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1960 Dodge Phoenix Convertible


TooOld

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I've been wanting to build this model for many years but could never find a decent kit to start with , until I came across a pristine original last summer .  My Dad bought a '60 convertible new when I was only five , but from 1960 to 1968 we drove cross country several times in that car so I have a lot of fond memories .  I have several old photos with the car in them but this is the best one . Brand spanking new convertible in front of a brand new house in Texas .

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From the web is this restored convertible . 

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And here's the kit I found last summer . It's been sitting while I decided if I was really going to cut up a rare kit that cost me more than any other I've bought .

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Now it's April 2021 and I've decided to go for it , the cost is a distant memory and doesn't bother me anymore .  Still it sat on my bench for a week while I stared at it every day , making sure when I cut it I don't mess it up . 

But first I had to repair a broken post behind the driver's side vent window , it wasn't broken when I bought it so this was my fault .  I filed a length of square stock to the proper profile and used liquid glue to hold it in position . When that dried I used some CA glue to fill any tiny gaps and along the inside to strengthen the attaching points . 

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I've collected all the parts needed for this conversion and while the chassis won't be 100% correct I want it to be close . 1960 was the first year for the Unibody but it still used the earlier front torsion bar suspension . I don't think the K-member front was used until 1962 or 63 .

5 - 1960 Dodge Chassis

So for the rear I'll use the chassis and suspension from a '64 Belvedere .

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And the front suspension and subframe will be from a '57 Chrysler .

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The convertible top and boot will be from a '59 Impala . Also the interior from the Impala will be used but will be reworked into a '60 Dodge interior .

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So today was the big day . . . I grabbed my razor saw and cut the top off !!  Then I taped the windshield in place to protect the frame from future damage .

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Next I made a pattern of the 59 Impala body and transferred it to the Dodge .

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After some careful filing the interior fits pretty good . I'll finish work on the fit and opening trim later before paint .

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Here's with the boot set in place .

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And with the top  .

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Of course the front of the top and the windshield frame need to be fit together and the rear needs work to fit snuggly into the body , but I can breathe again . . . no damage was done .

More to come in a few days .

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Wow! Nice work Bob. I can relate to the angst over those first cuts of a rare and valuable kit. What a cool build this will be to replicate the family car. I’ll be watching.

Cheers, Steve

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Looks like a worthwhile project to me Bob.

I never object to cutting up certain aspects of a rare kit as long as the character of the original car remains intact.

Removing a top to turn it into a convertible is completely acceptable in my opinion.

It only makes me shudder when the would be customizers begin altering the car to the point of becoming unrecognizable.

 

I think you're off to a terrific start!!

I'm curious about a couple of things.

First, I was wondering about the hubcaps that you have pictured.

They appear to be the Modelhaus '59 Dodge pieces and not the '60 Dart.

If you're interested, I have a pair of original Johan '60 Dart caps.

I know, a pair doesn't help much, but you could cast them, or keep them for seed in the hopes that they will reproduce. :D

 

Second, I'll be very interested to see what your solution will be for converting the Impala interior into the Dodge.

That's going to take some consideration, but something makes me think that some signature Bob Spedding deluxe decals will be coming into play. ;)

 

For the first time in some time, I'm very excited to see the progress of someone's project.

Keep 'em coming!

 

 

 

 

Steve

 

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Good luck, what you've done so far looks excellent. Very well-considered and carefully executed.

Looks like a real "once in a lifetime" project that has a lot of sentimental value.

Great to see the old photo, is the orange/copper colour a metallic shade?.

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7 hours ago, StevenGuthmiller said:

Looks like a worthwhile project to me Bob.

I never object to cutting up certain aspects of a rare kit as long as the character of the original car remains intact.

Removing a top to turn it into a convertible is completely acceptable in my opinion.

It only makes me shudder when the would be customizers begin altering the car to the point of becoming unrecognizable.

 

I think you're off to a terrific start!!

I'm curious about a couple of things.

First, I was wondering about the hubcaps that you have pictured.

They appear to be the Modelhaus '59 Dodge pieces and not the '60 Dart.

If you're interested, I have a pair of original Johan '60 Dart caps.

I know, a pair doesn't help much, but you could cast them, or keep them for seed in the hopes that they will reproduce. :D

 

Second, I'll be very interested to see what your solution will be for converting the Impala interior into the Dodge.

That's going to take some consideration, but something makes me think that some signature Bob Spedding deluxe decals will be coming into play. ;)

 

For the first time in some time, I'm very excited to see the progress of someone's project.

