Hobbyist Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The club that I'm a member of had their first road course race on Sunday, I campaigned my usual: a 10+ year old 440X2 Stront magnet stock arm car with silicone tires. I did well, finishing 3rd out of a field of 13. I had some handling problems, especially when going through the three 3" hairpins this guy set up into his track. I ate their lunch on the straights though. I ran my tried and true 1990 sports car body painted like a Ford Fusion, but I was running against a lot of ALMS style cars, in both hard plastic and vacuformed. So, I'm now thinking about building an updated buck for my team, and have considered the following choices:

Being a Ford guy (I work for a Ford dealership) it'll have to be based on a Ford model, or at least be able to be called a Ford when it's all done. Like the Cadilliac LMS cars they do have some sort of resemblence to the STS, at least in the grill. Since the Fusion is the current Tour de Force in Ford Motorsports, I will probably try to work it's grill into this scratch built project.

Another choice is to base it off of a diecast. lately I've converted a few for vacufroming, and I have two VW Karma Ghia's coming from a diecast retailer. One was to be converted for a mini stock project, the other was to be a static race car for the infield. Now I'm considering making it a LMS style car, and I think it has serious potential. Imagine, a sort of roof scoop extending back over where a Porsche V12 would live, and a nice wing on the back. The rear seat area would be basically engine bay.

A third choice would be to reproduce an existing ALMS or D Competetion car, and while that's a lot of work it's not out of the question. For durability's sake, a diecast conversion is the better way.

So what should I do? Take the cowards way out and do the diecast, even if it's something other than a Frankenstein Karman Ghia, or built it up from scratch? What would you guys like to see?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ahhh, the GT has been around for....man, 40 years??? Great choice, but I was hoping for something more original. A lot of Le Mans Series cars have some basis in a production car, like I said with the Cadilliac. I'll work on an idea on paper, see how you guys like it.

BTW, when my dealership got the GT we each got to drive it a few miles...with a Saleen Mustang in chase. My dealership is located in North Fresno, near the city limits and right next to a freeway. Now, the sales manager said we weren't supposed to speed, but out of 11 sales associates, who do you think got the ONLY ticket for speeding with it? Yup, the sales manager...doing 93 in a 70 zone. Another 2 MPH and the car would have been impounded for 25 over in a highway zone. We still haven't let him live it down.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bill, as one that has drived both a 1967 GT and the 2005 version, I have to say that technically they're similar, obviously the newer one is much more driver friendly. But at 6' 4" and almost 300 lbs both fit like a pair of 2-size too small shoes. At the Monterey Sports Car Show a few years ago I sat in a 917 and a 962, both fit well...without the drivers seat insert. Same with the Viper GTS-R. I said V-12....is it a flat 12? I'm not sure, but the Karman Ghia would be a great GT Production car conversion.

One of the things I noticed at Scale Auto is that there are some contemporary LMS cars, I think the newest versions are from 2000 though. I ran the GTP Probe for a long time in Open Comp, now I run either the '99 Panoz LMP-1 or the R8R. Running my own designs is my aim, marketing them somewhere down the road is my goal.

I'm going to start on the Ford Fusion LMP sometime this weekend, expect a familiar set of headlights and grill with open cockpit American Le Mans Series styling. And yes, copies will be available.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We have a winner. Interesting how they use the 2001-2004 headlights turned up and sideways like that. I've seen that car before, I think we have a poster in the dealership...if so, it's now mine. :) I have decal paper so that part isn't a problem anyway, construction begins Sunday.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
On the same page you found that red one Montoya is a silver Maserati version called the Picchio. Between the Focus, the Brumos FABCAR and the Picchio I may combine a few of the better features. Because of the clearance for the p/u shoes the Enzo style front end of the Focus may not be practical, so the Maserati nose and radiator vent may be used, but with the Focus headlights. The rear end of the Focus would be practical because of the height of the top deck of the slot car chassis. Oh yeah, this car will be built up on 440X2 chassis too, just to make sure there won't be conflicts with the p/u shoes or any other chassis structure. It should work with just about any other car as well.
I race 1:10th scale R/C cars and most of them come with a vacuformed wing as part of the body package. What I might do with this one since the wing is in an odd place is model in the supports for the wing and have a separate piece for the wing to be attached with 2-sided tape. This will allow me to keep the overall lines of the original 1:1 model in an HO body. It'll be several weeks before I get pictures of the car to you guys, but when I get the battery I ordered for my digital I'll make sure to post them.
As far as fully painted and cut, I'll have to think about that. I just sent a bunch of examples of my work to Marty up in Washington, and I asked him to write an honest no-BS review of my work. Once he does that you can decide it they're something you may want. Since I'm not a vendor I don't think it fair to talk about it for now, but I won't rule out the possibility.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Alrighty then. The design has been finalized. It will use the basic lower body shape of the Maserati Picchio, basically because for a slot car it's the easiest to mount to a square chassis. Plus it's just easier to make.



