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AMT ’59 Buick Invicta Mild Custom!


John Goschke
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With the '59 Ranchero done, I used some of the leftover energy to start the AMT '59 Buick I've always wanted to build. Spent more than a few hours getting the wheelbase adjusted and the stance nice and low, with the tiniest hint of a rake. Rolling stock are tires from the Revell/Monogram '59 Cadillac on '53 Buick Skylark wires from Modelhaus.  Also took some work to shim the outside of the AMT wheelbacks and M'haus wheels to adapt them to these tires.

 

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The stance and rolling stock already look glorious in white styrene.

I'm really looking forward to your treatment of this, my favorite of GM's radical response to Virgil Exner's Forward Look after the disaster (at least in the eye's of GM's corperate honchos) that was 1958, the One Year Models. Of course by '59 it was already too late and GM immediately toned down every one of these cars so the '59's are very special and the Invicta 2-door hardtop, to my eyes, is tops among them. I'm curious, what is it about the wheelbase that needed adjustment? It's not something I generally consider when setting things up.

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2 hours ago, Bernard Kron said:

The stance and rolling stock already look glorious in white styrene.

I'm really looking forward to your treatment of this, my favorite of GM's radical response to Virgil Exner's Forward Look after the disaster (at least in the eye's of GM's corperate honchos) that was 1958, the One Year Models. Of course by '59 it was already too late and GM immediately toned down every one of these cars so the '59's are very special and the Invicta 2-door hardtop, to my eyes, is tops among them. I'm curious, what is it about the wheelbase that needed adjustment? It's not something I generally consider when setting things up.

Thanks, Bernard! I, too, have always loved the '59 GM lineup, with the Buick being one of my faves! I found AMT's front axle center line needed to move back somewhat more than 1/16," with a touch more on the passenger's side. The rear axle needed to move back slightly on the passenger's side, also. Sorry, I can't give exact measurements, 'cause it's something of an eyeball process.

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5 hours ago, Zippi said:

Really nice looking so far.  Reminds me of the 59 Buick Invicta (Blue Suede Shoes) that was built by Dave Kindig on Bitchin Rides. 

 

Thanks, Bob!  That car has some nice touches. Love that subtle peak that runs down the front of the hood, I hope I can achieve that. Not a huge fan of the rolling stock, however.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well, I've made all of the usual modifications to move the Invicta further into mild custom land. Got rid of the hood emblem, along with the script on the front fender, and the grill badge using a section from a spare grill. Shaved the door handles. Eliminated the emblem on the deck lid, along with some nasty glue scars. I had to cut out and replace the rear panel between the taillights because of more glue damage using the same section from a parts car (I'll have to do some filling underneath the fins to restore that bit. I cut the stock mufflers and tailpipes off the chassis, making filler panels for the resulting holes, and notched the splash pan for a new set of tailpipe extensions.

 

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Because I've never quite liked the stock rear wheel openings on the '59 Buick and have always wondered "what if" and whether the designers had ever considered something more like the rear opening on the '54 - '57 Buicks (especially the '53 and '54 Skylarks) where the whole wheel was revealed. I decided to try something similar in Photoshop by copy and pasting and further manipulating a copy of the front wheel opening.

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I liked the result so much that, after discussions with a trusted colleague, I had to try it in plastic using my battle-weary parts car. By making a pattern of the front opening I was able to open up a new wheel opening, which I then outlined with Plastruct .080 half-round styrene. So that the front opening would match, I removed the original opening lip, and created a new lip with the same half-round strip. My technique cementing the strip in place needs a little refinement, but there is another side to play with yet!   I think this treatment shows the beautiful wheels to their best advantage, so I'll almost certainly do it on the final model.
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Edited by John Goschke
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I agree with you on the rear wheel opening, I think it makes the rear of the car look lighter than when you had the stock openings. I notice it looks like you're also trimming the tips of the fins to look more like the '60 year model. The fins on all GM's '59 models seemed done to an extreme.    

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4 hours ago, espo said:

I agree with you on the rear wheel opening, I think it makes the rear of the car look lighter than when you had the stock openings. I notice it looks like you're also trimming the tips of the fins to look more like the '60 year model. The fins on all GM's '59 models seemed done to an extreme.    

Thanks, guys!  Dave, I'm won't be trimming the fins like that on the final model. The parts car I used for the wheel opening test has damaged fin tips.

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