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Messages - Swede70

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Thanks everyone for the kind interest displayed and replies afforded...

Indeed, most every project I have vanishes into a sealed case largely to ward away dust.  I imagine too that observing such protocol prevents me from endlessly revising some projects for the labor to move all the cases necessary to access this or that project is often judged prohibitive! 

Concerning necessary body modifications, a more elaborate Greenlight-based '68 Mustang project has been harbored and kept out of sight for some time, this complete with factory flares and revised front and rear valences.  Initially intended to be a blue late-season entry, in time I hope it will emerge as a reasoned earlier season pale yellow #1.  At first I just didn't believe that my multi-part wheels would be strong enough to support the weight of the project, but happily this concern hasn't proved as debilitating as first feared. 

...this would be the revised '67-'68 front valence, looking a bit shark-like for removal of the usual blade bumper.  The valence of another Greenlight Mustang was cut off with a razor saw, plugged for holes, and then cast in resin before being reshaped to result in what is seen here.  The upper portion is wholly scratch built.  Look closely and front flares can just be made out...

...flare work further discerned (a bit chubby in point of fact), with the GT-style exhaust cutouts removed entirely from the valence panel for scratch building a substitute.  Some contours have been added as has been a license plate mount. 


...'68-specific door panels from an earlier Greenlight tool waiting for paint prior to being added to the factory-finished blue example then.  The model came through with '67 panels, while the door-mounted shoulder pad seen in the reference photo needed to be scratch built and added as shown.

Lastly, for much not strictly obvious effort, the rather odd two-thirds length sun screen has been added to the top of the windscreen of the late '68 season Shelby Racing Co. Mustang.  Initial efforts to mask the area in situ failed miserably for poor finish control; i.e. puddling along the edges, seepage, etc.  Eventually I obtained some clear decal film and sprayed Tamiya Smoke tint onto it prior to applying Testor's Decal Bonder atop it to effect a seal.  A pattern reproducing the radius of the top of the screen helped me to cut the material accurately without strictly chipping it, whereupon the finished tinted panel was transferred as a typical water slide decal to the work proper without much fuss.  The exterior rear view mirror has been removed and touched in, as has the antenna mount atop the fender.  Yep - the windshield wipers are missing!  Perhaps not much to see, but still looking fairly good. 

Thanks for your reviewing this update.

Mike K.

Greetings and thanks for reading this most recent posting...

Although marketed as a 'Tribute Car' with few Trans Am-specific parts, ACME recently released a 1:18th diecast '68 Shelby Racing Co. corporate blue #2 Dan Gurney/(Horst Kwech) entry that is being sold new as this is written.  The model isn't perfection for being less flares, etc., but all the same the exterior livery has been sensitively replicated and cleanly applied.  In particular, I doubt I'd find the correct font style for the #2 reproduced accurately anywhere.  Seen below is a wheel and tire conversion recently performed consistent with making things appear more accurate.  Very special thanks to 'Oldtimer' for his great generosity for which this project would not have been possible.

...the most recent release then.  To my knowledge the mid-season livery change to Corporate Blue was never combined with the Daytona and Sebring-specific 'TA' class identification or ever featured 'Shelby Racing Co.' fender top identification - so off it came!  Careful masking and acetone scrubbing accomplished with a fistful of cotton swabs made short work of these markings on the model seen below.

...Titus on the move in '68, perhaps at St. Jovite given the hilly terrain?

...oh, and why not a '68 Watkins Glen grid shot?  You can kinda/sorta see #2 just behind #1 Titus. 

Wheels are ACME 1:18th '65 Dodge altered wheelbase American Torque Thrust rears cast in resin and mated to 1:25th Pegasus turned aluminum 22 inch 'barrels' cut down for use here as exterior wheel lips.  Cast resin reproductions of the GMP 1:18th '67-'69 Penske Camaro wheels were used to mate the first two-thirds of each wheel assembly to the old GMP Trans Am tires seen employed here, whereas hub and mounting material was likewise recycled from the old GMP Trans Am wheel and tire set to attach each to the model chassis proper.  The resin GMP brake discs seen here were not used, but rather replaced with chromed washers picked up at a big box hardware store.

