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Dragmaster Mk. IV - Fryedmaster Tribute
Topic Started: Jan 3 2015, 02:30 PM (2,669 Views)
Bernard Kron
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Early 60’s digger based on a Dragmaster Mk. IV chassis

This is for Duffy's Fryedmaster w.i.p. I did this one a couple of years back. It's an early 60’s dragster based on the Dragmaster Mk. IV chassis in the Revell Mickey Thompson Attempt I kit. The Attempt I was a fully enclosed streamliner designed to capture small displacement acceleration records in two different classes using a couple of blown 4-cylinder Pontiac Tempest motors, which Pontiac had essentially made by taking their V-8 and cutting it in half. For this project I omitted the outer body, wheels, front axle and motor(s) from the kit. The inner body was cut down slightly and a front axle from the Revell Tony Nancy Double Dragster kit substituted – the Attempt I had a narrow front axle to keep the frontal area of the streamliner to a minimum. I removed the front roll bar hoop from the dual hoop setup that was a Dragmaster option. Most racers ran a single hoop.

The Attempt I kit is from the high-detail era of the early 60’s from Revell, a period with a reputation for fiddly, ill-fitting parts. This was definitely not the case for this kit and I recommend it highly for this sort of build, especially considering what Mooneyes Parts Pacs are trading for on eBay.

The blown Pontiac V8 is from a Revell Parts Pac with a Hilborn scoop courtesy of Altered States Models who also supplied the highly detailed Hilborn fuel pump. The headers are from a Revell Chevy V8 Parts Pac. The Halibrand 5-window mags and front 12-spokes are resin pieces from the infamous gregory23sc on e-bay, who did beautiful work until he stole everyone’s money and disappeared into the night… The very nice M&H pie-cut slicks are from Ma’s resin and the front tires are the little Pirellis that come in the Revell ’31 Ford Sedan “rat-rod” kit. Paint is Testors Lime Gold Metallic enamel and Duplicolor Wimbledon White with most metal surfaces finished in various shades of Testors Metalizers. The Dragmaster Logos on the cowl are homemade decals.

Dragmaster offered the Mk. IV as a turnkey dragster kit and sold a ton of them all over the US and Canada which is one reason this design is so iconic of the period even today.

Thanx for lookin’,
B.

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Bernard Kron
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Lefturns75
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Stormin' Bernard! Just Larapin Stormin'!!!! wnw
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Duffy
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Aaaarghhh! Hidden somewhere in that sheaf of photos is a gauntlet, and my cheek is stinging mightily.

I particularly appreciate your citing ALL your sources for the parts!! For noobs like me, a huge part of the challenge is finding the bits. Thank you! Gonna copy&paste all this into a WORD.doc, & keep it handy.

Duf
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krwasson
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:))) :))) :)))
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Duffy
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Well, Bernard, I decided this morning to go track down your build thread on this model, to see more of how you did this&that; & now, a couple hours' perusing your builds on the Traditional Rod And Kustom Forum has me wondering what you do in your spare time. Darn, looka all that willya!

Anyway, once again I want to say what a great thing it is that you take the time and effort to really describe the processes and the background data in your stuff; it comes in real handy for the random odd modeler - me, in this instance - who comes along looking for some guidance and stumbles across all this, and it just opens the sky. Thanks.

Duf
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Bernard Kron
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Duffy,Jan 4 2015
06:56 AM
Well, Bernard, I decided this morning to go track down your build thread on this model, to see more of how you did this&that; & now, a couple hours' perusing your builds on the Traditional Rod And Kustom Forum has me wondering what you do in your spare time. Darn, looka all that willya!...

Thanks.

After what you wrote I decided to go back and look at them myself. There's 58 threads started, of which 11 weren't ever completed. Add in another 3 that for various reasons weren't TRaKable (of which 2 were completed), another 6 or so that never made it in front of the camera and are still in the box, and that means in the 7 years since I got back into modeling I've finished some 50 models or about 7 a year. In 2014 I finished 6. Every year I finish a few less but, thankfully, the quality keeps improving. I never build completely out-of-the-box but if you look carefully you'll see quite a few that come pretty close. I don't think about it much but I guess once I get going I work pretty efficiently. And I don't suffer from the block some builders have to actually completing a project. If anything it's the opposite. At some point I generally tell myself "Self, it's time to wrap it up...". Also, there's no lack of backlog of unbuilt ideas floating around in my head, either. So, if I need to relax, the workbench always beckons.

