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Walked out of HL with the reissued Surf Woody wondering why it felt heavier than most kits, especially remembering from my youth that the parts count wasn't all that high. While having a couple of these kits in the stash from an earlier release, it was hard to resist the original packaging, plus the 40% coupon made it irresistible. 

Upon opening the kit I was very pleasantly surprised by the contents, the kit itself has four slicks, pad printed with double lined whitewalls, something that was missing in the previous edition, then there was the usual miniature cutout box #97, original appearing instruction sheet and an updated decal sheet with interior panels featuring a surfer scene. Then, adding weight to the kit box, was the additional material! A fourteen page booklet on the Tom Daniel creation and built by Barris, with great detail photos, and a card stock package which builds into a display platform reminiscent of the hobby shop displays the companies would offer the the hobby shops. These additions really surprised me as I didn't notice any mention of them on the box. Whoopie! 

Overall I'd say it a great release of a kit that until recently had been lost to history, and kudos to Round 2 for adding the extras.

Cheers Misha

 

image.jpeg

Edited by Misha
spelling error & correction

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Found some more info on the web from a page from Henry M. Gunn High School:

The Surf Woody

The Surf Woody is a custom car that was built in 1965. It was the combined work of three great automotive icons, George Barris, Dick Dean, and Tom Daniel. Tom Daniel is a well known automotive designer/illustrator and he originated the concept of the Surf Woody when he drew the initial sketches for Rod & Custom Magazine. George Barris, the original car “Kustomizer”, ran a shop in southern California that built and modified cars for those that wanted something different as well as the television and movie industry. He liked Daniel’s concept drawings and set out to build the Woody. 

rod_and_custom.jpg
Dick Dean worked for Barris and was an excellent fabricator and customizer in his own right. Dean would oversee the construction of this project from start to finish.

The chassis was scratch built from 2 inch steel tubing. It utilized early Ford Falcon front suspension with rack and pinion steering. It was powered by a modified small block Ford engine with a crossram intake manifold topped with dual Holley carbs. The engine also had a pair of Paxton centrifugal superchargers to help squeeze the air and fuel in. An automatic transmission topped with a Hurst dual-gate shifter fed the power to a very short driveshaft and an independent rear suspension system adapted from an early Borgward or Mercedes. The body was hand built using small diameter tubing that was later skinned with steel sheet metal. The headlight assembly out front rotated in place much like an early Corvette. The rear of the body was also hand fabricated and included Thunderbird taillights. The “woody” upper body was constructed of chromed rectangular steel sections filled with walnut panels. The top was stitched vinyl and incorporated a surfboard rack. The windshield was from an early model T that had been narrowed and modified to fit the dimensions of the woody. The gas tank was a polished early style aluminum beer keg mounted behind custom made seats. The edges of the windshield were graced with lanterns while the interior was stuffed with many state of the art accessories of the day, such as a French phone, a portable television set and a reel to reel tape player/recorder. Steering and throttle controls were controlled by a joystick.

The Surf Woody graced the covers of Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazines, was seen on several television shows and was displayed across country at many car shows. The AMT model company marketed a 1/25 th scale plastic kit of this car in the mid-sixties as well. Eventually the car was stored in a warehouse where it fell into a sad state and was eventually auctioned off. It has not been seen since. There are rumors that the original car is in private hands and is slowly being restored in southern California.

The Gunn High Auto Students are trying to replicate the Surf Woody using magazine pictures and the AMT model kit as a guide.

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Original drawing by Tom Daniels found on an auction site:

 

image.jpeg

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Great review and info, thanks so much for sharing all this!

This thing just made my MUST HAVE list, just for the retro-coolness factor. Didn't realize HL had them already. Will have to make a trip Saturday.

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Man...so glad you put this up. I only found out this thing had been re-issued a few days back, and I was pretty happy about it. I NEVER thought we'd see this one ever again. Man oh man. Good times for model car guys, fo' sho'. :D

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Man...so glad you put this up. I only found out this thing had been re-issued a few days back, and I was pretty happy about it. I NEVER thought we'd see this one ever again. Man oh man. Good times for model car guys, fo' sho'. :D

The last release on this was in 2003, as a Buyers' Choice item.  That one was easy to overlook, what with the lackluster box art RC2 was using.  That issue had two wide slicks because RC2 didn't have narrow ones available.  Fortunately they didn't need to tweak the rear wheels to fit them.

The new issue finally has the double narrow white stripes on the tires and slicks.  The slicks are brand new, not the piecrusts that Round 2 tooled awhile back.  These also have two narrowly spaced grooves near the outer edges of the tread area on each side.  They look like the tires pictured in the booklet that is included.  The 2003 issue had a decal sheet similar to the original, but this issue adds decals for the wood strips on the sides of the body as well as the murals on the inside of the top's side panels.  The tires in particular will really make this thing, as none of the earlier issues had ones that were remotely close. 

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Upon a closer look at the Daniels rendering I noticed that he had a Jimmy blower with intakes similar to the Mopar ones from the early 60s with what appear to be Hilborn injectors with scoops on top.

Now that gives me an idea! Rather than the McCullough blowers, use parts from the AMT DD kit and fabricate the intake snakes. How hard could that be? It also appeals to me as it focuses more upon Daniels rather than Mr. Barris...

Thanks for the comments, those slicks are really fab! Perhaps another trip to HL?

Cheers Misha

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I saw it at my LHS today. I've got the previous issue so I'm not sure I need another, but it looks like a really good package!

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I was starting to check online auction sites to see if I could find one of these...and then a few months later, turns out it's being re-released! I'm still on the fence, considering that I'd be buying it for the wheels, tires, and blower setup rather than as a "builder".

