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Maserati 3500 GT with V8


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This is a very long-term project, like 25+ years!

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

After this length of time I don't know why I initially bought this kit as it wasn't one of the usual Japanese/American models I favour, maybe it was cheap?!

I also don't know what inspired me to build it this way, perhaps it was seeing a few V8s sitting in my parts box from models built poorly in my younger days?

Anyway, imagine it's 1970s America (probably California) and the owner has one of those fancy, highly-stressed Maseratis. After years of abuse the engine goes pop. The parts aren't available to fix it, and the car doesn't have the value to justify a proper restoration, so the guys at the local rod shop fit a V8 instead. The original skinny wire wheels and tyres wouldn't cope with the torque, and have been kerbed a few too many times, so they fit a new set with some fat rubber and while they're at it the bodywork gets a bit of a makeover. This is the result.....

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I had in my mind something that might be seen for sale in the back pages of a late '70s issue of Road & Track, the sort of thing where people nowadays would wince and the values would be such it would probably get restored back to standard. But where's the fun in that?!

I don't think I've done anything on it since moving to my current house, so that's at least 12 years. However, just yesterday I decided to have a look and see what needed doing. I was messing around with filler on the Chevelle build so why not do more on this one?

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Where I was at, before I started final bits of bodywork and painting the interior.

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

At least some of the bits come from the Monogram '57 Chevy, not sure about everything or even what the basic V8 is from. Wheels are the lovely items that come with the Monogram Corvette America. Arches were opened-up to accommodate them.

It'll run without bumpers, the holes have been filled. Side windows have been removed as they looked too fussy. Colour is Ford Hawaiian/Gemini Blue, a mid-late 1970s colour used in UK/Europe on Cortinas, Capris etc. I started this build before I got into using Tamiya TS sprays, so the colours were dictated by whatever looked interesting at the local car parts shop. Luckily there is plenty of paint in the can and it still works.

I think I put in quite a bit of work when I first started it and it seems a shame not to get it finished, fingers crossed I don't discover why it stalled in the first place.....

Edited by Spottedlaurel
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Welcome, I see you are new to the forum.  I had one of those kits, it was part of an estate that had a bunch of cool models, but I couldn't warm up to it, sold at a model contest.  This is about what I would have done, you're off to a great start!

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On 6/7/2020 at 10:00 AM, Funkychiken said:

Well the box sites c how cool the std car is, a few mods would make it cooler... Right!

Pretty much always!

20 hours ago, Rbray47 said:

I like where you're going with this. 

Thanks! I think I had in mind what Shelby did to the AC Cobra.

14 hours ago, 89AKurt said:

Welcome, I see you are new to the forum.  I had one of those kits, it was part of an estate that had a bunch of cool models, but I couldn't warm up to it, sold at a model contest.  This is about what I would have done, you're off to a great start!

Thanks, everything has potential........

49 minutes ago, Bugatti Fan said:

Was that the old Aurora kit originally released along with an Aston Martin DB4?

I didn't realise that, but apparently so. I'll keep the straight-six engine, might come in useful for another project in the future.

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On 6/8/2020 at 8:51 PM, Dann Tier said:

Its different.....done well so far, and doesnt look bad....i will be following!!

Thanks Dann!

Had a gap in 'work' on the Chevelle, so used the time to do a bit more on the Maserati bitsa:

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

First time with the doors loosely fitted, not too bad.

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Pleased to start assembling more of it after such a long period of nothing happening.

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Gave everything a covering of the same blue paint, as I think I must have used another can when I first painted the bodyshell and there was a difference to what I painted last weekend. Finished it off with a 'wet' coat, unusually for a metallic I wonder if it needs a clear coat? Will see how it dries out.

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This one has fought me a bit over the last week. The blue went down really well, I should probably have left it at that, but I decided to go over with Tamiya Clear TS-13. I tried it one of the smaller parts, it was fine and gave a great shine, so I did everything else.

It was OK initially, but after a minute or two, the finish went matt. I realised it was happening on all the parts I'd previously painted from another can of blue paint, which was bleeding through the stuff I put on more recently.

Luckily it didn't wrinkle up or anything too dramatic, it just meant I had more polishing to do than I'd hoped and I think I've just about rescued it:

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The bootlid seems to be worst of all, I can live with that.

Finally got round to snipping the mouldings out of the front and rear window openings - they attach where I'll be placing BMF, so I left them in place for as long as possible to give the shell some strength when painting and polishing.

At last I'm on the home straight with this one. I'm not rushing to finish it after 25+ years, it might be one to work on when I have some leave next month, but it's good to know I've got another stage ticked off the list.

Edited by Spottedlaurel
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  • 2 weeks later...

Been doing little bits on this one alongside the two other current projects, mostly foiling along with a bit of detail painting:

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

At one time I'd considered leaving the grille completely open, but I think it would then lose too much of its identity. Sadly it looks like the nose wants to part company with the bodyshell - after this long it's not getting stripped to fix properly, I shall touch-up the joint and attach some strips inside to make it sure it stays put....

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Most of the foil now done. Not looking forward to fixing the glass, it seems a bit approximate as to how it fits inside the apertures. Side windows will remain open.

Should get it finished later this month.

Edited by Spottedlaurel
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/5/2020 at 11:49 PM, TimJ said:

Looking good. I recently rediscovered mine that I built in the late 70's.

Thank you Tim. How has yours survived? Feel free to post a photo here.

On 7/6/2020 at 5:01 PM, dbostream said:

Great I like what you are doing with the big engine.

 

On 7/10/2020 at 3:51 AM, Roadrunnertwice said:

I like the color and the "before they were classics" early-70s mods you're doing to this Maserati. I'm looking forward to seeing it come together!

