AMTs Don Tognotti King T

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some of us may remember me building Wilhelm's Wild Dream back a while ago, and now i am going to build the companion car, Don Tognottis King T. even though i do not particularly like the outward style of this car, i do really like some aspects of it, aside from it being a bit of a Sacramento area local hero. So after it sitting on the shelf for years (literally) i finally decided to take a poke at it.

heres a link back to the workbench build of the wild dream:

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18520&hl=%2Bwild+%2Bdream&fromsearch=1

and heres a pic as a reminder:

niceprofile.jpg

last year i happened to see the real car at a show and had a chance to take a bunch of reference photos. one thing i noticed then was how sophisticated the car was underneath. the rear axle particularly, with torsion bar suspension and inboard disk brakes. inboard disk brakes...nothing but high line race cars had those back then did they? and all this was chromed to the hilt, some thing i toned down a bit so i could look at it. here are a few photos of the real thing:

dscn9560x.jpg

heres a look at the rear suspension and geometry on the real thing:

dscn9531.jpg

and a version of the kit i am building posing in front of it.

dscn9567.jpg

i think i will save this post and start another to continue ... stay tuned!

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alright, so first off let me reiterate: this isnt my favorite car ever so i am not really planning on any heroics...pretty much a box stock build much like the wild dream was but a couple of mods that i think might improve either the finished model, or the real car, or both. more on that as it becomes evident but for now everything is built pretty much out of the box but i have added ignition wiring to the motor, and i replace the plain undetailed rear disk brakes with some others i had around with at least a caliper which the kit ones did not. and i am also not going to remove each and every sink mark but i am going to try to make a credible attempt at building a nice show model if not a contest winner.

heres a pic of the box to refresh everyones memory:

kitboxandchassis.jpg

nice artwork on the box and the kit inside proves to be well engineered and goes together amazingly, surprisingly, well...both the wild dream and this companion are intricate but not overly delicate though they were pretty much above my abilities when i was young...but i do remember making the wild dream look almost decent back then...we will see how 50 years improves ones skills...or not!

here are a couple of pics of the near finished motor...it is completely finished now and i will probably be installing it in the chassis later or tomorrow...will post some more pics on that monumentous occasion!

unfinishedrightside.jpg

unfinishedfront.jpg

it actually looks a lot better now and you might notice that the plug wires arent quite comfortable yet...thats because the goofy exhaust header thing (more like a straight chrome bar...even on the real car) has to run through there yet then i will form the wires around them.

here is the front suspension all glued together with white glue...i am currently regluing the joints with epoxy and supeglue:

frontaxlewithradiusrods.jpg

frontaxlestraighton.jpg

very nice detail there and as mentioned, it all fits together surprisingly nicely.

now here is the rear suspension in all its glory...or as best as i could make it anyway:

rearaxlestraighton.jpg

rearaxleupsidedown.jpg

alright so thanks for looking and i will probably update this in a day or two because i plan on getting the motor in place and mounting the tires and wheels, then i will proceed to get the body into paint!

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Posted · Report post

I love seeing this classic built and it looks like a fine job so far.

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Posted · Report post

Chassis looks great, very nice clean work. Should be a cool build.

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Posted · Report post

I don't think I've ever seen one of this out of the box and it looks like a highly detailed kit. Plus, you're doing it justice and even improving on it. So can you tell me about the front of a motorcycle that I see in your last pic? Can you post a pic or two of that and let me know where it came from?

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Posted · Report post

thanks for the comments every one; that is an AMT Triumph Bonneville motorcycle that was included in the 62 F100 ford pickup at one point, however it is the replicas and miniatures of maryland resin repop of it. i have a thread going on it but have not updated it in a while despite making some progress on it...will update the build thread soon, when i get it assembled more...right now it is in a bunch of completed subassemblies waiting to be put together. here is a link to that thread:

http://www.modelcarsmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=54881&hl=%2Btriumph+%2Bmotorcycle&fromsearch=1

thanks again for looking and hopefully i will get the motor installed and wheels on tonite and update the thread later.

