. So all that saw dust and wood chips from the first picture above resulted in this hollowed out body shell:

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Next a brass pan chassis starts taking shape.....No CAD models....No laser cutting or milling.....Just a Dremel tool, files and pliers ;) :

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Here's the finished rolling chassis with Revell-Pittman 77 power:

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The finished car:

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I think it looks amazing. I love the exposed motor in the interior...very period Korrect.

I give this one 2 thumbs up :good: :good: and a too cool for school :sun_bespectacled:

Thanks for sharing Rodney

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#9 endbelldrive

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 04:11 AM

Now that's my kind of car! Good show! :wub:
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#10 don.siegel

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 05:37 AM

Amen! Beautiful job Rodney.

I was tempted to bid on that car too, with the same nefarious deed in mind, but I see that Rodney actually went and did it right away, whereas I would have thought about it for another 5 or 10 years...

I did an Allard a couple years ago, with a Pactra body, and also used the Pittman DC-77 for power, and it was also poking through the cockpit - kind of inevitable in an Allard! But Pittman is the Cadillac of slot car motors, so it's a Caddy-Allard!

Don

#11 Duffy

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 09:24 AM

There'll be heck to pay if that driver goes rummaging around for a sam'wich.
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#12 dc-65x

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:43 PM

Rodney has finally got a shop space to work on his rides:

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Here are a few more incredible cars as they rotated through the shop:

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More cars coming.......watch this space :D
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#13 dc-65x

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Posted 23 April 2011 - 07:45 PM

This is Rodney's Cox Cheetahracha Roadster...a very rare factory prototype:

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OK, :unsure: it's not really a factory prototype :) :

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But it looks good enough to be one ;) :

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This is a replica of a Pontiac Tempest that factory Pontiac engineers built and raced in the Trans Am series with some success:

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It's a resin body that I wish was still available today. I love those huge fender flares:

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A Lancer Ford GTX survivor from back in the day:

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Next up a pair of 26D angle winders. A Russkit Ford MK4:

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And a STP Indy special:

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The spur gear is inside the body:

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Lastly a pair of Trans Am cars. A Cuda and Challenger:

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#14 idare2bdul

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Posted 24 April 2011 - 03:20 AM

Thanks for the post, great cars!
The light at the end of the tunnel is almost always a train.
Mike Boemker

#15 mowyang

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:01 PM

I raced HO with Rodney in the 60's, and remember a neat 4WD can powered car he built. Would love to see pics of that car and any other notable HO stuff Rodney has stashed away!
Mark Owyang

#16 dc-65x

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:39 PM

Here's another of Rodney's projects I really like. He built up a 60's Kemtron Hot Rod chassis kit with Mabucni motor:

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Talk about "low slung"!

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The body he used is really wide with a short wheelbase. The chassis almost looks square :shok: :

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The body is (I believe) a Monogram Cobra Coupe:

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I love the look of those K&B brass wheels with the dark blue paint:

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Onward......

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#17 dc-65x

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:27 PM

Here's one of Rodney's latest:

Rick,

There was a Cuc on EBay (cuc2 picture) I found interesting. A 36D powered Cuc.
I decided to build my own version (remaining pictures).

I had a Cuc with a hole cut out for a 26D. What to do... cut a larger hole for a 36D Nascar motor! Radius out the frame for the larger motor and modify a sidewinder motor clip for the Cuc chassis. Install larger tires and crown gear.

The results remind me of when Jim Hall installed a big block Chevy to create a Chaparral 2G. Over powered and lost some chassis balance.

Amazingly the car has a little more than 1/16" clearance (the motor hangs down below the frame) and the larger tires clear the body without cutting off the rear fenders like the EBay car.

The 36D Nascar motor screams like an open motor and flies around Eddie's Blue King. You have to get the car pointed straight before punching it. It did turn turtle once while testing hence some loss of helmet paint. Great fun to drive. Very wild.

There is so much torque that I had to tighten down the wheel and gear set screws a few times before they took a set.

Hope Edo likes this Cuc.

Regards,
Rodney



Here's the Ebay inspiration for Rodneys latest ride:

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Rodneys Big Block Cuc:

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Still a low slung racer:

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Cool!

Rick Thigpen
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#18 One_Track_Mind

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:58 AM

Pinks All Out!

