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Maynard Rupp's 1966 Chevelle Chevoom

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  • Member since
    July, 2013
Maynard Rupp's 1966 Chevelle Chevoom
Posted by Marlowe on Friday, August 15, 2014 12:10 AM

I have a penchant for building models that otherwise will never be produced in diecast 1:18 scale. I have a particular interest in funny cars of '65 and '66. The Maynard Rupp Chevoom will be my first GM funny car project.

The car was unique inasmuch as it was a mid engine (they incorrectly called them rear engine cars) funny car. It was Chrysler HEMI powered and had a tube chassis. To accommodate the location of the engine in the rear seat area, the wheels were relocated towards the rear of the car. Back in the day, it was all about building cars that would get you lucrative weekend bookings. To get top dollar, you either had to have a very fast car or a very different car. If you had a fast, different car that was even better! However, that was usually rare. Some exceptions were the roadster Mercury Comet of Jack Chrisman, the GTO of Don Gay, and the Pontiacs of Arnie "The Farmer" Beswick.

Maynard Rupp's Chevoom wasn't particularly fast. Like all of the mid-engine funny cars of that era, it was an ill handling beast that was difficult to control on the top end. (Don Garlits was the first to figure out how to make the mid-engine configuration to work properly and well but that came later in the early '70s). Plagued with handling problems, the car never lived up to the potential nor did it make a big mark in drag racing. However, if not fast, it was unique. Aside from the obvious of being a mid-engine car, one of the unique and interesting features about the car was that it featured operating head and taillights and Rupp raced it with the lights on. He also had an operating dome light in the interior. I intend to replicate the operating head and taillights on my project too. I'll probably forego the illuminating dome light.

Let's face it! This car will NEVER be produced by a model car maker. If I want one, I'll have to build it myself. Early plans for this modification build will require 2 Autoworld 1966 Chevelle bodies and 1 Ertl 1966 Biscayne. The Chevoom was a sedan so the hardtop with the flying buttress C pillar will have to be replaced by the top from the '66 Biscayne. I'm certain the larger Chevy top will not fit so I'm certain it will require some extensive surgery. Fortunately, the key parts are already available so that will make the build easier. I’ve already acquired the Cragar wheels, a blown Chrysler HEMI (it's a 392) and I’ll begin making the decals in Photoshop soon. Stay tuned!








  • Member since
    December, 2009
Posted by 67 Mmustang on Friday, August 15, 2014 3:13 AM

Can't wait to see you dive into this one Marlowe. As always, I'm sure it will be awesome! I always wondered where the top came from on this car and you answered my question. Looks really strange with a Biscayne top. I always thought that maybe it was the top from a '66 Malibu 4-door.

Mark

On the bench - 1969 Baldwin Motion Camaro

  • Member since
    July, 2005
Posted by Snake45 on Friday, August 15, 2014 6:38 AM

That's not a top from a Biscayne or a 4-door. That's a base-model 300 Chevelle. From 1964 to 1967, for some reason, the base 300 line 2-door Chevelles had a different roofline from the hardtops--and from all the other GM A-body 2DSs (Buick Special, Pontiac Tempest, Olds F-85).

Recovering aircraft modeler. "I can see me bound and gagged

Dragged behind the clownmobile...."

--Warren Zevon, "Hostage-O," Life'll Kill Ya, Artemis Record 2000

ira
  • Member since
    July, 2008
Posted by ira on Friday, August 15, 2014 9:02 AM

Great Project!

Cool

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by Marlowe on Friday, August 15, 2014 10:03 AM

@Snake45 - I'm sure you're right.  It is interesting GM would go through the expense of having two different tops on their cars.   With respect to this project, the Ertl Biscayne looks very much like this top and with limited options, it will have to be used.

  • Member since
    July, 2005
Posted by Snake45 on Friday, August 15, 2014 10:37 AM

Marlowe, I don't think you need to sacrifice a Biscayne to get that top. I'm planning a similar project on a '67 in 1/25 plastic. I'm going to remove the flying buttresses and add the window/post framing. If the rear side window shape isn't correct after altering the roof, I'll fill in the roof a little to alter the profile. I think something of this sort would work just as well for you.

Recovering aircraft modeler. "I can see me bound and gagged

Dragged behind the clownmobile...."

--Warren Zevon, "Hostage-O," Life'll Kill Ya, Artemis Record 2000

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: long island, new york
Posted by chucky on Friday, August 15, 2014 10:15 PM

Marlowe, this will be a great project. If you can handle the relocation of the rear wheel wells, the roof alterations should not be a problem for you. If you reference my build from April of this year in the "Hot Rods/Street Rods/Street Machines" category, you can find photos of the process I used to convert a '65 Malibu hardtop into a 300 model 2-door sedan. (The name of the thread is "427 4-Speed 1965 Chevelle 300 2-Door Sedan Street Machine".) PM me for additional info if you like.

chucky

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by Marlowe on Friday, August 15, 2014 11:58 PM

@Snake45 - Chucky, has done this conversion too.  I just checked it out and I can see that using the existing hardtop could work.  Removing the buttress shouldn't be much of a problem.  I like that solution.  It's certainly easier and cheaper than buying another model and removing the roof. Thanks for the tip!  

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by Marlowe on Friday, August 15, 2014 11:59 PM

@Chucky, thanks so much for your advice.  I checked out your fantastic build that you did and I think based on your work and tips, I'm going to try that elegant solution.  I don't foresee removing the buttress to be that big of a problem.

Yes, the wheelwell relocations are relatively easy.  I've done that a couple time before in diecast with my Butch Leal AWB '65 Plymouth and the longnose Gas Ronda Mustang.  

Thanks much for your help.  Your tips will come in very handy!  

  • Member since
    August, 2014
Posted by KillerPanda on Wednesday, August 27, 2014 12:58 AM

Marlowe,  

Looking forward to seeing the finished product. If you make two I'd buy one. If you have any questions regarding the build. I would more than happy to help with detailed info. My father owns the car and if you have any questions I'd be glad to get the answers for you.

Regards

Andy

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by Marlowe on Monday, September 08, 2014 8:47 AM

@KillerPanda - Thanks much!  I'll definitely keep your offer in mind. Did he ever restore the car?  

  • Member since
    February, 2019
Posted by franko916 on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 8:53 AM

hello Chevoom followers, My dad use to take me with him back when Maynard Rupp had Chevoom and the STP cougar. I have 8mm movie video of both cars. I was inspired to build my own chevoom scale model after seeing your and a 1/25 scale another guy built. I built mine and also built the flat bed truck that Maynard transported the car. I'm not a master modeler but I completed them both and now enjoy having them in my showcase. I also sent Maynard pictures of the finished models and a CD of the movie footage I have. I built the STP cougar way back and still have it but it needs some tlc . I have 2 other unbuilt kits. not sure how to add pictures to this post yet. Happy moldeling franko

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