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Dennis Lacy

1937 Ford Sedan Retro Rod

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Started a new project today based on Monogram's 1987 original release of their 1937 Ford Sedan. This and the first reissue (both molded in orange) had some unique parts that never returned in later issues and versions (Convertible and Coupe) such as the optional hot rod louvered hood top and sides, early style  Boyd Coddington "billet" wheels and separate plated mufflers. The first two orange Sedan issues also also featured an out of place dropped beam front axle. Out of place considering the small block Chevy engine with automatic trans and Corvette style independent rear suspension. Starting with the follow up Convertible issue and all later issues the kit was upgraded with an aftermarket style independent front suspension. So there will be some mixing and matching going on here to create a chassis that makes sense. The style of the car is going to be "traditional" on the outside and under the hood with the contemporary fully independent 4-wheel disc brake chassis. A huge departure for me and my usual style of car but the chassis on these kits is quite nicely done and I don't feel like going to the lengths needed to backdate it by 60 years.

I started by getting the frame assembled (the front suspension cross member and center "X" pieces are separate) which required over an hour of clean up removing mold lines and ejector pin marks before any glue was applied. The white frame comes from a more current Coupe bodied issue which has the independent front suspension.

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I will be using the kit supplied small block Chevy engine and auto trans as a foundation. It has been kit-bashed with the Weiand Drag Star intake from Monogram's old '30 Woody with the nicely detailed Stromberg style carburetors from Revell's first issue of their '29 Roadster which had the Buick engine. The Cal Custom style valve covers and finned trans pan and chrome oil filter come from Revell's current '29 Roadster issue which has the small block Chevy this time around. Up front the belt drive comes from Revell's Stacey David '32 Rat Roaster and I added a crank pulley face taken from another belt drive. I chose this for it's down low alternator location so there would be no interference with all those carburetors. I also cut off the molded fuel pump and added a separate, better detailed pump. The kits block-hugger style headers were replaced with classic rams-horn manifolds from an 80's issue Monogram '32 Roadster but i reattached the kits exhaust lead pipes to them. 

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If you look closely at the motor mounts on the frame you'll see that I added .020" material to the inside surfaces. The motor was a loose fit between the mounts so adding the material makes for a precise, no slop fit. 

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The motor sitting in the frame shows that the alternator and fuel pump don't interfere with the front cross member and the modified exhaust fits nicely, too.

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Lastly, here's the '37 Sedan body with it's optional louvered hood top and sides. Also seen is the firewall with the original mounting holes for the brake master cylinder and ignition box filled in. I'll be mounting the master cylinder down on the frame.

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That's all for now. Next I'll be modifying the spindles and rear end to mount the traditional wheels I've chosen and also include disc brake detail which these kits never had (except with the optional BIG wheel option the last couple of Coupe issues had.)

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Excellent work so far, I look forward to seeing it progress.

This sort of attention to detail might have helped me to ensure the early one I first built in the '90s, and rebuilt just recently, would have gone together better.......

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Well planed out looking build. I appreciate the back information on your parts sources.   

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Another awesome build in progress - I’ll be watching! ?

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On 7/26/2020 at 10:44 PM, Spottedlaurel said:

Excellent work so far, I look forward to seeing it progress.

This sort of attention to detail might have helped me to ensure the early one I first built in the '90s, and rebuilt just recently, would have gone together better.......

Thanks! I built one back in the early 90’s, too. I was 11, maybe 12 and it’s actually one of my favorite kits from my childhood. I have another that some day I plan to build box-stock for old times sake. 

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On 7/27/2020 at 7:40 AM, espo said:

Well planed out looking build. I appreciate the back information on your parts sources.   

Thanks. I always try to mention my sources on the chance it’s helpful to others. 

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UPDATE!

I modified the Corvette rear and front spindles (optional lowered rear and dropped spindles found in the last couple of Coupe issues) by grafting on the brake and wheel mounting hubs from the axles in any of Revell's 1932 Ford kit series. I had to cut 1/16" off of the ends of the rear and the spindles to correct the track-width. These '37 Ford kits for all of their good detail had no brake detail at all (except for the latest Coupe issues with the optional big wheels) so now it will have matching disc brakes front and rear.

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The wheels I've chosen are a set of shallow and deep resin Halibrand's from Drag City Casting which drop right into the Modelhaus black resin tires. I had actually set these up to be a direct fit to a Revell '32 kit for one of my previous projects but then changed my mind during the build. I love the way they look under this '37 and are why I set the mounting up on the spindles and rear the way that I did above. I grafted in the hubs and spokes from the Revell '32 inner wheel halves and the inner rims are AMT sanded to the perfect depth.

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Test fitting the front and rear brakes and they just fit inside the inner rims!

