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Lamborghini Hellcheetah


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Base kit is the Otaki Lamborghini Cheetah, a basic motorized model that is sort of collectible.  This vehicle was a prototype that Lamborghini created, in the hopes of landing a US military contract, several were built, only one survived.  It had a Chrysler V8, not a Lamborghini engine, so I thought it would be wicked to sort of stay authentic with the Dodge Hellcat engine.

There is some good reference material, a few of the most useful photos I'll post up front.  Suspension was torsion bars.  Looks like they made the bell housing going down to the transmission.  What I don't see is a radiator, fuel tank(s), exhaust, so will have to make that up.

Found this on eBay, since the box is damaged from either insects or water, and the instructions were missing, got a relatively good deal.  This Cheetah thread is how ChrisR saved my butt with the instructions.  Not going to use the motor, lights, or roof rack.

I got the box scanned, and a copy done in B&W at 10%, so I could draw the plan.  Many aftermarket parts are rounded up, have more coming.

Iceman Collectibles Hellcat engine, got two, plus his VR6 engine.

Today (10/10/2020) I had to start!  This is unusual for me, to quick assemble the major parts to see how it goes together, good thing I did.   First off, the parts (not including the electrical pieces):

Typical motorized simple chassis.  First part to glue on was the top "A arms" part.  First time using the sprue cutter, ironic the handles are orange!

Interior tub is stuck together.

Engine cover put on, tub set in place.   Obviously the battery compartment will be cut out.

Already not liking the interior, it's shallow for the wiring and switches, that needs to be modified.

At this point I see the shortcomings, the engine cover does not come all the way down, the roll cage interferes with the dash, and the tub has no positive locators so it has about 1/4" room for error.IMG_0272.thumb.jpg.e9888c98f0200fd88ea2c6f43248234c.jpg

I'm going to put Countach taillights in, since they are industrial looking anyway, they should look 100% better than the kit units.   Another shortcoming is the windshield does not go all the way down.  The canvas top has a nice texture, but I'm putting in photo-etch mesh, I see some sort of brace telegraphing a shape, so will put in another tube on the cage.

I see one thing that is shouting at me, the side grills do what?  There is a ton of interior tub work to do, as expected.

So it's not like I don't have any unusual WIP waiting, like the  Mercedes G666 BenutzerdefiniertHinterntretenJadgAktenvernichterGeländewagenLimousine and  Auto Union C - Vanderbilt Cup 1937.  ?

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12 hours ago, slusher said:

Looking really good Kurt, very unique!

Appreciate it.  I like weird stuff.  ?

11 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Great to see such an obscure kit being built with some thought and attention to detail. The modifications look like they'll work well.

Good luck with it!

Thank you.  Details can make or break a model, I could use all the luck there is.

1 hour ago, dino246gt said:

I'm excited to watch this as I'd LOVE to have that kit and totally make it more detailed. Enjoy the build and keep us up to date! Ciao.

Don't get too excited, I've been busy with other things so progress might move like molasses is winter.  There are some on eBay, but the prices.... ?

1 hour ago, iamsuperdan said:

Love the subject matter. Looking forward to seeing how this turns out. :)

No more than me! ?

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Great project Kurt.  I remember seeing these in the auto magazines but never read the articles. I always thought they had a Lambo engine. Now it makes sense,  since at the time Chrysler owned Lamborghini.  The hellcat engine is a great choice and looks awesome, but if it were me I would go for a Lambo V-12...jus sayin'......<G>

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/15/2020 at 10:19 AM, Dann Tier said:

Love this vehicle, AND kit...looks like a blast!!!...really looking forward to it, Bud!!!   Its gonna be one HELL-of-a-Masterpiece!!!!

Thank you for the support!

On 10/17/2020 at 1:26 PM, Randy D said:

This will be fun following :)


Thank you.  I see you sell Fireball products, so I'm looking forward to using what I got.

On 10/17/2020 at 2:45 PM, Rich Chernosky said:

Great project Kurt.  I remember seeing these in the auto magazines but never read the articles. I always thought they had a Lambo engine. Now it makes sense,  since at the time Chrysler owned Lamborghini.  The hellcat engine is a great choice and looks awesome, but if it were me I would go for a Lambo V-12...jus sayin'......<G>

Will see, if I can pull it off.  Not that much room for the V12, unless it's sideways.  I was surprised about the engine too when I did research.

On 10/17/2020 at 3:27 PM, cobraman said:

Interesting kit.

