Jump to content
Model Cars Magazine Forum
THarrison351

Modelhaus Resincast 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix WIP

Recommended Posts

The first Dodge Darts were introduced for the 1960 model year. They were downsized large cars developed to replace the Plymouth in the standard, low-priced car segment for the Dodge dealer network. Dodge dealers had been selling Plymouths since 1930, but divisional restructuring took the Plymouth brand away from the Dodge dealer network. Project planners proposed the name Dart, only to have Chrysler executives demand an expensive research program which produced the name Zipp. This was promptly rejected in favor of Dart. With the cancellation of Chrysler's upper level DeSoto brand, upper level Dodge products were pushed upmarket, while using Plymouth products with more features for lower-level Dodge products. The Dart sedans and coupes were based on the unibody Plymouth platform with a 118 in wheelbase, shorter than the standard-size Dodge line. However, the Dart station wagons used the same 122 in wheelbase as the upmarket Polara wagons. The Dart line was offered in three trim levels: the basic Seneca, mid-range Pioneer, and premium Phoenix. The new Dart came standard with a new engine, the 225 ci slant-six. The 318 ci V8s (A block, standard equipment on certain Phoenix and Pioneer body styles) and 361 ci V8s (B block) were optional with two-barrel or four-barrel carburetors, and with single or dual exhaust. The Dodge 383 ci V8 (B block) was added in 1961. Brakes were 11-inch drums. (Wikipedia)

I believe Johan was contracted with Chrysler to create promos for their product lines in the early sixties. You can find Johan promos on eBay molded in various colors and unfortunately because they were still using acetate to mold them, usually very warped. However, at the same time Johan was also marketing what was essentially unassembled promos with additional custom parts, opening hoods, and engines as kits, just like AMT and Revell. Fortunately these were molded in polystyrene and did not warp. The only destructive item I've ever observed in these kits is the vinyl tires will melt the polystyrene plastic if left in contact for a long period of time. Johan made both a promo and a kit of the 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix 2 door hardtop. It was never offered with an engine in the kit, just custom parts.

To continue this long story. One of my father's few new cars was a 1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix 2 door hardtop. When my parents were married, it's the car in their wedding photographs. The first pictures I've ever seen of me in a car are with that one. They are black and white, but I've always been told it was originally a red car. My dad was in the Air Force and was sent to Germany just before I was born in 1964. We followed as soon as I was old enough. The car went too, but it was shipped in a container and unfortunately was not well secured and subsequently arrived damaged. My father had the car repaired and painted blue. We lived in Germany for a couple of years and went back to reside CONUS and the car followed. Same story with the shipping container, but this time my dad let the car go and bought a different car. A 1961 Comet 2 door station wagon. Try to find one of those! That is the first car I have an actual memory of riding in.

So, that leads me to the part I want to cover here. I tried for years once eBay was up and running to win a kit of a JoHan 1960 Dodge Dodge Dart Phoenix, and was either outbid or the kits were too damaged, missing parts or expensive. Eventually I found out about Modelhaus and they offered a complete kit that was based on the Johan kit, but was remastered to fix some imperfections and separate some of the chrome trim. When I discovered it, I thought $85 was a little too much, but I put it on my Amazon wish list anyways. Several years later, Modelhaus announced they were going to close. I thought nothing of it at the time other than I'd probably never get to build that kit. Well my 51th birthday came and my wife gave me a piece of paper saying she was planning to give me this kit, but they were on backorder for months and I'd have to wait. In April 2016 this box finally arrived and I've finally decided to start building it. It will be painted just like my dad's was originally. Red with a white top. For years there was this hood ornament in my dad's toolbox and until I started studying on this model, I didn't know what it came from. Now I know it was from the Phoenix. No clue what happened to it when he died twelve years ago.

Here's what comes in the kit:

04172014422-vi.jpg

I'll be soaking it in Westley's bleche-wite to remove the release agent. Then it gets a good test fit of all the parts before I start priming everything for paint.

Edited by THarrison351

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upside, you won't need custom hubcaps. Great kits from Don and Carol. Miss those guys, hope they're well and happy. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This will be worth watching.  We were kind of a Mopar family when I was growing up.  My parents had a 1960 Dodge Dart Seneca wagon, 318, three on the tree.   Two-tone  Ivory with turquoise metallic top..   It's the car that I learned to drive on.  Thank you for your history, it brought back lots of memories.  I have two resin 1960 Dodge wagon kits.  One is probably old Modelhaus the other is probably from somewhere else.   Someday...

Edited by Muncie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oooo, I'll be watching this one Tim, I love the 60 Dodges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I gave it a good soak in Westley's last night and washed it in Dawn today with a toothbrush. Did a quick and dirty assembly to see how things fit.

First problem was the front of the chassis would not fit past the bumper. Out came the Dremel and the problem was solved.

5-vi.jpg

6-vi.jpg

Here is the result:

1-vi.jpg

Some fitment of the bumpers needs to be taken care of before I prime it. It's too cold to paint where I live this week anyways. The chrome was less than spectacular too.

