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My most ambitious and detailed model car project ever - and yes, it is drag racing themed....(long read):


tim boyd
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This is my most ambitious and detailed model car project ever. It was constructed over two-year period during my sophomore to senior years in high school, to compete in the 1972 Washington DC MPC Regional Model Car Customizing Championship and the concurrent MPC National Grand Finale the same weekend. Yes, the three models you are looking at were all completed 50 1/2 years ago as this is written.

Having competed successfully at the regional level in the MPC series for three years at that point, I knew that something well out of the ordinary would be required to compete at the national level, particularly in the funny car genre. I thought that if I put together a funny car, tow trailer, and tow car all featuring the second-generation Dodge Charger design themes and with a matching color scheme across the three, that might be enough to do the trick.

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The funny frame was 100% scratchbuilt, designed by me and inspired by magazine photos of the first iteration of Gene Snow's 1970 Challenger "Rambunctious" with its direct drive (no tranny) layout. (Note: the chassis construction took place about two years before Jo-Han's kit of this car came out, and that kit iteration included a Torquefilte tranny in lieu of the direct drive layout of my car). Primary materials were styrene tubing (with the metal rods removed) and .015" sheet styrene (for the interior). The entire front suspension was functional, using scratchbuilt, working coil over shocks and working four-bar radius rods. The steering was also functional and turning the tires right or left moved the corresponding two-piece drag link (with frame mounted mid-length bracket) and drag link. The suspension and steering parts were mostly brass rod fabrications. I included other build features not found in most other MPC contest entries of the time, including a full onboard fire extinguisher setup, underframe contacts for to connect the auxiliary battery for the engine, and frame to header braces. Full chassis wiring was also designed in, routed through frame brackets along the interior compartment.

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The engine, of course, was a 426 Hemi, using the best available parts from my kit stash. The induction system was the Crower "8-Holer" as shown in a c.1970 Car Craft magazine rail dragster feature article. The engine included all applicable c. 1970-72 wiring and hoses, using Jim Keeler's "Unraveling the Snake Pit" series in Car Model Magazine as the primary reference. I even included two tiny scratchbuilt supercharger blowoff valve fittings in the front edge if the intake manifold - a first in 1/25th scale models at the time. Both the induction tubes and the exhaust headers were stylized with vertical extensions (to add a bit of creativity to the funny car genre); the exhaust extensions were removable to fit into a compartment in the trailer prior to the car being loaded there.

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The funny car body was from an MPC 1970 Charger annual kit, heavily modified including being narrowed, the roof being dropped downward at the A-pillars, a working escape hatch added to the roofline, the rocker panels partially sectioned away, and the front and rear ends being filled along with added spoilers at both locations. The yellow tinted windows included backlight vents with a stylized "TV" vent design, tying to the livery added after paint.

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The trailer was my own design, mostly scratcjbuilt but using extended side panels from an MPC 1969 Charger annual kit. The bulkhead area was built from sheet styrene, as was most of the interior. Four interior side panel inserts were hinged with working latches and opened to reveal tool sets cut down from two MPC kits of the era (perhaps the MPC J-Car?). The ramps and trailer storage areas were cut from the MPC Clear Display trailer kit pieces. The tailgate worked, and the dual axle setup was again based on the MPC Trailer kit. The trailer rear gate - widened from the Charger kit taillight panel area - lowered down to allow loading of the funny car with the ramps attached.

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The tow vehicle was my design of a 1969 Charger pickup, a body style that was rumored to be introduced that model year in one of the "next year news" articles of the day that I had read at the local drug store magazine counter. (In one of those "you can't make this up" instances, I recently found the actual subject article while going through the magazine collection of my now-deceased modeling buddy Chuck Helppie). The engine was a 426 Hemi and featured full wring, down to the smallest electrical lines, along with a clear hood with yellow acetate insert to match the funny car windows. The interior was updated to 1970 Charger specs (bucket seats, steering wheel, et al) using leftovers from the annual kit that sourced the funny car body. The pickup used a set of American 200 S "Daisy" wheels, to match those on the trailer, all sourced from two MPC 1970 Challenger annual kits. The tow vehicle/pickup was painted in Testors Competition Orange with Clear, just as the base coat of the funny car and trailer.

