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'55 Chevrolet drag car scratchbuild


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#1 mike1972chev

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 11:43 AM

Here is my '55 I built awhile back. It was not built to any specs or rules for scale drag racing. I have never built a drag car or ever raced them in scale models (only the real cars  ;)). 

 

It is somewhat both 1/32 and 1/24 scale. The tires/wheels are oversized for a true 1/32 as well as the hood scoop and exaggerated wheelie bars. I just wanted to build something that resembled the American Graffiti/Two Lane Blacktop car "gasser" look  and resembled something "Rat Fink" would be seen driving around sticking out the roof with a shifter in hand. :dirol: 
 
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I made the chassisout of a piece of aluminum square tubing (because it was different). It was laid out using a chassis jig. I made and hand-sawed it out with a coping saw and a narrowed down steel hacksaw blade. It was a matter of measuring the frame rail height with digital vernier calipers and scribing the cut lines with a set of dividers, cutting with the coping saw and hacksaw blades, then finishing off with both a Dremel sanding drum and hand files. The motor mount is removable and a bit of a pain to build as I remember. Wheelie bars are adjustable and easily removed if desired?
 
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I used a Classic brand drop arm to help fab the car, then replaced it with a longer one I handmade to fit the chassis. I had it anodized after it was fabbed. I did it in a gray anodize to kind of reflect my love of the Classic Industries car chassis. 
 
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The body is out of an old Monogram 1/32 scale "snap-together" kit. I started on that body 30 years ago! It has the added hood scoop to resemble the one in Two Lane Blacktop.I t is a 1/24 "Grumpy Lump" made famous by Pro Stocker Bill Jenkins. The rear wheel wells were radiused to do the rounded wheel wells seen from the '60s gasser era complete with the slicks sticking beyond the wheel wells to complete the look.
 
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 It has working headlights also. Head light lenses were sourced from HO scale train replacements. The bumpers and grill insert I made out of .020" sheet aluminum. I thought the solid grill looks better than the kit plastic one and more '60s era "race." It is a complete car minus a motor. Was never able to figure out what to buy for a good motor to drag this thing?? (I still wouldn't know what to buy for a motor????Gearing either???  :mellow:  )   I really don't even know how good this car would even run? Still do not know what the chassis weighs either.?
 
I know it is not a Parma Edge, JDS, WRP, etc. chassis... it is just something I wanted to do.

 

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  • Pablo, hiline2, MSwiss and 3 others like this

Michael J. Boruff





#2 Samiam

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:22 PM

. Was never able to figure out what to buy for a good motor to drag this thing?? (I still wouldn't know what to buy for a motor????Gearing either?

 

Mike,

I don't drag race so not sure how it will run but I'll donate a Parma 502 S16-D.

 

PM your address.


Sam Levitch
 
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#3 mike1972chev

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 12:26 PM

Thanks Sam   ;)


Michael J. Boruff


#4 SlotStox#53

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:25 PM

Love the idea & slightly cartoon look of the car :D

Especially like the chassis design & being different.

#5 Bill from NH

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 01:27 PM

Mike, I never saw a drag car with headlights! It looks neat. My overall opinion is you did a great job building this car. Sam is a good guy for donating that motor. He's well-known around this board. :)  Your gear ratio will depend upon whether you run on a scale 1000', 1/8 mi, or 1/4 mi. drag strip. A starting point might be something around 7:33 & go from there. One general comment I have is, those Pro-Track tires may give too much bite due to their width, but try them & see. Some of Pro-Track's drag tires are a haif inch wide or less, And they have drag tires in different hub O.D.s too.

 

Do you have any other drag cars under construction?


Bill Fernald
 

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#6 mike1972chev

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 02:01 PM

No Bill,I jut did this one because like I said it has literally been started and  locked in one of my hobby boxes for 30 years! It had originally started as a brass tube chassis that I got over and cut it apart for the tubing. Some of it ended up as the wheelie bars for the new square tube chassis. 

 

I am currently building a few vintage cars from vintage N.O.S. parts. 

 

And yea SlotStox, All of the vintage car  cartoons played into the goofy,"out of scale" look I truly was wanting and going for. (Ed Roth Rat Fink/Drag Fink,Tom Daniels (Did some AWESOME cars!) George Barris,  CartOOns Magazine Krass and Bernie, LOVED the MPC ZINGER model cars as a kid also. Had one of those kits. :D  )


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Michael J. Boruff


#7 Pablo

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Posted 06 April 2017 - 09:23 PM

I watched some "Two Lane Blacktop" videos on You Tube today, Mike, and I'd say you absolutely nailed the "look" 100% :heart: :good:


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#8 mike1972chev

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 05:38 AM

You are being OVERLY generous Pablo.  :blush:  This car was an amalgamation of all of the 55s I have loved over the years combined. ( The original was a 150 sedan in grey and not a Bel Air model in hot rod black  of course.)

 

 

As a side note,I have actually had both Steve F.(Original owner after Universal Studios sold it)  and Richard Ruth(Original builder of the car) on the phone about the Two Lane Blacktop/American Graffiti 55 Chev. There was a time I truly "geeked out" about that car and A L M O S T built a real one..  :heart:   I STILL have ALL of the "dirty details" hand written  in a steno pad(parts list/phone #s) I still have to this day on both of the movie cars long before the internet came along to give the WHOLE world all of this info right at one's fingertips.   ;)


Michael J. Boruff


#9 havlicek

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Posted 07 April 2017 - 01:40 PM

For me personally, this hits all of my "thinking out of the box" buttons simultaneously.  Very cool, makes me wanna build a dragster...like a loooooong rail or sumpin'.  Maybe I'll get around to finally building that positraction setup I've wondered about.


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