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Matt MC

Advice needed re Monogram Fox Mustangs

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Hi all,

At some stage in future I intend to build the Mustang that was raced here in Australia by Dick Johnson in 1985, taking 2nd in that year’s championship.  See pic attached.

I have also attached a pic of the very same car in white, from the Bathurst race in 1984 where the car was given a shakedown after arriving from Europe (purchased from the Zakspeed team in Germany).  It was painted green for 1985 when the Mustang would be Ford’s racer in Australia, as demanded by the rule changes that came in that year.  The white color gives a better idea of the front bumper detail required.

Many years ago I bought the Monogram 2222 ’83 Convertible (for the nose, front bumper and engine) as well as the Monogram 2243 ’85 SVO (assuming it would be fine for the body).  Prompted by a recent magazine article here in Aus however, I have realized that the SVO body will be inaccurate (C-pillar vents are different, incorrect rear wing, etc.) for what I want.   Looking into Monogram’s back catalog, I would like to get confirmation from the Fox brains trust here that one of these Monogram kits would be suitable for what I need:

  • Mustang Cobra (2260)
  • Mustang Café Racer (2276)
  • Mustang Indy Pace Car (2250) – although this looks to have slits in the rear spoiler that the others don’t?

I understand that these (Plus the '83 Convertible) were all spun off the same tool and should be the best bet for kitbash compatibility with the '83 kit.  The three kits above have the earlier tail lights but the ’83 kit has the correct ones so no problems there.

Is my research putting me on the right track so far?  Without any of these kits in my hand I just have to go off internet pictures so any advice will be hugely appreciated!  

Matt

Johnson-Winton-Mustang-85.jpeg

1984 Bathurst Falcon & Mustang.jpg

Edited by Matt MC

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You're on the right track. The car in your pictures appears to be a 1983 or 1984 Mustang GT.

The only one of the three you've listed that I have is the #2260 Mustang Cobra. Was easy to get at it, so I gave it a quick look. it has two depressions on the outside surface of the rear spoiler. Monogram's inventory-control numbers engraved on the inside of the body indicate the #2250 Pace Car and #2260 Cobra bodies were identical except for molded color. The #2276 Cafe Racer likely has the same body, but my kit was almost certainly made before that one was released so there are no engraved inventory numbers for it on my body.

The #2260-style body is molded with an open sunroof, so you'll need to deal with that. There is a clear sunroof piece included, so you should be able to start with that to plug the hole in the body. Don't think Monogram ever made the hood scoop you need, but MPC's '83 and '84 Mustang kits had it. Those are 1/25 scale though.

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Not a Fox body expert but another kit choice might be the MPC '84 kit.

Image result for MPC 1984 Mustang GTImage result for MPC 1984 Mustang GTImage result for MPC 1984 Mustang GT

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Wow! Looks like a nice project Matt! Keep us posted.

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The Revell GTO Mustang kits might provide the wheels.  They have too much offset for a production base race car but could be narrowed.

Image result for revell mustang GTOImage result for revell mustang GTO

Edited by afx

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Thanks so much for your replies so far guys.  Especially to you Don for going to the trouble of digging a kit out to have a look for me!

Don - I understand that the actual car in question was based on an '83 GT so I am using that as a basis for my research in terms of bodywork.  You are correct that I will also need to get the reverse cowl hood scoop for this build and that was going to be my next question.  (Just didn't want to drag the original post out too much!)  I was hopeful that maybe there was a resin cast version available out there somewhere, Competition Resins do a generic Cowl Induction Hood Scoop (P/N CRC-107) which may be a starting point otherwise could probably scratchbuild one.  Getting an entire MPC kit just for the scoop would be hard to justify......