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Posted · Report post

Off to a great start going to be cool.

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Posted · Report post

Looks like a neat kit . The Jag rear is cool with the custom arms . Never seen one without dual coilovers before .

Wasn't the real car auctioned at Barrett-Jackson recently ?

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Posted · Report post

Very cool, Bill!!

I also like your workbench setup with the clear standoffs!!

Later,

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Posted (edited) · Report post

ok a little late but better than never!

installed the motor into the chassis and finished up the wheels (except for the three prong knockoff to finish them off) and posed the thing today for pics, even put the body on it to check stance (not at all to my liking so adjustments are in order, starting with rear track width). here are some pics with comments:

viewfromfront.jpg

and a shot from behind showing the rear suspension up to the front with wheels and tires posed in place:

viewfrombehind.jpg

here is how the rear suspension looks poking out from under the body. looks pretty awesome to me...wheel track is too wide though and thats because of the mods i made with the disk brakes. but it shouldnt be too hard to correct, have to drill out the wheel center (covered by a knock off eventually) and then shorten the end of the axle.

rearsuspensionunderbody.jpg

and a shot showing a similar situation on the front end: too wide of track. this one aint gonna be so easy. not sure how to approach it yet...if i had known i would have ground down this boss on the disk brake that holds the wheel off from it. now its gonna be tricky with that delicate front end. i think a circular saw blade in the ole dremel might come in handy.

and you can see why i am not too worried about how the plug wires look at the rear of the motor: you cant even see them and thats without the exhaust system which goes in next:

bodyposedonchassisfromf.jpg

finally for this afternoon, here are three pieces still to installed to complete the chassis/motor: two exhaust system pipes and the driveshaft. typically i will make my own aluminum driveshaft but in this case the kit piece looks pretty good with good detail in the U joints so i am gonna keep it. dont know how it will fit at this point. also note i made some exhaust tips from aluminum tubing which look a lot nicer than those thin ones on the end of the exhaust pipe. i really should dechrome this and remove all the lines etc but instead i think i will do a bit of foiling and i have already painted the muffler red (just for contrast) and removed the seams from the pipes as much as i wanted to...

exhaustanddriveshaft.jpg

thanks again for looking...might not get much more done for a bit because i currently have some other responsibilities plus i want to get the surfite and triumph motorcycle done so i might not update this for a while now...

Edited by jbwelda

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Posted · Report post

kool! is your boss gene winfield? thanks for the in progress pics!

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Posted · Report post

Neat...wonder what became of the double kit tooling...is any of it shared w/ AMT's other Ts?

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re: gene winfield, yeah oops, thats what i meant, that he did the paintwork on the car, when i was taking my photos i was talking to him about the paint. he recommended model master Evening Orchid Metallic (which is now out of production i think) so i went down to the hobby shop and bought a couple cans for this occasion. i think someone here, maybe even you, Paul, also mentioned that specific color as a good match to the real thing.

and rob, yeah some of the tooling has been available in other kits, i dont recall exactly which ones, and none of them had enough included to call it anything other than slim to partially complete. its a real shame too...i have always really really loved that wild dream...the king T not so much but still...its undercarriage is pretty impressive.

Edited by jbwelda

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this as well as a lot of things have been on back burner of late but that doesnt mean i cant get a little done here and there! ive fitted and adjusted the body to fit together well and for the interior to sit flush inside it (not an easy matter as it turns out but looks 1000% better now), fixed some sink marks and smoothed things out a bit (though that is difficult with the raised lines engraved on the fenders). its been sitting around in primer for awhile so one day i decided to start getting it painted. laid down a coat of tamiya leaf silver as a base coat and today sprayed the testors "custom laquer system" evening orchid metallic, which i was dreading because i had forgotten it was not an enamel and i was looking forward to a runny drippy mess. happy surprise! went on very nicely right out of the preheated can and laid down very well for a metallic with a lot of metal in it. i am going to let it breathe for a couple days and then hit it with some testors clear laquer...