Front:

2-vi.jpg

3-vi.jpg

4-vi.jpg

I had to grind the headlight buckets to get the bumper up tighter to the body.

15-vi.jpg

I think the bumper fits a lot better. I may have to make more adjustments once the additional paint is added

11-vi.jpg

12-vi.jpg

13-vi.jpg

Rear:

8-vi.jpg

7-vi.jpg

10-vi.jpg

I just needed to sand the pin and the mating surfaces to get the rear bumper to fit.

09-vi.jpg

09_2-vi.jpg

09_1-vi.jpg

This is the steering wheel that comes with the kit. They filled the webs with a thin flash of epoxy to prevent breakage.

16-vi.jpg

Most every picture of a Dart Pioneer on the web has a steering wheel that looks like this:

5845e01002a0d7-vi.jpg

The one that comes in the kit seems to be more common to the base model Seneca, however I did find one Pioneer with this wheel.

174633_Interior_Web-vi.jpg

This is what the steering wheel should look like once finished: And upon closer inspection, this is a Pioneer. I can see the badge on the dash.

Dodge60sedan12-vi.jpg

I carefully cut the flash away with a fresh #11 blade in my scalpel.

17-vi.jpg

We are supposed to have warmer weather this coming week, so hopefully I can start painting the primer and see what visible flaws need correcting before color goes on.
 

 

 

Edited by THarrison351

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent job on the modifications and especially on the steering wheel..The one you show was the power steering wheel they used in 1959 on the Custom Royal..The red one at the top was the power steering wheel on the Dart and upscale Polara models..Enjoy your build.  I have in my stash an Excel model of a 59 Custom Royal and an original screwed together 60 Dart that is brush painted..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, moparfarmer said:

Excellent job on the modifications and especially on the steering wheel..The one you show was the power steering wheel they used in 1959 on the Custom Royal..The red one at the top was the power steering wheel on the Dart and upscale Polara models..

Your information intrigued me, so I went to allpar,com to see if I could find any other information. "Deep-dish four-spoke steering wheel (optional with automatic transmissions)". Both the pictures I have with the included wheel are manual transmissions. The four-spoke has an automatic. Seeing how so few 1960 Darts have survived, I'm guessing the more utilitarian manual equipped models were sacrificed to the salvage yards and not kept. I did find a 1959 Dodge Royal with the steering wheel.

5912447794_160785acf8-vi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, not sure why a resincast model was moved from diecast and resincast models to regular models, but whatever. I'll update it in here now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weather was decent enough today, so I prepared everything for a coat of primer. Black for the chassis stuff, dash and steering wheel. White for the body and interior tub.

That will be all until this dries for a few days and I can see what flaws are on the body. So far, it looks very clean. It's the nicest looking resincast body or part I've ever seen. It's as smooth as a polystyrene part. Not rough like every other resin part including the parts (see chrome) in this kit.

BodyPrimed-vi.jpg

PartsPrimed-vi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, THarrison351 said:

Weather was decent enough today, so I prepared everything for a coat of primer. Black for the chassis stuff, dash and steering wheel. White for the body and interior tub.

That will be all until this dries for a few days and I can see what flaws are on the body. So far, it looks very clean. It's the nicest looking resincast body or part I've ever seen. It's as smooth as a polystyrene part. Not rough like every other resin part including the parts (see chrome) in this kit.

BodyPrimed-vi.jpg

PartsPrimed-vi.jpg

Every Modelhaus was always the very best quality as Don is a perfectionist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious as to why Don included the '59 Dodge steering wheel with this kit.

It is indeed the '59 steering wheel.

Maybe just oversight?

 

They were usually very good about including all of the correct parts in their kits and the original Johan '60 Dodge did have the correct wheel.

 

This is the interior of the Johan '59.

image.jpeg.973f34184e3f4e129a5832509414fbe8.jpeg

 

 

 

And the '60.

Sorry, not a very good photo, but it seems to be the only one that I have at the moment with a view of the steering wheel.-_-

image.thumb.jpeg.0c271f58549e265a41d264073148b68a.jpeg

 

 

 

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it was the standard wheel for the Dart. From what I can find on the web, the four spoke was optional with the automatic transmission. This kit was produced at the end of the existence of Modelhaus. My wife had to wait 8 months after ordering for it to arrive. It may have been the only wheel they had available. I know the chrome pieces that came with it are not quite as nice as some I had ordered around 10 years before. I'm very happy with the body. It looks almost perfect! Just a couple of pinholes at the bottom that were easily fixed with thick superglue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, THarrison351 said:

So, not sure why a resincast model was moved from diecast and resincast models to regular models, but whatever. I'll update it in here now.

Hey Tim,

I think our beloved diecast and resin section got raided and disbanded.   My stuff is all over now.   I'm disappointed, becuase my concentration is diecast now and I liked having a section dedicated to what I have or might like to have.  But not my sandbox, so have to live with it or find another diecast forum.   I know where one is, but not as happy with how it works as this one.  