A forum member called whale392 (Brad) once had a picture in the CBP thread of just such a scoop fitted to the Monogram kit as a mock up (see pic), I would love to ask him where it came from but from his profile he hasn't been on the forum for years.  

afx - many thanks for your suggestions as well.  I was not aware of the MPC 20th Anniversary kit which may also be suitable.  I've no idea of its accuracy compared with the Monogram offerings though?  (Not saying Mono's are the greatest of all, but in general I have found MPC to be somewhat more simplistic by comparison, just my opinion.)   Have had no luck finding any pics of the kit contents or any build reports on it, just one pic of the body on Keith Marks' fotki listings.  Looks as though the rear spoiler is a separate piece, although the front grille seems to be missing the three vertical bars which are quite prominent on the real car with the green/black color contrast.  Would very interesting to know if it has the hood scoop as one of the 'many optional parts' mentioned on the side of the box though - any idea?

As for the wheels I did find a set of resin ones on Hiroboy that would be suitable (and would just kitbash the tires for them), however these Revell ones might be another option.  If their wheel centers and rims are separate pieces that would make narrowing them a lot easier, as you said they would be way too wide as they are.  

 

Scoop3.JPG

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Matt, I'm attaching a link to the instruction sheet from an MPC '82 Mustang. the one shown above is just an update of the same kit and builds up exactly the same. You can see that the kits MPC tooled up in that era were much more advanced than thier earlier kits and in this case, probably more so than the Monogram offering of the Fox Mustang.

 

http://public.fotki.com/drasticplasticsmcc/mkiba-build-under-c/mpc-instructions/1-sort/mpc-wild-breed-must/#media

 

This is the kit I'd recommend if you can find one. There is one on e-bay right now but I think the $80.US price is quite high.

s-l1600.jpg

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You're welcome.

If you go the MPC route, I'd recommend looking for the kit in my pictures. It's the 1983 kit, and is molded in dark blue. This kit has clear windows, but MPC went to deep-smoke tinted windows in many 1984 kits, so the "sparkling" red one and the white 20th Anniversary car may have nearly black tinted windows. Agree with Steve M. on price, $80US sounds really, really high for one of these MPC kits.

The scoop is included in the blue kit as well (it's separate from the hood), and it's a fairly simple part that shouldn't be too hard to make from sheet plastic if you go the Monogram route.

If the racer had a stripped-out interior, the MPC would probably have the advantage there. Looked at the body in my '83 MPC kit, and it is missing the three vertical ribs in the grille as you mentioned. The rear spoiler is a separate three-piece assembly. MPC also has taillights molded in clear red, which will be more difficult to paint....if I remember right they are molded in clear in the Monogram '83 convertible.

The Monogram might give you more options for wheels and tires, since there's probably more to choose from in 1/24 scale. Can't remember for sure, but even the 1/25 Revell Mustang GTO racer shown above may have used 1/24-scale tires from an earlier Monogram race car.

Both bodies (MPC '83 and Monogram '79 Cobra) have bodyside moldings in place. Looks like the car you want to make didn't run them, so both bodies will need some work to remove them.

It's a cool project. From the little I've thought about it, I'm not sure if I'd start with Monogram or MPC. There are good arguments for both.

 

IMG_0447.JPG

IMG_0448.JPG

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Thanks again for all your input guys, really appreciate it.

Considering the age/price/rarity of the kits that would be suitable, I imagine this is going to come down to which kit I am actually able to find.  As you alluded Don, there are certainly pros and cons of each one!

Looking at the MPC instructions linked by Steve (thanks so much for those!), I can see how that kit would lend itself better to a stripped out race interior.  Certainly I think the interior will be the area that needs the most work for this conversion, especially in terms of the floor (bare transmission tunnel, removed rear seat, etc) which will need significant modification from the road versions.

The Monogram option certainly has appeal as well, especially in regards to exterior detail which I prefer to favor.  Clear rear lights are always a winner for me as this allows them to be colored properly and they are prominent on the real car (see pic, taken of the car itself at the DJR workshop/museum not far from my place), plus the 1:24 scale will give better compatibility with the resin 17" wheels I have my eye on.  

Anyway I will have to keep my eye out for kits in the usual places.  If anyone has any good suggestions of where to look that would be appreciated.  Will likely be a case of watching eBay until something suitable is listed, although I know there are lots of places like Model Roundup that deal with old kits over there in the States. 