As far as the detail descriptions, that's one aspect of modeling that didn't exist many years ago when I was modeling the last time. Cheap digital photography, the internet and photo-hosting services, along with forums, have truly revolutionized the hobby. So while it may have shrunk in size it's gone global for a kind of camaraderie that never existed. I enjoy writing and photographing as I go along, so... why not? I sure have gotten a lot out of what others post.

At the end of this month I'm off to Central California for the NNL West, a huge event with well over 1,000 model cars on display. I stay with a friend and we hang out with our model car pals in an orgy of self-indulgence. Gotta love it! This is also my moment of humility, where the true masters of the car modeling art strut their stuff and I realize once again just how much more can be done that I've achieved so far. But without the communication on the boards I never would have done even this...
Keep on buildin'
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Throback
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Bernard Kron
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Thanx to you all for the appreciation!
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Chargincharlie6
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Whew, well, rrr Bernard, you leave me with so many questions. Just a few to start and I hope you can help. :)))

There was a mooneyes parts pack? I'd like to know about that. I understand I might not be able to afford, or necessarily need one, but have a friend who'd give anything for one I'm sure, a real moonhead.
Can you tell us more about the Attempt 1 kit and its availability, is it still around, is it the only source for a dragmaster type car, is it the one that came with the MT Challenger 1?
Where did you have your dekes done, or how did you do them?
Who were some of the 1:1 guys who ran these, and did they often use Hemis too, or not?
And, can you maybe detail a how to here as to how to specifically do the conversion to your result here?
Finally, what do you know about the slighshots in the AMT Classic Double dragster kit, what would you recommend there, and a little mfg./competitor history?

I know this is a lot, and you may not want to reveal all, but whatever you can say, and take your time, would be greatly appreciated. Again, .z.
Dave B.
AMB RACING Oshkosh, Wi.
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Bernard Kron
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Wow! Thanks Dave.

I don't know where to start but I think I can answer all your questions. They are excellent ones. Unfortunately they each deserve a post in their own right. Here are some initial responses. In some cases I should probably follow up with a new thread.

There was a mooneyes parts pack? I'd like to know about that. I understand I might not be able to afford, or necessarily need one, but have a friend who'd give anything for one I'm sure, a real moonhead.

Yes there was a Mooneyes Parts Pack from Revell. It is an excellent rendition of the Dragmaster IV. I have one that I haven't used yet. They are often offered on eBay. Prices vary wildly depending on whether they get caught up in a bidding war. I can't remember ever seeing one offered Buy It Now since that would be leaving money on the table. I got mine for around $20.00 IIRC but it was pure luck. For some reason it got ignored and I'm one of those guys who lurks and then bids in the last 30 seconds. I think I was the only bidder. Normally they trade for something the $35-$80.00 range plus shipping. IMHO this is Stupid Money if what you are looking is the this chassis since, other than a relatively minor difference in the bodywork, it's identical to the one found in the Mickey Thompson Attempt 1 kit (see below). Importantly, be aware, too, that your only talking about the chassis, interior and bodywork. There is no suspension included. You need the Revell Dragster Speed Equipment Parts Pack which is fairly rare and typically trades for north of $60-$90.00 all by itself. If you ever can score one for under $35.00 grab it and resell it - it's worth the risk. Lastly, the Mooneyes Chassis was also offered in red plastic as a Parts Pack called the Drag Master IV Frame. It's rare but pops up occasionally on eBay for less money than the Mooneyes, but of course is missing the decals. Still no suspension and still relatively pricey as $25-$70.00 When it comes to building up a Dragmaster IV the Attempt 1 is my weapon of choice.

Here's a link to a site that shows virtually all the Parts Packs that were ever offered: http://robdebie.home.xs4all.nl/models/partspacks.htm

Here's picture of the Mooneyes Parts Pack:

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Phew! I think I'll move on to another post to tackle your next question!
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Duffy
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Uh-oh - I'm afraid I'm to blame for at least one of those "bidding wars," Bernard! There's a fellow who has a few of these and is listing one every couple of weeks, really playing good marketing strategy I suppose but it's heck for us Weejuns. I lost out on two at around $23, and finally got mad and took the next when it ran up to $31 (& like $6 shipping). What we oughta do is get online over here and ANNOUNCE it's, like, me or you or him, and discuss it like gentlemen. I wonder if that'd work...

The red ones are showing up more often, but in the offering photos I've seen (and the one chassis I've won, at $21) the small second sprue with the seat, X-member & tank cradle is absent. That seat is a worthwhile piece if you're building these (although actually there were a lot of cars that ran with little more than a sling-chair kind of arrangement back there, easy to scratchbuild), so have a close look if you're bidding on one.

