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mrmike

NCIS 1971 Dodge Challenger R/T

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My newest project is a car that has not been seen since Season 7 Episode 15 of the long running TV series NCIS.  The Challenger has only been seen a couple of times with its last appearance in the Season 7 episode "Jack-Knife".  This Challenger has a 426 Hemi engine, rear deck wing spoiler, Rallye wheels and blackwall tires.  There is very little known about this car, so I am using some creative license building this.  The Challenger was first seen near the end of Season 6 Episode 4 Heartland.  

I am using the AMT/ERTL kit #6466 for this build and I am replacing the shaker hood with the dual scoop hood, much of the chrome since it looks like it was dragged through sand before being chrome plated and I am using the Revell 426 Hemi from the recent issue '70 Hemi 'Cuda, Rallye wheels and a rear deck wing spoiler from my parts box.  I sanded off the texture on the roof and glued it on.  I assembled the 426 Hemi engine and mocked it up to the chassis for a prefect fit.  The body will be painted with Tamiya TS-16 Yellow with a black interior and the engine will be painted with Mopar Street Hemi Orange Engine Paint.  The decals will be a combination of the kit decals and Keith Marks decals.

More NCIS to come...

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I'll enjoy watching this, is McNally involved ? 

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I'm not familiar with the TV show, let alone the car you intend to replicate, so I have a question or two.  The title says you're building a '71, but won't using that AMT kit require a resin '71 grille (assuming there is one)?  

My Challenger's still sitting in the box 'cuz I can't figure out a good solution to that misshapen roof.

Edited by Monty

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39 minutes ago, espo said:

I'll enjoy watching this, is McNally involved ? 

Thanks David!  McNally is not involved with this one.  Sorry!

47 minutes ago, Monty said:

I'm not familiar with the TV show, let alone the car you intend to replicate, so I have a question or two.  The title says you're building a '71, but won't using that AMT kit require a resin '71 grille (assuming there is one)?  

My Challenger's still sitting in the box 'cuz I can't figure out a good solution to that misshapen roof.

 The car looks like  1970, but the series writers called it a 1971.  I'm sticking with the 1971 model year.  For all I know, Jackson Gibbs (the main character's father) could have rebuilt the car for his son, but he couldn't source a 1971 grille and he went with a 1970 grille and taillights instead.  I believe that Harts Parts has a 1971 grille available.  The roof does look somewhat misshapen, but I am not going to worry about it.  I glued the roof on and will putty the C pillars and the windshield gaps to make it look seamless.  I've done that before years ago with another AMT '70 Challenger that I built.

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Yup watch every episode of NCIS and recognize the challenger your planning 

Looking forward to your build 

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Thanks Jeff!

Thanks guys!  I had this kit and I wondered what to do with it, especially with a shaker hood scoop.  I had watched an episode of NCIS on USA network called Jack-Knife and I knew what and how to build the Challenger as.  I knew I had the extra parts in the parts box that I needed and I can make this one.  I have my suspicions about the 1:1 car used.  The first one used in Heartland has the 426 Hemi scripts on the hood and the one used in Jack-Knife does not and the paint is a different shade of yellow.

I got out my Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty and I puttied the roof joints.  Then I got out the rear deck wing spoiler and assembled the stanchions to the spoiler and set it aside to dry.

More NCIS to come...

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I never noticed it before, but the licence number on Gibbs' Challenger is the same as Jim Rockford's Firebird!!!

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Looking great , @mrmike!  I've been toying with the idea of getting that same AMT Challenger , plus the 1973 conversion pieces from Harts , and making a replica of the (doomed) "1973" Challenger from the original Gone In 60 Seconds ( a/k/a "Jill" ) .

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15 hours ago, 64Comet404 said:

I never noticed it before, but the licence number on Gibbs' Challenger is the same as Jim Rockford's Firebird!!!

You are right!  Both are the same, just different states.

Thanks Ken, John and Carl!  

Edited by mrmike

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I love having Acme License Plate Maker.  I'm able to print just about any license plate I need.  Here's a picture of the license plate from Gibbs '71 Challenger R/T that I made.

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Edited by mrmike

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Love the 1970/71 Challengers.  I got to help my friend build his 383 back in 74/5.  He asked "what can I do to make it go faster?" I made some suggestions and it evolved from tarantula manifold with 750 Holley to the tunnel ram set up below.  He liked the green and gold block with red headers.  Too christmasy for me but hay it was his car.  I always liked the Challenger front pan better than the Cuda.

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Edited by Big John

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Nice Challenger your friend has/had, John.

After letting the Bondo dry for several days, I started sanding this morning.  More sanding is needed to remove the sanding marks from a 120 grit sanding stick and then a coat of primer.

More NCIS to come...

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Mike, in the series, did Gibbs ever describe it as a '71? The only character I remember describing it as a '71 was Fornell (right after he grounded the chassis when driving into a gas station at speed!). All the R/T badging, stripes, and front and back treatment mark it as being a '70. Just curious...  

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4 hours ago, 64Comet404 said:

Mike, in the series, did Gibbs ever describe it as a '71? The only character I remember describing it as a '71 was Fornell (right after he grounded the chassis when driving into a gas station at speed!). All the R/T badging, stripes, and front and back treatment mark it as being a '70. Just curious...  

I believe that Tobias Fornell had mentioned that the Challenger was a '71.  If he had mentioned it, the episode writers must have written it as such or actor Joe Spano was adlibbing.  I have seen the Challenger listed elsewhere on the internet as a 1970 and a 1971.  I have decided to go with the 1971 as it was said in the episode.

BTW, I have all 17 seasons on DVD, but I wished I had Ice Queen and Meltdown from JAG.  These are considered "backdoor pilots" for NCIS and I can't justify buying a complete season just for two episodes.  

Edited by mrmike

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15 hours ago, Big John said:

The grill is definitely a 70.

Yes.  It is.

It was suggested that I remove the rain gutter moldings while I sanded the texture off the roof and replace the moldings with thin strips of styrene.  I started knowing that I didn't have enough .010 X .030 strips for all the windows in the Challenger.  A trip to the Hobby Emporium in on the adjenda for today to get some supplies.

More NCIS to come...

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Armed with my new package of 0.10 X .030 Evergreen styrene, I added new moldings to the windows of the AMT '70 Challenger.  A little more sanding and the body will be ready for primer.

More NCIS to come...

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Well done  !!!  I keep hearing the theme song playing while reading this post..just don't spill the Cat Pow in the car lol

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Thanks Jeff and Carl!  No Caf-Pow allowed near this one! :o:D

Edited by mrmike

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I added the front suspension to determine what clearances would be needed.  Since I am using a Revell 426 Hemi, the AMT chassis would need to be clearanced for something.  Something being the front of the oil pan and the oil filter.  I went a little too far clearancing the K member and I removed part of the front sway bar.  I'll replace it when I can find a piece of round stock the same size as the sway bar.

More NCIS to come...

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Enjoying this so far buddy..

Also, NCIS is one of my favorite shows.

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