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1970 T/G Racing Jerry Titus Firebird Trans Am


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Greetings,

Sort of marooned within the plastic works in progress section, this is a stitched-in thread relating work on a 1:18th ERTL-based 1970 T/G Racing Jerry Titus Firebird Trans Am SCCA Trans-Am racer.  Staring down some very labor intensive projects across weeks given  COVID-19 movement restrictions, I'm trying to step up to a few of them. Noticed will be the rear flares that have taken literal form across the past few days.  

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A bit taste challenged in the wheel flare department, but in essence what I'm trying to reproduce.

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Still reducing the rear flare mass and subtly reshaping here and there, it's coming along.  The front flares reflect older application, and constitute cast resin brows grafted into a filed out standard shell.

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The rain gutter trim has been ground off and flat, the cage is again scratch built.  Happily the A-pillar roll cage members terminate forward of the dashboard, this fact easing the task of fabricating such.

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Drilling through a thick Zamac shell to help house the countersunk refueling ports was no fun at all.  I applied stacked lengths of duct tape to prevent damage to the top surface when the drill bit used walked again and again.  Hood pins are GMP '67-'69 Penske Trans-Am Camaro, the fuel cap a Hwy. 61 '68 340 Dart item.  The instrument panel is incomplete, being a sheet plastic insert alone, while two steering wheels are combined given I had to grind off the honeycomb center trim while retaining the padded rim detail.   As seen, ERTL plastic 'glass' can be polished up to a nice shine.

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In brief, a Lane '68 Firebird Pontiac 400 engine has been fitted and dressed to suit, the radiator is a GMP '70 GTO Judge item, while other additions can be made out in white including discreet upper control arm detail, a remote oil filter mount, and a coolant surge tank situated along the firewall. Thanks...

Mike K./Swede70

 

Edited by swede70
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That's going to be a nice one.   I had so many plans for being at home during all this.   Got laid off, had to work two days the first week.  Then boss asked me to come back all the time.   I was in office for 3 weeks by myself, which was nice, but didn't allow all my plans to come to light.  At least you;re not going nuts being at home.   

Glad you;re working on something that is pretty darn cool.   MAybe sometime, you can get a race grid photo?  To see all your cars together?

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Thanks for the interest and the comments...

Trying to keep busy, although my sanding stick supply is at an end.  Resin dust everywhere, sneezing nonstop for periods too.  Oh gosh - seen below is work of another round of shaping and filing, and looking closer to finished - I hope!  Material has come off the top of each rear flare, while the inside circumference of each has been opened a bit as well.  Work of a day then.  Race grid photo to come in time ...

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Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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  • 4 months later...

Curious if you have an update to this project?  So far the layout looks excellent.  I am also curious what you used as the starting point for this project, I was unable to find an earlier thread where this was highlighted.

 

Thanks,

 Charles

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No trouble Charles...

The rear flares need to be rebuilt along the bottom front given I messed up the profile at bit; i.e. the shape is a bit stranger still in point of fact.  Mostly I'm finishing up major fabrication work across a few like-themed projects while I set about equipping myself to apply paint for an airbrush/ventilation setup in fairly tight quarters.  It seems I work in two directions; i.e. overhauling prepainted diecast topics and seeing such limited work to the end, or conversely, taking on something like this which seemingly has no end for having everything rethought.  

The model seen is the old 1:18th ERTL '70-'73 Firebird Trans Am, while others might go with the newer Welly '72 Trans Am tool.  The engine is a Lane Pontiac 400 unit lifted from the recent ACME '69 Daytona 24HR class-winning '68 Titus Godsall Firebird release - which is being overhauled too with a GMP small block engine, a scratch built roll cage and detail changes across the work.  

The original thread ties into a '64 Tempest/'71-season Gray Ghost Herb Adams/Bob Tullius thread which I'll try to insert below.  It'll show the pair of Gray Ghost projects (one in 1:25th scale resin), as well as the pair of Firebird projects consistent with relating what was attempted and how matters are going.  I'm deathly slow, although if some progress is clocked here and there I'm typically at peace with myself.  Thanks for your interest...

