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'32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

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'32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Mon 01 Aug 2016, 1:00 pm

One of the signature details of many '40's era Roadsters is a large padded bolster across the top of the bench seat, often wrapping around to the rear edge of the door, and even wrapping all the way around the edge of the cockpit opening. It's something that's unique to this period and, as much as it lends tons of period character to these cars, it's rarely modeled in scale. I've attempted it a few times, on a couple of '27 T's and the "Challenger" '29 A from the film Deuce of Spades that's in my signature. As far as I know there aren't any kit or aftermarket parts for these things and you have to fabricate them. I've never been entirely satisfied with the results I've gotten (the '27 T Highboy I did, and maybe the '29 A came closest) so I thought I do a straight-up period traditional Deuce roadster in this style. I'm using the seat and interior from the Revell Deuce Highboy kit as the basis. The kit will also form the basis for the rest of the model. I'm planning a rigorous period build with buggy spring rear end, juice brakes, I-beam front axle and flathead V8. The last time I did a traditional hot rod it was a 7-day quick build last Xmas. This will take much, much longer. Wish me luck.

Some examples of high bolstered Deuces:




The bolster was built up from bits of 1/2 and 1/4 round styrene stock and mated to the Revell kit seat. It snaps into place along the cockpit opening. Still a lot of filling a finishing to go to be presentable...



Thanx for lookin',
B.


Last edited by Bernard Kron on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:47 am

I made quite a bit of progress in the past week or so, but before getting to that I thought I’s share a bit more hot rod lore. I finally trackd down the car that is inspiring this project. It’s one that I’ve noticed quite often in various books and on line but I only recently was able to put a name to the pictures. It’s the Hank Negley roadster, sometimes referred to as the Hank Negley C-Class roadster because of its success at the dry lakes after WWII. Negley started it in 1938, put it in mothballs for the duration during the war, and raced it on the lakes throughout the late 40’s. It was also the inspiration for the far more famous Joe Nitti Roadster. Nitti was a close friend and Negley helped him build his version.

This is the Negley car as it looked immediately prior to Negley shipping out to war, presumably in 1942 or so. It already has a nice rubber rake, but sports Kelsey Hays wires and a stock hood. The b&w photo makes it look black but it was in fact a deep purple for which it was well known among California hot rodders. This will be the version my build will most closely resemble.



This is the best known photo of the car, in its classic post-war version complete with louvered hood and tubular shocks, ready to go 123.79 MPH on the dry lakes in 1947.



Home from the war the roadster was also Hank’s daily driver, including a trip to Denver across the continental divide Somehow he managed to fit a top to the car despite the fairly pronounced bolster and the by-then chopped windshield. This was one classy ride, no doubt about it!





Next, my progress so far…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 10:48 am

Now for the progress report. I got the bolster finished up. The larger cracks and seams were filled with more styrene stock, the whole thing sanded to final shape, and then a skim coat of putty applied and finish sanded. I think it came out with a nice rounded continuous shape that suits the car.



Trying to keep this firmly in the 40’s time frame requires a considerable number of detail changes to the venerable Revell Deuce kit. First off was installing a ’30 rear cross member from a Revell ’30 Sedan kit. I’ll be using the buggy spring and shocks from that kit as well. I decided to go with the Columbia 2-speed rear axle from the Revell ’40 Ford Standard Coupe kit, which will contribute it’s flathead as well. The Columbia rear axle was a popular hop up in the 30’s and early 40’s since it allowed extra high gearing using the axle’s overdrive 2nd speed for dry lakes speed runs while permitting good street driveability for daily driving. I had to cut down the width of the axle to fit the Deuce, so while I was at it I adapted the rear axle ends from the Deuce kits.

Besides the rear end the chassis required some detailing and clean up. I used the Revell ’32 Sedan. flathead motor mount, so I removed the standard Revell motor mounts for the small block Ford V8. I also filled the notch in the frame for the modern cross steering as well as the bumper bracket notches on the ends of the frame rails. I also applied a strip of 010 styrene around the frame horns to represent the channels on the stock frame horns. The front suspension will be from the Revell ’30 Sedan kit using the dropped front axle and preserving the posable steering.

