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'70 Grande

1/25 1961 USAC Impala (circa 1965)

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These are some in-progress shots of my 1961 Chevrolet Impala USAC race car project.  Building this fictitious race car at the end of its racing career in 1965, weathered and worn after having battled on the USAC dirt & paved tracks of the Midwest like Milwaukee, Indianapolis Raceway Park and others.  Next steps are removing trim and applying battle-damage to the body.  Appreciate any build-suggestions you might have to improve this build.

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Edited by '70 Grande

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Great project Mark. Since you asked: I would think the Chevy X-frame would require bracing/reinforcement when used in a race car.  However I don't know this to be the case.

Edited by afx

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AFX... A very good point that is unclear to me. I believe Nascar and/or USAC cars of the early-1960's would have been pretty much factory-stock for their frames and such; around 1964/65 was when those components would have started being upgraded/revised/strengthened. 

I also remember reading somewhere that this era of GM X-frames were incredibly strong and solid, even tho they visually look like they'd really twist and flex when going round dirt track corners! 

My research thus far hasn't provided me with many answers... anyone here have any thoughts on this reinforced-X-frame topic for a mid-1960's Chevy race car?

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Yes, I did scratchbuild the back seat structural panels to my own design as I couldn't find good reference pics on how this area truly looks on a 1:1.

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41 minutes ago, '70 Grande said:

Yes, I did scratchbuild the back seat structural panels to my own design as I couldn't find good reference pics on how this area truly looks on a 1:1.

Looks great!!!

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Here is Gurney's BTCC car during restoration (for what it's worth) -  it does not appear to have much in the way of additional reinforcement.  Of course IIRC rules at the time for BTCC didn't even allow a roll bar/cage to be installed. It does have a Panhard bar installed on the rear axle however.

 

Edited by afx

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Couple of not-so-good in-quality progress pics...  engine is mounted into chassis.  Second shot shows the already-painted hood in the paint color the rest of the body will be in, (but I'm thinking of keeping the roof in plain ol' White).

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Back on this project; added battle-damage to the body and have it in its final coat of paint.  Next will be the final weathering to the inner-body areas that show, then putting the sub-assemblies together and installing the wheels/tires and bumpers, then decals and final-weathering.  Comments and/or suggestions always welcome!

 

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Edited by '70 Grande

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Very fine looking build.  Love those old full size racers.  Looks like this one has been "nudged" out of the way a couple of times.  As far as frame reinforcement I cannot add anything official or constructive, other than I would be concerned about those down-bars punching through the floor in a violent rollover.

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Got her up-on-all-4's.  Now onto the final decal, weathering and finish work... comments and/or suggestions always welcome!

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