And if anyone has one they are happy to offload, (even just a body and glass in the case of the Monogram, I have everything else) then I would love to hear from you!

Matt

DSC_0559.JPG

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Hi Matt,

I started working on a model of the very same car several years ago that has stalled due to the amount of work that I needed to do.  I'm using the pace car model for the body and the bonnet from the convertible. I had originally planned to do the early version but settled on the race winner from the Grand Prix support races (the cars 1 and only victory) I am using a heavily modified interior tub from a Tamiya Sierra and the Momo wheels are copied from a Tamiya 1:20 F1 kit. I started scratchbuilding the front clip but I still haven't finished it yet. I am yet to decide on which 302 to use but it won't be the original kit engine. There is a fair bit of work to do to everything.

8TyKIU.jpg
PgF7Zd.jpg

I have had a MPC version in my hands and I can say the Monogram models are easier to convert into a better detailed race car. The interiors of the MPC models are very shallow and the chassis isn't all that great or detailed either.

good luck.

Cheers

ShawnS

 

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Hi Shawn, great to see your work!

Good to see you are doing the later version, that scratchbuilding around the nose looks awesome.  And as you said, the '85 AGP Support was its only victory so it's a version worth doing.  I decided on the ATCC version as it's easily done with the convertible kit nose.  Plus I like the BBS wheels better!  Looks like I'll be doing 'Mustang 1' (White car '84 Bathurst and '85 ATCC) and you'll end up doing 'Mustang 2' ('85 Sandown 500 thru end of '86).  Have you seen the article in the latest issue of Australian Muscle Car?  I've been thinking about this conversion for years - and even more so when Patto started producing the decals - and the AMC article has triggered me into researching it a bit more.

You read my mind about the Tamiya Sierra interior - just this past day or so I was pondering that as a way of getting a stripped race car-like interior in there, even if it's not 100% accurate.  I was rummaging around in the garage tonight trying to find one to take a closer look (I have 4 of them) but I have packed them away too well.  Would probably be a fair bit of work to adapt it, but would likely be easier than trying to scratchbuild a bare transmission tunnel, floor bracing, ribbed pressings and so forth.

I visited the DJR workshop a couple of years ago and I was thrilled that this car (and the Sierra) was on display that day.  Apparently they rotate the cars between Bowden's and the museum these days so it's a case of getting lucky.  I took plenty of detail photos of it, so if you are interested in some hardcore reference material let me know and I can burn them to disc and mail them to you if you like.  The car in the museum is Mustang 2, although it is a little different to it's DJR days due to modifications made by later owners.  I am told that when Dick bought the car back it was simply sprayed green and the livery applied, but has not undergone a complete resto to 85/86 spec.  The interior was painted white somewhere along the line for example, and remains that way.  There is also a huge dry sump tank in the back seat (visible directly in front of the bloke in my picture above) and a massive fuel tank under the hatch that are not period correct either. I'm sure there will be other details, but the basics are there.  For reference, Mustang 1 is in the NSW Hunter Valley these days and is the car in the AMC article.

Going by your pics, I definitely need to get me one of those Monogram bodies now!  Although it will be a dog's age before I actually get started on the build........

Matt

Edited by Matt MC

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DSC_0559.JPG

That is a cool car. 

The rear spoiler on the real car in your picture is different than what's on the body in the early Monogram kits (Pace Car, Cobra, Cafe Racer) or included in the MPC 1983 and 1984 kits. It looks more like the bottom section of a Mustang SVO spoiler, and it might actually be the part that Ford used on the 1:1 '85 and '86 Mustang GT. Unfortunately, no one made a '85 or '86 GT kit....not sure if anyone may have made that spoiler in resin.

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I would agree that using the Monogram parts would result in a better looking 1983. Using the 83 convertible nose with the 80 body is the way to go, could use the hood scoop from the MPC 83 kit. Rear spoiler on the 80 body looks correct for the 83. The rear seat could be cut out and replaced with sheet plastic.

