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Can-Con

"Squad Rod" '79 Nova

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All I remember is being a kid and tearing into this thing! It was fun, but, even then I noticed how the quality was down from my other, earlier made, kits from MPC

I need to build it again soon and re-capture those memories

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I read this from the blog notification I got.   I replied and then wasn't logged in correctly or something and it was lost forever.  

So.... I liked this kit when it was an annual.  Of course, I bought LOTS of annuals during that era.   the 3 in 1 concept was so cool.  And nothing was ever stock.   Stock wheels went to the box of unwanted parts.   And Metal axle were the bestest.  Build it and play with it.  Then after it got old, rebuild it would parts from other kits.   And I did like the real car - I was 9 in 1975.  What did I know?

A friend of mine had a real one that was a street stock local racer.  He bought it in the 90s and it was still VERY competitive.   It was built in the 80s specifically for the track ( Bowman Gray in Winston-salem NC) by an old timer racing family.   I bought the previous reiisue with the thought of hogging out hte wheel openings, roll cage, putting a set of the wide treaded race car tires on it and painting it like his.   Haven't gotten to it and probably won't.   I was also thinking of turning it into a slot car body to race against the Falcon slot car body I have.   From the Modified Stocker series.   That would have been epic in my mind.  And BTW, the Falcons that were built for Bowman gray in the 60s are still running and competive occasionally.

Thanks for another great retrospective, Adam.

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15 hours ago, Faust said:

 

. We can't allow car makers to get content and offer  mediocre, boring, soulless and uninteresting cars ever again.

Well, IMO, that's exactly what a majority of modern cars are. I love stuff like this Nova and other oddballs like the Pinto, Chevette and Vega. Was this kit ever offered in stock form?

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11 hours ago, Faust said:

Okay, quick question: What's with the "sideways" thing?

I could be wrong but I think possibly body cushions/mounts deteriorated causing the body to ride sideways

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1 hour ago, Classicgas said:

Well, IMO, that's exactly what a majority of modern cars are. I love stuff like this Nova and other oddballs like the Pinto, Chevette and Vega. Was this kit ever offered in stock form?

As far as I know all of the parts are in there to build a factory stock Nova, albeit with the Pontiac engine. The engine had never been correct as (pointed out early in this thread) the tooling is Ventura based. I suspect Round2 went with the tarted up Squad Rod on the box as a Nostalgia thing.

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I had a 75, lot's of room, but 6 cyl under power.

Faust, keep up the great threads, hilarious, but all too true if you lived in this g*d forsaken era. 

Edited by stevez

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4 minutes ago, niteowl7710 said:

As far as I know all of the parts are in there to build a factory stock Nova, albeit with the Pontiac engine. The engine had never been correct as (pointed out early in this thread) the tooling is Ventura based. I suspect Round2 went with the tarted up Squad Rod on the box as a Nostalgia thing.

Thanks. I would probably do it curbside anyway.

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To add my two cents worth of information on the 1:1 car. I started working at the local Chevrolet dealer in early 1974. I had moved to the central coast of California and needed to replace my beloved '67 El Camino. I got a new short step box pick-up with the 454 as that was the only way I could get on at the time and I didn't care for the new El Caminos. As a bonus the dealer offered my a job as a salesman and Good Year Tire and Rubber Company had pretty well ***** me off anyway. While I liked trucks and did well selling them the car lines kind of left me cold. I also owned a '72 Nova SS that I got new with the 350 and 4 speed. The automotive manufactures were scrambling to try and figure out all the new government safety and smog standards and they were extensive to say the least. You couldn't even start a car without first fastening your seat belt. Overall not a bad idea in daily service, but now move almost a hundred cars around the lot or even do a sales presentation with that feature. Smog and fuel economy restrictions were the biggest problems. To get the smog reading you wanted they retarded the spark of where you would check to see if the emergency brake as on, and when you turned off the engine they would "diesel" or just keep chugging and spiting with a final gasp that would make you think the engine just died. All of this did nothing to help gas mileage or performance. We used to joke that if you could sell the new '74's you could sell anything. A very big change came about with the '75 models and the Catalytic converters. You would really have needed to be there to realize the dramatic difference in performance in both gas mileage and performance. In late '74 we got our first '75 models and I remember we salesman would take turns driving this basic Nova that was the first to arrive. The styling was all new and it did look nice. In California if you wanted a V8 it was a Quadra Jet 350 and this was our test guinea pig. The first group of salesmen came back after a couple of mile run up the 101, and got out and they couldn't stop raving about how well it ran. I way the resident hot rodder so a couple guys piled in with me driving. Lets just say we saw over 100 MPH and far faster than anything we had been selling. In the two days it was on the ground it got driven and beat upon repeatedly for at least 300 miles until two retired school teachers came in and bought it, I'm not kidding. Now for the kit, remember why were here ? The kit is actually a good one and it represents the way kits were done at the time. I never cared for the solid chrome head lights, but that is fixable. I hear many po po the body proportions especially the rear side window's. What you need to remember is that this is a kit of a Hatchback model Nova and that's pretty much how they were shaped in that application. The rear window and the Truck lid were all one part and lifted on a hinge in the roof above the opening. This is a large body section to be sure and it is heavy. They used struts to hold it open and the rear seat could fold down. I'd do a little research on the body style and build it . This is a great kit of a car that started the move away from "the dark ages" of the auto world.         

