SlotForum banner

The "Monza Gorilla"

11083 Views 41 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  Screwneck
Vittorio Brambilla (November 11, 1937 - May 26, 2001) was a Formula One driver from Italy who raced for the March, Surtees and Alfa Romeo teams. Particularly adept at driving in wet conditions, his nickname was "The Monza Gorilla", due to his often overly aggressive driving style and sense of machismo.

Now I know you can buy the Fly version of the 762 but wheres the fun in that?

I going to take a 99 pence (yes 99 pence) wreck of a March 6 wheeler ebay bargain and convert it to a 4 wheel Johnson powered car to compete in the Bearwood Scalextric club Classic F1 class.

To start with, just how cool does Brambilla look in these shades? The epitome of 70's chic!

This is what I want to build.

Here is the 99p ebay wreck that I'll be using as my base.

To start with there are some basic engineering problems to be sorted like

1, Lowering the front end centre of gravity.
2, Bringing the motor to a horizontal axis.
3, Lengthening the wheelbase to accomodate the large Grand Prix tyre.
4, Raising the rear axle location to meet the new motor postion and lower the rear centre of gravity.

This picture demontrates the issues.

The current wheelbase just looks wrong and the rear tyre fouls on the side rad moulding as well as the fact that the nose is far to high to generate any decent handling characteristics.

Best to start at the front end and get the guide boss trimmed down and dispose of any uneccessary plastic which might foul the motor wires.


After (some nifty Dremel work):

With the guide and body re-installed you can begin to see how much lower that chassis will ride already.

With the rear axle back in place you can see how much the rear axle locations have got to be moved, which will inevitably mean that the motor alignment will have to be changed also. Tricky . . . and I now need a couple of days to decide how I'm going to engineer this aspect of the build.

Watch out for future installments.
See less See more
1 - 18 of 42 Posts
QUOTE (Russell Sheldon @ 31 Aug 2011, 06:40) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>A very challenging project!

I'm no expert, but I always thought that the Scalextric March 761 2-4-0 in Rothmans livery was much sought after by collectors. You may have been better off restoring the March and selling it, and buying a Fly Beta March 762 with the money!

Good luck with the project. Please post pictures as it progresses.

With kind regards,


An interesting point and one that I expected to hear but the Rothmans livery is badly worn away on one side and bearing in mind that I actually bought this on EBAY for 99 pence its not as though it is highly sought after in the first place.

I could buy the FLY March but where's the fun in that?

No I'm happy to plough on and restore it in Brambilla's livery.

It's what the "Monza Gorilla" would have wanted . . . . .
See less See more
Today, 05:31 AM
Post #2

Interesting build idea. Well done for taking it on especially as this car already exists from Fly!

Given the difficulties regarding the realignment of rear end and motor can I suggest that it might actually be significantly easier to fabricate a simple brass flat plate chassis?

Good luck


A good point but that would be far too easy!

Besides which I haven't any experience working with brass chassis yet, perhaps some time in the future I'll have a go.
See less See more
QUOTE (loosesalute @ 1 Sep 2011, 01:01) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Tell you what, that car is starting to look the part already. It`s going to look the dogs b*ll*cks when it`s done......can`t agree about those sunglasses looking cool though...naff 70s fashion..

I can't believe you don't think those shades are cool. Look closely and you will see that they are his own brand. "VB" initials.

I hear what you are saying about so called 70's naff fashion but I have to disagree. But I'm a man of science and I can prove this empirically using the following photos.

Depailler . . . . coool.

Andretti . . . . check those sideburns ( I know you want ones like that ).

Lauda (UBER COOL in so many ways)

Hunt, check that medallion (I bet he's got a splash of Hai Karate aftershave on too).


Stommellen (love the perm)

Ickx a cool Belgian! Yes its possible!

Wattie made beards cool (lest we forget).

Revson (understated cool).

And the coolest of the cool (even cooler than Steve McQueen . . . so cool I want to cry) Jo Siffert.

Schumacher, great driver, no style . . . . . . . . . . the defence rests M'lud!

See less See more
QUOTE (ferraif40 @ 1 Sep 2011, 10:29) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>The Depailler picture is from 1980

There's always one isn't there?

You are aware that Depailler drove all of his F1 races in the 1970's.

I can find a cool picture of him pre 1980 if you like . . . . .
See less See more
QUOTE (EJI @ 1 Sep 2011, 10:45) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Hi Ian,

What a great project. I wondered which decals you would be using?


