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1968 Mr. Norm's Dodge Dart GSS (was The Engine Room)


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#1 ApexSpeed

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 04:52 PM

Hi all, I'm new to the site, and an on-and-off modeler since I was a kid. Spent most of my mature life racing R/C cars, karts, formula cars and anything else I could get my hands on. A new job in Des Moines took my family and I from Chicago in the dead of one of the worst winters I can recall, and I find myself in a new city, a new house, a new job and completely out of my comfort zone. While I was unpacking my old workshop here, I found my box of modeling stuff from easily 10 years ago. Boredom and a need to get away from the kids for a little while brought everything out of thaw and a new workshop set up here in Iowa.
 
I had started a '68 Mr. Norm's Dodge Dart GSS in 2004 and it stalled a couple of times. I'm trying to pick back up, but having a tough time getting motivated to finish the GSS Dart...
 
project_dart_011.jpg

 

project_dart_029.jpg

 

I should just finish it and get it done so I can move on.

 

 

 

What I wind up doing is building engines, instead. I donno why, but I enjoy it almost as much as building real ones. So things like the Ross Gibson engines are appealing. I found a bunch of the old Revell Parts Pack engines in a box and decided to start the misnamed "354" Cadillac. These are actually really great kits with tons of detail. I have enjoyed this one so far. It has the resin OE Cadillac valve covers from Altered States, and hand-made injector stacks out of aluminum tubing.

 

cadillac_331_005.jpg

 

Will probably do a little wiring next and see where that goes. 

 

 

I pulled an old Gary Ormsby AA/TF car out of mothballs and it made me laugh, the only thing worked on was the engine. I'll post some photos of that later on. :)

 

 

 

Nice to be here. The talent I have seen so far here is incredible. I'm tremendously humbled.

 

 

 

 

 

doug


Edited by ApexSpeed, 01 February 2014 - 04:07 AM.


#2 MsDano85gt

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:02 PM

welcome  aboard doug!

   hmmm  Iowa eh?   i'm a  misplaced minnesotan  now  living in south mississippi!

 

 love the  engines!

 love that  dart so far  would  make  mr  norm proud!



#3 Terminator-Fox

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:14 PM

Love the Dart. That's on my short to do list. I'm a Northern IL guy and yes this winter has been brutal. I've picked up modeling again after a long hiatus as well this winter. Welcome and nice work!



#4 ApexSpeed

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:26 PM

You can see the Dart has had two different engines. After building to the kit directions after a lot of research on GTS Darts, I built it in Chrysler orange. Then I found out that '68 and earlier cars used turquoise. My momentum stalled after meeting Mr. Norm in person at the Belvedere Mopar Happening many years ago, with the actual GSS Dart that was on the cover of the box right next to Mr. Norm's booth. It had a turquoise engine. I shot about 100 photos of the car for reference, but the time I put into the big block in the car (relocating the distributor, plug wires, coil, etc), I lost some steam. I started a second kit motor and it was better than the first, but kinda never got going again after a flood in my old house took out most of my workshop. Everything was put into boxes and didn't get re-opened until just recently. Almost exactly 10-years after starting the project.



#5 Skypower

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:45 PM

Looking great so far, just have fun with it that's all I do, it's great therapy. Welcome to the board.

#6 DrKerry

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 07:27 PM

Welcome aboard.... great stuff!!!



#7 slusher

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 09:23 PM

Welcome Doug, Dart and engine look great. I am from Chicago and I don't miss Chicago weather but I don't like the southern summer...



#8 disabled modeler

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 03:14 AM

Welcome Doug...nice work... I like it!



#9 OldTimer50707

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 04:23 AM

Welcome Doug. Looks like you have a great start getting back into the hobby. I'm not sure that you moved to a better climate though. :rolleyes:



#10 Ira

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 05:05 AM

Looks Great so Far!

B)



#11 ApexSpeed

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 07:32 AM

Welcome Doug. Looks like you have a great start getting back into the hobby. I'm not sure that you moved to a better climate though. :rolleyes:

 

Nope, not really. 3 or 4 degrees warmer ain't cuttin' it. :) At least I don't have to deal with the insane traffic and cost of living anymore.



#12 MeatMan

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 10:36 AM

Welcome to the site Doug.  Love the Dart.  I had a neighbor who had a red 1:1.  He used to rip up the streets.