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The original kit was the '75 Ventura, but it had a '74 GTO hood scoop, so it couldn't be built stock.

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5 hours ago, espo said:

To add my two cents worth of information on the 1:1 car. I started working at the local Chevrolet dealer in early 1974. I had moved to the central coast of California and needed to replace my beloved '67 El Camino. I got a new short step box pick-up with the 454 as that was the only way I could get on at the time and I didn't care for the new El Caminos. As a bonus the dealer offered my a job as a salesman and Good Year Tire and Rubber Company had pretty well ***** me off anyway. While I liked trucks and did well selling them the car lines kind of left me cold. I also owned a '72 Nova SS that I got new with the 350 and 4 speed. The automotive manufactures were scrambling to try and figure out all the new government safety and smog standards and they were extensive to say the least. You couldn't even start a car without first fastening your seat belt. Overall not a bad idea in daily service, but now move almost a hundred cars around the lot or even do a sales presentation with that feature. Smog and fuel economy restrictions were the biggest problems. To get the smog reading you wanted they retarded the spark of where you would check to see if the emergency brake as on, and when you turned off the engine they would "diesel" or just keep chugging and spiting with a final gasp that would make you think the engine just died. All of this did nothing to help gas mileage or performance. We used to joke that if you could sell the new '74's you could sell anything. A very big change came about with the '75 models and the Catalytic converters. You would really have needed to be there to realize the dramatic difference in performance in both gas mileage and performance. In late '74 we got our first '75 models and I remember we salesman would take turns driving this basic Nova that was the first to arrive. The styling was all new and it did look nice. In California if you wanted a V8 it was a Quadra Jet 350 and this was our test guinea pig. The first group of salesmen came back after a couple of mile run up the 101, and got out and they couldn't stop raving about how well it ran. I way the resident hot rodder so a couple guys piled in with me driving. Lets just say we saw over 100 MPH and far faster than anything we had been selling. In the two days it was on the ground it got driven and beat upon repeatedly for at least 300 miles until two retired school teachers came in and bought it, I'm not kidding. Now for the kit, remember why were here ? The kit is actually a good one and it represents the way kits were done at the time. I never cared for the solid chrome head lights, but that is fixable. I hear many po po the body proportions especially the rear side window's. What you need to remember is that this is a kit of a Hatchback model Nova and that's pretty much how they were shaped in that application. The rear window and the Truck lid were all one part and lifted on a hinge in the roof above the opening. This is a large body section to be sure and it is heavy. They used struts to hold it open and the rear seat could fold down. I'd do a little research on the body style and build it . This is a great kit of a car that started the move away from "the dark ages" of the auto world.         

David, it's the AMT Nova that had the wonkey roof and trunk lines. 

This is the MPC annual kit,, completely different kit. The MPC Nova bodys are dead on to the 1/1 '79 coupe I owned.

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Man, so much good love for the Nova!

I am leaning to doing bone stock (of course), and it's got the up-level interior and stuff, so it'll be like the best of the worst (?) I guess. 

I hear what you're saying about new cars all looking the same, but it's all about what you're looking for/at. I can definitely agree, but I can also say the same for the late '70s, or early '60s, or the 1900-1940 timeframe! As an example, Look at the '79 Nova, Citation, '80 Volare, Malibu and a few others. They all have straight grilles with boxy hoods, single headlights, slab sides and the same kind of bumpers. If you are only looking at those, it's hard to see a difference. :)

I remember so many of these being "warmed over" it's not even funny!

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I seriously question anyone who says they can't tell the different between say, a new Cadillac and a new Challenger.

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21 hours ago, Faust said:

Okay, quick question: What's with the "sideways" thing? I don't really remember anything like that, but I wasn't driving these cars. 

 

 

I bought a new '74 Olds Omega S that 'sidetracked' from day one. I took it in to the dealership, and they fixed it. It had something to do with a rear leaf spring attachment to the rear axle housing. That's what the service manager told me. He said they tried to fix 'em before they were sold, but I got mine before they got to it.

 

I enjoyed my Omega. It had a 350 Olds engine, and automatic trans. It ran fairly decent for a '74 year model compact car. I kept it for a year and a half, and went back to MOPARS. Been in Pentastars ever since.

