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Better chassis for the MPC Volare?


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#1 JollySipper

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:31 PM

I didn't know this kit even existed until recently, but I found a Volare Road Runner kit on the 'Bay. I have not purchased it, but I was doing research on the kit and found that it has a cheap and detail-lacking chassis and engine bay..... Do any of you guys know of a good donor kit for the engine bay and chassis that will fit the Volare? AMT Duster, maybe?



#2 Tom Geiger

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:41 PM

The Volare is an interesting kit. I've had a build going on forever.  To answer your questions...  The car has a unique torsion bar set up in the front, so there is no drop in chassis.  On mine,  I just cut out the molded in drive shaft and am making the best of it.  You can add front end parts to get rid of those wheel mounting points.

 

Under the hood, the big issue for me is that there is no detail on the top of the firewall.  On the 1:1 there is a big air intake, vent etc there. So I added it.  There are other parts to fill up the bay, such as the air conditioning system in the AMT '71 Duster kit. Heck, you may even prefer that kit's engine bay.

 

Other issues with the kit are that the detail on the door panels is much too light. I added Evergreen strips, a arm rest carved from a tooth pick and resin window cranks to make it acceptable.  I also believe the car doesn't come with pedals, which are also easily added.

 

Here's a link to my build album. You can see what I did with the interior and there are some 1:1 engine bay shots for research.

 

http://public.fotki....-messenger-car/



#3 JollySipper

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:56 PM

Thanks Tom! And I checked out the link, the improvements you made to the interior made a world of difference! Too bad about the chassis, though, it being unique to the car and all......



#4 kalbert

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 04:11 PM

What?? MPC made a Volare Road Runner??!? I have to have one no matter how cruddy the chassis is! I've said it before, but MPC made some of the neatest stuff!

#5 JollySipper

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:26 PM

I thought the same thing when I saw this kit, Kyle! Here's a pic of the kit from the Bay of E!  :D 

 

volare_zps7a019308.jpg



#6 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 05:49 PM

If I recall correctly the Volare is Mopars F-body with a 108.7" wheelbase, similar to Chrysler's other unibody / torsion-bar front-end cars in general. If you're not going for 100% accuracy, the 108" wheelbase A-bodies: Barracuda '67-'69, Duster '70-'76, Valiant '67-'73...or the 108" wheelbase E-body '70-'74 Barracuda...should make passable chassis donors if kits are available.



#7 kalbert

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 06:14 PM

F body torsion bars are transverse L shaped things mounted on the front side of the cross member to the opposite side control arm. Looks almost like a stabilizer bar with the other end cut off. A bodies have long straight bars from near the pivot point of the control arm to a cross member at the rear of the front sub frame

 

Does the plain Volare kit have Road Runner parts, or are those only found in the Road Runner box?


Edited by kalbert, 31 July 2013 - 06:15 PM.


#8 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 01:53 AM

F body torsion bars are transverse L shaped things mounted on the front side of the cross member to the opposite side control arm. Looks almost like a stabilizer bar with the other end cut off. A bodies have long straight bars from near the pivot point of the control arm to a cross member at the rear of the front sub frame

 

 

That's interesting, and good to know. Sounds like you know your Mopar stuff. I'd assumed (never a good thing to do) that Chrysler Corp. had used a torsion bar setup like the earlier ones. Your information would explain the complaints I've heard of some guys saying there wasn't much you could do with the Volare front end, not many parts available, and other problems.

 

How similar is the rest of the structure, if at all?

 

Was any of it carryover from earlier designs, or was it all new tooling?


Edited by Ace-Garageguy, 01 August 2013 - 01:56 AM.


#9 Tom Geiger

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 10:31 AM

. Your information would explain the complaints I've heard of some guys saying there wasn't much you could do with the Volare front end, not many parts available, and other problems.

 

 

 

The Volare front end is a popular swap onto street rod pickup trucks. I would assume that they followed through with that torsion bar design all the way through the cop car era.



#10 JollySipper

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 10:39 AM

Say, wasn't there one of those on the cover of MCM a couple years ago? ;)

 

How might one go about finding this article? I'm very interested in seeing how it turned out.....



#11 Ace-Garageguy

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:11 AM

 

The Volare front end is a popular swap onto street rod pickup trucks..........

 

Also something I didn't know. Hmmmm...now you've got me interested to go find one of these and have a look...



#12 kalbert

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 03:24 PM

Yea I forgot the Volare front ends, despite being a bit unconventional, were popular among the street rod guys for a while too. I think because the whole K member was kind of a compact all-in-one unit that was easy to adapt to other stuff. Sort of like how popular the Mustang II is/was, but literally bolted on vs. the MII that requires hacking the cross member off the donor or fabricating your own.

 

F body's were the next generation of design, I don't think they shared a lot with previous platforms as far as floor pan shapes and things but I could be wrong. I do know the front suspension design was later adapted to the J body (Mirada, Cordoba) and M (Diplomat). I don't know if parts between them are interchangeable, but those they had transverse torsion bars and are very similar.

 

I don't have a huge amount of first hand Chrysler knowledge, but I worked in a shop for a while with two guys who were ape about them & managed to absorb a few things!



#13 jjsipes

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 08:36 AM

Here's a link to Steve Milberry's build that in in the Under Glass section.

 

http://www.modelcars...15158&hl=volare

 

Here's another as well.

 

http://www.modelcars...26191&hl=volare



#14 JollySipper

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for the links, Jason! They both turned out pretty good for old MPC kits!