Home made BETA utensili decals on paper then laquered in.
A little more progress today. I've managed to make a start on my home made decals.

Simply download an image from Google images. Copy and paste into MS Paint. Change the background from white to orange. tidy up image edges pixel by pixel in 800% zoom in paint.

And hey presto!

See less See more
QUOTE (rmcclure @ 2 Sep 2011, 08:56) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Ian - do you mean you're printing on normal paper and then using laquer to blend in the edges? If so then have you tried using waterslide decal paper instead? This will be old news to scratch builders but I've just been playing with that stuff and get great results and then you wouldn't have the paper standing proud of the finish. You can buy the stuff for very little on ebay - just make sure you get the right kind for your printer, ink-jet or laser. I gave mine a coat of Klear after printing to avoid the ink running when soaking in water and I've been very pleased with the results.

Fascinating project and looking forward to your next installment!


Thanks for the tip but I'm quite happy with my paper decals even if the edge is mildly visible.

It's cheap, its simple and it stands up to viewing at a reasonable distance.

I'm just having fun and trying not to get too obsessional about uber detailed flawless finish.

I was a rally co-driver for something like 18 years and I remember looking closely at Francois Delacour's Escort Cossie in Parc Ferme on the RAC rally (in the early 90's I think) and the Ford Works colour scheme was really crude. Looked as if it had been masked off and painted with some old enamel paints and a 2inch pasting brush.

Looked fantastic from a distance though!!!
See less See more
Whilst I'm pondering how to do the chassis build I've decided to press on with the body mods.

I'm not going to overdo it but the driver figure is in an absurd place in the shell, so after some nifty dremel work I've cut the figure out like so . . .

I've cleaned up the cockpit area an smoothed out the rough edges that the dremel left behind.

The idea being that after the engine realignment I'll be able to place the figure lower down in a more realistic place in the cockpit. Somewhere about here should be about right.

And sorry folks the Rothmans paint job has gone, in preparation for the Orange respray tomorrow.
See less See more
Some more progress today.

I've been pondering just how to cut the chassis to lower the axis of the motor horizontal and at the same time raise the rear axle centreline, to lower the centre of gravity.

This shot shows the level of the problem.

Then it occurred to me that all the geometry is already correct bar the engine centre line so I cut the chassis like so.

I then cut the engine section of the chassis so that the motor centreline would sit horizontally like so.

I used Aluminium tape to line up the chassis to 1, lengthen the wheelbase and 2, obtain the engine alignment. You can also see in this picture that the rear axle centre has gone upwards from its original position which has saved a huge amount of heartache and complicated fettleing gluing and dremel work.

I then used hot glue to fill the gaps and "weld" the chassis parts back together.

There then followed considerable fettle-ing with dremel, files and lots of swearing to get the engine cover and body shell fitted and aligned to the new floorpan layout. I got in such a temper with it that I forgot to take pictures.

Anyway i think it was worth it because when screwed all back together its beginning to take shape.

With the little time left over tonight (after all the new Dr Who was on tonight and my 10 year old daughter absolutely insists that I watch it with her) I was able to fabricate the beginnings of the airbox. It needs some milliput to smooth out the edges yet but its going to look ok I think.

On Sunday even God rested so unless I get deadly bored tomorrow I'll post some more progress next week.

See less See more
Ok, ok I've done a bit more even though I was going to take a break. Its just that scratchbuilding is very addictive and there's no rehab that can help!

So I've finished the airbox and routed a hole into it. Painted the shell and engine cover and dry brushed it with some silver.

I've put it together loosely so you can begin to see how its its going to look.

Here's a closer look at the airbox which I built up with Milliput to build in the curves and extend the intake slightly.

The engine detail will be sorted a little later on and get a coat of satin varnish to set it apart with a different visual texture. Far too shiney at the moment!

Not to mention decal application and scratch building a rear wing.

Lots to do yet, see you soon.
See less See more
Stroke of luck today! I was able to pick up a stock March Rear wing so no need to scratch build one.

I've got this amazing Aluminium adhesive tape that is great for wings, so I've covered the rear wing to disguise the original livery.

I've also added a bit more detail to the engine cover, with plug leads, radiator detail, and some painted details.

Once again I've done a quick re assembly to see if I'm getting the look. The rear wing is only bluetacked into place at the moment, as I've yet to design a fixed wing location yet. But its getting late now - and its a school night - so thats all for tonight.