The rear end will be from the Brumos FABCAR, with a sort of rear bumper and NASCAR type spoiler. Again, for practicality and taking into consideration that it'll be vacuformed, and anything that curves under is a real pain to get off the buck.



The nose and roof profile will be more FABCAR than anything else, but will have some elements of the Focus too. The vents on the front fenders will be present, and I'm still debating the location, if not even the existance, of the wing.



Things like the windows will be slightly raised instead of recessed, again, because it's easier and will be much easier to paint. Also a slightly raised panel will produce less drag then a slightly recessed one. Headlights are still up for discussion, Porsche or Focus...or maybe Fusion? :) Then comes the naming of the body, like Stallion or something.

I'm going to go rent a digital camera so you guys can see what this thing will look like. Stay tuned.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
What do you guys think about the RC car wing idea? About putting two riser supports on the back and including a small piece of material to make a wing like that? Most HO scale bodies have the rear wing molded into the back of the body, I want something actually to channel airflow, however slight it may be at 10 MPH.

I did some work on the lower part of the body last night, got the NACA duct for the radiator down. I'm not sure how this is going to vacuform as it's pretty deep right now, it may be filled in a little. So far I have the basic shape of everything but the top and about 2 hours of sanding and shaping to still do. If anyone remembers the old Ford J-car, the nose resembles that. It also has a sort of Area Rule shape to it, wide in the front and rear, and pinched in at the waist.

Pic's coming shortly.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I considered that too Mike, I figured either a body pin or a jewelers screw, I'll try both to see what works best. The problem is the supports will be less than 5/16th of an inch tall and very narrow, so a coarse pitch jewelers screw might be best. There'll be enough spoil from the vacuform process to use a small piece for a rear wing so I won't be including a wing as part of the body. I'm also considering how much pitch angle to give the support for the wing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 · (Edited)
Figuring the average modified slot car will run about 10-12 MPH there wouldn't be but a few grams of downforce before it became overruled by drag. Then again, a complicaed fixture would add weight, and the whole purpose of a lexan body (or in my case, PETG) is to be lightweight to the extreme. Whatever is used to fix the wing to the supports must be solid, light and be removable for wing replacement.

I found some 2-56 X 1/4" machine screws that may work. The width of the supports are wide enough that the screws will fit inside them, and 1/4" may be all the hold it needs in a hard shunt. The other alternatives are to glue the wing, which causes the joint to be brittle, or two sided tape, which is not going to work due to the small footprint of the wing/support joint. Also, I tried attaching a wing to the cage of a sprinter with body pins and crashing hard a few times. The wing came off pretty easily and once the holes had the pins reinserted a few times the wing wouldn't stay on at all. I tried the screws next and it held way better. My problem is I'm limited by the width of the support, in this case it's .060".

If slippery is the key, then why have a wing at all? Is another few grams of DF worth a gram or two of drag (from the supports)? And where the DF is needed most (in the corners) the car will have slowed significantly as to negate the downforce anyway. It's maddening, do we push for a nice, realistic looking car or one that will win through styling points.

The cockpit top is on, the wing supports are also on. I have material coming to draw a few examples for testing. If wing attachment becomes complicated once the prototypes are made then I'll remove the supports and think of something else.

Oscar, you'll get a couple when it's completed, wing and all. If I sell a couple of Fords this week I'll send a few out to selected guys who participate in a racing series for testing....postage is expensive for something that weighs almost nothing.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
OK, some good news and some bad news.

The mold is done, and I did some draws on it last night and this morning. The initial production run of 6 cars was made and I noticed that the plastic was not being pulled down into the front radiator scoops I worked so hard to make. I did the 6 then drilled two small relief holes in the bottom of the vents, and drew 6 more. The plastic didn't get pulled all the way down but there are nice vent scoops now. So I did 6 more of the revised mold.

Unfortunately I was drawing the cars very quickly, like 2 per minute, and warped two areas of the mold. I didn't notice until I painted two of the revised cars, there is a small artifact on the nose and another on the right side window area. Small, but definately something that needs to be corrected before they go out as production cars. For you guys that will be testing, you will get the cars with small artifacts on them...remember, this is testing to basically destruction, they don't need to be perfect for that.

