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AMT 32 Ford Roadster Gluebomb


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The weather is starting to get warmer in Northern Virginia and I'm getting the fever to build again.

I figured I'd start out with a bang by bringing this old AMT Trophy Series 32 Ford Roadster back to life. It's an older kit, and some might gasp at the thought of chopping it up, but that's what they're here for. I paid $11 for the box, which included this stripped down roadster and another, almost pristine stock version.

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As the seller told me, "The roadster is rough.." and rough it is.

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It looks like it was put together with a hot glue gun or clear caulking. Certain adhesives interact poorly with styrene, so this has some "dents" in it, which is ok with me.

The rumble seat that normally fold ups and down on this kit has been glued shut and a wide gap is left at the bottom (don't you love this?). 

There is no floorboard beyond the bench seat which has been glued to the body with what could be a liberal dousing of JB Weld. That's ok though, a little balsa wood or a flattened out piece of a Coke can will do the trick.

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The frame is mostly ok and whatever hot glue or caulking was used on this kit to put it together is mostly forgiving (the areas with Crazy Glue however, are not). The front axle is broken in two places, but the broken part is there, so I could be difficult and not use a replacement from he parts bin. In case you're wondering, the axle is broken because the builder didn't have a second metal rod that came with the AMT kits, so he glued the rims straight to the axle.

The engine didn't come from his kit and is the kind that has a short transmission area that matchs up with the molded in transmission similar to some of the older Jo-Han kits. In order to make this engine fit, pieces of sprue were cut and glued onto the frame. The nubs for the radiator shroud are still there, so that won't be an issue.

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The tires are interesting, I can't tell if the whitewalls were painted or if they came that way. I usually replace the tires on glue bombs like this with the nice AMT whitewall Firestones available recently, but I kinda like these. The Cragar style rims definitely did not come with this kit, and even though I do kind of like how they look, they might be replaced with parts box steelies.

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Appropriately this guy will be turned into a black primer-ed rat rod, maybe with a little rust thrown in.

So there's going to be a lot of work; lots of filing, scraping, sanding. I'm looking forward to it.

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I love glue bomb rescue projects of this kind! Drive on!

BTW, IMHO, wide whitewalls and Cragars don't go together. Pick one or the other. Which one would depend on which way you're going with the rest of the build. B)

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I love glue bomb rescue projects of this kind! Drive on!

BTW, IMHO, wide whitewalls and Cragars don't go together. Pick one or the other. Which one would depend on which way you're going with the rest of the build. B)

Dude, I agree about the whitewalls and Cragars- I grew up seeing Cragars on Camaros, El Caminos, vans, etc. I'll most like go with some steelies or baby moons. I just like how raw this car was when I bought it.

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You are correct on the condition of this glue bomb. That thing is rougher than a night in jail. With all of the body issues it would be best to go with a rusty driver or an abandoned type build.

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You are correct on the condition of this glue bomb. That thing is rougher than a night in jail. With all of the body issues it would be best to go with a rusty driver or an abandoned type build.

"Rougher than a night in jail" LOVE THAT!

It'll be what I would've built had my old man let me buy an old car on lawn mowing money.

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LOVE it.  :D  That's a great old classic kit, and I've hacked up a lot of 'em. And man, is that one rough. I'll be following, for sure.

Here's one of my own projects involving reworking a gluebomb of the same kit.

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   The box is likely worth way more than the $11.00

you spent on this. And you get a car with it!!

  Should be fun, build on!

      David S.

    

Two cars, David.

; )

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What are the fork things on the left and right of a 32 frame? I've never found out and never see them in 1:1 cars...

 

Scott Colmer

I think the fork things are friction shocks.

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Exactly. They usually get removed and replaced with later-style tubular shocks on hot-rods.

 

Image result for '32 ford friction shocks   Image result for '32 ford friction shocks

 

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
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A quick update: With some prying, trimming, shaving and sanding, I'm at this point. Steelies and front suspension from the parts box. I'll need to make new engine mounts and figure out a good stance. Still doesn't look like much, but it's a start.

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"Rougher than a night in jail" LOVE THAT!

It'll be what I would've built had my old man let me buy an old car on lawn mowing money.