#13 Speedfreak

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:15 PM

Doug, the Dart looks great! (really). I literally had the body of that kit out of the box tonight sitting next to my work bench trying to decide what colors I'm going to use. It is my 'next' build (currently working on AMT '71 Duster 340) as I've entered it in the 2014 Cannonball run community build project, so I'll be following your progress closely. In all honesty I found this thread after doing a Google search of this site looking for threads on Mr' Norm's '68 Dodge Dart! And whala! Here you posted this yesterday. So, keep it going man, love the green AND the turquoise engine looks great. This winter is kiling me too, but , we gotta keep goin' and having something to do inside REALLY helps. Thanks for posting and welcome aboard.



#14 ApexSpeed

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:31 PM

Thanks!

 

There is a very old thread (like, 10 years old) that documents a lot of the build on the Dart GSS here on Scale Auto Enhusiast's forums. I'm going to pick up the Dart again tomorrow and see if i can get some interior work accomplished. If you are interested, I have a plain old folder of photos that I took of the real Mr. Norm's Dart GSS that is on the box art when I saw it at the Mopar Happening in Belvedere, Illinois more than a couple of yeas ago. It's immensely helpful for details, because so few of these cars existed and there are more than a couple of things different from the standard GTS Darts (like the battery in the trunk). You'll notice, it also has dog-dish hubcaps on steel wheels, too. Lots of differences from the model made on the box.

 

Oh, and there are also Chrysler and Dodge paint chip charts from 1968 in that folder, too, if you still haven't decided on a color. MCW has all of them. Mist (Light) Turquoise Poly (KK-1) was my second choice... I like odd colors. :)

 

 

 

 

doug



#15 ApexSpeed

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 03:25 PM

Keeping up with my theme of getting about 80-90% of the engine done then losing steam when it's time to detail it with wires and plumbing, here is something that was literally in pieces 2 days ago. It's from the old Revell Castrol Gary Ormsby Top Fuel dragster. I hated the way the tiny front tires looked on the cars of that era, so I'm not sure how or why I ever bought this model. It had a bunch of machined aluminum parts in the bottom of the box, but I stripped the chrome off of all of the kit parts and used those. I had also cut off the kit magnetos to use (probably about 20 years ago) to use machine aluminum pre-wired pieces, but decided against it, so now I have to find another solution for the twin mags.

 

I need to push myself to continue to detail this one. It's helping my skills get sharper just to work on stuff like this. I have a plan for a very optimistic build that I am planning on for this year, and I could use all of the practice I can get. :)

 

 

 

doug

 

topfuel_001.jpg

 

topfuel_002.jpg



#16 Speedfreak

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 09:30 PM

Thanks Doug! I'm going through the photo's now. I love the shot of this model sitting on the air cleaner of the actual car!

 

Did you know that Model Car Garage has a photo etch set for this car? Look in the Chrysler section '68 Dodge Dart, it says that it's for the Mr. Norm kit, which 'implies' that it has the GSS badges. Don't know for sure.



#17 ApexSpeed

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 03:53 AM

Yeah, I knew there was a Mr. Norm's photo etched kit, but for some reason, I have always been nervous about doing any PE parts. I haven't done any and they are just intimidating. I will have to attempt one soon, I guess.

 

I'm pretty sure it has the GSS badges, too. Probably not misaligned like the dealer-installed ones, though. :)



#18 Speedfreak

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:21 PM

Doug, How's that interior coming along? You could alway's build a 1/18 scale 440 and stick that inside the car, lol.


Edited by Speedfreak, 22 January 2014 - 04:22 PM.


#19 ApexSpeed

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:35 PM

Doug, How's that interior coming along? You could alway's build a 1/18 scale 440 and stick that inside the car, lol.

 

I got side-tracked with the Top Fuel car and my plans for a Fuel Altered project. :unsure: Having trouble getting motivated to get back into the Dart. The parts have been on painting props ready to paint, just haven't done anything with them yet. I know I'm just avoiding the plug wires. :)



#20 Speedfreak

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

Doug, the engine you're using is the turquiose one in the photo? Just leave it un-wired.

 

My current project ('71 duster 340) was started in '99? (I had been building non stop at that point for about three years, completed about 10 builds) I painted the body then and put it away. Didn't do 'any' modeling until 2011 which was building the engine (single 4-barrel) for that car, everything except the decal for the air cleaner. Started modeling again about four months ago, one build completed, one not. Then I started on the Duster again, and , screwed up the air cleaner decal. got another decal and screwed that up too! :lol: So I thought " I can't do a 'stock' build without the air cleaner decal " and decided to put on the 'Six-Pack' intake. The engine is now finished and am putting in the rear-end stuff now. Should have the under body stuff all done in a few days, maybe today in fact. Wheel/tires are ready. There you go, a 15yr build! Wooohooo!