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More American Graffiti Dragster


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Well, after some time away, I'm back to the bench. Its getting too hot here to do much of anything outside so its bench time, thankfully. I know this one has been done to death but I've not seen a build of this iconic car where the decals are correct. I drew up my own and made the body fit them. Now I'll send them off for printing. As for the aforementioned body. I glued the two halves from the American Graffiti kit together and cut off the top body panel as it should be.  Still sourcing a few pieces for the engine but a good friend found the small block Chevy Moroso valve covers, which was holding me up on choosing the right sized engine block. The kit came with a hemi they tried to pass off as a small block by changing the valve covers, not very convincing.

I'll have some progress pictures in the next couple of days.

Edited by gasser59
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  • gasser59 changed the title to More American Graffiti Dragster
  • 2 weeks later...

Holy cow, I can't believe its been two weeks already. Here's a couple pictures and yes, a 'please' helped. Been sourcing engine parts and working on getting them to fit inside the narrow chassis. I'm using the '57 Chevy Black Widow engine block and heads although that may change if I find something better. I was eyeing the new Mobieus Nova II engine last night but haven't concluded my investigations yet.

Milner1.jpg

Milner2.jpg

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Thanks Lil' Brother!  I didn't care for the MPC blower and injector hat so I sourced one each from a Revell kit. looks more appropriate. The problem with the two piece scoop is the fact the butterflies are a separate piece and need to be put in place before the top and bottom halves are put together thus showing a seam. This won't do. I pondered this for some time and came up with a solution I think will work. More on that later. I went ahead and glued the halves together and sanded the seams down. This, along with the Moroso valve covers will get a shot of Alclad Chrome eventually. Here's a couple of progress pics.

Engine #1.jpg

MockUp#3.jpg

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So this will be an accurate representation of the movie dragster? I also have the original MPC More American Graffiti kit, plus the somewhat similar MPC Ramchargers dragster. I've downloaded a treasure trove of pics off the internet, but the thought occurred to me for my build....why not try to backdate the movie car to a more accurate version of what would've actually raced back in the day of the movie timeline? From what I understand...those Moroso valve covers didn't exist...along with a tweak or two elsewhere.

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18 hours ago, styromaniac said:

So this will be an accurate representation of the movie dragster? I also have the original MPC More American Graffiti kit, plus the somewhat similar MPC Ramchargers dragster. I've downloaded a treasure trove of pics off the internet, but the thought occurred to me for my build....why not try to backdate the movie car to a more accurate version of what would've actually raced back in the day of the movie timeline? From what I understand...those Moroso valve covers didn't exist...along with a tweak or two elsewhere.

And that is exactly what I tried to do with my build. The kit has a few issues, after all, it was  just a cobbled up version of the Ramchargers car with a new body, valve covers and decals. The engine is still the HEMI, but this those hideous valve covers. 

I just chose to do a what if on my build version. My late friend, Skip, made more correct style decals for the car. So I raided the parts boxes and this was the result

 

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This will be an accurate as possible to the movie car. I know certain elements of this car were out of date but I want to be true to the movie car. A few unanswered questions still remain and I'm working through those.

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Thanks for your comments Tim. A bit of progress last couple of days. I'm not sure what the folks at MPC were thinking when they made the seat. It just plain doesn't fit as shown by the attached picture. Its too tall. The body and the frame where the seat is almost need to touch in the final assembly so why the seat hangs down so far, I'm not sure. I cut out two rows of the tuck and roll pattern at the bottom of the seat and tonight, glued it back together. The seat belts are molded in so I'll fabricate new ones and cover up the molded-in ones. Here's a couple of pictures showing the process.

Later.

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On 8/5/2022 at 8:57 PM, gasser59 said:

Thanks for your comments Tim. A bit of progress last couple of days. I'm not sure what the folks at MPC were thinking when they made the seat. It just plain doesn't fit as shown by the attached picture. Its too tall. The body and the frame where the seat is almost need to touch in the final assembly so why the seat hangs down so far, I'm not sure. I cut out two rows of the tuck and roll pattern at the bottom of the seat and tonight, glued it back together. The seat belts are molded in so I'll fabricate new ones and cover up the molded-in ones. Here's a couple of pictures showing the process.

Later.

IMG_0378.jpg

IMG_0376.jpg

IMG_0375.jpg

The seat is designed for the Ramchargers  body, the top is supposed to sit on the body to give it that snapped down vinyl cover look. 

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