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Dennis Lacy

60's Banger Geek '27 T Touring - Updated 10/13/18

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An interesting thing happened in the 1960's. Almost in an underground or cult fashion, nostalgia-driven closet Ford 4-banger guys started to emerge and slip rodded Model A engines back into the rod and racing scene. Engines that had lost they're dominance by the later 1930's as the Flathead V8 took over. Some of these guys even formed a club, Forever Four Cylinder (still active!), and focused on hopping up banger motors while the rest of the guys were building the latest and greatest big HP V8's. Some guys such as a fellow named Joe Gemsa even designed and manufactured new overhead valve and overhead cam cylinder heads to help beat-out the competition in vintage engine racing classes. 

So, this new project is going to be a 60's Banger Geek's dream. It will have all of the requisite 60's flare such as a bunch of antique looking T junk mixed with bright metallic paint and funky magnesium wheels with a hot Model A engine sitting between the rails. Of course, there will be 60's technology brought to the drivetrain such as an alternator and adapted Muncie 4-speed trans mixed in with earlier hop up wares such as a Riley 2-Port head with dual Stromberg carbs and a Halibrand quick change axle out back.

The basis of this project is Revell's '27 T Touring body and the '32 frame from Revell's new Model A roadster and coupe kits. Getting the proportions I wanted meant substantially modifying the frame. I wanted the body cowl to start at the point of the frames side reveal line and have the wheel well start right at the end. That required taking 1/8" out of the length which I did by making a stepped cut for far superior strength over a typical butt-joint.

DSCN3523-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

I then constructed a new front frame cross member out of .040" sheet and located it essentially right behind where the original cross member was. I then had to removed the original front cross member and sections of frame rail it spanned between, reattach the frame horns then blend everything together. I also added shelves in the corners behind the new cross member for the motor mount to sit on.

DSCN3525-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Originally, Model A engines had a front mount that attached to the timing gear cover and had a center stud that sat on the front cross member with a spring around the stud to absorb vibration. The rear of the engine mounted off of the sides of the flywheel housing forming a triangle between the mounting points. Since the rear is going to be mounted off of the future 4-speed the front of the engine needed to have a wider mount to form a triangulation so I built a Hurst-style mount.

DSCN3524-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Here is the engine sitting on its new front mount. 

DSCN3521-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

The wheels I'm going to use are the Halibrand "Touring" wheels from Revell's '31 Sedan kit. I'm also using that kits small front tires and narrow M&H slicks from the Ed Roth Beatnik Bandit. These wheels actually came stock on some of the Studebaker Avanti's and was also available through Halibrand's catalog. They were a true magnesium wheel. As the wheels come out of the kit they have basic rounded center caps but originally Halibrand provided false versions of their first generation 3-bar knock offs. I will be removing the rounded caps and using the knock off's from Revell's Orange Crate which are identical to the original Halibrand parts. As you all probably expect, the wheels will also be getting stripped and paint detailed.

Halibrand3-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Halibrand1-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

Halibrand2-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki 

Here's a few mock ups. This is how the model will sit. The front axle will be based on the parts in all of the Revell '32 kits (tube axles were available by the 60's.) I haven't decided what parts to make up the quick change rear axle out of yet but I have a pile to choose from.

DSCN3529-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

DSCN3528-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

DSCN3531-vi.jpgHosted on Fotki

More to come soon! 

Comments welcome!

B)

Edited by Dennis Lacy

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(Enthusiast, envious) sigh......

Dennis, another great project from you.  I so enjoy reading about your thought process and design decisions as well as seeing the visual representation of your processes/decisions.  

I think you and several others on this board are, in effect, inspiring every one to upgrade their approach to traditional hot rod model car projects.  

Cheers....TIM 

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I'm sure you know there's a Riley head in the Revell '29 A Roadster Pickup kit. Perfect for your project (which I'm loving BTW).

Edited by Marc Weller

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Great concept and stellar execution, Dennis! Thanks for the reference on those wheels, they should look terrific stripped and detail painted in various metallic shades.

Just curious – How does the Revell T touring body compare to the one from AMT?

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This is possibly the coolest project I've seen in awhile. Very cool!

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(Enthusiast, envious) sigh......

Dennis, another great project from you.  I so enjoy reading about your thought process and design decisions as well as seeing the visual representation of your processes/decisions.  

I think you and several others on this board are, in effect, inspiring every one to upgrade their approach to traditional hot rod model car projects.  

Cheers....TIM 

I'm just over here doing my thing. I don't have but one guy that I can BS about models with so I turn to the forums for my interaction. I guess that's why I tend to go into detail. I also always appreciate thorough explanations from others when I'm checking out their projects. Rather than throwing up some pictures and saying "Here it is.", it's neat to know why things were done they way they were. 

Speaking of inspiration, aside from my Dad introducing me to model cars, you, Tim, are basically responsible for my love of hot rod model building. So, thank you!

B)

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I'm sure you know there's a Riley head in the Revell '29 A Roadster Pickup kit. Perfect for your project (which I'm loving BTW).

Actually, the '29 kit has a Winfield flathead. It's the '31 Sedan/Sedan Delivery/Woodie variants that have the Riley 2-port, which is what I'll be using. I forgot to change the head out before I took the pictures.

Glad you like my T!

B)

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Great concept and stellar execution, Dennis! Thanks for the reference on those wheels, they should look terrific stripped and detail painted in various metallic shades.

Just curious – How does the Revell T touring body compare to the one from AMT?

Thanks, John!