...although basic at this point, '68 specific headlamp fill panels have been fitted, ride height has been altered as well as track, a fuel cell housing has been fitted, whereas a modified GMP fuel cell inlet has been added to the deck lid.

...seen in profile then, with the chromed washers employed as brake discs showing to good effect.  More to come in the usual split and schizoid style that is my hallmark.  Thanks for examining this most recent posting...

Mike K.


Thanks Mike Camicia for the information and insight as to the 1:1 source of the light assemblies employed by AAR on the race 'Cuda roll hoops.  In 1:18th the Greenlight '67 - '68 Mustang assemblies aren't quite usable thus, whereas the '67 -'68 AUTOart Mustangs are perhaps too expensive to even contemplate employing in such a fashion!  On a longer-term 'to-do' list is to gather the full run of Popular Mechanics issues covering the 'Driving with Dan' column and question and answer forum published and found within select '67-'72 issues I do believe.  One answer afforded across a '71 installment addressed the use of these signaling lamps, though I regret I haven't a copy of the text to reproduce here. 
In relation to the hoped-for accuracy of whatever one might undertake in scale, the promise exists that what results obtained might equal or even at times better what has been restored in 1:1 - trusting of course that the ride in question still exists.  In the back of my mind at least I know my particular scale Challenger will have a flat black top, while my earlier season 'Cuda will have the 'New Gurney Blue' finish looking a bit like a slightly creamier and violet-hued 'Sunoco Blue' if my meaning is understood.  Usually the scale efforts markedly trail behind what has been meticulously done in 1:1 - but not always!  The model enthusiast can also indulge in fantasy 'what if' topics with abandon; i.e. how about a phantom Group 44 '70 Dodge factory-backed effort, or a Panther Pink/Vic Elford-driven Autodynamics Challenger with a B&M-modified automatic transmission fitted?  Or, what about a pair of would have been ARA/Roy Woods '70 customer AAR 'Cudas in their traditional yellow and black livery?  It can be fun to ponder such...
Now for a brief divergence, this being a recent promotional model rehabilitation done in 1:25th scale.  Here is seen a recent $8 antique store purchase originally painted in some goopy black enamel finish complete with lurid decals, Jo-Han Maverick promotional model wheels, plus scale rear slicks!  Happily the awful paint finish fell away for delicate efforts made to strip the same, whereas given this Big Bad Orange example remained far from perfect (i.e. both A-pillars are twinged if you will), I thought I'd make a mild effort to create an unofficial Mark Donohue edition of what remained (see the adjoining period advertising image).  A spare Jo-Han 1970 Mark Donohue Trans Am spoiler was added with white glue after painting the part with Tamiya aerosol - a fair match it seems.  Noticed too will be the very acceptable Fred Cady '70 Javelin SST stripe work rarely seen applied.

The rims are Jo-Han Magnum 500's with promo-style axle mounting points, while more appropriate tires perhaps might otherwise have taken the form of Goodyear Polyglas GT's with the tiny raised white letters.  A defense can be offered up to the extent that Javelin SST promotional models in '70 typically featured redlines. Given this, I opted to use a set of Stevens International vinyl tires from the early 1990's I had which seemed to employ the original Jo-Han tire molds, but substituting softer material and featuring much better quality control on the redline detail itself.  Obsolete kit glass replaces the damaged original fitment (not fitting too well in full truth), whereas the front and rear bumpers have been rechromed.  Thanks for examining this brief post...

Mike K.


Thanks everyone for the very kind and informed input and feedback...