I have built several of the Monogram Fox body cars and by swapping noses & hoods you can up with several different versions of the cars. I've done a 80 convertible (never really made), 84 1/2 GT350 convertible, Pace car, etc.

I have several "scrap" bodies of the Monogram version plus a bunch of spare parts and even multiple complete kits of all the Monogram versions. PM me with what you may be interested in.

Zen

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The rear spoiler on the real car in your picture is different than what's on the body in the early Monogram kits (Pace Car, Cobra, Cafe Racer) or included in the MPC 1983 and 1984 kits. It looks more like the bottom section of a Mustang SVO spoiler, and it might actually be the part that Ford used on the 1:1 '85 and '86 Mustang GT. Unfortunately, no one made a '85 or '86 GT kit....not sure if anyone may have made that spoiler in resin.

Don, your eagle eyes serve you well!  The car I photographed in the museum does indeed have 1985 GT bodywork, as the car was allowed a model update for Group A racing from August 1985.  Body wise, both the nose and rear bumper were updated, the rear spoiler changed and the cowl scoop disappeared.  There were some mechanical upgrades too, the main one I believe was a switch to a roller cam which I understand occurred with the road car from the 85 model also.

This updated car is the version that Shawn is converting to, shown in his post above.  The car was raced from Sept '85 thru to the end of '86 in this configuration.

I plan to build the early season version of the car that ran the '83 GT bodywork prior to the August update.  The best picture I can find of that rear spoiler is on the white version of the car in late 1984, see below.  The rear spoiler in any of the available kits definitely matches this one. 

Zen your offer is extremely generous and much appreciated.  I will be in touch with you very soon.

Bathurst 84.jpg

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Matt,

Just noticed this when using the 83 hood on the early 79,80, café racer bodies is that the hood lines do not match up to the cowl area. Even on the 1:1 cars this is the issue, the earlier cars (1979 to 82) used a smaller cowl. This on the Monogram body.........might not be a huge issue???HOOD.thumb.jpg.0115f408725cd682a09f1220bc5191a6.jpg

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Not an issue at all as it turns out......the real car is like that!

I have been going through the photos I took of the real car at the museum, and one clearly shows the narrower '79-'82 cowl section along with the later model hood.  So no modifications required!

Often when a certain chassis is raced over a number of seasons, the bodywork is cosmetically updated to match the latest model in the showrooms and I am guessing that occurred with this car as well.  Was probably built as a pre-'82 model by Zakspeed and updated to 1983 configuration before being sold to Johnson.  Johnson himself also further updated it to the 85/86 bodywork once the rules of the day allowed it.  This was commonplace in Australian touring car racing at the time.

I am told that the inner door trims in the car also support this version of events as well, they are too early to be 1983 or later.

DSC_0558.JPG

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Well that's good news! That hood scoop appears a lot larger & shaped differently than from the first pic you posted.

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10 hours ago, Zen said:

Well that's good news! That hood scoop appears a lot larger & shaped differently than from the first pic you posted.

Yep the hood scoop currently fitted to the car in the museum is an addition made by one of the car's later owners - it was never raced by Johnson like that.

This car has never been fully restored back to it's 1985/86 spec (just the external livery has been applied) so all of the mods made by later owners remain in place.   I intend to carefully replicate the car in my very first picture.

(So the museum car is not period correct, but it was still awesome to see it in the metal regardless!)

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Correct, afx.  That picture is from Bathurst 1985, held in October.  The homologation update for the newer front bumper, grille, etc was approved on August 1st of that year.  My version will represent the car raced in the Australian Touring Car Championship (made up of sprint races) which ran from February to July of that year.  The endurance races such as Bathurst were held later in the year and were not part of that series.

The car in your picture above is the exact same chassis that I photographed in the museum.

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Hey Matt, would you happen to have any pictures of the rear interior area from the doors looking backwards? I've got pics of most of the rest of the car but nothing that shows the extent of the roll cage or where the seat belt mounting points are. It's one of the two main reasons that the project stalled.

 

Cheers

ShawnS

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