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/topic/139343-twin-herb-adams-71-scca-trans-am-64-tempest-gray-ghost-projects/?tab=comments#comment-2037077

Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Greetings,

Nothing major in terms of updates, although some additional parts have been cast/duplicated consistent with fleshing out this project and other GM Trans-Am projects quietly gathering steam.  I'd like to source a Lane '67-'68 Firebird differential, reproduce the scattershield scratch built for my '71-season Gray Ghost Tempest, while Delco-Moraine brake calipers are now possible given I recently made a mold for such.  I'm freshening up a trio of old GMP '67-'69 Trans-Am Camaro projects as well as nursing the ETRL-based '70 Chaparral Camaro project to life, hence anything of quality that can be spread across the builds carries me a bit closer to applying finishes and being done with these.  Thanks for your interest.

Mike K./Swede70

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  • 5 months later...

Greetings,

Finally working up the courage to bond the rear flares in place after having created urethane molds of the flares should anything go seriously wrong, here will be seen the body in primer.  Some small quirks and problems still need to be seen to, but mostly it's good.  

Negotiating out better custom decal art will form the next step, whereas it's an odd experience for me to just apply a bit of paint and noticing dramatic changes when my usual practice is to adjust, adjust and adjust which isn't nearly so transformative if the reader understands what I'm saying.  Soon the interior and chassis and roll cage will receive paint consistent with actually seeing one of my projects to a solid conclusion, and more in the way of good updates can be shared. Thanks...

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Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings,

A brief update this as I try to work up a reasoned accessory drive for the engine.  Seen would be a combination of GMP parts and other found items to turn the alternator, the water pump as well as a combined Bendix power steering pump that also generated either vacuum or hydraulic boost to the brakes (the operation of which is something of a mystery to me).  

The Lane/Exact Detail crank pulley was copied in resin and used to add a third groove to it, while a very thin harmonic balancer was further added and can be discreetly made out.  The stock alternator was removed from the Lane/Exact Detail Pontiac 400 V8, although enough of the mount was retained to situate the power steering pump as before.  Notice the water pump pulley as well as the power steering/power brake assist pulley is oversized consistent with underturning each in anticipation of sustained high RPM operation.  

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Also made out would be some refinements in relation to the air cleaner housing hitherto absent beneath the shaker scoop base and seal, while the carburetor and intake adapter plate situated beneath it is effectively out of sight.  Better exhaust headers are being plotted, while the wiring and plumbing required is being charted consistent with seeing matters through.  

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The last image uploaded relates somewhat futile efforts to shrink the panel gap between the back of the door(s) and each respective quarter panel for concerted tugging, pulling and twisting of the large dogleg hinge each door hangs upon.  Huge success wasn't registered for the effort, although things (maybe) look a bit better. Thanks for your review of this post.

Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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Updating in discreet measure, seen would be the result of efforts to remove the dreary cast-in front license plate mounts off of this period road racer...

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...before, with cast resin plugs seen employed to literally flush fill the headlamp installation in addition to the turn indicator recesses.  Another set have been cast, shaped and painted in anticipation of installing such in the final project shell situated to the right.  Notice too the extent of the front fender flares which otherwise are difficult to appreciate.

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...while after in the wake of considerable efforts to fill out and off the raised metal platforms and for filling the remains of the plate installation points with plastic rod stock and Microballoon filler.  Filing out the center mounting hole of the metal front valence/center spoiler element helps to better tuck in the same in relation to the surrounding panel work.  Thanks...

Mike K./Swede70

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings,

Trying if you will to work up a good transmission assembly for my '70 Titus Firebird, here would be isolated some likely spares to cast.  Derived from plastic sheet stock can be made out a scratch built Pontiac/Oldsmobile Lakewood explosion proof bellhousing, while the transmission case is a modified GMP item, the side cover a Lane/Exact Detail item.  U joints from the GMP Penske Camaro as well as a Lane/Exact detail differential will likely round out things.  Thanks...