 

On 7/10/2020 at 8:13 AM, slusher said:

Really nice project you have going!

Thanks guys! It's really pleasing to see it come together after so many years, and I think (or at least hope) I'm doing a much better job on it that if I'd have finished back in the 1990s.

After some tedious preparation work, I finally got to the stage yesterday where I could fit the opening panels:

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Looking at this shot now, I'm wondering why I didn't bother sanding off the reference numbers. Ah well, I'm more concerned about how I'm going to fit the front and rear screens - there's negligible overlap, although at least the front one seems to spring into place. Might need to add some tabs.

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Getting it this complete is a significant achievement for me. I'm impressed with how well the panels fit, given that the original Aurora moulding dates back to 1964 (my issue was from 1991). I used the kit-supplied hinges and attachments - the boot has worked well, bonnet is a little tight but might free-off (if not I'll remove them as the bonnet sits nicely in a strip around the aperture anyway). Doors need a little work, or I might just leave them so long as the panel fit is tight enough - ultimately it'll sit on display with them closed.

I'm planning to get a lot of building time in when I have some holiday soon (when we should have been going away) and I'm definitely on track to get this one finished then.

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On 7/20/2020 at 11:48 AM, Dann Tier said:

Man thats looking BRILLIANT!!!, and that kolor REALLY suits it!!!!  -home stretch now, Bud!!!!

Thanks Dann!

I had a good session on this yesterday, the elephant in the room for me was getting the glass fitted - I kept fiddling with other things, but reached the point that to move it forwards I had to somehow get the front and rear screens into place.

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

It was a busy and messy session on the bench yesterday, with things also being done to the Corvette (and progress also made on three other kits). What that meant was I could dry-fit the screens into place, get some PVA glue wherever there was some contact and then forget about it for a while until the PVA had fully dried. It's worked about as well as I can manage, the tricky thing was that that both screens were barely deep enough so it was all too easy to end up with a gap at the top or the bottom.

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Finished dashboard. Decals cracked and weren't easy to apply, but they look OK now they're in place.

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

First trial fit with the glass and interior installed - more work required! Front end fine, but it looks like I fitted the parcel shelf to high on the back of the rear seats. I've since lowered it, so hopefully that'll now be OK. The dashboard fits in a rather approximate way, with no positive means of attachment. I'm going to have to fix some tabs or a bar across the back of it, otherwise it wants to drop down. The doors don't open by any meaningful amount, in hindsight it would have been better to scrap the plastic attachment pieces and replace them with bent wire.

At this point I got curious, with the Corvette's chassis sitting next to it on the bench - can you see where this is heading?

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:24 Monogram Maserati 3500 GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Who knew a Corvette C2 chassis and LT5 engine would fit so well under a Maserati?! If I was doing this for real I'd need to get the wheels in a bit more (or flare the arches/fit narrower rubber) but the width and wheelbase were very close. If I was to start such a project  this again I think I'd use the C2/C3 chassis, but having already invested 25+ years in getting this far I musn't distract myself.....

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51 minutes ago, Dann Tier said:

The ride height, and stance is spot-on, Bud!!!.....and it looks Fantastic without all the bumpers, and trim!!!

It sits a bit higher now it's back on the original chassis and tall Monogram Good year tyres. If I was starting it again now I'd pay more attention to that.

Parcel shelf relocation has worked, it's now sitting lower at the back but I can still feel something fouling, so next up is a bit of trimming of the rear seat corners.......

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2 minutes ago, Spottedlaurel said:

It sits a bit higher now it's back on the original chassis and tall Monogram Good year tyres. If I was starting it again now I'd pay more attention to that.

Parcel shelf relocation has worked, it's now sitting lower at the back but I can still feel something fouling, so next up is a bit of trimming of the rear seat corners.......

All those little tweaks are WELL worth it!!

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12 hours ago, Dann Tier said:

All those little tweaks are WELL worth it!!

Indeed. In my younger days I'd have lived with it, but for the sake of one or two more trial fits and a little bit of shaving it's worthwhile. And it was in this case.

12 hours ago, doorsovdoon said:

Looks stunning! I really like that.

Thanks Gareth.

Ended up doing some 1:1 filling and painting inside the house yesterday, so not as much time spent on the various kit projects in the shed as I hoped, but this one progressed nicely. This will probably be its last WIP update:

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

Random V8 about as detailed as it's ever going to be. I still haven't worked out what it's from. For some reason one of the rocker covers is on back to front, which dates back to whever I first built it, but as yet it's resisting attempts to cleanly remove it.

At this point I was looking at using the original propshaft, but it was too short so I ended up using a bit of rod found in the parts box. It's not particuarly visible anyway, in fact if I can't work out the exhaust system the underside may stay firmly near the ground and not be viewed again......

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

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1:25 Monogram Maserati 3500GT kit by Spottedlaurel, on Flickr

I couldn't resist getting the lights fitted, even though the bodyshell is going to have to come off again - it wasn't until yesterday that I realised I had cut away the rear inner arches, presumably I did that to fit the bigger wheels and tyres. The fun of a long-term WIP! They're not particularly visible, so I'll fabricate something out of some thin sheet. I also need to fit the rear valance (that attaches after the chassis and bodyshell are put together) and do a little bit more shaving off the wheel backs to get them tucked under the arches nicely.

I kind of wish I hadn't put it onto the Corvette chassis, as now it looks way too high! When I started this I didnt spend as time working on how a car sits, I just trusted the original set-up to work out. Then again, would they have done much different in the '70s when my back story takes place?......

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