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About ibj40

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    Jim Forte

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  1. Thank you all for your comments and compliments. Clearly, McQueen is iconic, as is the movie. I am going to have to watch the documentary. I have read "A French Kiss with Death", and Marshall Terrill's biography, now I need to add the knowledge from the documentary.
  2. The year 1970 was big one for Steve McQueen. Among other things, he bought Porsche 908/02 #908-022. In preparation for a return to Sebring, Florida for the annual 12 hour endurance race, he subsequently entered it in at least two Sports Car Club of America Regional/National races, winning class A-Sports Racing at each meeting. McQueen had been regularly participating in SCCA events since the late 50's. McQueen had raced previously in the 12 Hour in 1962 in an Austin-Healey Sebring Sprite. For 1970, he chose Peter Revson as a co-driver, which was an excellent choice, not only an accomplished drive in his own right, but a prior class winner at Sebring as well. Unfortunately for McQueen, he broke his leg in a motorcycle racing accident, and would compete at Sebring with his leg in a cast. For the race, Revson would handle the lion's share of the driving, being behind the wheel for 8 hours total, with McQueen performing for the mandatory minimum of 4. For their efforts, the Revson/McQueen duo was scored second overall (although urban legend suggests a scoring oversight cost them a lap and the win). The next time that chassis 908-022 would surface was at the LeMans 24 Hour race, in the form of a camera laden competitor, gathering footage for McQueen's pending movie, "LeMans". The car completed the race, and was 9th overall on the scoring charts, but covered too few laps to be classified as a finisher. Needless to say, I (as well as a legion of others) am a huge Steve McQueen fan, having an entire corner of my collection dedicated to him, and his iconic movie. The one model that was missing was a replica of the camera car. Just this past week, that void was filled, as I bought my first Dennis Koleber (dennymini on eBay) custom.
  3. Thanks, all! It was a fun build. Album of the complete build is available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmMC95g5
  4. Henri Chemin had a career mainly in the automobile industry, first at Ford (1956-1968) and then at Chrysler-Simca (1969-1974). The January 5, 1969, Ford of France ordered the cessation of its activities in competition and Chemin decided to join William Reiber at Simca Chrysler. In March 1969, he took charge of the competition department with three objectives: 1. Win competitions, including rallies as quickly as possible. 2. Rebuild the brand image with promotional operations focused on young drivers. 3. Complete the already laudable list of Matra Simca. Chemin made a promising start in rallying with SIMCA 000, SIMCA 1200 and CG 1500. More than a thousand young drivers benefiting from assistance and performance bonuses obtain, with the cars in the range, thousands of victories which improve the brand image: the Simca 1000 Rally "was born from this operation as well as the Simca Racing Team (SRT). In 1970, Chemin, eager to do battle with the Renault Alpines and other Porsches, asked Bernard Boyer, engineer at Matra, to study the construction of a modern rally coupe equipped with the "developed" engine of the Chrysler 180. He obtained the agreement of Jean-Luc Lagardère and the CG - MC prototype with central engine was produced in four months and won for its first outing, the Critérium des Cévennes , piloted by Gérard Larrousse. Dozens of victories followed by Bernard Fiorentino, Philippe Renaudat and Michel Saliba. From 1970 to 1972, as a driver, he won three titles of champion of France on circuit (Tourism category) and a mountain title (1972) on Plymouth Barracuda 383 and Plymouth Hemicuda 426 against Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro and BMWs. Secretly, also in 1970, Chrysler of France and Chemin received corporate approval to develop a car to compete in the famous Le Mans 24 Hour race. Homologation papers were filed with the FIA for a “GT” version of the Plymouth Superbird. To speed up development, a companion chassis to the Hemicuda was stripped of its Barracuda-based bodywork, and the wheelbase was extended to accommodate Nascar Superbird bodywork acquired from Petty Enterprises. Here are comparison pictures of the Superbird GT and Chemin's Hemicuda. To comply with FIA safety regulations, the Superbird GT would have to be fitted with head and taillights, a wiper, and an endurance fuel cell. To comply with the GT regulations at the time, the suspension, brakes, engine, and other components had to remain in their original, stock locations. The rushed development, complicated by frequent visits to the Chrysler of France fabrication shops by FIA officials, left very little sorting time, and an essentially untried car, still in the corrosion-resistant paint that the Petty shop had covered the sheet metal in, showed up for the Le Mans Time Trials, in preparation for the June 1970 race. Gerard Larrousse (under contract with Porsche at the time, but available as Porsche did not participate in the Time Trials), based on his prior relationship with Chemin, and familiarity with the Circuit de la Sarthe, was chosen to pilot the Superbird GT. Since there were no homologation papers, ACO officials wouldn’t let the car out onto the track while the other competitors practiced. Track time for the Superbird GT was limited to breaks in the schedule, such as lunch hour. With the headlights removed, it is rumored that the car achieved a top speed down the