Going Back Home Again
My 1950 Austin Gasser
AKA "God Of Thunder"
Many Years ago, when I was maybe, 11 or 12 years old, I first built this kit. It was my first real attempt at detailing a model. Before, I had built car models straight from the box. (mostly) But on this one, I had added plug wires made from thread, (as was the custom) fuel lines, even an oil dipstick and corresponding tube. Needless to say, I was very proud of this one. But over the years, my interests changed, and the old Austin got either lost or broken, I do not remember which. But while on my honeymoon last June, Crystal and I came across a hobby shop in the Poconos, and had to stop in and look around. Well, here to my surprise, I found a Monogram '50 Austin gasser kit! I also found a '75 Matador NASCAR stocker kit, but that's another story. After we got home, I started groking the kit. I decided that I wanted to do what might have been possible 30 years ago, had I the resources we have today.
I was kind of in the dark about the final form of the kit when I started. I knew I wanted to put a more modern chassis/engine combo under the body, but wasn't sure how to do so. While drooling on kits at A.B. Charles Hobby Shop in Dormont, PA I found a Jeg's Olds Pro Stock kit and thought, "this might work, since Olds engines were popular in Gassers in the '60s".this would prove to be a bit of a sign. I was doing research on the web a few days later, and found that Jeg Coughlin (Jr or Sr, I don't know) ran a Austin in the past! I knew now where to go with this. So, with pictures and two kits in hand, the journey began on a "New Millennium" gasser!
Here's the inspiration. I found this picture at The Austin Works site, which you can find a link to on the Links page.
Here's a first shot. the P/S scoop is from the Summit P/S firebird kit, since I liked the look better. You can also see some of the shortened Jeg's chassis. (First of MANY changes to the chassis!)
Here you can see the (so far) minor chassis mods done.
The almost finished chassis. The cage was a modified NASCAR roll cage from a AMT generic Monte Carlo, as was the seat. The plumbing was not complete in this shot. (the rad was relocated to the area between the slicks)
The Olds Pro Stock engine. I used pictures from the Detail Master site of Farhni's Olds engine to route the hoses and wiring. I didn't get into quite the detailing he did, but I'm happy with the way it came out anyway. There's also Detail Master wiring, braided hose, and throttle linkages used on the engine.
Overall, I'd say I was definitely pleased with the outcome, although, the pic does NOT reflect the true color of the car. I used Testor's Colors by Boyd Chezoom Teal, and it turned out very well, but for some reason I can't get my scanner to show the real tone of the green. Suffice to say it's REALLY TEAL!!!
Also unfortunate that the ModelCarList logo just to the rear of the door didn't scan too well. The rest of the decals were a combination of Jeg's kit decals, and some parts box stuff. The "God Of Thunder" decals and the ModelCarList decals were produced on my home PC with Micro Mark decal paper.
Here's the rear view. The wing is modified from the Jeg's kit and covered in Shabo Foil. The 'chute is also from the Jeg's kit. The wheelie bars are a story in themselves. I had planned to use the kit's bars, but one of my cats had another idea. The cat in question somehow got into my workbench area and decided that the assembled rear axle/wheelie bars looked like either cat food (this is bad) or a cat toy (even worse). When I found the little goof ball, he had rendered my work almost unrecognizable. Thankfully, I was able to make repairs with bars from the AMT Snaptite Pro Street Firebird. Needless to say, cats have been banned from the workbench permanently.
My goals while I was building this one were to improve my modeling skills, and maybe to relive a little of my past. I think I accomplished the former, and certainly did the latter. It took a long time, and there were some challenges along the way, but I enjoyed it, and isn't that the point?