Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum
restoman

Mid-fifties T Hot Rod

Recommended Posts

I picked up this kit for almost nothing and once I looked at it, i'm glad I didn't spend much! ;)

This will be a mid-fifties hot rod, perhaps built by some talented amateur builder somewhere. The only kit parts to be used are the main body, the front suspension and steering, all the radius arms, the steering wheel, shifter, dash board and the seat and windshield frame - both of which will be modified. Tires and inner rims are from the kit as well.

The rest will be from the parts bags or scratch-built. There will be very little chrome and a full length pick-up box out back. Rims will be '40 Ford style, red with trim rings and hub caps.

I used .125 x .250 rectangular tubing for the frame. Possibly a little big, but ... maybe something a home-builder kind of guy might have used. The original rails just wouldn't work for what I had in mind.

The engine and trans is from a '49 Mercury.

The rear end of from a '37 Ford Panel Delivery.

So far, I think I've got the stance I'm looking for

T bucket 5.jpg

T bucket 4.jpg

T bucket 3.jpg

T bucket 2.jpg

T bucket 1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The body... 

I channeled it down over the rails a bit, filled the way-too-big cutout in the firewall and then made it fit the transmission a little better, filled the rear panel opening and fabbed up a flat floor board that runs the length of the body. The kit floor stopped at the edge of the seat...

T bucket 9.jpg

T bucket 8.jpg

T bucket 7.jpg

T bucket 6.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are no door on the kit body, so that had to be fixed.

I sliced some styrene strips and carefully glued them around what would be the door openings, then scribed some panel gaps in next to them.

The best I could come up with for a transmission tunnel is a plastic cap off of a spray bottle of my wife's tanning oil... good thing it's winter and she won't notice for a while. I'll blame the Dane later. ;)

Carved the master cylinder-looking things off of the firewall.

T bucket 12.jpg

T bucket 11.jpg

T bucket 10.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used the kit seat and narrowed it a bit, made a base for under it, trimmed off some of the tuck-and-roll look from the sides and added some filler material to the upper rear seat back. It sits higher than in the kit and that's what I was after.

Scribed some door lines in the inner body and decided to try to replicate some upholstery - just real basic stuff that an early hot rod might have. There's not much room in there so I thought I'd try some masking tape for the upholstery. i figure once it's primed, sanded and painted, it might fool some people. :)

I widened the dash board and fit it under the cowl so there are no gaps around it. Stripped the chrome off the steering wheel, put it on a shaft and put it in where I figure a real-life one would fit. In the kit the wheel almost sat on top of the seat and I didn't like that, but I also didn't want it standing straight up like some hot rods. Now, it's far enough away from the seat, sits at a believable angle and still has knuckle room between it and the dash board.

I added some angled toe boards, largely because I didn't have any room for pedals. Still not much room but there is enough for three pedals, barely.

Comments most welcome!

T bucket 18.jpg

T bucket 14.jpg

T bucket 17.jpg

T bucket 13.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scratch-built a box.

It sits a little higher than stock and the side support braces are thicker than stock but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Scribed some plank floor lines inside.

Started making up a tailgate... more on this to follow.

T bucket 25.jpg

T bucket 20.jpg

T bucket 19.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wheels...

I think the rims are from either a '40 Ford or a '56 Ford. ? Kit tires and backing plates.

Took quite a bit of filing to get them tucked nicely into the tires.

 

T bucket 21.jpg

T bucket 22.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is very little room for exhaust and the '49 Merc manifolds didn't fit with a hot rod look.

Soooo, my first attempt at making headers. Getting them all pointed the same way is harder than I thought!

T bucket 24.jpg

T bucket 23.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the direction this is heading to-keep up the good work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is beautiful. You have excellent scratchbuilding skills. Please keep us posted with more "in progress" pix.  Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I added a flange strip around the firewall for a bit of detail. I like the smooth firewall but it was too smooth - the flange breaks it up a bit.

The tailgate is mounted temporarily. I'm not brave enough to try and put the Ford script in there...

T bucket 28.jpg

T bucket 27.jpg

T bucket 26.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And that, folks, is how you make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

Just goes to show how almost any kit can be made better.

Nice work!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your scratch building skills are really nice. I like the project, however the wheelbase looks too long. I would consider shortening the frame a bit.

Edited by modelfink

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your scratch building skills are really nice. I like the project, however the wheelbase looks too long. I would consider shortening the frame a bit.

Your scratch building skills are really nice. I like the project, however the wheelbase looks too long. I would consider shortening the frame a bit.

Thanks for the comment. The whole idea was to build something that might have been built by an amateur builder, back when hot rods were still bought and not bought and assembled like today's version. Most every picture I've found of something built back then doesn't fit today's idea of what a hot rod should look like.

To me, the abbreviated, shortened-style that emerged in the late fifties, early sixties is too doodlebug-ish. There are enough of those around, I didn't want to add to the collection. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Thanks for the comment. The whole idea was to build something that might have been built by an amateur builder, back when hot rods were still bought and not bought and assembled like today's version. Most every picture I've found of something built back then doesn't fit today's idea of what a hot rod should look like.

To me, the abbreviated, shortened-style that emerged in the late fifties, early sixties is too doodlebug-ish. There are enough of those around, I didn't want to add to the collection. :)

My point of reference is mid 40s, when rods were most definitely built by hand, at home. Wheelbase looks a bit long for that period. 

The point is to have fun and build it to make yourself happy. I don't want to discourage that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, thanks for the comment.

It could well be too long. This is my first try at something like this... If it's too long-ish, the next one won't be. ;)

Thanks. I hope my reply to your comment didn't come off as a**holish. Feedback of any kind is great to me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slowly coming together...

I robbed the white wall cheater slicks from the Gas Man kit. I like 'em!

sunday t 3.jpg

sunday t 2.jpg

sunday t 1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And that, folks, is how you make a silk purse from a sow's ear.

Just goes to show how almost any kit can be made better.

Nice work!

    Yeah, those kits are kinda crappy indeed!!  I buy

one from time to time just for some of the parts that

are worth it. But I won't ever pay more than $6.00

for one!!

    David S.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful work; I love seeing old kits brought to their potential by skilled application of basic building techniques! NICE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...