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'66 Nova Roadster street rod


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#1 Chuck Most

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:45 PM

A while back, a buddy and I were at the hobby shop. I'd just picked up a '66 Nova pro street kit to pirate the chassis for another project, and he commented how everything that could be done to a Nova, had been done to a Nova. I pretty much responded with an "I hear ya, buddy", and went home.

But after a while, I got to thinking. I had a Nova body I'd not be using, and I wondered... COULD something different be done with it. Then I remembered this-
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This is a '61 or '62 Buick Special, which has been cut down into a fenderless hot rod. Now, I have no idea of this car is real or not (I've only ever seen this image of it, no front, side, or interior shots, which makes me wonder if it's been Photoshopped), but I wondered if I could try something similar with the Nova body shell.

Messed up the first body, but fortunately I had another '66, and armed with a bit of information on how NOT to do it, I spent a few minutes with a saw and files and had this.
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I didn't really take any measurements, I just cut away what looked right. The interior opening is about the size of a Model A roadster, so I've got room to play around there. The wheel/tire is where the rear axle will be.

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I'm also planning to incorporate an open cowl vent into the design, it will sit in front of where the wipers used to be. The white strip of styrene is there to replace the original character line stamped into the Nova's flanks, which was lost during the initial bodywork.

The plan is to give it a low-buck demeanor, but with a glossy paint job and a full interior.

#2 vwrabbit

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:04 PM

I like it! Gonna follow this one!

Tim

#3 Custom Mike

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:07 PM

Very cool idea Chuck, I'll be waiting for updates on this one!

#4 Jantrix

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:26 PM

Hmm.........I don't know about this one Chuck. Unlike the green rod (Corvair?) the Nova just doesn't have a lot of shape in this configuration because it looks too boxy. I can only barely recognize the original body.

#5 Chuck Most

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 04:36 PM

Hmm.........I don't know about this one Chuck. Unlike the green rod (Corvair?) the Nova just doesn't have a lot of shape in this configuration because it looks too boxy. I can only barely recognize the original body.

Yeah- that's the one downfall of using a Nova body for such a project- it's just a box from most angles. Something a bit swoopier like an F-85 would make more of a visual impact as-is, but I didn't want to tear into one of those kits for a project like this. It's still recognizable from the back (like the Buick in the first photo). But the other reason I wanted to go with a Nova body was because, once its finished, what kind of car body I started with wouldn't be as obvious, being that the Nova is a bit nondescript for its era.

#6 darquewanderer

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:13 PM

I think these kind of cars are referred to as Muscle Rods.
Going to watch this one.

Edited by darquewanderer, 05 May 2012 - 10:40 PM.


#7 Bartster

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 08:21 PM

I gotta see this. You have a very nice plan going on. I, for one, appreciate the boxiness of the '66. Go ahead & make the ordinary extraordinary!

#8 Chuck Most

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 10:42 PM

I now have a drivetrain lined up...
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In keeping with the 'low buck' theme, we'll be using a booooring old SBC four-bbl mill, cobbled up from AMT and Revell parts. I'm using a trans cut from the engine in the MPC Vampire Van. (As to why I did not use the VV block, it lacks block/cylinder head detail.) This trans was chosen more for its compact size than anything.

#9 crazyjim

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 01:34 AM

I read SHINY, so I'll be watching your progress, Chuck.

#10 W-409

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:40 AM

WooHoo this is going to be another great build. It looks very good already and this is absolutely something different.

You Gave me and idea too. I guess I have to bulild something like this too, since I have some spare bodies.

#11 Chuck Most

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:33 PM

Progress so far...

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The old... oh, let's just call it a 350, was treated to some new seals, a $40 chrome dress-up kit from AutoZone, and a coating of Rustoleum Meadow Green from the rattle can, the same color the car body will be painted. The distributor is an old pre-wired job I've misplaced a few times, last time I found it (again) I decided to use it before it walked off the bench again.

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I cobbled up the cowl vent, here it is in its initial rough state. The piece of PE sceen to the right will be added later.

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I cut some interior walls and a dash top from .020" styrene sheet. For a guy who truly hates bodywork, I always seem to take on projects which require a lot of it, and this one still has a way to go.

#12 tooltas

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 09:41 AM

is going to be cool i got a v12 powed beast in works on some 30'' dumb dubs yes i saying that too 30's are as big as my 37 dogs for my stepside 4x4 truck,

#13 Mad Slammer

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 12:03 PM

This one I like, It's true that it is a bit too boxy, But I think there's potencial...

Edited by Mad Slammer, 06 May 2012 - 12:03 PM.


#14 Badluck 13

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 04:49 PM

Boxy or not boxy,either way I know I am gonna love this one!!!

#15 Chuck Most

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Posted 06 May 2012 - 05:11 PM

Body is painted. Needs some polishing- the finish is a bit bumpy. No orange peel, just lumpy in spots. I'm trying to get away with not using any clearcoat, if at all possible. I guess we'll see what happens.
Posted Image

#16 Austin T

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:05 AM

Interesting idea Chuck,Reminds me of a vette I saw on here some time.

#17 W-409

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 06:26 PM

It looks very good so far, I like the paint job on it. I usually like Shiny paint jobs, but this one could have been cool as a Rat Rod too. Anyways, it looks good in gloss green too.

Just one question, what came to my mind when I was planning to do something like this.... Did you Narrow the body? :huh:

#18 Chuck Most

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 09:20 PM

Just one question, what came to my mind when I was planning to do something like this.... Did you Narrow the body? :huh:

Yes, I did. I laid a piece of Scotch tape down over the center of the trunk and cowl, and cut along both sides- after cutting and cleanup it works out to roughly 14 scale inches narrower than stock.

#19 TooOld

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:30 AM

Yep , this is going to look great ! I can see some big roadster wheels on the back , spokes in front , and something different for the engine ( with lots of green ) . What are your plans for a windsheild ?

#20 Chuck Most

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 12:32 PM

Bob- I'm leaning toward a wraparound screen, like something you'd see on a '60's speedboat. Or maybe just a flat, laid back pane like on a more conventional roadster hot rod. Haven't really decided yet- I'm probably going to hold off until its up on wheels at ride height and just sort of see what the car 'tells me it wants'.

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DId a little work this morning- added some blue dots to the taillights- they were some leftover photoetched discs with the centers painted transparent blue. The bumper was narrowed and sprayed in Duplicolor bumper paint, but I think I might redo that to incorporate the stock tag bracket- it just looks a bit too plain as is, and the tag would just look tacked on.