#15 1972coronet

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:31 PM

I picked up the 1977 Plymouth Volare annual ---no 1976 Volare kit was produced ; MPC *assumed* that the Road Runner was going to continue on the B-Body platform , so that's how we ended up with the 1976 Road Runner "phantom" from MPC --- off of 'Bay a few years back . By then , even though the box of the early (first run) 1977 Volare isn't labelled as a  'Road Runner' , but the decals are indeed included . This was also the only issue of the MPC F-Body that had a traditional sunroof option , as opposed to the more-popular T-tops ; the latter being in mid-1977 and later incarnations .

 

My biggest complaints about this kit :

- white plastic tyres

- wheel-backs moulded to the aforementioned plastic tyres

- the small block (MoPar LA-Series) is off-scale (same as all of MPC's MoPars of this era)

 

Still , I had this kit (and its ad seq. annuals) when it was new . Being age 7 at the time , my skills were *marginal* at best (ha ha ha !) . Now I have this kit again , and I can't wait to dig into it !

 

*Monogram's 1955 F-100 has a MoPar F-Body front clip ...



#16 Harry P.

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 02:33 PM

Say, wasn't there one of those on the cover of MCM a couple years ago? ;)

 

;) 



#17 Tom Geiger

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:15 PM

 

My biggest complaints about this kit :

- white plastic tyres

- wheel-backs moulded to the aforementioned plastic tyres

- the small block (MoPar LA-Series) is off-scale (same as all of MPC's MoPars of this era)

 

 

Oh come on!  Anyone who doesn't have tires and wheels in their parts box...

 

There are a few other issues.  The interior door panel detail is very light and will get lost under paint.  I added all new to mine. Also the kit doesn't have pedals, again easy add from your parts box.  The top of the firewall is blank, there should be vents there, again easy to add from a donor kit.  One issue that is a pain is that the trans hump is very shallow, making it hard to change out the engine. I'm putting a slant six in mine. 

 

Also, as you said the first issue is the '77, that's the kit without a year on it but labeled "New Volare". The only issue that has the Roadrunner side window louvers and spoilers is the one specifically labeled Roadrunner.  I have that New Volare kit, but it's sealed so I cannot see the decal sheet.  All issues have that silly landau top thingie.



#18 1972coronet

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 03:49 AM

 

Oh come on!  Anyone who doesn't have tires and wheels in their parts box...

 

There are a few other issues.  The interior door panel detail is very light and will get lost under paint.  I added all new to mine. Also the kit doesn't have pedals, again easy add from your parts box.  The top of the firewall is blank, there should be vents there, again easy to add from a donor kit.  One issue that is a pain is that the trans hump is very shallow, making it hard to change out the engine. I'm putting a slant six in mine. 

 

Also, as you said the first issue is the '77, that's the kit without a year on it but labeled "New Volare". The only issue that has the Roadrunner side window louvers and spoilers is the one specifically labeled Roadrunner.  I have that New Volare kit, but it's sealed so I cannot see the decal sheet.  All issues have that silly landau top thingie.

I'm with you in regard to the tyres from the parts box . It's just too bad that MPC decided to make their excellent Good Year tyres out of plastic <_<

 

The detailling that you've added to your Volare's interior is the best ! The new , scratchbuilt arm rests really make that interior pop !

 

You're right about how the 1977 is labelled ; the box does exclaim "New Volare" , without a year included (unlike most of MPC's annuals).

That hideous landau top was based upon an actual , limited production model called California Cruiser (or something like that).



#19 Tom Geiger

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 05:51 AM

I'm with you in regard to the tyres from the parts box . It's just too bad that MPC decided to make their excellent Good Year tyres out of plastic <_<

 

The detailling that you've added to your Volare's interior is the best ! The new , scratchbuilt arm rests really make that interior pop !

 

You're right about how the 1977 is labelled ; the box does exclaim "New Volare" , without a year included (unlike most of MPC's annuals).

That hideous landau top was based upon an actual , limited production model called California Cruiser (or something like that).

 

The kit still has 1977 on the license plate area of the front bumper. Maybe the back too, I don't have one in front of me. 

 

Tires - if those plastic ones are nice (I never looked close at them before tossing them aside) maybe we can get Al Raab to make us some in rubber.

 

Thanks for the mention of my interior. It's actually very easy to do...

 

MVC003F-vi.jpg

 

I used Evergreen plastic strip to make the molding. I believe it's too large, I'd use smaller next time.  The window crank handle is a resin bit done by Norman Veber, Replicas and Miniatures of Maryland. Those are done so nice that I've used them on several builds.  I bought 5 packs one of the times I saw him at a show just so I'd never run out.  And as you mentioned the arm rest is carved from wood, either a tooth pick or a small bit of basswood.  Took all of a few minutes, the hard part is making two exact duplicates.  The good part about making stuff like that is since the material is just raw material, you get an infinite amount of tries, not like one shot at ruining your only kit part.

 

And for the record, the Volare kit interior comes with a console and buckets. I cut out the console and flattened the floor to allow for a bench seat.  That one is probably my third try at making one suitable.  It came out of the '66 Chevelle wagon kit.  I split the back and redid the pattern to sorta match the Volare rear seat. Headrests were from the parts box. 

 

IMG_2148-vi.jpg

 

Here's the interior 'busied up'. It's a messenger car so that's all the mail. The two mail trays in the back seat came from the model railroad G Scale guys and are a perfect replica of the mail trays I used to haul around in that era. In fact I still have a few in my garage!

 

IMG_2158-vi.jpg

 

And the front seat. Note from the interior picture above I saw that the drivers seat needed some finishing so I added the edge with some model boat rigging rope I had. The mesh itself is fabric sent to me by Hollywood Jim.



#20 Danger

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 08:55 AM

Here's a link to my build-up of the 77 Road Runner.

http://dangervideo.s...10047876_PS3jn2

 

The decals in my kit were destroyed but thankfully I was able to get some from Keith Marks.

 

Danger