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Dynamic Ferrari 330P3

2863 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Coides
Here's the next instalment in my restorations of iconic '60s 1/24 slot cars. The Dynamic Ferrari 330P3 came out early in 1967 in kit form only. It was a big hit, with a high performance chassis mated to a very beautiful Lancer vac body. Here's how it looked on the toy store shelf in '67 (courtesy of the LASCM)

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And here it is assembled (again LASCM).

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Nowadays these models are rare and usually messed up in several ways. I'd been looking for one for many years and a few months ago I finally picked up a complete chassis. As usual, there was good news and bad news. On the plus side the major original components were all there and virtually unused. On the minus, the guide, rear wheels and all tyres were wrong and of course the body and box were missing.

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I expected this to be the start of a very long story but the missing items started showing up amazingly quickly. This was due to very helpful SF members, Don Siegel (dgersh), Pete Shepherd (Scudbong) and Graham Windle (GRAH1). Don volunteered a scan of the original card box insert, plus a set of rear wheels and tyres very similar to the originals. Pete then came up with a complete car containing all the necessary missing original chassis components and a body, which was a wreck unfortunately.

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Notice how Pete's body is kind of sucked in at the rear and sides? We'll return to this horror later! A few weeks later Pete offered me a virtually perfect NOS Lancer P3 body as well! This was frankly astonishing - these things almost never appear in the UK nowadays.

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Meanwhile, Don and I had been working together to track down the original plastic box that this model and several others of the same vintage came in. After some heavy duty searching I found a supply of "Jewelry Boxes" on thE BAY that were identical to the Dynamic box. This, plus Don's insert scans, gave us near-perfect boxes for the P3. Of course, about a day later, Pete showed up with an original plastic box and insert! By now I was dazed and confused, so I relieved him of it for the trivial reason that his insert was real and Don's identical item was a copy.

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Don't ask me about the Mirage box - I have even less of an excuse for its existence . . .

OK, are you keeping up with all this?! By now I had all the components needed for a complete boxed Dynamic P3 model kit, plus enough spares to make a passable copy so I was ready to start the restoration. I wanted to end up with an excellent assembled painted model, one that might have been put together in 1967 by an expert modeller. That meant first taking the best original bits from the two donor chassis, cleaning and assembling into a 100% complete original Dynamic P3 chassis. Easy stuff.

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The difficult part of course was the body. Unused Lancer P3 bodies are rare and precious and I couldn't afford mistakes. I checked through both this Forum and its US partner SlotBlog and discovered much lore on how to paint a 60s butyrate plastic vac body. My first source (from dc65x on SlotBlog) used enamel paint, which led me to a two month wait for an old can of Humbrol Italian Red (220) enamel to arrive from Cyprus - it never did. Meanwhile I'd been reading around and somehow convinced myself that modern acrylics such as Tamiya would work. This turned out to be a very big mistake that almost wiped out that beautiful Lancer body - please read on . . . .

OK, following dc65x's instructions I did some preliminary detail paintwork on the body, such as the rear grille (a wash with diluted black enamel) and the rear lights, which were actually a decal made from a photo of the real car.

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I then masked the body, using Tamiya flexible tape . . . .

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and sprayed the inside with three light coats of Tamiya TS8 Italian Red, then a top coat of Tamiya fine grey primer.

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So far so good, right?

I now started work on the headlights. The fairings were tough to make - very little room to work in. I used thin plasticard sheet for this (below left). Fitting the headlights into these was very difficult and I ended up using plastic tubes to mount the headlights, much the same as the real car, with cotton buds to locate them properly while the glue set.

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It was then that I made the nightmare discovery that my beautiful body was curling under the influence of that acrylic spray painting a few days earlier. All four sides were beginning to deform. This was a dark time for me and I didn't take many pics - below is the best.

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The original body is at the top and the same body sprayed is below it. The yellow lines mark the bottoms of the bodies showing that the entire front of the painted model is dipping down. You can also see some curling of the bottom of the central section.

So what to do, trash my precious Lancer body and wait a decade or so for another to show up? No, I decided to fight. The damage was confined to areas of simple shape, more or less flat surfaces. For example, you can see above that the whole cockpit area ,with its side air inlets, are unaffected, presumably because its complex moulded shape resists deformation. So could I reverse the curling by bracing the inside of the body? I could tell just by hand pressure that this might work so I started building internal stressed framing.

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At the rear the bottom was sucking up and the sides were buckling in. The framing shown above left reversed this. The straight sections are bamboo skewers and the curves are soft plastic rod (from the Q Tips again). The body's central section only had undercurling at the sides (see above) and this was largely reversed by four plasticard buttresses inside the wheel arches (two are visible above right). At the front, two bamboo push rods pushed the nose back up (above right and below, bottom image).