 

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For paint on the funny car and trailer, I designed a square-based side panel graphic, using Testors Gold with a Testors Silver overlay of squares, then overcoated with Testors Transparent Red. The horizontal surfaces of the funny car, and the trailer canopy area, were treated to an insert base of Testors Gold, then a Grecian-Key design was hand painted on the surfaces. Pactra Candy Gold was then applied over the design. The Charger body C-pillars and the sides of the trailer canopy wore an inset of c. 1962 Pactra "Pearlustre" Pink, with white cobwebbing (per Hank Borger's procedure as described in Car Model) added to the center areas, followed by a clear overcoat. All painting (other than the Grecian Design) was done with aerosol cans - I did not own an airbrush at the time.

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The livery was originally planned to be decals from the MPC 1970 Don Garlits front engine rail kit, but as the project dragged on, I used those on an interim project. The final graphics came from two boxes of the first version of the AMT Tommy Ivo rear engine dragster kit.

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My family drove to the Washington DC MPC event in April, 1972, and the funny car won "Best of Show" at the MPC regional event there, but did not place in the top 3 at the MPC National Finals. (One judge suggested to me it would have won 4th nationwide had they been awarding that prize). But what happened to the trailer and tow car, I asked, incredulous that they were nowhere to be seen. I was then told that because the funny car would not fit in the trailer, the trailer and tow car were disqualified. WHAT??? Turns out that the judges had failed to read the instructions and did not remove the header extensions before placing the car on the trailer. GGGRRRR!!!! Further, I was told that my blower induction system was not realistic; again, they had failed to read the explanation that it was in fact inspired by the real 1/1 scale Crower 8-Holer system.

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Would the entire three-car set had been strong enough to displace the eventual third nationwide winner? We will never know; perhaps not. But to be sure, this left a very bad taste in my mouth and given a somewhat similar situation that occurred at the 1979 MPC Finals in Omaha (Judges who did not read the instructions and made incorrect assumptions about the 1/1 scale accuracy of my entry), helped lead to a decision to never again enter a model car contest. And I haven't, either, personally finding much more enjoyment instead from participating in the NNL-style non-competitive model events.

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Well, thanks for wading through my account of my most ambitious and detailed model car project ever. Enjoy the photos, most taken earlier this month (additional photos can be seen here).  And please forgive me for some less than pristine repairs to the drag link/pitman arm setup, which finally failed five decades after its initial completion.

Best to you all....TIM

Edited by tim boyd
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Tsk tsk tsk, where did they find those judges anyway🙄.  While not personally a race car fan, I can attest that having seen this combo up close and personal, it does make a striking set, and the detail work is amazing!  One of my faves from the Boyd cases for sure.  Certainly a travesty that it was not more closely evaluated.  
At least in your case Tim, you had ample opportunities over the following years to prove your mastery of the craft, which you took advantage of admirably.  There were several more trips behind “the blue door”, where I hope you agree your builds were given more respect.  There is also a vast collection of magazine covers attesting to the recognition that you richly deserve, along with the respect of the thousands of our fellow hobbyists who look up to you for advice and encouragement.     The work you have done to a frame what we do as a respectable adult hobby is truly admirable.  Most people who have ever pealed the shrink wrap off of a car model kit with an eye for how it can be improved, will recognize the name Tim Boyd.  Who won that  72 MPC Nats anyway?

TS

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Absolutely beautiful work Tim !  It's a shame about the judges ,  your fabrication and detailing deserved much more recognition than it received .

I looked thru my old CM magazines and found one pic of your model , it sure looks better in color ! :D

MARCH 73 025

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44 minutes ago, TooOld said:

found one pic of your model , it sure looks better in color ! :D

MARCH 73 025

Yes, it sure does, and even better yet, in person!  I wonder if we could talk Tim into brining along the complete set to the next couple of NNLs that he plans to attend.  They make an awesome display together!

TS

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What an incredible achievement only to be snubbed. That far and away fails to describe your work here as the ambitious and extremely well executed trio of models you have here.