The wheels will be the Kelsey Hayes style wires that come in the Revell ’32 Ford sedan kit. I’ve figured out how to narrow them to fit 40’s era narrow tires while still preserving the kit chrome. Like the Hank Negley roadster referred to above, I’ll be running chrome rims and hub caps with black painted spokes. The front tires will be plain old AMT Firestones while the rears are the very cool period correct truck tires that I get from Herb Deeks every year at the NNL West (you can buy them from him on eBay as well).

The stock firewall is one of Norm Veber’s incredible castings from Replicas & Miniatures Co. of Maryland. So thin, so smooth, so styrene like! How does he do it? It even comes with a matching hood with a relieved rear edge for a perfect fit. The hood comes smooth so I glued some .030 half-round stock down the middle to represent the hood hinge.

And finally, I hogged out the inside of the Revell Deuce Roadster kit dashboard to remove the 8-track cassette player (?), radio and air conditioning vents. I substituted a blank panel and hope to be able to apply a range of p/e gauge rings and decals from Model Car Garage.



Next up, suspension engineering, then the flathead, primer and paint.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by allan on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 5:42 pm

Almost missed this one, very old school Hot Rod A+
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Antwon on Sat 06 Aug 2016, 9:33 pm

Excellent work Bernard.......as usual.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Deaf as on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 8:12 am

iagree First class!
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by mgy125 on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 5:33 pm

This looks interesting.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 8:28 am

Thanks everyone. I'm glad you all are enjoying the build.

Just a quick update. I’m making good progress and have gotten some basic housekeeping out of the way. I determined the color of the car and shot a test shot to make sure it looked like I wanted. The body and chassis will be Tamiya TS-11 Maroon over red oxide primer. Here’s a quick test shot with just one coat of color and one coat of clear, but it’s a close match to Ford Mandarin Maroon and what I thought would be appropriate for a 40’s era hot rod.



Here’s the interior, finished in Testors Acryl Leather over red oxide wth flat black carpeting. The basic leather texture is in place but there’s still some buffing down and weathering left to do.



And finally, I did the final chassis prep before primer and color coat. I separated the Revell kit shocks from the brackets/headlight mounts, stripped the brackets of their chrome, and glued them in place before paint. This is something I always promise myself I will do but manage to overlook and land up having to paint the brackets by hand after the fact. This time I finally did it right. I also made small brackets for the split radius rods I’ll be using at the front. The main chassis will, of course, be body color, but I masked out the floor pan so it will remain bare plastic. It will be painted Testors Metalizer Gun Metal once the chassis is fully painted and cured hard enough to mask.



The Flathead V8 block is painted and the motor ready ready for final assembly and detailing. Meanwhile I’ll start primer and paint on the chassis and main body parts.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Sat 20 Aug 2016, 8:50 am

I’m very near to the final assembly stage. The chassis and rear suspension are done, the front suspension fabricated and painted and ready, the motor about half way there (parts painted, block, heads and ignition assembled including wiring), the interior completed and installed in the body. This leaves intake and carbs to do on the motor, the grill, windshield and lights, and putting it all together. The color and the upholstery are definitely already giving it that 40’s vibe. Can’t wait to see how the stance works out and what the Kelsey Hayes wire wheels do to the look…

Here’s a composite showing the Revell ’40 Ford rear suspension, the interior and the finely detailed stock style firewall courtesy of Replicas & Miniatures Co. of Maryland. The rear suspension arms were shortened and relocated to account for the narrowed track and shorter driveshaft. The steering wheel is a Monogram ’37 Ford truck item and the instrument panel is the Revell kit item, cut out, thinned and foiled.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Antwon on Sat 20 Aug 2016, 11:04 am

Looking great Bernard, your work is a treat to watch.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Tue 23 Aug 2016, 11:32 pm

Thanx!

