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Walt's Puffer Too


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I am sure, being geezers or geezers-in-training, that most of you are familiar with the AMT Double Dragster with the Fiat Altered. The parts are notorious for showing up here and everywhere else in many nostalgia type builds.

Well, the Fiat is actually the Walt’s Puffer A/A Altered coupe that was a record holder back in the early ‘60’s. AMT saw fit to make the companion to the coupe – the Model T Bucket Parts Pak (# 3006) of the A/Roadster that the Knochs campaigned at the same time and suggested that people could build it using parts from the Double Dragster. At the time I thought this was bad advice, unless you were rich! 69 cents for just a body!! The whole double kit was only $2!! Then there are leftover parts!! This was the thinking of an 11 year old at the time.

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Anyway, I eventually coughed up the lawn care money, bought and made the T on a different frame (don’t remember what) back then, never saving the frame but did save the body (cuz it had an interesting paint job – Testors candy apple red over Pactra Hot Rod Primer (which nobody seems to make anymore).

Fast forward to a few years ago - after having bought many old Double Dragster kits and parts - of many production dates and colors, many Blueprinter versions with hideously incorrect wheels - I pulled out my old roadster body, sighed, gave it a swim in the purple pond and filled in where I had gouged it out for a Pittman arm and then let it sit……..

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Enter the Internet – after looking at the Awful Awful Altereds website too many times to count, I went looking for info on the original roadster. There was very little other than a few pictures that could be dug out with a lot of work, and there is some print, but I think it will be enough to recreate it correctly enough. There is someone on HAMB who is trying to restore it and posted a few good chassis photos, so that will be a big reference help too.

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I originally made a frame to mimic the Fiat coupe’s in the AMT kit out of Evergreen (so I wouldn’t waste precious older styrene – strange the way my brain works), but found out that although the AMT coupe’s version is kinda okay, to follow their well meaning directions on using it for the roadster would make that one not at all correct. The frame for it should be of a more typical race car fashion with two main rails made from round tubing and round tube crossmembers, as shown in photos I found on the web. There are also photos of the actual frame, dusty and in disrepair in Walt’s garage or cellar, but measurable (!) that I started using for this build. First I had to make an assumption and mine was that the wheelbase was around 100”, approximately the same as the coupe, so if it’s wrong it won’t be very wrong – everything else will be scaled off this.

A couple of other things I found when doing my “research” are that the roadster used the same 4 slot rear mags that were used on the original Revell SW&C ’41 Willys, there were M&H Racemaster pie crust slicks at one point and I already have them cast, the 12 spoke front wheels look just like the ones in the AMT ’32 Vicky, ’56 Ford and parts pak – very thin spokes rather than the thick ones in the Double Dragster. I’m thinking the difference between Ted Halibrand’s and Romeo Palimedes’ designs, maybe??

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So now I am going to try to recreate the frame. I did start it, but tried to cold bend the tubes and rods. It didn’t meet with my expectations, so I tore some of it out to get it more symmetrical.

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Here is what it looks like today after replacing some tubing and getting it more square and refined. It was also waaay too long the way I had scaled it, so that is changed somewhat too. I think after seeing the photos that the car may have evolved some as time went on, but I am not sure how much. The turtle deck on the body kinda migrated upwards, or the bucket did downwards so I’m gonna have to try to hit a happy medium. My frame is just a bit different in the rear to fit the body the way I want.

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The engine will be repurposed (I hate that term!) from a gluebomb leftover (actually, my own that I had saved – that looks similar to this other one that I also had saved, yikes!)

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Ya gotta love Testor’s tube glue from 1961. I cleaned up the block, heads and manifold so that they are almost presentable again. The blower is from the parts box and so is the scoop, with the Fiat’s 4 port injectors and magneto. The thread plug wires came right off the valve covers due to me not scraping the plating off way back when, so that is good.

I can find no good clear reference pics of the whole fuel delivery system, but there is no front mount fuel pump in any pic and the way the lines disappear toward the rear of the block made me look for something else. There were rear blower plates that incorporated a fuel pump drive produced by Reath Automotive and this seems to be what they could have used, so I replicated that type of setup.

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As is my usual way, this will take time to finish and I will be asking about decals of anyone who knows how to fix/adapt/make new ones – I don’t.

Thanks for looking and any comments are greatly appreciated. Come for the ride down the quarter mile................

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Very neat project. The ability to preserve/recreate history is a particularly rewarding aspect of our hobby.

As far as making decals; the problem, as I see it, is that the lettering is white. I have yet to find a household printer that will print white. All is not lost, however. You should be able to find white dry transfer lettering at a good art supply store. From there you have two options: 1) Apply the transfers directly to the model. Not impossible but tricky with regard to spacing and alignment. Or 2) Apply the transfers to clear decal film (available from most hobby shops) then overcoat with clear or Micro Mark decal film (my preference) and use like any other decal.

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A great one in the making. I was unaware of the Puffer Too A/Roadster. With all the impressive work your putting in to the chassis that handsome hemi should be a knockout when you get to it! I did a T-Altered variant using this kit a couple of years back, but it was based on the Fiat chassis virtually as-is and the AMT Parts Pack Pontiac and T-Altered body shell. Way more funky and earlier in time than this one. (two-port Hilborns, whitewall slicks, steelie front wheels, etc.) Looking forward to more, more, more...

Edited by Bernard Kron
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Thank you all for the kind comments. The historical aspect is one that I find really intriguing......and tough to recreate!

Johann, thank you for the suggestions. That is an avenue that I maybe can pursue. I may actually try to paint them too - we'll see as time goes on.

Bernard, I was also unaware of it's existence until I went digging. It seemed to be almost lost in the dustbin of history and I want to do it up as correctly as I can - not like the AMT people suggested. As this one progresses I will be doing a corrected version of the Fiat to compliment it. A lot of the kit is incorrect for that too, but there is a lot of photo evidence to fix it.

I will post more as I sloooowly go along.

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Gentlemen, thanks again. The only thing I have done is add a boss on the block for the oil filter because the AMT version has no provision for it. The valve covers from the Revell Miss Deal are swimming in the pond right now because they have the clips for the plug wire covers that are apparent in photos, not cut off and buffed up like a lot of cars.

Pappy, thanks for the info. I will do that indeed!

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Also, hope that I didn't overstep my boundaries, as I had originally posted this in "On The Workbench" because it IS on the workbench. I thought that the Drag Racing Model section was for completed cars. Sorry!

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This is going to be awesome, I love the early altereds. Never heard of pactra hot primer,but the pactra line is being dropped all together from testors so nothing pactra will be around. With any other category bedsides drag racing and Nascar there is a workbench section and underglass so kind of confusing. Look toward to more progress.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Really liking this one. I never knew there was a Walt's Puffer Too. I think I'll need to build one of these as well. I may be able to help you with the artwork for the decals since I plan on building one up as well. I send my artwork to Chief Joseph and he does a great job of printing.

I'll definately be following along on this one.

Edited by gasser59
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  • 5 months later...

Brad, as luck would have it, this weekend I was just looking at the parts that are sitting around waiting, and wating and thought I should get my rump in gear and back on this. I will post as I get some kind of progress - lost my mojo.

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Well, Pat, get your mojo back and please continue with this build. I'm almost done with the decal artwork. I'd love if you could share some of the visual reference you have for this as I'm about to jump in on mine.

What color is the type on the body and what else needs to be on the decal sheet for this? All I have at the moment for reference is the b/w photo you posted.

Edited by gasser59
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