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And now for the rest of the story...

 

While shopping the Jimmie Flintstone site for a 58 Chevy body I stumbled across the '61-'65 Econoline panel body. I was over joyed to find it as it is a major vehicle in the Cars I used to Own series of builds.

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The Flintstone site does not ship to Canada and anybody that sells the body here charges WAY more I had a buddy in Vancouver Washington order it and he then shipped it to me. It is still in transit as of this writing. 

Since the first generation Econoline's have never been kitted the body is designed to go with he chassis and interior from the Lindberg Lil Red Wagon/Dodge fever Dodge A100 pickup kit. After a long search for one of these available for a price that did not require a second mortgage on the house I managed to score one from a reasonably close toy store/hobby shop. As these have not been released for several years I was beginning to think I would have to sell a kidney to complete this project!

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Although it is a Dodge interior the basics are close enough for anybody  but the most diehard early sixties van fanatic. In fact Dodge it looks like didn't even try to hide that they were copying the Econoline. 

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The knowledgeable amongst you are probably saying "But Tcoat the Econoline only came with a six cylinder engine and that is clearly a V8". Well that is actually convenient for me as my '64 had a 351W and C6 tranny from a 96 Fairlane crammed into that doghouse between the seats. So with some blue paint and a bit of squinting the kit318(?) now becomes a 351. It isn't like you are going to see much beyond the very bottom anyway. 

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I bought the van already built in late 78 and it had  already been done up in pretty much standard vantasic style. There was a bench in the rear that folded down to a bed, a cabinet from an early sixties RV with an 8 track player in it, an ugly (by todays standards) carpet and some early '70s house speakers mounted up in the rear corners The two pieces of foam for the bench/bed were hard to "sleep" on as they always pulled apart so I screwed the base down and threw a cheap RV sized mattress on it. I also wanted a chair so borrowed (forever) an old mid sixties bar stool from my parents and screwed it to the plywood floor. It of course would have meant instant death for anybody riding on it in the event of a crash by those were the invincible days. 

So I had to make a bunch of stuff up.

 

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Paint starts to bring things to life. The top of the cabinet was that sort of psychedelic woodgrain pattern that anybody over about 55 years of age will recognize. The carpet, although not shag was a heavier pile than you get using embossing powder so it is short turf fibers used in model railroads. I think I missed a narrow black line between the bigger sections of the carpet but once body is on won't see much of it anyway. 

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And all painted up. The dash is coming with the Flintstone body and will have white panels like the doors, seats and doghouse have. The blanket will be familiar to pretty much anybody with military, police or firefighting experience anyplace in the world. You can probably feel the itching kicking in already. Still need to make an 8 track player for the cabinet but have to did up a chrome radio I know I have someplace for that. Nothing but the front seat are glued on yet since I need to have the body to ensure spacing is correct. 

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As far as I know there are no existing pictures of the real thing but most of the details are etched in my brain even after al this time so it is very accurate at least in my head.

That's it for now since...

I ain't got no body

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Edited by Tcoat
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Quick mockup using the Dodge body. Looks like I am  going to need to trim a hair off the barstool height but the cabinet is bang on. There is no way the front seats will fit in using the locators. They don't even clear the kit body so need to move closer together. I raised the rear about 3 scale inches when I built the suspension so the rake looks about right.

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15 minutes ago, Gramps46 said:

Nice work.  I am guessing the Flintstone might be a repop of the First Gear diecast.

 

Be interesting to see once I can actually look at the real thing. By pictures it looks very crisp so if based on the diecast it was heavily reworked. would have been nice if they had done the side doors as separate pieces like the diecast since I will be opening them up and hinging them so you can actually see the interior. I will also have to open up the rear windows as mine had the swing open ones in the rear doors. 

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Not sure what they molded the interior from because that big bulge on the right side of the dash has nothing whatsoever to do with a stock Econoline. The dash should be flat steel all the way across with just a basic glove box door. Makes me wonder if it was sculpted based upon somebody's modified van. 

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Edited by Tcoat
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I am not too familiar with these vans, but here is a couple pics from the net of a ‘66? Looks like it has the padded dash option.

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Edited by NOBLNG
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20 minutes ago, Mike C. said:

Cool. I'm working on the Chevy version from Jimmy Flintstone.

Presume it is also built on the Lindberg Dodge platform. Funny how all three companies 60s vans were just slight variations of the same thing. 

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24 minutes ago, NOBLNG said:

I am not too familiar with these vans, but here is a couple pics from the net of a ‘66? Looks like it has the padded dash option.

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Well look at that! I never looked for pictures past '64. Makes sense since the '68 had a whole new dash that included the padding. Looks like a transitional "upgrade".

Thanks I feel better about that weird bulge now even if it has gotta go for a '64.

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HI!

Great project. Back then, I had a 1/1 '64 that I transformed into a "California van", as per Hot Rod Magazine gospel... I confirm that a padded dash was an option, and they were abundant in junkyard for the handy guys...

