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Seeking Opinions/Advice on potential new project.


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#1 Mark C.

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 05:02 AM

Ok, yesterday I showed a bunch of my stalled projects. Well, they're safely packed away on the shelf to await a future day in the sun. So.... why not consider another project, huh?

I'm afraid this one might be a little beyond my abilities, but I thought I'd run it by the board to get your opinions.

As long as I can remember I've been a fan of Canadian Pontiacs. My dad was a Pontiac salesman back in the sixties and again in the seventies after a brief hiatus with Datsun and Plymouth. Anyways, I've long been aware of the differences between Canadian and US Pontiacs, which lasted right up into the eighties, after which they became more or less the same (aside from the Tempest of the nineties... a rebadged Corsica).

Anyways, back in the heydays of the fifties and sixties, Canadian fullsize Pontiacs were generally the smaller American bodies dropped on Chevy chassis and drivetrains (no wide track in Canada) with differences in interior and exterior trim. The models in the late fifties/early sixties were (in decending order) Parisienne, Laurentian and Strato Chief (hmm... I may have forgotten some details here or there, but I'm wingin' it with no reference material in front of me :lol: ).

Sooo... yesterday I was combin' the 'bay for Canadian Pontiac pics and I came across this auction:
http://cgi.ebay.com/...1QQcmdZViewItem

A 1959 Laurentian 2-door sedan with 6 cyl and three speed (on the floor... I've never seen one like it before).

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I got to thinkin'... wouldn't this make a cool project for Ron Hamilton's BIG CAR CHALLENGE. I've had a gluebomb '59 Bonneville 'vert that I bought from HH kicking around in a box for 10+ years now.

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I've got a couple of '59 and '60 Chevy kits laying around that I could use for the chassis components and an AMT '60 Chevy pickup that I could scrounge the six cyl and trans out of.

I also have a Tom Coolidge sedan roof that could be donated to the cause.

Ok, I have the basic parts kicking around, but there are a number of problems that I forsee for this project:

- The biggest one for me is shortening the Bonneville body to make it into a Canadian Pontiac body. Looks like some material will have to be taken out in the wheelbase and some more somewhere between the rear wheels and the bumper. But... those tapered double fins.... how do I shorten the darn thing and still get them to look right?

- Body trim. There are a number of differences between the Bonneville and the Laurentian. A lot can be fudged with Evergreen, but what about emblems? I'll still have to do some more research to see what could be used for replica stock wheel covers (I don't really like the look of the Magnum 500s on a late fifties car).

- Interior. Again, a little more research will be required, but I'm sure I could fudge it to be close enough.

Well, there it is in a nutshell, and I'm thinking I'd have to be nuts to attempt this, but I haven't totally ruled it out yet.

Any thoughts/advice would be appreciated. Have I overlooked something that I should be considering??

Thanks in advance!

:D :D

#2 Jairus

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 06:15 AM

Wellll.... you gotta shorten them somehow. I think I would shorten the body behind the door line and simply carve new tips from the existing fins. Don't worry about losing chrome trim definition. That can be brought back with baremetal. Looks like a fun project! :lol:

#3 MrObsessive

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Posted 20 July 2006 - 09:56 AM

Mark, in order to shorten the body front and rear............I would make a "Z" cut. This would involve cutting the body straight down on the body just ahead of the cowl, come straight down and then make a horizontal cut along the fender..............and then come straight down somewhere along the fender behind the wheelwell.

Remove the material as needed 'til you get the wheelbase length you want, and then reattach/glue. The same can be done to the rear, except you would have to do this twice to reduce the wheelbase length, and also the rear overhang.

Frankly, I wouldn't mess with the rear section of the wheelbase, as this is almost not noticeable in 1/25, but the rear overhang on a Bonnie is very noticeable! :lol:

Doing it this way would probably be the best in light of those V shaped fins (which always reminded me of a 'Victory" gesture as a kid :D) and you wouldn't need to add anything......just reallign the fenders to where they were.

I wish I could describe this further with pics, but I have no junk bodies at the moment to cut up to demonstate this! :D

Hope this helps..............any further questions let me know!


#4 Mark C.

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:39 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys!

I have to admit I'm getting a little spooked by this project. Bill, I hadn't noticed before that the fenders would have to be shortened behind the front wheels, but you're right... they do.

So now I've got a couple of major problems with the body that I don't think I can deal with, given my current level of skill.

