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swede70

Swede Savage Trans Am AAR 'Cuda Hwy. 61 based project

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Greetings,

Thanks Ed for the kind notice in relation to the Bob Tarrozi material as well as the Lime Rock vintage racing event program cover reference.  I try hard to collect all the source material that I may, while having extra eyes searching for additional materials is always helpful and deeply flattering. 

Another update then...

Swede_Cuda_nineteen_001.thumb.JPG.ed63d4

...seen above will be the two interiors taking shape.  Details to notice include the beginnings of a pair of scratch built roll cages, the differing design of two raised driveshaft humps looking back, differing headrest support and pad detail, and seats effectively copied from a GMP Trans Am Camaro part.  The rear bulkheads are cut away at the corners to accommodate the plastic 'glass' installation on each of the scale E-bodies.  The Challenger chassis is in the foreground, whereas the AAR 'Cuda chassis is in the background.  Given that all the apparently missing bits and pieces seen on the Challenger chassis are affixed and in place on the up-on-wheels 'Cuda not seen here, the two models are effectively matched up for progress made thus far. 

Other things seen are the thickened core radiator with scratch built end tanks, the main roll hoop signal light mounts seen on the 'Cuda, as well revised Autodynamics Challenger air cleaner housing based formed from an aluminum wine bottle top.  An O-ring was sourced for the fresh air seal, while I may cast this and squash it down a bit to better approximate what is needed here. 

Swede_Cuda_nineteen_003.thumb.JPG.63ba28...more of the same, with the head rest support structure and pads seen to better effect.  Soon I'll attempt to fabricate forward members of the roll cage as well as the support structure affixed to the X-brace in pairs and welded to the floor.   As a side note, select period photographs depict the Challenger as having rather thick foam pads painted black replacing the interior door trim, and hence the cut out panels reflect an attempt to duplicate this detail. 

Swede_Cuda_nineteen_002.thumb.JPG.4dd7eb

...and these constitute a pair of extra bodies plus stripped floors and chassis to allow greater latitude for rough handling and quick trial and error fit concerning the roll cage structure being worked up.  Yes - many a Hwy. 61 E-body gave its life to the creation of these scale efforts! 

As a further update for those intrigued by the topics chosen by this builder, apparently ACME is intending to do both the Autodynamics Challenger as well as the AAR 'Cuda as tribute cars based on the Hwy 61 tool.   Slated for second and third quarter release in 2017, I can only hope that what I do here will not strictly be in vain.  They'll list for $129.95, hence some question exists about just how much in the way of new parts they'll tool for whatever is eventually availed to us.  Thanks for reviewing this update...

Mike K.

Edited by swede70

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Greetings,

Thanks for the creative input.  Indeed, there is a Gurney retrospective being held at the Petersen Museum as I write this, while there has been a modern trickle of period SCCA Trans Am-related merchandise produced by HW in recent years that has also intrigued.  In time I'd like to gather up a reproduction of the HW Sizzlers Trans Am AAR 'Cuda to display near to my 1:18th efforts, the former being the rechargeable electric motor powered iterations of the usual 1:64th scale fare HW is known for.  In addition, I have a copy of the period Don Getz Goodyear Swede Savage 'Cuda poster as well as the old HW 'Racing 48's' Dan Gurney promotional poster and am happy to have each.

-

...and now a brief update.  Below will be seen my efforts to create reasoned 4-point cages for both the 'Cuda and the Challenger.  When refined each structure will 'grow' further bars, etc., whereas at this point it was simply an effort to come up with something symmetrical and square twice over.  In particular I could extend the bars securing the cage to the floor pan only so far forward given that attachment hardware and structure interferes with such. 

Some added reinforcement of the X-brace center is noticed on the Challenger chassis, while some modest updating of the fuel cell inlets might also be discerned for perusing what I've posted here.  Finally, the 'X' marked on each rear bulkhead illustrates where a single roll cage bar will sprout forth to attach to the main hoop corner of each scale replica. Thanks for following along...

Swede_Cuda_twenty_one_001.thumb.JPG.a8b5Swede_Cuda_twenty_one_002.thumb.JPG.0488Swede_Cuda_twenty_one_003.thumb.JPG.8dfd

M.K.

 

Edited by swede70

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It is simply amazing to see all the custom pieces (I love that they are in white as compared to the original pieces in their "factory" colors) as they overlay into these models.  They are a true testimony to the level of effort you are putting into them, and a source of awe for those of us who think we do custom work.

Congratulations, and keep it up!

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Swede_Cuda_twenty_three_002.thumb.JPG.06

...a mild update of sorts.  Given that I haven't the equivalent of a stack of low-cost, unassembled 1:18th plastic kits to draw spares from, I must instead search intently for parts from damaged models or those on hand for items that might be copied, modified and copied, or in some instances scratch built to suit my needs and to push my projects ahead.  What is seen in the photograph is a series of open face molds as well as two-part urethane molds I've worked up consistent with creating needed supplies.   Employing such, GMP Trans Am Camaro Hurst shifter assemblies can be reproduced (to later be vacuum plated unlike the standard GMP issue), a Hurst reverse lock out lever is seen (employed on the AAR 'Cuda's then), while further seen is a Shelby Collectibles GT 350R shift boot that will overlay vacuum plated resin plates with small divots ground into the corners to vaguely represent set screws.  Positioned in the middle is a new one-piece mold for a GMP Trans Am Camaro seat mount that I hadn't done up until now. 

