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Here's a small collection of orphan diecasts I've been restoring lately. Typically these are purchased in damaged condition to varying degrees. First up, a Danbury Mint 1932 Cadillac. This one had quite a few missing pieces. I ended up using the windshield frame from a Monogram '32 Cadillac Phaeton. The shape is more accurate than the Danbury Mint piece anyway, plus it includes correctly shaped wind wings. The top boot was made from a Johan 1931 Cadillac piece, widened and modified to fit. Many other missing pieces were taken from a Danbury Mint '32 Phaeton. And lastly, D.B.M. did not include a luggage rack on these models for some reason. Every fullsize '32 Cadillac I've seen has them, so I modified one to fit and added it, color coded to match, in the manner Cadillac originally did them. Next up, this Neo 1933 Cadillac had "some assembly required" as they say. That's ok though. Actually, when I first bid on it, I lost, but the buyer backed out and I got a second chance. I was SO glad I won the 2nd auction. I was able to make all the necessary repairs using the pieces that came with the model. (Thank you, Replicarz!) the only exception was the front axle. I ended up using a metal front axle and springs from a Danbury Mint '32 Phaeton. So, I fixed everything, made a new chrome windshield frame, added photo reduced 1933 California license plates and called it good. Third little orphan is this Danbury Mint 1932 Ford roadster. This one didn't look too bad in the auction, but it arrived with the windshield frame broken in 6 pieces and a few bits knocked off. I could tell it had been damaged and repaired before, and it just didn't travel well. I was able to piece it back together without too much trouble. I modified the convertible top to make it sit properly on the windshield posts. And, looking at pictures of a fullsize '32, I decided I really didn't like the whitewall tires. The cast in color of the wheels seemed a little off to me too. Plus, the diameter was just a shade too small. So, I mixed up some craft paint in a nice shade of yellow, painted the wheels, and expanded the rims by painting on the whitewall too. Then I painted the rest of the whitewall black, reassembled the wheels and tires and voila! Add another photo reduced '32 license plate and she's ready for the 1/24th scale road...... Final installment this evening is a Danbury Mint 1932 Ford 3-window coupe. This one really didn't have much damage to repair. It's just that I found I liked the roadster so much better with black walls, I decided to paint the tires on this coupe as well. Here are pictures of each style. The first version with white walls isn't the exact car I bought, a little nicer, but very close. The second one is mine, with black walls. See which one you like better.
Many of you know that I seek out and preserve ancient builds. I see these as the folk art of our youth and I hope my posts have saved some old beauties that otherwise might have been broken up for parts. I especially love cool old customs that were well thought out and executed, as well as those that just have a cool factor. This is one of those with the cool factor. Dave Burket found this one in a collection and set it aside for me. This has to be an original issue AMT 1932 Vicky kit. In fact one of the things that makes it cool is that this looks a lot like the retro box that the kit is now out with! Our original builder did a great job of building a drag car. All flat paints and period racing decals. This one is barn fresh, I haven't even gotten around to cleaning it up. Per the rules of my Olde Kustom Kollection, these relics get a good cleaning, and any missing parts are replaced, but there are no improvements to be made! We are preserving them as an art form, and we don't want to change history. i I've had this car a few months, and it's sat in plain view. Only today did I realize that the body wasn't attached at the front, but it felt secure in the rear. A quick look revealed that the builder set it up like a funny car. I went looking for the hinge and saw that he glued the fenders to the tires. So if you turn the rear wire axle, the body opens up. Actually pretty cool for an early 1960s kid. So this mean '32 has earned it's spot in the Olde Kustom Kollection.
My year was pretty simple. Four completed builds and two Olde Kustom restorations. Doesn't sound like much, but it's probably my banner year. First off the bench was the Studebaker Miss Deal funny car that I did as part of the 24 Hour Build that Gary Kulchock and friends host every year. It was fun and very interesting to participate. '34 Ford Rat Rod was to be finished over the Christmas break, but it had too much work left on it to finish in time. I also didn't want to push it since I was having fun, and I added a lot of detail that wasn't part of the plan. It finally rolled off the bench in March. And the Olde Kustom Kollection benefitted a bit this year. I restored this '49 Ford that was built back in the day from an original release. The toughest part was that the original builder didn't put the glass in it. We'll never know why, but I have three cars from this same guy, and none of them have glass! It was welded together too well to pry apart, so I fished glass into it. Kinda like that ship in a bottle thing! Another Old Kustom is this original '57 Ford that Dave Burket handed me one day. The suspension was totally wiped off it and it had no hood. It was easy to redo the chassis with fresh parts from a recent release, as it was to replace the glue stained glass with new. Then it sat on the bench with a new hood on the roof since I couldn't match the light blue paint. One day I got inspiration, and did this two tone by masking off the top end, so I could paint the hood to match. The Rusty Corvette! This one was on my Bucket List of something I wanted to do someday. So I knocked it out for the MidAtlantic NNL Corvette theme... sorta. It was there on the table and looked complete if you didn't go under the hood. I finished it in early December just to get it off the bench. This one is fun due to the looks (and sometimes odd condescending comments!) it gets. My new Bucket List item (IF I win the lottery!) is to do this in 1:1 scale and take it to car shows... just to tick people off. And my favorite build of the year! It's a 1929 Ford Roadster Pickup that was an old junker built up I got who knows where a very long time ago. I pulled it out one day and just started cutting. It's the only project I worked on start to finish without a pause. It represents the car I'd like to have in 1:1 for cruisin'. Hey, we have to have dreams! The irony is that I own all kinds of rare and valuable models... and what do I enjoy building? A $5 junker! I'm like the kids who get a nice present and play with the box. And I haven't included this year's Christmas break build.. an A100 van since I doubt I will finish it today... maybe on New Years day to be the first build of 2014. That would be starting out the year right! Later on I will post the parade of all the models I started or worked on but didn't finish.. Hint - It's a much longer parade! Now I must get upstairs to work on the A100 a bit! Maybe just a teaser pic..