Oscar and Montoya, e-mail me a snail mail address and I'll get you out two cars each of the original version (v.1) and the revised scoop version (v.2) in the mail on Friday. A third set of cars will be sent to Marty the following Tuesday (after i fix the artifact). I'd like you guys to paint them, race them and then please post a no BS review, good or bad. if the design sucks, say so, and tell me where to fix it.

And for God's sakes, if you have a digital camera, please take a picture for me, my battery still hasn't arrived and nobody else knows what these things look like. I do intend to sell them as soon as they're perfected.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Testing Update

I painted myself up a v.1 car and used a fine line permanent marker to draw in the details like fender vents, panel lines and the like. It actually looks pretty good, the v.1 cars look like they could be a front engined Panoz enclosed cockpit car. The screw idea was trashed as the screws were just way too big. I used some gap filling super glue to attach my rear wing, which is actually a part trimmed from the body (more on that later).

I don't have a road course so I had to use my key and get into my neighbors garage to use his. It's OK, he does the same to get into my spa...it all works out. Anyway, using a stock Tyco pan chassis car with plates glued to the sides for body mounts (using 2 sided tape) the body sites nice and low. The cabin sweeps up from the nose and sits more aft that I had planned, but again, it has that Panoz look so it's OK. The wing sits just behind the rear wheels but has some body work that sticks out further behind it, protected from all but an upside down rear impact. I actually trimmed my body higher than designed in back, cutting off the molded in rear bumper and using that piece as the wing. It works nice with the molded in sideplates.

Testing involved crashing repeatedly at the end of the 19.5' straight. I'd say impacts were between 8-12 mph, an impact dislodged the rear axle but the wing attachment was just fine. I then set up the timing system and ran some hot laps. Now, road courses were never my strong point, especially in stock class, but I was running in the middle of the times set during the last event in a car set up for racing ovals. I don't think to body had much to do with that, but it certainly looked good doing it. I did crash on a slower part of the track and knocked the attachment loose on one of the braces, but another drop of glue and I was off again. I may get some silicone adhesive, something a bit more flexible, for future wing attachments.

After this body gets tested worldwide (hey, it's going to England for testing, so I can say that) and whatever shortcomings are fixed I'll have it for sale on my upcoming Team AMG Racing domain. Look for it to be ready in March. While being generic in shape and design, it will more than likely carry the name Odyssey, a departure from my wife refering to it as an "oddity".
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
The top of the mount is really small. I mean it's maybe 3/16th long and about half that wide. I made another wing attachment with a silicone adhesive last night and had to let it dry overnight. It will be tested late this evening. Deane's cars will be on their way to England today for delivery in about a week. I haven't heard from Marty for a few days so I'll assume he's pretty busy with real life stuff. Bill if you want to send me your snail mail I'll send you Marty's cars and make it up to him later. They can be in your hands Monday or Tuesday and you can help me work out this attachment.

I have my first road course event with the guys that broke away from my group this Saturday and the Odyssey will be debuted in the Modified Class there. Only one of that group has seen it, and he was sworn to secrecy about it's arrival. My car will be the v.1 with the flat nose, which I'm really starting to like a lot more than the one with the molded in vents, so v.2's may become a collectors item depending on what you and Deane let me know about the styling.

The next project is already on the drawing board: Basically the same car with an open cockpit, which this was supposed to be anyway.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
They'll be in the mail on Friday Bill, As far as the worst culls, I do fairly good work so I tend to toss the bad one's out immediately. R&D is what I do best, I broke a chassis tonight in road course practice, but the wing stayed on. Figure that one out. I will include a complete race-ready car as well. I'm working on my body I'll be actually racing on Saturday now, a very sharp Martini Ford Rally sort of paint scheme.

But I do have a "press release" to submit. I didn't see a general information section, but this concerns my production so I'll set if loose here:

"It only took 20 years, but the original vacuformer that Team AMG built their success on had finally worn out. That’s right, worn out. The racking system that holds the plastic in place broke some 10 years ago. The square framing, made of Plexiglas and ¼ inch thick, has been exposed to high temperatures and stress over and over, and high stress of being slammed down over a mold to produce bodies. While the air box is still intact, a whole new smaller and more efficient air box and racking system is being designed. The old system required a 4 ¼ by 6 inch sheet of PETG to create a body, and the large clamp style clips didn’t work well once they were heated repeatedly.

