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Mission Accomplished - 61 Galaxie Police Car


alan barton
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Easily the toughest conversion I have ever tackled, this police car from the famous scene in American Graffiti was resurrected from a nearly destroyed 63 Galaxie convertible that had every single detail except the wipers and cowl vents filed from its body - it truly was a blob! It has taken over  twelve months on and off to get it finished for a club diorama at last weekend's Model Car Spectacular here in Perth Western Australia.

I'm very happy with the final proportions - it looks like the car it was intended to replicate. I did however have a lot of problems with bodywork, not helped by painting it on very cold and wet days but ya gotta do what ya gotta do!  And the masking is never as sharp as I would like. It has no door handles - 61s have door handles installed through the fins and I have no idea how you could accomplish that cleanly so I simply left them out. The amazingly generous donation of a grille, front and rear bumpers, taillight panel and windows from Tarheel Rick was the finishing touch - I can't begin to express my gratitude, but thanks Rick, for your wonderful gesture.

I would also like to thank Steve Guthmiller for all his inspiration from every showroom stocker he builds - I am a hot rodder first and foremost so trying to make something stock  as the factory intended was a new challenge to me.

The recipe goes like this.

Body, badly hacked 63 Galaxie convertible, with tailfins, all new wheel arch mouldings  and headlight housings reconstructed to replicate 61 contours. New door lines scribed.

Roof - completely scratchbuilt from the waistline up

Chassis, new unused 63 Galaxie hardtop

Engine and firewall - 63 Mercury Marauder ( I think)

Exhausts - rusty wire and parts box mufflers.

Interior 63 convertible extensively modified into 61 four door sedan

Dashboard - 63 converted to 61

Front seat - unknown rear seat from an interior tub, significantly modified!

Occupants - 2 Monogram sprintcar drivers, Revel Germany fire chief heads, scratchbuilt collars, epaulettes and pockets. Every square inch cut and reshaped!

Paint - Tamiya Pure White and Gloss Black

Decals - Revell 57 Ford Ranchwagon, LAPD Camaro Pro Mod and letraset ( remember that?)

Siren Johan Mopar wagon

Roof lights - Revell 57 Ranchwagon

Hope you like it.  Build photos are in the W.I.P, section.

Cheers

Alan

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Edited by alan barton
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I have watched your build on this. I find it amazing to look at this now and I remember what you started with. Great fabrication as well as dedication to put this together. 

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Thanks everyone for all your support - it really helped me keep going when things went a bit south there for a while. One of the things I continue to be impressed with is the amount of parts I used that otherwise would never have been used if it wasn't for this car.  I love recycling!

 

Cheers

Alan

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Really nice job on this. I enjoyed watching it come together in WIP, an unbelievable amount of scratch work! It's great to see it complete, all your hard work definitely paid off and it shows. Very nice.

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What an incredible model.  What everybody else has already said - it was amazing to watch the transformation from what you started with.  The diorama catches the moment precisely in appearance, technical detail, and emotion.  Outstanding!

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Thanks everyone,  this model seems to really have hit a nerve for a lot of people.  It received by far the highest number of views in WIP of any model I have ever built on here which amazes me because this is not a genre I usually venture into.  I guess one thing that kept me moving forward was knowing that I could never make it worse than what I started with!!!

Cheers

Alan

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Great job!  Love it...

P.S...  your mention of Steve's help are my feelings as well.  He's helped me with good advice on my attempts at stock builds in the past as well.

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Sort of, Bob.  It whistled along through the early stages of fabrication and I hit some real milestones quite early on.  The final bodywork, especially on the roof and the hood just became very frustrating as no amount of filling, filing, sanding and priming seemed to make some faults go away - at times they got worse!  I am now very wary of Tamiya paint products and am thinking that I will only use them in future on cars with minimal bodywork because I simply haven't encountered these problems before when I used primarily Testor's paint and cheap hardware store primer. 

Thanks again every one for the positive comments , it makes me very proud to part of this community.

Cheers

Alan

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