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Mike K./Swede70

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  • 3 weeks later...

Greetings,

Small stuff in total, but here the molds for the transmission project applicable to the pair of Pontiac-powered SCCA Trans-Am projects maintained have been completed consistent with providing duplicates of what is judged necessary for each.  A GMP Penske Trans-Am Camaro Muncie M22 four-speed transmission was trimmed, ground and plugged where necessary to clean it up, while the side cover rendered on the same was ground flat.  The side cover in turn was sourced from a Lane '65 SS396 Chevelle engine assembly - itself a rereleased ACME item purchased apart from a complete model or tool.  The pair of Lakewood explosion-proof bellhousings, one intended to replicate a Pontiac/Oldsmobile spec., the other, a Chevrolet spec., were likewise prepared to produce a mold of each.  

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Given all the resulting resin parts were rendered separately, it's anticipated that painting such shouldn't prove all that hard.  A better clutch linkage is possible, as is a better shift linkage given I'm not modifying rare 1:18th spares at this point.  Slow progress - but progress all the same.  Thanks for your review of this post.

Mike K./Swede70

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  • 4 weeks later...

Greetings,

Modest stuff, but here the cast-in rear license plate otherwise attached to the rear bumper was carefully filed out, what unplated plastic showing through touched in with a Molotow chrome paint pen.  The ERTL rear bumper mounting pegs are fairly small and break easily, whereas the holes to accommodate the bumper installation on the back of the body shell are typically a bit large.  Taken together, the pegs break off, the rear bumper itself often positioned or hanging off at an angle affording the unit a rather low-rent look.

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...given the right tail light cluster wasn't pressed home with full force on this mock up view, the installation of the same seems a bit saggy.

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...nice to witness the rear bumper riding level though.

For a few hours spent, the rear bumper mounts were rebuilt with plastic rod stock, the holes on the shell carefully cleaned and drilled out to more or less match the size of the new mounting pegs worked up.  Some further putty application and final shaping was performed on the rear flares, while a better application of Tamiya Fine White Surface Primer helps along the back of the shell too.  

Moving along, another attempt at seeking out custom decal services consistent with bettering what was tried before with another vendor long ago likely comes next.  Oh - ACE Hardware Premium Paint/Primer Light Gray Gloss Enamel/1196401 seems a very good choice for the interior hue and will likely be used on my Penske Camaro and Javelin projects besides.  Kind thanks for your review of this project update...

Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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Amazing work, Swede.  Even in the primer white you start to get a sense for how great the final product will turn out.  The flares really turned out great!  The matte/flat paint does well to demonstrate the contours.  Thank you for the bumper advice also.  I will use that in my Titus project

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Thanks for the kind words, the continuing interest displayed...

Here a dive into my spares inventory reveals the outlines of a '70 T/G Racing Firebird, but rather in Laguna Seca spec. where homologation hiccups precluded the use of all the Trans Am model-specific aero aids, fender vents, the shaker hood scoop, etc.  The scale model represents what was first intended for the project, and what many casual vintage SCCA Trans-Am Series enthusiasts mistake for the season-long configuration of the topic given the heavy press coverage and volume of reportage and photographs taken at the California-situated track consistent with cementing such an impression.  

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If anything, embracing the bespoilered iteration evaded all the troubled suggested further up this thread given the amount of work that is required across the shell introduce at this stage.  In point of fact, seen below is my second attempt to achieve a certain result even at it initially took form as a '72 Formula 455 H.O. project now on hold.  Oh well - all the labor poured into the shell was in point of fact collecting dust given period racers intrigue more than replica stock projects for this enthusiast.  

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Appalling as it sounds, the cast-in rear wing was filed and sanded off entire across an extended period consistent with leaving no trace of its otherwise undeniable presence.  As before, the aerodynamic wheel arch spats were bent in just forward of the rear wheel arch opening - but so too the same situated up front.  The Trans Am-model specific fender vents were filed off and filled as required, while a previous effort to fashion a hood plug w/character line to match the same contour present on the hood 'stamping' serves nicely to replicate the quickly fabricated sheet metal patch panel required in the wake of the unsettling Chief Steward tech. inspection judgement handed down to the team at the first race of the '70 season.  