The new system will use a smaller 4 ½ by 3 inch piece of .015 instead of the .010 previously used. “Since the margins are smaller the plastic must be thicker to avoid thin spots.” Testing in both .010 and .015 will be conducted to see which thickness is best suited to the new air box system.

Another benefit of the smaller air box is that instead of just 4 bodies per 9 by 12 inch sheet, AMG will now be able to produce 8 bodies, dropping the cost of each body to make from 48 cents each to just 24 cents each. “Figuring spoilage from the manufacturing process and other factors, it would still be less than 30 cents per body to produce.” Cost of the new air box has not been released but was said to be less than the cost to build the original box, which was $15.00 in 1986."

(Sorry, you guys will still have to pay $2.00 each when I start selling them. :( )

I'm working on a website that will ultimately be www.teamamgracing.com, right now most of that info is at Team AMG Racing. I should be able to resume production after the new air box is done.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Bill thanks for the testing. Please, post pics of whats left of the Outback car as well as the v.1 once you get one painted. In a couple of days my custom painted Martini/Ford racing Focus will be posted, this car is an eye opener. We had our road course event on Saturday and the new Odyssey took a first and my car took 4th. I now have orders for 6 from other racers locally. I think you hit the nail on the head about the nose being stiffer with the "cleavage" scoops. I have a way of plugging the relief holes under the body to still make the v.1 cars, but so far everyone has been happy with v.2's. I raced the car with the clear silicone holding the wing and didn't lose it the entire event even with some pretty hard shunts.

How well does it work? Well the guy who won on Saturday was running a full lap ahead of what he normally did in a two minute main. That equates to about 3 seconds in a two minute race. Call it an aerodynamic success of just plain mind games but he was very happy with the results. In a few days the International Testing should begin when they arrive in Deane's hands in England, and we'll see what he has to say as well.

I should be making more in about 2 weeks, I need to order the plastic and finish the new vacuformer. Shortly after I'll begin working on the open cockpit version. As Bill said the current cockpit is a bit egg shaped but I tried to pattern it as much after the BRUMO's car as I could. In my own testing it worked pretty well. The side scoops are very subtle as Bill said but they're more for appearance than anything else.

My whole complaint about lexan style bodies is they don't look like real race cars. I wanted this one to look like one, and I think it does. So, barring a complete trouncing from the British contingent it will not be changed. Sales will begin in early March for a couple bucks each plus shipping.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Marty, when you get caught up let me know and I'll hook you up with anything you've missed. You guys keep mentioning those '70 Pinto's...I only did like a dozen of them and gave most of them away. I have 3 of them left for myself, and wasn't planning on making more...looks like I may have to. But unfortunately it's not something I can sell, since it's "not my design". I have one painted like a car from my home track in the mid 1970's mounted on a M/T car, and it looks awesome. I did intend on making more mini-stockers, I have a bug and a Karman Ghia I was going to convert but decided to do the Odyssey instead.

I'm going to be off work myself from the last Wednesday of the month all the way through March while recovering from an ankle reconstruction. It's an old motorcycle injury that has been allowed to linger more than 30 years. Time, weight and career have pretty much destroyed what was left. During that time I may do some more molds, but I'll announce that later. If anyone has any old, broken Tyco 440 rolling chassis or a Tomy roller they can give up, that's what I build my cars up on. Send it my way and I'll make you the first to get the new Odyssey Open Cockpit car.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Actually Bill that's the V.2, V.1 didn't have the nose scoops, but that is the final production version. So for all intents and purposes it's just the Odyssey. I'm obviously not a painter, my test body was even more crudely painted than Bill's was. I just paid $20 to have a Lithia Ford dealership painted version, so my Martini Ford Focus body will be up for sale....pics are coming soon. I know I keep saying that but they are. :)

As far as the paint coming off the body, that's not unusual even for a lexan car. Most of my cars will be one solid color with the rest of the colors being made up of decals. I've had great luck with waterslide decals if they're clear coated with a flexible wax like Future, and the Martini Focus is such a scheme. I'm now working on the open cockpit car designs, and playing a lot of Forza looking at the Prototype cars for inspiration.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Odyssey D Production: Release Photos.

Thanks to everyone who waited for the first pictures of this car to make this string. I apologise for the time it's taken to actually get pictures up. I have a very old but unique digital camera that shoots directly onto 3.5" floppies, and the battery is not readily available. But it came today, so here you all are:

The original Version 1 car did not have the scoops on the front end because of a design defect on the mold. Only 6 of those cars were made and they're all gone. Here was my test mule as it appeared after suffering 26 very hard crashes:





As you can see the flat nose wasn't very attractive (to me at least), so two small holes were drilled into nose to allow air to be vented from them. Here's how the body buck looked after the holes were drilled.



