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1970 Chaparral Camaro Trans-Am - I started this project a few years ago and after doing the initial work to convert the front end to full bumper configuration it got shelved. With the prospect of the release of a full bumper kit I figured I would wait until I could get one of those before resuming this project. I have recently learned the release of the new kit has been significantly delayed apparently due to some tooling issues. This project is the last one on my list of started but not completed builds and I needed something to work on so I am back at.

2v2HYwWijximYT.jpg

Up front I managed to approximate the full bumper grill area by mounting the grill upside down. The small inner headlights were filled. The center section of the bumper started as 1970 Mustang piece. The parking light area under the bumpers were cut open and then filled.

2v2HYwW4MximYT.jpg

For the flared wheel-wells, I first cut of the stock lip. I then cut away the body to match the shape of the inner wheel-wells. To this I glued sheet styrene and then reattached the lip after which the whole area was puttied. The wheels and tires are from Replicas & Miniatures.

2v2HYwWTdximYT.jpg2v2HYwWYFximYT.jpg2v2HYwWRyximYT.jpg2v2HYwWPNximYT.jpg2v2HYwWkrximYT.jpg

 

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This will be cool to follow.  At some point I will build a Warren Tope T/A Mustang which would require some major body surgery like you have strarted on.  Just do not put a Ford engine in it.😁

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I'll be following.

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I remember a green 2nd Gen Camaro in a car mag around 1976. The flares were perfectly proportioned. It still has left an impression on me. I will be following your build.

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Phil...very clever work so far. I will be following this very closely. I have a resin body I got years ago...full bumper BTW, and just recently added the decals. Like your work on the flares and was wondering how I was going to do that.  Whose decals are you using?

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Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2020 at 1:17 PM, vamach1 said:

This will be cool to follow.  At some point I will build a Warren Tope T/A Mustang which would require some major body surgery like you have strarted on.  Just do not put a Ford engine in it.😁

 

20 hours ago, afx said:

I'll be following.

 

19 hours ago, Bills72sj said:

I remember a green 2nd Gen Camaro in a car mag around 1976. The flares were perfectly proportioned. It still has left an impression on me. I will be following your build.

 

51 minutes ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Phil...very clever work so far. I will be following this very closely. I have a resin body I got years ago...full bumper BTW, and just recently added the decals. Like your work on the flares and was wondering how I was going to do that.  Whose decals are you using?

Thanks guys, Did some sanding this morning and things look promising. Also did some parts chasing.  Have excellent set of detail photos from when it the car was for sale at Canepa Design.

Rich - I am going to use the Fred Cady decal set.

Edited by Phildaupho

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5 hours ago, Phildaupho said:

 

 

 

Thanks guys, Did some sanding this morning and things look promising. Also did some parts chasing.  Have excellent set of detail photos from when it the car was for sale at Canepa Design.

Rich - I am going to use the Fred Cady decal set.

Phil....thanks for the reply....I have the same set.  Somewhere.....in my archives....I have a bunch of photos of the real car when it was at Watkins Glen for the Trans Am reunion. When I find them I will post them here....with your kindly permission of course. 

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11 hours ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Phil....thanks for the reply....I have the same set.  Somewhere.....in my archives....I have a bunch of photos of the real car when it was at Watkins Glen for the Trans Am reunion. When I find them I will post them here....with your kindly permission of course. 

Thanks Rich - The more photos the better. A couple of very cool things about this car that are sort of hidden are the Smoky Yunick inspired under hood plenum induction system and the exhaust recessed into the underbody floor.

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Phil...these were the only pictures I could find. I know they were there another year and I had a lot of detail shots but two days of looking came to naught. I had to take a photo of  the pictures   since my scanner wouldn't co-operate. This was the days before I discovered digital cameras.   Sigh.....when you have all these cars in one place and only two rolls of film.  All shots were taken from atop the press tower.  Sorry to disappoint...at least I was there. DSC06989.JPG.e0c44a6582bc383e2d91f9891591cc32.JPG

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Phil,  If there are any detail-photos of the 1:1 that you might be seeking, please PM me with a list.  About 15+ years ago, I researched one of these 1:1 Jim Hall '70 Trans-Am Camaro's and found it was owned at that time by a California gentlemen that owned and vintage-raced  the original, #1 Jim Hall car.  Somehow, I found an email address for that gentleman, and I emailed him with a request for some detail-pics as I've planned this same 1/25-build since way-back-when.