Repeating past choices backed if you will by research, four GMP '67-'69 Penske Camaro 'rear' tires are employed on all corners, power steering and brakes fitted, an early iteration of the Bendix Hydroboost system employed to actuate such.  Resin Minilite wheel faces of my own (more or less) creation mesh to essentially stock ERTL second generation Firebird Trans Am mounts. The expected abbreviated side pipe installation exists, albeit these are off this particular iteration right at present. 

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Across days the front wheel arch opening profiles were enlarged along the bottom both forward and back, while efforts to better vent the rear flare molds created from what was glued to my '70 Mid-Ohio project shell ought to appear identical.  The rear track will grow should the flare molds produce that which I want.  The dreary cast-in side window weather seals will further be filed out, the raised trim filed flat.  Lastly (well - at least thus far as my focus shifts yet again!  Sigh...), the door top trim/contour has been filed and sanded off, the holes seen politely asking to be plugged consistent with facilitating their disappearance.  Thanks for your review of this dual-project update...

Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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Greetings...

Here the '70 Laguna Seca iteration receives a pair of rear flares laboriously patched and shaped from substandard castings recently poured.  The otherwise clumsy mounting points on each door for the exterior rear view mirrors as well as the door handles have been discreetly filled, hopefully to vanish from sight forthwith.  More noticeable, the grille surrounds have been painted Testor's Model Master Magnesium, while Tamiya Panel Black was employed to touch in the grille mesh to suggest perforations.  Continuing and barely made out would be the abbreviated side pipes seen every now and again across the '70 SCCA Trans-Am series on these cars, cobbled together from solid rod stock and ancient ERTL Cobra 427 SC parts.  

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Also made out would be the painted Minilite wheels, sprayed with obsolete Model Master Nassau Blue Metallic Lacquer No. 28128. Two and half cans of the latter were picked up at a hobby show this past weekend, hence my favorite Pontiac hue for the '69 and dual '70 T/G Firebird projects isn't at immediate risk of being exhausted.  Lastly, the engine-tuned applique instrument panel vanishes, to be replaced with a simple fill panel in lieu of aluminum gauge rings and instrument decals being added to the same - in time.  Not much to see in total perhaps, but evolving just the same.  Thanks...

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Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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Thanks for the kind notice...

Here the cast-in side window weather stripping as well as the raised rain gutter trim was alternately filed off or sanded flat.  Metal files, emery boards, sanding paper teamed with body shop rubber sanding blocks was employed to very laboriously take control of matters here.   In addition, the trunk panel openings were scribed across the area where the rear spoiler had been sanded off, the front wheel arch openings were radiused slightly, and finally, the top of front fenders as they merge with the base of the windshield were filed down a bit even as they require further work.  Hardly noticeable in sum even as all of the above took time and created considerable debris.  Thanks... 

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Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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Thanks for looking in and all the continued encouragement!

Sometimes I overlook the obvious as a stumbling block, and here I finally tossed out all my sandpaper scraps, purchased anew and employed proper dense rubber sanding blocks to rebuild and recontour the front fenders.  Air extractor vents were previously filed down and hidden under an application of putty, albeit the surface contour achieved wasn't exactly impressive.  Needless to say the results discernible below are far better, while so too the doors which have had the perforations to site the exterior mounted rear view mirrors and clumsily rendered exterior door latches plugged and finished off smooth.  I appreciate your review of this update...

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Mike K/Swede70

Edited by swede70
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Greetings,

Witnessed are a pair of refueling ports drilled through the quarter panels in deliberate stages.  Far less painful an experience versus what was encountered the first time around on the '70 Mid-Ohio iteration, here the work was done fairly quickly.  The flares on the back stand to be bonded and blended into position next. Thanks...

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Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70
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