See less See more
Tonight I have been cutting my paper, homemade decals and dressing the bodyshell.

The trick is to use an UBER SHARP Xacto type knife to get a clean cut. That way you dont have to apply too much pressure and therefore you get a nice precise cut.

Then (and you ain't going to believe this bit) I use Pritt Stick to glue them into place on the shell.

Here's what it looks like afterwards.

The red and green stripes either side of the spanner near the cockpit are carefully cut pieces of coloured insulating tape. Works quite well I think.

Dont worry you lose most of the sharp edges once its had a coat of varnish.

But because I've run clean out of varnish I decided to craft "The Monza Gorilla" himself.

The helmet is from a scaley pit crew figure and I like to use them because they resemble the AGV helmets used in the 1970's.

I'll get some varnish tomorrow and hopefully have it somewhere near finished in time for a blast at Bearwood Circuit this Thursday. Night all!
See less See more
QUOTE (Rob J @ 7 Sep 2011, 06:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Congrats on your "engineering" and craftsmanship, Ian. It's looking good.
The ignition leads and engine-gearbox adaption are very effective.
Hope it goes well at the track.
I noticed there's at least one six-wheeler in your club field. Is it competitive?
Rob J

Thanks for your kind words.

The six wheeler in the field is a non runner at the moment as it is a recent purchase by one of the other Bearwood members and he hasn't got around to re-wiring it yet (the idle [email protected]@er!).

I'll let you know once he's pulled his finger out!
QUOTE (EJI @ 7 Sep 2011, 21:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>QUOTE [Hi Ian, I've really enjoyed this thread, I like the no nonsense approach you've taken and used everyday materials to get the job done. The car is looking great. Thanks for posting. /quote]
Yes Marlon I would second that, I eagerly await each update.
Ian,I wondered which shade of orange you have used for the body colour?


The shade of orange is just bog standard off the shelf Humbrol Acrylic.


Or should that be Tango Orange . . . . ?
See less See more
So the final coat of gloss varnish went on at tea time tonight and after a allowing the varnish to cure I have basically assembled and finished the car ready for a blast at Bearwood Raceway on Thursday night.

Here it is . . .

The only construction I've done tonight is fabricating the roll hoop (gardening wire) and a rear wing mounting (plasticard).

All it has cost me is 99 pence (+ £1.50 postage) for the car off ebay. 2 rattle cans of paint/varnish = £8.80, new tyres all around = £4.00. You do the maths . . .

But you can't put a price on the satisfaction that you get from building something for yourself from scratch and to be honest I'm absolutely chuffed with the results.

I could have gone and bought the Fly car but where's the fun in that? Its been nice to take a really sorry looking old nail and breathe some new life into it again.

Yes the decals could be a bit sharper and there are some errors - which if one was pedantic - would be worth pointing out but ahhh who cares? I build my cars to race and drive as hard as I can and not to be shelf queens and if they get wrapped up in a race then it's fun putting them back together again.

I just hope the "Monza Gorilla" would have liked what I've done . . . . .

Many thanks for your kind remarks everyone.

My next project is a reasonably simple restoration of a McLaren M23 in the Yardley/Jacky Ickx/1973 German GP livery.

But after that I'll be scratch building this . . . .

Starting with this . . . .

Gulp! Can I pull that one off?

Watch this space and wait and see!
See less See more
Some pictures of the "Monza Gorilla" at Bearwood Raceway tonight. Some mild adjustment to be made but a good first outing with an 11.2 sec fastest lap. Reasonably pleased with that and given a few chassis tweaks and some getting used to the car I should be able to get that down to the low 10s.

See less See more
QUOTE (Rob J @ 7 Sep 2011, 06:16) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Congrats on your "engineering" and craftsmanship, Ian. It's looking good.
The ignition leads and engine-gearbox adaption are very effective.
Hope it goes well at the track.
I noticed there's at least one six-wheeler in your club field. Is it competitive?
Rob J

Re the other Six Wheeler March.

Went to club t'other night and my chum Jimmy had re-wired his standard 6 wheeled March.

We went head to head, mine versus his and bearing in mind he's a multiple club champion he had a hard time keeping up with the "Monza Gorilla" purely on road holding alone. Smaller tyre patch you see?

It wasn't awful though and we had fun which is the object of the exercise isn't it?
See less See more
1 - 18 of 42 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.