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3 hours ago, Can-Con said:

David, it's the AMT Nova that had the wonkey roof and trunk lines. 

This is the MPC annual kit,, completely different kit. The MPC Nova bodys are dead on to the 1/1 '79 coupe I owned.

You are correct. I went back and checked the kit I have, I know there are others but this one is at hand, and it's the AMT #38277 the Street Custom issue. This is a hatchback and it just never occurred to me that this all started out for an MPC kit. So many people with good experiences to share you can easily lose your way sometimes. 

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I remember those old dog tracking Novas well. And yes that is a Pontiac engine, left over from when that tool produced a Ventura.

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14 hours ago, Faust said:

Man, so much good love for the Nova!

I am leaning to doing bone stock (of course), and it's got the up-level interior and stuff, so it'll be like the best of the worst (?) I guess. 

I hear what you're saying about new cars all looking the same, but it's all about what you're looking for/at. I can definitely agree, but I can also say the same for the late '70s, or early '60s, or the 1900-1940 timeframe! As an example, Look at the '79 Nova, Citation, '80 Volare, Malibu and a few others. They all have straight grilles with boxy hoods, single headlights, slab sides and the same kind of bumpers. If you are only looking at those, it's hard to see a difference. :)

I remember so many of these being "warmed over" it's not even funny!

my 75 Nova: vinyl bench seat you would slide off in the summer heat given the bad handling of this boxy mess of a car.

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11 hours ago, Dave Darby said:

I remember those old dog tracking Novas well. And yes that is a Pontiac engine, left over from when that tool produced a Ventura.

If a stock Chevy V-8 with auto trans is needed, a nice one can be found in MPC's 78(?)-86 El Camino, or their '78-'81 Corvettes. These kits are very common, and (at least for the 86 El Caminos & most of the Vettes) inexpensive. It would also keep the build kit manufacturer and era correct.   

Edited by CapSat 6

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20 hours ago, Motor City said:

The original kit was the '75 Ventura, but it had a '74 GTO hood scoop, so it couldn't be built stock.

The hood scoop was based on the information that GM was going to do a 1975 GTO. The kit is pretty accurate for a car not offered or cancelled at the last moment.

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Bob is correct about the '75 GTO.  I bought my kit at the Detroit Auto Show, and got rid of it when I couldn't hide the repair to the hood opening.  Nowadays, someone would have made a resin hood and air cleaner assembly to build it stock.  Other than that, it seemed to be a good kit. 

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6 hours ago, Bob Ellis said:

The hood scoop was based on the information that GM was going to do a 1975 GTO. The kit is pretty accurate for a car not offered or cancelled at the last moment.

Ah, yes. Model companies do tread that razor-thin line, don't they? It's a lot like the MPC '78 Pacer X, which of course was never a real thing (to my knowledge), and I am sure there are a tonne of others out there too, I just can't think of any that haven't been mentioned yet. I do kind of like the whole "What if" of the '75 GTO, though. 

While it might be the last in line, at least this Nova is a car that existed! I just wish this car was a four-door!

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So, does anyone have built up they can post?

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On 2/7/2019 at 9:56 AM, shoopdog said:

I could be wrong but I think possibly body cushions/mounts deteriorated causing the body to ride sideways

For some reason, they sheared the centering pins from the leaf spring allowing the right rear tire to shift forward. Maybe from all that horsepower. LOL

Soft metal probably.

Edited by Sledsel

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4 hours ago, Daddyfink said:

So, does anyone have built up they can post?

Here are a few of mine that I've  built... I like the kit but having owned 18 real ones of this bodystyle (75-79) I guess you can say I'm kinda biased... The silver car is a replica of my real one also an original Squad Rod...

The police car is the reissue and aside from an improved decal sheet and newer tires it is a direct replica of the original kit. I've kinda put my spin on the original boxart.

The blue "SS" is the 77 issue which is practically the same kit as the 79. (different frontend and grill).

Sadly though, Round 2 has discontinued the kit and yet agian it will be OOP. 

Screenshot_20190209-001521.jpg

Screenshot_20190209-002500.jpg

Screenshot_20190209-002315.jpg

Screenshot_20190209-004605.jpg

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Nice work, especially on opening up that trunk! Well done!

I don't know why they produce this stuff in such small numbers. I'm sure from this thread alone they could sell more of them; it seems to be partially a distribution thing, I guess. 

Despite the cost, I'm glad I got mine when I did!

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10 hours ago, Sledsel said:

For some reason, they sheared the centering pins from the leaf spring allowing the right rear tire to shift forward. Maybe from all that horsepower. LOL

Soft metal probably.

I have a vague recollection of having to have some kind of rear spring work done on my Omega at some point. I don't remember exactly what the problem was, but I remember taking it to a spring shop. 

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