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MPC Rat Trap Vega


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I've never understood why they call these dirt track modifieds.   This kit and others like it are identical to the cars raced at Bowman Gray Stadium in Wonston-Salem NC.  Were these cars the forerunners of today's Super lates as well?  Change the dirt tires to slicks and you have a BGS car.   BGS is so narrow they used a skinnier tire, like a "cup" car. On more open tracks like Martinsville and the northern cars, they used the monster wide modified slicks from what I've seen.  

When I first went to BGS, they were running the Vegas, Gremlins, Pintos.   Service station I walked by going to school had a big block Vega mod always sitting there, mostly outdoors during the day so they could use the bay where it slept.  I spent many a moment on the way home from scholl poring over that car.  Problem was, they had big block after everyone else when small block racing.  I think there was a weight penalty rule on the bog blocks at that time.  Besides the self imposed weight penalty for a big block.  

In the 80s, they moved to the Cavalier body.  I guess that was easier to build/maintain.   use a top and the rest of the body could be fabbed from sheet metal.   The old cars looked a lot more like their street version.   Kinda like real racing today.   

At any rate, love the build.   You could have several bodies prepped to drop on the frame.   They used the same basic frame for generations of modified racing.  That would be a cool display - several gens of the same racer as it transitioned through the years.   (as an aside, there are still a couple of '64 Falcons racing competitively in the Street stock class at BGS I think)

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I like what you created with the updated body. 

The vintage MPC Vega kit is a decent model of the pavement modifieds of the 1970's through mid 1980's. I saw these cars run a Metrolina in Charlotte and Bowman Gray.  The AMT Toby Tobias models are more like the dirt mods. 

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Thanks for the positive feedback! I was inspired to try this after watching the Race Night at Bowman Gray series on the Discovery Channel. Frankly I've been more or less making up as i go. I've learned from some mistakes. I think Im going to try to do one using one of the ASA chassis  next, and I want to build the Ridge Runner Pinto at some point.

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On 2/18/2019 at 5:04 PM, DRH_97 said:

Thanks for the positive feedback! I was inspired to try this after watching the Race Night at Bowman Gray series on the Discovery Channel. Frankly I've been more or less making up as i go. I've learned from some mistakes. I think Im going to try to do one using one of the ASA chassis  next, and I want to build the Ridge Runner Pinto at some point.

There was also a season of a show called "Madhouse" that used BGS as the setting.  Chris Fleming from that show is a great guy.  I used to do race car lettering and did his car for a couple seasnos way before he got "famous".    there are bound to be some references found by Googling.   The newer mods probably have more technology in them, but the older cars were used for generations with body changes to keep them "modern".    Slicks are the key change needed to the Vega to be a BGS car.  And they should be more like a NASCAR cup slick than the WIIIIDE slicks used elsewhere.  BGS is just too tight for that wide a tire.   And to be a later car, like from 1980 on, should really be a small block chevy.   

Google Paul Radford, Satch Worley, Ralph Brinkley and include Vega.  That will get you some photos of the Vegas, Gremlins, and Pintos from the era.   These were the leader cars I saw race first at BGS.   then the switch to the "cavalier" body.   There would be a full field of Cavaliers, one Dodge Charger 024 body, one Ford of some sort.  It got too expensive to run anything other than a Chevy.  

Keep going.  I was going to try to do some of these, but have just run out of time and inspiration to do these.   In fact, my Gremlin kit is on ebay right now.   Sold the vega a while back and have a built up generic Pinto to be sold someday.   

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