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'61 Ranchero (Old 60's Custom Rescue)


Greg Pugh
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Looks like the original builder had lots of putty on hand when he originally built this Ranchero :D! Never would have thought how nice and clean it would look after removing the paint. I really like your idea of building it with the same styling ideas that the original builder had, but your version looks just a lot better. I like the new front end a lot and lowering the roof scoop is definitely a good idea. I'll keep watching this one closely.:P

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So I've been all over the map in trying to decide what to do to the rear of the car i.e; what tail lights to use, etc. I thought I pretty much had it figured out when randomly, I opened the wrong drawer to my parts cabinet and low-and-behold, my answer was staring me in the face. So I pulled out this piece and decided it was my answer but I had no idea what it went to or where it came from. Then, a friend of mine told me that it was a custom piece from a '61 Ford Galaxie. It then dawned on me that I had a '61 Galaxie promo with a warped and busted up body that I bought for parts for a '61 Starliner I have. Beings that the body was trashed anyways, I had no problems with cutting it up. And I went to work...

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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I then added the first round (of many) of putty and sanding to rough it in a bit. Using .040" sheet styrene, I scratched out a roll pan for the rear. Once I had it securely put in place, I cut a center section out for a license plate. The previous builder built the car with a custom rear bumper from a '61 Thunderbird so what I did was I cut the molded license plate recess from that bumper and then added it to my roll pan. It's finally starting to look like something!

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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And lastly, I had painted the dash, steering wheel, and steering column some time ago but just the other day laid the clear down. The color I'm using is HOK "True Blue Pearl" and I covered it with Testors Wet Look.

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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Got the interior finished up this afternoon! Not too much trickery here. I removed the horn ring from the steering wheel because it was way too thick. I entertained making a new one but saw the base models didn't have one and I kind of liked the clean look so...no horn ring. The instrument cluster and radio face came way of Best Model Car Parts. I cut the shifter and turn signal levers off and added my own. I purposely installed the shifter low so that it looks like a 3-on-the-tree dropped in 1st gear. The shifter lever was made from a pin, bent to shape and I added a knob using putty. The turn signal lever is .010" wire. I used embossing powder for carpet and then painted it. A combination of foil and Molotow handled the chromework. 

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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Beautiful! Glad to see an update on this project.
The Galaxie rear is so "custom"-looking that I had to Google the real car to remind myself that yes, they did in fact look like that. Funny, I had never noticed the overall shape of the enclosure before, having fixated on the round taillights as a means of identification. It's a clever addition to the Ranchero and fits the existing design perfectly.
Loving the interior work. Clean, good contrast, and that white-on-HOK blue contrast is sharp!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/13/2017 at 5:17 PM, ChrisBcritter said:

Bet it was a relief to find so little damage! By the way, remember the trim on the back edge of the roof should be flush with the roof, not sticking up.

 

On 6/15/2017 at 4:19 PM, RancheroSteve said:

Yes, I think if you're going with the "original intent" of the builder you need to use the scoop!

Here are some shots of what that rear pillar and trim look like in the real word, if you're interested in going for that. AMT got this part of the car pretty wrong.

C pillar & roof left

door & C pillar left

A double thanks for the heads up on this! I was waiting for some paint to dry on another project so I had a couple of minutes to knock this out. Here's what we had before:

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So I started by scribing it right in front of the trim which was super easy to do with it being raised the way it was.

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I then sanded it down smooth

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And shot it in primer. Took me all of about 4 minutes.

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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After removing all of the putty that the original builder put on the body, I was left with these holes right behind the doors on both sides. I could easily fill them but I thought it would be cool to french in dual stubby antennas instead. I'm sure there are a 100 ways to do this but this is how I did it. 

The original hole:

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I had to make the hole just a tad larger and then inserted this styrene tube I had. The tighter the fit, the better.

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I pushed it through the bottom far enough that I could attach sheet styrene to the bottom of it.

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Then I pushed it back up through and glued it in place.

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The combination of the snug fit of the styrene tube and CA glue makes for a seamless joint. After sanding and primer, this is the result. 

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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I went back and forth with myself on whether I should put the roof scoop back on the car. I kept working it over, trying it on, thinking about it, working on it some more, repeat. Once I got it whittled down to a size that I thought was more appropriate, I decided that it had to go back on. Admittedly, it was probably what saved this car's life. When I was about to throw it in the garbage, the scoop on the roof was something that I kinda liked about the car so it just seemed appropriate that it went back on. Plus, it was something the original builder had done so here it is. As you can see in my previous posts, I was able to get it free from the roof where it was glued on. I somehow was able to remove it without much damage to the roof or the scoopy thing. I then removed the upholstered sides from the scoop and then I went to work slimming it down considerably. It's probably a 1/3 of it's original size but I feel that it looks more fitting to the car and the theme this way. 

Also, I scribed out the front of the hood opening as it was lost when I installed the grill surround. I went back and forth with a couple of design ideas there but ultimately decided to do it with a rounded opening.

I'm pretty much down to cleaning up the back end of the car now. I'll be excited to be done with body work! Lol

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Edited by Greg Pugh
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9 hours ago, Greg Pugh said:

I went back and forth with myself on whether I should put the roof scoop back on the car. I kept working it over, trying it on, thinking about it, working on it some more, repeat. Once I got it whittled down to a size that I thought was more appropriate, I decided that it had to go back on. Admittedly, it was probably what saved this car's life. When I was about to throw it in the garbage, the scoop on the roof was something that I kinda liked about the car so it just seemed appropriate that it went back on. Plus, it was something the original builder had done so here it is.

I agree. The roof scoop is a part that every child customizer put onto that kit.  And you are keeping this build true to the original builders intent.  Exactly what I would do!  Play on!

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On 12/6/2017 at 10:34 PM, Greg Pugh said:

A double thanks for the heads up on this! I was waiting for some paint to dry on another project so I had a couple of minutes to knock this out. Here's what we had before:

Glad I could help - that fix to the rear trim is a big improvement. I'm really enjoying watching your progress here!

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Greg, I'm loving the rebuild!!!  It's so cool the way you've made a clunky restyle from the original builder into a graceful custom with your well chosen mods all in keeping with the original theme.  The interior looks awesome.  Beautiful job saving this old Ranchero.?????????

Edited by geewhiz
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