I think that's a great idea. The first cars most of us had were well used and had been driven hard. But we loved them anyway. FREDOM is mine !! 

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LOVE it.  :D  That's a great old classic kit, and I've hacked up a lot of 'em. And man, is that one rough. I'll be following, for sure.

Here's one of my own projects involving reworking a gluebomb of the same kit.

Kerry, that 32 you made is gorgeous and the work you put into it is incredible. Not sure mine will be as detailed, but your post is inspiring.

I'm going to try to fab a Ala Kart style bar on the frame to lower it a little. The front end suspension will stay the same as what came with the kit. In the future I'd like to swap it out the way you did yours. Also, my AMT kits have the molded in exhaust pipe and real trans. What version is yours that doesn't have that?

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Kerry, Bill, that 32 you made is gorgeous and the work you put into it is incredible. Not sure mine will be as detailed, but your post is inspiring.

I'm going to try to fab a Ala Kart style bar on the frame to lower it a little. The front end suspension will stay the same as what came with the kit. In the future I'd like to swap it out the way you did yours. Also, my AMT kits have the molded in exhaust pipe and real trans. What version is yours that doesn't have that?

:D Thanks. :D  It's great seeing somebody else taking the time to save an old model that really needs help. 

An easy way to lower the nose if you use the kit axle is to just remove some of the top of the front spring. That saves a lot of the work of making a new front crossmember.

The AMT '32 Ford Victoria and phaeton have a frame without a molded-in rear suspension. The sedan may have (just got one in that I need to check), but the 5-window coupe has the same blobular frame as the roadster.

Here's another one of my old AMT '32 gluebomb-salvage threads that shows a fairly easy way to modify the blobular frames for separate rear suspension.

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:D Thanks. :D  It's great seeing somebody else taking the time to save an old model that really needs help. 

An easy way to lower the nose if you use the kit axle is to just remove some of the top of the front spring. That saves a lot of the work of making a new front crossmember.

The AMT '32 Ford Victoria and phaeton have a frame without a molded-in rear suspension. The sedan may have (just got one in that I need to check), but the 5-window coupe has the same blobular frame as the roadster.

Here's another one of my old AMT '32 gluebomb-salvage threads that shows a fairly easy way to modify the blobular frames for separate rear suspension.

Amazing work, Bill! You have me rethinking a lot of stuff.

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A few small updates.

I'm changing the stance by following Bill's lead with the wedge channel. The rear of the body of the AMT roadster sits on the molded in rear axle. I used some aluminum tubing and built up the hollow area there, raising the rear of the body.

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The front axle broke and has been replaced with a parts box one. I shaved down the top spring, clipped the nib off the top side of it and sanded. I used a Dremel sanding disk and "scooped" out a section of the crossmember and tucked the springs into the notch. Since the photo (below) was taken I've leveled out the cut in the firewall and sanded more of the frame.

The engine mounts on the frame were unsalvageable so they were trimmed off and the area sanded. I'll make new ones using the flat plastic where the numbering is on kit sprue.

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Edited by gwolf
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I gotta give you credit. I'd never even bother with a model this far gone. I have too many other models waiting for my time than to add more work, saving such a thrashed piece.

But I will definitely be watching this. Good luck.

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Ok, I made some more progress. Got the front axle set up and have decided to use a parts box radiator shroud as well. The new radiator shroud is a little thicker than the original one, and attaching the hood pushes it out just slightly, gives the appearance of motion. 

A little less channeling towards the front than before. The scooped out crossmember and shaved axle springs have made a nice drop in the front.

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Lookin' good!

When it comes to saving gluebombs, glass and headlights are an issue. Replacing curved glass is tricky.

As for body blemishes and glue spots--as long as they aren't on critical trim or details, cleaning that stuff up isn't really much harder than dealing with the mold lines, sink marks, and general wonkiness of brand-new kits! Especially the re-issues of older tooling. And if the blemishes are on critical trim...I build customs, so trim often gets shaved anyway.

Looks like you're "going with the flow" on this project. The last mockup looks great; just be careful to get that hood/grille shell lined up so the hood doesn't run uphill.

 

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