A few days later several emails came to me with all the detail-shots I requested.  He was gracious enough to go out into his garage and shoot the pics himself, and answered some questions I had about the 1:1.  Now granted, the pics are of the car 30 years past its "racing days", but the car appeared to have had very few revisions and/or modifications made to it since its racing days.  I'd be happy to share any of these reference images with you, (or whomever might be interested in them), just PM me.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Rich Chernosky said:

Phil...these were the only pictures I could find. I know they were there another year and I had a lot of detail shots but two days of looking came to naught. I had to take a photo of  the pictures   since my scanner wouldn't co-operate. This was the days before I discovered digital cameras.   Sigh.....when you have all these cars in one place and only two rolls of film.  All shots were taken from atop the press tower.  Sorry to disappoint...at least I was there. 

Thanks Rich - That has got to be the best group gathering of Trans Am cars ever. I have been to a number of Vintage event where the Historic Trans Am group were participating but never saw then together like this, only spaced out on the grid. I have had a long time desire to have a scale grid of first era Trans Am cars but this Camaro is only the fourth one I have built but I do have the kits and parts to build 14 more. There are just too many other projects that interest me.

17 hours ago, '70 Grande said:

Phil,  If there are any detail-photos of the 1:1 that you might be seeking, please PM me with a list.  About 15+ years ago, I researched one of these 1:1 Jim Hall '70 Trans-Am Camaro's and found it was owned at that time by a California gentlemen that owned and vintage-raced  the original, #1 Jim Hall car.  Somehow, I found an email address for that gentleman, and I emailed him with a request for some detail-pics as I've planned this same 1/25-build since way-back-when.

A few days later several emails came to me with all the detail-shots I requested.  He was gracious enough to go out into his garage and shoot the pics himself, and answered some questions I had about the 1:1.  Now granted, the pics are of the car 30 years past its "racing days", but the car appeared to have had very few revisions and/or modifications made to it since its racing days.  I'd be happy to share any of these reference images with you, (or whomever might be interested in them), just PM me.

Thanks for the offer but I do have a very good collection of detail photos from when the car was for sale on the Canepa Design website. The last couple of days I have been studying those photos for modifications I have done to the chassis and floor. I also have the 1/32 Scalextric slot-car which is very good for checking 3-D dimensions of the body. Like its full scale counterpart it was not as good a racer as some of the other TA slot-cars. Hope to be able to post some update photos in the near future.

Excellent what the owner did for you. See my PM.

Edited by Phildaupho

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Posted (edited)

Greetings Phil,

One of the best digital archive finds would be those images captured and intended to accompany a review of the Chaparral Camaro effort during the running of the '70 Lime Rock Schaefer Trans-Am contest appearing within the pages of Sports Car Graphic magazine.  Maybe three of these showed up in said publication, but the whole set taken by Dave Friedman can be accessed through the Benson Ford Research Collection.  Attached is a link to the relevant race, although for exploring further, other images across the season and across relevant archives can be turned up.  Click on the photo to be taken to the collection; i.e. it looks odd, but appreciate the image functions as a link...

Just in passing, I'm working on a 1:18th diecast-based iteration of the same topic, hence an information exchange is offered from this quarter should you wish for such. In addition, I have the old Motor Racing Replica News feature so-themed. Nice work!

1970 Lime Rock Schaefer Trans-Am

Mike K./Swede70

Edited by swede70

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2 hours ago, swede70 said:

Thanks Mike - I sent you a private message before I saw this. Great historic photos.

 

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16 hours ago, swede70 said:

Greetings Phil,

One of the best digital archive finds would be those images captured and intended to accompany a review of the Chaparral Camaro effort during the running of the '70 Lime Rock Schaefer Trans-Am contest appearing within the pages of Sports Car Graphic magazine.  Maybe three of these showed up in said publication, but the whole set taken by Dave Friedman can be accessed through the Benson Ford Research Collection.  Attached is a link to the relevant race, although for exploring further, other images across the season and across relevant archives can be turned up.  Click on the photo to be taken to the collection; i.e. it looks odd, but appreciate the image functions as a link...

