I’ve definitely got a “thing” about Junior Fuelers, those fuel injected, nitro burning featherweights that played David to the Top Fuel Goliaths during the Golden Age of front engine dragsters. I dig the purity and simplicity of design that the need to minimize the poundage imposed on them. This project will be my third Jr. Fuel digger. In fact when I first returned to car modeling 5 years ago the second model I completed, and my first drag car, was a Nailhead powered Junior based on the Garlits/HemiSphere chassis with a radically cut down body. And about 18 months ago I built a second one, using the AMT Tommy Ivo/Don Long chassis and a small block V8. It employed one of Altered States’ super minimalist shorty bodies but the chassis was way too long and I came away from the project unhappy with the proportions.
Which brings me to Junior Fueler Number 3. It’s being built for the “Back Burner Nationals” challenge on another forum. It definitely qualifies since it’s been kickin’ around for a couple of years. It’s based on my favorite FED kit of them all, the MPC Ramchargers top fuel dragster. The wheelbase is ideal – front engine dragsters would never look any better than they did in the mid-60’s. I’ve always loved the simple lines of the body and the super low legs-under stance. But every time I got started on it I got bumbed out by the two-piece body shell with the gnarly glue joint down the middle. The chassis is a knockout but the kit design obliges you to hide much of it permanently between the two halves of the shell. Until I got around to fixing the bodywork issues I was never gonna build this thing...
Below is a picture of what I’ve come up with so far. Being an ultra-light machine I’ve discarded the Ramchargers nosepiece. The main body is largely unmodified except that now its two pieces are the way it should have been in the first place. I glued the two halves together, reinforced the seam with plastic strip and then carefully cut the cowl piece out using the back of a No. 11 blade. Rather than risk handling the fragile body too much trying to smooth out the seam down the middle, I trimmed it out with a .020” half round styrene strip. Paint is two tone using Tamiya AS-12 Bare Metal Silver with Tamiya TS-20 Metallic Green panels. I still have to come up with some custom decals to fill things out.
Power will be from a Hilborn injected Chrysler 392 hemi. I’m using a Ross Gibson piece I had, but frankly I am underwhelmed. I’m landing up substituting quite a few details from other sources. These engine kits are pretty pricey for the quality you get. I doubt I’ll be purchasing another one unless they have something unobtainable any other way.
Other than that most other things will be from the kit. I will be substituting a pair of proper period M&H’s instead of the huge monstrosities that come in the box. I‘ll also be re-routing the steering outside the frame rails since there's no nose piece.
Thanx for lookin’,
Edited by Bernard Kron, 12 July 2013 - 01:39 AM.