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Chris D

The life of my 68 Firebird in 4 dioramas...

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Hello all,

I posted this just before the last server crash so am not posting it again.

This set of dioramas tells the story of my 1968 firebird from original purchase to when I sold it. I did not purchase the car new, I purchased it used as a rust bucket in so parts of this story are assumed..

The 1:1 car was a 68 Firebird with a 350 engine and a 3 speed manual transmission. I didn't purchase the car new so I don't know what the actual dealership looked like. I found some vintage photos of dealers around that time and created this structure. I will add more bits and pieces to it as time and interest allows. The signs were images found on the net and then sized / printed on Testors white decal paper then applied to styrene. Inside the office area, you can see additional promotional posters that were made same was as the exterior signs.

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I bought he car around 1978 as a rusted out dented up driveable wreck. I drove it for about 1 year this way and liked the car so much I decided to turn it into a restored street rod. On about the last night before I parked it before restoration, a buddy and me went "Four Wheelin" with it and got it stuck in the mud. The actual place were we got stuck didn't have a river behind it but I liked that photo so enlarged it for use in the diorama. There is a log (twig) leaning against the back of the car, yes we tried and failed to lever it out of the mud that night. I didn't have an actual photo of the car stuck in the mud, but did have one in my driveway the next day. It was a faded photo but helped me remember some of the details so I could create the scene. I have this diorama posted elsewhere on this forum.

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About 1980 the car was rebuilt with all new sheetmetal (which I stored in my bedroom till it was needed). I put a Pontiac 455 engine in it with a 4 speed transmission. I have no photos of the car during that phase so I had to work a lot from memory. The garage scene is pretty close the "real". I only have a few photos of the outside of the garage looking in through the overhead door. But, having spent so many hours in that garage a lot of memories exists and many came back while building this diorama. Some detail bits have to be replaces like the tool box, its scale is off (must be 1/18 or something). While building this, I enjoyed reliving the many good times in that space with my cars.

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The final phase of the car under my ownership was when I converted it to a drag car. I did the conversion in 1981 and raced until 1985 at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove WI. Again, I had a lot of fun during that time. The scene depicted is close but those that have been there know, there isn't a river on the far side of the track, rather there is a big tree and then cornfield. Being late in the fall when I built the diorama, I couldn't take a good backdrop photo so I will save that detail till next summer. One of the billboards is a pretty close replica of the real thing based on the one photo I have of me racing there. The other billboards were images I found online that fit the need. I did attempt to recreate the artwork of the original billboards but my skills are not good enough.

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The whole process of building all four models and dioramas took about 2 or 3 months working on the weekends. As I just got back into modeling since I was a kid, I had a lot of learning to do and had a lot of fun doing so.

I also fulfilled my desire to relive that period in time with that car - it was a great time.

Thanks for taking a look and allowing me to share my life experiences with you and I certainly would appreciate comments.

Chris D.

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yes this topic was also gone .. i replyed before .. very cool stuff and i love all those stages

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Thanks for the kind words Bruce and Rich. I know it is nothing like the detail of yours Rich, but as my skills develop I can add some of those handmade fantastic little details you are such a master of.

Chris D

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dont short .. how do you call that shortchange yourself , you just did very clean work and the signs and all are great :)

the curved glass in the shop > awsome :)

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This is fun to see and really well done. I've made models of all the cars i've owned, but never had one long enough to have it 'evolve'.

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Walter - Thank you much for the comments, while I have owned one car longer than this one, there was no story to tell about it other than I couldn't afford to get a different one. To me, and hopefully my grandkids, it will help me to share a fun time of my life (provided cars are still a cool thing).

Michael and James - Thank you for the comments, to me the story of that car and my life is very important. Should I get more ambitious, there were 3 different version of the drag car so I still have two more to go at some point in time.

Chris D.

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Nice! I was thinking of doing something very similar with my '71 Mach 1 - a total rust pile when I bought it, and now it's restored. Excellent work - love the concept as well. :D

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Very cool dioramas. 

I have been wanting to do something like this with my 1:1 64 d100 from when it was sitting in a field.

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Very cool dioramas and story on them.   I still have hopes to find someone willing to trade me a 75 Firebird someday so i can build a replica of mine I once owned...I truly loved that car.

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Great work done on those . Love your work !

 

Michael S.

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Very cool idea.  While my car was never in rough shape (repainted in 1990) I did have a blast driving it all over the east coast to auto crosses, shows and track events.  The signs in yours looks great.  Here is my car in the mid 1980's and last month.  Where did the time go?

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