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Whew, The Great Escape!! I wouldn't advise anybody to screw up their NOS Lancer body by using the wrong paint and then fix it but, ironically, the end result is arguably better than the original, because the modified body is very rigid and resistant to both further deformation and impact damage.

OK, a few more things then we're done and dusted. First, the cockpit interior. Absurdly, neither Lancer nor Dynamic provided one originally but my P3 was going to be beautiful so I had to have a good one. A few vac-formed interiors had arrived at Casa da Coides during my recent 1/24 feeding frenzy and one looked just right, with a right-hand driving position and a good head. I just had to build a rear bulkhead resembling the real car, again with thin plasticard (see below).

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This bulkhead disappears backwards under the streamlined roll bar so it didn't need to mate accurately with the rear platform of the vac body. I kept the space under that roll bar transparent at its rear by masking it during the spraying, giving the illusion of empty space.

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I then built a plasticard deck under it and painted it red so you can't see model innards (see later pics). I also gave the driver a proper steering wheel from a long dead Monogram 275P I got in 1965. The car and driver I modelled was Richie Ginther, who partnered Pedro Rodriguez at Le Mans in 1966 in the NART P3 entry. I finished the model with exhaust pipes, rear-view mirror, oil inlet cap, touch-up of inlets and outlets with matt black and a good decal job. Here's the result, with shots of the real car for comparison.

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And finally, my entire clutch of Dynamic 330P3-related stuff - I definitely need to sort my life out.

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What a great story! Thanks for posting. But it's funny that, after all your effort, the look of the car is so much spoiled by the front and rear wheels. Historically accurate I know, but....
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Interesting story, wonderful build, terrific result and a worthy companion for the recent 906. Abfab, Andy. Flawless. Very well done.
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What a great story! Thanks for posting. But it's funny that, after all your effort, the look of the car is so much spoiled by the front and rear wheels. Historically accurate I know, but....
You're not the first to observe this, Dave. When it came out in the UK both UK slot car magazines criticised it for this reason. Here's one from Miniature Auto, June 1967, it makes great reading. And £5 1s is more that three Scalextric cars at the time.

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Very much to the point, Andy. That's an American product of American thinking, where it seems that everyone aspires to build and race a Modified.
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It was really more a product of the times, where we just wanted to go fast, and the degree of scale was largely dependent on individual taste... I tried to present a well-painted, relatively detailed body, and even got compliments for that - but it was only in relation to the other local drivers, who mainly did the bare minimum. By 67 I think we were pretty generally using 7/8" rears and either 7/8" or even 3/4" fronts - and we just got used to that look.

It's also partly due to the limits of Dynamic chassis: oddly enough, they're often sized for rather small tires, even the early ones, and I guess that can be traced to the straight and rigid design, especially for the 16D, meaning the axle posts had to be in relation to the motor center line. But it always seemed odd to me that their front axle carriers didn't allow for a bit more flexibility in terms of height. This must have been before Dynamic came out with their own line of handling bodies, which would have matched these chassis better.

There are no reviews of this car in the US mags that I can find, and by the time, there probably wouldn't have been much criticism of this layout anyway - not the case just a year earlier, since I remember the same criticism about different cars.

In any case, a beautiful restoration job Andy, and glad I was able to help. I don't remember hearing the heartbreaking body story and your save is pretty incredible. Do you mean just by bracing the body in the right position, it restored its normal position? I haven't had any luck with that method, altho I just tried once or twice. Odd that you couldn't find normal Humbrol enamel paint locally - that seems to be one thing that any kind of hobby shop will have (altho even in Pari, we only have a couple left). That is indeed what I usually use on butyrate bodies, since I can't find Testor's TCL any more... and for some colors, I do spray on Tamiya paints for model kits, but very, very carefully, in a couple mist coats!

To be continued...

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Totally amazing work there, and very much of a time warp model.

The real one couldn't have done very well in the race, it doesn't seem to have a guide or pickups anywhere................
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Do you mean just by bracing the body in the right position, it restored its normal position?

Yes, almost. It's 95%, not 100%. I think it's important to start dealing with it as quickly as possible, before it gets entrenched. It seemed to me to be progressive.

Odd that you couldn't find normal Humbrol enamel paint locally

Remember Coronavirus? Our model shops re-opened for business a week ago. ironically, there it was, an old can of Humbrol Italian Red 220 sitting in the rack staring at me, saying "Watcha looking at, punk?"

We are lucky here in France because Slot Car Union carry good stocks of Humbrol both in water based (rubbish) and oil based (great) versions.

Model shops? What are they?
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We still have just one in Dundee, Invergowrie Model Centre. I don't suppose it will be there very much longer as the owner is very old.

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