Just in passing, I'm working on a 1:18th diecast-based iteration of the same topic, hence an information exchange is offered from this quarter should you wish for such. In addition, I have the old Motor Racing Replica News feature so-themed. Nice work!

1970 Lime Rock Schaefer Trans-Am

Mike K./Swede70

What a spectacular treasure trove of photos!!  Thanks Mike!!

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On 6/6/2020 at 12:56 PM, Phildaupho said:

2v2HYwWD8ximYT.jpg

1970 Chaparral Camaro Trans-Am - I started this project a few years ago and after doing the initial work to convert the front end to full bumper configuration it got shelved. With the prospect of the release of a full bumper kit I figured I would wait until I could get one of those before resuming this project. I have recently learned the release of the new kit has been significantly delayed apparently due to some tooling issues. This project is the last one on my list of started but not completed builds and I needed something to work on so I am back at.

 

 

2v2HYwWijximYT.jpg

Up front I managed to approximate the full bumper grill area by mounting the grill upside down. The small inner headlights were filled. The center section of the bumper started as 1970 Mustang piece. The parking light area under the bumpers were cut open and then filled.

 

 

2v2HYwW4MximYT.jpg

For the flared wheel-wells, I first cut of the stock lip. I then cut away the body to match the shape of the inner wheel-wells. To this I glued sheet styrene and then reattached the lip after which the whole area was puttied. The wheels and tires are from Replicas & Miniatures.

2v2HYwWTdximYT.jpg2v2HYwWYFximYT.jpg2v2HYwWRyximYT.jpg2v2HYwWPNximYT.jpg2v2HYwWkrximYT.jpg

 

 

 

 

Cool build! Jim Hall cars! My dad took me to laguna seca to see a trans am race. 1970, it was the coolest thing ever. Met Jim Hall as a kid and he was really cool. Man the orange mustangs ,the dark blue cudas, lime green challengers, and amc javelins. And the white Camaros . My dad was into racing so he took me to a few events. Indy, can am, formula 5000, sprint, midgets , San Jose speedway hardtops. I was lucky to have seen some of these events back in the day. Love the work on your car. The flares and mini lights are cool. Great build. 

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Thanks Bruce Great story. I was always a fan and admirer of Jim Hall but did not see any of his cars in the flesh until he was honoured at the Monterey Historics maybe 15 years ago. I actually talked to Jim Hall briefly when I asked him to autograph a Chaparral  model I had built. I was kind of taken aback when he asked what model it was because it was a pretty good replica of a 2D but wanted to know the origin of the model because he would not sign anything by Exoto because they never got the legal rights to produce what were excellent diecasts 

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I managed to get quite a bit done before summer really kicked in regarding finalizing modifications but I did zero modelling for most of July. Lately I have managed to find the time to paint parts and do some assembly. More or less building from the ground up, the first order of business was getting the model up on its wheels and then installing the engine.

CHASSIS – I was surprised that I had two rear axles in the kit box. At some point I must have had the big block version because I had a tall rear spoiler so maybe the second axle came from that kit. It already has lowering blocks. It took a bit of study to figure out the best way to lower the front suspension. I was hoping I could simply reverse the spindles but they are offset so I had to drill new mounting holes inward on the lower A-arms. A neat feature of the car was that the exhaust pipes were recessed into the floor plan which I attempted to simulate. I did fabricate and add a fuel cell style gas tank which the restored car has but not sure if it was used back in the day. I also added a differential cooler and a skid plate under the oil pan.

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ENGINE – The kit engine did not require a lot of modification. I did have to find a belt and pulley assembly for a left-hand alternator. The air cleaner is from a Revell Deuce kit with a larger lower flange that will work with a yet to be fabricated hood induction system. The headers are from my parts box and sectioned to fit the chassis with additional aluminum tubing and simulated heat insulation wrap.