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I'm not a fan of tailpipes sticking out past the bottom edge of the body on  any car and especially in this case where there will be no bumper/brackets so I removed 1/4" of pipe to tuck them back under the car where they belong.

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I stuck the rear wheels on to check the fit width-wise and ended up redoing the brake/wheel hubs to suck them in another 1/16" as things were a bit too wide. I'm very happy with the tire tuck. (Note: This Corvette rear is the optional lowered version found in the last couple of Coupe issues which significantly lowers the car compared to older issues of the '37 kit series.)

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This is going to be the actual rear height. Unfortunately the front suspension is so fiddly that there's no good or easy way to mock it up so I simply stood a front wheel and tire up under the fender just show what the wheels look like on the car.

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Another thing I did was build a new driveshaft. I used the far better detailed u-joints from Revell's '29 and '30 kits and some 1/8" Evergreen rod. Better detail, no mold seams and the shaft is actually round!

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To end the day I went back to the engine and fit a Spalding Flamethrower dual coil distributor from AMT's parts pack Pontiac engine and then fabricated a dual coil assembly from bits of Evergreen styrene. The distributor and coil have been drilled to accept wires after they're painted.

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Edited by Dennis Lacy

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Great to see it progressing in this way, the changes and upgrades are working really nicely.

I wish I'd paid more attention to the ride height on mine. Even back when the kit was new in the late '80s, the way it builds OOB doesn't really reflect what people were doing at 1:1.

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Love this Dennis. I am building a sedan myself. I am using 18 inch wheels and I've lowered my more by relocating the rear and shortening the front shocks

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Always enjoy your builds Dennis.

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Another great project! Love the motor. A question, do you pin your parts together or use some type of glue? I notice you pretty much build everything sans paint and then disassemble to paint. 

 

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21 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Great to see it progressing in this way, the changes and upgrades are working really nicely.

I wish I'd paid more attention to the ride height on mine. Even back when the kit was new in the late '80s, the way it builds OOB doesn't really reflect what people were doing at 1:1.

Thanks again! I remember back in the day loving the detail of the kit but being really disappointed by the stance. I ended up breaking the chassis loose then building a replacement where I carved out the front cross member and sank the spring into it and then did some carving on the back of the frame to move the Vette IRS up into the frame. Finally,  nearly 10 issues later they finally addressed the stance in the last 2 Coupes! Haha

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16 hours ago, Limeyglue said:

Love this Dennis. I am building a sedan myself. I am using 18 inch wheels and I've lowered my more by relocating the rear and shortening the front shocks

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That’s looking awesome! Where do the wheels and tires come from?

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6 hours ago, Rocking Rodney Rat said:

Bring it on!!!! I love the fat fendered action going on the bench....now that I'm back from vacay, I need to get back on my hot rod build.... -RRR

Fat Fenders need love, too! ?

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30 minutes ago, larman said:

Another great project! Love the motor. A question, do you pin your parts together or use some type of glue? I notice you pretty much build everything sans paint and then disassemble to paint. 

 

Thanks and thanks!

 I do both. I use various sizes of Evergreen styrene rod or small sewing pins depending on the size of the part. If pins aren’t practical I also use little dots of white glue which pulls apart effortlessly and the glue film just rubs off. 
 

I pin as many parts as possible. The pins ensure that parts go back together in final assembly the same way they fit during construction/mock up, give a discreet area to apply glue and are far more sturdy.  Sometimes there’s enough paint on everything that the pins become an interference fit.  

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9 hours ago, Dennis Lacy said:

That’s looking awesome! Where do the wheels and tires come from?

Hi Dennis they came from C1 models but he doesn't make them anymore 

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UPDATE!

This is turning out to be a pretty simple project by my standards so I've already been able to get all of the chassis and engine components in finished paint. Here's a few photos of where I'm at now:

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Currently working on getting the frame cleaned up and painted + some minor interior modifications and body work clean up. 

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I am enjoying the build. I hope to do something similar to the coupe.

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Nice. I like the mixing and matching of parts, there's always something I pick up from watching builds like this:)

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Looking good!

Hey, quick question for you Dennis: if the finned parts from the '29 roadster re-issue (with SBC) fit the Monogram block, then why not just....use the SBC out of the '29 kit?

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5 hours ago, Spex84 said:

Looking good!

Hey, quick question for you Dennis: if the finned parts from the '29 roadster re-issue (with SBC) fit the Monogram block, then why not just....use the SBC out of the '29 kit?

I actually only ended up using the transmission pan. If you look at the painted engine parts I changed to Corvette valve covers from Revell’s ‘62 stock Vette kit. The mounting points are enough different between the two kits that it wouldn’t have made sense to change the whole engine and trans just to end up with the same thing, a SBC and auto. And the ‘37 kits engine is detailed quite well. 

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