I'll be interested to see your next posts here, Bernard. Okay if I horn in on it too? I got a couple .pdfs of articles that may be convenient.

Duf

EDIT: Oh, hey, by the way, that link to the Revell parts pack listing is pure gold! Thank you!
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Bernard Kron
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Can you tell us more about the Attempt 1 kit and its availability, is it still around, is it the only source for a dragmaster type car, is it the one that came with the MT Challenger 1?

This kit is from the Golden Age of both model car kits and drag racing, too. The 1:1 was built in 1962 to attack various small-displacement FIA acceleration records since clearly no one did acceleration better than drag racers. It was a wonderful era of cross-pollination across all the various racing disciplines, especially in the USA (think A.J. Foyt as an example).

The kit was originally released with a custom trailer and opened parachute to make a complete display. This kit is comparatively rare and gets top dollar on eBay but they do pop up relatively frequently. IIRC they trade in the $75-$90.00 range. It was later re-issued as part of the Hot Rod Magazine series. I'm no expert on model car history so I'm purposely leaving out dates. I know the original issue came out within a year or so of the 1:1 so 1963-65. The Hot Rod magazine I think is from the 80's. The later re-issue is relatively common, showing up regularly on eBay and trading for far less because it does not include the 'chute or trailer. The kit can be had for something like $35.00-$50.00.

It is a very cool kit. You get to blown Pontiac Tempoest slant fours, one for putting in the car and one for display. very nice cast Halibrand wheels, excellent drag slicks (although narrow to go with the lower horsepower, a quick change rear end, and the full streamlined bodywork and bubble canopy as well as the full interior bodywork. So none of the b.s. you would have to go through with the Mooneyes Parts Pack.

To build something other than the LSR car you need to do something about the narrow front axle which Thompson put on the car to keep the frontal area down. The build description above points out that I used a Revell Tony Nancy Dragster kit front end on mine. Also the Attempt 1 inner body panels, while largely identical to the Mooneyes exterior bodywork, has a small extension at the back of the side panels to enclose the drivers compartment once the streamliner body was dropped on. You'll need to trim that off to make a regular Dragmaster IV dragster body as supplied by the factory. Still, at least you won't be waiting forever for a $80.00 Revell dragster suspension Parts Pack to show up on the 'Bay!

As I said earlier the Attempt 1 is the way to go to build a Dragmaster IV. There is one other Revell kit that includes a full Mooneyes style car including an engine and full suspension. It's the Revell Sanitary T/Mooneyes Double Car Kit. Talk about stooped money. If you can find one be prepared to go well into triple figures for it. Dome of these babies get bid up to $175.00 or more Needless to say they are fairly rare.

Finally, the Challenger 1 is a completely different car. It's a pure Land S[peed Record car with four blown Pontiac V8s that Thompson Used to be the first man to go over 400 MPH (406.6 one way) in 1960 at Bonneville.

Original Release Attempt 1 kit:
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Hot Rod Magazine Series Re-Issue:
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Stoopid Money:
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Bernard Kron
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Hey Duffy! Well Bid!!!! in all cases. Those are bargain prices.

And sure, horn in. This thread is way out of control as is! You might wait until I'm through with the questions, 'though, so we aren't in the Dept. of Redundancy Department.
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Bernard Kron
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Where did you have your dekes done, or how did you do them?

As I mentioned in the build description the Dragmaster decal is based on the original Dragmaster logo which I converted to print out properly on an inkjet printer and show up against the underlying paint on my model. I often make my own decals. I use an inkjet printer and clear decal stock. There are some pretty severe limitations as to what you can do with this approach, but with enough creativity and perseverance you can get very good results. I've been doing it for several years now, and when it comes to competition cars it's an integral part of my style. Making your own decals would seem a natural for circle-track modelers.

I'll look on the forum for any decal how to's If it's appropriate I'll kick my own discussion on the matter since by now I have quite a bit of experience doing them. It's definitely a subject deserving its own thread.

Here's the original Dragmaster logo which I downloaded from the internet:

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Here's the image I used for the decals, which was created using Photoshop. It has more blank space so it would show properly on the cowl of my model. On an inkjet printer "white" is actually the color of your printing paper. In this case, on decal stock, "white" is the clear decal stock.

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Bernard Kron
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Who were some of the 1:1 guys who ran these, and did they often use Hemis too, or not?

