Some of you build models cars straight from the box. Some build from the box but will add a few accessories, parts and details. Some of you who are ambitious enough will take what’s in the box and create a different model year or complete customization…this is a customization build. I wasn’t exactly sure what to call this project, several thoughts came to mind…Redneck, Moonshiner but for this thread I’ll just call it Cowboy Style.
Not exactly sure where the inspiration for this customization came from, probably from an opening scene of an old movie possibly. A rich spoiled kid driving a big, expensive customized car down a dirt road in the heart of oil and cattle country. Or a Bootlegger running hauling illegal whiskey through the windy back wood roads in Kentucky being chased by Revenuers hoping to catch him and his secreted cargo of liquor. It could be that my original plan of making a Ranchero out of a Galaxy just took a detour. Let’s say all of them had something to do with it.
I wish I had images of the very beginnings of this project, but I can’t seem to find any. Possibly lost with a failure of a hard drive that fried some time ago. Leaning towards the Ranchero idea, this is how I proceeded to remove and crop the roof length.
1-Cut across the span of the roof from wing window support to wing window support. Measure distance from rear door opening panel line to window corner at B pillar/body intersection. 2-Remove B pillar and rear roof section from car body. (Run a piece of tape or draw a reference line using the bottom of window trim panel lines as reference to help ensure straight cut.) 3-Transfer measurement from step 2 to roof top. Remove that amount from the front edge of the roof panel. Be sure it is exactly parallel to cut #1.
With the roof section removed and shortened, it was time to reinstall it. In essence you removed it, trimmed it and are sliding it forward to shorted the cab roof from two row seating to single row coupe style seating. The area behind the new roof position and trunk lid has to be filled in. I used strip styrene to give it structure and some styrene card (sheet). Here is a great place to use those styrene cards that come in the mail! With the strip and sheet stock cemented in place and cured, you can start filling in the rest of the gaps and areas needed filling to bring the surface up to proper height. I used putties, CA and more styrene pieces to build up the area and give it strength.
Placing the roof into its new position and cementing it in place, adding a few styrene discs as gussets to help hold it in place securely and give the structure more strength I let it sit for several days…even weeks to cure. At some point I picked it back up and started sanding and shaping the filled area and made sure the top of the roof seam was well blended and invisible. Here is where I stopped and set the project aside for some time.
Recently I picked it up again while another project was at a stand still. I started the process of filling, sanding and filling with such things as glazing putty and sandable primer leading to the point these picture illustrates.
You can clearly see the longer rear deck and the coupe like cab. A Ranchero modification is possible from this point. Opening up a “truck bed” area using the vertical section of the trunk lid as a tailgate is possible. Or, if you wanted to you could do a retractable hardtop conversion from this point. Would not be all that difficult to scribe in panel lines on the rear deck for the stowage compartment as well as section lines where the hardtop folds to retract. At this point the hardtop option is still being mulled over in my mind.
What I am going to do is create the look of a custom car in the making look. All custom cars reach a point where the restoration and fabrication reaches that ugly tween stages appearance. So it has as you can see some primer coats to help me find the flaws as well as fill the imperfections in the surfaces…something you really have to be careful of using multiple media to create something that doesn’t come in the kit which you are creating from scratch. Using some rattle cans someone gave me a long time ago…really long time ago as most were dead with no propellent left inside, I managed to find three which still sprayed. Starting with flat black, then dark tan and finally with yellow I sprayed the body, trunk lid and hood with all three pausing shortly between each to allow them to tack up before applying the next.
I’m going to give it a few days to cure, then the sanding will begin to remove a great deal of them to reveal the various layers. Yeah, its a lot of work, but I hope the results I envision will work out as planned. If not, I’ll try something else. With the Cowboy theme, the side exhausts could be relocated to rise up as stacks out of the deck between the rear window and trunk lid. A pair of bull’s horns mounted on the front of the hood. Some truck white or chrome spoke rims. Dual CB whip antennas…