Not bad for a motorized toy.  ?

On 10/18/2020 at 7:14 AM, ChrisR said:

Kurt the front post of the roll bar glues to the body, same as the back ones, and won't interfere with the dash.

I temporarily did goop to the body, just to mock up.   Thank you very much for the instructions, printed out.  Also thanks for the pictures.

On 10/18/2020 at 12:26 PM, tooltime-fan said:

this will indeed be an interesting build again. 

I have one of these rare kits too, unfortunately one without hat cool roofrack. Will you use yours?

I don't do boring what everyone else builds.  ?  I was not planning to use it, PM me your address.  The Jetbag rack will be used instead.

On 10/23/2020 at 6:05 AM, Mattilacken said:

Cool car I am following! 

Pull up a comfy couch, you might be taking naps waiting. ?

On 10/23/2020 at 11:04 AM, Jantrix said:

that goes double for me.


No progress, other than getting parts, will take a picture of them as a group.  So far, Scale Motorsport 4-point seatbelts and Leopard decals, USCP photo-etch hood pins, Fireball Motorworks LED lights and farm jack.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Geez, over a month since I broke plastic! ?  Time flies, too distracted with work and stupid stuff.  I've been looking at it, and scheming what and how to make a mountain out of a molehill.  Drew a basic plan and sections to figure out the suspension.  I'm not going full out detail, just enough to look more realistic than the kit, will paint black so no point to do fine detail.  I see ORVs usually have colorful suspensions, but will resist.  Took reference pictures to get some ideas.  Doing shocks will be fun, have lots of springs to choose from.  No it won't work!  Might not have rotating wheels (nothing like a model rolling off the table and hitting the floor), but want keep steering.  Also considering adding disk brakes.  The CV boots will be fun. ?

Made a wood jig, had reasonable success on the Porndy:

First thing to butcher was removing the electric motor hump, using the hot-wire.

Since I am going to the trouble, will jack up a little.

Time to make sausage, cut up the interior, so the floor can be lowered, and the back opened up for the engine.  Used saws and the Tamiya scriber.  Have a bunch of work to do, such as filling the gaps behind the back seats.

Never had this before, a new pet peeve, used the Dremel.

The more I look at this orange plastic, the more I'm thinking......... ?


Edited by 89AKurt
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Stole about an hour from Turkey Day, to work on the Iceman Collections engine.  I had washed it really well, and set on the window sill to allow the sun's UV rays to help cure it, seemed to be soft before.  Used the sanding stick to "mill" the mating surfaces.

Applied just two little drops of superglue for each piece, so it could be disassembled, which was required a few times.  No instructions, only had the pictures from the eBay listing.  Not sure if the heads are correct, Common Sense says top is always the top, rotate 180 degrees for the other side.  Figured the supercharger had to go on first, then noticed a larger lip on the head needed to go on the bottom, so the top parts fit tightly.  There are no locating pins, so eyeballing three sides when gluing on is the trick.  The pulley assembly is two parts, lined up the crank pulley first, the rest fit together well.

First time in the car, what am I doing?!?  I thought about the headers getting switched, but would hit the pulleys, so have to stick with "normal", but I may make new headers that meet in the middle and aim level to the sides, not straight down.

Quick Dremel grinding of the firewall, looks like more will be required.  I should look at how Ken Block's Hoonicorn Mustang got the driveshaft and differential done, this is a similar situation.

The right wheel well should be moved in to match the gear side.  Might have to dream up a lever action shock setup.

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22 hours ago, Belugawrx said:

I like this..missed the start...I'll grab a cold drink and settle in

Looking good Kurt

You haven't missed much!

21 hours ago, Italianhorses said:

Hell yeah.


21 hours ago, slusher said:

Great job on the engine looking forward to seeing you hook it up....

Appreciate it!  Yea, no more than me.  It's going to be fake it until I make it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Project is parked, this wasn't even on my 2020 Resolutions list, so getting the Auto Union done, hopefully before the end of this year.

Not that I'm totally ignoring it!  Was looking through some books, found this in World Cars (an annual issue, have 3 years), the #1 prototype, good shot of the roll cage under the body and antenna:

This looks like the prototype for what we know as the LM002 (Le Moo Two), has the same tires but different wheels.  Note the taillights and front turn signals that the Countach has.  I'm digging the headlights, which reminded me that the Toyota Celica has similar size rectangle headlights, so I dug them out and contemplated..... the kit's headlights are lousy and would need improvement anyway.

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