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65 Riviera Mid-school Cruiser Flaked Paint 6-6

Albie D

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In my humble opinion, the line drawn between customs and lowriders in the 70's was a blurry one. Maybe a hazy one is more apt for the decade, but I've been interested in that pre-Dayton era for a few years now. The first gen Riviera is probably Detroit's best factory custom effort (with the 58 Impala coming a close second) and needs little to cruise the streets in style.

A gray plastic AMT 65 Rivera is the (un)lucky subject of this build, so less writing and on with some pics okay?

Like most AMT kits of the era, this one has a basic floor pan with all the detail molded in along with those rudimentary metal axles. Since customs are all about stance, this baby is low. And that would mean a metal axle piercing though the heads of the motor. Since its a Nailhead and not a AMT Axle head, the axle had to go.


I used square stock to make a stut type thing, drilled holes for the cut down axles and called it a day. Not very real looking, but niether is a axle going though the engine bay. I hear some guys saying already, " But chassis XYZ will fit with a little spit and elbow grease". Ehh, I cant really be bothered


Looks unobtrusive from underneath and I built in a little negative camber for some added stance realism

The rear was done in the conventional metal axle way with the top of the wheel house lopped off and the mount moved up.


So we got a grounded stance, now we need some shoes. Im not into product shots but these new wheels from Pegasus deserve at least one


The Astro's on the left are period perfect for this build, the reverse on the right are next in line for a earlier 60's custom project.

After a little shaving of the body mounts, and some persuasive measures to the interior tub we got a great parking lot pose.


Edited by Albie D
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So, whats a street sweeper without body mods? Fortunately the Rivi needs little more than a shave and cleaning up. The door handles and emblems have been attacked by the 420 grit, then polished back up to 12000 to hopefully prevent any ghosting. The front headlights have been shaved with the pieces from the kit and have been CA glued and molded. The front grill is a modified unit from the kit, hogged out, dechromed, and fitted with a custom floating spear that I found and modified from my stash.




The shell will be body color, while the spear with get a dose of Alclad. And headlights?? Lets just assume they are hidden somewhere behind the grill...

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Bringing up the rear is a mishmash of the two roll pans included in the kit, all stuck together with CA glue.



Those round scars are the result of a botched tunneled taillight operation. Emergency surgery was performed and I'm pretty sure the butt end will survive. Speaking of taillights I'm at a loss, but I've been playing with 5 minute epoxy mixed with clear red acrylic. My first time doing it with moderate success.

Some trials.




These are from some vintage Parts Paks I scored on E-bay. Its neat to build vintage models with obsolete parts. I'm going to practice with the epoxy a little more before I subject , err, treat, the last ones to their red lenses.

Not much to the interior yet, but I have made up some headrests. When you look at a custom in profile, the seats, and dash should not be in view. I'm making a exception in this singular, funky case. And speaking of funky,...


I hope to pull off a hairy interior.

Thanks for looking, updates as they happen

Edited by Albie D
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...I hear some guys saying already, " But chassis XYZ will fit with a little spit and elbow grease". Ehh, I cant really be bothered

Good for you Albie, build it how you want to, let someone else worry about making the proper chassis fit. If it makes you happy, then it's all good, we're not Military builders here, are we?

Great start, the stance is perfect, and that modified grille should look perfect!

Edited by Custom Mike
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Love it. And AMTAxlehead? I lol'd. :P

Some projects are fun to kitbash to make full use of modern tooling, but I can just as easily appreciate using a crude old plate to get the job done. Just depends on the goal, and if it works then go for it...screws and all. :)

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Thanks guys. I agree with you Glu. Some detail painting, scratch built tail pipes, a little voodoo, and it will look presentable. Hot Rodding at its purest, hack up what ya got!

Good Doctor, a vintage Parts Pak grill sacrificed it's life to donate a single slat to be sectioned and reshaped for the Riviera. It would appreciate your interest. thanks.

Always dig your builds Ray.

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Id love to have it ready Charlie. March 17th. right? If not, Id like to bring the 61 Impala. Looking forward to it! As far as color goes, green would be cool. It all depends what I feel like when Im ready to spray. And what the car wants too! They do talk to me after a few hours at the bench, is that weird?!?

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  • 1 month later...

Been slow progress, but progress nonetheless. Got some color sprayed on this piece. Testors' enamels: 3 parts Stop Light Metallic, 1 part Amber Metallic mixed with cheapo lacquer thinner sprayed with the AB over a Testors' Aluminum Plate base. Got some trash on the hood and roof, so once the paint is fully cured another sanding session will commence to smooth out the offending dirt, a fade job to cover the scratches, then final clear. Man, I gotta say the Yost method works! I cant believe the shine and smoothness, and that's before the clear coat and buff job..



These indoor pics don't do the color justice, I cant wait to finish this puppy and get it into the light!

Got the motor done. Got rid of the AMT axle holes, aftermarket distributor, and a color wash. Not bad for a less than stellar Nailhead example.



Finishing up the interior and chassis plate in the next few days, more progress soon.

Thanks for lookin!

Edited by Albie D
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Sorry I saw this a little late and I'm sure you've already chosen your rear end treatment, but I love this taillight assembly the way you show it. Asymmetric styling is risky but courageous and not often attempted, yet there was an era that it was popular and this car fits right in.

Edited by Lunajammer
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Mike, Im still up in the air as far as taillights are concerned. Man, the asymmetrical idea is pretty cool. Highly considering that!

Andy, get these wheels! Pegasus knocked it out of the park with these. Not only are the wheels great examples, but the tires are shaped perfectly and have the best detail I've ever seen.

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