Mulsanne Straight almost four miles per hour faster than the Corvettes that were at the test; however lap times were less than competitive, primarily due to an unsorted chassis. After a frustrating two days, the team loaded the Superbird GT onto their transporter and headed back to their shops. The FIA informed Chrysler that unless the requisite number of complying vehicles were built, no homologation papers would be approved. Despite Chrysler pointing to the Superbirds competing in the USA under both Nascar and USAC sanctions, the Euro-centric FIA would not budge, saying that if a Superbird GT were to be approved, all the versions must match the one produced in France. With that, the Superbird GT chassis was stripped of any essential parts as spares for the Chemin’s Hemicuda, and the hull was unceremoniously dumped in the back lot of the fabrication shop. In April 1973, with the death of William Reiber, and despite the hundreds of victories acquired in three years and eight French championship titles, the new management of Simca Chrysler decided to dissolve the competition department, and the Le Mans Superbird GT was scrapped, along with other racing assets. Album of the complete build is available here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmMC95g5
  5. For those of you who follow 1/18 scale diecast, you have no doubt how valuable one of these sets is. This is one of mine (I have two), this one has been opened for inspection, the other one has the original manufacturer's tape seals intact. If you followed my Penske Hilton thread, you had to see this one coming, so here is Team Penske, loaded up with two 1969 Camaros, heading to the next Trans Am race. We'll go through the separate pieces first. This one is a custom trailer I just finished today, as I needed one to complete the display, but didn't want to decant one from the GMP set. I took a standard GMP trailer kit, and repainted it with Sunoco Blue, and applied some decals from a Penske Eagle set. Here's another custom trailer, created from an Ertl set which came boxed with a Dodge dually single-cab truck (this one was the Weil-McLain heating products version). This, of course, is the Penske Hilton custom box truck that we just finished. This is the ACME Ramp Truck (cab donor for the Hilton) in stock configuration. I And this is another ACME product, and '70 model Chevy pickup (this one is equipped with the TSM Sunoco Oil Products set). And here they are, all together, just like it probably was back in 1969. I
  6. Cleaning up some details. Built a custom driveshaft. Used the couplings from the box donor, and connected them with some brass tubing. The ramp truck chassis has dual exhausts, the box truck chassis had a single, so needed to join them together. Drilled a couple of pilot holes into the ends of the duals, and added a couple of steel pins. Got some bendable aluminum tubing and connected the dots. Got a couple more details to work out before I create a diorama.
  7. Got it back from my painter yesterday, put it together, and posted it up with the donor ramp truck. If I may say so, not bad!
  8. Got the backup decal set in, and much prefer the numbers, so made that change. Based on a suggestion from my good friend, Mike Kotwick (Swede70), he thought the Cougar being a Holman-Moody product might be an interesting twist, so ordered a Nascar set that had those in it. Fairly pleased with the end product, and this one is done! And something I noticed when I was doing these, was that Greenlight really screwed up the interior of this model (another thread to follow). There's a window net included (as would have been required beginning around 1970 or so in the Trans Am), but it is stuck down between the seat and the cage bars. With a little bit of prying and cutting, I have relocated it to be much more visible and correctly located. Oh, and I upgraded my phone from a Samsung Galaxy to an Apple XR, so that is why the pictures may appear a little different.
  9. Thanks for the post, great ideas!
  10. That is amazing. The behind the scenes design work must be incredible. Love the rocking chair, perfect for sitting and watching paint dry?
  11. In a "Hold My Beer and Watch This" moment, I'll see if I can find an 1/18 scale H&M decal to add! They aren't always as easy as this one was. Thanks!
  12. So, I went surfing into my decal collection, and found some sponsor decals that were appropriate, not real crazy about the numbers, though (cut out from a '70 Boss 302 Trans Am set). Got another decal set on order, which should have better numbers, but thought I'd go ahead and share.
  13. Got the mechanicals all finished up, waiting for a set of decals to show up. Wheels actually have a metallic blue tint to them, which reflects nicely with the blue body color. Engine compartment came out better than I expected (I have to admit that there were some substantive alterations from the "final" I showed above. BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH You, Dog Leg Hinges!) Compromises in the interior, the steering wasn't going to connect, with the discrepancy between the Welly and SunStar chassis, so the steering wheel is fixed in place. The SunStar Cougar comes with a fuel filler cap stuck right in the middle of the rear deck lid, with no accommodation for the lid to open (even though it is fixed in place on the diecast). I thought a better spot was at the rear of the car, like many others were during that era of Trans Am racing. Remounted the front spoiler from the Welly back onto the SunStar chassis - had to drill a couple of new mounting holes.
  14. Wow! Detailed build in-progress shots would be awesome to see.
  15. Good job! Now, on to 1/18 scale! 😉
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