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Nickels and Dimes 29 Ford Altered Roadster- Completed with Final Photos

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  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Nickels and Dimes 29 Ford Altered Roadster- Completed with Final Photos
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, January 20, 2014 5:42 AM

(Note: This thread was originally titled "Triple Nickel inspired 29 Ford Roadster drag car - W.I.P. "

This is a project I’ve started for a CPB on the Vintage Drag Racing forum based on a Little Pages theme. Inspiration came from the current issue of TRJ which features the Murray & Waters Triple Nickel, one of the most iconic early drag cars to grace the quarter mile. Ultra-light and very sophisticated for its time it was virtually unbeatable in its class. I’m no replica builder so I generally use an historic machine as inspiration for my own take on these cars. That will be the case here.

The thing that I’ve always liked about this car is that, as nicely finished and turned out as it is, it still shows its track roadster roots. It has a certain primitive funk that, as an example, Tony Nancy’s two 22 Jr. A roadsters lack. I think the key is that Murray & Waters chose to use a Model A frame instead of the ’32 rails that most people ran. At first it was because they were cheap and plentiful, but then they realized that properly set up they could make the car exceptionally light and yet rigid. One trademark of their A-bone frames right from the start is that they removed the stock front cross member and ran a tubular member in front of the grill. This lengthened the wheelbase, effectively setting the motor back in even their earliest car, and saved weight and added rigidity at the same time. I’ll be doing the same thing on this car.

I’ll be borrowing other visual cues from the Triple Nickel, such as the roll hoop, the tubular inner structure, the tonneau cover and the flat aluminum sheet wheel covers. Also, like the 555 car, my machine will have early small block Chevy power. And of course, I’m resisting the temptation to use a Deuce grill, which would destroy the entire point of the exercise.

To get started I tackled the signature bits to make sure I could do them. I set up the tonneau cover to be removable to show off the interior. The hood and grille shell will be a single removable piece but the grille shell will remain chromed. Below are pictures of the second and third Murray & Waters cars and a summary photo of what I’ve got so far. My car will sit more like the second version of their car since I’m not running a narrowed chassis and torsion bar rear suspension like the Triple Nickel had.

The second Murray & Waters roadster which became the first 555 car.

The Triple Nickel car as it stands today as featured in the current TRJ. This was the third car the team built.

I started by finding some wheels in my stash that I knew would fit the tires I was going to use (Modelhaus T110B's at the front, and Firestone directional 7" pie crust slicks from Ma's Resin at the back). Since they would totally disappear behind the covers I could use anything of appropriate width and diameter. So I found some billet-ish mags from an AMT '36 Ford kit that I knew for sure I would never use otherwise and stripped them of their chrome.

The front wheels required more work because I had to make the little covers for the axle ends, so I'll describe the steps for those.

First off I cut some circular covers of the same diameter as the donor wheels out of .010" styrene sheet. At the front I started by drilling a hole through the center of the wheel. I used 1/8" styrene rod to make the axle end caps. I countersunk the hole I had drilled to fit the "cap" so that the proper amount of rod stuck out, then glued the rod in place. For the back side covers, I drilled a 1/4" hole to accept the post for the wheel mount. For the rears all I did was cover them, and add some Monogram '40 Ford style brake backing plates. Then I finished everything in Testors Metalizer Aluminum plate

Here are the wheel sub-assemblies before finishing.

Next up was the frame. Starting with an AMT ’29 Ford Roadster kit which contributed the body, hood, grill shell, rear spring and front axle, I cut off the frame horns just in front of the grill shell and installed a tubular cross member and fabricated a suicide axle mount from styrene stock. The front axle uses cut down brake backing plates to model the axle bearing housings on the 1:1.

Here’s an early picture of the frame before the roll hoop braces were added. The short block is a Revell Parts Pac 283 Chevy which will have Hilborn injectors. The center cross member came from the AMT Ala Kart frame and the front engine mount is the piece from the Parts Pac.

This is a composite picture showing the status of the build just before starting the paint process. You can see the additional bracing for the roll hoop. The roll hoop itself is made from polished aluminum tubing to simulate chrome, and will be removable so that the completed chassis can be displayed separate from the body.

This is the body in basic paint. Colors are Tamiya TS-31 Bright Orange and Duplicolor Wimbledon White. The radiator is in place only for mock-up purposes and will be replaced by either of two schemes: 1) a plain panel finished in one of the body colors with some sort of graphics, or 2) a transparent orange plexiglas panel. The bottom of the radiator shell has been removed to clear the front cross member.

I'm currently working on the inside tinwork and drive train so I can get the car up on its wheels to take some properly proportioned pictures to design decals for it.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

 

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    November 2003
  • From: United States
Posted by funman1712 on Monday, January 20, 2014 5:54 AM

Bernard....great start!  Will be following this build for sure....TIM

"Funman1712" is the board name for Scale Auto contributor Tim Boyd. 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 8:53 AM

Thanx Tim. Real scratch building madness...

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    January 2016
Posted by Vintagemodeler on Friday, January 22, 2016 4:38 PM

Where can I find part 2

 

  • Member since
    December 2009
Posted by 67 Mmustang on Saturday, January 23, 2016 4:40 AM

Excellent subject choice and an excellent start on this one. I'll be following this one and looking forward to the next installment.

 

Mark

 

On the bench - 1969 Baldwin Motion Camaro

  • Member since
    August 2015
  • From: Hamptonville, NC
Posted by TarheelRick on Saturday, January 23, 2016 8:18 AM

That is some beautiful scratchbuilding.  Looking forward to updates.

I build models because I can't afford the real thing!