Nice job! :)

Slots-4-Ever
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#19 dc-65x

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 02:52 PM

Rodney just emailed me pictures of his latest creation. All I can say is WOW!

The following is his description of the build:

Rick,

I sent you pictures of my Phil Hill Russkit Ferrari.

I wanted to have a full driver in the car. So a 13D motor was used. The motor is set back and is also set at an angle (lower towards the middle of the car). The front and rear tracks were narrowed by re-bending the uprights on the chassis.


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The 13D is a late model one that has a fixed bushing in the can. There is no performance advantage with this can. I used this motor because it is slightly shorter then the spherical bushing can. A '68 armature is used.

When first testing the car the motor ran real hot. I used a 26 tooth Weldun crown gear with a 7 tooth pinion. Small gears were used to allow the motor to be located as far back as possible (more room for the driver). I next tried a 42 tooth Tradeship 80 pitch gear along with a 9 tooth Sonic gear. Little better temperature wise.


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Next modification was to change the magnets! The stock magnets had as much strength as two sticks of bubble gum. Magnets were taken from a Falcon "China" motor. I think the Falcon motor is a Falcon 5. The tops and the bottoms of the magnets were ground down and then angle ground to fit in the 13D. This allows the magnets to be retained in the can just like the stock magnets (with the stock C clip). The Falcon magnets have about the same strength as stock '68 Mabuchi 16D magnets. The Falcon magnet material looks like the same material as Mabuchi magnets. Air gap is perfect.
Now the motor does not heat up at all. Power is about the same as a '68 Mabuchi.


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Russkit wire wheels are use along with trued Russkit tires. The tread is re-cut after truing. With the Russkit body, the original driver was cut out along with the engine velocity stacks. The hardest part of building this car was removing the windshield from the used body to allow painting. Aluminum roll bar and paint brush ferrule exhausts were added. Velocity stacks from a model kit. They were individually glued to a flat sheet. New Russkit decals. The rear brake scoops are made of 1/32 scale driver helmets.


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The car drives nice and tails out when pushed. The Porsche F1 you built is in one of the pictures. Trued the tires and narrowed the front and rear track. Great car you built.


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On to a vac. body 1.5 F1 car using one of your bodies.

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Rodney


Great build Rodney and thanks for sharing it with us!
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#20 Tex

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 05:19 PM

Very cool. Slot cars will live as long as we do. Once we're gone, who cares? Bury me with a car and a controller. You guys do the same and we'll be able to race!
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#21 munter

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 10:46 PM

Awesome line up of photographs...thanks Rick.

Loved the GP cars.

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#22 slotbaker

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 03:53 AM

Awesome cars, thanks for sharing them.

Is the Porsche GP body available from anywhere?
:huh:

Steve King


#23 dc-65x

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:29 PM

The Porsche is a vintage Pactra body. Tom Anderson's site lists a '64 Porsche GP repop:

Vintage Slot Cars

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#24 TSR

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:49 PM

Tom Anderson's site lists a '64 Porsche GP

In 1964, Porsche was out of F1. The body is a 1962 "flat-8" type 804, as driven mostly by Dan Gurney. It is at this time that he met his second wife who was Ferry Porsche's secretary.

For 1962, a newly developed flat-eight powered and sleek Porsche 804 produced Porsche's only win as a constructor in a championship race, claimed by Dan Gurney at the 1962 French Grand Prix. One week later, he repeated the success in front of Porsche's home crowd on Stuttgart's Solitude in a non-championship race. At the end of the season, Porsche withdrew from F1 due to the high costs just having acquired the Reutter factory.


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#25 dc-65x

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:00 PM

I didn't see a picture of what Tom calls the "'64 Porsche GP" on the site. Hopefully it's the Korrect version.

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#26 TSR

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 02:17 PM

Rick,

I am sure it is. The body was likely produced in 1964 hence the mistake... the Type "804" by Pactra, Lancer, or other companies is the only clear-plastic Porsche F1 body in 1/24 scale that I know of.

Scuderia Scale made an F2 in white styrene.

Philippe de Lespinay
 
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#27 mdiv

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

Great read, Rick. Phantastik pictures.

I'll share my 13D hop-up when I get that going.

