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SurfStar '63 'vette


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Some of the crazy projects appearing on these pages lately have inspired me to share this one here...the general idea is to create a '60s custom-rod referencing a bunch of 1:1 1960s hot rods and customs, like the Invader, Asteroid, Manta Ray, Strip Star, Cosma Ray, and others.  There will be a mild "surf" theme, but nothing super outlandish.

The plan is for Indy-style independent suspension front and rear, and hopefully an opening gullwing door.

This project has been creeping along for about 3 months now, so I'll post a few photos to bring things up-to-date.

The victim:



After pushing the cabin back, filling in the nose, bracing the body:



Front fenders cut out and replaced with concave sections of sails from a model sailing ship:


Hood roughed in, passenger-side A-pillar removed in anticipation of creating a partial wrap-around window, custom taillight made from Edsel grille and CD jewel case plastic:


There are a few more details not shown here (ie, chromed headers will exit from the fender cove), but that pretty much covers it so far!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Time to bring this one up to date a little....


-rear fender coves to match the fronts and take some of the "fat" out.

-hinged surboard-loading mechanism (still needs surfboard rack/attachment unit).

-driveshaft offset: because the centerline of the new asymmetrical cockpit is actually closer to the midline of the car than stock, there were problems with leg-room and driveshaft clearance. It looks like maybe a couple of offset-boxes inspired by the ones on 4x4 rigs could do the trick. Not sure if the transmission placement is realistic...but the other option is to combine a 4-speed with a quick change rearend into a DIY transaxle similar to the Bob McKee '65 Can-Am car. 

-hinged gullwing door, and possible switch to early 'vette fuel injection instead of the Webers mocked up earlier.



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Excellent design work on the body. I see how a '63 Split Window works to your advantage with the roof design. Wasn't sure on the wheel well openings at first, but after looking at the overall design it makes sense. When finished you could make a Diorama with Annette and Bobby at the beach.    

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Thanks fellas! Now I have to see if I can actually deliver a finished model...it's a long road still!

Re: planning...I did do a lot of sketching before beginning this; I also created a 3D mockup on the computer using a free 3D model of a '63 'vette. That initial plan has changed somewhat. I also didn't bother planning out hinges, driveline, frame, etc in great detail because I knew those plans would have to be flexible to accommodate problems that would inevitably pop up. I can plan to a certain degree, but then I get bored and it's time to 'wing it' and have fun. One example is moving the cabin rearward--that wasn't in the plan and it added a ton of work, but it helped the proportions in the end.


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On 4/28/2018 at 9:30 AM, CabDriver said:

Got an idea on paint yet?

May I suggest, heavy metal flake Gold. Very popular on 60s show rods. Actually any candy color with heavy metal flake. But I see this one in gold!

2nd picture looks shocking with the body all cut in pieces, but I can see where you're going with it now. Can't wait to see more.

Cowabunga, Dude!

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