  • Member since
    June 2013
  • From: Westland, Michigan, USA
Posted by hack-n-whack on Saturday, January 23, 2016 5:11 PM

I like the fact that your model is based on a real piece of drag-race history. It looks faithful to the original, and that is inspiring. I'm looking forward to more progress reports (soon I hope!). Thank you for posting this.

  • Member since
    July 2016
Posted by DSMurray on Monday, July 25, 2016 12:03 PM

This is my Dads car Dean Murray and is stored here in Paso Robles If you would like any information or pictures feel free to contact me and I can get you the answers from my Dad 

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Thursday, November 14, 2019 10:58 PM

Overall, I tend to finish most projects I start. But over the years I’ve accumulated a fair number of unfinished projects. Like most of us, of course, I intend to finish them “someday”, but some projects stick in my mind more than others, and I intend to finish those sooner rather than later. This was one of that category of stalled projects. Now, some 6 years later I at last am on the path to completing it.

What stalled it was some minor paint flaws and problems getting serious about the motor, originally a small block Chevy which was slated to be injected. But the Triple Nickel is more of a classic late 50’s car rather than an early 60’s machine like the Tony Nancy 22 Jr. ’29 roadster with its injected Buick nailhead. It’s roots are in a dry lakes/drag hybrid rather than a pure dragstrip car like the 22 Jr. This is especially true since I chose to emphasize some of the earlier 555 details in my version. So when I resumed this project the other week one of the first changes I made was to choose cubic inches and big torque over light weight and revs by going with a Revell Parts Pak  Cadillac 354 with 6 ‘97’s. The other change I made was to use AMT 8” M&H slicks with their higher profile and larger diameter rather than the Ma’s Resin 7” pie crusts. They sit in the wheel arches better and are more in keeping with the big cubes/big torque approach.

Other than these two changes I was pleasantly surprised how much progress I had made before I put this project aside. The chassis had been finished out and painted, the tin work cut, fit and painted and the basic suspension completed and fitted.

So far I have finished up the suspension, fabricated the steering parts based on the steering gear from the Tony Nancy dragster part of the Revell Tony Nancy Double Dragster kit, .completed and finished out the wheels, and begun the final fitting of the body and chassis for final assembly. The big Caddy mill has been started and will feature 6 Stromberg ‘97’s in keeping with the late 50’s theme.

The pictures below show most of the new work except for the suspension arms front and rear and the steering gear. These parts are completed but missing from the photos. The gold numbers are from a set of numbers I had printed earlier this year. I’ll add gold striping tri and, team and trade decals during the finishing up phase. Next is .building out the motor and then final assembly.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.



Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, November 25, 2019 11:16 PM

The motor is built and installed. As mentioned earlier, it’s a Revell Parts Pack Cadillac 354, built pretty much out of the Pak with the 6-carb option. A sheet metal “doghouse” flame protector for the carbs was fashioned from sheet aluminum and the exhausts extended using aluminum tubing. The fuel tank is from an AMT ’59 Ford kit with a gas cap added. The suspension is completed and installed. The front wishbones are split Model A items from the AMT kit and the rear traction arms are from a Revell ’32 Ford kit. The Pitman arm and steering link are scratch built from styrene stock. The rear slicks got switched out one last time, this time to the 2-piece pie crust items from the recent Round 2 ;36 Ford Coupe re-issue. They’re just the right diameter and width.

Below are pictures of the completed rolling chassis and a mockup with the body in place. I made a new “soft” tonneau cover to replace the original item. It’s fashioned from thin styrene sheet and masking tape. It has yet to be painted and I still have to work on fastening down the edges. Besides the tonneau cover, I have to work some more on the graphics and paint scheme, but I’m quite close to done now.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 7:38 PM

I did several small but important tasks on the way to finishing this up. Most importantly I made an additional layer of decals to outline the numbers in black and add a drop shadow. This serves to highlight the numbers which looked a bit washed out before. Now the gold really up shows up against the body colors. I also added a push bar, constructing a bracing structure and bar from styrene tubing and rod. Lastly I added team and car names. The entrants, Nichols & Dimas, are on the hood. Thus the car number and the car name, “Nickels & Dimes”, a hat-tip to the inspiration for the project, the Triple Nickel.

Now to finish up the grill and fit the hood and then wrestle the tonneau cover into shape. Shouldn’t be long to completion now.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Monday, December 9, 2019 8:57 PM

This Project is now complete except for some minor cleanup. Final “beauty shots” should be done tomorrow. In the meantime here's a cutaway teaser.

(Click on picture for larger image)



Thanx to all who followed along,
B.

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Nova Scotia
Posted by Bainford on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 9:46 AM

I love this build, Bernard. It may be my favourite of your awesome traditional hot rods. I'm glad you resurected this old build. Clearly it was worth bringing back to the bench. You absolutely nailed the details. Love the Caddy mill, especially with a raft of carburettors fitted. Your attention to period detail is very important, and it shows in the final project. You may not be a replica builder (as you stated in your opening post) but you are a master of era or period building. Hats off to you for such a wonderful build. Very well done!

"It would be unusual, if the unusual didn't occur."

- Steamboat Gariepy

Trevor

  • Member since
    January 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Tuesday, December 10, 2019 7:19 PM

Trevor pretty much has it covered. Your photography is just icing on the cake! Another stunner, Bernard.  Thumbs Up

chucky

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 11:59 AM

Thank you both so much, Trevor and Chucky. You are both very kind!

Here are the final presentation photos:

(Click on picture for larger image)






 

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

  • Member since
    November 2004
  • From: UK
Posted by PatrickW on Thursday, December 12, 2019 4:24 PM

Well done yet again Bernard, superb as usual!

  • Member since
    February 2008
  • From: Seattle, WA
Posted by gbk1 on Saturday, December 14, 2019 6:36 PM

Thanks a lot, Patrick!

Bernard Kron Keep On Buildin'

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