1. Given that the rear fins start out as a V shape in the rear and taper out to a point just behind the door opening, I don't know how I can cut a section out and fudge in the fin pieces, given that the distance between the fins is ever changing as it traverses from front to back. If I cut a section out then glue the 2 pieces together the fins will no longer line up at the cut. I can't just fudge it in because then the fins will make a little zigzag halfway along their length. The only way I can see it working would be to replace the entire fins from the front point right to the back.
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2. The same situation appears on the hood. The great big Pontiac arrowhead that starts between the grilles and widens out till it hits the windshield creates the same problem. If I cut a section out here than it will no longer line up. Maybe it could be filed narrower at the cowl, but I'm not sure it would look right. (If my name were Juha or Bill maybe I could do it... but me?? hmmmm.... :D )
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Thanks for the advice, guys, but the more I think of it the more I'm considering following my original plan... restore the Bonneville. Less chance of me ruining vintage plastic that way.

Maybe if I want to make a Canadian Pontiac I'll start with something that has easier lines, like a Trumpeter '60 Bonnie. All the lines seem to run pretty much parallel on that one...
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Or start with an AMT '62 Cat... it's already shortened! LOL
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I dunno... I hate to give up on it, but a fella's got to realize his limitations! :?

#5 MrObsessive

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 02:56 AM

Mark, I just got home from work and read your post and it hit me!!

Model Car World sells a resin '59 Catalina hardtop............this should be close enough to what you want to do! I've seen this resin body up close and it is definitely shorter than the standard '59 Bonnie.

Simply cut off the hardtop roof and swap in Coolidge's sedan top and you got it!

Here's the link to order.......there's no pics but he does very nice resin castings. Just scroll down for order info and prices.........

http://ourworld-top..../resinlist.html

Let us know if this works for you.....I'd hate to see you give up on what should be a sharp project! :D


#6 Zoom Zoom

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 03:08 AM

Edit: I posted this and Bill's new post was there after I was done. I like his idea a lot; it may work as-is, or work as described below.

There are several ways to look at this project. There is more than one way to accomplish the task, I looked at it from a "big picture" aspect. Funny, I have a red brush painted '59 restorable glue bomb that looks a lot like your model!

This Laurentian looks "Chevrolet" through the midsection because that's what it is, and looks "Pontiac" on the ends. I would look seriously at seeing just how much of a Chevrolet I could start with as the foundation of the conversion, and then utilize parts cut from the old Bonneville and fit to the Chevrolet. Measure/cut/fit the front/rear ends and graft to the Chevrolet body. It wouldn't be easy, but I don't see it being any harder than all the complicated cutting and grafting and reshaping required to work with the Bonneville as the foundation, and the resultant model would be stronger.

I realize that Revell '59/'60 Chevrolets are HT's and the roofs are all wrong; but that Coolidge sedan (don't they make a '59 Chevy sedan?)might be the most logical place to start. It would have the roof, doors (you would have to fill/rescribe to a coupe), wheelbase all ready to go, you just hang Pontiac parts on the ends like GM did.

#7 MrObsessive

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 03:20 AM

HEE HEE :D Great minds think alike Bob!

In reality all '59 GM's revolved around Buicks door since they were the first to be done with what was a total revamp of the previous for '59 design. If you look at the front doors of all the GM's of that year from Chevy to Caddy, they all have the same swoop down on the door leading to those tremendous fins!

All they did was make for different trim and restrikes on the doors and fenders to differentiate between the divisions. All shared the same sedan and hardtop rooflines (save for Cadillac which offered their models in hardtops only).

Like Bob said, this may be translatable to 1/25---- I too get a little squeamish cutting up vintage plastic!

Thank God for resin!! :D


#8 Mark C.

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 03:36 AM

Thanks, Bill! I hadn't even thought of MCW. I've been wanting to order something from them, and maybe this might be just the thing.

Here's a pic I found on their website, compared to the Laurentian:
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It just might be doable!

The MCW car also would get me out of hot water regarding the taillight issue between the Bonneville and the Catalina/Laurentian:
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I've gotta say their '61 is awfully tempting as well!
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Hmmm... Strato Chief?

BTW, for anyone interested in Canadian Pontiacs, here are a couple of links:
http://bruneauperfor...e.ca/intro.html

http://www.manitobap...c.com/index.htm

http://www.magma.ca/...946/index1.html

http://www.canadianpontiac.com/

http://www.classicca...ts.com/kars.htm

Thanks again! I'll keep you guys posted if I decide to go for this one!

#9 Zoom Zoom

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 03:49 AM

Cool! Looks like you can have a Laurentian and keep the Bonneville to restore 8)

#10 Mark C.

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Posted 21 July 2006 - 04:46 AM

Cool! Looks like you can have a Laurentian and keep the Bonneville to restore 8)


Yep! And without the complicated bodywork I'll at least have a chance at being able to do it! :mrgreen:

BTW, thanks for your suggestions, Bob! All advice I can get is really appreciated! :D