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1963 Thunderbird Roadster Build w/Front Wheel Drive

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  • 1963 Thunderbird Roadster Build w/Front Wheel Drive

    80's Japanese Gunze Sangyo 1/32 '63 Thunderbird model converted to a slot car, pretty easy. The models are motorized if you buy a 130 size Mabuchi motor/Carrera size and many others, they come with the sidewinder gears and rubber tires, battery contacts. The gears look like slot car gears, at least the one is marked like one and matches others in my old slot parts bin. I opened up a slot in the chassis for the guide wire routing and swing clearance and drilled a hole and mounted the guide to the chassis, basic MRRC Sebring guide, really needs the deeper one but it works for now. I extended the IR diode and mounted the chip in the trunk, lit the head and tailights with 3mm 3V diode LED's, lit the license plate with 0.75 mm fiber optics. These T-Bird models have open lights and lenses so pretty easy to light, just glue a styrene tube to the bumpers behind the lights opening and shove the led in it, cover with bare metal foil to prevent light escaping, just had to drill a hole for the license plate fiber optic in the bumper.
    I replaced the copper colored 2mm metal front axle with a better one I had and drilled out the axle holes and glued in nylon? single flange bushings. I've been testing it and trying to break it for a month and it still works fine, just needed some lead weight in places.
    It is a riot to drive, fishtails and then pulls with the front drive all the way around curves, would that be called drifting?
    The body is Tamiya TS coral blue, no clear, just color sanded then compounded and waxed, trim is bare-metal foil. The interior is the original molded glacier blue color with details painted, driver is a Carrera guy, have to find a better one but Bo Duke is driving the Goat I posted earlier and is too big unless I cut his legs off.
    The body snaps on chassis tabs front and rear, very convenient for servicing.
    If I ran it hard it probably wouldn't hold up very well, but it's a lover...not a fighter.

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    Firechicken and Thunderchicken, the birds is the words.

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    Cruising the car show.


  • #2
    Your modeling skills are top notch.
    Gives me something to shoot for


    • #3
      Your chrome work is excellent. Nice build!


      • #4
        The "lover not a fighter" quote was so good!!

        One of my favorite kits and I have not thought about lighting them up before, thanks for that!!

        Your modeling skills are thumbs up!!

        And the diorama of your track, do you have pictures of these somewhere on the site?

        Sure would like to see more!!

        Dundee Denny


        • #5

          Very sharp.


          • #6
            This is a gorgeous car. Very well done! Not every car is built for racing.....but they are all built for enjoying.
            Come Race at The Trace!
            Timberline Trace International Raceway - SW of Mpls, MN


            • #7
              Thank you very much everybody.

              I don't have many pics of my track around yet, I'll try to get some posted soon but I have to keep taking new pics because I change the track monthly it seems. That's "Layout can always be cooler/better" thing has been happening to me since '66, track design software sure makes it a lot easier but I still find myself doing it manually sometimes.


              • #8
                Great paint., Nice subject car

                G.P Alberta


                • #9
                  That is one beautifully finished Thunderbird model, slot car or not!
                  Well done, clean construction. This FORD guy loves it!
                  Congrats on your build, and... Enjoy! Ernie


                  • #10
                    Allen, going to redue Dundee Soeedway this fall after ten years of minor remodeling and looking for some inspiration and from the little glimpses of your track I am thinking you can be a major contributor to that inspiration!!

                    no pressure at all Allen!!!