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AMT 1966 Olds 442?!

442 oldsmobile cutlass

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#21 Art Anderson

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 07:05 PM

Were two-tones that rare? And was the second color restricted to black or white? I've seen one at local car shows that is definitely a two tone: silver over metallic gray.


The two-tone paint job pretty much went away by 1966 at GM, due mostly to body styling thatno longer offered a logical dividing line or point for color separation, which would have meant either an awkward-looking paint scheme, or serious delays in the paint & trim department of any GM Assembly Division plant, due to the necessity of being very precise in masking for the second color.

Even the vinyl tops of the era made for some interesting work for sure, particularly with Chevelle/Tempest/Cutlass/Skylark bodies having adopted the "flying buttress" roof design with the back window tunneled in as it was. As such though, vinyl tops tended to be either black, or white (at least those were the most common colors), with both colors being available with nearly every body color, I believe.

Two-tone, or even multi-colored paint jobs go all the way back to the earliest cars though, and became very popular in the 1920's with the introduction of spray painted lacquer finishes that began in 1924 at Oldsmobile (DuPont Duco Lacquer, provided by DuPont, at the time the principal stockholder in GM). Of course, most cars prior to about 1930 had black fenders, running boards & splash aprons, but that was pretty much a carryover from horse-drawn carriage days. Complimenting colors were used to highlight sculptured window reveals, even the raised moldings on those old upright, squarish body shells, along with pinstriping which was the primary body trim before chrome spears.

In the bottom of the Great Depression, multicolor car bodies went out of fashion, as those who could afford to buy a new car generally declined to "show off" anything that smacked of affluence in the face of breadlines in many cities. By about 1938 or so though, two-tones came back, at first limited to those fat fenders being painted a different, often contrasting color to that used on the body--usually black, or a dark color of some sort.

After WW-II, a few makes, notably Buick, Pontiac and Packard, became available with a complimenting color emphasizing the body character lines of hoods, roofs and rear decks. With the wholesale introduction of new, postwar body styling by 1949, most carmakers began offering two toning, but pretty much limited to the roof, where the second color could easily be separated from the lower body color either by the sharp crease at the bottom of the roof where it joined the lower body, or by the use of chrome trim to cover the masked separation.

With the popularity of "sun belt" oriented images in advertising, by about 1954 or thereabouts, the white roof came into serious vogue, although dark roof colors were still available. But with white, ostensibly that made the interior of the car cooler in the hot summer sun, in those days before the almost universal adoption of air-conditioning. Very quickly, a white top became almost mandatory, if for no other reason than to "keep up with the neighbors", darker optional roof colors beginning to disappear from the paint charts at the dealer's showroom.

But everything "has its day" of course, and by the early 1960's, two-tone cars, mostly with white tops, began to be seen as old-fashioned, "last year's" styling, the emphasis being on "new" every year.

Vinyl tops, on the other hand, have their roots way back in the horse-drawn carriage era, when closed carriages had black leather roofs to seal out rain. With early cars having bodies built in the carriage tradition (coachbuilt bodies), the same issue with roofs on closed cars remained, how to seal a multi-paneled construction body shell against inclement weather, so at first leather, then various treated or coated fabrics began to be used, with rubberized or plasticized canvas duck being used until the development of one-piece stamped steel roofs (GM called them "turret tops" which swept across the industry by 1936-37. Leather-grained black vinyl continued to be offered by Packard on their senior cars, Cadillac on Series 75 and Series 90 sedan limousines, even Buick on their Series 70 sedan limo. Chrysler installed a few on late-30's Imperial 7-passenger sedans as well, but by WW-II vinyl tops were gone.