Also noticed will be the happy result of efforts to reproduce the signal light lenses specific to the race AAR 'Cudas and positioned on the roll cage main hoop positioned approximately two-thirds of the way up on either side.  Tail lights from a 1:25th scale AMT 1968 Corvette which feature faint radial ribs across the surface and likewise come to a soft point as such were carefully cut out and isolated, whereupon the four I had were used to create the urethane mold seen on the far right.  The mold was passed to a fellow scale enthusiast known for his quality 1:32nd scale period slot car windshield reproductions, who very kindly employed his methods to yield me extremely serviceable examples in clear resin. 

In particular, clear resin mixed and poured at room temperature typically clouds for very small bubbles remaining visible in the mix, while drawing the material into any mold often proves problematic.  For much trial and error effort, heating both the resin as well as placing the mold or molds employed in a toaster over across hours can ameliorate the problem, and thankful I am to be able to lean upon those who've done the arduous work necessary to perfect the problem at a cottage industry-level.  Though difficult to make out, the results are fine indeed and happy I am for his evident knowledge and skill - kind thanks to Brad in SE Michigan.  Again, thank you each for looking in and contributing in a personally valued way. 

Mike K.

Edited by swede70

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I love this picture from that Hot Rod article of the herd coming up through Echo Valley.  From the spot from which the picture was taken, the sound just HAD to be amazing.

Back when NASCAR ran something called Grand Nationals, somebody tried to turn the Bridge into "Riverside East" and ran a couple a couple stock car races up there.  I bet the residents of Bridgehampton could hear those cars in the middle of down town.  Same with Can AM.  Those big engines rattled much crockery.

.trans-am-race-bridgehampton-1970.thumb.j

Edited by tedd60

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I'm enjoying watching you detail your build.  :D

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Greetings,

After many months of waiting the  1:18th ACME Hwy. 61 tool-based Dan Gurney race AAR 'Cuda has arrived, and hence I can calmly go about the business of choosing the best bits and pieces to work up the best E-body road racing replicas I might.  The ACME model is mostly an agreeable compromise given they had to work with a stock bodyshell and chassis casting, while sometimes it's good to take on a limited project where one is simply introducing mild revisions of this and that versus scratch building so very much.  Below will be seen a few images of a revised Gurney release with encouragement of you to try the same. 

Alterations of note are as follows:

  • Larger headlamp fill panels have been fabricated from sheet plastic and painted Tamiya TS-49 Bright Red to better replicate the appearance of Gurney's return to driving duty at Kent and Riverside '70.
  • The tail panel has been replaced with a painted example less dayglo stripes - see my 'dry' paint fixture work up for the purpose.  A slightly larger fuel fill pipe as well as a larger Hwy. 61 '70 340 Dart fuel cap was added at this time as well.  Tamiya TS-55 Dark Blue dusted with TS-65 Pearl Clear works really well here. 
  • The 'PLYMOUTH' identification in the grille has been painted out.  Correct for some races, but not for Kent or Riverside then...
  • The jack point highlight on the rocker panels has been removed and replaced with red R/C vinyl tape which was a bit taller and happily vibrant in color.
  • The door handles have received a Testor's Model Master magnesium wash versus the as-delivered black wash.  
  • The exhaust dumps have been trimmed, the ends worked over with a Dremel Moto-tool to appear oval and a bit dipped, and finally painted flat black.
  • The A-pillar air duct hardware has been touched in with silver paint.
  • A cast resin fuel cell housing has been added underneath and back.
  • The 'DAN GURNEY' identification above the side numerals has been removed and shifted forward for use of old Fred Cady waterslides which seemed about the same size. 
  • Specific to the Riverside Mission Bell 250 appearance, a BELL helmets decal has been added to either side atop the 'stack' of accessory decals seen on the rear quarter panel well forward.
  • A useless cast-in turn signal indicator stalk was cut off and discarded.
  • Missing the stock front turn signal lenses typically inset into the grille on the standard Hwy. 61 'Cuda releases, a pair of the lenses were found and painted semigloss black to represent fill panels prior to being fitted.

 

5a35676e6be2e_GurneyCudathree004.JPG.48b85934d00fe08423afa62cb9139542.JPG

...the aforementioned tail panel masking fixture.  The lock cylinder has been mostly ground away, although I was reluctant to try to finish it smooth for fear of wrecking the whole assembly for being too greedy.  I wish I'd primed the license plate recess fill panel before spraying, but otherwise a reasonably sound approach to take.  Clay was used to prevent paint bleed through to the lenses left in place along the back side of what is seen...

5a356776ac505_GurneyCudathree005.JPG.f4e0487ab0627157b3c59dbd01bac541.JPG

...painted, although coverage not the best around the edges of the insert.  Oh well...