Keep on!

CT

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2 hours ago, Claude Thibodeau said:

HI!

Great project. Back then, I had a 1/1 '64 that I transformed into a "California van", as per Hot Rod Magazine gospel... I confirm that a padded dash was an option, and they were abundant in junkyard for the handy guys...

Keep on!

CT

Never saw a padded dash ever but since they obviously existed I may just leave it alone. Never worked with resin before so do know how difficult it would be to remove and the rest of the cab is Dodge anyway so the padded dash is the least of the concerns I guess.

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Thanks that all makes sense to me now. I never saw a padded dash since they were used in the passenger version (badged Falcon) and all I ever saw in person or looked up was the panel Econoline. All I have ever seen (including mine) was the all steel flat dash. 

Another wrinkle that I haven't mentioned is that although I keep referring to the one I had as "Ford" it was actually a Canadian Mercury. Still named and badged as an Econoline though. Mine was completely debadged other than the Merc emblem on the steering wheel so I have always thought of it as a "Ford". The registration said Merc. 

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The more I think about it the more I am convinced the dash pad has to go. In my van the dash was a semi gloss black with the panel around the instruments, ash tray and flat steel glove box door in white. The pad at the top of the dash doesn't hurt anything but the padded glove box really will mess up the symmetry of the white parts no matter how a paint it.

As I said I have never worked with resin parts before so just how hard would it be to grind/sand/scrape or otherwise remove that pad? I don't want to ruin the dash just to get the right colours in the right places!

Edited by Tcoat
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I have a body!

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I need to find some slightly smaller tires. These just look like balloons. The chassis needed some considerable rework as the body is about 3/8 inch shorter than the Lindberg kit.

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Is this based on the diecast van? I bought one a while back that is marked with M&M branding. It looks good but feels like it's closer to 1/23th than 1/25th. This one looks a lot better.

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On 1/16/2023 at 8:29 AM, Tcoat said:

As I said I have never worked with resin parts before so just how hard would it be to grind/sand/scrape or otherwise remove that pad? I don't want to ruin the dash just to get the right colours in the right places!

It files and sands nicely, but creates a very fine dust, and you don’t want to be breathing any of that stuff in. 

And that mock-up looks great!👍

Edited by NOBLNG
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10 hours ago, oldcarfan said:

Is this based on the diecast van? I bought one a while back that is marked with M&M branding. It looks good but feels like it's closer to 1/23th than 1/25th. This one looks a lot better.

I don't have a diecast to compare but looking at many pictures I do not believe it is molded from them. Ithe lines are very crisp and the gaps for the doors very small. The diecast have huge gaps because the doors open. If it is based upon the diecast it was heavily reworked. The chassis size discrepancy (which I anticipated that is why none of the interior was glued in place yet) would seem to be the slightly different shape of the front of the Dodge and the difference in the thickness between the injection molded Lindberg body and the resin casting. The Flinstone casting is very thick in the rear since it was obviously designed for all the doors closed and no real view back there. I had to thin it down considerably since I will be opening the windows in the rear and the saide barn doors.

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10 hours ago, NOBLNG said:

It files and sands nicely, but creates a very fine dust, and you don’t want to be breathing any of that stuff in. 

And that mock-up looks great!👍

Yep! I read about the dust. I have been an Occupational Health and Safety professional for 30 years so was prepared to deal with the situation. Where I work machines 4 million brake rotors a year so I am no stranger to fine dust!

For hand sanding I used a mask and kept the surface damp (not wet just a fine misting now and then) so there was virtually no dust to contend with. When I had to break out the Dremel to thin the inside rear I went with engineering controls over PPE. I determined the main direction that the dust would fly and taped my shop vac nozzle to the bench. It probably captured 90% of the dust created before it became airborne. I still wore a mask as the remaining 10% was still significant. At the end of it all I had a minuscule amount trapped in the mask. 

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17 hours ago, Tcoat said:

 

 The chassis needed some considerable rework as the body is about 3/8 inch shorter than the Lindberg kit.

That's what i was afraid was going to happen when I saw that you were painting the floor and chassis without having the body in your hands. Hopefully you wont have to perform too many mods since the work you have done so far looks good. 

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1 hour ago, Mr. Metallic said:

That's what i was afraid was going to happen when I saw that you were painting the floor and chassis without having the body in your hands. Hopefully you wont have to perform too many mods since the work you have done so far looks good. 

Oh I was under no impression it would be a slip on fit and fully anticipated having to make adjustments. That was why I kept the frame, floor and "plywood" with carpet sections separate so they could be altered as needed with minimal impact to what had been assembled.  The alterations were very very easy to do and since the undercarriage is far from accurate for an Econoline to start with there was no harm. Had to remove the rear crossmember and spring mounts for length, move the springs and axle an 1/8th inch forward to get the wheels centered in the wheel well and move the two front cross supports back about a 1/4 inch to clear the front wheel wells. The whole operation took about 1/2 an hour including touching up the paint.

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