The most famous Dragmaster user other than the Dean Moon with his Mooneyes was Sneaky Pete Robinson who won the 1961 NHRA Nationals using one as the basis fort a super-trick ultra-light machine (rumored to weigh in at under 900 lbs!) small-block Chevy machine. This was the last days of the big twin-engine cars and Sneaky Pete, ever the innovator, showed them all that weight could be the "unfair advantage". The fact the Dragmaster chassis was a standard "off the shelf" piece only rubbed salt in their wounds. Of course, besides being a brilliant engineer, Robinson was also a Master of the Hole Shot and the car he built himself was ideal for the job.

The Tool For The Job:

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The Master at Work (Old Skool meets the New Generation):

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Also nationally known were the Dragmasters themselves, and Mickey Thompson of course.

The Dragmasters' (Dode Martin and Jim Nelson) Company Car:

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The Dragmaster IV chassis was enormously popular all over North American drag strips, primarily because Martin and Nelson offered their state-of-the-art (for 1960) rail in kit form to whatever degree of completion you wanted. They were regarded as a light weight alternative to the previous generation of machines. While I'm certain you'll find Hemis in front of the firewall, the most successful machine were wedge-head jobs taking advantage of well-sorted front suspension and low weight.

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Duffy
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Okay, le'me try this...Here's a great account of Sneaky Pete's win at the '61 Nationals written by Jim Hill, collected & .pdf'd by me (I have NO rights to this content!): https://www.mediafire.com/?rmc9u85s7sfyuab

If this works like I want, I'll put more up.
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Bernard Kron
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Although not fastest Dragmaster by any means, the most famous and most beautifully turned out Dragmaster IV machine was the fabulous Mooneyes!:

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Mickey Thompson, always big on safety, added a second roll hoop to his Dragmaster IV, inspiring the double hoop seen on the Mooneyes, a far neater job:

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Mickey ran a lot of Dragmaster chassis, taking full advantage of their off-the-shelf availability and light weight. It was not unusual for Mickey to build a brand new car every 3 or months in the late 50's and early 60's. Here are three record cars, the V8 powered Assault 1 (furthest from camera),the Attempt 1 and a second 4-cylinder lightweight, all Pontiac powered Dragmaster IV's:

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The Big Wheel Auto Stores A/gas dragster out of the Midwest shows off its Hemi power and was typical of the regional racers using this chassis:

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Bernard Kron
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And, can you maybe detail a how to here as to how to specifically do the conversion to your result here?

There's really very little to do that I haven't mentioned already. You need to use a wider front axle to get the proper drag racing configuration and trim a bit off the back of the inner body side panels. Otherwise, the motor choice is up to you and most of the other parts in the Attempt 1 kit will serve very well indeed.


Finally, what do you know about the slingshots in the AMT Classic Double dragster kit, what would you recommend there, and a little mfg./competitor history?

Aha! Another classic. This kit was released in 1961. Drag racing technology was evolving so fast that by the time it came out it was already outmoded by the Dragmaster IV and the first of the California three-point roll hoop lightweights like the Kent Fuller built Greer-Black-Prudhomme car by the time it came out. The fdragster is a 4-point roll hoop style car of the sort made popular by Chassis Research, perhaps the first production dragster chassis builder. Like the later Dragmaster chassis, it's ready avalibility made this style of car hugely popular on the local and regional level. The AMT kit recreates this circa 1958-1960 era.

This kit is readily and cheaply available since it was re-issued by Round2 about 3-4 years ago. I bought one of their special edition "tin box" releases and IMHO this is the one to own because it contains an extra chrome tree and lets you build more than the obvious 2 versions it normally offers. In my case I got 4 cars out of it with additional bodies and scratch building. What fun! Here's a picture of all four. I'll post individual threads of each of these cars explaining how I did it. This is a fabulous kit and I highly recommend it if your into bronze-age era drag racing machinery.

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Here's the cars I referred to above...


Images from just before everything changed:

A typical late 50's rail job based on a Chassis Research chassis:

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Perhaps the most famous Dragmaster of all, The Dragmaster Two Thing is the basis for the twin engine dragster variant in the AMT Double Dragster kit, the main difference being that AMT used the Chassis Research style 4-point roll hoop

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And finally, the car that ushered in the modern Front Engine Dragster era, the Kent Fuller designed and built Greer-Black-Prudhomme car. Fuller had been doing 4-point cars, notably for Tommy Ivo, but they were far simpler in design that the Scotty Fenn Chassis Research cars. He combined the 3-point hoop with his ultra-light simplified space frame approach to create this legendary car. Here it is shortly after construction with old school weedburner exhausts, its intial red (later yellow) paint job and no graphics.

