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'32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

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'32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

Post by Bernard Kron on Thu 22 Dec 2016, 7:54 am

The circle track oriented Scale Racecar Lobby board has a whole section devoted to The Early Years featuring a lot of Jalopy style stock-based dirt track cars. While perusing its many fine models I got to thinking about doing a 50ís era middle-America stock car jalopy. . I love the research part, particularly when it involves a subject like this one where I have much to learn. Thus began my obligatory web-cruise which culminated in finding this terrific web site chronicling the JayCee Speedway in Larned, Kansas, a 1/4 mile track that was active in the 1950's: http://winfield.50megs.com/tripod/Larned/Larned_Speedway.htm

I was particularly inspired by this picture:



That is one sanitary jalopy. Beautifully constructed and ready on race day morning, Sunday, April 27th, 1958. Pictured are the driver, Gene Coffman, and the car's owner and sponsor, Mrs. Clarice Palmer.

One thing that has impressed me is the very high level of construction quality on many of these cars. You only appreciate it if they were fortunate enough to be photographed before being raced. Afterwards their condition tended to disguise the fact! The rules at Larned appear to restrict motors and suspension to stock or mild hop ups as far as I can tell.

It reminded me that many moons ago Dave Zinn included a resin Hendrix '32 Ford Fordor based on the AMT Deuces as a bonus gift in a parts swap I did with him. The perfect base for my first Jalopy build. The mechanicals will come from the AMT '32 Ford Phaeton kit.

I'm guessing the wheels and the upper part of the body were white, the beltline some dark color and the lower body a light color, but not white. Probably yellow. I'm planning on doing my car with a white upper, green beltline and yellow lower. Iíll do homemade decals with sponsor names and numbers. It wonít be a strict replica but the inspiration will be clear.

First off, probably very much like was done at the time, I cut open the roof and cut up the AMT í32 Ford Phaeton interior bucket to get my bearing on space and dimension issues. The interior will get some panel detail at a later stage. Then I roughed in the roll cage to the basic AMT Deuce chassis. Itís .010 styrene rod.



It's clear these cars were built for some very rough driving. Besides open roofs, most of the Larned cars had cutaway passenger side doors for easy exit in the inevitable crash. For the same reason I noticed there's generally no diagonal bracing across the top of the roll cage, most likely to allow the driver to readily crawl out if the car got dumped on its side. But most cars did have side bracing tubes in the middle of the doors. The roll cage was completed accordingly. I decided to cut up the passenger side of the body and the interior bucket. The hard part was making sure the body cutout, the interior bucket cutaway, and the side brace bars all lined up. I think I pulled it off. I'm wrestling with the front nerf bars (bully bars?) right now. That and the bracing for the í40 Ford radiator and hood panel will be the next major challenge.



After that building the motor and setting up the chassis should be pretty straight forward. Once everything is trial fit and ship-shape itíll be time for paint and graphics. Things are moving fairly quickly but I donít know if this will be done in time to be my final 2016 build.

Thanx for lookiní,
B.


Last edited by Bernard Kron on Sat 24 Dec 2016, 11:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bernard Kron
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Re: '32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

Post by Bernard Kron on Sat 24 Dec 2016, 11:16 am

One of the members on the TRaK board, Stu Neil, questioned if using the AMT Phaeton interior bucket was such a good idea given the massive roof opening and the door cutout. He thought it might make the bodywork look too thick. I had to agree and I decided to completely re-do my approach to the interior. I started by cutting out the sides of the interior buck, leaving only the firewall and cowl panels. After gluing this vestigial piece to the floor board I fabricated two curved extension pieces to fill the gap between the floorboard and the body sides. Next I made a couple of interior side panels. I researched í32 Ford interior body structures on the web and was only able to find detailed pictures of a Phaeton shell, although I think the basic approach must be similar to the Fordor. Combining that with the structures of earlier Tudors and Fordors I came up with what should pass for some interior detail. After fabricating the side panels I epoxied them in place and then added additional strips of styrene epoxied directly to the body shell to simulate the rest of the structure. Hereís a summary of that work:



I was also able to complete the front nerf bar setup. Common practice on the Larned cars was to use later series, and larger, radiators. In this case I used an AMT í40 Ford piece and fabricated the ďbully barsĒ from .100 styrene rod. While not quite as elaborate (and agricultural!) as some jalopies sported, this design was fairly prototypical of these cars. I also include some wire mesh between the radiator and the bars. Interestingly, the Larned cars almost never had rear nerf bars or side bars even though they had massive roll cages and front protection. Hereís some a summary of this part of the project:



Now on to the suspension and motor. Then final bodywork, paint and decals. Still shooting for December Ď31st to get Ďer doneÖ

Thanx for lookiní,
B.
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Re: '32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

Post by DeeCee on Sun 25 Dec 2016, 9:20 am

That's a lot of work there Bernard, looking good though mate.
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Re: '32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

Post by Deaf as on Mon 26 Dec 2016, 7:25 pm

Great project !!
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Re: '32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

Post by Bernard Kron on Fri 30 Dec 2016, 12:26 pm

Thanx guys!

Iím on the home stretch now. The suspension, just the stock setup from the AMT kit, wheels and tires are painted and glued in place. The suspension is finished out in gloss and matte black and dark shades of Testors Metalizer paints. The front wheels are AMT í40 Ford front steelies and the rears Revell í40 Ford rears. The front tires are standard AMT Firestones and the rears are Revell í40 Ford units with the whitewalls painted matte black.

One detail youíll notice is that I built a rear bumper after all. I had commented that Larned cars didnít seem to run them, which struck me as odd given how heavily built up the front bars and roll cages were. Well, more careful examination of the old pictures show that the cars all did have bumpers, itís just that they arenít the massive structures you see at the front. So I fabricated a prototypical setup from styrene rod and strip and installed at the back of the chassis.

The bodywork is painted now. The upper half is Duplicolor Wimbledon white, as are the interior and the nerf bars. The frame is painted a medium dark green, a Testors Acryl color. Iíve begun the graphics. The companies are fictional businesses from the area around the Larned track. Great Bend, Kansas is the major town in the area, about 23 miles from Larned. The graphics fonts and layout are based on photos of Larned cars. All the cars wore a number on each side and one on the rear. The layout photo below is a Photoshop mockup and final colors and fonts will be determined when I actually print the decals. Probably tomorrow.

Not shown is the motor which is about done and ready for installation. Itís the Ford Flathead block from the kit with AMT í40 Ford stock heads and intake, finished in the traditional Ford zinc chromate green.

Still shooting for a 2016 completion!

Thanx for lookiní,
B.

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Bernard Kron
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Re: '32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

Post by delaney on Sat 31 Dec 2016, 4:28 am

Awesome build, great subject matter cheers cheers
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Re: '32 Fordor Jalopy Racer - Larned, KS. 1958 - Update 12-23

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