This has vision, design, as well as forward thinking practicality.

How this just didnt win outeight says a LOT about the cars that did win.

BTW, who did win, and with what?

I gotta know.

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Wow.  I have always enjoyed this model, Tim. I have an OLD magazine where it was pictured in contest coverage. What I did not know was that it was part of a set. It is so cool to see them all together. What a great ensemble. Each piece is amazing on its own. The trailer stands out to me. What a great idea! And you built it all in high school. Yikes. Did you know and talk with any other model builders at that time? 

Thanks for posting the whole story.

Scott

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Tim Boyd model car national treasure.  It's a beautiful well thought out set.  Amazing workmanship for the time, the scratch built frame holds up even by today's standards. Simply beautiful.  I share your pain at judged events, long live the NNL styled shows.

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Wow!  Hard to imagine the amount of time, effort, research (lot harder in those days), passion, and workmanship a 16 year old put in to this drag racing creation.  You certainly understood the workings of a funny car.  Kudos, sir.  Thanks for posting.

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On 11/5/2022 at 8:36 PM, foghorn62 said:

Tsk tsk tsk, where did they find those judges anyway🙄.  While not personally a race car fan, I can attest that having seen this combo up close and personal, it does make a striking set, and the detail work is amazing!  One of my faves from the Boyd cases for sure.  Certainly a travesty that it was not more closely evaluated.  
At least in your case Tim, you had ample opportunities over the following years to prove your mastery of the craft, which you took advantage of admirably.  There were several more trips behind “the blue door”, where I hope you agree your builds were given more respect.  There is also a vast collection of magazine covers attesting to the recognition that you richly deserve, along with the respect of the thousands of our fellow hobbyists who look up to you for advice and encouragement.     The work you have done to a frame what we do as a respectable adult hobby is truly admirable.  Most people who have ever pealed the shrink wrap off of a car model kit with an eye for how it can be improved, will recognize the name Tim Boyd.  Who won that  72 MPC Nats anyway?

TS

Hah, Tim, thanks for your comments!!!!

For those that do not know, after being a winner himself in the early years, Tim Slesak became a judge (if I am remembering correctly) during the later years of MPC Contest series l(mid-late 1970's).  In the earlier days (1969-early 1970's), the MPC judges were mostly the same ISCA judges who did the full-size judging.  In the shows run by Carl Casper (Flint, Dayton, Cincy, Louisville et al) he judged the model contests himself.  In later years of the series, accomplished model car builders (and past MPC contest winners) were asked to join in on judging, which in my view generally helped to deliver better results.  Tim was NOT a judge in the 1972 finals that I commented on above, and I do not recall him being a part of the 1979 Omaha Regional Finals either (although I do recall that two of the three judges there were well known participants in the model car hobby).  I even myself was asked to help judge one of the MPC National Finals (in a year I was not competing), as well as helping judge several of the earliest GSL's (before I stopped due to my concerns over the judging policies), and for several of the Rider's Hobby Shop chain contests in Michigan.  Soon after I stopped judging in total because I just didn't feel right about "anointing" one model as being superior over another, particularly as the skill levels increased and more competitive models were found in all the contests (but I digress....).    

Tim, I obviously greatly appreciate your kind comments and observations about my collective body of modeling work.  

As for the 1972 MPC Nationals Finals winners, they were Steve Anderson, National Champion (dual rear engine streamliner rail), Dave Nowatniak, Second Nationwide, and Scott Sullivan, Third (Plymouth Road Runner Funny Car).   Tough crowd, to be sure!  (Source: Appendix A, p. 177, The GSL International Model Car Championship, by Mark S. Gustavson, 1998, Championship Publishing LLC, Salt Lake City, UT).   Of note, Steve Anderson was also the 1979 MPC National Champion, and the overall winner of the first Hot Rod Magazine model car contest in the late 1980's.   

Finally, for those reading this thread, highly recommend you follow Tim Slesak's build threads.  He is doing some flat-out awesome work these days...TB   

    

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On 11/6/2022 at 7:47 AM, TooOld said:

Absolutely beautiful work Tim !  It's a shame about the judges ,  your fabrication and detailing deserved much more recognition than it received .