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Bernard Kron
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Hey Duffy,

The PDF is fine and what a great article. Lots of depth, not just fan fluff. Excellent! The Robinson-Word car always looked lightweight and "modern" compared to most of its peers. And delightful that the car they beat in '61 at the Nats was non other than Jim nelson behind the wheel of his most famous customer car, the Mooneyes. I'm certain that Martin and Nelson had a lot to do with them getting that car into the finals. Nelson was an incredible driver and Martin new his way around a dragster like few did in that era. Normally the Mooneyes was kind of a slug... but very nicely turned out.
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Duffy
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This is such great stuff.

Here are a couple of scans from HOT ROD magazine that I ripped off the 'net and whitened up. (As always this is NOT my content and I have NO rights.)

Sneaky Pete, 1961 Top Eliminator - https://www.mediafire.com/?oibp255m8gmc2mn

Jack Chrisman, 1962 Top Eliminator - http://www.mediafire.com/view/r014re4vlyba...OT_ROD_Scan.pdf
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Duffy
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My one concern about the frame in the ATTEMPT I kit is that the roll cage is tapered toward the top, to fit under the small-as-possible aero shell. So, actual modeling of cars like MOONEYES or the Robinson-Word car is problematic. Otherwise, for build-wot-you-brung, the kit is fantastic, and made even beter by the fact that you can find the reissue on ePay in reasonable "Buy Now" offers.

Duf
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Chargincharlie6
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My goodness Bernard, and Duffy!!!! :))) :))) :))) You guys have been busy today, never expected such a huge complete response, so fast. B)
Just a quick word for you both, this is only to be encouraged here! We don't have a whole bunch of picky rules here, anyone can just jump in and add as little or as much as they want! We aren't really rivet counters as they say, but we will give number of rivets if we know and if you ask for them. This is a perfect case of me asking and you guys, with Duffy jumping in making it even better, replying! jsm

I'd say that answers just about everything I'd want to know here. I have the rereleased AMT double dragster kit right now, I want to do the Hemi Fiat altered for the SNRA series and have it pretty cleaned up so that it is ready for primer and paint by at least over the weekend. But I want to do the rail too, so that's why I was asking what you knew about it, I've seen the design in many vintage or Hot rod deluxe, etc. over the years. I note there are really two sets of lateral frame rail units there, one for single engine, one for the twin. I hate to ask you even more questions, and please take your time, but please tell me more about that. I am a mopar man, so mostly a circle track guy and super stock, stock class guy as far as past drag builds, but I want to expand! :lol: I asked about the decal as one, it is really cool, and two, I have mainly always done my own hand lettering. I've gotten, IMHO pretty good at it over the 40 years or so I've done it, but the eyes aren't quite what they once were, easier of course for the numbers and main sponsors on the circle trackers.

Gotta hustle for 2-7-15, so need to get to work on the altered for now, but definitely want to start doing some diggers.
Anyway, .z. .z. .z.
Dave B. (Charlie)
AMB RACING Oshkosh, Wi.
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Bernard Kron
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Dave,

As you noticed, the Double Dragster contains to sets of side rail assemblies which share one set of common cross members. Once you choose between single/in-line twin, or side by side twin configurations you choose the appropriate side rails and "use up" the supplied cross members. But it's a simple matter to make your own cross members from styrene rod, etc. and you've got a second chassis! This is where the "Tin Box" version of the Double Dragster re-rlease is so cool. The extra chrome tree includes the suspension parts you'll need to make the second digger chassis!

Here are some pics from the build-up phase of the Bantam coupe in the foregrpound of the picture I posted. The cross pieces are all styrene rod I used to "liberate" the potential second chassis. Crude but effective. The front axle is from the extra chrome tree and the rear axle is a cut down piece from a Revell Deuce kit.


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Chargincharlie6
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Thanks Bernard. That is just wonderful stuff. :))) .z. I may just have a go at really getting the most out of this though I don't have that extra tree, my model is the more budget version. But the Fiat comes first, then the side by side Chevy's next, love the looks of yours. I've scratch built a lot of cages and things totally from evergreen, so it doesn't look "too" daunting. I have a partial generic Wynn's Jammer in the Hemi Sphere guise, perhaps that could be easily combined to come up with a single Hemi digger from the double kit. It does have the full front end. Though what I'm missing is the floor belly pan, is all. Perhaps it should be saved in its own right with a little sheet plastic. .?.
I really appreciate your help, and anything you need reference short track oval trackers like Chrysler Kit cars, Howe, Bemco, and associated kits as well as early Nascar let me know. I'm probably not as up as you on some of them as you are on these dragsters, others I might be close :lol: !
Thanks again.
Dave
AMB RACING Oshkosh, Wi.
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