Fast forward to 1950: Ford Motor Company, having been blind-sided by the unveiling of Buick's Roadmaster Riviera hardtop, followed very quickly by the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, Oldsmobile Holiday, Pontiac Catalina and Chevrolet Bel Air Hardtops, rushed to introduce up-trimmed 2dr sedans; Ford Crestliner, Mercury Capri, and the Lincoln Lido, all of which sported vinyl top covering, in black, as well as dark green, dark blue, and even maroon; as midyear 1950 introductions. Those carried over into 1951, but were overshadowed by the addition of the Ford Crestline Victoria hardtop, and the vinyl topped 2drs disappeared at the end of the '51 model year. Kaiser tried using vinyl tops on their 1955 Dragon, but to little avail, that car sold very poorly, and Kaiser exited the passenger car business by the end of that year entirely to concentrate on Jeep. The next fling with vinyl top treatment came at Cadillac, introduced on the all-new 1959 Eldorado Seville, the majority of those being produced with white vinyl on the roof (now you know why Monogram chose to do their excellent kit of the car with a vinyl roof!), and continued that into 1960. With the coming of the "formal roof" hardtops at GM in 1962 (actually, those were styled to imitate the shape of a raised convertible top!), they played around with offering vinyl covering on those, but I never saw very many of them. Rather, it was Ford who made vinyl tops a "have to have" with the introduction of their "quieter than a Rolls Royce" LTD sedans in 1965, which probably inspired Chevrolet to specify black vinyl roof treatment on the '65 Chevelle Z-16; the treatment spreading across the Ford line, very popular on the Mustang Coupe. Everyone followed suit by 1966, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Art

#22 midnightprowler

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 02:05 AM

I dont think it was mandatory to get a black vinyl roof on the 65 Chevelle Z-16, in fact I've never seen a picture of one with it. Very interesting history here Art, amny thanks for posting it! :D B)

Edited by midnightprowler, 16 January 2011 - 02:06 AM.


#23 rick6343

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:17 AM

Art,

Thanks for the (as usual) thorough and detailed history! Confirms a lot of things I'd suspected.

#24 midnightprowler

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 02:39 AM

Thanks for posting those Steve. Just for the record, I wasnt saying they didnt come that way, I was just saying that it wasnt mandatory. I have a few pics in books and magazines of Z-16's, and they have no vinyl roofs. I prefer it without it actually.

#25 Chuck Most

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:31 PM

Didn't the original issue of the Revell Chevelle kit have a photo of the 1:1 without a vinyl top? I wasn't aware until now that a vinyl top was even offered on the Z-16.

#26 Rick R

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:46 PM

Re: The 4-4-2

Depending on the person filling out the order forms at the dealer, 2-tones were still popular into thee mid-60s. In '72 I bought a beautiful '66 4-4-2 post coupe in Fort Walton Beach Florida where I was stationed in the Air Force, and oddly enough it was silver blue with a white painted roof just like the new box-art car. The 'vert kit is a blast, best -up top ever- it's an A/C equipped 4-barrel car and of course the parts from the Hardtop are interchangable. Love the wire wheel covers in that kit!

The kit replicates a pretty fast car, with the W-30 and a 4-speed. I wasn't so lucky, mine was an Automatic 4-barrel, still a stout car for all of $850, ($250 down and $53 a month/18 months) I put 23k miles on it in a year, had a blast, pretty much ruined it but I shoulda kept it. I'm why they're rare!

re: the Z-16

Since this was a really high buck package for the Chevelle lots of dealers ordered the cars (only 201 were made) 'loaded' to the gills with options, including vinyl roofs. The Exact Detail line of 18th scale die casts offered the Z-16 in every color scheme available, red, yellow, and black, each color with and without a vinyl roof. Great models though the Revell kit is more accurate.

#27 Billy Kingsley

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 10:36 PM

It's funny...I started building in 1999, and I added (and built) one of the hardtops very early on- by mid 2000. But I to this day have never seen one of the convertible kits for sale, in person.

I recall in building the kit that I had some issues getting the engine/hood to work right- but keep in mind I was still new to the hobby back then.

Unfortunatly for me I dropped one of the wheel assemblies down behind my bookcase. Since the bookcase probably weighs as much as a real Oldsmobile, I would say it's gone for good! :D

This isn't the greatest picture, either. I uploaded it to Fotki in summer of 2006 so I was really still learning with that aspect, too...The build predates my use of BMF. Believe it or not, it is brush painted!