It’s a roller! The front suspension is assembled, almost entirely from a Revellogram ‘29/’30 Ford Pickup/Sedan kit. I split the wishbones, stripped the kit chrome and substituted Krylon Chrome paint for a duller, more period look. I really wanted to include the posable steering feature but the layout of the ’32 Ford frame interfered with the tie rod, rendered the whole setup impossibly fragile, and forced me to glue the whole thing solid. Bummer… The wheels & tires are now glued in place so the stance is set. It’s got a subtle rubber rake and sits fairly high despite the dropped front axle – very much like early postwar rods did. And I think those narrow Herb Deeks rear truck tires are just about perfect for this era hot rod. So here’s the chassis with the body mocked up into position. The motor is from a Revell ’40 Ford with the early-style dual intake from an AMT ’34 Ford 5-Window Coupe kit (special thanks to Vince and Paul for helping me out on getting hold of this period –critical part). The fuel log is scratch built but the dual lines aren’t hooked up yet, nor are the air cleaners installed. Now for fettling the hood, grill, and then cleanup and touchup on the body work, lighting, windshield (the stock height windshield is just mocked into place), and final assembly. Next week for completion?

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Jerry Ol'55 on Wed 24 Aug 2016, 10:10 am

Beautiful work as usual Bernard.
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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Fri 02 Sep 2016, 11:46 am

Thanx Jezza!

Trouble has reared its ugly head and I’ve had to make a mid-course correction. For some time now I’ve had a problem with paint not hardening enough to avoid fingerprints while handling the car during assembly. It’s especially difficult because I’m an improvisational builder and tend to make modifications and fabrications as I go along – so I handle the model a lot. Doing fabrication and trial assembly, then doing painting and finishing, followed by final assembly is far more organized and ultimately cleaner and more precise approach. But bad habits are difficult to overcome…

In any case, I think I’ve diagnosed the problem successfully at last, but, alas, this model has already suffered irretrievably and I had to make a change. The problem was that I had begun using a polish that I have used for many years on my 1:1 cars with great success, Meguiar’s Mirror-Glaze #9 Swirl Remover. It really gives you that “show-car” shine, but unfortunately it does it by softening the top coat of paint. On relatively “green” paint on a model car this means that you have to wait many days (I figure at least 10 days+) for it to harden enough once again to avoid fingerprints. The result is a myriad of laws on what has started out as a pretty darn nice paint job.

So what to do? Actually the model looks quite realistically “worn” now so I decided I will touch up the thin spots and then do a very mild weathering job on it, the goal being the kind of look these cars had at the end of a day out at the dry lakes. Like this:



We’ll see how it goes. In the meantime it means no headlights but, as was the common practice on ’32 Ford roadsters in 1947, when you got to the lakes you stripped it down to the minimum, removing fenders (if you had any) and the windshield. One thing that often stayed in place was the pair of stanchions to which the windshield was mounted. So I made a set from a kit Deuce windshield. They’re the little posts you’ll see in the photo at the bottom of this post. The engine compartment is almost finished, needing only the radiator hose, and the grille has still to be installed.

With the conversion to competition duty the car needed a set of “shoe polish” numbers. Street machines often did double duty, serving as transportation for the multi-hour drive out to the dry lakes, and then as your race car. This could get very elaborate, with some competitors going so far as to swap manifolds, carbs and even heads, then re-installing the street setup for the haul home. But even if this car is largely intact as far as street gear is concerned, one thing any good competitor needed was a set of race numbers. Common practice was numbers painted on using white shoe polish that could easily be hosed off for the ride home (race numbers, cool as they may be, are guaranteed fuzz bait…).

My shoe polish numbers were made by using a brush painted number font, flipping the image horizontally to a mirror image and printing it on the back side (the paper side) of some white decal stock. Using the edges of the number as a guide, I then cut them out as shown in the photo. So, even though my humble inkjet printer won’t print white, I have my white shoe polish numbers!



So here’s where we stand so far. I’m pretty close to done. I just have to clean up some paint flaws, apply the decals and weather the paint, and install items like the grill and door handles and she’ll be done. Won’t be long now…

Thanx for lookin’,
B.


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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

Post by Bernard Kron on Thu 08 Sep 2016, 2:35 pm

This project has bitten hard all the way through, with paint problems which changed the whole direction of the build, and then, during final assembly, the usual problems with tiny parts lost to the carpet monster and last minute fabrication challenges. But switching to a post-war dry lakes racer from a street machine was a good call and today, as I wrapped things up, the ”look and feel” suddenly all came together. Huge sigh of relief! Here’s a teaser shot before I post the final pics tomorrow after I gather my thoughts and sit down for a serious photo session.

Thanx to all for following along,
B.

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Re: '32 Ford High-Bolster Roadster - 8-5 Update

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