Oh my - where to start?  Thank you very much Jon for the definitive sweep of Challenger seat installation photographs which will help my efforts immensely.  I've poured a few extra seats to afford patch material to reposition the seat belt pass through holes, while I'm contemplating just how to better capture the upholstery detail stretching around the seat shell proper.  Plastic coated wire will likely be employed for the structural seat lattice work, whereas your photos again will certainly be employed to better master the mounting hardware that has been fabricated up until now.  I hope the Munchkin Mrk. I. seen seated inside the 1:1 #77 is doing well! 
Indeed, with the 50th Anniversary of the old Can Am as well as the Trans Am arriving on the calendar a good many regional contest were so-themed or so sub-themed.  Although there has always been a solid flow of high quality work done by various individuals across scales that is '66-'72 SCCA Trans Am themed, the increasing visibility of the old Trans Am combined with the arrival of new tools and occasional resin releases of note has seen more enthusiasts create such replicas.  The Group 44 Dart seen in the above post looks quite nice - thanks for bringing our collective attention to it.  Perhaps in time I will be able to find the same resin Dart.

...and a mild update of sorts.  Given that I haven't the equivalent of a stack of low-cost, unassembled 1:18th plastic kits to draw spares from, I must instead search intently for parts from damaged models or those on hand for items that might be copied, modified and copied, or in some instances scratch built to suit my needs and to push my projects ahead.  What is seen in the photograph is a series of open face molds as well as two-part urethane molds I've worked up consistent with creating needed supplies.   Employing such, GMP Trans Am Camaro Hurst shifter assemblies can be reproduced (to later be vacuum plated unlike the standard GMP issue), a Hurst reverse lock out lever is seen (employed on the AAR 'Cuda's then), while further seen is a Shelby Collectibles GT 350R shift boot that will overlay vacuum plated resin plates with small divots ground into the corners to vaguely represent set screws.  Positioned in the middle is a new one-piece mold for a GMP Trans Am Camaro seat mount that I hadn't done up until now. 

Also noticed will be the happy result of efforts to reproduce the signal light lenses specific to the race AAR 'Cudas and positioned on the roll cage main hoop positioned approximately two-thirds of the way up on either side.  Tail lights from a 1:25th scale AMT 1968 Corvette which feature faint radial ribs across the surface and likewise come to a soft point as such were carefully cut out and isolated, whereupon the four I had were used to create the urethane mold seen on the far right.  The mold was passed to a fellow scale enthusiast known for his quality 1:32nd scale period slot car windshield reproductions, who very kindly employed his methods to yield me extremely serviceable examples in clear resin. 

In particular, clear resin mixed and poured at room temperature typically clouds for very small bubbles remaining visible in the mix, while drawing the material into any mold often proves problematic.  For much trial and error effort, heating both the resin as well as placing the mold or molds employed in a toaster over across hours can ameliorate the problem, and thankful I am to be able to lean upon those who've done the arduous work necessary to perfect the problem at a cottage industry-level.  Though difficult to make out, the results are fine indeed and happy I am for his evident knowledge and skill - kind thanks to Brad in SE Michigan.  Again, thank you each for looking in and contributing in a personally valued way. 

Mike K.

Greetings and thanks for the ongoing interest,

Although I haven't fabricated them yet, I hope to add the offset shifter platform/transmission linkage indentation to the tunnel, whereas seen just below is a build up shot of one of the cars revealing what might be judged offset seat mount rails.  I may well have to refabricate the 'Cuda main roll hoop given that the headrest is likely sited too far in, whereas everything added later will reflect errors committed earlier during the build process.  At least my labor rate is cheap!  See: for the seats, at present they are copies of the GMP '67-'69 Trans Am Camaro fitment produced for my creation of a two-piece urethane mold to suite the purpose.  I haven't much to choose from here given most period 1:18th scale seats road racing seats are sourced from Shelby GT 350R's and the like, whereas I vaguely hope that the new ACME Trans Am 'Cudas and Challengers might offer up something more accurate.  Surely I need to work on the seat mounts and come up with the AAR 'Cuda seat support structure extending back to the roll hoop cross bar, etc. above and beyond what I've done to date. 

