I can’t call it a replica but I did try to make it at least resemble Old Yeller II.
I have been aware of Max Balchowski’s and his Old Yeller’s since I was a kid who loved hot rods and then developed an interest in road racing. These “junk yard dogs” successfully took on Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar and were raced by elite drivers such as Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby.
In the 2003 there were classes for American Road Race Specials at both the Monterey Historics and the Pebble Beach Concours. By chance I got to help out in the Laguna Seca paddock for the HWM Stovebolt Special. I have always wanted to build a model of that car but could never find a good starting point.
I eventually saw Old Yeller II at a subsequent Monterey event. After watching an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage featuring Max Balchowski’s Old Yeller II, I could not resist trying to build a model that would at least resemble Old Yeller II and incorporate many of its unique features. Some think Shelby was inspired to build Cobras after racing Old Yeller II so I came up with the idea of trying to modify a Revell 427 Cobra to resemble Old Yeller. This project combines my two favourite aspects of car modelling – body work and trying to create a model of a subject not otherwise available.
I started the basic modifications in 2021 and did not get back to it until the hot days of late July 2022 when it was refreshing to escape to the cool of my basement hobby room. The project almost got shelved again as I found it a challenge to get it back on track. At one point it seemed my initial concept would not work so would be a waste of time to pursue. After some contemplation I arrived at a way forward which involved a lot more bodywork.
BODY - The Cobra body was chopped up, narrowed, ground down and puttied. Front “fenders” were fashioned from a discarded set of Deuce fenders. The lower side body was extended using a body section from a Group C race car with some added louvers.
CHASSIS - The chassis is pretty much directly from the Cobra. For ease of construction, I did retain the independent rear suspension which was not used on the real car.
ENGINE – The engine block and transmission are from the Cobra but the 427 Ford has been “converted’ into a Nailhead Buick with parts from the Revell Model A. The carbs and trumpets came from the Revell T-Bucket Rat Rod while the valve covers are from the Revell Tony Nancy 22jr T-Bucket dragster. The headers were fabricated from Evergreen tube and rod. The paint is Mr. Kolor light green.
PAINT – Tamiya Chrome Yellow topped with Semi-Gloss Clear