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1955 Chevy 2-motor street machine

5955 Views 28 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Black3sr
I have not built a new car from scratch for a while. When a friend sent me a scan from "Scale Auto Racing News" and asked if I could build it....

It was just too cool a project to pass on and since it doesn't need to be perfectly detailed (sorry Chris), or a wonderful handler (D3), I of course said YES! (Considering my limited resources...)

A close-up of the rear shows that it seems to contain some sort of a homemade differential made up of two ring gears with a set of pinions held in place by a homemade "X" bracket.

Here are the bits I collected together a few weeks ago.

The body is a Monogram "Badman", re-popped and labeled something street-roddy. (Original kit was molded in yellow) I had it in storage and tossed the rest of the kit. (O the shock of it all!)

The motors are two lightly used Champion 26D's.

Testing the motors on the bench determined them to be neutrally timed so running one backwards won't be a problem.

I have since rejected the wheels shown above... and instead picked a set of very cool front and rear Cox Cheetah wheels shod with Firestone rubber. Because everyone with eyes can see clearly that a set of 5 spoke American mags look simply wonderful on a "tri-five" Chevrolet street machine. Am I right?

The fronts are freewheeling and the rears threaded. Don't know the manufacturer of the "Diff" but it's not the Tradeship I still have hidden somewhere in storage. :blush:

From the top we can see how wide the original chassis builder mounted the motors. Not sure why this was unless it was to give the "Diff" room!?!?!
What that necessitated was bodywork to radius the rear wheel openings. In any case the original bracket appears to be hand made, as was the rest of the chassis. Since I have free reign to "build it better if need be", I believe I can connect the two "Cobra" brackets together with the motors nestled side by side and still give room for the cool Cox wheels and all those gears.

Now to find a set of body mounting brackets (pintubes... REALLY?), so stay tuned!
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The left and right wheels are coupled together when they touch the ground! It's the same dynamics as any "non-locked" rear end in a 1:1 car on the road I figure. The mechanics of the combination is not that far removed from the standard rear axle except for the fact that it might not run well with one motor in that arrangement.

I can always forgo the diff if it doesn't work in testing - replacing all with a solid rear axle. But the plan is to build a slightly improved version of the earlier car and that includes the differential.

That said...

Started out by connecting the two motor brackets together enough to put it into a jig.

Center brackets are removed and the two become one using a piece of one of the original brackets as a splint between the two.

And from the bottom:

Now I have a solid enough item to put into the jig and lay some rails! More bracing to come of course, but at least it's now one piece and easier to work with.
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Basic chassis tacked together so time to quit for the night. Will tackle the drop arm tomorrow and clean up some of the joints.

The rear axle tube was just for locating the chassis in the jig. Later down the road the openings will be reamed out for ball bearing races.
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Constructed a drop arm today. Still need to clean up the chassis, but going to wait until I am done with all the soldering... and still have to figure out how I am going to mount the body. Most-likely a hinge in front letting there be a slight amount of movement at the back.

Since the body has very little overhang in front I decided to go with a short guide lead and use a Cox trailing-guide in order to keep it hidden from view. Remember, no front bumper is to be mounted since this is a street machine similar in construction to the car featured in the movie "American Graffiti" and "Two Lane Blacktop".

Except for the fact that I plan the body to be... a bit flashier, painted two tone or with period graphics.
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QUOTE (chief32s @ 12 May 2011, 12:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>BTW can you still get hold of the cox trailing guides?

That guide is the first and only one I have seen. Been saving it for something cool (and crazy) and so this is IT!
Have I said that I hate hard body cars recently?
Well, I do.
Reasons are that mounting the bodys are very difficult!!!!
With a vac body you set up a jig and poke holes. How easy is THAT?

But NOOOOOOO, I have to build a support structure, solder a matching support on the chassis, line them up and hope the threads are clean. Dang, I hate hard body slots.

Okay, I managed to spend 4 hours on just the front of the body getting the mounts and stance right. PERFECT if I had to give my opinion, but I am slightly biased.

The front mounts are two threaded screws which keep the chassis from rocking side to side. The rear mount can be one screw or a tongue in a grove as it matters little now since the front is solid.

What to put here? Maybe Monday, as Sunday I have to go sell t-shirts.

This is the kitbashed raw interior with out paint.
Soon as this puppy is one piece... I am ready to shoot some color!
Ohhhh yeahhh!

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Finally decided and constructed the rear body mount. Went to the thickest parts of the car for the structure to hold the chassis rather than the weaker and thinner rocker panels. Besides, I wanted some type of headers or side pipes down there and knew mounting screws would just get in the way.
I can also enlarge the top or bottom of the slot to allow a fraction of body movement if needed. But the rear tire clearance is measured in cat whiskers!

I like the stance, and think it conveys vintage hotrod. Well, so far...

Soon as the chassis is cleaned up and wired (axle stubs trimmed), I can begin detailing the body to LOOK like a late 60's Hot Rod!
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I like the weekends as I usually have the time to pick one project and concentrated on it.

First off I finished up the chassis by adding lead wires and shortening the rear axle.

The guide is a Cox trailing item and because of that, it makes it hard to attach lead wires in the normal method. I created two new side busses to attach the lead wires. They were left long so the lead wires could be tied to them so the wire won't break from consistant left and right movements.

With the chassis finished I turn my attention to the body and paint.

The body was not so perfect as I thought. A little mold line clean up revealed some sink marks that will require filling.

Also the wind wing vent on the passenger side was broken and required replacing with evergreen sheet.

The body is primed with "plasticote" sandable primer which allows me to shoot lacquer and avoid the weeks needed for drying of enamels. The color scheme planned is antique white and teal two-tone. The roof and rear quarters are already shot with the antique white. But will need to wait till morning before I can sand and prime the front fenders.
Oh well, time to pop some popcorn and watch a movie anyway.

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Ron, a "trailing guide" is different from a regular due to the placement of the pivot post. This one is forward of the center were the standard of the industry are usually back of center.

What this does is keep the pivot ahead of the axle for better handling and keeps the nose of the guide out of sight.

I still would not want to race in this configuration, but it will toodle around the track just fine and scream down the straights like nobodys business.
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There is slot racing in Israel? Wow... that really is Eden. *sigh*

Only update on the '55 project is the body's now painted a green/cream two tone. Soon as the paint cures the chrome foil goes on along with some details and then a whole can of Tamiya clear.
Wow, a full month of days has passed since I last posted on this subject. Which is one reason I dislike working on hard body slots due to the huge amount of time and effort required to get it KORRECT! First off, the paint is finally done so time for final assembly is... here at last!

The interior and engine plate are also painted as are a few other detail bits.

And a few final shots.

(Yeah, no license plate. Couldn't find a decent decal that I liked.)

The paint is all lacquer including the clearcoat, which incidentally is Tamiya pearl clear.
Looks very pretty in the sunlight!
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