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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the weekend I resumed low level vacuformed production of some of my cars. With the split between the guys who have all been racing together for many years, I have to deal with building new cars for guys who want to race and want to buy a turn-key car. The problem I had was finding the material to start producing bodies from my molds, and that was the sticking point.

At Tower Hobbies I found a material called Polyethylene Terephthalate Copolymer, or PETG for short. This clear plastic starts at .010 thick but when vacuformed draws down to about .007, the perfect thickness for slot cars. And it's cheap; $3.49 (plus shipping) for 3 sheets of 9 X 12 size. The size was the selling point too as it allows me to make 4 cars per sheet with no waste. For you math majors, that works out to about 30 cents per body if I don't mess a few up...which I do, so let's call it an even 50 cents each.

The really cool thing about PETG is that you don't have to use a lexan type paint to paint it, regular styrene paints will work great. I've done some crash testing of cured paint jobs and it won't shatter or flake like paint on a lexan body will. The bodies are also more flexible then lexan as well.

I currently have several molds, the first of which is my Outlaw Sprinter which I built in 1987. It has remained unchanged since then even though I threatened to update it this year. This body mounds to the M/T with no modifications using the chassis tabs. I may buy a few chassis and build up a brand new buck sometime later this summer.



These are two brand new turn-key JL cars with my bodies. They will be sold to my local guys for $15 each, which is close to exactly what they cost me to build. Cars will be sold clear and painted to the drivers orders (for a small fee). Cars are class legal, with BSRT zapped magnets and silicone tires.



Another body style is the Winged Super Modified. This body buck is about 20 years old and based on the Copper Classic style cars that were running at that time, with an offset front wing. Even though we no longer run offset axles on the cars, the wing still gives the body the offset look. We use the standard 1" X 1" top panel wing on these cars, and since they're somewhat lower than the Outlaw Sprinters they have a lower CG, and they will fly. This is an "anything goes" class, so long as it's M/T based and only has two magnets. Current track record of 1.813 seconds is held by this type of car.



In 1990 I built a sports car body based on the 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac; the car was designed to fit the 440X2 car using a Velcro mount. It won't fit the M/T cars because of the body tabs, but we're looking at having a traction class soon anyway, and this body can be adapted to appear like Late Model body with some serious fender flairs. I only vacuformed 6 of these cars for the series we ran in 1990 and 1991, the buck was put away and not used until last night. I'm not sure what application it'll have but I'll work on that.

The bad thing about PETG is it stays hot longer than lexan, and unfortunately I partially melted my cool late model body I was working on. Future body bucks will be made from .015 sheets instead of .010. I'm working on an Outlaw Dodge Charger buck that will now be beefed up to handle the hotter plastic being sucked around it. I have started some CAD designs for a Ford Fusion Car of Tomorrow buck, it'll be CNC machined from a block of resin once completed sometime this summer when I have the money for the machining.

Expect more later, I had to give up the new toaster oven so my wife could make breakfast....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I may offer them already cut and trimmed, ready to go on cars. Just paint them and there ya go. I need to head over to Wal-Mart and buy some better paint brushes before I start doing my own cars. I've also worked up a body painted with Avon finger nail polish, a really cool purple, and it didn't hurt the plastic. PETG is a really durable plastic, used for all sorts of product packaging.

Some of you may remember Billy Vukovich III, the rookie of the year at Indy in 1988 who later died at Mesa Marin Speedway in Bakersfield. He was the grandson of the 3 time Indy winner in the 1950's, who died while leading the 1955 race. I was a fan of Billy's, he lived here in the Fresno area. I met him several times at local shows, saw him race at Hanford and in Bakersfield. A buddy of mine has a part of the body of one of his supers hanging on his garage wall, the 78c Vern Reitz Foods Special. Well, I have coming parts to make the this particular car, with my super mod body, polymer magnets, a mean green armature, AJ's silicone tires, gold pick up shoes and springs, a brand new Round 2 chassis....the list goes on. When it's done you all will see it here first.
 
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