This allowed the vacuformer to draw air and pull the hot PETG down into the vents. Depending on how hot the plastic was, the more it was drawn down. I found that plastic at 180 degrees worked best. After the holes were done the car essentially became the Version 2, now just refered to as the Odyssey.





The Version 2 nose is much stronger and less prone to deform as Bill said, plus it looks pretty good too. This car has accents from Microsport Decals to represent vents and other features. It has a mix of vinyl pressure decals and waterslide, all sealed with Future Floor Wax so that it won't flake off in a hard crash. This car was to be my car for the upcoming series but I'm having another painted with my dealership colors and logo instead. But this was the Focus that the car originally was planned out to be. This body will be for sale as shown in the very near future.



Another of my bodies was the DIRT Late Model, which is actually finding a niche in sprits car racing as well. Here's my catalog shot of the body:



Decals by Microsport, this body will also be for sale as shown on my webpage soon.

The last is the old sports car that some local guys still swear by. This buck was built in 1990 to represent the Toyota Supra GTO car of those times. But over the last 17 years it's been raced as several different makes and models, I even raced it as a Ford Fusion not too long ago. The design is such that it can use either 2-sided tape or velcro to attach directly to the chassis, no body posts are necessary. I guess that's one of the reasons it's still pretty popular.



That's it for now, in a week or so I hope to begin on the open cockpit car, and with camera in hand I'll be sure to film the birth.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 · (Edited)


Bill, still got that buck and even have a few bodies in inventory. I know what you mean by the 911 IROC, if I can find a SWB Carrera as a base I may attempt it. I do have a 1/64th scale Firebird IROC but it's totally unacceptable to work up as a body buck. The best diecast I've been able to adopt has been the '70 Pinto, but I can do a Vega, a Gremlin and a (deep breath) Pacer to the same wheelbase. I just hate doing diecast bucks, it's like stealing someone elses work even though I change a lot of things like I did with the Pinto.

Compound curves are a PITA, I tried to avoid it with the Odyssey. If you look at the buck, the dark places are where I sanded through the .010 plastic into the expoxy filler below. After I get the basic shape I fill the inside of the body with 5 minute epoxy about 3/4 full. It makes it stronger and easier to sand. The Karman Ghia (or Karman GTP) would be a long wheelbase car, the diecast I have is 1/64th scale but very long. Still a beautiful car 30 years later.



The open cockpit car will be nice but I need a broken chassis (or an intact one) to build the buck up on as a roller. I have worked up a few drawings of the Audi R8R and Caddy, but still need some more research. I don't do drag racing but I'd like to work up a pro stock too someday.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Post Script:

I just counted the "pieces" of plastic it took to build the Odyssey buck, and came up with a total of 30. I used 7 square inches of .020 styrene, 3 oz. of epoxy, maybe another 1 oz. of CA glue and zip kicker, 2 sheets of 180 grit sandpaper, 1 each of 240 and 600 grit. I figure material wise it cost me about $10 to build the buck, and another 20 hours of sanding and shaping. If you had to pay me my Ford wage it would have cost you $292.60 including materials to contract it.

My toolset consists of three sets of stainless surgical scissors with curved blades at various degrees, one set of straight ones, at least one X-acto with #11 blades, two tweezers and a 1/2" wide file. And in the case of this car, a Dremel tool with a 1/16th inch drill bit.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
2,818 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
Not a problem, thank you so much for the testing and feedback.



The Odyssey is not quite as sleek as some of the available cars out there, I still will race a Probe GTP in open comp for now until the Odyssey open cockpit car is done sometime this summer. But as someone who just placed an order said, it's a more realistic looking version of a Grand Am car than what has been previously available. And for a modified ceramic class car (or a J-Jet class) this is a great looking accessory.

On the local HOSRA circuit there are six modified class Odysseys being campaigned, all six are in the top 10 in points, the first three spots being currently held as well. The car still is run under a provisional allowance in the rules since I'm not a "mass producer" and less than 500 have been made, but I have been told I may be given a waiver under HORSA rules to continue having teams run my bodies. If this is the case in May after the current series ends I'm going to put in a lot of time making bodies again. I just called my partner and told him as of today, the Odyssey is a production item for AMG Racing.

Again, thanks to my test team for helping out.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top