it was very hard to capture the color with my camera, but this shot pretty much shows how the color really looks to the eye. i managed to get all pieces about the same color saturation at least to my eye right now and they all look like this first photo. pretty close to the pics posted above.

closetotruecolor.jpg

tbodyshell.jpg

reardeck.jpg

ok so that was very relieving to have the color turn out so well first try (hope i am not jinxing myself there) but i had another problem i had been puzzling over since i started this. the real car had a polished brass radiatory shell as you can see in my pics and i am pretty sure the original did too. unfortunately the kit radiator is chrome which is useless unless maybe i would be content with like spraying clear yellow over the chrome and calling it brass (dont laugh...the thought occurred to me for more than a passing second) but more likely trying to cover it in BMF brass if such a thing exists, or maybe alclad or maybe i just dont know what.

this past weekend though i go to the Stockton NNL and run into the man i call "Mr Brass", Jerry Cardinal. now if you dont know well jerry is pretty good with brass shall we say and he had a few pieces to a project he was working on laid out on display. one piece was a T Ford radiator shell in BRASS! so i said hey jerry how much would you want to craft one of these for me (and i told him about the King T which he had already seen in earlier stage)? well so typical of jerry he just looked at it and said "take it". i couldnt believe it, so i asked again just to make sure. he said yeah take it, it was just a first attempt and if you can use it, its yours! so yeah i can use it! took it home and polished it up a bit (it was raw unfinished brass with solder stains a little). the kit radiator fits in it well and i can steal the lower support from the kit shell and this is looking pretty nice!

radiatorshellfront.jpg

radiatorrear.jpg

so thanks for looking again and hopefully i will get this thing painted an also hopefully finished in time for NNL West this Feb or March or whenever it may be!

Edited by jbwelda

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Posted (edited) · Report post

nice build. Thought that name sounded familiar. I grew up just south of Sac, where his shop is

Edited by Droppedgmc

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Posted · Report post

nice work!

i had the original, desecrated it, traded it off, got it back, dont know if i still have it or not.

then... i bought (5) 1/8 scale monogram originals and the guy gave me a box of 1/25 cars, in the box was both ''t''s!

so i will restore them sometime!!!!

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well with the weather heading south, had some time to devote to furthering this along the road. heres some current pics of fitting the chassis to the fender unit. note that under (over actually) the diff there is wood paneling...and i dont like it so instead i cut a mirror to fit in that panel. thats more the way i remember the car though the photos i took of it a couple years ago are indistinct up in that area. but for a show car a mirror works much better i think. the wood paneling may have come from some other iteration of this kit? i say that because the top surface of the fender unit has wood paneling as well but all that is covered by the body and turtledeck. strange it would be engraved if you couldnt see it.

anyway, photos:

interior with wood grain wheel and dashboard enclosure. remember i am just building the model, not designing it!

dashstraighton.jpg

T bucket with interior placed inside:

bucketwithsteeringwheel.jpg

a look at the undercarriage on fender unit from the front:

undercarriagefromfront.jpg

you can see the mirror, nice effect if you ask me:

diffreflectioninmirror.jpg

kinda the whole mess all in one place:

bucketwithundercarriage.jpg

undercarriagewithwheels.jpg

next challenge is to narrow the track of the front end at least 1/8" and hopefully more like 1/4"...this is gonna be interesting and i hate to think i am going to have to ham-fist all this delicate work but what can ya do? dremel time!

