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OLD YELLER II – painting of car by current owner added Sept 30


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I can’t call it a replica but I did try to make it at least resemble Old Yeller II.

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I have been aware of Max Balchowski’s and his Old Yeller’s since I was a kid who loved hot rods and then developed an interest in road racing. These “junk yard dogs” successfully took on Ferrari, Maserati and Jaguar and were raced by elite drivers such as Dan Gurney and Carroll Shelby.

In the 2003 there were classes for American Road Race Specials at both the Monterey Historics and the Pebble Beach Concours. By chance I got to help out in the Laguna Seca paddock for the HWM Stovebolt Special. I have always wanted to build a model of that car but could never find a good starting point.  

I eventually saw Old Yeller II at a subsequent Monterey event. After watching an episode of Jay Leno’s Garage featuring Max Balchowski’s Old Yeller II, I could not resist trying to build a model that would at least resemble Old Yeller II and incorporate many of its unique features. Some think Shelby was inspired to build Cobras after racing Old Yeller II so I came up with the idea of trying to modify a Revell 427 Cobra to resemble Old Yeller. This project combines my two favourite aspects of car modelling – body work and trying to create a model of a subject not otherwise available.

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I started the basic modifications in 2021 and did not get back to it until the hot days of late July 2022 when it was refreshing to escape to the cool of my basement hobby room. The project almost got shelved again as I found it a challenge to get it back on track. At one point it seemed my initial concept would not work so would be a waste of time to pursue. After some contemplation I arrived at a way forward which involved a lot more bodywork.

BODY - The Cobra body was chopped up, narrowed, ground down and puttied. Front “fenders” were fashioned from a discarded set of Deuce fenders. The lower side body was extended using a body section from a Group C race car with some added louvers.

CHASSIS - The chassis is pretty much directly from the Cobra. For ease of construction, I did retain the independent rear suspension which was not used on the real car.

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ENGINE – The engine block and transmission are from the Cobra but the 427 Ford has been “converted’ into a Nailhead Buick with parts from the Revell Model A. The carbs and trumpets came from the Revell T-Bucket Rat Rod while the valve covers are from the Revell Tony Nancy 22jr T-Bucket dragster. The headers were fabricated from Evergreen tube and rod. The paint is Mr. Kolor light green.

PAINT – Tamiya Chrome Yellow topped with Semi-Gloss Clear

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Edited by Phildaupho
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1 hour ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Very nice. You certainly at least captured the real spirit of one of the most potent of all junkyard dogs.  :D

Thanks Bill - I know Old Yeller is one of your favorites so I am very pleased you appreciate  the "spirit" of the build.

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On 8/26/2022 at 7:15 PM, Dave B said:

That's a great build Phil. I actually sat in that car when Ernie bought it to the Phillip Island historics some years back and still have the photos the mechanic took.

Thanks for sharing

Dave B

I assume you sat in the driver's seat but sometimes a passenger seat is installed which I contemplated putting in the model

On 8/27/2022 at 7:42 AM, Gramps46 said:

Be still my beating heart!  What a great project and outcome Phil.

Thanks Gary. I hope your pulse has returned to normal.

4 hours ago, Kah puts said:

Primo build. 

Thanks Glen - I have always liked that term - primo

3 hours ago, ChrisR said:

Cool! Great model.

Thanks Chris, It was a very enjoyable project.

Edited by Phildaupho
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This is great! In fact, Max was from born and raised in my hometown of Fairmont WV. The sad part about this is that I lived in Van Nuys Ca back in 1979- 84 and Max was still alive and only a few miles away but it was before the internet and found out only after I moved back east. I have talked talked to people back home who knew him. One of my big regrets not to visit him while I lived there. Great work on you model. I’m sure Max would have loved it!

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18 hours ago, Claude Thibodeau said:

Hi Phil!

Totally in line with the original, and truly unique. Bravo!

CT

Thanks Claude - Always good to hear from you

6 hours ago, Bainford said:

Very cool project. It captures the spirit of the prototype, and of the era nicely. Its the perfect parts-box project, since the 1:1 is itself a "parts-box" creation. I really like what you've done here. Nice work.

Thanks Trevor. Great observation - the 1:1 is itself a "parts-box" creation

5 hours ago, Gluebomber said:

Outstanding work, Phil!  I also saw the Jay Leno feature on this car and thought it would be a great model subject, but couldn't figure out how to make it happen.  You sure did.

Great Job!  

Thanks Larry. I am amazed myself that I sort of able to make it happen

5 hours ago, drodg said:

I barely remember the car but wow what a replica!   

Thanks David. There is a lot information and photos regarding the car on-line such as Old Yeller II (oldyeller2.com)

2 hours ago, slusher said:

So nicely done, Sir!

Thanks Carl

2 hours ago, V8tiger said:

This is great! In fact, Max was from born and raised in my hometown of Fairmont WV. The sad part about this is that I lived in Van Nuys Ca back in 1979- 84 and Max was still alive and only a few miles away but it was before the internet and found out only after I moved back east. I have talked talked to people back home who knew him. One of my big regrets not to visit him while I lived there. Great work on you model. I’m sure Max would have loved it!

Max would have been a very interesting guy to meet in person as would the current owner Ernie Nagamatsu who has kept the memories alive by preserving, showing and racing the car as it was.

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15 hours ago, PappyD340 said:

Really cool!

Thanks Larry

6 hours ago, slotbaker said:

Very Cool, great to see OY2 getting some exposure.

I did a 1/24 slot car version a few years ago, from a vac formed body.

I caught up with Ernie at Eastern Creek, and he graciously signed it for me.

Thanks Steve - Great looking slot car. The body is very well done. I contacted Ernie with photos of my model. He very graciously replied. Seems like a really nice and enthusiastic guy.

4 hours ago, fireguy14 said:

Amazing build. Looks fantastic!

Thanks David

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Very nicely done.  This is an example of the race cars I still love to this day.  Phil, you're inspiring me to get back to my workbench.

If you have an interest in these old cars (which you apparently do) you may be interested it this site I found years ago.  It's called 'Tam's Old Race Car Site' http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/    It's gotten a lot bigger over the years.  Hundreds, if not thousands of photos.

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phil - [ and or duncan] - when it gets cold and you’re ready to retreat back down into the basement - wander over to the   Sports cars build section and open the Sebring 64 group build thread - but start on pg 1 - see anything there that you like ?? 

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2 hours ago, Duncan4114 said:

Very nicely done.  This is an example of the race cars I still love to this day.  Phil, you're inspiring me to get back to my workbench.

If you have an interest in these old cars (which you apparently do) you may be interested it this site I found years ago.  It's called 'Tam's Old Race Car Site' http://www.tamsoldracecarsite.net/    It's gotten a lot bigger over the years.  Hundreds, if not thousands of photos.

Thanks Duncan - Yes I have checked Tam's Old Car Site many times over the years

1 hour ago, absmiami said:

phil - [ and or duncan] - when it gets cold and you’re ready to retreat back down into the basement - wander over to the   Sports cars build section and open the Sebring 64 group build thread - but start on pg 1 - see anything there that you like ?? 

Andrew - Great idea for a group build. I will have to give a 64 build some thought.

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1 minute ago, alan barton said:

What they said!

What an iconic build of an iconoic car!  Just takes my breather away. Any minor discrepancy in scale accuracy is completely negated by the feel - and it feels good!

Cheers

Alan

Thanks Alan I really appreciate your kind comments 

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  • Phildaupho changed the title to OLD YELLER II – painting of car by current owner added Sept 30

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