5a356ae400663_GurneyCudatwo004.JPG.043e991f3a34c04eaa1e16aba5778879.JPG

...with the strange upturned exhaust dumps still unmodified here, nevertheless the fuel cell housing looks quite good hanging down just so.  Tamiya AS-16 Light Gray (USAF) isn't a perfect match but will have to do...

5a35678d1ceca_GurneyCudathree007.JPG.df46b6bbf959319fcc307c9bbd691e34.JPG

...with most everything articulated above in place.  Note the rocker 'flashes', the cut exhaust tips, and the headlamp fill panels as described.

5a356782663b2_GurneyCudathree006.JPG.cbe463fdf9feb45c4022de1938cbfd53.JPG

...the view from the back, with the body-color tail panel in place and the small BELL helmets decal add shown to good effect.  More little things to come, while hopefully the other E-body projects can pick up steam for the availability of scattered new tool stuff.  Thanks for reviewing this update...

 

Mike K.

 

Edited by swede70

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Kind thanks for the reply and Happy Holidays to everyone...

Although worried that I'd wreck an otherwise nice feature of the ACME model in the form of the 'machined lip' Minilite wheels, for the last two races of the 1970 Trans Am season all-white wheel were phased in.  Consistent with this knowledge, I opted to repaint my wheels with Tamiya Matt White.  Do as I say and not as I do should you go this route; i.e. heat the wheels and tires in very warm water to ensure that the wheels won't scuff the tires - albeit I acted in haste and did everything 'cold'.  Nevertheless, the wheel finish is virtually indistinguishable from the stock ACME issue, is resilient enough not to rub off onto the tires proper, and in total is very much in keeping with the late season look.  I will at some point add small strips of sheet plastic with tiny lengths of silver duct tape to do wheel weights to lend a further bit of visual interest here.  As for the revised wheels, see below:

5a4284a42d476_GurneyCudasix001.JPG.01e815a00fb52c04846a98c860ccba8c.JPG

...now mounted on the model, combined with lower ride height front and rear and still further revised exhaust dump detail, see below:

5a4285925c8b2_GurneyCudaeight005.JPG.43533d0eb9808ec54e7f7b2c4961b8ed.JPG

...given I want to replicate the Riverside D.G. retirement ride per se, it is important to replace the ACME front spoiler with a scratch built model of smaller dimension, paint the same matt black, and add the necessary Dzus fasteners (four then).  Here would be D. Gurney pursued by Swede Savage and Mark Donohue at Riverside bearing a damaged spoiler evidencing the otherwise absent fasteners:

dan-gurney-swede-savage-trans-am.jpg.74f5621aa06ad0444c5170947944deea.jpg

...constructed out of sheet plastic, painted and overlaid onto the standard ACME air dam just for reference purposes at this time, here sits the new air dam.  A Fred Cady 1:25th '70 Trans Am AAR 'Cuda waterslide sheet was used for the 'Plymouth' decal which would actually be the fender top decal resited and reemployed here as a 1:18th spoiler decal.  Do not use clear atop the Fred Cady decal for the decal will effectively dissolve; i.e. I had to do this twice over.  Dzus fasteners are 1:25th photoetched items held in place with Tamiya clear lacquer with the individual fasteners positioned with the use of a toothpick with a bit of petroleum jelly/lip balm dabbed on the end.  I suppose they could be larger, but who knows where to source 1:18th Dzus fasteners?:

5a42892017a23_GurneyCudaeight010.JPG.fe73b342ce75858e2076fb41a25c8928.JPG

...as noted above, the installation seen is temporary.  I'll use a spare front valence which I'll paint and build spoiler mounts upon to ensure that I can simply switch out new for old without harming the stock ACME assembly.  This way the modification will be guilt-free with the original serving as a spare to slip onto a different car if need be.  Whoops! - seems that the inside Dzus fasteners were sited a bit low relative to my reference photo.  I'll have to redo things, but doing such isn't a killer if you will.  Kind thanks for your reviewing this update...

Mike K.

 

Edited by swede70

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A small further update this...:

Missing on the ACME release is any duct work guiding scale air to scale radiators just aft of the front valence.  Although very tedious to do from scratch seen below is something that serves the purpose.  Additionally, separate dams were fashioned to direct air alternately to the oil cooler as well as the aforementioned radiator matrix.  The cut outs seen accommodate the grille which tucks in close, whereas the rearmost ends of the assembly rest solidly upon the radiator support.  Done right, no glue is required to hold the assembly in place.  The fuzzy photo image shows the mock up, although contrasting this to the painted and installed image, know I'll have to repaint it aluminum to match the reference image seen in the previous post seen above.  

5a428e7a13688_SwedeCudaeighteen001.JPG.1e490a5beac7212dcabc3ee8d2345f0c.JPG

...the mock up positioned inside the valence on what I'll call an engineering hack of sorts...

5a428eee62e84_GurneyCudafive013.JPG.700b5bbb6b1d3fa5c37a542bd3142330.JPG

...and set in place, although begging if you will to be repainted aluminum given it shows up well when one examines the Riverside Mission Bell 250 image I've pasted in within the space of my previous submission.  Thanks...

Mike K.  

 

Edited by swede70

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