Concerning the new ACME releases expected in the second and third quarter of 2017, most have judged them a mixed bag given the limited 'tribute car' nature of the products to come.  ACME Trading Co./Greenlight Collectibles purchased the old Hwy. 61 tooling a short time ago and have opted to invest only so much in new tooling consistent with overhauling otherwise standard production versions of these cars. Some might come away satisfied with what's on offer, although most will judge the effort a cynical one reflecting a lack of will to afford the potential purchaser better.  Given ACME didn't want to exceed a price point of $129.95 or so for any of these offerings and inflationary pressures upon what and where the models are produced, all that can be delivered by them is a compromise of sorts.  Perhaps TSM will revisit the topics at some point in sealed resin?  See the following link to examine what will be afforded by ACME in 2017: to the models in question, it doesn't quite appear that they've reduced the ride height at all, the tires appear very toy-like, while for employing the stock body shells no flare work has been reproduced.  I could go on, but what photos are afforded convey much that needn't strictly be articulated.  In sum, at least I have reason to continue with my particular efforts!  Kind thanks for your reviewing this post...

Mike K.

Moving along then...

This would be both the 'Cuda and the Challenger roll cages taking shape.  Most of what is seen is comprised of plastic tubing with a core of brass rod inserted within.  A bread board with a nail or two tapped into it serves as a bending mandrel.  Difficult it is to ensure all is straight, angled accurately where appropriate, and of the correct length to speak little of 'fishmouthing' the tube ends so all affixes both firmly and well. Thanks for skimming this post. 

Mike K.

Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us
« on: February 12, 2017, 08:24:45 PM »

Consider reviewing this Tony DeLorenzo-penned remembrance of the '70 OCF SCCA Trans Am effort as posted upon  Good stuff!

Mike K./Swede70

Oh - it gets worse!

Given I start with preassembled and prepainted 1:18th diecast models (primarily), sometimes the lineage of what I've stolen from shows up across the space of my mock ups.  Zamac bodies strip easily enough, whereas the cheaper plastics employed for the rest of the model(s) often prove soft and delicate, resisting if you will efforts to cleanly strip finishes applied at the factory.  So informed, you'll see both red and pink surfaces on show beneath the hood of my AAR 'Cuda project that didn't seem worth the bother of imperfectly stripping prior to the application of an appropriate shade of gray - this to come then!

Consistent with minimizing handling of increasingly delicate and sophisticated completed work, it is common for me to employ the scale equivalent of an engineering hack to better facilitate the rapid creation of new bits that subsequently will be integrated into whatever project happens to be on boil.  Noticed below with be such a 'hack', sporting as it does ductwork both segregating and directing air respectively to both the oil cooler and radiator.  Shortly after this picture was taken, the same assembly (showing up in white sheet plastic then) was transferred onto my project proper.  Thanks for your interest...

Mike K.

M. K.


A small update of my '70 Swede Savage Bridgehampton entry then. 

Noticed will be the rectangular upper control arm 'pockets' differing from the Challenger(s), a new and largely scratch-built radiator assembly, as well as Bob Tarozzi's famed 'PITA' roll bar extensions tying into the front shock absorber turrets otherwise part of the inner wings. 

The diecast company ACME is slated to produce a 1:18 'tribute' version of this topic also based on the Hwy. 61 tool of old, although race content in terms of newly-tooled parts is expected to be fairly modest for the $129.95 asking price.  I suppose the arrival of such expected come the second quarter of 2017 has lit a fire under me to more properly see out my E-body Chrysler projects, hence I hope something good will come of both my work and what will be availed to the enthusiast public 'off the shelf'. 


On another note, congratulations to Jon Mello given his extremely well-restored and historic Trans Am Camaro has been memorialized in-scale and is due out at any time now in 1:18 scale diecast.  What a thrill this must be along with recent magazine coverage such as that seen within the pages of Hemming's Muscle Machines.  The article write up and attendant photographs was great fun to discover and inspect, whereas for all Jon has given back to the scene he most richly deserves it.  With kind regards to the community then...

Mike K.

M. K.

Trans-Am Camaros / Re: Websites that might be of interest to us
« on: November 05, 2016, 02:13:47 PM »

Follow the link to visit the General Motors Heritage Collection - a company archive slowly developing in relation to resources and services availed.  At the time this message was posted little SCCA Trans Am material was noted, but who is to say what might be accessed tomorrow or via persistent application with presumably informed staff?  Something to explore at your leisure...