I think the wheels will respond to painting nicely. Dipped in chrome, it's kind of hard to see (especially in pictures) exactly what they look like. A lot of the spoke shape detail gets washed out.

I think that the overall shape of the Revell body is better. Having owned a real '27 T Roadster I can tell you that the shape of the Revell cowl is way more accurate. The AMT cowl is kind of flat when it should be a continuous curve from side to side. The door on top of the cowl is also rendered raised on the Revell body, which is accurate. The door originally opened to access filling the gas tank which fit up into the cowl. On the AMT body the door is flush.The Revell windshield detail is a little better, too. Where both bodies fall short is that there is a ever-so-slightly rounded cap on the doors and pillar between them that, instead of being part of the body, is part of the interior units and makes a ledge to locate onto the body. I'm going to have to cut that cap from the interior unit and attach it to the body. That's fine because I'm not using any of the interior anyway. That'll get covered in a future installment.

B)

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I really like this project already. I like the 4cyl and the wheels nice touch.. Dennis, how much smaller is the slicks your using over regular slicks??

Edited by slusher

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Nice build!

Love these nostalgic/retro/traditional/banger, whatever-you-call-it rods!  I’ve been dreaming up a similar concept myself for a future project.

I’ll be watching this one – keep up the good work.

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Speaking of inspiration, aside from my Dad introducing me to model cars, you, Tim, are basically responsible for my love of hot rod model building. So, thank you!

B)

Dennnis...thank you for that.  I am both flattered and humbled.  Very Best Regards... TIM  

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Great project.

There's something special about a hot A-powered rod that really goes back to the roots of the sport.

I love the old engines, and you're the one to do this kind of a build justice.  :D

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Another nice one in the works!  Model T, A and B four bangers, their early speed secrets and parts are pretty cool any way you look at them.  What's not to like!!!

From my research on Model T Speedsters, I found that the Model A engine swap into the earlier Model T car and especially the trucks was a fairly popular swap (after enough Model A's had been wrecked and were in wrecking yards).

 Whenever the subject of Hotting Up a Model T comes up, the subject of Bootleggers is frequently mentioned. They were amoung some of the earliest Hot Rodders.  One of the posts that I ran across on the Model T Club of America sort of implied that it was the Bootleggers who came up with the A into a T swap, probably shortly after the first Model A ended up wrecked.  Though they wondered about the "wisdom" of said swap, in part due to the T's somewhat wimpy frame which was usually compounded by the extra leaf or three added to the spring stack front and rear.  Their point was that when the "buggy sprung" suspension was stiffened up for the extra weight that the frame itself then became in part a torsion bar flexing back and forth, especially if they added hot parts to the Model A engine!  From our perspective today that doesn't make as much impact; especially considering that double and even triple the horsepower of the Model T engines would have been possible with the right parts.

 

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Nice build!

 

 

Love these nostalgic/retro/traditional/banger, whatever-you-call-it rods!  I’ve been dreaming up a similar concept myself for a future project.

 

 

I’ll be watching this one – keep up the good work.

 

 

We can just call it a Hot Rod

B)

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I really like this project already. I like the 4cyl and the wheels nice touch.. Dennis, how much smaller is the slicks your using over regular slicks??

Thanks!

These particular M&H slicks (out of the Revell Ed Roth Beatnik Bandit kit) are about 2/3 as wide as the typical M&H found in other Revell kits like the Orange Crate, Tony Nancy 22jr dragsters and old-tool SWC Willys.

B)

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        Dennis,

    This is another cool build you have

going here!!  Inspirational stuff like this

is the fuel for my fire. And trust me when

I say that generally I am but a glowing

cinder! ( barely glowing )

  Phaeton bodies are a big favorite of mine,

so as they say " build on please, I'll be here

watching."

 

    David S.

Edited by mod3l Lover

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I've been working on this thing and taking pictures as I go, just haven't taken the time to post updates. Here's what's been happening!

The front axle and suspension are fully setup. It's all Revell '32 Ford series parts with some tweaks here and there and everything secured with mounting pins.

Hosted on Fotki

Hosted on Fotki

I set the 4-banger up with a 4-speed conversion. The adapter comes from the Ed Roth Beatnik Bandit and the transmission was cut off of the Hemi engine in Revell's '32 5-Window. The cross member is slightly trimmed down from the '32 kits, too.

Hosted on Fotki

Hosted on Fotki

I stripped the chrome off of the wheels, added the missing lug nuts using detail nuts from Grandt Line and added the correct 60's Halibrand 3-bar wingnuts.

Hosted on Fotki

I started doing some speed work to the Banger. Built my own lower profile tube intake, carbs from the Ed Roth Tweedy Pie T and modified Chevy header from AMT's '34 5-Window.

Hosted on Fotki

Out back I built a new rear cross member. The axle & spring assembly is from the Ed Roth Tweedy Pie T and the ladder bars are from Revell's new '29 Roadster / '30 Coupe kits. Made the driveshaft out of 1/8th" tube and kit u-joints. Still need to add shocks.

Hosted on Fotki

Hosted on Fotki

And a mock up with the chassis now a "roller". Still lots more to do!

Hosted on Fotki

Hosted on Fotki

Comments welcome!

B)

 

 

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I'm a big fan of your subject choices and your workmanship Dennis. Really looking forward to seeing you continue on this car!

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Wow what a difference a little chrome removal does,  Great looking wheels.

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Man I like your building style Dennis.  Simply superb so far!   TIM  

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Great looking build. Thank you for sharing your building techniques.   

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Very Kool and it looks like a ton of fun as well!!!  😎👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻🏁

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