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1/25 Whiz Bang '40 Ford Coupe


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  • 1 year later...

I finally located some vintage Letraset dry transfer letters for this project, and while the fonts aren't an exact match, these should work just fine:



I also scrounged a few parts out of an AMT '62 Thunderbird kit, including the rearend, center section, shock plates, and mufflers/tailpipes shown below, as well as as a second set of shock plates, and two leaf springs from an AMT '50 Chevy Pickup:



The '62 NHRA rule book I'm using as my guide states "must have a full production type suspension system; one commonly used by an auto manufacturer", so while that's rather vague, these should work in place of the stock parts and provide a period correct upgrade.

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  • 1 year later...

The hodge-podge rear suspension parts never quite felt right, so, you know, K.I.S.S., and it's back to the stock suspension parts. Not a bad thing, as they are nicely detailed and would probably hold up fine behind a mild Buick V8.

I prepped all of the suspension parts for paint, and added pins where the friction shock housings meet the frame to make the eventual union a bit more secure:



I removed the firewall, too, to fill in the hinge holes, and applied a bit of Tamiya surfacer primer to provide some contrast, but I'll need to apply a bit of filler yet:


Hopefully I can get the firewall reattached the body soon, then gets things ready to create some engine mounts...after the engine, bellhousing, and transmission are fully mocked up.

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On 3/18/2021 at 12:04 PM, TransAmMike said:

I too have spent a lot of time on the Klass site.👍

There's so much inspiration there, but it's easy to get too many ideas, and start too many projects...AMHIK. 🙆‍♀️

I had been putting off reshaping the AMT Buick V8 block, despite having made some decent progress. The area around the distributor boss and the integral bellhousing were not things I was looking forward to working on, so that was a major reason this project sat idle for months. I think with the stock suspension back in play, too, the B&M Hydrostick trans behind the Buick V8 would've been a bit excessive, so I decided to make a change.

I had been looking for the early Olds V8 engine from the Revell '50 Coupe kit for at least a year, and finally acquired one, so after looking it over, decided to use it on this project. Now that I have the engine in my hands, I understand why nobody was willing trade one away--- it's gorgeous. Really an excellent, well-proportioned and detailed little V8, with some seriously tiny parts. I'll try to show a few of those details as the engine progresses, but there's not much to show as of yet, just basic prep and assembly of the engine block/trans halves, cylinder heads, water pump, and oil pan. That was enough to do a test fit, and things are looking very positive as far as fit inside the '40 Ford's engine compartment is concerned:



The Olds engine has a centered front mount which you can see above, so that may actually make things even easier up front. The Ford's frame cross members and trans mount will need some reworking as can be seen in the below image, so hopefully I won't need to do any excessive clearancing of the trans tunnel:



The Hydramatic's side pan is tight up against the left frame crossmember, and will only get worse as the engine and trans slide back a bit, so I will need to get that figured out. A new trans crossmember will be added, too, but it looks like there's plenty of space to run the exhaust down and through the frame, so I should be good there.

The firewall hinge holes have been filled, so after I add the raised half-round rib detail which was lost to sanding,  I can get the firewall reinstalled.

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It was time to address the clearance issue regarding the Hydramatic's side cover, so I removed both frame cross members and cleaned up the frame rails after doing so, to provide a clean, smooth starting point for the next step:



I purchased a 1/24 Revell '37 Ford Coupe kit (yes, after being inspired by a George Klass Remember 'site image) which never progressed, so I decided to use the frame cross members from the '37 on the '40. While not quite identical on both kits, the cross members from the '37 have a less acute angle, so more space is available where they meet at the cross of the "X", which should provide adequate trans clearance. The right cross member from the '37 already has a clearance bump out, like so:




Great if you are using a TH-700R4, but not for a Hydramatic, which needs extra space on the opposite side. So, the existing clearance area was removed and the cross member patched and straightened, and once everything fully cures, I will add the elongated holes to match the opposite side cross member, and blend everything to match the existing flanges:



The '37 cross members are tad bit longer and the rear ends will stand a bit proud of the '40's frame rails, but I will address the latter issue later. With everything set in place and aligned, I went ahead and attached the left cross member to the frame rail, and held it in place with rubber bands while the cement cured:




Cross member patched and ready for a bit of putty to finish it up:



Edited by Casey
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On 3/26/2021 at 7:50 PM, alan barton said:

Full credit for working with some very flimsy pieces of plastic there, Casey!

It wasn't as fragile as I thought it might be, and I managed to not break it while working on it, so that's always a good thing.

I rejoined the right cross member to the frame, matching the left piece, so the next step is to add the braces back between the frame rails and cross members. The '40's braces didn't survive removal, so pieces of the '40 cross members will be used instead.



I removed some material on the trans tunnel, firewall, and floor pan, so clearance around the trans is much better. There's still a bit to remove on the right side, but not much. You can see I set the engine and trans in place for test fitting, and despite having to remove the entire front engine mount and part of the fuel pump, as well as some material from the front frame cross member, it fits quite well:




Tomorrow I'll get to work on a new front and rear engine/trans mounts and install the frame braces, too. Minor progress, but still progress.

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