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1965 Altered Wheel Base Chevy II Sedan - (built 2007)
I have always been a big fan of the wild altered wheel base drag cars from the 60's. A decade ago building a replica of one of these cars would have involved using rare kits and a lot of scratch-building. With the recent Model King re-issues of AMT's AWB kits and the aftermarket it makes building these cars a lot simpler.
One of my favorite drag cars of that era was the Doug's Headers "Chevy 2 Much" that was campaigned by Doug Thorley. I built my replica by starting with a Model King re-issued AMT '65 Chevy II "Rat Packer" kit. The kit comes with a hardtop body, but the Doug's Headers car was based on a sedan body. The difference being in that the sedan has a taller roof, post windows, and a different contour to the rear window. To solve this problem I took the easy way out and just used a Model King resin body available from Hobby Heaven.
After clean up of the resin body I painted it with a House of Kolor pagan gold base coat and then followed it with 6 coats of HOK candy tangerine. Slixx makes a wonderful decal set for this car and I used that for the graphics. Other body details include filling in the turn signals on the front bumper and painting both bumpers silver to make them look as through they were fiberglass, making headlight covers from sheet aluminum, and scratch building a mount for the parachute on the rear bumper.
Mostly, I built the rest of the model right out of the box, but I did make a few notable changes. First I replaced the two-piece plastic slicks and rear wheels included in the kit with a more suitable pair of drag slicks and a proper pair of Cragar rear wheels from my parts box. I also dug through my parts box and found a more suitable set of headers. Lastly, I lowered the ride height slightly on the rear and re-located the front suspension forward to match the reference pictures I had.
My reference pictures showed this car running with several different types of wheels, graphic and other details over the years. Too add to the confusion there was a 1=1 replica built of the original car that also had a lot of differences. I know there are some purists who insist that a replica must be extremely accurate. Well, I just build for myself, so I try to get them close but I don't get hung up over it if they are a little different. So, the model I chose to build ended up as a combination of what parts I had available and what I thought looked the best. It's about 95% accurate and I am happy with it.