Mike

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#28 dc-65x

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Posted 09 September 2012 - 05:02 PM

Thanks, Mike. Can't wait to see your 13D hop-up.

Rick Thigpen
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#29 krate-mayhem

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:46 AM

Cool rides and I wanted to get rid of my slot cars.


Dave Munar


#30 dc-65x

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

I want to share another of Rodney's cool creations, a 1/24 Yenko Stinger Corvair with not only a full interior....

 

corvair4.jpg

 

....but a detailed flat six motor under the rear hood:

 

corvair2.jpg

 

A really nice hand cut "rattle pan" chassis too:

 

corvair3.jpg

 

Here's a couple of rear engined, air cooled racers!

 

corvair1.jpg

 

Here's Rodney's description of his car:

 

Converted a pro-built model by David Allin into a slot car.  1966 Yenko Stinger.  David modified a vintage AMT kit.  Great looking car.  Check out the flat six.  Monogram 2D driver
 
When we raced our Datsun 510 in SCCA, I remember seeing Yenko Stingers.  Yenko Stingers are fast cars.
.
Used one of my spec. chassis.  Handles great. Chassis wings in front of front wheels and shaker pan really help.  Falcon 7 motor.  It is amazing how Falcon 7 motors could move heavy cars around the track and only get slightly warm.  H&R foam tires.

 

Thanks for the pictures and the story Rodney :)


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#31 Mark H

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:18 PM

nice builds! what are you guys using for the porsche wheels? are those just inserts? they look amazing.


Mark Haas

#32 dc-65x

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 06:36 PM

Thanks Mark. Rodney may have used vintage Revell wheel inserts. I'll find out.........


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#33 dc-65x

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 04:34 PM

This is Rodney's latest project and it is a collaborative effort between Rodney and fellow model car collector George Dellinger owner of FAMOUS CARZ. George has a cool website, here's the link to it:

 

Famous Carz

 

Below is Rodneys account of the project:

 

This is an amazing scratch built Chaparral 2J body made out of sheet styrene!  George owned the scratch built curbside model for many years. George intended to convert it to a slot car using an AMT brass chassis but never got around to converting it.

 
I purchased the Chaparral from George and converted it to a slot car:
 
DSC05866.jpg
 
I powered the fans with tiny motors that are intended for model airplanes.  The two motors are powered with a single N size battery.  Battery and holder are behind the front axle.
 
DSC05867.jpg
 
Below the tiny fans are spinning like crazy! :shok: :sun_bespectacled:
 
DSC05870.jpg
 
A Plafit chassis is used along with a Falcon 7 motor and Scaleauto gears.
Wheels are Cox magnesium wheels converted to set screw fastening (old Bob Ward wheels).
Monogram driver figure:
 
DSC05869.jpg
 
Hope everyone likes this one as much as George and I do.
 
I sure like it Rodney! :good:

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#34 slotbaker

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:15 PM

I do.. :)
That would go pretty well, I reckon.

I'm surprised that no model kits were made of this car.... Or were they?
:huh:

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#35 dc-65x

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:41 PM

Hi Steve,

 

I thought this car is so cool it deserved its own thread so I started one for it. I'm hoping more people will see it.


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#36 dc-65x

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 06:41 PM

This is another eBay find of mine, A Flower Power Lola T70:

 

FlowerPowerCar-001.jpg

 

As you can tell, it has seen better days!

 

FlowerPowerCar-002.jpg

 

The chassis was pretty sad too:

 

FlowerPowerCar-006.jpg

 

I turned it over to Rodney to work his magic. Here's Rodney's take on this cars restoration:

 

Rick,
The completed Hippie Lola.  Repaired all of the cracks.  The original chassis was too much to restore.  Built a Chris Chan rock and roll Lola chassis.  Vintage Mura motor.  Handles great.  Has good power.  Thanks for the original car and please share.
 
