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MPC Trophy Winner 1971 Charger Funny Car w/four-color paint inspired by the "Imperial Kustoms" 1968 Charger

tim boyd

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Back in the day, you improved your chances in the MPC National Model Car Championship if you were building your entries based on the very latest 1/1 scale cars to grace the showroom.  For the 1971 MPC contest season, I wanted to have the very first 1971 Charger funny car entry.  So. I ordered the MPC Promotional of the 1971 Charger, which was a mail order feature in the magazine Dodge sent to all their current owner base.   The Promo arrived sometime in October 1970, so I set about building a funny car based on that body, targeting the 1971 MPC Detroit Autorama contest, considered at that time to be the largest single model car contest (in terms of entries) in the world.   The first step was to fill alll the door, hood, and trunk cut lines, and flatten/fill the raised hood decoration.  

Since I did not have the build time to put together a working driveline like my 1970 MPC series entry, I decided instead to try to come up with a really killer paint layout.  Inspired by the Imperial Kustoms 1968 Charger funny car as seen in the December 1968 issue of Car Craft, I used a Testors Lime Gold Metalflake base, and three-tone green inserts comprised of Pactra Pearlustre Green, Testors Candy Green, and Testors Dark Jade Green Metalflake, with Testors GlossCote lClear over all.  eh The front and rear bumpers and greenhouse trim were all painted sillver with clearcoat to replicate 1/1 scale painted fiberglas, thus comprising a fifth color.  (The dark green tinted windows were added several years later.)  

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The chassis was the new Stage III Logghe chassis as found in the MPC 1970 Cyclone "Cyclops" funny car kit. The decals came from the MPC Garlits Wynnscharger front engine rail kit, and the engine was fully wire detailed (using 1970 model car detailing techniques by a then-16-year-old builder).   Underneath was a Torqueflite tranny blanket.  As I recall, I did end up having the first 1971 Charger funny car on the contest tables at the MPC contest series, so I met that goal, at least.

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When I finally got to the 1971 MPC contests, I was beaten for the first place Senior award at both the Detroit and Dayton shows by another 1971-bodied model, a Vega hatchback drag racing car built by a 15 year old named Scott Sullivan (yeah, THAT Scott Sullivan). I wasn't too happy with my 2nd Place Senior awards at the time, but later, when I saw additional images of Scott's car in the magazine coverage of the show, I fully understood why he beat me.  And his many subsequent 1/1 scale cars that have received numerous plaudits and recognition over the ensuing years only further underlined his emerging car/model building talent.  

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Here are some recent photos of the model that won Second Place Senior in the 1971 Detroit and Dayton MPC Contests, along with (several years later) "Best in Show" at a local Ann Arbor hobby shop contest as well.   Thanks for your interest, and thanks for looking.   TIM 

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Very nice model Tim, I'm very impressed with your clean paint lines, it's so much fun masking isn't it ?  Your car survived all the subsequent years in good shape. Congratulations on a superb model, that has some bittersweet memories for you. 

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10 hours ago, 1972coronet said:

When did you change the 'glass' to green-tint? 

What'd you do with the rest of that 1971 promo's parts? 

Any pics of the Sullivan '71 Vega around?

John.... in order...

* I recall adding the green tinted windows around 1974 or so.

* I've saved virtually everything from my modeling career,,,,but I don't recall ever seeing that chassis. again  I may have stuffed the interior in with my MPC Charger model kit when it became available a month or two after the promo....I should check!  

* The only pix of Scott's Vega that i recall seeing were in the 1971 issues of Car Model magazine that covered the Detroit and Dayton contests....


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Thanks everyone for all the comments. 

Interesting that you all picked out the "crisp" masking.  Now that I think about it, I have no recollection of how I achieved that.  At the time, I was a teenager with little or no budget for advanced modeling supplies, so it may have been just household masking tape.  Who knew how I pulled that off???  

Best to you all...TIM 

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  • 2 weeks later...
15 hours ago, MADmodelDOCTOR said:

Cool Tim ! I remember seeing this in Car Model or something.

Ken...it was in Car Model magazine sometime in 1971, probably in their coverage of the 1971 Detroit MPC contest, and possibly in the Dayton MPC contest coverage as well.   Don't believe it was in Model Cara Science.   Thx for the comment!  TIM

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