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Smirnoff Dragster Build


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Smirnoff Dragster – 1967 Driven by Larry Dixon Sr.

This was a “holy grail” build for me. I was familiar with this car from various magazines of the era and had even photographed the beautifully restored version back in 2013 at the California Hot Rod Reunion. It’s one of the most beautiful dragsters of the sixties. Years ago I had ordered the resin body but no one had made the decals. I decided to throw caution to the wind and make my own decals. This would be a first, but I wasn’t getting any younger.

Initial Assembly: The resin dragster body was from Altered States and done very well with little flanges for joining the body together ensuring minimal gaps. The tail section was one-piece which meant the rear axle had to be completely refigured into the chassis and then into the body section with extensions to mount the wheels. I also had to create a new front axle assembly out of aluminum to more closely resemble that of the real car. The pre-painted chassis and pre-assembled interior were fitted into the resin body. In the meantime the motor was assembled and ignition wires, fuel lines and fittings attached. The kit’s original hemi was discarded and a period correct 392 Chrysler was used instead.

Decal Creation: This was going to be a first. I had software that allowed for simple manipulation of images, creating patterns and drawing the blue stripes. Using images of the restoration I was able to secure the elements I needed including the Smirnoff logo, the blue/white swirl pattern and the little bottle for the cowl. Test pages were printed to get the sizing correct and then the “official” sheet was printed and covered by brush with Microscale decal film. Applying the decals went surprisingly well, other than having to struggle with limited decal movement. Once they went down they just didn’t want to move regardless of how much solution I used. It had to go on right the first time or else. The last hurdle was realizing that the color white is not printed. So when I went to apply the light blue swirl pattern on the tails dark blue sections – they just disappeared. In the end I had to lay down a white decal in the right spot and shape and then reapply the light blue swirl pattern for the tail. All in all, I’m reasonably “happy” with the look even though there’s PLENTY of room for improvement.

Final Assembly: Once the decals were set and the rest of the body was together, I proceeded to install the motor, let that dry overnight and then mounted the tires. Voila! The Smirnoff Dragster is complete.




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Hey guys....thanks for all the kind feedback...it's always encouraging.

Perry asks the question about the "gold flake in the name" - actually I can't take any credit on that score. I simply located a useable logo from some photos I had...manipulated it proportionally and then printed it. It came out just that way. I was lucky because it does hold a bit of the gold flake colour. Thanks for noticing. Stay tuned, more dragster are on the way.

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