Nice car, btw.  Will keep checking in if I can find it!   LOL

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, I know. I feel the same way Randy. I can remember in the past when plastic builders would question the point of diecast. I think that was the reason there was a separate section. I'll have to look where the what diecast did you get today thread went. That's one of my favorite threads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First picture found of my dad's Dart. My aunt sent in to me. That's her in front of it and color to boot. I can't really be sure, but I think the top might be solid red. My mom is still looking for any photos. She hasn't looked at them in years and can't remember where they might be. Some things I can see are different than the model. The little rubber bumperettes on the front bumper and the fins on the hubcaps.

609191940-vi.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2020 at 6:45 PM, THarrison351 said:

Yeah, I know. I feel the same way Randy. I can remember in the past when plastic builders would question the point of diecast. I think that was the reason there was a separate section. I'll have to look where the what diecast did you get today thread went. That's one of my favorite threads.

Yessir - I hope they put it back toghether.   I also liked seeing hte "what did you get today" thread.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/17/2020 at 7:17 PM, Geno said:

Oooo, I'll be watching this one Tim, I love the 60 Dodges.

Me too. I'm crazy about the '60-'61 Dodges (& MoPars in general). I purchased both HT & wagon versions of '60 & '61 Dodges from Modelhaus. I started the '61 Wagon years ago(very little progress) , a Polara that I plan to convert to a Dart Seneca to replicate one I once owned. My folks bought a new '61 Polara 4dr, red w/ a white top.

I was wondering if you plan to correct the speedometer? The "translucent" speedometer is, to me, one of the coolest features of these cars & I would like to figure out a way to better represent it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/22/2020 at 8:17 AM, randyc said:

Yessir - I hope they put it back toghether.   I also liked seeing hte "what did you get today" thread.  

Randy, everything is under Diecast corner. It's toward the bottom of the home page under the Community section.

Edited by Geno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2020 at 11:41 AM, #1 model citizen said:

Me too. I'm crazy about the '60-'61 Dodges (& MoPars in general). I purchased both HT & wagon versions of '60 & '61 Dodges from Modelhaus. I started the '61 Wagon years ago(very little progress) , a Polara that I plan to convert to a Dart Seneca to replicate one I once owned. My folks bought a new '61 Polara 4dr, red w/ a white top.

I was wondering if you plan to correct the speedometer? The "translucent" speedometer is, to me, one of the coolest features of these cars & I would like to figure out a way to better represent it.

 

No, no plans to correct the speedometer. I agree it is pretty cool, and my dad did talk about it when he was reminiscing about the car years ago. Other than the photos that end up in here, no one besides me will ever see this car except maybe my wife and son and they wouldn't know the difference.

I have been busy by doing some painting and a lot of research. My mom never has found photos, so I'm going to go off what I can see in the one I have, which looks like a solid red top.

I plundered through my stash of paint and decided Valspar gloss red was a pretty good match to my eye.  Plus it was relatively new. I did a thorough look over the body and sanded out what looked like any imperfections. I went over all the panel lines with a scribe to deepen them. Then I filled them with black paint and but another coat of primer on. I let that dry for a few days and sanded again with wet/dry 600 grit. Here is the result. A few bits in the paint, but overall I'm happy. Hard for the camera to photograph.

PaintedBody2-vi.jpg

PaintedBody1-vi.jpg

The rest of the parts are painted and I've stated detailing. The chassis and wheels are complete along with the bumpers and license plate. I went through my parts box and found an external and interior mirror. Made posts out of wire for both, along with an antenna.

PaintedParts-vi.jpg

PaintedParts1-vi.jpg

That's all for now. I need the red and black to cure some more before I can handle them.

Edited by THarrison351

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/24/2020 at 3:45 PM, Geno said:

Randy, everything is under Diecast corner. It's toward the bottom of the home page under the Community section.

Oh yeah, I found it.   Still be watching this one though.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Painted the dash a bit, and realized the Phoenix emblem is about 3 times as big as it should be, but it made it east to detail. Steering wheel is finished and I stuck the mirror on the dash. Not sure if it will clear the windshield once it's installed. Foiled the interior as I thought it would be needed. Too bad no one ever made decals for '60 Darts. I put the foil down because there was a prominent amount of silver in the inserts. I'm adding a thin wash of red on top and then I'll add a thin wash of black. I plan to lightly remove the raised edges exposing the silver. I don't know if it will work, but I'm going to try. Waiting on the red to dry. I also finished the door panels. They're not prototypically correct, but it's close enough. And what a pain they were with my shaky hands and blind eye.

 PaintedInterior1-vi.jpg

PaintedInterior2-vi.jpg

PaintedInterior3-vi.jpg

When I'm done painting, The seats and door panels will get a coat of acrylic dullcoat to knock down the shine.

Edited by THarrison351

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is looking great. That interior is just fantastic. I very nearly bought a Phoenix a few years ago.  I love the shape if these and very striking in red. I one I looked at was just out of my budget sadly.

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...