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Urgent notice regarding Australian Cavalier models

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  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Perth, Western Australia
Urgent notice regarding Australian Cavalier models
Posted by ausbodies on Monday, August 29, 2011 5:28 AM

Guys, this is an important message to everyone who has Cavalier and possibly ADR resin kits of Australian cars in their collection.  I know there are Aussie modellers on here but it could also affect international modellers especially since Loren Bussowitz (sorry if I got that wrong) did an article on these models in Scale Auto.


This past weekend some friends and I were discussing and comparing the Australian models we had in our collections.  When three of us checked our models, we found that the moulded rubber tyres in the kits had decomposed in a dramatic and potentially destructive manner.


In the mild cases, the tyres have either gone very sticky or distorted as if by heat.  In the worst cases, at least five so far, the tyres have melted into a sticky black soup that sticks to every thing it contacts.


We are talking about the Cavalier L34 Torana,  A9X Torana, HT  (was a there an HG?) Monaro and EK Holden.  It would be fair to say that probably all Cavalier tyres are at risk, ie XC Cobra, Mad Max Falcon Commodore and EK ute but I don’t have these to check.


I have put the metal wheels and rubber tyres from the first release HT in a separate box which I can’t find so I don’t know how they are fairing.


I have opened my ADR FJ Holden and while there is no degradation of any sort in this kit, the tyres, to my eye, seem to be made with the same material so I am removing them from the kit rather than take a chance..



My A9X Torana was loosely assembled and resting on its side in the box in the plastic bag as delivered.  The tyres had completely melted off the rims and then run down the chassis pan and into the bottom of the plastic bag, like thick black paint.  It covered the entire side of the car inside and out as well as parts of the interior tub and vacformed glass.  The decals have been damaged and probably won’t be saveable.


Using my finger and a paper towel it has taken me about an hour to get the muck off the Torana. There does not appear to be any damage to the plastic but it is extremely hard to remove from fine detail.  For some reason the muck does not stain your fingers. Try to remove it in as big a blob as possible – the residue is very tenacious.  Don’t go anywhere near furniture or clothing or you may have a divorce on your hands!!!!!


My friend is far worse off than me.  His tyres were still in with all the fine trim details such as door handles, lights and grilles so it is doubtful where he will be able to get them free.  One of his dashboards and several of his wheels have been dissolved by the rubber and are beyond repair or gone altogether!!


Judging by the various stages of decomposition in my kits this seems to be happening RIGHT NOW!!!  The older kits seem to be worst affected but this is probably a ticking time bomb for the new ones.


At this stage I have no idea of how this affects paint or how it affects completed models.  If anyone else has more info it would be beneficial to post here.


Please note that I am in no way condemning Cavalier (now out of business) or possibly ADR.  This would appear to be some freaky chemical problem that has taken a long time to happen – I’m thinking five to ten years.  If you or your friends have these models in your stash you need to check them NOW!!!!!!


Good luck,


Into hot rods, dirt trackers, nostalgia drags, salt lake racers and anything Aussie! Don't forget Super Model Car Sunday every July!
  • Member since
    March, 2010
Posted by 70CudaTJ on Monday, August 29, 2011 6:03 AM

Thanks Alan, my brother has a Commodore kit. I'll let him know, cheers Tim

  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: UK
Posted by PatrickW on Monday, August 29, 2011 11:31 AM

I have a 2001 Clubsport Commodore resin kit, bought last year, soon to be converted to an Aussie Supercar Valvoline racer. I've just been out into the cabin(model workshop) which in only a few days of the year is over 100F inside and everything is 'A' OK!

Thanks for posting this thread because I have been building now since 1960 and never heard of this kind of problem. I will though keep a very close eye on this kit of parts and if necessary bring it in to the house and a cooler atmosphere! Thanks again Alan.

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Perth, Western Australia
Posted by ausbodies on Monday, August 29, 2011 7:19 PM

Patrick, I'm not convinced it is a heat problem - I'm thinking it's more like a chemical problem and for that reason I would not leave the tyres in the box under any circumstances.  I doubt whether my well insulated home has ever been hotter than 75 degrees in my model room.  I do think age is a factor and so far all the cases we have found are from the earlier kits - your Clubbie came along a few years later.  I have tyres that are normal, sticky, very distorted and completely melted and they are all in the same room.  I'd go back to the cabin and take the tyres out - you won't believe the mess if they go off!

I too found it a surprise - with a history of around five hundred kits over forty years I have only ever had tyre burns on one AMT Model A Tudor and that damage was nothing like what we are experiencing with this problem.




Into hot rods, dirt trackers, nostalgia drags, salt lake racers and anything Aussie! Don't forget Super Model Car Sunday every July!
  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: UK
Posted by PatrickW on Tuesday, August 30, 2011 6:08 AM

Thanks for further info Allan. So even when I build it there could be problems! Perhaps what I'll do is to take these tyres out and attach them to the box in a bag somehow and then search for other tyres to replace them.

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Lancashire, UK
Posted by marcusadam on Wednesday, August 02, 2017 11:33 AM

I just found some black soup in one of the old suitcases I keep kits in in my loft. Traced it back to a Cavalier Mad Max Interceptor. What a mess!!

  • Member since
    November, 2018
Posted by Bad Bones71 on Tuesday, November 06, 2018 10:34 PM

I have a Mad Max cavalier model and the tyres melted off the rims as well and have destroyed my paint job..

I'm not sure how to send photos?

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, November 07, 2018 6:58 AM

To post pictures on this website, you will need a photohosting site like IMGUR or Fotki.  Do a search for "Photohosting websites" and find the one that fits your needs the best as there are quite a few.  I like to use IMGUR for my photos.  Follow their instructions on how to upload your pictures and how to post them here.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet."

Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1969 Ford Mustang Boss 302; '67 Foose Dodge Coronet

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