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Scratchbuilding a Champion 'Jail Door' Lotus 40


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#51 Pablo

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Posted 28 December 2021 - 10:11 PM

Holy Cow I feel like I'm already in slot car heaven just looking at the parts :yahoo:  


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#52 Isaac S.

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 09:47 AM

Love those rears, and I can already see the gold Lotus 40 body.  :heart:


Isaac Santonastaso

#53 dc-65x

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 01:35 PM

Here are all those parts assembled. But first there was an unexpected problem. The U-brace on the factory assembled rear bracket was soldered in place a bit out of square. It's hard to see in the photo but that lower left leg of the U-brace is pulled in a bit toward the center:

 

champion chassis (10).JPG

 

You can see it better here. That brace interferes with the crown gear:

 

Champion roller (6).JPG

 

I ended up getting the sold by Champion heavy duty taper-lok Williams gear to fit with a bit of rework:

 

champion-williams crown gear.jpg

 

The set screw crown gears by Williams and Weldun (also sold by Champion) would not work. A Cox or Weldun aluminum gear might work but they were really left behind after 1966. The taper-loc gear is late 1967 and is made with the stronger "nylatron" material. If it doesn't work out I'll have to rework the factory bracket. 

 

Champion roller (2).JPG

 

With that sorted out the rest of the assembly went fine:

 

Champion roller (1).JPG

 

Champion roller (5).JPG

 

Champion roller (3).JPG

 

Now for that Lotus 40 body...........


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Rick Thigpen
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#54 Pablo

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 02:12 PM

Sweeet. Man that gold on the wheels is beautiful  :D


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#55 Martin

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 03:35 PM

:sun_bespectacled: :good:  looking good.


Martin Windmill

#56 dc-65x

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 08:27 PM

Here's the Dynamic Lotus 40 body for the project:

 

Dynamic Lotus 40 (2).JPG

 

Here are the accoutrements included with the body. Included are decals, detailed instructions, mounting pins, an interior, painted driver's head and some strapping tape for reinforcement:

 

Dynamic Lotus 40 (1).JPG

 

This is one really swoopy body:

 

Dynamic Lotus 40 (5).JPG

 

Dynamic Lotus 40 (4).JPG

 

Dynamic Lotus 40 (3).JPG


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#57 Isaac S.

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Posted 29 December 2021 - 10:22 PM

Beautiful! Love how low it is and the big rear spoiler. 


Isaac Santonastaso

#58 Martin

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 12:07 AM

:sun_bespectacled: :good:  looking real good.

 

Rick I do not remember the exhaust pipes molded into that beautiful spoiler.  Maybe I have never seen that version of that body before.


Martin Windmill

#59 dc-65x

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 01:49 PM

Hi Isaac and Martin,

 

I have 2 boxed Dynamic Lotus 40's and they both have the exhaust "trumpets" molded in place just like the instruction sheet shows. Beyond that....who knows!   :D

 

I should also say that I'm not implying this body was ever used by Champion. I chose it for my scratch built project because:

 

It was used in 1968 race reports

It is REALLY low and curvaceous

I have an idea for a fantasy livery I want to use

And lastly.....I really like it   :crazy:


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#60 slotcarone

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 02:14 PM

The Lotus 40 had the pipes on the top going over the spoiler. The Lotus 30 had no pipes on top. They went out the back.


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#61 Martin

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Posted 31 December 2021 - 12:43 AM

I checked stock, mine (in Dynamic box also) has the pipes just like the one you show. That's the beautiful thing about fading memory. Rediscovery. :)  


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#62 dc-65x

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Posted 01 January 2022 - 04:51 PM

Before I even started the chassis I used my Rick's jig to find a body that would work with the interior, motor, wheels and tires I planned on using. A problem I often have with these Dynamic Handling Bodies is the sides can be trimmed to short to reach the bottom of the chassis. 

 

The first thing i ran into is the molded in engine detail hitting the Champion motor. That was holding the rear of the body up to high. I decided to cut it out:

 

champion body setup (7).JPG

 

That brought the rear of the body down:

 

champion body setup (3).JPG

 

The front was brought down by trimming the nose. I went as far as I could without destroying that cool wrap under part of the nose:

 

champion body setup (6).JPG

 

Now with the front half of the body down I had 1/16" clearance on the sides and front:

 

champion body setup (2).JPG

 

Then I knew the body with its new engine detail and interior would work with the project:

 

champion body setup (1).JPG

 

Painting is next but it's been snowing here.  


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Rick Thigpen
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#63 dc-65x

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Posted 23 January 2022 - 09:10 PM

I've been waiting on the weather to paint this car for 3 weeks. The sun was out today with no wind but the temperature was only in the low 40's. I opened the lid on my trashcan paint booth............

 

trash can.jpg

 

...........and went for it. With the paint cans soaking in super hot water and I ran inside between coats to keep the body temperature up, both mine and the Lotus.   :crazy:

 

I got lucky and the this "fantasy livery" paint job and it went fine. I used Testors flat red, flat white and metallic gold paint:

 

lotus body (2).JPG

 

Can't wait to get the decals on and bring the fantasy to life:

 

lotus body (3).JPG


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#64 dc-65x

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 07:56 PM

The Lotus Gold Leaf Lotus 49B is one of my favorite liveries:

 

Lotus 49B.jpg

 

So I used it as a "fantasy livery" on my Lotus 40:

 

champion jail door finished (2).JPG

 

champion jail door finished (5).JPG

 

champion jail door finished (1).JPG

 

The Lotus 40 is classic low and swoopy vintage road racer:

 

champion jail door finished (6).JPG

 

Onward to the next project.......


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#65 Alchemist

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 08:55 PM

Another "excellent" build Rick! ! ! !

 

Thanks for sharing the build details.

 

Ernie


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#66 slotcarone

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 09:16 PM

As usual a beautiful build! If it was mine I would do the sidewall of the blue tires with black marker. :)


Mike Katz

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#67 Phil Smith

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 10:37 PM

Wow that looks good. The first pics of the body didn't look that great to me. But the finished body is awesome! :good:


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#68 Larry Horner

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Posted 30 January 2022 - 11:03 PM

Simply stunning as usual! And I love the J Clark in your livery scheme ... one of my favs!



#69 Pablo

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Posted 31 January 2022 - 12:19 AM

:heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:  :heart:


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#70 Dave Crevie

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Posted 31 January 2022 - 12:57 PM

The Lotus Gold Leaf Lotus 49B is one of my favorite liveries:

 

attachicon.gif Lotus 49B.

 

Mine, too. I was gathering parts to build this T-62 in 1/1, but health will preclude me from finishing it.

 

lotus62.JPG



#71 dc-65x

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Posted 31 January 2022 - 12:59 PM

Thanks guys.

 

I keep thinking what a fun "local shop" racing class the Champion jail door would have made. In mid to late 1968 (when the Champion floating body mounts came out) the harder to build anglewinders were the rage. But these jail door cars handle well and are great fun to drive. 


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There's much more to come...


#72 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 31 January 2022 - 01:39 PM

Great looking cars and beautiful work as always Rick.

 

Even back in the day when we ran them I hated the orange and blue tires. They just look so wrong on a car. 


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