I looked thru my old CM magazines and found one pic of your model , it sure looks better in color ! :D

MARCH 73 025

Bob...that's the one!   Really cool that you have that old issue of Car Model, and even better, remembered the image.   Thank you...TIM 

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15 hours ago, R. Thorne said:

Oh, yes, I almost forget.  You learned a valuable life lesson about competition and “the heartbreak of defeat”.

Ron...yes, actually that happened several times in my earlier modeling career.  (My 1968 MPC/Car Model/Doge funny car entry that won 4th nationwide melted in front of the photography booth during picture taking; it took 50 years (until 2019) to bring that one back to life, and my 1970 MPC National Finals entry, a maili-in to the national finals, was finally returned after many calls to the Car Model Magazine office, in a box with no packing and in many pieces.  That one I put back together relatively quickly, but it was never the same in total).  Upon reflection, it is a bit surprising I stuck with the hobby!  Best...TB 

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To all who have commented above....thank you all so much for your kind comments.  I was hoping that this thread would prove interesting to the MCM Forum, but I am frankly a bit overwhelmed by the kindness and appreciation you all have mentioned above.  Very', very best to you all...TIM    

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I remember photos of the funny in Car Model magazine. Car was impressive in black and white but to see it in color is amazing. I never knew about the tow rig. Absolutley stunning work and to think it has survived all these years.....wow!

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6 hours ago, CabDriver said:

I loved reading this ‘feature’ Tim - thanks for sharing.

Question, seeing as I was born twenty years too late to read the article on scale cobwebbed paint effects…do you recall how that was done?  Looks great!

Jim....great to hear your reaction. 

The cobwebbing was demonstrated by modeler journalist Hank Borger in Car Model magazine around 1972ish.  It basically involves taking a #00000 brush, dipping it is a bottle of Testors enamel (like the old PLA bottles), and slowlly pulling the brush away from the bottle, causing the paint to create a long, thin strand of paint.  And then having your model car surface to receive the paint lying below the stretched strand and letting the strand selttle on the model surface.  It then has to be sealed under a coat of clear.  Explaining this now makes me wonder how I ever pulled that stuff off! Must have taken a ton of practice first.  

Here's an image of the model that Hank used to demonstrate the technique in his article,; you can see it in the hood stripes.  I photographed it at the NNL Motor City last fall...it currently resides in the model collection of John Ostrenga of Wisconsin....TIM 

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Edited by tim boyd
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17 hours ago, tim boyd said:

Bob...that's the one!   Really cool that you have that old issue of Car Model, and even better, remembered the image.   Thank you...TIM 

I didn't actually remember the image but I knew that Car Model covered all of the ICMA contests back then so I started looking thru 1972 issues and finally found it in the March 1973 issue .

3 hours ago, tim boyd said:

Jim....great to hear your reaction. 

The cobwebbing was demonstrated by modeler journalist Hank Borger in Car Model magazine around 1972ish.  It basically involves taking a #00000 brush, dipping it is a bottle of Testors enamel (like the old PLA bottles), and slowlly pulling the brush away from the bottle, causing the paint to create a long, thin strand of paint.  And then having your model car surface to receive the paint lying below the stretched strand and letting the strand selttle on the model surface.  It then has to be sealed under a coat of clear.  Explaining this now makes me wonder how I ever pulled that stuff off! Must have taken a ton of practice first.  

Here's an image of the model that Hank used to demonstrate the technique in his article,; you can see it in the hood stripes.  I photographed it at the NNL Motor City last fall...it currently resides in the model collection of John Ostrenga of Wisconsin....TIM 

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I tried that cobweb paint a couple times on some slot cars and it worked pretty good , but I never could get the Swirladelic paint to work right .

Tim hope you don't mind me posting this . . . I also scanned that article for another modeler a few years ago , it explains both the cobwebbing and the Swirladelic paint .

https://public.fotki.com/TooOld/models/misc-/magazine-articles/swirladelic-paint/

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