Mickey Thompson's Challenger One. Apr.22 : baby's gettin' curves
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:54 AM
Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:44 AM
Sometimes human inginuity just makes me speechless.
Posted 10 February 2013 - 07:58 AM
Anymore progress on this one?
Thanks for your interest. I'm having to heavily modify all of the upper body panels, and had to open up another kit so I wouldn't lose the baselines. Also had to make scaled drawings from the best of the online images I could find. So, typically for me, it's taking a lot longer than I originally envisioned. I didn't realize how much different the early version actually was.
I just find it so amazing that with the technology we had in the 60's we were able to build a car that could go over 400 miles per hour. IN THE 60'S!!!
Sometimes human inginuity just makes me speechless.
I don't know how old you are, but the '60s were hardly the stone age. The speed of sound was broken by an airplane in 1947. The Mach-3 SR-71 Blackbird first flew in late 1964. It is still the fastest manned aircraft ever built (officially).
As far as human ingenuity goes, in 1807 a Swiss engineer built an internal combustion engine powered by a hydrogen and oxygen mixture, and ignited by electric spark, and by 1861 the first confirmed patent for a four-cycle IC engine was issued. Every piston engine today, and in the '60s, was an outgrowth of those pioneering efforts.
The major differences in IC engines today as opposed to then, besides metallurgy, are better combustion chamber-shape and efficiency brought on by the power of computer simulation, and electronic (computer) engine management (including improved cam profiles and variable cam timing). Otherwise, the principles are the same as those discovered in the 1800s.
What has always impressed me about Challenger the most is that although there were many people involved, it was essentially a one-man design, and a lot of the car was actually built from junk (the tramsmissions, for example, were late 1930s LaSalle). Mickey Thompson was probably one of the most gifted natural engineers the world has ever known.
Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 10 February 2013 - 10:06 AM.
Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:24 AM
Trying out the new magic epoxy / micro balloon filler on this one too.
Posted 20 April 2013 - 04:09 PM
I've been thinking, and because the revised body panels have to fit EACH OTHER perfectly, the only way to get it right is to fixture all of the body panels together while i sculpt the modified shapes. I've glued temporary alignment jigs on the insides of all of the panels, and left enough of a gap on the end pieces for a razor saw blade.
Due to variations in the thickness of the kit parts, you get an idea of why this model has a reputation for being difficult. Still, this is one of my favorite kits of all time, and all the thickness and fit issues will be corrected as I go along.
Everything is stable, so the sculpting of the new shapes can commence, with the assurance the body sections will actually match up when the thing is assembled. This is another case where taking a break while thinking through the best procedure is going to streamline the work, and make for a much better model.
Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:04 PM
First things first. Got the sides flat to give myself a clean starting point by block-sanding with 80 grit open-coat paper. Seems a little brutal, but it's effective.
Next up, the voluptuous curves of the original body on Challenger begin to sprout. There's a LOT to get this body looking like the real first incarnation. Every panel is different, except the canopy.
Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 22 April 2013 - 01:07 PM.
Posted 22 April 2013 - 01:34 PM
Lovely! So what exactly are you doing here, building up the surfaces with filler then re-contouring them?
I was also thinking... it's so bitterly frustrating that M/T and his wife were murdered. He could have achieved so much more (and doubtless would have since at the time of his death in 1988 he was as creative, productive and committed as ever). And, as an old man who would have just turned 85 last week, with a lifetime of great work behind him, he would have deeply appreciated your approach to replicating one of his intuitive masterpieces.
Edited by Bernard Kron, 22 April 2013 - 01:43 PM.
Posted 22 April 2013 - 05:37 PM
Geez. I'm having enough trouble building one out of the box!
Thompson, the Arfons brothers and Breedlove were the last "Hot Rodder" land speed record holders building their cars from second hand and salvaged components without massive budgets or intrusive corporate sponsorship.
Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:13 PM
...Thompson, the Arfons brothers and Breedlove were the last "Hot Rodder" land speed record holders building their cars from second hand and salvaged components without massive budgets or intrusive corporate sponsorship.
And let's not forget the Summers Brothers!
Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:39 AM
Thanks for the interest, folks. Thompson was one of my heros, and I remember where I was and what I was doing when it came over the radio that he'd hit 406.6mph on the salt. Though the car broke and he was unable to make the return run for the official record, It just didn't matter. He'd done something many had thought to be impossible.
As Zenrat said " Thompson (was one of the last) "Hot Rodder" land speed record holders building their cars from second hand and salvaged components without massive budgets or intrusive corporate sponsorship." Still a hero in my book. The world needs more like him.
...... So what exactly are you doing here, building up the surfaces with filler then re-contouring them?
Yes sir, exactly. I'm trying to get the profile of those really pretty curves developed close to the left side of the car. They're very subtle and kinda tricky to get right. When I'm happy with the profile, I'll make transfer templates so I can make both sides match. Then, I'll go back and fill in from the outside edges to the correct width, then finally round all the contours till she looks right. The profile templates are absolutely necessary to keep it real though, in my opinion.
Posted 24 April 2013 - 08:37 AM
I love the meticulous approach to the details on this one, Bill. Nice work.