This is a great example of how packaging can grab attention almost as much as the kit itself. Neato.

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I'm putting this on my must have list myself. It may just become a display item on the shelf (as my wife finally allowed me to start making displays for selves all around the house):D

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This thing just made my MUST HAVE list, just for the retro-coolness factor. Didn't realize HL had them already. Will have to make a trip Saturday.

And the funny thing is, I have absolutely NO interest in building the "Surf Woody." But the kit is a parts mine, and that chassis is just so cool, I'm sure I can do something amazing with it--either a street rod of some kind, or a dune buggy (as AMT eventually did with it), or maybe a drag Altered or even an early (circa '66-'67) funny car. Can't hardly wait!

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The original sketch by Tom Daniels looks 'clean' compared to the 'execution'  . Now , that's not to say that the finallised product isn't appealling , it's just not my style (not that any-one asked) . How-ever , like the others have stated : looks like a parts goldmine !

( Okay , time to geek-out on esoteric history : the contact numbers on the sketch translate to : TRemont-72352 and POplar-91622 , both in the now-emasculated 213 area code ).

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I'm still on the fence, considering that I'd be buying it for the wheels, tires, and blower setup rather than as a "builder".

If you really want it for the wheels, you may want to hold off - as I mentioned in the other thread, something went wrong and the centers are pebbly/lumpy - they should be polished:

Anyone have an original set to compare?

Edited by ChrisBcritter

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The original sketch by Tom Daniels looks 'clean' compared to the 'execution'  . Now , that's not to say that the finallised product isn't appealling , it's just not my style (not that any-one asked) . How-ever , like the others have stated : looks like a parts goldmine !

( Okay , time to geek-out on esoteric history : the contact numbers on the sketch translate to : TRemont-72352 and POplar-91622 , both in the now-emasculated 213 area code ).

I couldn't have said it better John. I would like to see it in person but the sketch seems to just have "it". 

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I think this is a revised TD drawing In Rod & Custom I recall it having a scoop atop the blower and wire front wheels.

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So, instead of searching through a couple of hundred threads, how about simply repeating the explanation as to the pebbly surface of those wheels? Would it really have side tracked this thread at all to have done that?

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The original issue mags are same, I guess representing a ballpeened look, or a raw metal finish. I don't think it's quite true to 1:1, but I've never looked too hard at the wheels. Looks like a great re-issue. It actually builds 3 versions; the roadster, which is quite cool, has an XR6 vibe; the Surf Woody; and the Surf Hearse. 

Tons of parts. I'd not seen that drawing with the blower intake, love it. I have parts like that somewhere, maybe the 65 Grand Prix had intake like that? Neither kit at hand, but GP reissued recently too. The old reissues were decent, I've got some of them for parts and all 3 versions. I had the parts to match them to original in parts bins. 

Guess I need this one too. 

Quick googlage found this pic. Rims shiny, centers shiny but a little less so? Looking for bigger pic, but I'd not seen this pic this size. Box pic not great on original IIRC.

surf_woody.thumb.jpg.0aee8e8449bb24f9388

 

 

 

Edited by keyser
added pic and comment

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I looked at this one today and then put it back. The TD design looks great, but the Barris execution was a bit ham-handed, as were a lot of his jobs. I may go ahead and get one anyway because I like collecting TD's stuff.

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The "pebbly" dished spokes are simply supposed to represent an "as cast" look. You paint 'em gray or one of the metalizers with a brush...done. These wheels in reality would have been cast-aluminum alloy, with the rims and centers machined and polished. Very common. The texture of the spokes may be a little heavy to be scale-correct, but that's just the way it is.

Some descriptions of the car, and the illustration above, have it with wood-faced spokes, similar to Don Tognotti's King T.

full-14097-6865-imag1581.jpg

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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The proportions of the built-up model of the Surf Woody are a little clumsy compared to the real thing, similar to the somewhat 'off' proportions of the built-up original AMT version of Barris' Ala Kart. Not really too hard to tweek to get it very close to right.

Compare this with the box-art photo, and if you have a good eye, you'll see what I mean.

181AM12_Surf-Woody.jpg

AMT-31921-4.jpg

Frankly, i think this is one of Barris' best looking show rods, and quite nicely proportioned in reality.

The dual-Paxton blower setup on the smallblock Ford engine is pretty cool, too.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy

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No airbags? Bury it in sand :)

Agree, just needs tweaking. Drop it a bit, fiddle the cowl, and use lower profile skinnies. There's a cool Surf Hearse built by Mr. Core on here somewhere. Roadster has a ton of potential for a track roadster/rod.

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So, instead of searching through a couple of hundred threads, how about simply repeating the explanation as to the pebbly surface of those wheels? Would it really have side tracked this thread at all to have done that?

The semi-recent (2014...? reissue) AMT Sock It to Me '59(?) Corvette had very similar 5-slot wheels with a "textured" center web, though the texture is not quite as heavy to my eyes:

Edited by Casey

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Got mine today! What a parts mine this thing is! And the photo book is almost worth the price of admission by itself!

The slicks appear to be 7" "cheaters," and I'll be using THOSE for '60s drag Stock class builds. Kinda hard to find these days!

The Surf Woody and Hearse versions still leave me cold. The "roadster" version might maybe could possibly look cool, hard to tell in parts. Anyone built one, or have pics of a finished one?

Am still considering doing it as a ( open frame) dune buggy (with the big tires from the Manx), OR maybe as a more traditional street rod of some kind--thinking about seeing what a '29 A roadster pickup body would look like on that frame. Or maybe combine those two ideas and make it a "dune-able" '29 RPU (or streetable dune buggy '29 RPU).

Love that cool frame!

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