Mike K./Swede70

Returning then to projects (as well as community) long neglected...

Hoping to revise the A-pillar ducts employed on each the E-body Trans Am projects I'd been working upon, I turned up two designs used by AAR before settling on the shorter model employed at Bridgehampton, NY. where Swede Savage would finish second behind Mark Donohue.   

...this would be Swede Savage purportedly at Mid-Ohio early in '70.  Note the difference between the A-pillar duct seen here and what is noticed below.

...this would be Dan Gurney at Riverside.  A different car - yes, but also note the longer and presumably better A-pillar fresh air duct design.

...Swede Savage at St. Jovite, whereas notice my rough pattern and stacked plastic sheet that awaits sculpting.

...the finished duct carefully set in place then.

...contrasting the new 'Cuda fresh air duct to a substantially revised Challenger duct.

Thanks for the longstanding interest and kindness shown...

Mike K.


Not entirely certain where to strictly post this, I thought I'd plug mention of a new book title in an appropriately-themed thread.  With no relation to the writer or the publisher, an online search for Sam Posey titles on conducted yesterday turned up what appears to be a vanity/self published record of the '68-'69 Ronnie Kaplan Engineering American Motors Trans Am effort.  Reviews are few and may simply be fluff, but all the same it seemed best to at least afford others mention of the title consistent with growing our small libraries.  Consider making an inspection of the following:

Mike K./Swede70


Originally the exhaust outlets/tips passed through the rear valence panel as an aesthetic/cosmetic feature of sorts, whereas perhaps AAR believed that absent a belly pan pressure beneath the car might be modestly relieved for employing the perforated part?  Of course, the fuel cell housing seems to cancel out most of any slight benefit afforded here.  I'm not certain myself, although a few photographs do depict this feature and hence I felt it best to add them to my model.  Given the bodywork will be painted a dark color versus the light gray chassis finish, such will be more noticeable than not. 

Moving along, below I've tried to work up the distinctive impact gun alignment fixture/ring affixed to the Minilite wheels used by AAR and at the Mission Bell 250/Riverside race by Autodynamics.  The actual rings are positioned on three spring loaded pegs that are in turn attached to the wheel, while I had to drill both these and the five lugs positions in turn to mimic what is present in 1:1.  Some additional detail stands to be added, although the hub guides done in aluminum tubing pass clean through the alignment fixtures with cast resin oil breathers being set on end to reproduce the hub ends inside each of the four assemblies.  The three spring loaded pegs here are simply plastic rod cut to size, sanded flat on the ends, pulled through further, and then sanded again to even matters out across each length employed.  Thanks for skimming this post.

Mike K.


Thanks for the kind words and attention,

Light work performed across the weekend includes trimming the front spoiler to reflect Bridgehampton spec., the creation of subtle lanyard stays atop the fiberglass hood, as well as rear valance panel mods. consistent with coming up with a correct profile for the exhaust exits witnessed on the standard 'Cuda panel employed by AAR at least during the first two-thirds of the season. 

...the lanyard stays are pins cut to length which will soon be combined with light duty clear fishing line to reproduce the lanyard/pin clip cables proper.  Note too the revised front spoiler ends and enlarged brake cooling inlets. contrasted to the rather severe profile of the angular outlets reproduced on the Hwy. 61 Hemi 'Cuda rear valence panel, the modified AAR 'Cuda panel looks considerably better.  Also discernible is the revised contour of the base of the primered example which is smoother for fine filing work. 

...and in position then.  The molded-in fuel tank has been removed, whereas a resin fuel cell housing has been added here.  Thanks for reviewing this brief update.

Mike K.

Whether you are working on a scale model or restoring a 1:1 real car, pictures are what we all live for when we want to get certain details right.

I agree with you there Jon.

So if you run across a new publication or images, and see some new detail, do you go back and change a car you may have been finished with?