Posted Image

Does anyone know if that notch in the grill is accurate? I'm not very familiar with the real cars, I guessed it was for the hood release latch, but I really have no clue for sure.
Posted Image

#28 66 olznut

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Posted 17 July 2011 - 11:38 PM

That is for the hood latch and actually, there was 2 or 3 different grill changes for the '66 442. I have 3 of these cars. This version is what my first car looked like when new Posted Image This version is when I got it in 1988 for the hefty sum of $650. Posted Image This version is what I want my current '66 to look like which is based on a F-85 with the 442 option. Posted Image Lemme throw in a little something I'm tinkering with now to prove my Olds loyalty Posted Image

#29 george 53

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:09 AM

Ed, if your up for it, R&R has both the 64 and 65 442 available. I used the 65 GTO for parts cars, and they do build up nicely. (With a bit of work, that is.):lol: :) :D

#30 george 53

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:12 AM

I just remembered, I got my 64 from Porkies resins, who gave his mold to Bandit resins! Kenny ALSO has the 64 now and it's LIGHTYEARS past R&R's stuff. It's as close as you'll get to an original AMT 64 442 and it's only around 40 bucks! Try findin a plastic one for that price!!!:lol: :) :D

#31 66 olznut

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:27 PM

I sure hope so. The R&R '65 was a pain to make work and being my first ever resin kit kinda left a bad taste in my mouth for resins. It ain't perfect but it's nice, I used a '66 442 conv kit. Saying that, with the '65 almost done, it completes my 1964-1972 442/Cutlass collection. I got lucky and found a built '64 on ebay, got it for a song, took it apart and re-did it, turned out nice! Posted Image

Edited by 66 olznut, 18 July 2011 - 03:31 PM.


#32 Chuck Most

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:33 PM

I'd love to see somebody do a four-door sedan body for this kit, so I could model my old '66.

Oh, Ed... most resin is way, way, WAY better than R&R! :)

#33 66 olznut

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:44 PM

That's sad as I've seen in a catalog alot of Olds stuff from R&R. Who else has Olds stuff? I also need a few things from the '66 442 conv kit for the '64, I'm thinking about adapting the '66 chassis to the '64 to update it.

Edited by 66 olznut, 18 July 2011 - 03:46 PM.


#34 Chuck Most

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Posted 18 July 2011 - 03:54 PM

MCW does a few Olds kits, but they are all mid to late '50's. Modelhaus sells quite a few too, rangin in years from '57 to '62. Promolite 2000 did a '59 two-door post a few years back, but I believe that particular one is no longer available.

#35 Ron Hamilton

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 12:13 PM

I did this one when the convertible kit first came out.
Posted Image

#36 Swifster

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 09:40 PM

The two-tone paint job pretty much went away by 1966 at GM, due mostly to body styling thatno longer offered a logical dividing line or point for color separation, which would have meant either an awkward-looking paint scheme, or serious delays in the paint & trim department of any GM Assembly Division plant, due to the necessity of being very precise in masking for the second color.

Even the vinyl tops of the era made for some interesting work for sure, particularly with Chevelle/Tempest/Cutlass/Skylark bodies having adopted the "flying buttress" roof design with the back window tunneled in as it was. As such though, vinyl tops tended to be either black, or white (at least those were the most common colors), with both colors being available with nearly every body color, I believe.

Art


GM was still offering tu-tone paint in '67. This was a car I looked at a couple years ago. I thought the owner pulled the top and painted a rusty roof to match his stripes. Not the case. First, the car is a V8 F-85, not a Cutlass, regardless of what you see on the fenders. Second, the stripes were something I believe the owner added. I don't know enough on the cowl tags to know if the lower codes are stripes or not. But the body code is for a V8 F-85 with Ocean Mist paint (K) on the lower section and Provincial White © on the top. The 936-A trim code is for the turquoise standard trim vinyl interior. No side mouldings, but this isn't a Cutlass and it doesn't have the 4-4-2 package (still an option and could be had on this body style). It's also a '67 vs. a '66. But the paint codes don't lie...and the roof is white.

Posted Image

Posted Image

#37 W-409

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Posted 25 July 2011 - 12:28 AM

That Hardtop version is a great kit! Built it many years back, and turned out OK. Parts fit nicely together. Only thing, the alternator doesn't fit under the hood, so the hood isn't perfectly closed, there's a gap. That was only problem, I found from the kit.

Posted Image

#38 Swifster

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 09:45 PM

OK, so I bought the hardtop yesterday and may pick up another. The question I have for those who have built both body styles...Did AMT change the dash to reflect the A/C system or are both dashes the same? I know this is nit picking, but I may try to find the drop top for the 4bbl engine and A/C system.

#39 crazyjim

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 02:32 AM

I recently built the hardtop kit, Joe and enjoyed the build. Very little flash and the parts fit well.

Posted Image

#40 Chuck Most

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Posted 30 October 2011 - 04:49 AM

Looking good Jim!
Where'd you get that particular kit? ;)