Here's the restored car:

 

Rebuilt1.jpg

 

Rebuilt2.jpg

 

Rebuilt.jpg

 

 

 

NICE! :good:


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#37 Pablo

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 07:06 PM

Wow, that really cleaned up nice !!! Amazing and very cool restoration job :heart: :good: :good: :good:


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#38 Bill from NH

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 08:06 PM

That car cleaned up nicely, Rick. Could the original chassis have been cleaned up with the Micro Mark sand blaster or was it too far gone mechanically? Rodney's replacement chassis he built is very close to that original & looks very much in place. :)


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#39 dc-65x

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Posted 26 February 2014 - 11:00 PM

Hi Bill,

 

The chassis was pretty gross.  I suppose anything could be saved with enough effort but since it was not a "pro" chassis and was in bad shape........... :o  And, I bet the new Chris Chan style chassis was fun to build! :dance3:


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#40 Bill from NH

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 09:36 AM

I think I've seen the Chris Chan chassis article in an issue of Model Car Science. I'll have to look through my old magazines & see if my memory is correct. :) Was the original Hemi motor salvageable?


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#41 don.siegel

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 10:57 AM

Nice job and good flower power save... but the original chassis didn't look all that bad. I've seen a lot worse, although i don't remember if I actually saved/restored them - in fact I plead the 5th!

Was the original motor a complete Hemi, or just the can?

Don

#42 dc-65x

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:23 AM

To me, the motor looked like a stock Pactra Hemi:

 

FlowerPowerCar-011.jpg


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#43 dc-65x

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:13 PM

I think I've seen the Chris Chan chassis article in an issue of Model Car Science. I'll have to look through my old magazines & see if my memory is correct. :) Was the original Hemi motor salvageable?

 

Hi Bill,

 

The Chris Chan Rock N Roll Lola was in MC&S April, 1968. The Hemi motor looked good but it was stock, not a hot rewind.


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#44 don.siegel

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:45 AM

Didn't notice the two-tone spongies either - very groovy!

Don

#45 dc-65x

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 11:44 AM

The old black marking pin in action Don :)

 

FlowerPowerCar-015.jpg

 

Here's the original chassis cleaned up:

 

chassiscleaned1.jpg

 

chassiscleaned.jpg

 

Nice design. Nice workmanship.......not so much :o


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#46 don.siegel

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:32 PM

Aw, shucks, Rick, I was kind of hoping for some ultra-rare speed trick from the period. I have seen a few two-tone, or bicomposition tires, so was hoping it was something like that! On these, he really went beyond the masking point for his magic marker!

You're probably right on the workmanship, but I always hesitate to make judgements, because I figure that maybe, 40 odd years ago, when it was built, it was cleaner, and the years and crashes were not kind to it...

Don

#47 dc-65x

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:55 PM

Hi Don,

 

I've only got one pair of "two-tone, or bicomposition tires". They are Riggen AA set screw wheels with blue foam tires and thin layer of grey foam on top of the blue :shok: :sun_bespectacled:

 

I bought the car because of the body's paint job. I was a 17 year old in Southern California during the "Summer of Love" and the "Flower Power" stuff was everywhere.

 

flowerpower-9.jpg

 

Anyway, the body was brittle, very fragile and with many cracks. My first judgment call was, "I can't fix this, but I bet Rodney could". My second judgment call was about the chassis. It was obviously an amateurs best effort to replicate the Chris Chan Rock N Roll Lola "Magazine Car". I applaud his efforts but the result was not something I had interest in running or displaying.

 

I sent the car to Rodney. He saw the chassis and the big sheet metal screws mounting the body to the chassis. He felt the body deserved better also.


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#48 Bill from NH

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:26 AM

The Chris Chan Rock N Roll Lola was in MC&S April, 1968. 

 

I had thought this built article was a page or two, like some. But it was a detailed article covering 6-8 pages. Thanks Rick, having this issue info cut my search time way down. :)


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#49 Gator Bob

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 10:54 AM

Nice Flower Power car for sure.

 

Of course being a gear head all my life combined with my last name and the popularity of that Cream album I bet you guys can guess what my nickname was long before Gator Bob.

 

Yup!


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#50 don.siegel

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 04:42 PM

Hi Rick, 

 

Thanks for the nice detailed answer explaining things - I just saw it now! I have endless trust in your judgement. 

 

I looked up the article too, Bill, and it is very detailed, but is only 4 pages in fact. What's funny is that he announces "the latest developments in the 1/24 scale pro world" - but in the next issue of MSC we'd all get our first glance at the "anglewinder that changed the world"... 

 

Let's see, Summer of Love, I was still only 15, wet behind the ears, living in the hick town of Chicago, and probably still more interested in slots than psychedelics and that other stuff...

 

Don 







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