2v2HDzHANximYT.jpg

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To fabricate the under-hood induction arrangement, I first removed the stock radiator from the forward bulkhead and then added fill in structure that would serve as the air inlet to the hood and a mounting surface for the radiator sourced from the Revell Willys Street Rod. In order to get the shape of the under-hood air chamber I made a template using thin clear plastic which I transferred to sheet styrene. To get the dimensions of the sides of this structure I took measurements from narrow stripe of plastic placed longitudinally across the engine compartment to mimic the underside of the hood. Once the air chamber was formed, it was put in place on the engine with glue on the upper edge to locate it in the correct position on the under side of the hood. Another interesting under feature of this car is the location of the battery. Many other Trans-Am cars had their batteries relocated to the trunk for weight transfer to the rear of the car. The Chaparral Camaro’s battery was moved aft from the stock radiator bulkhead mounting but stayed within the engine compartment in a cubicle in the firewall and protruding into the passenger side of the interior.

2v2H4FnTGximYT.jpg2v2H4Fqv5ximYT.jpg2v2H4FnjWximYT.jpg

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Enjoying this build Phil.

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This build is really progressing nicely Phil! Your detailing and scratch-building is very impressive with its authenticity to the prototype. I’ve also been a fan of Jim Hall and his unique engineering approach to road racing. Looking forward to seeing your work in person! Cheers Misha

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5 hours ago, afx said:

Enjoying this build Phil.

Thanks JC. I always enjoy your builds too.

32 minutes ago, Misha said:

This build is really progressing nicely Phil! Your detailing and scratch-building is very impressive with its authenticity to the prototype. I’ve also been a fan of Jim Hall and his unique engineering approach to road racing. Looking forward to seeing your work in person! Cheers Misha

Thanks Misha. It has been interesting and fun zooming in on the great set of photos I have of this car and discovering aspects I cannot resist trying to duplicate on the model. Yes Jim Hall was on of the great racing car innovators and was unique in that he combined being an owner, a driver and a professional engineer.

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Posted (edited)

2v2HmKUHFximYT.jpgI have done some work on the body like removing the rain gutters and trim on top pf doors. I cut down the stock front spoiler to provide a mount for the "Lexan" spoiler. The rear spoiler was modified for fuel filler pipe, fuel tank overflow pipe and trunk securing pins. Mounting holes for the license plate were filled. The hood was drilled for hood pins. The body is almost ready for its first priming to check for final body work.

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If you want to see what the actual car is really like, it is definitely worth your while to check out this YouTube video of Tommy Dressy taking the restored Chaparral Camaro for a drive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dhh3JPGEEK8

Edited by Phildaupho

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Body looks good Phil particularly the flares.

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2v2HmAP5GximYT.jpg2v2HmAPz5ximYT.jpg

The interior required a fair amount of modification and fabrication. The rear seat was removed and other areas of the interior were filled and smoothed as required. I separated the door panels from the interior sides so they could be painted separately. The detail on the rear shelf was noted on a 1/32 slot-car but was difficult to see in other images I had however I figured it was worth replicating. The dash was considerably modified with a scratch-built gauge panel with Model Car Garage gauges and bezels. The toggle switches air bits of wire. The roll cage started as an assembly from Plastic Performance Parts but required a fair bit of modification for this application. Now that it is built, I can see it should be closer to the top of the windshield and a-pillars. The racing seat is a modified parts box piece with Modeller’s safety belts. The steering wheel is from a C3 Corvette with the spokes and centre smoothed. A strip of electrical insulating tape was added to the driver side floor as a heat barrier. The gas pedal was enlarged and both the clutch and brake pedals received “expanded metal [wire mesh] for better grip. The shift lever has a pinhead shift knob. I simulated the recess for the exhaust on the passenger side floor because it would be visible. 

The instructions indicate that the full interior should be secured to the floor pan before inserting into the body. Without gluing the side panels to the floor, I attempted to see if this was feasible. The body would have to be severely stretched to accomplish this. I would be worried of the flares cracking. Instead I first inserted the interior surround into the body. Meaning the door panels and rear shelf attached to the dash with the roll cage back bars through the former rear seat area. Then I installed the floor pan/chassis. It looks like I may have to trim the forward edge of the dash to provide clearance for the windshield.

2v2HmAPFLximYT.jpg

 

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