Keep 'em coming!

Steve

 

Thanks for the encouragement , yes the hubcaps are Modelhaus and I suspect the other chrome pieces are also . I'd be interested in the '60 caps you have , I'll send you a pm .

The interior will be interesting for sure . The Johan tub is pretty poor which is why I chose the Impala interior as a base , plus it has the rear well for the top . I plan on modifying the seats and door panels and adding the upholstery piping , and using some decals . The Johan dash and steering wheel will work , and I have a clear wheel to modify the Johan piece .  I'm actually been looking through your wip threads for ideas on the interior .

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5 hours ago, Spottedlaurel said:

Good luck, what you've done so far looks excellent. Very well-considered and carefully executed.

Looks like a real "once in a lifetime" project that has a lot of sentimental value.

Great to see the old photo, is the orange/copper colour a metallic shade?.

Thanks Nigel !  It's an old photo and not a very good one ,  the Dodge was Vermillion Red just like the restored photos .

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10 hours ago, THarrison351 said:

I'll be watching! I can't wait to see how the interior turns out. The fabric pattern for a Dart Phoenix is awesome!

Thanks Tim , I agree about the pattern !

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The convertibles have a stainless header panel attached to the windshield , the top latches are mounted to this panel .

15 - Top Header

I did some cutting and some very careful filing to recreate the header panel .

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Then the top was trimmed and shaped to fit .

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Now the top is fitting much better at the rear too !

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Thanks for looking ! :)

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Vermillion red!  My guess would have been Coco Metallic 😆

Great photo BTW and to think that that car new probably cost a third of the price of the house!!

You can tell it's a new house alright - no trees, plants, flowers or grass to be seen   😅

Seems as if you're off to a great start.  Can't wait to see it finished.

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You're a lot braver than me. I probably would've used an MCW resin to start with.

The 1960-'62 Chryslers/DeSotos have a more correct chassis than a B-body, they just need to be shortened a bit.

My dad learned to drive on my grandfather's 1960 Dart Seneca 2-door sedan in Spruce with a Slant-Six/3-speed.

Charlie Larkin

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The last week I managed some time to work on the boot trim and top some more . 

First I needed to clean up the opening of the tulip panel where the trim attaches . For the boot trim I taped some half round strip to a flat surface and filed the crown down slightly , then formed it by hand to the shape needed .

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To attach the strip to the body I first tacked it in place with CA glue , then when dry I applied some Tamiya liquid glue along the edge to ensure it was completely bonded to the body .

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Next I drilled holes and inserted round rod to simulate the snaps . 

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When all the rods were in place I again used liquid glue on the underside to hold them in place .  When dry I trimmed the rod and sanded them all down to an even height .  I actually got up the nerve  to try drilling the tops a bit to look more like snaps , but realized if I went too deep it would ruin what I had .

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Here's the finished trim with the top in place .

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The finished top .

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To be continued  . . .

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Looking good so far Bob.

I do have one question for you.

Being as you're swapping out the interior, chassis, etc, any thought of whether or not to go ahead and open the hood?

Seems a shame to go through the detail work that's going to be required for the interior, etc, without considering plopping an engine in it.

 

One more thing, consider drilling out and replacing the headlights as well.

I wish that I would have done this modification on a bunch of my vintage stuff. ^_^

 

 

 

 

Steve

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Thanks Steve !  Your '62 Chrysler was my inspiration for trying to make the boot trim and snaps .

The headlights , yep they'll get drilled out and replaced . As for the engine . . .  I usually spend most of my time on the engine and very little on the interior , this time I'm concentrating on the interior so I'll wait and see how that goes . I would like to do the engine .

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Very nice!  I found a glue bomb of this kit on ebay, and one day hope to build a tribute to my BIL's '60 Dodge.  (Yeah, it'll be 'fun' trying to make it a 4-door... I know)

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17917314_1437083953010432_146039758160063100_o.jpg.cdaaeb209bae6e21fb72aa8101d158bd.jpg

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On 5/4/2021 at 11:03 AM, TooOld said:

Thanks Steve !  Your '62 Chrysler was my inspiration for trying to make the boot trim and snaps .

The headlights , yep they'll get drilled out and replaced . As for the engine . . .  I usually spend most of my time on the engine and very little on the interior , this time I'm concentrating on the interior so I'll wait and see how that goes . I would like to do the engine .

2118161864_1960Phoenix.jpg.759a073dda793f32c28adad7c5150f6b.jpg

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