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bit more progress to report: the chief looming problem here has been the way too wide front end track which would make the front wheels and tires practically stick all the way out from under the fenders above them, kinda like a dune buggy. and with this style of car i dont want that. the real one did have a track slightly wider than the fenders but this was ridiculous.

i marked the width of the fender unit on some graph paper and proceeded to see exactly how much i had to narrow something. right off the bat it became apparent this is a kit design "feature" because as you can see in this photo, the axle and brake assembly sticks out to the marks designating the outer edges of the fender unit. and the wheels have a small center so they only mount against the outer side of the collar coming out of the disk brake rotor. that means basically that the tires will be outside of the fender unit.

frontaxletrackongrid.jpg

so it occurs to me to maybe slice that collar off the brake rotors, which would have been a swell idea back, oh, say 6 months ago but at this point with the delicate suspension and all, i would prefer to avoid it. but looking at the problem a bit closer i see that i can drill out the wheel backs and let them slip over the collars and tighten the track a bit that way. now realize these wheels have a front and a back, and the front of the backs can be seen in the spaces between the spokes on the front of the wheel. i took one of these backs and enlarged the center hole so it would slip over that collar and it looked pretty good, so i narrowed the wheel back by relieving some from the front and back of it, to make it sit closer to the front side of the wheel and also to clear the tie rod and junk on the inside of the wheel. way harder to describe than to do almost!

here is a before and after with the wheel backs before mods (on the right) and drilled and narrowed (on the left):

wheelcentercomparisonbe.jpg

(nice ejector pin marks eh?) and a shot of the two from a different angle so you can see how much narrow the one on the left is:

wheelsonedge.jpg

this all looked pretty good and got me about an 1/8" on both sides...not enough to really pull in the tires but enough that it doesnt look freakish, and as mentioned the original had some of that so it can be considered prototypically correct i guess.

heres a shot of the inside of one wheel sitting tight against the brake rotor:

drilledfrontwheelonaxle.jpg

and a shot of the corrected track with both wheels posed:

frontendongridcanseewid.jpg

finally here is a shot from above without wheels mounted to compare with the next with the wheels mounted. again note my marks which represent the OUTER edge of the fender unit that will ride above the tires...also note how close the tie rod doodad come to the tire and wheel, thats why i narrowed the inside half of the wheel, to give a bit more clearance there, and also note that right side tire and wheel isnt up against the rotor all the way:

frontaxletrackongridfro.jpg

lookingdownonchassiswit.jpg

thanks for looking!

Edited by jbwelda

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Posted · Report post

You gotta love a good show rod, and a classic model kit. Great surgical style of building also, very clean. Nice work on the wheel adjustment.

It seems the engine set back in the kit is much more than 1:1. Is this a photo illusion or a design flaw?

2067162370103882008S600x600Q85.jpg

Very nice build you have going I'll be watching, J2

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yeah i think you are right: the engine is set back beneath the T bucket on the real thing, but not nearly as much as on the model. if you look closely like i have at the T bucket shell itself, you will see it varies considerably from the 1:1, especially from the windshield line forward. i assume AMT had a T bucket body already in production and used that instead of tooling one up especially for the King T. I say "AMT" but i think this was originally an MPC kit so it may have been them who originally made the design decisions. thanks for the pic and thanks for the comments! i am hoping to get this in shape to bring to the Stockton NNL this coming sunday so i hope the weather cooperates (cooperates in that it rains cats and dogs but my electricity stays on, and so far so good)

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i notice something funny in that photo you posted J2, and that is that the wheels shown on your photo, but somewhat obscured by the display around it, appears to have the wooden insert spokes on the inside while the photos i took of it (the recreation) and the box art show the wooden spokes on the outside of the wheel. maybe thats just an illusion in your photo but it caught my eye.

heres my photos of the prototype (recreation)

dscn9539c.jpg

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Posted · Report post

The photo I found on Bing. It looks more like a chrome wagon wheel with every other spoke covered in wood. Not real custom wheels.

Either way it is a cool build your doing.

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Posted · Report post

hmm awsome kit and build !!!

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Well wrapped this one up recently; here are some informal pics of the finished product and i will post more formal shots of it on its stand in the Under Glass section soon. Many thanks for following along!

leftfrontj.jpg

leftsideprofile.jpg

rearsuspensionandbody.jpg

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Posted · Report post

awsome result !!

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