Yep.  I suppose I tend to my small collection as if I were running a private vintage racing research and fabrication facility with the capacity and desire to improve upon matters if discoveries reveal I could do something better.  As more than a few Trans Am racers won't strictly be restored to their first season configuration or be assigned driver identification that reflects who most often piloted this or that car, in a manner of speaking I can pretend away without destroying latter 1:1 history (i.e. the '72 ARA/RWR Javelins will never be returned to '70 Penske specification, whereas the 'junkbox' development hack is only an approximation of what was run in '70). 

We've all noticed that the standard of restoration and the accuracy of presentation on the 1:1 racers continues apace, while such efforts are considerably informed by resources availed to enthusiasts here on the CRG Trans Am subpage.  1:1 vehicles may pass from owner to owner to reemerge from shops in finer fettle, whereas if I can mimic this progression in scale, I'll do my best to act upon new developments given I've chosen to focus upon the old SCCA Trans Am O2 category.  A considerable degree of pleasure in obviously taken by me to rectify errors short of wholly stalling my builds.  That anyone at all would provide reasoned feedback in relation to my projects means much to me, whereas the social aspect of the hobby wasn't something I suspected could yield one such enjoyment and satisfaction.     

As to my efforts, it helps greatly to have spares in excess, hence what I try at a later time may well be worked out off of the original build entirely, substituted in only when all interference issues and quality concerns are seen to.  If I roundly fail in relation to altering something for the better, no trace of my efforts so-directed need ever be seen!  Diecast models tend to come apart quite easily, whereas some aspects of my models (i.e. wheel mounting systems in particular) profit if you will for better techniques and materials I can apply to them only years later.  Others things I'm working on aren't strictly hinted upon across this very long thread, but should they work then what seemed clever might be considerably reconfigured if I can carry off intended improvements without great issue.  By way of example, the flare work on the 1:18th Sun Star '64 Pontiac GTO-based Team Trans Action Gray Ghost was redone again and again until I judged it acceptable.  This said, plastic models in other scales are considerably less forgiving in terms of tolerating repeated disassembly, hence what I'm willing to do with them is less bold by way of contrast. 

With regards to the Autodynamics Challenger, for a very long time I didn't feel I strictly had enough basic period photographs to properly comprehend the configuration of the odd three-link rear suspension the team employed.  Only late last year (2014 then) did I come to understand what lurked beneath the Challengers irrespective of what substantive clues I had in hand.  Continuing with this topic, other materials have floated to the surface that include the configuration of the lateral bracework forward of the front seat differing in detail from the original #77, as well as perhaps four or five underhood photographs I was floored to discover via the Stanford University Rev's Digital Library.  Karl Ludvigsen entrusted his photographic archive to Rev's, whereas no less than about sixty images hitherto unseen from the Sports Car Graphic coverage of the Watkins Glen T/A date in '70 versus the two or three that were published back in the day. 

Short personal resources effectively prevent me from more substantive participation in the vintage Trans Am scene, although for concerted efforts in scale I can, in a manner of speaking, actively pretend away to the extent of 'calling the shots' in relation to how matters will be configured, what paint finishes will be applied, what race might be reproduced, choose to employ what would be nonexistent in 1:1 (i.e. perhaps doing my own blue line Goodyear Blue Streak Sports Car Specials), or insist upon the use of assemblies and quaint engineering ideas that were discarded in period as inoperable and since never refitted to be run in anger on the vintage circuit (i.e. the aforementioned Autodynamics three-link rear suspension).  In essence my ambitions have been rescaled to better match my modest financial capabilities, while being taken seriously by the 1:1 community has been an unexpected bonus.   

All I know for certain is that my actual'74 BMW 2002 didn't offer such enjoyment on a per dollar basis as contrasted to 'unlimited' expenditure directed towards scale topics of choice, namely the Trans Am topics glanced across the expanse of this now very lengthy thread.  The social contacts and informed discussion availed for focus on a single make and a single model too is dwarfed by what I've been so kindly availed across this scene by way of comparison.  Thanks for your interest...

Mike K.

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